109th Precinct officers earn Cop of the Month honors for arresting two Flushing burglars

Photo by Carlotta Mohamed/QNS

Four officers were honored as Cops of the Month at the 109th Precinct Community Council’s May meeting for their incredible work apprehending two dangerous burglars in a Flushing neighborhood last month.

Police officers Renzo Betancur, Anthony Spinella, Kyle Roach and Matthew Magenheim received awards on May 8 from the 109th Precinct commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Keith P. Shine, and community members during the meeting held at 37-05 Union St. in Flushing.

The Greater Whitestone Civic and Taxpayer’s Association sponsored the four Cop of the Month Awards.

According to Shine, on April 16 at approximately 9:40 p.m. on 59th Avenue, two homeowners were watching TV with their lights off when they heard noise and realized someone was trying to break into their home.

“They immediately called 911 and the officers standing behind me quickly responded,” said Shine. “Just from a police perspective, a burglary in progress job is one of the most serious jobs to respond too, and you certainly recognize the dangers that if we don’t get there in a timely manner what could’ve possibly happened with the homeowners and these people breaking into the house.”

According to Shine, upon arrival at the scene, the police officers encountered two men — one in the backyard and another seen jumping down from a garage roof.

“They began to run from the officers, but these are young fit guys who were able to catch up with them,” said Shine. “Both of the individuals were apprehended, but one of the officers got seriously injured in the incident.”

Spinella, whose award was received on behalf of his colleague, was hit in the eye with a crowbar from one of the suspects, said Shine.

“As they caught up with them a struggle ensued and Spinella was seriously injured, but we’re happy to say that he’s doing better and is at home recovering,” said Shine. “That night was definitely concerning and hopefully he’ll be rejoining us.”

According to Shine, the two perpetrators had a prior criminal history. One of the individuals is a known burglar who was out on parole and that was the perpetrator that struck the officer.

“One of the individuals is a known burglar who was out on parole and that was the perpetrator that struck the officer. They’re incarcerated and hopefully that’s where they’ll stay,” said Shine. “Our detective squad was able to follow up and they linked them to another burglary in the area. We know them to be responsible for two … I’m pretty sure even a few more. These officers did great work with their quick response getting two extremely dangerous people off the street.”

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