State Police Troopers from
TroopS C, D, E and K
Receive Service Awards
State Police Troopers from C in Tolland, Troop D in Danielson, Troop E in Montville and Troop K in Colchester received awards for service during a ceremony November 2, 2012, at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden.
Twice a year, the Connecticut State Police honors Troopers who demonstrate exceptional service in the line of duty. The ceremony also honors men and women serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies, those serving as first responders, and civilians. Award winners received medals and certificates from Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford and State Police Colonel Danny R. Stebbins.
Awards were presented in six categories:
Ø The Medal for Bravery is awarded to a Trooper who demonstrates exceptional heroism in the performance of duty while exposed to life-threatening danger.
Ø The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to those who render service with a high degree of alertness, perseverance and superior judgment in the performance of a difficult task resulting in the protection of life, recovery of property, the prevention of – or solving of – a major crime or the apprehension of an armed or dangerous person.
Ø The Lifesaving Award is presented to those who save a human life or make a valiant attempt to save a life.
Ø The Outstanding Service Award is given to those who successfully perform an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The Trooper may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and/or continuously achieve excellence in performance over an extended period of time.
Ø The Unit Citation is awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.
Ø The Commissioner’s Recognition Award is presented by the agency commissioner to a person who has been instrumental in helping the State Police accomplish their job of public safety for all. This is generally presented to civilians (non-law enforcement).
Awards were presented to:
Trooper Howard Smith, Trooper Brett Langevin, Trooper Ethan Tanksley
On the evening of May 12, 2012, Troop D received a 911 call reporting a distraught man holding two individuals at gunpoint near an intersection in Killingly. The man was vacillating between homicidal and suicidal threats directed at the two individuals, who had just disembarked from a kayak trip.
Troopers Tanksley, Langevin and Smith responded and immediately engaged the distraught man, who pointed the gun into his own mouth and threatened to kill himself. The man was heavily intoxicated, unstable and volatile. The Troopers held the man at gunpoint while directing him to drop his handgun. He refused and approached the Troopers with the handgun in his mouth.
Trooper Tanksley grabbed the man’s arm and wrestled to maintain control of it while simultaneously trying to holster his weapon. Trooper Langevin joined the struggle and placed his thumb behind the trigger and his fingers behind the action, preventing the man from firing the weapon, despite several attempts.
Trooper Smith directed the kayakers away from the struggle and to an area of safety before assisting in the struggle. The loaded handgun was ultimately stripped away from the man.
An investigation revealed that the man had stolen the loaded handgun and held a random female hostage throughout the day prior to fleeing that residence to confront the kayakers at gunpoint.
Troopers Smith, Langevin and Tanksley earned the Medal for Bravery for their actions during this volatile confrontation.
Trooper Joseph Marsh
On July 2, 2012, at approximately 4:13 a.m., Troop D Troopers responded to an armed robbery at a convenience store in Brooklyn. Troopers created a perimeter in the area, conducted a K-9 track and actively patrolled streets in the area of the robbery, looking for the suspect based on the description provided.
At approximately 4:50 a.m., Trooper Marsh was entering an intersection and saw a man matching the suspect’s description traveling toward another street. Trooper Marsh detained the man when a radio transmission was aired, describing the suspect in further detail.
Trooper Marsh asked the man to turn around and put his hands behind his back. The suspect swung, striking Trooper Marsh in the face with the back of his hand. The suspect then took off his shirt and squared off in a fighting position with both his fists up. Trooper Marsh deployed his taser, immobilizing the suspect. The money stolen from the store was found in the pockets of the suspect.
Trooper Marsh earned a Medal for Meritorious Service.
Detective Terence McFadden
On May 14, 2004, the body of a 54-year-old male was discovered in the driveway of his Norwich home. The Norwich Police Department conducted an investigation and called in the State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad to process the scene. In July 2005, Norwich Police arrested two suspects in connection with the murder but three years later, forensic evidence led to the charges being dropped.
The Chief State’s Attorney and the New London County State’s Attorney requested that a joint investigation be conducted and include detectives from the Major Crime Squad and Norwich Police to identify the person(s) responsible for the murder. Det. McFadden was assigned as the lead investigator. Detectives reviewed the case and conducted numerous interviews, which led to the identification of new suspects.
Det.McFadden and Norwich detectives interviewed additional witnesses and suspects, two of whom confessed to their part in the murder, and identified a third suspect who is currently in federal custody. In April 2012, two of the suspects were found guilty of the murder; the third suspect is awaiting trial.
