Once Around the City: Hero cops honored; TTD meeting

From left: Deputy Chief David Wrinn, Chief Thomas Kulhawik, Officer Joseph Martino, Mayor Harry Rilling, Police Commissioners Fran Collier-Clemmons and Charles Yost pose at Thursday night's awards ceremony.
From left: Deputy Chief David Wrinn, Chief Thomas Kulhawik, Officer Joseph Martino, Mayor Harry Rilling, Police Commissioners Fran Collier-Clemmons and Charles Yost pose at Thursday night’s awards ceremony.

NORWALK, Conn. – An officer who narrowly avoided being shot in the abdomen while disarming a distraught woman was named 2013 “Officer of the Year” at the Norwalk Police Department’s Awards Ceremony at the Norwalk Inn & Conference Center.

Officer Joseph Martino also was presented the Police Service Cross, the department’s second-highest award, by Chief Thomas Kulhawik and Deputy Chiefs David Wrinn and Susan Zecca for his actions on Dec. 5, 2013.

According to a police press release, on that morning, officers confronted the woman in an elevator at 26 Belden Ave. after receiving a call from her attorney warning that the woman was planning suicide. When the elevator doors opened the officers saw a lone woman in the corner of the elevator. When Martino asked her name, the woman screamed “NO, NO, NO” while pulling a revolver from the pocket of her jacket, raising the weapon with her right hand and pointing it at Marino’s abdomen directly in front of her. The revolver was cocked and ready to fire.

Martino acted quickly and instinctively, the release said, grabbing the revolver and blocking the hammer from coming forward and firing a round, while pushing her hand to the side.

Officer Matthew Policastro grabbed her other hand and pinned her to the wall of the elevator, preventing her from any further movement. Martino was then able to take the fully loaded Smith & Wesson .357 revolver away and pass it to Officer James Wright, who had also entered the elevator. The officers placed the uninjured woman in handcuffs and called for EMS to transport the woman to Norwalk Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Martino suffered a laceration to his hand while blocking the revolver’s hammer.

Sgt. Bruce Hume and Officers Larry Tiani, Wright and Policastro were awarded a Meritorious Commendation Certificate for their actions, which prevented injury to the distraught woman or the officers during this volatile situation. Two additional firearms were removed from the apartment in the ensuing investigation.

For a complete list of awards from the ceremony, click here: Norwalk Police – Awards Ceremony

Here’s to your health

The South Norwalk Branch Library will offer a Food & Naturopathic Health Program series with film screenings and speakers beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in March and April.

The first program, Tuesday, March 4, opens with a 99-minute Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Supersize Me,” followed by a discussion of USDA’s MyPlate general nutrition led by Santina Galbo, MS, CHES, CHPHE, from the City of Norwalk Health Dept.

The program continues Tuesday, March 11, with the an 89-minute film, “Hungry for Change,” followed by a discussion of natural ways to get supplements the body needs in a hands on, interactive demonstration by Kris Francefort, Darien’s Whole Foods’ Healthy Eating Specialist.

Future programs include natural ways to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more.

For more information, see the library website or call (203) 899-2790, ext.15902

The series is free and open to the public. Registration is require and available online or by calling the library. The South Norwalk Branch is at 10 Washington St.

TTD annual meeting set for Wednesday

The Third Taxing District’s annual meeting of the electors will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in the Community Room at The Marvin, 60 Gregory Blvd, East Norwalk.

The meeting is open to registered voters of the Third Taxing District.

For information, call (203) 866-9271.

Lt. Gov. to attend District D Dems fundraiser

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will be the special guest when the Norwalk District D Democrats host their annual St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 9. The event will take place at the home of Tish Gibbs and former Mayor Bill Collins, 32 Allen Road.

“This is something District D looks forward to every year,” said Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra in a press release. “It’s an opportunity for us to reach out to our friends and neighbors to get them involved with what is happening in our community as well as learn more about what is going on in Hartford and Washington.”

There will be traditional Irish music and cuisine. Suggested contribution for the event is $25.

Public Meeting to look at trail feasibility

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will conduct a public informational meeting concerning the Merritt Parkway Multi-Use Trail Feasibility Study at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10, at the Westport Town Hall Auditorium, 110 Myrtle Ave.

For more information, visit the ConnDOT website.

Watch out for lane closures

The state Department of Transportation in planning lane closures for bridge safety and evaluation inspections at the following times and Norwalk area places:

 • Tuesday, March 4: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., West Avenue between I-95 ramps and Connecticut Avenue, alternating left and right lane closures.

• Wednesday, March 5: I-95 North between exits 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., single right land closure. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., single right lane closure on I-95 South between exits 18 and 19.

