Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
May 13, 2011

   State Police Troopers from

TroopS C, D, E and K

Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from Troop C in Tolland, Troop D in Danielson, Troop E in Montville and Troop K in Colchester received awards for service during a ceremony May 13 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 Commissioner Reuben Bradford and State Police Colonel Danny R. Stebbins. 

Awards were presented in five categories:

Ø  The Medal for Bravery is awarded to a Trooper who demonstrates exceptional heroism in the performance of duty while exposed to life-threatening danger.

Ø  The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to those who render 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 those who save a human life or make a valiant attempt to save a life.

Ø  The Outstanding Service Award is given to those who successfully perform an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The Trooper may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and/or continuously achieve excellence in performance 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:

Sgt. Forrest Ruddy, Sgt. William Braithwaite, Troop C, Eastern District Major Crime Squad   On August 13, 2010, Troop C received a 911 call from a 13-year-old female resident of Ashford.  She was home with her nine-year-old sister and 19-year-old brother when a man came to the door and asked for directions to an apartment complex.  He was given directions and left.  Shortly afterwards, the same man returned.  This time, the nine-year-old answered the door; the man approached her with a large knife and told her to do everything he said and no one would be hurt.

The armed man walked inside the house and took cell phones from the brother.  The intruder instructed the three children to stay in a bedroom. He then stole a television and fled in a vehicle. 

The Troop C desk Trooper obtained a suspect and vehicle description and dispatched Troopers and Detectives to the scene. Troop C patrols saturated the area establishing a perimeter and setting up observation posts.  Sgt. William Braithwaite observed the suspect vehicle traveling on Route 89 in Ashford.  The suspect vehicle sped away and attempted to hide on side streets, but was located by Sgt. Braithwaite, who conducted a felony stop while Troopers and Detectives responded to secure the suspect and vehicle.  Sgt. Forrest Ruddy established a rapport and obtained a full confession from the suspect.

Sgts. Ruddy and Braithwaite earned Awards for Meritorious Service;  Troopers from Troop C and the Eastern District Major Crime Squad earned a Unit Citation Award.

East Lyme Sgt. Michael Macek, East Lyme Sgt. Joseph San Juan, East Lyme Officer Lindsay Cutillo      On September 28, 2010, at approximately 8:20 p.m., an armed robbery was reported at a coffee shop on Route 161 in East Lyme.  During the investigation of the robbery, East Lyme Sergeant Joseph San Juan and East Lyme Officer Lindsay Cutillo identified a suspect vehicle that matched a vehicle from a pursuit initiated by Troop E three days earlier.

Five hours later, at 1:30 a.m., Sgt. San Juan and Officer Cutillo were working a traffic detail on Route 161 and observed the suspect vehicle. East Lyme Sergeant Michael Macek ran an inquiry on the suspect vehicle, which was listed as having a stolen plate – the same plate that was on the vehicle pursued by Troopers three days earlier. 

Sgt. Macek attempted to stop the suspect and became engaged in the pursuit.  The suspect vehicle subsequently crashed on Route 1 in East Lyme.  Even after crashing, the suspect intentionally rammed his vehicle into the front end of Sgt. Macek’s patrol vehicle, causing damage as well as injury to Sgt. Macek.  The suspect was taken into custody and later confessed to the robbery at the East Lyme coffee shop as well as to another armed robbery.

The alertness and perseverance of these East Lyme Officers resulted in the arrest of an armed robber.  Each earned an Award for Meritorious Service in this incident.

Sgt. Jae Fontanella, TFC Ronald Turner, TFC Harold French, Jr., TFC David Hayes  On October 3, 2010, at approximately 11:51 a.m., Troop K was notified of an out of control, mentally-challenged man at a residence in Salem.  Responding Troopers found the man locked in his bedroom behaving violently and yelling incoherently.  The man indicated that he had a firearm and would shoot anyone who attempted to enter the room. 

Troopers from Troop K set up a perimeter around the residence while Sgt. Jae Fontanella, TFC Harold French, TFC Ronald Turner and TFC David Hayes and his K-9 entered the residence. 

