St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara will present agency awards Tuesday, including several life saving awards
Tuesday morning, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara will present quarterly awards to members of the Sheriff's Office and civilians, including numerous life saving awards.
Here are the recipients:
Below is a list of the second quarter and other awards. These members will be recognized at the awards ceremony on August 28, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in the Patrol Operations roll call room.
Second Quarter Awards
Admin./Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Quarter: Jim DeFonzo Civilian of the Quarter: Ashlee Mayr Detective of the Quarter: John Brady *Detective of the First Quarter: Santiago Martinez Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Karen Hills Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Stephanie Lyons Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Deborah Pate Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: Juan Delgado Volunteer of the Quarter: Richard Greenhalgh and John Pescino *Award recipients from previous quarters
Life Saving: Michael Alonge, John Brady, Matt Briglia, Erin Flanagan, Pat Ivy, Chris Jadin, Edward Lopez, William Miller, Shawn Masters, David Meizinger, Paul Pearson, Bob Soesbe, Stephen Psarreas
Life Saving (citizenry): Nick Napoli, Paul Blake, Ramon Perez, Dino Pinder, Dennis Scott
Meritorious Service: John Brady, Jason Cannon, Cory Speicker
Commendation: Jeff Schoner
Commendation: Steve Sigmon, Jim DeFonzo, Adam Goodner, Grant King, Mike Sheelar, Steve Sessoms, Andy McIntosh, Rob Barton, Dave Blatchford, Jeff Buchanan, Frank Byrnes, Donna Carmichael, Scott DeMichael, Angela Flowers, Chris Jadin, Wes Harbin, Michelle Hernandez, Ed LeBeau, Bob Margerum, Troy Norman, John Parow, Deborah Pate, Paul Pearson, Kevin Pfeiffer, Brian Rhodes, Luke Sparkman, Paul Taylor, Tim Taylor, Ron Wentz, Suzanne Woodward, Richard Young
Unit Citation - Bomb Disposal Team: Larry Hostetler, Chris Cicio, Dan Parrett, Pat Faiella, Kevin Lindstadt, Paul Taylor, Ron Wentz
Unit Citation - Squad F: Rich Ziarkowski, Joe Brennan, Ben Deblieck, Troy Glover, Sergio Lopez Alers, Bill Morash, Jeff Serafini, Jeff Ward
Florida Sheriffs Association Award: Mark Weinberg
Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Builder Coin Award: Marie Brazas, Dave Brooks, Jeff Buchanan, Doug Hardie, Kevin Lindstadt, Kurt Mittwede, Chris VanDeventer, Tina Weikert, Jamie Wills
Immediately following the awards ceremony will be the promotions of Captain Mike Graves to the rank of Major and Lt. Jerry Rothman to the rank of Captain. This will be the subject of a separate news release.
Here are the details:
Life Saving: Deputy Stephen Psarras, Paul Blake, Anne Crehan, Nick Napoli, Ramon Perez, Dino Pinder
On June 12 Deputy Stephen Psarras entered Gold’s Gym to workout. Within two minutes, there was an incident in the parking lot. Anne Crehan heard screams for help coming from the parking lot. A man (Weslie Cadet) was pinned underneath his car. Mr. Cadet’s legs were sticking out from under the car, and he was trapped underneath. The car was lying on his chest, waist and head. Dino Pinder, seeing Mr. Cadet under the car, tried to use the scissor jack to raise the car to free him but could not. Mr. Pinder ran into the gym yelling for help. Nick Napoli, Paul Perez and Deputy Psarras ran outside.
The four of them quickly took position along the passenger side of the vehicle. On the count of three, the four of them lifted the front of the vehicle off of the ground which allowed others to pull Mr. Cadet free from the vehicle. Mr. Cadet was transported to the hospital and released a short time later. We thank these individuals for getting involved and rescuing Mr. Cadet.
Life Saving: Dennis Scott
On June 16 several deputies were dispatched to the area of Palm Drive in regards to a reckless driver. On the way to the call, 911 advised the driver struck a pedestrian and was trying to leave the scene.
