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Crime-fighting excellence - 63rd Police Precinct honors outstanding officers

Some Johnny-on-the-spot cops are quick in snatching up both criminals and “Cop of the Month” honors – which they received last week.

Gathering at the 63rd Precinct Community Council meeting Wednesday, members honored two sets of cops whose rapid response helped nab two thieves.

“These officers showed really showed off both their professionalism as well as their wonderful police skills,” Inspector Frank Cangiarella, the commanding officer of the 63rd Precinct told council members.

Cangiarella explained that back on July 18 Sergeant Chris Quattrocchi and Police Officer Michael O’Donnell, members of the precinct’s conditions team, caught a 911 call about a robbery in progress at the corner of Fillmore Avenue and Madison Place.

When they arrived at the scene, the person they found at the corner said that two thugs had robbed him if his bicycle.

The officers put the victim into their car and drove around the area until they found one of the suspects at the corner of Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue U.

Sergeant Quattrocchi and Police Officer O’Donnell ultimately captured the suspect at the corner of Burnett Street and Avenue U after a brief foot pursuit, Cangiarella said.

A few weeks later, Lieutenant Robert Haley, the precinct’s special operations lieutenant and Police Officer Gregory Pahl were attached to the precinct’s anti-crime team on the night of August 7 when a routine car stop led to an arrest of a mugger.

Cangiarella said that the two officers were conducting a car stop at Ralph Avenue and East 58th Street when a young man approached them, claiming that he was just robbed on a city bus.

The thief had snagged his iPod, the victim said. When the victim left the bus, the suspect stayed behind, he told the officers.

Acting quickly, Lt. Haley and Officer Pahl put the victim in their vehicle and followed the bus route until they saw the thief and an accomplice walking down the avenue.

The officers chased the suspect a few blocks until he disappeared down one of the streets.

That’s when Lt. Haley noticed that one of the properties on the block was under construction.

Taking a chance, the officers searched the house under construction, only to find the two thieves inside – the stolen iPod in one of their pockets, officials said.

“They enter the location and confront the two thieves – one of whom had a long list of violent crimes on his record,” said Cangairella. “This was the job they took on and they did it without thinking twice.”

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