2016 Recipients of the 33rd Annual Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Braveryto Officer
Officers Kevin R. Plunkett and James L. Walsh, Boston Police Department
While on patrol in an unmarked vehicle in March of last year, Officers Plunkett and Walsh observed a motor vehicle commit a traffic violation and pulled over the vehicle. The officers observed the passenger of the vehicle reaching down several times under his seat. Knowing that there had been recent shootings in the same vicinity as the traffic stop, they ordered the passenger to exit the vehicle, when he again reached down.
Fearing that the passenger was reaching for a weapon, the officers grabbed his arms while he was still seated in the vehicle, and the man immediately began to struggle. Officer Walsh became pinned between the car door and a snow bank as Officer Plunkett continued to struggle with the suspect, while simultaneously radioing for assistance. When the passenger yelled to the motor vehicle operator to drive, Officer Walsh freed himself and ran to the front of the vehicle as the operator began to rev the engine. Officers Walsh and Plunkett were finally able to remove the suspect from the vehicle, but in doing so they fell onto the street and into oncoming traffic, causing injury to Officer Plunkett. The driver fled the scene as Officer Walsh relayed the description of the vehicle. The violent struggle continued to both officers were able to subdue the suspect and place him under arrest. Upon arrest, a fully loaded semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the suspect's sneaker, which was the item he had been attempting to reach for during the initial traffic stop. Responding units were able to apprehend the driver of the vehicle that had fled.
For their professionalism and courage in using great restraint in a dangerous traffic stop, Boston Officers Kevin Plunkett and James Walsh are presented with the Trooper George L. Hanna Award for Meritorious Recognition.
Medal of Valor
Detective Todd M. Hartgrove, Boston Police Department
On the evening of September 28, 2015, a call was broadcast for a detailed description of a suspect with a gun. Detective Hartgrove, en route to the call, observed the suspect near a playground pointing a firearm at two women.
Detective Hartgrove excited his vehicle, identified himself, and with his service weapon drawn, ordered the suspect to drop the firearm. The suspect did not comply with the order and yelled to the detective to shoot him. After a tense standoff, the suspect finally lowered his weapon, but then suddenly ran to a nearby vehicle and dove into the passenger side of the car with Detective Hartgrove in pursuit.
The suspect was reaching inside the car for something as the detective pulled him from the car. The suspect then rushed Detective Hartgrove, causing them both to fall to the ground. A violent struggle ensued, with the suspect attempting to grab his gun that had fallen onto the street. Additional units arrived and were able to subdue the combative suspect.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect was attempting to grab a folding knife from the vehicle in order to attack Detective Hartgrove. The suspect had intended to carjack the two women and had threatened to kill them before Detective Hartgrove arrived.
For his response in diffusing a volatile situation and for the apprehension of a violent individual, Boston Detective Todd Hartgrove is presented with the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Valor.
Officer Joseph P. Capistran, Chelsea Police Department
In the early morning of February 1, 2015, Officer Capistran heard three loud gunshots in his vicinity. Within seconds, he heard a radio broadcast from a fellow officer indicating exactly where the gunshots had originated. Hearing additional broadcasts from other officers stating their positions, Officer Capistran chose a response path so that he could monitor three potential escape routes that the suspect could take to elude capture.
Respond to the area with his K-9 partner, Ancho, in a marked police cruiser, Officer Capistran observed a man running quickly toward him on the sidewalk. Officer Capistran stopped his vehicle in the roadway, exited and began to retrieve K-9 Ancho when he observed a large firearm in the man's hand. Recognizing an immediate threat to safety, the officer stopped his attempt to deploy Ancho and instead drew his service weapon. Officer Capistran repeatedly order the suspect to place his firearm on the ground.
Continuing along the sidewalk toward him, the suspect stopped approximately 12 feet from the cruiser and exposed the firearm to Officer Capistran. The officer order three more times "Drop the gun." Instead, the suspect raised the firearm in a threatening manner in the direction of Officer Capistran. Fearing for his life, Officer Capistran discharged three rounds of his service weapon, which caused the suspect to drop to his knees, yet still kept his hold on his firearm. The officer again ordered him to drop the weapon, and the suspect finally complied. While on the ground, the suspect attempted to extend his hand in order to again reach the firearm, and the officer again had to order the suspect not to touch the gun. Two fellow officers then arrived on scene and apprehended the suspect. While the other officers provided medical assistance, Officer Capistran requested an ambulance for the suspect, who was transferred to the hospital.