While on scene, Deputy Pearson learned Dennis Scott was the person who contacted 911 with regards to the reckless driver. Mr. Scott also stopped the suspect, Jesse McInerney, from leaving the scene after the accident. Mr. Scott took the keys from the suspect’s vehicle until law enforcement arrived. This stopped McInerney from getting behind the wheel and possibly injuring or causing another fatality. Mr. Scott identified Jesse McInerney as the driver of the vehicle.
Mr. Scott stayed on scene and assisted deputies with CPR. He held the victim’s head to allow for an open airway until rescue arrived and took over. If not for Mr. Scott’s actions, the suspect could have gotten back behind the wheel and caused another crash.
We thank him for his assistance and for getting involved.
Detention Supervisor of the Quarter: Stephanie Lyons
It has been the staffs' pleasure and honor to work under the supervision of Lt. Stephanie Lyons. She is a true leader, strong willed, yet approachable, and understanding. Lt. Lyons makes herself available for questions or concerns. She is not condescending nor demanding. She treats deputies and staff equally.
Detention Deputy of the Quarter: Karen Hills
Deputy Karen Hills is an amazing booking deputy. She is the acting supervisor when there is no supervisor on post. She is self-motivated and the epitome of a team player. Recently, Deputy Hills conducted a search of the shower area in booking. She discovered contraband hidden under the shelving. The contraband was hidden under a wooden shelf which was stocked with clothes, paper bags, and other miscellaneous supplies. If not for her thoroughness in this search, these items would have gone undetected and could have been used against deputies, inmates, and/or other staff as weapons.
Deputy Hills pays attention to the details. She has corrected and prevented many errors on paperwork even before officers leave the facility. This has led to added charges and a saving of time for arresting officers. Whether it is identifying a sex offender, catching charges which require no bond, or finding out of county and ICE holds, Deputy Hills takes booking each individual as a way of serving the public.
Deputy Hills is also a member of the Lady Stars basketball team. She also serves at her church as a Sunday school teacher.
Civilian of the Quarter: Ashlee Mayr
Ashlee has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since 2005 and is assigned to the Crime Prevention Unit as the unit secretary.
As part of her regular duties, Ashlee maintains calendars for the Crime Prevention Unit, Explorer Unit, and Substation Unit. She completes monthly reports of Criminal Opportunity Reporting Forms written by patrol deputies. These reports are sent to the patrol operations division commander who forwards them to individual supervisors. Each week, Ashlee also monitors hotsheets and prints offense reports for follow-up by crime prevention deputies. She completes specific crime mapping and data analysis reports for crime prevention deputies and command staff members for various public meetings.
Ashlee recently noticed a data transfer error in the First Call Reverse 9-1-1 System. Apparently, some data did not transfer from the old system correctly leaving our contact groups in disarray. Rather than complain to the company, Ashlee took it upon herself to go through each of the approximately 600 agency members registered in First Call and corrected their contact information. Ashlee believed the only way to ensure complete accuracy was for her to complete it herself. Sgt. Cicio agreed with her perspective and the project is now complete and accurate.
Ashlee Mayr is an asset to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office and to the Crime Prevention Unit.
Detective of the Quarter: John Brady
Detective Brady has been a member of Criminal Investigations for three years. He is a person you can depend on whether it is on or off duty.
Detective Brady starts his day at approx. 5:45 am and ends whenever. He is at the courthouse everyday picking up the new warrants and getting them distributed to all warrants unit personnel. Detective Brady is known on the street as a tough but fair law enforcement deputy. He is well respected by his peers and by the people he deals with on a daily basis.
Detective Brady is part of the U.S. Marshals Task Force. Working with this task force has given Detective Brady the opportunity to investigate, hunt, find and arrest some of the most wanted fugitives. From April to June Detective Brady has arrested 75 wanted fugitives with charges ranging from murder to petit theft.
Just recently Detective Brady was in involved in an incident which he and several other deputies were almost run down by a suspect who was being pursued by Patrol deputies. The suspect crashed his vehicle, and when deputies, including Detective Brady, approached the suspect, the suspect put the vehicle in reverse in an attempt to run down the deputies and escape. Deputies fired at the oncoming vehicle.
