Early February heroics led to the honoring of two police officers last week at the 111th Precinct in Bayside.
Officers Christopher Vernam and Daniel Roll received Cops of the Month recognition for March at the precinct’s monthly council meeting.
New Commanding Officer Jason S. Huerta presented the awards and spoke of how Vernam and Roll stopped a suspected iPhone thief in the act and pursued him on foot, leading to his arrest the evening of Feb. 9.
“Demonstrating a disregard for their personal safety, these two officers relied upon their training, utilized proper police tactics and instinctively sprang into action to apprehend a violent criminal,” Huerta said. “Thanks to quick thinking, keen observation and selfless dedication exemplified in the actions of police officers Vernam and Roll, this individual is no longer free to pray upon the citizens of this community.”
According to Huerta, the officers had learned of a string of iPhone robberies in the vicinity of Horace Harding Expressway and Springfield Boulevard in Oakland Gardens and were on high alert. While on patrol, they reported a suspicious man walking the street and kept a close eye on him.
Within minutes, Huerta said, the officers watched the man — identified as 18-year-old Shaquin Goring, of 115-02 Mexico St. in Jamaica — allegedly push a young woman and snatch an iPhone out of her hand. Goring fled on foot while the officers alerted headquarters to the pursuit, leading to his capture and arrest after he jumped a fence into a nearby senior center, reports said.
Huerta said Goring was apprehended, but not without a fight after police surrounded him during the foot pursuit. The commanding officer said Goring struggled with officers at first, but was quickly subdued.
He was arrested on charges of robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and resisting arrest, police said.
Vernam and Roll received official plaques, which were financially sponsored by the Jefferson Democratic Club, for their accomplishment. They accepted the awards in front of an applauding crowd at the council meeting. District Leader Carol Gresser said the officers’ work reminded her of what keeps her community safe.
“I’ve lived here for 40 years and it’s the 111th Precinct that keeps our community safe and makes it a great place to raise a family,” Gresser said. “We can all be grateful for them. They’re great.”
The officers were humble upon their acceptance of the plaques and thanked the commanding officer for the recognition. The 111th Precinct doles out Cop of the Month awards each month during council meetings. Huerta said it was an honor they earned and deserved.
“At a time when they were most needed by the members of the community they served, these officers apprehended an individual who would have undoubtedly victimized many more women in this neighborhood,” Huerta said. “We thank and honor them both.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.