Thursday, October 21, 2010

Officers Honored for Breaking Up Large Fight in Ozone Park by Stephen Geffon -Leader-Observer

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Sergeant John Egan (center) was honored with the Cop of the Month award Community Council President Frank Dardani (left) and Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis

Sergeant John Egan of the 106th Precinct was honored with the Cop of the Month award for September at last week’s Community Council meeting for single-handedly saving a young lady from a large unruly crowd, according to Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis, commanding officer of the Precinct.

On Sunday, September 26, at 2 a.m., Egan was on his way home from work when he noticed a large crowd at Eckford Avenue and Centerville Street in Ozone Park. According to Courtesis approximately 40 to 50 individuals were fighting, with six or seven separate groups involved in the melee. Egan called 911 and requested backup. While awaiting backup, he observed that the fight had become increasingly more violent with the crowd hitting each other with milk crates, garbage cans and whatever else they could get their hands on.

Courtesis said that although Egan’s common sense told him to wait for more officers to arrive, the situation was getting more and more out of control. At one point the crowd broke the window of a vehicle and pulled a female out of the car and began to violently beat her with weapons. Egan couldn’t wait any longer. He waded into the crowd and pulled the alleged perpetrators off the girl and got her to safety. Egan then identified himself as a New York City police officer and requested that they all disburse the area. Courtesis said that at this point eight to ten perpetrators turned on Egan.

When backup arrived, Officer John Demauro, with the assistance of other officers, was able to arrest one of the alleged perpetrators who allegedly assaulted Egan. Courtesis said the suspect, who was held on $10,000 bail, was currently on probation in Florida for heroin trafficking. Egan received multiple injuries in the attack, and just returned to work on October 12.

“Sergeant Egan’s actions exemplify bravery at its highest, and I am proud to honor him as Cop of the Month,” said Courtesis.

Police Officer John Demauro was also honored by Inspector Courtesis and the 106th Precinct Community Council for his actions on September 26.