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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
Contact: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2009

State Police Troopers from

TroopS F, H, I and W

Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from Troop F in Westbrook, Troop H in Hartford, Troop I in Bethany and Troop W in Windsor Locks received awards for service during a ceremony May 18 at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden.

Twice a year, the Connecticut State Police honors Troopers who demonstrate bravery and outstanding service in the line of duty.  The ceremony also honors men and women serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies, those serving as first responders and civilians.  Award winners received medals and certificates from Department of Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III and State Police Colonel Thomas Davoren.

Awards were presented in four categories:

Ø      The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to any person who renders service with a high degree of alertness, perseverance and superior judgment in the performance of a difficult task resulting in the protection of life, recovery of property, the prevention of – or solving of – a major crime or the apprehension of an armed or dangerous person.

Ø      The Lifesaving Award is presented to any person who saves a human life or makes a valiant attempt to save a life.

Ø      The Outstanding Service Award is given to any person who successfully performs an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The person also may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and or continuously achieves excellence in performance of duties over an extended period of time.

Ø      The Unit Citation is awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.

Awards were presented to:

Trooper First Class John Vegliante, Trooper First Class Dean Dubois - Troop I  On August 26, 2008, at 12:35 p.m., Troop I received a call from New Haven Police requesting that Troopers stop a motor vehicle operated by a homicide suspect and being followed by two of their detectives. 

Trooper Vegliante, who was off duty, along with Trooper Dubois, responded to the area.  Trooper Vegliante pursued the vehicle north on I-91, then east on I-691, where the operator intentionally struck Trooper Vegliante’s cruiser. 

When Trooper Dubois moved in front of the suspect vehicle, the suspect sped up and intentionally struck Trooper Dubois’s cruiser twice before coming to a rest on the shoulder.  The suspect exited the vehicle and fled on foot and was apprehended by Troopers Vegliante and Dubois.  He was arrested on numerous criminal and motor vehicle charges.  Both Trooper Vegliante and Trooper Dubois suffered injuries as a result of the intentional collision and foot pursuit.  

The suspect was later arrested on two counts of murder and capital felony murder for a homicide that occurred earlier that month in New Haven.  Troopers Dubois and Vegliante were presented with the medal for Meritorious Service.

Trooper Anthony Cristy, Trooper First Class Christopher Kick, Seymour Officers Joseph Matusovich, Kevin Miceli and Donald Sceithe – Troop I  On Jan. 3, 2009, at 10:30 p.m., members of the Waterbury Police Department were investigating a homicide in their city. Waterbury Detectives issued an alert for the homicide suspect, who was armed and dangerous, and for vehicles in which the suspect might be traveling.

On Jan. 4, 2009, at 6:45 a.m., Trooper Cristy observed one of the vehicles linked to the Waterbury homicide traveling northbound on Route 8 in Seymour.  When Trooper Cristy activated his vehicle’s emergency lights and siren between exits 20 and 21, the suspect vehicle stopped in the right shoulder.  Trooper Cristy and Trooper Kick, along with Seymour Officers Matusovich, Miceli and Sceithe, conducted a felony motor vehicle stop. 

Waterbury Detectives arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and interviewed the three adult occupants of the vehicle. They determined that the homicide suspect had been transported to New York in the vehicle that the State Troopers and Seymour Officers stopped.  Through questioning, Waterbury Detectives developed information that proved to be instrumental in capturing the homicide suspect in Florida where he was attempting to board a flight out of the United States.

The Troopers and Officers were presented with the medal for Meritorious Service.

Det. Christopher Bartolotta, Hartford Police Det. Paul Cicero, Hartford Detective Luis Ruiz – Connecticut Regional Auto Theft Task Force On Aug. 13, 2008, Det. Bartolotta and Det. Cicero, both on assignment with the task force, were on routine patrol when they observed an individual known to them from past auto theft cases.

The detectives discovered that the suspect was driving a vehicle listed as stolen.  They called for backup when the vehicle turned into the parking lot of a Hartford school.  With school dismissal imminent and fearing a potentially dangerous situation, the detectives decided to box the vehicle in and take immediate control of the four occupants.

Approaching the car, Det. Cicero spotted the barrel of a handgun protruding from the operator’s waistband.  This suspect was quickly disarmed and taken into custody without further incident.  This suspect was found to be in possession of 34 bags of heroin, four bags of marijuana and a knife.

During processing, Det. Ruiz believed the suspect matched the description of a perpetrator who previously committed several carjackings in Hartford.  Detectives Bartolotta, Cicero and Ruiz worked tirelessly through the night and obtained a confession from the suspect. He admitted to being involved in at least six armed carjackings, robberies and shooting cases under investigation by the Hartford Police.  It was also learned that one of the occupants in the stolen car was a “missing” juvenile and identified as a suspect in a robbery.  Based on this investigation, more than ten felony cases were expected to be cleared by arrest.