Even with all this confusion, Detective Brady had clear enough presence to pull one of the deputies from being struck by the vehicle which could have caused great bodily injury or even death.
Patrol Operations Deputy of the Quarter: Deborah Pate
Deputy Deborah Pate has been with the office since 1998. During the second quarter, Deputy Pate produced the following statistics:
3 – felony probable cause arrests 12 – misdemeanor pc arrests 4 – traffic citations 32 – verbal/written warnings 11 – Field Identification cards 22 – Reports
Deputy Pate is one of our “float” deputies because she is proactive. One way she is proactive is by looking for and documenting gang activity she finds in the county.
On June 26 Deputy Pate, along with several other deputies, were dispatched to an address in Fort Pierce in regard to a burglary in progress. The dispatcher gave a description of the two suspects and the vehicle they were driving. On the way to this call, Deputy Pate located the suspect vehicle and the suspects.
Because of her quick response time, observation and investigation skills these suspects were detained and transported to CID. During interviews these two suspects confessed to three burglaries that occurred that day and two other past burglaries. Several thousand dollars in stolen property was recovered on scene and in local pawn shops. These suspects were arrested and taken to jail for several felony charges.
Administrative/Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Quarter: James DeFonzo
Sgt. Jim DeFonzo was nominated by employees under his supervision. The fact that subordinates are nominating him says a lot. They wrote:
“We have had the privilege of working with many dedicated supervisors. In the short period of time Sergeant DeFonzo has been supervisor in CID, he has displayed great qualities and leadership, which inspire those who work with him to go above and beyond their job description.
"Sgt. DeFonzo has many responsibilities to include: supervision of property, agriculture crimes, misdemeanor review, victim services, lead firearms instructor, and lead use of force instructor. As busy as his workload is, Sgt. DeFonzo makes the time to address all issues presented to him big or small. He may not agree with what is being expressed, but will validate an opinion.
"He is available to resolve problems that arise, even if it is after hours. Sergeant DeFonzo demonstrates leadership skills that are important to keeping workers enthusiastic about the work they do. You will often hear him compliment fellow workers on their job performance and shows appreciation day to day. These are the little things that make coming to work a pleasure each day.”
Volunteer of the Quarter: Richard Greenhalgh and John Pescino
Mr. Richard Greenhalgh, also known as Mr. G, started with the office in March 2007. He has logged over 100 hours during the second quarter of this year. Mr. G had over 88 cases assigned to him during the quarter.
Mr. John Pescino started with the office in December 2004. He also works several days a week in the traffic unit in parking enforcement. John has put in 40 hours just in CID this quarter. He had over 55 cases assigned to him during the quarter.
Mr. G and John make follow up calls to victims who have reported crimes. These are usually cases where there is no suspect listed. They talk to the victims to see if they have any additional information. If the victim has no additional information, they will close out the report. If additional information is obtained, the report is sent to a detective for further investigation.
They are a great asset to the detectives.
Life Saving: Shawn Masters, David Meizinger and Paul Pearson
On June 17 Deputies Shawn Masters, David Meizinger, and Paul Pearson were responding to Indian River Estates in reference to a reckless driver. As they were responding, the call was updated to a crash in the 5500 block of Palm Drive where a 14-year-old girl was struck by a van.
Deputies Meizinger and Pearson arrived on scene. Deputy Pearson went to assess the condition of the girl, and Deputy Meizinger secured the suspect as he was told the suspect was attempting to leave. It was determined that the victim was unconscious and not breathing. Deputy Pearson began CPR while a citizen, Dennis Scott, held the victim's head up to allow for an open airway. After securing the suspect, Deputy Meizinger took over chest compressions, and Deputy Pearson administered breathes.
Deputy Masters arrived and relieved Deputy Meizinger. This continued until rescue took over.
Unfortunately, the victim was pronounced dead a short time later.
These deputies acted with extreme professionalism and compassion while attempting to save this young girl’s life.