Troopers outside the house created a distraction while Trooper Turner forced open the bedroom door and Sgt. Fontanella and Troopers French and Hayes rushed into the room and took the male into custody.

These Troopers demonstrated a high degree of alertness & superior judgment in the performance of a difficult task.  Sgt. Fontanella, TFC Turner, TFC French and TFC Hayes each earned an Award for Meritorious Service;   Troop K Troopers earned the Unit Citation Award.

Sgt. Troy Gelinas, TFC Mark Boulanger, TFC Noah Gouveia, TFC David Abely, TFC Jeffrey McDermott,  Trooper Collin Konow, Trooper Brian Sumner, Trooper Matthew Siart, Trooper April Pawlow & TFC Randy Silvestri  On December 4, 2010, at 7:42 p.m., Troop E received a report of a domestic disturbance involving two stab wound victims and a shooting victim at a residence in Griswold.  At this same residence four months earlier, a suicidal man had engaged State Police in an eight-hour armed standoff. 

It was undetermined whether or not the suspect was still in the residence and armed.  Upon arrival, Troopers encountered one male victim on the kitchen floor bleeding profusely from stab wounds.  A female victim was located in the basement of the residence, also bleeding profusely from stab wounds.  Troopers provided emergency medical treatment to the male and female victims.

Concurrently, other Troopers began an extensive search of the premises, locating the shooting victim deceased in the basement with a knife in his hand.  During the search, an elderly female was also located on the first floor of the residence unharmed.  The Troopers fully secured the scene, documented evidence and obtained witness statements.

These Troopers utilized an extremely high degree of alertness, perseverance and superior judgment during this extremely difficult incident.  Each earned an Award for Meritorious Service.

TFC Nicholas Leary and Mr. Mike Giguere  On the evening of July 12, 2010, a driver traveling north on Interstate 395 in the area of Exit 93 in Killingly suddenly lost control of her vehicle resulting in a violent rollover collision.  Both the operator and her front-seat passenger were thrown from the tumbling vehicle, which landed on top of the passenger. 

Trooper Leary, who was off-duty and also on Interstate 395, immediately stopped to render assistance.  Trooper Leary quickly assessed the scene and found that the driver had succumbed to fatal injuries.  He located the unconscious passenger trapped underneath the vehicle and recognized the immediate need to take the weight of the vehicle off her.  Trooper Leary radioed for assistance and wrecker operator, Mike Giguere, arrived on the scene within minutes, lifting the vehicle off of the young woman.  Trooper Leary treated the passenger until the arrival of ambulance personnel.

The quick thinking and superior judgment displayed by Trooper Leary and Mike Giguere surely saved the passenger from imminent death.  Trooper Leary earned a Lifesaving Medal and Mr. Giguere earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Trooper Scott McCarthy & EMT Jackson F. Herget  On the evening of August 7, 2010, Troop C received numerous 911 calls regarding a motor vehicle accident that occurred along Route 32 in the town of Willington.  The vehicle was traveling south when it went off the northbound shoulder of Route 32, rolling over several times before becoming wedged between two trees.       

Trooper Scott McCarthy observed one of the occupants lying face down on the ground next to the vehicle.  This individual was not breathing nor did he have a pulse.  Trooper McCarthy and responding Emergency Medical Technician Jackson F. Herget quickly administered CPR to the individual until he started to breathe and regained consciousness.  Trooper McCarthy and EMT Herget stayed with the patient until more advanced medical personnel arrived. 

Trooper McCarthy then returned to the area of the vehicle where a second occupant was located and continued to assist medical personnel until all of the occupants involved were safely transported to area hospitals for medical treatment.

Trooper McCarthy earned a Lifesaving Medal and EMT Herget earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Trooper William Shamansky  On January 10, 2011, at 2:00 a.m., Trooper Shemansky was on duty in Chaplin when he observed tire tracks leading into the woods in six inches of freshly fallen snow.  He saw only one set of tracks and concluded that whatever vehicle had driven into the woods had not exited yet. 

