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78th Pct. Community council salutes top cops

Several officers from the 78th Precinct received top honors recently, a recognition of fine police work over the last few months and excellence through the course of the year. Back in November, Officers Naribel Christianson, David Leon, and William O’Connell and Robert Oles had a hand in arresting a suspect in an attempted bank robbery. Police allege that the suspect—who cops allege unsuccessfully tried to demand money from a teller at the Apple Bank at 326 Court the day before—passed a threatening note to a teller at the Chase Bank at 127 7th Avenue on Nov. 1. But the teller quickly turned the tables on the 27-year-old suspect, cops said, asking him for an ATM card. The flummoxed suspect actually began to search his pockets for a card, while the bank workers alerted the cops. The cops quickly identified a man who matched a description of the suspect, said Captain John Scolaro, the commanding officer of the precinct. They made the arrest without incident. For their efforts, the four crime-fighters received “Cop of the Month” honors at the February meeting of the 78th precinct Community Council. Also recognized as “Cops of the Month” were Officers Joseph Solomon, Miguel Casanova and Sgt. Clarence Dawson. In December, the trio responded to a stabbing, and “assault with sticks” of a woman on Hoyt Street by three males known to the victim, Scolaro said. The cops nabbed two men on St. Marks Place after a foot pursuit in which the suspects “violently resisted,” Scolaro said. So far this year, the precinct, which encompasses Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, has seen a 13.6 percent reduction in the overall numbers of crimes reported, for the week ending Feb. 4. Scolaro credited detectives like Edward Russotto and Michael Chiusano for keeping the streets safe. For example, there were 50 fewer robberies reported last year compared to 2005, he said. “The only way to achieve that is to take people who commit robberies off the street,” Scolaro said. Russotto made 42 arrests in 2006 and Chiusano made 39, Scolaro said. “When complainants come into the building, these detectives know how to talk to people to get information,” Scolaro said. And information leads to arrests. “You are certainly the reason why this neighborhood is safe,” Scolaro said, handing the men certificates of appreciation.

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