Police officers receive recognition awards for outstanding service

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Officers Ryan Hardy and Matt O'Connor receive Medal of Valor awards during a ceremony at the Police Athletic League center on Nov. 7. Officer Matt O’Connor
Officers Ryan Hardy and Matt O’Connor receive Medal of Valor awards during a ceremony at the Police Athletic League center on Nov. 7.

MANCHESTER, NH – The following Manchester Police officers were recognized during an award ceremony on Nov. 7 at the Police Athletic League center for outstanding service in the line of duty. A brief synopsis is included below with each award:

* (Drug/Gun Gang Investigation – Jan. 2015 – Feb. 2016)

Detective Jared Yaris : Chief’s Achievement Medal

In January 2015, MPD’s Special Enforcement Division began to receive email communications from a New York City based gang task force detailing the activities of Bronx gang members distributing crack cocaine in the Manchester, NH, area and procuring firearms for transportation back to NYC.

Detective Yaris was assigned as the lead investigator / undercover detective, tasked as a liaison to the NYC gang task force. Over the course of the investigation, Det. Yaris worked diligently to identify suspects, facilitate undercover operations, conduct interdiction stops, and arrest both primary and associate suspects. As intel was received from the gang task force, Det. Yaris was required to coordinate investigative efforts in the Manchester area, often with little notice, and at all hours of the day, given the fluid nature of this particular case.

During the investigation, Detective Yaris identified 15 suspect gang associates, recovered stolen firearms, seized quantities of crack cocaine and thousands in cash.

In the final phases of the investigation, Det. Yaris orchestrated the arrest of a ranking member of the organization, who subsequently provided damaging testimony against the organization.

In February 2016, Det. Yaris, along with other members of the SED, testified at the Bronx Supreme Court Grand Jury, which led to the successful indictment of 90 gang members, most of which qualified for 20-plus year sentences. A Chief’s Achievement Medal is presented to Detective Jared Yaris in commendation of the dedication and professionalism in the performance of his duty.

* (Infant Abuse: Case 15-15-017161)

Detective Brian Attardo: Certificate of Recognition

Detective Matthew Solari: Certificate of Recognition

In October of 2015, Manchester police officers responded to a report of a 3-month-old infant who had suffered serious injuries. Initial contacts with the baby’s parents revealed the father had been responsible for the baby’s care at the time the injuries occurred. The father, Jonathan Legault, attributed the injuries to a fall from a couch, where the baby had been sleeping. Subsequent medical treatment revealed the baby’s multiple injuries to be far more severe than would have been caused by a fall from a couch, yet the Legault maintained that to be the cause.

Three days later, Juvenile Unit Detectives Brian Attardo and Matthew Solari conducted a follow-up interview the child’s father. Initially, Legault affirmed his initial statements that the baby’s injuries were caused by a fall.   However, utilizing exceptional interview skills, the detectives were able to obtain a full confession from Legault, who admitted to violently shaking his infant daughter and twisting her legs, causing all the injuries documented by medical staff.

Legault was subsequently charged with three counts of first degree assault, and in February 2016, he pled guilty to all charges and was subsequently sentenced to serve time at the N.H. State Prison.

If not for the tenacity of these two detectives in obtaining the truth from Legault, it is unlikely that the mechanism of injury to the infant would ever have been revealed and the child would still be residing with Legault and in danger of further harm.

Certificates of Recognition are presented to Detectives Brian Attardo and Matthew Solari in commendation of their dedication and professionalism in the performance of their duties.

* (Best Market/Robbery – Attempted Murder – Feb. 21, 2016, case 16-002570)

Officer Adam Bergeron-Rosa: Certificate of Recognition

Officer Ryan Brandreth: Meritorious Award

Officer Michael DeJoy: Certificate of Recognition

Officer Kelly McKenney: Certificate of Recognition

On February 21, 2016, at approximately 8:30 a.m., the store clerk at the Best Market on Maple Street was viciously assaulted with a baseball bat during a robbery, which had quickly escalated into an attempt to commit murder.

Just prior to the assault the clerk was able to engage the panic alarm, ultimately alerting police to some sort of difficulty at the store. Officer Brandreth arrived on scene just as the suspect exited the front door of the store. He saw that the suspect had cash in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. The suspect threw the baseball bat as he ran past the cruiser, striking the cruiser on the passenger side. As the suspect continued fleeing toward an alley, Officer Brandreth exited the cruiser and deploying his K9 partner, Colt, both gave chase after the suspect. Officer DeJoy also arrived on scene and engaged in foot pursuit of the suspect. K9 Colt caught up with the suspect as the man attempted to climb a chain-link fence. Colt pulled the man from the fence and held on until Officers Brandreth and DeJoy could secure the suspect with handcuffs.

