President’s Message, May 2004

Congratulations to our 2003 scholarship award recipients, and thank you for the many nice letters we received. Unfortunately due to a lack of space we are unable to publish their photos this month, but they may be viewed on our web site (lishields.org).

The next two events we are involved in are feel good events, you will only feel better by your participation. First we will once again help place grave decoration flags at the gravesites of those who have proudly served our nation. This year it seems just a little more important, and there is no better feeling than the one you get while driving home from the cemetery, than knowing that you have just paid respect to our veterans.

Secondly, from Thursday, June 3rd – Saturday, June 6th we will be doing volunteer security (for the 15th year for many) for the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged at Mitchel Field. The registration form for this event is on page 7 of April/May’s Call Box. Both of these events are very gratifying to participate in and you will definitely feel better for giving your time.

Don’t forget Governor Pataki’s bill to revise pistol license procedures is still out there and it could harm the many re­tired police officers throughout the state. It is in our best inter­ests that we let our State Legislators know our feelings. The Shields will be opposing this legislation.

Remember to keep our men and women stationed over­seas in your thoughts and prayers. Be safe, and don’t forget to wear your vest!

Fraternally,
Richie

Police Officers of the Month, April/May 2004

On September 21, at 2155 hrs., P.O.s Soto, Muller and Discala responded to a radio run of a suspicious male with a gun at the CVS store located in Franklin Square. As the Officers were responding, they received further information that there was a possible robbery in progress ­a male black wearing a white t-shirt was armed with a gun and had the CVS Manager with him. The Officers were informed that this description fit a pattern of robberies in the 5th Pct. and to use caution. CB was getting up-to-date informa­tion from the employees in the store who were on the phone with 911.

P.O.s Muller, Soto and Discala arrived at the scene. P.O. Discala took a position at the side entrance of the building. P.O.s Muller and Soto went in the front door, as they walked in, they saw a young man and woman by the cash reg­ister and no employees. They also saw a male walking down an aisle. P.O. Soto asked the couple, “Where were the cashiers?” They said, “They’re in the office.” They appeared extremely nervous and P.O. Soto and Muller told them to get out of the store. As the couple was leaving, a male black in a white t-shirt, baseball cap and bandana covering the lower part of his face who had been watching the officers from the video camera in the office, jumped out of the office, took cover behind a photo machine and pointed a silver revolver at the P.O.s who had no cover. They told the subject, “Police, drop the gun.” The subject refused and shot at the P.O.s. The Offic­ers returned fire and struck the subject. He fell forward, got up and ran toward the aisle where at the same time, a male white, whom the P.O.s had seen earlier, ran toward P.O. Muller. The officers yelled for him to get down. P.O. Muller tackled him to the ground and laid on top of him to protect him from being shot. The subject now turned in a bladed stance, as if he had firearms training, toward P.O. Muller and the civilian. P.O. Soto ran in front of P.O. Muller and took aim at the subject. The, subject turned and ran down an aisle. P.O. Soto, not knowing how many cus­tomers or subjects were still in the store, ran after the subject. The subject was waiting for P.O. Soto at the end of the aisle. The subject was down on one knee and peeked around the corner and shot at P.O. Soto again. P.O. Soto returned fire and the subject fell, got up and ran.

P.O. Morales of the 6th Pct, who was on his way to his Pct. saw the officers arrive on the scene and had stopped to see if he could assist. He heard shots, grabbed his gun and his uniform shirt and identified himself to P.O. Muller. He had no vest. P.O. Soto heard shots outside and exited the store through the front door. The subject had exited the store through the side door where P.O. Discala was waiting. P.O. Discala and the subject were about five feet away from each other. The subject fired at P.O. Discala and he returned fire. P.O. Soto ran to aid P.O. Discala.

The subject ran toward a creek bed of bushes which was totally dark, turned and fired again at the P.O.s. The Officers returned fire. The subject ran into the creek bed, behind a dumpster. P.O.s Soto and Discala ran around the dumpster and saw the subject’s legs under a bush. The officers ordered the subject to show his hands and to throw out the gun. The subject refused and the officers heard a round go off. P.O. Soto then grabbed the subject by his legs and pulled him out of the bushes. P.O. Discala was covering P.O. Soto. The subject was still holding the gun. The Officers now saw that the subject was still alive and had mul­tiple gunshot wounds. P.O. Soto requested medi­cal aid.

Inside the store P.O. Muller and Morales were now searching the store for more subjects and civilians who may have been injured or taken hos­tage. They could hear people screaming. They found the employees in the office very disoriented and kept them safe.

The subject later expired at Mercy Hospital from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head. The 5th Squad closed out three other robbery cases.

As a result of the Heroic Bravery displayed by the Officers, it is the honor and privilege to award the “Police Officer of the Month” award to P.O.’s Muller, Soto and Discala.