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105th Precinct’s top cops honored for foiling break-in

Joseph Courtesis (r.), commanding officer of the 105th Precinct, recognizes Officers Lisa Walters (fourth from l.-r.) and Michael Drescher for thwarting a pair of would-be burglars. Photo by Rich Bockmann
TimesLedger Newspapers

Police confiscated a mini arsenal from two suspected burglars who were thwarted in the backyards of Rosedale by the 105th Precinct’s February Cops of the Month.

Officers Lisa Walters and Michael Drescher were honored last week at the 105th Precinct Community Council meeting, held for the first time at the precinct’s satellite station in Rosedale.

A homeowner called 911 just after 1 a.m. in late February and said he believed two men with masks and firearms had followed him home and were attempting to break in through his back door.

When officers Walters and Drescher arrived, they heard noises coming from the rear of the house and went back to investigate, Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis told a standing-room-only crowd.

When the officers poked their heads around back, they frightened the two suspects. One hid in a bush, while the other made his way toward a fence.

“Officer Walters caught the man in the bushes by surprise and wrestled him to the ground and placed him in cuffs,” Courtesis said. “Officer Drescher pursued the other suspect over a fence into another yard. [He] was able to outrun the suspect and after an extensive struggle he was also placed under arrest.”

The commanding officer said police confiscated two firearms, one silencer, one stun gun, duct tape and a knife from the suspects.

“These guys meant business,” he said. “Thanks to these two officers, these guys are thinking about their actions in prison.”

Courtesis said burglaries have been on the rise in the neighborhoods of Laurelton and Rosedale and pointed out that the 105th leads the city in burglary arrests.

Those who attended the meeting at the satellite station, which community members have said they would like to be made into a full-fledged precinct, told Courtesis they were concerned about police response times, and asked what his plans were for the summer when their neighborhoods become hot spots for large, raucous and sometimes violent house parties.

Courtesis said he often dispatches plainclothes officers to burglary calls.

“You may not see [them], but we are responding to that call,” he said.

He also noted the precinct had a “terrible year” in 2010 with a “tremendous amount of shootings. A good portion were the result of these house parties getting out of control.”

He said he would repeat his plan from last year that was effective in curtailing the parties when the precinct had a detail of about a dozen officers who worked weekends between May 1 and Oct. 1.

“There was a 50 percent decrease in shootings as a result,” he said.

Some community members said that when they called either 911 or the precinct to complain about a loud party, they were told to call 311.

Courtesis said it is difficult to deal with a gathering “if you’re telling me about a house party when there’s already 400 people there.”

“If you see them wheeling in 20-foot speakers, there’s going to be a party,” he said. “We need to know about them before the first guest arrives.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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