Det. Bartolotta, Det. Cicero and Det. Ruiz were presented with the medal for Meritorious Service.

Sergeant Corey Craft, Trooper First Class Kenneth Dillon, Trooper First Class Henry Arroyo and Trooper First Class Pedro Rosado – Troop W   On August 10, 2008, Troopers assigned to Troop W received a complaint of an electronic device stolen from baggage on a flight at Bradley International Airport.  A criminal investigation initiated by Sgt. Craft and Troopers Dillon, Arroyo and Rosado determined that a cargo storage unit at the airport had also been burglarized.

Further investigation by these Troopers was directly instrumental in solving one of the largest airport baggage theft rings in the country.  What initially appeared to be a simple larceny investigation by these Troopers uncovered a large network of airport baggage handlers at Bradley who conspired to deprive and steal property from airline passengers.  The Troopers were able to determine the thefts spanned a period of more than two years.

After gathering investigative information, interviewing suspects and witnesses, and serving search and seizure warrants, the Troopers obtained arrest warrants on multiple suspects involved in the larceny ring.  Ultimately, multiple individuals were arrested and a substantial amount of stolen property was recovered, including laptops, flat screen televisions, cameras and GPS units, as well as valuable five-foot African masks.

These Troopers were presented with the medal for Meritorious Service.

            Trooper First Class Gary Inglis, Trooper Robert Mangham, Trooper Bryan Fahey, Trooper Mark Farotti, Dispatcher Theresa Smith – Troop F  On December 1, 2008, at 3:30 p.m., Dispatcher Smith was notified by New London Police of a bank robbery in the city of New London.  A handgun was implied by the robbery suspect but was not seen by witnesses.  A description of the male suspect and his vehicle was provided in a “be on the lookout” warning that was transmitted by Troop F Deskman, Trooper Farotti.

            Trooper Inglis took a post on I-95 southbound in the area of exit 65 and at 3:35 p.m., he spotted a car matching the description of the vehicle used in the robbery.  Trooper Inglis entered into traffic and monitored the vehicle.

            Trooper Inglis requested additional units and when Troopers Mangham and Fahey arrived, all three initiated a felony stop of the vehicle.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident and all of the proceeds from the robbery were recovered.

            With this quick apprehension, these Troopers assisted in solving at least three bank robberies in the eastern part of the state. The suspect is also a suspect in several other bank robberies in the western portion of the state. 

            Troopers Inglis, Mangham and Fahey were awarded medals for Meritorious Service; Trooper Farotti earned a Unit Citation; Dispatcher Smith earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Trooper Mark Farotti, Troop F  On January 29, 2009, Trooper Farotti was on duty when he learned about an abduction of a female that occurred in Providence, Rhode Island.  The accused was last seen heading south on Interstate 95 in the town of Stonington. Trooper Farotti was traveling north on I-95 in Old Saybrook when he observed the suspect vehicle.

Trooper Farotti stopped the vehicle in Westbrook and discovered a female occupant crouched down in the front passenger side of the car.  Trooper Farotti was able to identify that the visibly beaten and bruised female had been abducted.  The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody and charged with kidnapping and unlawful restraint.  Providence Police were notified of the arrest and prepared an arrest warrant with charges for the crimes committed in Rhode Island.

Trooper Farotti earned a Meritorious Service Award.

Trooper First Class William Arbour, Trooper First Class Curtis Booker and Trooper First Class Michael DeMaio – Traffic Services Unit   On March 4, 2009, at 6:12 a.m., three members of the Connecticut State Police Traffic Services Unit – Troopers Arbour, Booker and DeMaio – began an intense search for robbery suspects from a shopping plaza in Bloomfield.  During the robbery, a weapon was implied, but not displayed.

The suspects’ description and vehicle information was provided by Bloomfield Police.  As the Troopers searched, a second robbery report was broadcast from the Farmington Police Department at 6:35 a.m. A vehicle description – similar to the one from Bloomfield – was broadcast based on witnesses’ observations. 

The Troopers moved into the Sisson Avenue area of Hartford in an attempt to locate the vehicle.  At approximately 6:41 a.m., the Troopers saw the vehicle and followed it into the parking lot of a convenience store. 

At that location, the occupants were removed from the vehicle at gunpoint without incident. The passengers fit the description of both robberies. It is believed that the suspects may have been preparing to commit a third robbery at the convenience store when taken into custody by the Troopers.

Troopers Arbour, Trooper Booker and Trooper DeMaio earned Meritorious Service Awards.

