Montco DA Steele Commends 20, Presents Medal of Valor
From a press release
In a ceremony Thursday at the Montgomery County Fire Academy, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele honored five civilians and 15 law enforcement officers with commendations for their extraordinary efforts and exemplary work in protecting and serving the residents of Montgomery County. Four police officers were awarded the “Medal of Valor,” the District Attorney’s highest honor presented to select members of law enforcement who bravely placed their lives at risk to protect the citizens of Montgomery County. This is the first time the Medal of Valor was awarded since 2012.
“Montgomery County has some of the finest law enforcement officers anywhere, and I’m honored to be able to showcase their exceptional work, incredible bravery and dedication to protecting and serving Montgomery County, as well as recognize the actions of our amazing residents, who are always willing to step up to help law enforcement do their job,” said DA Steele. “Montgomery County would not be the safe and wonderful place it is without this teamwork. I am proud to recognize each of these civilians, police officers and detectives for their actions in these instances.”
The Medal of Valor was awarded to:
Cpl. Matthew Stadulis of the Whitemarsh Township Police Department, for bravery and exemplary performance during what appeared to be a routine call when a suspect fired a stolen gun at the officer at point-blank range, which thankfully did not fire, then the officer was able to disarm the suspect, protect his own firearm and radio for back-up.
To Officer John Burdsall, Upper Providence Township Police Department, Officer Michael Sheehan, Upper Providence Township Police Department and Sgt. Stephen Winneberger, Limerick Township Police Department for bravery and exemplary performance during a standoff at a condominium complex. Tdhe suspect immediately began shooting at arriving officers, narrowly missing officers as they managed to obtain cover, and continued to shoot at officers before he was subdued by a non-fatal shot to his shoulder and was taken into custody.
The Law Enforcement Commendation for Heroism was given to: Ofdicer Eric Curcio, Lower Merion Township Police Department for exceptional performance negotiating during a standoff with an intoxicated man waving a gun, de-escalating the situation, which allowed the man to be safely taken into custody and obtain needed mental health care.
DA Steele awarded Citizen Commendations for Exceptional Service to: Beth Weber of Chesterbrook and Amna Zaim of Phoenixville for helping a 5-year-old boy who was attempting to escape his abuser at a gas station. They subsequently provided eyewitness accounts that helped lead to the defendant pleading guilty to aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Commendations were also given to Belmont Hills residents Dorothy Coleman and Jody Kelley for astutely observing a defendant rummaging through a vehicle in their neighborhood. They then assisted Lower Merion Township Police in locating the vehicle and the defendants, who had committed an armed carjacking earlier in the evening.
And to Souderton resident Christian Hernandez for assisting Upper Dublin Township Police in communicating with a victim’s family in Mexico regarding medical and end-of-life decisions for their loved one who was hit by a SEPTA train.
Law Enforcement Commendations for Exceptional Performance were awarded to: Det. Ivan R. Martinez, Berks County District Attorney Detectives for assisting Montgomery County Homicide Detectives in the negotiation with and apprehension of a defendant who fatally shot his former girlfriend while her children were in the apartment.
And also to East Norriton Township Police Department Det. Jared Weiner and Upper Merion Township Police Det. Michael Laverty for the excellent investigation of a drug trafficker who was selling drug-laced cereal bars, brownies and other items using Instagram to juveniles as young as 11.
Det. Joseph Gary, Lansdale Police Department also received a commendation for his excellence, dedication and commitment to the extensive homicide investigation of Ebony Pack.
Steele commended Lower Merion Township Police Department Lt. Edward Sarama and Det. Gregory Pitchford for the multi-jurisdictional investigation and key testimony during prosecution of a dangerous serial predator who attempted to rob and kidnap women at gunpoint, seriously injuring two of them.
Det. Gregory Pitchford, Lower Merion Township Police Department received a commendation for the excellent investigation of multiple robberies of 7-Eleven stores in Lower Merion and Philadelphia.
And Steele commended Upper Merion Township Police Det. Brandan Dougherty and Det. Andrew Rathfon for the extensive, meticulous and lengthy investigation into a series of burglaries of numerous historical firearms and other artifacts from museums all along the Eastern Seaboard and the successful recovery and repatriation of these priceless pieces of American history.
OUpper Moreland Township Police Department Officer Craig Bald and Det. Todd Smith were commended for the heads-up traffic stop, investigation and recovery of DNA evidence that led to charging of the vehicle’s occupants with a Philadelphia murder and other crimes.