2nd PDAC salutes local heroes in blue

The 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil honored five po­lice of­ficers dur­ing a meet­ing at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home on Tabor Av­en­ue.

The PDAC honored Of­ficers of the Month for March, April and May. 

Of­ficers Padra­ic Feeney and Kev­in Mc­Grorty ar­res­ted a man who tried to speed away with one of the of­ficers hanging onto his minivan in March. Of­ficer Mi­chael Melvin stopped two people who were beat­ing a cab driver in April, and Of­ficers Mi­chael Long and An­thony Ros­selli res­cued two people from a burn­ing build­ing in May.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Feeney and Mc­Grorty were in plain clothes but rid­ing marked po­lice bikes in the late af­ter­noon on March 15 when they tried to stop a vehicle. The of­ficers were on a burg­lary de­tail in the neigh­bor­hood around Sanger Street and Rising Sun Av­en­ue, where there had been a rise in day­time burg­lar­ies.

The two no­ticed Blake John­son, 19, who po­lice wanted to talk to about a re­cent home in­va­sion. John­son, who also is known as Blizz, was seen go­ing in­to a green minivan be­hind a home on the 500 block of God­frey Ave. A few days earli­er, a man match­ing John­son’s de­scrip­tion had been re­por­ted with a gun in a green minivan.

Al­though the two of­ficers were in plain clothes, they had their badges vis­ible and around their necks. They iden­ti­fied them­selves and ordered John­son to stop. He did but then pulled for­ward. Feeney drew his weapon and ran to the driver’s door. The of­ficer reached in­to the van to try to turn off the ig­ni­tion, but com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer Mark Mroz said John­son sped away with Feeney hanging on to the side of the van.

Feeney fired his gun and man­aged to get off of the van, which then crashed in­to a tree. John­son was not struck by the gun­fire. Mroz said John­son tried to run away, but the two of­ficers caught him.

They found what turned out to be marijuana in the van. John­son faces charges of as­sault, res­ist­ing ar­rest and oth­er of­fenses. He is free on bail and has a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing sched­uled for Aug. 9 in courtroom 1003 of the Crim­in­al Justice Cen­ter, 13th and Fil­bert streets.

Early on April 17, Melvin ar­res­ted two people who al­legedly were beat­ing up and rob­bing a cab driver.

Mroz said the driver took a man and wo­man to an ad­dress near Cottman and Bustleton av­en­ues, but the fares told the cab­bie that he had not taken them to the cor­rect place. When he re­fused to take them any­where else, they al­legedly pulled him out of his cab and star­ted beat­ing him. They also took $25 from him, Mroz said.

Some­body called 911 to re­port the beat­ing. Melvin, who was patrolling in the area, heard a po­lice ra­dio broad­cast, got to the scene and ar­res­ted Erik Bar­rett, 24, and Laura De­cero, 23. Both were charged with crim­in­al con­spir­acy, rob­bery, as­sault and oth­er of­fenses.

Long and Ros­selli res­cued two seni­or cit­izens from their burn­ing home early on May 5, Mroz said.

They were on patrol when they re­spon­ded to a ra­dio call about a fire on the 700 block of Prin­ceton Ave. The two ar­rived be­fore fire­fight­ers and were told by neigh­bors that two eld­erly people who had not been seen get­ting out were still in the burn­ing build­ing.

Ros­selli then no­ti­fied po­lice ra­dio for ad­di­tion­al help, and the two of­ficers went to the front door. They heard faint calls for help. They then went in­side to look for the couple.

The of­ficers began call­ing out to the people trapped in­side, but re­ceived no reply. They heard move­ment in a rear bed­room and crawled through heavy smoke to­ward the sounds. 

They saw two fig­ures stum­bling in the room. The man and wo­man were dis­or­i­ented, Mroz said, and res­isted the of­ficers’ at­tempts to save them.

Long and Ros­selli, who felt them­selves be­com­ing af­fected by the smoke and heat, pulled the two out of the burn­ing bed­room.

The res­cued people were treated on the scene for smoke in­hal­a­tion. The of­ficers were not in­jured.

Capt. Mi­chael Mc­Car­rick, com­mand­er of the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict, said burg­lar­ies, al­ways a prob­lem in Phil­adelphia, worsen in warm months.

“Burg­lary is a crime of op­por­tun­ity,” said Mc­Car­rick.

When the weath­er warms and res­id­ents don’t close and lock their win­dows, burg­lars can eas­ily cut through screens, and some gain entry to homes by push­ing in win­dow air con­di­tion­ers.

The ad­vis­ory coun­cil will not con­duct ses­sions in Ju­ly or Au­gust. The group’s next meet­ing will be on Tues­day, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m., at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave. ••

Con­tact re­port­er John Loftus at 215-354-3110 or jloftus@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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