About 100 yards off the roadway, Trooper Shemansky observed that the tire marks led to a vehicle with its lights off.  He saw a hose leading from the exhaust pipe of the vehicle into the driver’s side window.  The window was lowered and plastic was taped around the end of the hose and around the perimeter of the window opening, sealing the fumes in.

Trooper Shemansky observed a man sitting in the driver's seat slumped over the center console and across the front passenger seat.  With the door locked and the man unresponsive, the Trooper broke a window to gain access.

Trooper Shemansky heard the man groan.  The man was able to identify himself, although his voice was soft and his words slurred.  Trooper Shemansky removed the man from the vehicle.

The man was transported to a local hospital.  Trooper Shemansky later contacted the ambulance attendants who informed him that had the man been exposed to the fumes much longer, he would not have survived.

The initiative and quick response by Trooper Shamansky earned him a Lifesaving Medal.

TFC Timothy Donahue, Trooper Pieter Groot, Mr. Guy Williams, Mr. Matthew B. Williams, Mr. Daniel S. Nemeth      

On January 20, 2011, at approximately 5 p.m., Troop E received 911 calls reporting a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 95 in New London.  Trooper Donahue and off-duty Trooper Groot were in the immediate area and responded. 

Upon arrival, the Troopers observed the operator seat-belted in the vehicle, unresponsive, with the doors locked.  Trooper Donahue gained entry into the vehicle and the Troopers, along with three concerned citizens – Guy Williams, Matthew Williams and Daniel Nemeth – extricated the operator from the vehicle and carried him 10 yards from the vehicle, onto the highway, due to several feet of snow. 

The Troopers immediately performed CPR on the operator until he was transported via ambulance to the hospital.  According to doctors, the operator suffered a massive heart attack prior to crashing his vehicle and if CPR was not been immediately initiated, the man would not have survived.

The quick, lifesaving work of all involved no doubt saved the life of the operator. Troopers Donahue and Groot earned the Lifesaving Medal;  Mr. Guy Williams, Mr. Matthew Williams and Mr. Nemeth earned the Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

TFC Steven Rief, Trooper Brian Sumner, Trooper Ryan MaynardOn December 7, 2010, Trooper Sumner and Trooper Maynard were dispatched to Route 201 in Griswold for a motor vehicle accident with injuries. Trooper Rief also responded to the scene.

Upon the arrival of Trooper Sumner and Trooper Maynard, it was determined that the vehicle had struck a tree at a high rate of speed and rolled over.  There were four fatalities.

Troopers Sumner, Maynard and Rief assisted with extricating a fifth passenger who was trapped in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle. Due to the quick response and medical assistance – including CPR – performed by Troopers Sumner, Maynard and Rief, the passenger and lone survivor of the accident made a full recovery at a local hospital.

The lifesaving actions of Trooper Rief, Trooper Sumner and Trooper Maynard earned each the Lifesaving Medal.

Detective Ryan Luther   On October 5, 2010, the Manchester Police Department broadcast an Amber Alert for a despondent female armed with a cutting instrument who forced her way into her ex-husband’s home and abducted her two young children.

On that morning, Detective Ryan Luther was traveling on Route 6 in Hampton in his unmarked vehicle when he heard the Amber Alert.  Moments later, he observed the suspect vehicle traveling on Route 6.  Other State Police personnel headed to assist Det. Luther.

The suspect vehicle then stopped unexpectedly on Route 6 in Andover.  Det. Luther and Sgt. Jeff Foran of Manchester Police took immediate action by blocking in the suspect vehicle.  They quickly took the female into custody without incident.  The children were located inside the vehicle unharmed.

Det. Luther demonstrated keen powers of observation in locating this vehicle and returning the two children to a safe environment. He earned an Award for Outstanding Service.

