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Top cops save schizophrenic man from doom

Two cops from the 84th Precinct recently proved that the brain is mightier than the Beretta.

On March 31, at 11 a.m., Sgt. Nicholas Danna and Officer Peter Cundari received a radio call of an emotionally disturbed person on Washington Street in DUMBO. The duo were first on the scene and encountered a large group of people, surrounding a man wielding a large knife to his own chest, according to Leslie Lewis, the president of the 84th Precinct Community Council. Relying on their training, the cops immediately evacuated the crowd so no one would get hurt, Lewis noted. Cundari began to speak to the man, attempting to calm him down. Danna, meanwhile, called the Emergency Service Unit, which has extensive training and equipment used to prevent injury in cases like this.

But Cundari’s words did the trick: He was able to persuade the man to put down the knife. It was later determined that the man has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, Lewis said.

“Their training was so good that they knew exactly what the book tells them to do,” Lewis said. For their efforts, the cops received “Cop of the Month” honors from the 84th precinct Community Council at its April 21 meeting at Borough Hall. “Their training stuck and they did the right thing, and no one was hurt,” Lewis said.

“The best weapon we have as police officers is our ability to reason. That’s a weapon we want to use every time,” said Captain Mark DiPaolo, the commanding officer of the 84th Precinct. The top cop said the man with the knife, once safely in custody, was grateful the cops intervened.

For their efforts, Cundari and Danna received plaques inscribed with their names, along with sustained applause from the crowd.

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