By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Six Riverview police officers are being honored with a Unit Meritorious Performance Award in recognition for “exceptional, heroic, professional skill and conduct,” Police Chief Clifford Rosebohm recently announced.
Those being recognized are Acting Lt. Robert Bemis, Officer Jason Lee Fell, Officer Matthew Lyles, Officer Michael McDonald, Sgt. Sean O’Neil and Lt. Craig Sowards.
Sowards, O’Neil and Lyles are being lauded for their actions June 13 when they responded to a call concerning a man holding a homeowner at gunpoint in the 14000 block of Brookline Street.
Shortly after police officers arrived on scene, the occupants of the house fled outside to safety, while the armed suspect jumped out a window and retreated into Colonial Village.
During the resultant search, word reached the police officers that a man matching the suspect’s description was hiding under a car in the Colonial Village complex.
While O’Neil worked with the people who had fled the house, Lyles went to the complex to seek the gunman.
Trenton Police Officers Aaron Biniarz, Seth Bond, Stephen Caye and Tracy Oldani joined Lyles at the complex and located the suspect, taking him into custody without further incident. A 9-millimeter handgun was recovered at the scene.
Rosebohm said Sowards maintained constant contact with the residents of the house, provided a complete and accurate description of the suspect to the officers on scene, requested help from Trenton P.D. and maintained the needed situational awareness.
Rosebohm said the Trenton police officers were recognized by their department as well.
Bemis, Fell and McDonald were recognized for their response to a gunman situation last month at Greentrees Apartments.
During the afternoon of Sept. 5, Bemis received a 911 call indicating that a man was pointing a gun out the window of a white Ford pickup in the parking lot of Greentrees Apartments. He immediately dispatched patrol cars to the area, while maintaining contact with the caller.
Rosebohm said Bemis continually maintained situational awareness by updating the responding officers with new information from the caller, and by requesting backup from the Trenton Police Department.
As McDonald and Fell traveled to Greentrees, they spotted the suspect vehicle traveling south on Fort Street, heading toward King Road, and quickly initiated a felony traffic stop. They ordered the suspect out of the car at gunpoint, and took the man into custody without further incident.
A loaded Smith and Wesson semi-automatic revolver was found inside the truck.
Once the suspect was secure, Trenton police officers arrived and helped maintain scene security.
The suspect told McDonald and Fell that he had driven to Michigan from Tennessee to confront his brother about a property dispute.