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Hero of Maspeth robbery honored by Kelly

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A hero cop who helped thwart a bank robbery two weeks ago in Maspeth was honored last week by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The incident occurred at 11:36 a.m. Oct. 9 at the HSBC Bank on Grand Avenue. Officer Patrick Plunkett, a three−year veteran of the NYPD’s Housing Bureau, was off duty and waiting at the bank when he saw a man walk in, pass a note to the teller and brandish a pistol, police said.

As the suspect, identified as Robert Jablonowski, 36, of Middle Village, started to leave with $1,542, Plunkett grabbed him and the two began to wrestle, rolling out of the bank and on to the street outside, according to a criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.

Police from the 104th Precinct arrested Jablonowski at the scene.

Jablonowski allegedly knocked out more than one of Plunkett’s teeth during the struggle, court papers show. He was taken to St. John’s Queens Hospital in Elmhurst where he was treated for minor injuries, police said.

Jablonowski’s handgun turned out to be a replica.

“Officer Plunkett could not have known when he confronted this individual that the robber’s gun was a convincing imitation,” Kelly said. “He is a tough cop, and a very brave one, and on behalf of the entire department, I want to thank him for his courageous action.”

Because the robbery involved federally insured money, Jablonowski was taken into federal custody. He was arraigned Oct. 10 and ordered held without bail.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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