2nd PDAC honors Officers of the Month

Six patrol of­ficers who made ar­rests in three vi­ol­ent crimes have been honored by the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil and Capt. Frank Palumbo, the dis­trict’s com­mand­er, as of­ficers of the month — for May, June and Ju­ly.

Their ar­rest of an al­leged armed rob­ber drew May hon­ors for Of­ficers Kev­in Mel­lody and Ed­ward Sey­bert.

Ac­cord­ing to Com­munity Re­la­tions Of­ficer Di­anne Murphy, a wo­man called for a cab at 6:57 p.m. on May 7 and asked to be picked up on the 700 block of Adams Ave. Once in the cab, she told the driver she needed to pick up a friend. When the cab came to a stop, the wo­man put a large ser­rated knife to the driver’s throat and al­legedly said, “Want your life? Give me all the money.”

The driver pushed the knife away, Murphy stated in an email to the North­east Times, but as he did that he no­ticed a black pis­tol in the wo­man’s oth­er hand. The driver jumped out of the cab. The wo­man got in­to the driver’s seat and drove away as the cab­bie ran to a loc­al fast-food res­taur­ant and called 911.

Sey­bert and Mel­lody were on routine patrol when in­form­a­tion about the rob­bery was broad­cast on po­lice ra­dio. They spot­ted the cab and ar­res­ted 30-year-old Toni Wil­li­ams of the 5200 block of Mon­tour St. when she stopped and got out, Murphy stated. She later was pos­it­ively iden­ti­fied as the rob­ber.

Wil­li­ams was charged with rob­bery, ag­grav­ated as­sault, vi­ol­a­tions of the Uni­form Fire­arm Act and oth­er re­lated of­fenses. She cur­rently is in cus­tody at the River­side Cor­rec­tion­al Fa­cil­ity on State Road.

June’s Of­ficers of the Month, Chris­toph­er Mc­Cue and Thomas Far­rell, res­cued a 90-year-old bed-rid­den wo­man who was be­ing at­tacked in her own home, Murphy stated.

On June 19 at about 11:54 p.m., while in­vest­ig­at­ing a re­port of a per­son scream­ing on the 300 block of Stevens St., Far­rell and Mc­Cue heard an eld­erly wo­man cry­ing for help.

Through a win­dow, Murphy stated, the of­ficers saw 64-year-old Rich Ga­zak rais­ing and lower­ing his hand in a strik­ing mo­tion. They heard Ga­zak yelling at the wo­man and heard the sounds of smack­ing.

Mc­Cue and Far­rell heard the wo­man yelling, “Stop hit­ting me, stop hit­ting me.”

The of­ficers ordered Ga­zak to open the door. Once in­side, the of­ficers found the wo­man shak­ing, cry­ing and na­ked from the waist down. Murphy said once the wo­man saw the of­ficers, she stated, “Thank God you’re here. I thought he was go­ing to kill me to­night. He was hit­ting me. Please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.”

Ga­zak was taken in­to cus­tody. He was charged with ag­grav­ated as­sault, ter­ror­ist­ic threats and simple as­sault. He is free on bail. His pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing will be on Sept. 26 in Room 906 of the Crim­in­al Justice Cen­ter, 13th and Fil­bert streets.

Ti­monthy Wack­er and Josephina Ro­man, Ju­ly’s Of­ficers of the Month, ar­res­ted a man who al­legedly beat and robbed a mo­tor­ist.

On Ju­ly 22 at about 7:57 p.m., a driver was stopped at a traffic light at Castor and Magee av­en­ues when a man star­ted banging on his vehicle. The man at­tacked the mo­tor­ist when he got out of his car to see what was hap­pen­ing. The vic­tim fell to the ground as the man con­tin­ued to beat him, Murphy stated. The as­sail­ant then stole the vic­tim’s wal­let and phone, and fled.

The vic­tim got back in­to his vehicle and met with Wack­er and Ro­man, giv­ing them a de­scrip­tion of his at­tack­er. The of­ficers searched the area and found a man who matched the de­scrip­tion of the at­tack­er and stopped 56-year-old Har­ris Thomas of the 6500 block of Souder St. He was iden­ti­fied as the as­sail­ant and taken in­to cus­tody. The vic­tim was taken to a hos­pit­al for treat­ment of sev­er­al la­cer­a­tions.

Thomas was charged with rob­bery and simple as­sault. Murphy stated he had 30 ar­rests in New Jer­sey on charges ran­ging from dis­orderly con­duct to hom­icide. Thomas re­mains in cus­tody in the Phil­adelphia De­ten­tion Cen­ter on State Road. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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