Life Saving: Bob Soesbe, Michael Alonge, Pat Ivy, Edward Lopez and William Miller
On May 30 Kerry Rabins reported that her mother was missing. Deputy Bill Miller met with Ms. Rabin’s and learned that her mother suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s and had poor vision and hearing. Deputy Miller, along with Lt. Soesbe, Deputy Lopez and Deputy Alonge searched the home and several buildings on the property with negative results. Deputy Miller stayed with Ms. Rabins while the remaining deputies began searching the neighborhood. This area was rural with pastures, woods, and only a few homes, and the dirt roads were in poor shape.
Lt. Soesbe spoke with one neighbor who mentioned that the mother seemed to walk northbound on the dirt road. Deputy Ivy noticed shoe prints around the pedestrian opening in one of the pastures. Deputies followed the tracks for approximately a quarter of a mile. The victim was found semiconscious. It appeared she had fallen down in the rough terrain. Deputies applied water to the victim’s neck, back and legs to cool her off. The afternoon temperature was in the 90s. Rescue treated her with liquids and transported her to the hospital. Rescue personnel advised she was in poor condition but should recover.
Life Saving: Matt Briglia
On the evening of June 15 Deputy Matt Briglia was working at the Mud Jam when he was flagged down and informed of a person that had just been hit by a swamp buggy. Upon his arrival, a young female was observed lying face down in a muddy ditch unresponsive. Deputy Briglia entered the ditch and assessed the victim. He noticed she was wearing beads that appeared to be constricting her neck and possibly her breathing. Deputy Briglia was able to unwrap the beads from around her neck, support her head and neck, and rolled her over and out of the water to where her vitals could be better accessed.
The victim was unconscious and her breathing was very shallow. There were visible injuries to her head that had not been initially noticed because of her hair. Deputy Briglia stabilized the victim until rescue arrived. The victim’s mother stated Deputy Briglia’s actions kept her from losing her daughter.
Life Saving: John Brady
On May 23, following a pursuit, Deputy Cory Speicker approached a suspect’s vehicle to try to arrest the driver. Deputy Speicker was shouting commands to the suspect to exit his vehicle, and Deputy Cannon started to approach the suspect vehicle. The suspect put his vehicle into reverse towards Deputy Cannon forcing him to jump in order to avoid being struck. The suspect’s vehicle hit the driver’s side Deputy Cannon’s vehicle.
The suspect then put the vehicle back into drive, and drove forward attempting to run Deputy Speicker down. Det. Brady was standing on Deputy Speicker’s right side as the suspect vehicle approached them. Due to the fact the suspect accelerated towards the deputies, they no longer had any avenue of escape or protection. The suspect drove his vehicle directly at Det. Brady and Deputy Speicker, putting Det. Brady in imminent fear for his safety and life as well as that of Deputy Speicker.
Det. Brady grabbed Deputy Speicker with his left hand, pulling him out of the way. If Det. Brady had not done this, Deputy Speicker would have been run down by the suspect. Det. John Brady’s competent and expedient action is directly accountable for removing Deputy Speicker from a situation which would have resulted in his eminent death.
Life Saving: Chris Jadin
On May 23, Detective Chris Jadin was en route to assist two deputies and a detective with a hostile, violent suspect. The suspect was shot in the hand and twice in the upper back. The suspect then crashed his vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. One of the deputies involved in the shooting returned to his vehicle and gave chase. That deputy found the suspect, ordered the suspect to the ground, secured him in handcuffs, and immediately notified 911 to send rescue.
Detective Chris Jadin was promptly on scene. Grabbing the agency issued first aid kit and promptly giving first aid including the application of a trauma dressing. Detective Jadin continued to apply direct pressure to the suspect’s wound until rescue arrived. Detective Jadin’s competent and expedient action is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life.
Meritorious Service: John Brady, Jason Cannon and Cory Speicker
On the morning of May 23, Deputy Cory Speicker observed a vehicle leave a known drug house at a high rate of speed and change lanes without signaling. After conducting a traffic stop, Deputy Speicker was approaching the vehicle on foot when the driver of the vehicle accelerated and fled the scene.
