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. ••