For his brave and decisive actions in a high dangerous situation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is proud to present Chelsea Officer Joseph Capistran with the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Valor.
Detective Edward D. Jackman and Detective Michael J. McLaughlin, Tewksbury Police Department
On the morning of February 17, 2015, Tewksbury Police Department's Dispatch Center received two 9-1-1 calls that a male suspect had stabbed a women and a man outside an adult vocational school, and then dragged the female victim across the parking lot with his vehicle before fleeing from the area on foot.
Using the description of the suspect from the radio broadcast, Detective McLaughlin located the suspect on a nearby street and repeatedly ordered him to get on the ground. Ignoring the detective's commands, the suspect drew a firearm from his waist band. In turn, Detective McLaughlin drew his service weapon and ordered the suspect to drop the gun. Continuing to ignore Detective McLaughin, the suspect then turned his firearm on Detective Jackman and another detective as they arrived on scene. Both Detective McLaughlin and Detective Jackman discharged their firearms, fatally wounding the suspect. A thorough investigation after the shooting found that the suspect had a lengthy violent record and was a suspect at the time of his death in a serious stabbing that had occurred a month earlier in another community.
For their courage in a life-threatening situation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to present Tewksbury Detective Edward Jackman and Detective Michael McLaughlin with the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Valor.
Officer Robert J. Ela and Officer Timothy S. Whiting, Webster Police Department
On the evening of March 26, 2015, Webster Police responded to a domestic disturbance in which a male suspect had fled the scene in an attempt to evade arrest. A BOLO (Be on the Lookout) Alert had been broadcast to all nearby law enforcement agencies.
Later that night, Webster officers went back to the residence where the domestic disturbance had occurred earlier, to check on the well-being of the victim. After she was found to be fine and declined any further assistance, the officers left. Upon exiting the residence, Officer Whiting locked the door – a move that may have saved the victim's life.
Meanwhile, shortly before midnight, Charlton Police learned that the male suspect had gone to his parents' residence and stolen a shotgun and ammunition. Moments later, it was determined that the man intended to drive his car until it ran out of gas and then harm himself.
The man was observed driving back into Webster, and a brief pursuit ended at the initial residence. Officer Whiting and Officer Ela were close behind the suspect, and confronted him. The suspect fired two rounds at the officers, the shotgun rounds striking in such close proximity to Officer Whiting that he was struck by debris from nearby objects that the rounds hit. Officer moved to a position where he could return fire, fatally wounding the suspect and ending the exchange of fire.
Although the suspect's motives of returning to the residence were not confirmed, it is believed that he had returned to kill his girlfriend and then himself.
For their unwavering courage in a dangerous encounter, the Commonofficerwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to present Webster Officers Robert Ela and Timothy Whiting with the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Valor.
Other Recipients of Medal of Valor
Other recipients include:
- Trooper Nathan R. Monteiro, Massachusetts State Police
- Detective Sergeant John R. Stowe Jr., Bourne Police Department
- Sergeant Wallace J. Perry IV, Bourne Police Department
- Joshua A. Parsons, Bourne Police Department
- Officer James J. Conley, Boston Police Department
- Officer Janet P. Lewis, Boston Police Department
- Officer Dennis M. Medina, Boston Police Department
Medal of Honor
Jared P. MacDonald, Bourne Police Department
Early on the morning of February 5, 2015, officers were dispatched to a large apartment complex for a motor vehicle fire, before being advised that a shooting had just occurred within the complex. Upon arrival, the responding officers discovered what appeared to be improvised explosive devices scattered throughout the complex.
Arriving on scene, Officer MacDonald and Officer Parsons organized a tactical movement into the complex, around the burning vehicle and toward the last reported sighting of the suspect. As Officer MAcDonald and a fellow officer crossed through the parking lot, they came under rifle fire. Officer MacDonald was struck once in the back and sought cover between parked vehicles, pinned down and severely wounded. Sergeant Perry had arrived to back-up the initial responding officers and had begun to organize the officers on-scene. Together with Officer Parsons and other officers and state troopers, they moved towards Officer MacDonald's position.