When Deputy Speicker pulled his vehicle alongside the suspect’s, the suspect deliberately rammed him. The suspect then headed straight towards the vehicle Det. John Brady was operating. Det. Brady was now the lead pursuing vehicle, with Deputy Jason Cannon following. Deputy Cory Speicker paralleled on an adjacent street. The suspect crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole. The suspect put his vehicle in reverse towards Det. Brady who believed the suspect was trying to ram him.
The pursuit continued now with Deputy Cannon in the lead vehicle, Deputy Speicker in the second vehicle, and Det. Brady in the third. The suspect drove through a garden, almost hit a single family residence, and struck a small palm tree. The deputies positioned their vehicles with the intent of taking the suspect into custody.
Deputy Speicker exited his vehicle, approached the suspect’s vehicle, and shouted verbal commands for the suspect to exit his vehicle. Deputy Cannon also exited his vehicle and started to approach the suspect vehicle. The suspect put his vehicle into reverse forcing Deputy Cannon to jump to safety behind the front of his vehicle at which time the suspect’s vehicle struck the driver’s side of Deputy Cannon’s vehicle.
Det. Brady was near Deputy Speicker. Neither Det. Brady nor Deputy Speicker had any avenue of escape or protection. The suspect revved the engine, put the vehicle back into drive and drove the vehicle directly at Det. Brady and Deputy Speicker. Det. Brady pulled Deputy Speicker out of the way and fired his department issued weapon to defend his life and that of Deputy Speicker. At the same time, Deputy Speicker, also fearing for his safety, fired his department weapon.
As this was occurring, Deputy Cannon heard Det. Brady yell lookout and Deputy Cannon thought Deputy Speicker had been struck by the suspect’s vehicle. As the suspect continued to come towards Det. Brady and Deputy Speicker, the suspect’s vehicle clipped the front of Det. Brady’s vehicle.
The suspect continued along the side of Det. Brady’s vehicle, turning towards Deputy Cannon, at which time Deputy Cannon discharged his weapon to defend himself. The suspect crashed his vehicle a block west of the deputies then fled on foot. Deputy Cannon returned to his vehicle and gave chase. Neighbors pointed indicating which direction the suspect fled. Deputy Cannon found the suspect, ordered the suspect to the ground, secured him in handcuffs, and immediately notified 911 to send rescue to treat the suspect’s injuries.
At an incident that is not routinely encountered and involved the risk of injury or death Deputy Cory Speicker, Det. John Brady, and Deputy Jason Cannon demonstrated extraordinary conduct in the performance of their criminal justice duty.
Commendation: Jeff Schoner
This nomination was made by a member of the Port St. Lucie Police Department. However, their awards program does not recognize other agencies. Therefore, our office is recognizing Deputy Jeff Schoner of behalf of the Port St. Lucie Police Department. On July 14, 2011, Deputy Jeff Schoner was off duty and reported an attempted burglary. Deputy Schoner reported seeing two suspects trying to remove the air conditioning unit at a vacant home on South Quick Circle.
Deputy Schoner, in civilian clothes and his personal vehicle, maintained visual contact of the suspects as they fled the scene. He accurately relayed all the pertinent information to the dispatcher. Deputy Schoner followed the suspects to Darwin Square, where Port St. Lucie Police Department units located the two suspects and made the arrest. If not for Deputy Schoner’s action, the suspects would have escaped apprehension for their crimes.
Lt. Steve Sigmon, Sgt. Jim Defonzo,Sgt. Adam Goodner,Sgt. Grant King, Sgt. Mike Sheelar, Sgt. Steve Sessoms, Sgt. Andy McIntosh, Rob Barton, Dave Blatchford, Jeff Buchanan, Frank Byrnes, Donna Carmichael, Scott DeMichael, Angela Flowers, Chris Jadin, Wes Harbin, Michelle Hernandez, Ed LeBeau, Bob Margerum, Troy Norman, John Parow, Deborah Pate, Paul Pearson, Kevin Pfeiffer, Brian Rhodes, Luke Sparkman, Paul Taylor, Tim Taylor, Ron Wentz, Suzanne Woodward and Richard Young
On May 23, members of Patrol, School Resource Deputy Unit, Special Investigations Unit, and the Shooting Investigation Team responded to South 13th Street and Zephyr Avenue, to investigate a use of force incident involving great bodily harm to a suspect.