• Thursday, March 6: Right lane closure on the Merritt Parkway North between exits 40B and 41 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a left land closure southbound from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New phone scam in Norwalk

The Norwalk Police Department has received several complaints by Norwalk residents of a fraud being conducted in Norwalk. Someone will call a resident of Norwalk and tell them that a family member had been in an accident and that the family member is being held hostage until the resident wires them money through Stop & Shop or Western Union.

The suspect caller has been predominantly described as a Hispanic man or a man with an accent.

Residents are advised that:

• They should never wire money to unknown subjects without first verifying information that they receive.

• They should always check the information separately from the information that was provided by the caller. Try contacting the family member, call others and ask, contact the police and ask.

• They should avoid lengthy conversations with the unknown caller, hang up and contact the police

• They should contact the police to advise them of the phone call before wiring any money to unknown people and request assistance.



6 responses to “Once Around the City: Hero cops honored; TTD meeting”

  1. Suzanne

    What strikes me about this awarded police officer Martino is the deftness with which he disarmed a mentally ill woman and secured her safety instead of “shooting first and asking questions later.” Often, the mentally ill in the throes of their illness, instead of ending up hospitalized for evaluation, end up in jail and/or injured because of a misunderstood cause for whatever outburst, including this woman’s, that could end in injury to either the police officer or the sick person. Obviously, this officer’s training instincts were well worth recognizing and I am grateful that woman ended up in the hospital and not in the morgue.

  2. spanner

    clearly his bullet proof vest would of been no match for a gun that size,when a call is given for an armed subject those vests come in handy its great the Norwalk police dept has them.This officer deserves a new car along with the citation then it would be fair to say the city thanks him for his service,thinking he may be going back out in a cruiser less safe than the call he had responded to makes it worse.

    Lets think of the 4.5 acres Avalon sits on with its $300 a square foot price tag as one of the problems Norwalk has and will need an officer added to its rolls soon using this event as a warning if you let it be built you have to protect the public at any cost.

    While the city is planning many more units like this it can only admit to the taxpayers more officers will be needed to cover a city the size that the text book nitwits are planning for our city.

    So far this residentialk living complex has hosted shootings stabbings muggings and plenty of distubances and what ever flows out of the court house into MacDonalds it has earned a spot on Norwalks Fire Police and ambuilance call list.

    Now that the new mayor doesn’t have to be schooled on the importance of police protection maybe our own state reps can bring some money home before the next election to ensure Norwalk taxpayers doesn’t subsidize the new contruction as we have in the past.

    Its also nice that the Avalon name was kept out of it anything in South Norwalk is mentioned ten times before the article is over with by the city.But I guess if it has the same kind of trouble as the Maritime why broadcast the name.Its far better to mention Roodner court Meadow gardens or Suncrest Village when others have been given awards It adds to the heroism don’t you think?The city is So two faced when it comes to housing when better people live there than Aavalon and the Maritime in most instances.

  3. A.C. Cont@bililty

    Some departments are in snyc with accountability and professionalisim, whether through compliance from lawsuits or to avoid such litigations, are issuing body or lapel cams to protect against such lawsuits and reinforce professionalisim and prosecutions. Note the following report of significant drops in police conduct complaints and violence in Rialato’s dept alone.


    Locally, accontability has rasied its head numerous times concerning patrol officers training and psychological profiles only to be quietly avoided, some say, purposly ignored. With that posture consitently projected, it can only interepeted that one of the main reasons why the powers that be refuse to consider at least patrol car dash and rear seat cams, in Norwalk, no less lapel cams, is, yes; Accountability. Barring any foreseeable major litigation that would sting the city coffers and force change,- It’s your constituional right and civic duty, to increase professionalisim by authorites with vested powers, to record and post in public forums, unacceptable conduct.
    If you see something, film something and upload to social media. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9F3xNdkzDk

  4. Suzanne

    Data, please. While the YouTube link posted is provocative, it provides little real data regarding police brutality and videotaping with the exception of one case cited, Simon Gilk (?) The rest shows incidents of abuse filmed without any context (including Rodney King, no less disturbing but, really? How many instances of appropriate arrests by trained officers and here is an example from the archives of abuse. Please see Mr. King’s subsequent police record and activities that, while never, never justifying the riot-inducing treatment he received shows his lack of self control and ability to make lawful choices.) The article here is about an officer who seems to have done everything right saving himself, his partner and the very disturbed, armed woman. Is that just too un-hip to celebrate? Cops have a very hard job: not all are trained properly, not all are perfect and some are downright cruel (the “data” your cited video provides.) What we don’t seem to here about is when they get it right which leads me to wonder: would you rather have a Norwalk with or without them? If not, just how do you propose abusive or lawless behavior be controlled? Such incidences are not “Kumbaya” moments.

  5. Chris Rocks

    This comment has been denied to comply with our ban on sock puppetry.

  6. Mamma Knows

    This comment has been denied to comply with our ban on sock puppetry.

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