The investigative efforts of Det. McFadden resulted in the release of the two men wrongly accused and the arrest and conviction of those who committed the murder. He earned a Medal for Meritorious Service.
Detective David Lamoureux
On June 25, 1997, the body of a 41-year-old female was discovered on a remote section of roadway in Waterford. A joint homicide investigation was initiated by detectives from the State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad, the Waterford Police Department and the New London County State’s Attorney’s Office. The investigation continued over the next year when on May 1, 1998, the body of a 29-year-old female was discovered on a remote section of roadway in Franklin. Major Crime Squad Detectives determined that the Franklin murder had numerous similarities to the Waterford murder.
On July 28, 2008, the Connecticut State Police Forensic Lab notified Detectives of a DNA match to a suspect in the Waterford case. Detectives conducted a background check on the suspect, who had a known history of violence toward women. Det. Lamoureux was the lead detective on the Franklin murder and worked with the Waterford Police on their investigation.
Det. Lamoureux conducted interviews and collected additional evidence. In 2010, Det. Lamoureux and a Waterford detective submitted separate warrants, each charging the suspect with murder in their respective investigations.
In 2012, the New London State’s Attorney’s Office successfully introduced a motion to join both cases and have the defendant tried on both murders simultaneously. On April 4, 2012, a jury found the suspect guilty of the Waterford murder and a hung jury was reached in the Franklin murder. The suspect was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
The investigative skills and perseverance of Detective Lamoureux earned him a Medal for Meritorious Service.
Trooper First Class David Piela
On May 3, 2012, at approximately 1:18 p.m., State Police at Troop K was notified of an unconscious male, possibly suffering from a drug overdose, at a residence in Bolton. Trooper Piela met a female at the residence, who said her brother collapsed on the bathroom floor, had a cut on his head and was not breathing.
Trooper Piela found the victim unresponsive and not breathing. He was lying on his back, with a cut above his left eye and a weak pulse. Trooper Piela initiated rescue breathing on the victim, after which the victim regained consciousness. Paramedics arrived on scene and transported the man to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.
Trooper Piela was awarded the Medal for Lifesaving for his actions.
Trooper First Class Carlos Guerra
On June 9, 2012, at 11:24 a.m., Trooper Guerra was off-duty, operating his assigned vehicle on Route 85 passing a pond in Salem when he saw a canoe capsize in the water. The occupants of the canoe, an adult male and a child were thrown into the water and started to struggle. The child was wearing a personal flotation device while the adult male was not.
Trooper Guerra pulled into the boat launch area to ascertain if the canoe occupants needed assistance. Realizing that the man was having difficulty, Trooper Guerra entered the water and started to swim to the man, who was approximately 250 feet off-shore. While swimming, Trooper Guerra gathered up a personal flotation device that had fallen from the canoe and was floating in the water. Trooper Guerra helped the man put on the personal flotation device and then pulled him to shore.
Trooper Guerra then re-entered the water and assisted fishermen who were bringing the child to shore. Emergency medical personnel arrived and determined that no injuries were sustained.
The quick actions of Trooper Guerra earned him the Medal for Lifesaving.
Trooper First Class David Hayes
On April 6, 2012, Troop E received a report of a missing 79-year-old male from East Lyme. The victim, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, partial blindness and limited hearing, left his residence at 10:30 that morning to go for a routine walk. When he failed to return, his wife alerted several friends, who began searching the area. As daylight faded and temperatures dropped, the wife contacted Troop E.
Trooper Hayes and his K-9 partner, Scout, responded to the residence and began a track for the victim through the numerous side streets and yards. After two hours of tracking, Trooper Hayes removed Scout from the leash and the dog tracked into a densely wooded area several blocks from the victim’s residence. The victim, who walks with a cane, had become disoriented, wandered into the woods and had fallen amongst the briar and brush, unable to get up on his own. He was completely concealed from view and unable to call for help. The elderly man was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Trooper Hayes was awarded the Medal for Lifesaving for his actions.
Trooper First Class David Abely and Trooper First Class Timothy Paige
On May 7, 2012, at 3 p.m., Troopers Abely and Paige responded to a report of a suicidal male attempting to hang himself from a tree in North Stonington. The man was reportedly belligerent and out of control. He fled into the woods with a metal dog leash, stating that he would hang himself.
The man had an extensive criminal history, had attempted suicide in the past and abused drugs and alcohol. Previously, the man had been in physical altercations with police.
With negative results from a K-9 track, Troopers Abely and Paige continued to search for the man in the woods and found him near a ledge leading to a heavily-traveled roadway. The man was given warnings by the Troopers to stop. The man had the dog leash wrapped around his neck with the other end wrapped around a tree. He then yelled to the Troopers as he ran to the ledge and jumped off.