Officers Adam Bergeron-Rosa and Kelly McKenney arrived at the store and immediately began searching for a victim in the ransacked convenience store. Following a trail of blood to the rear of the store, they located the clerk who was weakly asking for help. The officers rendered aid and engaged the victim in conversation to keep him conscious until the arrival of medical technicians.

Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Officer Ryan Brandreth

Certificates of Recognition are presented to, Adam Bergeron-Rosa, Michael DeJoy, and Kelly McKenney in commendation of skill and professionalism displayed in the course of this violent call for service.

* (Overdose – 03/27/16; re 16-004368)

Lt. Joe Mucci: Life Saving Medal

Officer Adam Cortese: Life Saving Medal

On March 27, 2016, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Lt. Mucci and Officer Cortese responded to the MPD visitors’ parking lot for a dispatched call reference a subject who was overdosing. A vehicle was parked directly in front of the lobby doors, and a man and woman were attempting to pull another man from the vehicle. The man was in medical distress, and Lt. Mucci quickly assessed that the man was unconscious and not breathing.

Officer Cortese and Lt. Mucci removed the man from the vehicle, laying him on the ground where Lt. Mucci once again assessed vital signs. Upon affirming that there was no pulse and that the man was not breathing, Officer Cortese immediately began chest compressions while Lt. Mucci monitored the man’s condition. The man began breathing on his own but did not regain consciousness. Lt. Mucci and Officer Cortese continued to monitor the man until the arrival of medical technicians, who were able to revive the man to consciousness by administering narcan.

The Life Saving Medal is presented to Lt. Joseph Mucci and Officer Adam Cortese in recognition of their quick actions to render aid and ultimately preventing a tragic outcome to this event.

* (Drug arrest –04/06/16; re 16-004911)

Officer Ben Foster: Meritorious Award

On April 6, 2016, Officer Foster initiated a motor vehicle stop. During the process of the stop, Officer Foster observed both the driver and passenger making furtive motions within the vehicle. The passenger, in particular, appeared to be attempting to hide something under his seat. Both the driver and passenger were requested to exit the vehicle, and the driver gave permission for Officer Foster to search the vehicle.

Officer Foster deployed his canine partner Moose, a certified drug detection dog, who alerted to the odor of drugs in the center console. Officer Foster also did a search by hand and located “fingers” of heroin packaged for sale under the front passenger seat and within the center console. A quantity of cash was also located in the console.

The driver was charged with transportation of drugs and the passenger was charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute.

A Meritorious Service Medal is presented to Off. Foster in commendation of his intelligent performance of duty, which prevented a sizeable quantity of heroin from being distributed in the City of Manchester.

* (Building Fire – 05/12/16; re 16-006899)

Officer Barry Charest: Life Saving Medal

Officer Ian Fleming: Life Saving Medal

Officer Alex Martens: Life Saving Medal

In the early morning hours of May 12, 2016, Officer Charest and Officer Fleming were patrolling along Cypress Street when they came upon a multi-family dwelling fire at 312 Cypress Street. Officer Martens also arrived on scene and the three officers began to kick in the front door to wake the residents. They made contact with the second floor resident and got him safely out of the building, which was now engulfed in flames. The air was thick with smoke as they tried to gain entry into the first-floor apartment via the front door, but they were forced to retreat outside as the heat had become too intense.

Officers Fleming and Charest then observed a male subject at one of the first-floor windows. The officers pulled off the screen and then pulled the man out the window to safety. Upon learning that there should still be two other persons inside the first-floor apartment, Officers Charest and Martens went to the rear of the building calling out to alert occupants as they went. They reentered the building and located two more people in a back bedroom. The two were brought out safely despite the deteriorating condition of the building. The officers then proceeded to evacuate adjacent buildings in the event the flames spread to nearby structures.

Life Saving medals are presented to Officers Barry Charest, Ian Fleming and Alexander Martens, who, with disregard to their personal safety, took immediate action to ensure the safety of others. Their crucial response ultimately prevented a tragic outcome.