This incident involved three members of the agency who discharged their agency firearm. Additionally, the investigation of the criminal actions of the suspect required mobilization of the entire Crime Scene Investigation Unit. There were five crime scenes to process. The investigation included a review of the facts including the scenes the day of the shooting, 911 tapes, reports, witness statements, scene photographs, and training records. By the end of the next business day, the preliminary investigative findings were complete and the members involved were permitted to return to full duty. Thank you for a job well done.
Unit Citation: Rich Ziarkowski, Ben Deblieck, Troy Glover, Sergio Lopez Alers, Bill Morash, Jeff Serafini and Jeff Ward
On June 25 Deputy Morash was patrolling in the area of Johnston Road. Deputy Morash came across a red vehicle parked on the side of the road unoccupied and the hood was warm to the touch.
Knowing that in the Meadowoods Development there had been a rash of home and vehicle burglaries, several deputies began to respond. Deputy Serafini and Deputy Brennan were the first to arrive to assist Deputy Morash. All indicators were showing a possible burglar parked, hopped the fence, and was inside the development committing a crime. Sergeant Z, Deputies Glover, Lopez, Deblieck, Ward, and Carter responded to the scene. While a perimeter was being established, canine and aviation were requested to respond.
While waiting for canine, Deputy Glover saw the suspect running southbound in between houses. Deputy Serafini was southeast of his location and did not spot the suspect. At this point deputies knew they had the suspect contained within the perimeter.
The helicopter was flying overhead and canine arrived on scene. Deputy Serafini tracked with canine and all of the members of the squad maintained a solid perimeter. After a lengthy search, the suspect was apprehended in the development, hiding in some bushes. The apprehension of the suspect also cleared several pending burglary cases.
Unit Citation - Bomb Disposal Team: Larry Hostetler, Chris Cicio, Dan Parrett, Pat Faiella, Kevin Lindstadt, Paul Taylor and Ron Wentz
In November 2011 our Office was tasked with hosting the Florida Chapter Conference of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators.
Over the next several months, team members worked diligently to organize and present a quality conference for Florida’s bomb technicians.
All efforts came together from April 11 – 13. Presentations were given by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Navy, and other local bomb squad representatives.
There were 26 attendees and 8 exhibitors. In the words of the Southeast Region Director Lance Connors concerning the conference, "anks go out to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad, commanded by Lt. Larry Hostetler and his team for all the hard work and hours they spent in making the training session a great success."
Shortly following the conference, Lt. Hostetler was nominated and installed as the IABTI Florida Chapter president.
Patrol Support Deputy of the Quarter: Juan Delgado
Deputy Juan Delgado is assigned to serve as the School Resource Deputy at Westwood High School. While working there, he has taken a pro-active role and developed relationships with the school administration, staff, other deputies, and students to meet challenges head on.
During the past few months, Deputy Delgado took the lead role in both the spring break camp and the summer camp that was held by our agency. He also worked as the basketball coordinator for the Police and Fire Games.
Deputy Delgado volunteered to be a member for the agency’s new gang intelligence unit. He also assisted the Fort Pierce Police Department with the recovery of a cellular phone that took place on school campus. By utilizing the GPS tracking feature on the phone, he was able to locate the stolen phone and arrest the suspect.
Deputy Delgado is an outstanding school resource deputy.
Life Saving: Erin Flanagan
On the evening of June 15 Deputy Erin Flanagan was attending a dance recital at Suncoast High School. Thirty minutes into the show, one of the choreographers collapsed due to an apparent heart attack. Once it became clear there was an emergency, Deputy Flanagan went up to the balcony to offer assistance.
The victim was a male in his 70s who had no pulse. CPR was begun, and Deputy Flanagan, a state certified EMT, performed chest compressions. After a few minutes, a pulse was reestablished. Rescue personnel arrived at this point and relieved Deputy Flanagan. The victim was transported to the hospital and was reported to be talking to nurses later in the evening.
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