Sergeant Dwight Washington, Trooper First Class William Taylor, Hartford Police Officer Mark Manson, Dispatcher Teresa Lockwood – Troop H   On February 16, 2009, Troop H personnel responded to a suicidal male with a hand gun who had stopped his vehicle on Interstate 84 in an area of many businesses and with heavy traffic flow.  Trooper Taylor immediately initiated steps to secure the public, including closing access to the highway, detouring traffic, coordinating radio communication and resources with local law enforcement agencies, all while keeping the suicidal male calm while speaking with him on the phone.

Troopers established a perimeter which allowed for the evacuation of stranded motorists who were in close proximity to the armed man.  Dispatcher Lockwood, who had been in contact with the suicidal man, transferred negotiations to Sgt. Washington and to Officer Manson, who is trained in hostage negotiations.

After several hours of intense negotiations, the subject voluntarily surrendered and was taken into custody without incident. Had it not been for the calm nature of the personnel involved, this situation could have had a different outcome.  All of those involved exhibited patience and the ability to think rationally under pressure to diffuse a volatile situation.

Sgt. Washington, Trooper Taylor and Officer Manson received Meritorious Service Awards; Dispatcher Lockwood earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Trooper First Class Edward Hopping, Troop H, and East Granby Town Officer Andrew Rossetti    On November 24, 2008, Trooper Hopping and Officer Rossetti responded to a report of an unconscious man at a local restaurant.  Upon arrival, they located a 75-year-old man unconscious on the floor and turning purple.  Trooper Hopping and Officer Rossetti opened the man’s airway, determined that he did not have a pulse and immediately began life-saving CPR.  They continued CPR until emergency medical responders arrived, administered oxygen and hooked up a defibrillator.  The victim was transported to the hospital where he recovered from his heart attack. 

The rapid medical response of Trooper Hopping and Officer Rossetti undoubtedly saved the life of the elderly man.  They earned the Lifesaving Award.

Trooper First Class Corey Sutherland, Trooper First Class Todd Petell, Dispatcher Darlene Newman – Troop H    On September 25, 2008, Troop H received a 911 call from a suicidal man who stated that he was depressed and was going to jump off the Founders Bridge in Hartford. 

Troopers responded to the area and started a search for the man.  On the phone, Dispatcher Newman established a rapport with the man and obtained his physical description. 

Troopers Sutherland and Petell located the man on the walkway over Columbus Boulevard in Hartford.  Upon approach of the Troopers, he jumped over the rail and was dangling 60 feet above the roadway.  Trooper Sutherland grabbed the man and stopped him from falling.  Trooper Petell reached over the railing, took hold of the man and assisted Trooper Sutherland as the man continued to struggle and attempted to break free from their grasp.

The man was pulled to safety.  The Troopers had placed themselves in a perilous position and saved him from falling off the bridge, a fall he would likely not have survived.  Trooper Sutherland and Trooper Petell earned Lifesaving Awards; Dispatcher Newman earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Trooper First Class Troy Gelinas, Trooper First Class Greg Smith and Trooper First Class Paul Gunn – Troop F  On February 12, 2009, at 2:30 a.m., Troop F received a call of a serious motor vehicle accident on Route 9 Northbound near exit 4 in Essex.  Troopers Gelinas, Smith and Gunn responded immediately. 

Upon arrival, Troopers Gunn and Smith assisted the operator as he was climbing out of his extremely-damaged vehicle in the rain.  The Troopers observed a severe laceration on the operator’s head.  The wound was deep and the operator was losing a tremendous amount of blood.  Troopers Gunn, Gelinas and Smith worked together to treat the operator by stopping the bleeding from his head. 

Trooper Gunn and Trooper Smith applied direct pressure to the wound and Trooper Gelinas carefully wrapped the injured operator’s head with gauze materials.  Essex Fire Department and EMS arrived and were very impressed with the Troopers’ initiative and medical training.  The emergency personnel assisted the Troopers in moving the injured operator to an ambulance for transport to the hospital for further treatment of his serious injuries. 

Troopers Gunn, Gelinas and Smith each received the Lifesaving Award.

           

Trooper First Class Paul Pederson – Troop F   On March 7, 2009, Troop F received multiple 911 phone calls stating that a man was climbing the fence on the Silver Street overpass in the area of exit 12 on Route 9 in Middletown.  Middletown Police had also been notified and had personnel on scene.

The suicidal man climbed over an eight-foot security fence and perched himself on the exterior side of the overpass above the southbound travel portion of Route 9.  Traffic was shut down in both directions.  Trooper Pederson parked his vehicle in the northbound shoulder of Route 9 and communicated with the man. The man yelled that he only wanted to speak with a Trooper.

Trooper Pederson made his way to the Silver Street overpass where he began a dialogue with the man.  The man stated numerous times that he wanted to kill himself.  Trooper Pederson established a rapport with the man and after approximately 90 minutes of dialogue, the man agreed to a medical evaluation and was assisted back over the fencing onto the Silver Street side of the overpass.