Trooper Melissa Nye, TFC Jeffrey Brunoli, Trooper Daniel Greenwood   During August 2010, Troop K responded to multiple car burglaries throughout the Windham area.  Trooper Brunoli and Trooper Greenwood were investigating a number of these car burglaries.
         Trooper Nye of Troop D contacted Troopers Greenwood and Brunoli in regards to an interview she had conducted during an unrelated investigation.  During Trooper Nye’s investigation, she was able to identify two possible suspects in the Troop K car burglaries.
            Utilizing the information obtained by Trooper Nye, Troopers Greenwood and Brunoli located a suspect at his residence and were able to secure a large amount of the stolen property.  The Troopers then located the second suspect and recovered more stolen property.  The total amount of recovered property was valued at $7,000.
            Through the tireless efforts of Trooper Greenwood and Trooper Brunoli, along with the diligence of Trooper Nye, numerous victims were identified and their stolen property was recovered.  Troopers Greenwood and Brunoli applied for and served 30 arrest warrants for the two accused. This investigation and subsequent arrests led to a dramatic drop in the number of car burglaries in the Troop K area.
            The investigative actions of these Troopers earned each an Award for Outstanding Service.

Trooper Michael Hamel   On June 25, 2010, Trooper Michael Hamel arrived at the scene of a commercial burglary in Bozrah.  He met with the owner, who stated that someone had broken a window to the garage and entered the store, taking money and cigarettes. 

Trooper Hamel used evidence at the scene as well as information obtained from the victim to develop a suspect. He went to the suspect’s residence, but was unable to locate him; however, Trooper Hamel recognized discarded cigarette filters at this residence that matched stolen ones from the store.
         Trooper Hamel returned to the residence, spoke with the suspect and obtained a signed confession not only to the burglary and larceny, but also to the attempted burglary that occurred prior to this incident.

Due to the diligence of Trooper Hamel, an arrest warrant for the suspect was issued and served.  For his actions, Trooper Hamel received an Award for Outstanding Service.

On October 26, 2010, at 6:11 p.m., Troop E received a 911 call of a robbery involving guns at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme.  Personnel from Troop E, the East Lyme Resident Troopers Office and the Department of Environmental Protection immediately responded.   The victim had been struck in the head with a shotgun by one of the suspects who then fled in a vehicle.  Troop E radioed suspect and vehicle descriptions and a “be on the lookout” broadcast.

An hour later, the suspect vehicle was located on Interstate 95.  Troop E and East Lyme Officers worked together to stop the vehicle and take all three suspects into custody without incident.  A .22 caliber rifle and stolen property were located in the vehicle.

The suspects were transported to Troop E where they were interviewed and later confessed to the robbery.  Eastern District Major Crime Troop E Detectives responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.  One suspect said they ditched their shotguns in Montville; police proceeded to the location and seized the weapons.

The apprehension of these dangerous individuals and subsequent follow-up investigation was a true team effort by all responding personnel.  A Unit Citation Award was presented to Troopers from Troop E, Troop I, Eastern District Major Crime Squad and the East Lyme Resident Trooper’s Office, as well as officers from the Dept. of Environmental Protection.

On December 19, 2010, Troop K learned of an attempted robbery at a Colchester business. Detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime Squad responded and identified a suspect:  a convicted felon who was implicated in a carjacking and abduction in East Hartford the previous evening. 

Detectives pieced the investigation together and gathered evidence to secure an arrest warrant for the suspect.  The last piece of evidence needed was a positive ID of the suspect from the victim in the case. However, the victim was too upset to pick the suspect out of a photo array, leaving the case without the final piece needed to secure the warrant.

Detectives then contacted the victim of the East Hartford carjacking.  That victim positively identified the suspect, linking him to the East Hartford case and to the State Police case.  The warrant was quickly signed.

The swift actions of the detectives allowed East Hartford Police to secure an arrest warrant for the suspect.  Detectives notified surrounding law enforcement agencies about the warrants and provided a description of the suspect’s car.  The information was also released to the press.

The suspect’s vehicle was seized in Colchester, but the suspect still eluded police.  Working non-stop, the detectives learned that the suspect was traveling to Old Town, Maine, to commit another armed robbery.  The detectives contacted the Old Town Police Department, explaining the suspect’s plan.  The suspect arrived as stated in a stolen motor vehicle and was taken into custody. 

The actions of the Eastern District Major Crime Squad Detectives earned them the Unit Citation Award.