* (Officer Involved Shooting – 05/13/16; re 16-006949)

Officers Ryan Hardy and Matt O’Connor: Medal of Valor

Officer Barry Charest: Life Saving Medal

Officer Erik Slocum: Life Saving Medal

Officer Mike McGee: Life Saving Medal

Sgt. Brian Caldwell: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Ken Brunini: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Bill Dann: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Alex Martins: Meritorious Service Medal

OfficerMike McGee: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer William Regan: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Tom Donovan: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Kevin O’Meara: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Matthew Nocella: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Ian Fleming: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Barry Charest: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Erik Slocum: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Dan Craig: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Joe Tucker: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Mike Johnson: Meritorious Service Medal

Officer Cheryl Trudeau: Meritorious Service Medal

Goffstown Police Officer Yuerson Alcide: Meritorious Service Medal

NH State Trooper Frank Campo: Meritorious Service Medal

NH State Trooper Nicholas Levesque: Meritorious Service Medal

Lt. Andy Vincent: Honorable Service Medal

Sgt. Peter Kucharski: Honorable Service Medal

Officer Robert Bifsha: Honorable Service Medal

Officer Chris Cunningham: Honorable Service Medal

Officer Konrad Jaworowski: Honorable Service Medal

Officer Brianna Miano: Honorable Service Medal

Dispatcher Greg Walsh: Honorable Service Medal

Dispatcher Julian Rizzuto: Honorable Service Medal

Dispatcher Rachel Kobelenz-Siverhus: Honorable Service Medal

In the early morning hours of May 13, 2016, Patrol Officer Ryan Hardy attempted to initiate a field stop of a male subject who matched the description of a suspect who had robbed a convenience store at gunpoint the previous night. As Officer Hardy exited his cruiser to speak with the man, the individual shot Officer Hardy in the face and shoulder. Officer Hardy took evasive action to prevent further injury, and despite his critical injuries, was able to clearly communicate his location, as well as the suspect’s description and last known direction of travel.

Officers began to converge at the scene of the shooting, including Officers Ian Fleming, Barry Charest, Officer Erik Slocum. Officers Charest and Slocum rendered immediate medical aid to Officer Hardy. Officer Charest then escorted Officer Hardy to the hospital, and Officer Slocum entered into the pursuit of the suspect. Officer Fleming, the senior officer on site, took command of the initial scene until relief became available, then joined in the pursuit of the suspect.

Sergeant Caldwell, the sole street supervisor at the time of the incident, took command at the initial scene, directing officers to perimeter assignments and maintained command of the very large scene, including manpower from several outside agencies.

Officers Matthew O’Connor, Mike McGee, Bill Dann, William Regan, Tom Donovan, Kevin O’Meara, Matt Nocella, Dan Craig, Joe Tucker, Mike Johnson, and Cheryl Trudeau began the initial pursuit of the suspect. As they closed in on him, the suspect fired at Officer O’Connor, wounding him in the leg. Officer O’Connor returned gun fire, as did Officer McGee, who then took measures to shield Officer O’Connor and render immediate medical aid.

Offices Ken Brunini and Alex Martens pursued the suspect directly after O’Connor was shot and their observations led officers, along with NHSP Troopers Francesco Campo and Nicholas Levesque, to establish a containment perimeter.

Officer Slocum and Goffstown PD Officer Yuerson Alcide took a position along a less-manned boundary of the containment perimeter where they observed the suspect attempt to penetrate the perimeter and were able to ultimately take the suspect into custody.

As the situation progressed, Officer Konrad Jaworowski, who had been assigned inside duty, immediately left his post and assisted with maintaining the perimeter. Off-duty Officers Chris Cunningham and Robert Bifsha were among the first officers on the scene. Officer Cunningham took control of the scene at the site of Officer O’Connor’s shooting, and Officer Bifsha took up a position on the containment perimeter. Sgt. Kucharski was a calm presence on the desk, making pertinent notifications and coordinating additional resources to respond. Officer Brianna Miano, who was assigned to the front counter at the time of the incident, prepared to rush out to the scene. However, she was ordered by Sgt. Kucharski to remain at the station to guard prisoners as well as assist with intel coming in and to coordinate the response of additional personnel coming into headquarters.

Lt. Andy Vincent, working as the Communications Supervisor, and dispatchers Greg Walsh, Julian Rizzuto, and Rachel Kobelenz all played a pivotal role in this incident. They remained calm and relayed vital information which was integral in establishing the containment perimeter.

The Medal of Valor is presented to Officers Ryan Hardy and Matthew O’Connor in recognition of their bravery and professionalism in this extremely difficult act of police service.