Detective Sergeant Stowe and Trooper Monteiro had arrived on the scene as back-up and began moving into the complex in an attempt to get to Officer MacDonald's position. After locating him, Detective Sergeant Stowe and Trooper Monteiro began moving him to safety, under the belief that there was a second armed suspect located somewhere nearby. They proceeded to carry Officer MacDonald away from the area of the suspected shooter and through the adjoining woods. Detective Sergeant Stowe and Trooper Monteiro were forced to carry Officer to a waiting ambulance through waist-deep snow that had recently fallen in a historic blizzard.
A short time later, the suspect moved into the roadway near where Officer MacDonald had been located, and Sergeant began providing cover as Officer Parsons and other advanced on the suspect and took him into custody. Upon his apprehension, several weapons and suspected explosive devices were located. Believing there was a second armed suspect, Sergeant Perry then moved tot he scene of the initial shooting with others, where they discovered a deceased female victim, and a second victim who had been critically wounded. Detective Sergeant Stowe returned through the snowy woods with a second ambulance on foot and provided cover as the other victims were evacuated.
Officer MacDonald was severely wounded in the incident, suffering a gunshot through his lower back that has not allowed him to return to duty.
For their uncommon heroic reactions under a potentially deadly encounter, while disregarding their own safety, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to present the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Valor to:
- Officer Joshua Parsons
- Sergeant Wallace Perry IV
- Detective Sergeant John Stowe
of the Bourne Police Department and
- Trooper Nathan R. Monteiro
of the Massachusetts State Police
On behalf of a grateful Commonwealth, it is with deep appreciation that the highest award for policing, the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, is presented to Officer Jared MacDonald of the Bourne Police Department.
Trooper William A. Cameron, Detective Brian L. Ball, Officer Brian W. Johnson, and Officer John W. Moynihan
On the evening of March 27, 2015, members of the Youth Violence Strike Force were on patrol in an area of Boston where there had been reports of shots fired earlier that day. During surveillance, the Strike Force observed several people, who were suspected of having handguns, enter a vehicle. While in an unmarked police cruiser, Officers Moynihan, Lewis and Johnson observed the vehicle as it failed to stop for a stop sign. Behind them in another unmarked Boston Police vehicle were Trooper Cameron, Detective Ball and Officer Conley.
Officers activated their emergency lights and signaled the suspect vehicle to stop. The car occupied by the suspects traveled two more blocks before coming to a stop. Officer Moynihan exited his cruiser and approached the driver-side door of the vehicle while Officers Lewis and Johnson approached the passenger side. Meanwhile, Detective Ball was approaching behind Officer Moynihan on the driver's side and Trooper Cameron and Officer Conley were at the rear of the vehicle. None of the officers could see inside the vehicle's windows due to their extremely dark tint.
Officer Moynihan asked the driver to step from the vehicle, and as the door was opened, the driver lunged at him, raised a .357 Magnum revolver and fired it point blank at Officer Moynihan. Struct in the face, Officer Moynihan collapse. The suspect moved toward the injured officer lying on the ground and aimed his weapon at him again.
Detective Ball drew his service weapon and exchanged fire with the driver. Trooper Cameron and Officer Johnson also returned fire as the suspect began to cross the street and continued the firefight. Officer Medina, also assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force, had arrived on the scene in response to shots fired. Together, Officers Conley and Medina rushed to the aid of Officer Moynihan while Officer Lewis maintained control of the remaining vehicle occupants.
The suspect was struct numerous times and fell to the ground, eventually succumbing to his injuries. Officer Moynihan was rushed to a local hospital, where he bravely battled for his life for several days. He continues to improve and get stronger each day, and eagerly awaits his return to duty.
For the incredibly brave and decisive actions of these officers, resulting in saving a fellow officer's life, the Commonwealth is pleased to present the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Valor to:
- Officer James Conley
- Officer Janet Lewis
- Officer Dennis Medina
For their valiant actions and exceptional heroism, which surely prevented the injury of more officers and suspects, a grateful Commonwealth is pleased to present Trooper William Cameron, Detective Ball, Officer Brian Johnson, and Officer John Moynihan each with the highest award for policing, the Trooper George L. Hanna Medal of Honor.