Trooper Pederson earned the Lifesaving Award.

Trooper First Class Michael Brown – Troop F   Beginning in August 2008, Trooper Brown investigated a case in which numerous people cashed stolen checks at a bank in Westbrook.  This case involved numerous illegal aliens who used false identification, making it difficult to identify those involved. 

Over several months, Trooper Brown worked with officers from Guilford Police who had a similar case.  After a joint extensive investigation consisting of interviews, surveillance and conducting search & seizure warrants, Trooper Brown identified several people involved.  This included the two individuals who created the scheme, as well as some of the check-cashing participants.  Because of the extensive length and depth of this investigation, arrest warrants for the two leaders of the scheme were submitted to court in March of 2009.  Other individuals have been arrested and interviewed, while others continue to be sought.  

           This investigation has grown to include other Connecticut police agencies, as well as federal agencies since most of those involved are in the United States illegally.  Trooper Brown discovered that the organizers had been committing similar fraudulent check-cashing schemes throughout the state over the past two years. 

            Trooper Brown earned the Outstanding Service Award.

State Troopers and Dispatchers from Troops I, B and F and the Emergency Services Unit  On Nov. 14, 2008, at approximately 2 p.m., the New Haven Police Department notified Troop I in Bethany that they were in pursuit of a suspect vehicle on Interstate 91 Northbound in the New Haven area.  The driver was suspected of carjacking the vehicle the previous evening in Massachusetts.  State Troopers from Troop I were deployed to the region to intercept the suspect car.

Between exits 11 and 13, the suspect car crossed over the median and began traveling north in the southbound lanes.  The suspect crashed into a large box truck and then fled the scene on foot.  Troopers from Troop I, including those assigned to the evening shift, flooded the area to search for the suspect.  Shortly thereafter, the suspect was observed by Troopers exiting a nearby wooded area and taken into custody.

The quick response of all personnel resulted in the rapid apprehension of the suspect, who was subsequently charged with numerous crimes, including the original carjacking from Massachusetts.  All earned the Unit Citation Award.

John Cole and Richard B. Swain, Civilians  On January 17, 2009, at 11:49 a.m., John Cole and Richard B. Swain were in the State Forest in Chester when they found an elderly male sitting in the snow on the side of the trail. The elderly male appeared disoriented and confused while sitting in below freezing temperatures.  The two young men immediately recognized his need for medical attention and called 911.

            Mr. Cole and Mr. Swain then drove the elderly man out of the forest to meet an ambulance at a commuter parking lot. The man was treated for possible hypothermia and symptoms of dementia.

Mr. Cole and Mr. Swain are commended for their quick action and determination in assisting an injured elderly man. They earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.

Sandra Huebner, Administrator   Ms. Huebner has been a valuable employee of the Department of Public Safety for more than 30 years.  During that time, she has served as a Dispatcher and is currently the secretary for the Central District Office of the Connecticut State Police.

Her immediate supervisor describes Ms. Huebner as a tireless and organized employee whose impeccable attention to detail has been an asset to the Central District. Ms. Huebner is praised as consistently producing quality work and taking on extra projects to ensure that all reports are accurate and that the district runs smoothly.

Ms. Huebner has also taken the initiative in numerous projects to ensure that the district operates without any glitches. But she also took on the extraordinary role of caregiver when a member of the agency was stricken with cancer. As always, Ms. Huebner is extremely humble in all that she undertakes. Her effectiveness and efficiency – as well as her compassion for others – have been vital to the agency.  Ms. Huebner earned the Administrative Excellence Award for 2009.

Auxiliary State Trooper Robert Prouty    Auxiliary Trooper Prouty has served the Connecticut State Police for more than 35 years.  In late 2007, he was voted in as the Statewide Auxiliary Trooper Coordinator by his peers.  Since taking over this position in January of 2008, he has worked tirelessly to improve the program. 

Auxiliary Trooper Prouty demonstrated a high level of initiative by centralizing all Auxiliary Trooper historical data and records, which makes inquiries about the program a one-stop effort.  Having identified a problem with the lack of timely submission of field reports and records of hours worked, he worked cooperatively with the field supervisors and Headquarters Fiscal Office personnel to streamline the process.   This minimized the work of fiscal personnel and decreased the turnaround time for corresponding reports back to the field. 

Since taking on the duties of the Auxiliary Coordinator, Mr. Prouty has encouraged administrative efficiency and effectiveness from field personnel by having them cross Troop borders to assist each other when the need arises.  This type of creative thinking makes for a more cohesive working environment for field personnel. Mr. Prouty received the Auxiliary Trooper of the Year Award for 2009.

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