SOUTH BRUNSWICK – As part of National Police Week, the South Brunswick Police Department held its annual awards luncheon and bestowed recognition on officers, crossing guards and citizens for their outstanding actions in 2018.
“Today’s awards were presented to citizens and officers for their exceptional service. Officers do outstanding actions all the time. This day is where we stop to recognize the lives saved, crimes solved, and efforts that went above and beyond. The awards also recognized seven crossing guards for their extraordinary service in protecting children within the community throughout the year,” Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a statement released after the May 10 ceremony.
The Chief’s Safety Award was presented to township crossing guards who have more than 10 years of service protecting the children of South Brunswick: Jean Grzankowski (21 years), Susan Kavarsky (11), Linda Kelly (23), Julie Marchesani (12), Maureen Mullen (25), Nancy Porrovecchio (17) and Anne Villanova (38).
The Citizen’s Appreciation Award was presented to Mohammad Farooqi. On June 7, 2018, at 3:43 a.m., Farooqi observed suspects burglarize a motor vehicle. He confronted the suspects who fled in a vehicle. Farooqi followed them and directed police to their location. The suspects were arrested and connected to numerous motor vehicle burglaries, according to the statement.
The Citizen’s Appreciation Award was presented to Al Nardi. On Oct. 11, 2018, at 5:09 p.m., Nardi witnessed a motor vehicle crash on Mapleton Road in which numerous injuries occurred. He contacted dispatch and provided immediate care for the occupants until patrol officers arrived on scene. He used blankets from his home to keep the patients warm as they awaited EMS arrival. All injured parties involved were safely transported to Princeton Medical Centet for treatment, according to the statement.
The Community Service Award was presented to Corrections Officer Donald Carson. On June 17, 2018, at 9:14 p.m., Carson was off duty driving on Route 535 when he observed a motor vehicle crash. He noticed the driver slumped over the wheel and the car began to catch on fire. He pulled the victim from her burning vehicle as it became engulfed in flames, saving her, according to the statement.
The Community Service Award was presented to Officer Christine Harris. In December 2018, Harris initiated an effort to help underprivileged children at an area motel. She organized a Christmas Toy Drive with her squad and the PBA. Harris donated $250 of her own money, and received an additional $500 in donations from her squad members and PBA Local 166 to purchase personalized gifts for each child. Her efforts brought holiday joy to 19 children, according to the statement.
A Life Saving Medal was presented to Officer Michael Urstadt and Officer Ricardo Moreira. On Feb. 11, 2018, at 1:53 a.m., Urstadt and Moreira responded to a call of a woman in labor. The baby was born prior to officers’ arrival. Once inside the residence, the officers determined the baby was not breathing and began to suction the baby’s nose and mouth. The baby started to breath and was transported to an area hospital, surviving, according to the statement.
A Life Saving Medal was presented to Officer Ryan Bartunek and Kendall Park First Aid Squad EMT William Heins. On Sept. 15, 2018, Bartunek and Heins responded to the call of a 58-year-old unconscious man who was not breathing on Steven Road. They administered CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED). The man regained a pulse and made a full recovery, according to the statement.
An Exceptional Service Award was presented to Officer Bryan Garrison. On April 25, 2018, Garrison conducted an investigation into a reported suicidal woman. He checked different locations and eventually forced entry into an area motel where he located the woman semi-conscious in a bathtub, saving her, according to the statement.
An Exceptional Service Award was presented to Lt. Roger Tuohy and Officer George Morgan. On Aug. 1, 2018, officers responded to an occupied burglary in progress at a Ridge Road business. Tuohy and Morgan made entry and safely secured a woman who was hiding in the business. The suspect resisted police and later assaulted an officer, according to the statement.
An Exceptional Service Award was presented to Officer Jason Gassman and Officer Ricardo Moreira. On July 16, 2018, at 7 a.m., officers were dispatched to 3 Independence Way for a victim stuck in an elevator with a smoke condition in the building. Gassman and Moreira evacuated the building. They searched all four floors of the smoky building and located the elevator the victim was in. The officers manually pried open the elevator to free the victim. Their efforts prevented any serious injuries, according to the statement.
An Exceptional Service Award was presented to Detective Timothy Hoover. In May 2018, Hoover began a six-week investigation into a suspicious death of a child, which led to the confession of one person for reckless manslaughter, according to the statement.
A Letter of Commendation was presented to Officer Sean Roberts. On Sept. 3, 2018, Roberts, as a member of the department’s crime scene evidence technician program, was assigned to process a burglary of a motor vehicle burglary on Deans Lane. His detailed crime scene processing led to the recovery of a latent fingerprint. The New Jersey State Police lab linked the fingerprint to a suspect who was later arrested, according to the statement.
A Letter of Commendation was presented to Officer Salvatore Fama. On May 7, 2017, Fama, as a member of the department’s crime scene evidence technician program, was assigned to process a burglary scene at Crossroads Nursey. Fama’s detailed crime scene processing led to the recovery of a small blood sample from broken glass. In June 2018, the New Jersey State Police lab identified a DNA profile from the blood sample which identified the suspect and linked him to crimes across the country, according to the statement.
Fama received another commendation letter for an incident on Oct. 9, 2018, when he was assigned to process an attempted burglary scene at a Christopher Avenue home. Fama’s detailed crime scene processing led to the recovery of latent fingerprints from a rear window of the residence. The New Jersey State Police lab linked the fingerprint to a suspect who was later arrested, according to the statement.
A Letter of Commendation was presented to Sgt. Michael Kuchma and Officer Craig Cleffi. On Nov. 1, 2018, officers were dispatched to a report of a suspicious male in the backyard of a Timber Ponds home. Officers arrived within minutes and were able to locate a suspect nearby. The suspect was charged with burglary and criminal mischief, according to the statement.
A Letter of Commendation was presented to Officer Ricardo Moreira. On June 7, 2018, Moreira investigated a motor vehicle burglary on Kimberly Court. His investigation led to the discovery of evidence in the suspect’s vehicle that linked it to several other burglaries. His detailed investigation report and follow through led to the recovery of stolen property and solving a series of crimes, according to the statement.
A Letter of Commendation was presented to Detective Domenick Delucia. On July 10, 2018, Delucia investigated a robbery and assault. He was able to identify the actors based solely on the victim’s statement, and location of where the robbery occurred. He was also able to obtain a confession from the suspect and implicate the remaining actors involved. All involved suspects were arrested for first-degree robbery and second-degree aggravated assault, according to the statement.
A Letter of Commendation was presented to Sgt. Dennis Yuhasz and Detective Brady Shelcusky. In the summer of 2018, more than two dozen car burglaries took place. Yuhasz and Shelcusky led an investigation that coordinated intelligence between several law enforcement agencies. Those investigative efforts led to the arrest of two suspects, a confession, and the recovery of numerous stolen items, according to the statement.
A Civilian Staff Recognition Award was presented to Parame Kannan. Kannan secured a $70,000 grant for the conversion of the existing crime reporting system to a new, more comprehensive program. She worked with the New Jersey State Police and the FBI to coordinate the new program called NIBRS. South Brunswick Police will be one of the first departments in the state to use the enhanced program, according to the statement.