The Life Saving Medal is presented to Officers Barry Charest, Erik Slocum, and Michael McGee in recognition of their performance of duty, disregarding their own safety to act promptly to offer medical aid.

The Meritorious Service Medal is presented to MPD Officers Ken Brunini, Barry Charest, Dan Craig, Bill Dann, Tom Donovan, Ian Fleming, Mike Johnson, Alex Martens, Mike McGee, Matt Nocella, Kevin O’Meara, William Regan, Erik Slocum, Cheryl Trudeau and Joe Tucker, to Goffstown Police Officer Yuerson Alcide, and to NH State Police Troopers FName Campo and FName Levesque who exhibited extreme professionalism and courage in the pursuit of the armed suspect and establishing a containment perimeter that ultimately led to the capture of the suspect.

The Honorable Service Medal is presented Lt. Andrew Vincent, Sgt. Pete Kucharski, Officers Robert Bifsha, Chris Cunningham, Konrad Jaworowski, and Brianna Miano and Dispatchers Greg Walsh, Julian Rizzuto, and Rachel Kobelenz-Siverhus in recognition of their exceptional performance of duty during this incident.

There are numerous others who were involved in the pursuit and capture of the shooting suspect who should to be singly acknowledged, but can only be offered a blanket, but no less heartfelt, thank you: Members of the MPD SWAT team, Crisis Negotiators; the NH State Police who had a strong presence that was integral throughout the entire incident. Thank you also for response and assistance from the Nashua, Hooksett, Goffstown, and Bedford police departments and the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department. Our gratitude also goes to the FBI, ATF, and DEA agents who also responded.

Sgt. Allen Aldenberg, Meritorious Service Medal

On May 21, 2016, at approximately 10:35 p.m., Patrol units responded to a call reference a male subject shooting arrows from an eleventh-floor window of the Pariseau high-rise on the west side. Officers were attempting to make contact with the man, who had barricaded the door to the room. The officers did gain entry to the room

Sgt. Aldenberg heard the situation develop over the police radio and recognized that his services as a crisis negotiator were needed. After arriving on scene, he quickly developed a rapport with the agitated, intoxicated subject inside the room. Throughout the exchange, the subject was armed with a bow and arrow and on numerous times threatened officers by pointing it in there general direction, and urging Sgt. Aldenberg to shoot him. Sgt. Aldenberg continued to speak with the man, placing himself at risk in order to keep sight of the man in the room.

Ultimately, Sgt Aldenberg was able to successfully negotiate the disturbed man’s surrender in a peaceful and safe manner.

The Meritorious Service Medal is presented to Sgt. Allen Aldenberg in recognition of his performance of duty.

* (Overdose – 05/30/16; re 16-007966)

Officer Matthew McDonald: Life Saving Medal

On May 30, 2016, at approximately 1 a.m., Officer McDonald responded to the rear of Parkside Middle School on the west side where he located a man who was unconscious, was not breathing and did not have a pulse. A friend of the man advised that both had been drinking, but the unconscious man had also used heroin.

Officer McDonald performed CPR and within a few minutes detected a pulse and the man resumed breathing. Officer McDonald continued to monitor the man’s condition until the arrival of medical technicians.

The Life Saving Medal is presented to Officer Matthew McDonald in recognition of his quick actions to render aid and ultimately preventing a tragic outcome.

* (Overdose –11/09/16; re 16-010303)

Officer Bill Dann: Life Saving Medal

Officer Shannon Jackson: Life Saving Medal

On July 9, 2016, at approximately midnight, Officer Jackson and Officer Dann responded to a disturbance at an apartment on Cartier Street. Upon making contact with the residents, the officers observed both had physical conditions that indicated drug use. The two residents were questioned about their knowledge of a wanted subject that was known to frequent their apartment and gave the officers consent to conduct a search of the premises. In a bedroom they located a man who was unconscious and unresponsive.

Officer Jackson called for medical assistance as Officer Dann assessed the man’s condition. An empty syringe and a drug kit by the man’s side indicated the man had injected himself, and appeared to be in the stages of an overdose, with his vital signs were deteriorating rapidly. Officer Dann and Officer Jackson moved the man on the floor and administered CPR until the arrival of medical technicians.

One of the medical team advised that had it not been for the discovery and immediate intervention by the officers, the man would have succumbed to a fatal overdose.

The Life Saving Medal is presented to Officer William Dann and Officer Shannon Jackson in recognition of their quick actions to render medical aid, ultimately preventing a tragic outcome.

About Carol Robidoux 6468 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!