Without hesitation Trooper Abely grabbed the leash to slow the descent of the man as he jumped. The man’s body weight was now tearing at Trooper Abely’s hand as the wire leash had become wrapped around it. Trooper Paige was able to pick up the suicidal man long enough to take his weight off the leash and prevent it from strangling him, as well as relieving enough weight so that Trooper Abely could free his hand. After a brief struggle, the man was secured in handcuffs.
The immediate lifesaving actions of Troopers Abely and Paige earned each of them a Medal for Lifesaving.
Trooper First Class Kenneth Poplawski, Trooper First Class William Kuckel and Trooper First Class Eliezer Iturrino
On September 6, 2011, Troopers Poplawski, Kuckel and Iturrino were sent to check on the well being of a distraught male who had expressed a desire to commit suicide.
Troopers responded to the man’s residence and, after unsuccessful attempts to make contact with him, they entered the home. The Troopers found the man seated in a chair with a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head. The three Troopers immediately administered first aid for this injury, attempting to maintain an open airway and vital signs while using towels to stop the significant bleeding. With this severe, traumatic head injury, the Troopers were able to have the man transported to the hospital, where he later succumbed to his injury.
Troopers Poplawski, Kuckel and Iturrino each earned the Medal for Lifesaving.
Trooper First Class Robert S. Corradi and Tolland Fire Chief John Littell
On June 10, 2012, at 5:15 p.m., Trooper Corradi responded with the Tolland Fire Department to a private property, off-road motorcycle accident in Tolland. Trooper Corradi and Chief Littell arrived on scene at the same time and found an unconscious male suffering from a serious head injury and a compromised airway.
Trooper Corradi and Chief Littell opened and maintained the man’s airway and treated his wounds. As additional Fire/EMS units arrived on scene, Trooper Corradi manned Chief Littell’s portable radio and assisted the Chief in directing the EMS aspect of the incident. The quick actions and collaboration of Trooper Corradi and Chief Littell undoubtedly saved the life of the injured man. They were awarded the the Medal for Lifesaving.
Trooper First Class Martin Sullivan
During the evening of May 31, 2012, Troop E broadcast a call for a vehicle southbound on I-395 in the area of exit 77 with sparks coming from the vehicle.
Trooper Sullivan took a post at exit 77 and observed the vehicle traveling south. Trooper Sullivan stopped the vehicle and as it came to a halt, the vehicle immediately burst into flames. Trooper Sullivan raced to the vehicle, opened the door and pulled the female operator out to a safe location.
The vehicle was fully engulfed within seconds and was a total loss. The operator was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Trooper Sullivan earned a Medal for Lifesaving.
Trooper Collin Konow
On May 4, 2012 Troop E patrol responded to a serious domestic assault in Sprague. After assaulting a female victim with an infant child present, the accused man fled the scene in a vehicle, armed with several long guns and a handgun. The man had severely beaten the victim by kicking, punching and slashing her with a screwdriver. During the assault, the man told the victim that he would kill her. When he fled, it appeared that he was leaving the victim to die.
Trooper Konow was off-duty at the time of the assault, but had specific knowledge of the accused man, having dealt with him in the past. Trooper Konow was summoned to the scene in the middle of the night, as he had a positive rapport with the accused, a rapport that could potentially de-escalate a dangerous situation.
Trooper Konow called the accused via cell phone and displayed exceptional interpersonal skills. He convinced the accused to turn himself in without incident. This extremely volatile situation was tempered with the assistance of Trooper Konow’s knowledge, professional demeanor and outstanding rapport. His success in gaining the surrender of the accused prevented further risk to the public and to responding Troopers. Trooper Konow earned a Medal for Outstanding Service.
Ms. Lorielle Robidas
On the afternoon of May 4, 2012, Troop D received a 911 call reporting an unconscious male lying in the parking lot of a Dayville pharmacy.
Upon arrival to the scene, responding Troopers observed Lorielle Robidas administering CPR to the unconscious male. Ms. Robidas is a registered nurse who was at the pharmacy on personal business when she observed the unconscious male. She found that the man was not breathing and had no pulse.
Without regard for her own safety and well-being, she immediately began to administer CPR without any personal protective equipment. When additional emergency response personnel arrived on the scene, the man had re-established a heartbeat and was breathing on his own; he went on to fully recover.
Ms. Robidas received the Commissioner’s Recognition Award for her lifesaving efforts.