Suozzi honors Bayside’s 111th Precinct police officers displaying exemplary heroism 

Photo courtesy of Congressman Tom Suozzi's office

Congressman Tom Suozzi on Monday recognized two Queens police officers for their display of exemplary heroism in the line of duty in service to their communities at a ceremony held outside of the Glen Cove Police Department.

“Every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, members of our local police departments are protecting us, and serving us. Some days are uneventful. Other days are full of danger. And then there are the days when their dedication to their jobs leads them to perform extraordinary acts of heroism,” Suozzi said. “Today we are highlighting just a few police officers that represent the good work done members of our local police departments every day, and we say, ‘thank you.’”

Police officers Michael Ippolito and Lauren Creighton of Bayside’s NYPD 111th Precinct were honored with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol, as well as a Congressional citation, for saving a 13-month-old infant’s life on Dec. 27. 

Ippolito and Creighton were on patrol duty when the mother of the infant called to say that her son had stopped breathing, while she was driving on the Cross Island Parkway.

The officers conducted a canvas of a portion of the parkway. When they found the infant, he was unconscious, unresponsive and not breathing. 

Ippolito immediately began to administer air to the infant via an airbag attached to the infant’s trach-tube while Creighton coordinated emergency personnel. The infant regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. He made a full recovery. 

For their efforts, Ippolito and Creighton were nominated by the 111th Precinct for the NYPD Cop of the Year Award.

Suozzi also honored three other law enforcement officers, one each from Nassau County Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, and the Glen Cove Police Department describing the officers’ exemplification of bravery. The congressman was joined by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, NYPD Captain John Portalatin from Bayside’s 111th Precinct, NCPD Commissioner Pat Ryder, SCPD Commissioner Geraldine Hart, Glen Cove PD Chief William Whitton, and Glen Cove Mayor Tim Tenke,

Police officer Keith Owens, a five-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department who is assigned to the Sixth Precinct, was honored for apprehending a suspect who fired gun shots at Americana Manhasset last month.

The callers reported multiple shots and many of the stores went into full lockdown. Owens rushed to the scene to assess the situation and eliminate any ongoing threats to human life. One witness was able to identify the shooter who fled on foot, and Owens chased after the subject and ultimately apprehended him.

At the same time, other Nassau County officers discovered six spent .380 shell casings and a car that had been struck by two bullets. The gun involved in the shooting and traceable to the perpetrator was found near the area where the shooting took place. 

Christopher Jablonski, was named Suffolk County Cop of the Month in June, after he saved a drowning victim in the frigid water in the vicinity of the Cold Spring Harbor boat ramp.

Jablonski had received a report on March 25 that someone was drowning in the water, who was about 150 to 200 feet out. 

Jablonski found a small boat and rowed out to the victim, using his hands as paddles. He was not able to pull the victim into the boat, nor was he able to row back to shore with the victim clinging to the boat. 

The victim was showing signs of hypothermia, so Jablonski jumped into the water to save the victim. Rescue personnel on shore were able to throw a rescue line once the officer and victim were within 40 to 50 feet of the shoreline. 

The victim was transported to a local hospital where his core temperature was below the threshold for hypothermia. Jablonski willingly and selflessly put his own safety at risk in order to save the victim. 

In 2019, a record number of New York police officers committed suicide. But thanks to the efforts of Police Officer Darren Pittman of the Glen Clove Police Department, this instance did not result in an even higher number.

Pittman is currently receiving treatment and intervention from his command, after helping a fellow officer whom he believed was depressed and had thoughts of suicide.

On Nov. 9, at 4:20 a.m. Pittman received a distressing text from the off-duty Nassau County police officer who lives in Glen Cove.

He immediately called the officer and the Glen Cove Police Department for backup as he drove to the Nassau officer’s home in his private vehicle. 

Pittman found the officer sitting in a vehicle with his off-duty handgun in his hand and his duty weapon on the front seat. When Pittman realized that the Nassau officer was ready to take his life, he lunged for the gun and wrestled it away from the officer. The officer then became hostile, but was subsequently subdued by the responding officers and taken to the hospital for evaluation. 

Curran said they owe the police officers a tremendous debt of gratitude for often putting the public’s safety before their own.

“Our brave police men and women put their lives at risk every day in order to protect our communities. Nassau County Police have shown time and time again that they take their oath of duty seriously and work hard to understand and respect the communities they serve,” Curran said.

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