Monday, February 23, 2009

Medals of Valor - Bayview Ceasefire Team

A few weeks ago, I blogged on Captain Daniel McDonagh's receiving a Medal of Valor for his response to a fatal shooting at the Metreon Theater. The below, excerpted from Captain John Loftus' remarks, are the events which also earned members of Bayview Station's Ceasfire Team Medals of Valor.

On August 2, 2007, just after 6:30 PM, Officers Reggie Scott, Jason Kirchner, and Jerry Lyons, all members of the Bayview Ceasefire Team, saw a silver Honda sedan, occupied by two males, turn from Garlington Court onto LaSalle Avenue. The officers observed that there were no license plates displayed on the vehicle. As the vehicle passed, in the opposite direction, the two men inside looked toward the officers, with an expression of shock.

The officers knew that it was common practice for gang members to remove their vehicle license plates – it prevents identification by witnesses when committing acts of violence. As Officer Lyons made a U-Turn, the Honda sped up and fled the area at a high speed. The officers gave chase, but were unable to keep up with the suspects’ vehicle. They called an emergency broadcast and advised dispatch and responding units of the pursuit. Moments later, the sound of screeching tires drew the officer’s attention to Bell Court, where they located the suspect vehicle, stopped.

As he approached the vehicle, Officer Scott observed the passenger struggling with something on the seat. The passenger quickly abandoned his attempt to remove the item and fled on foot with the driver. As Officers Scott and Kirchner pursued on foot, Officer Lyons used the patrol vehicle to circle around, attempting to cut off the suspect. While chasing the suspects, Officers Scott and Kirchner noticed that the driver kept his hands hidden in front of his body as he ran.

As Officer Scott closed in on the driver, he suddenly turned, pointing a machine pistol, equipped with an extended magazine, at the officers. From less than ten yards away, Officer Scott clearly saw the weapon and announced the danger. Without immediate cover, Officer Scott drew his pistol and fired two rounds at the suspect, striking the ground in front of the suspect. The suspect ran, discarding the machine pistol over a nearby fence.

The suspects continued running from the officers and shed their jackets, to alter their appearance. Unfortunately, the suspects were lost in the area. Officer Scott recovered the machine pistol, and Officers Kirchner and Lyons returned to the abandoned vehicle, where they found an assault rifle, equipped with a scope and loaded 40 round magazine. This was the object that the passenger was attempting to retrieve. The Ceasefire Team and Gang Task Force, in coordination, later captured the suspects.

Officers Reggie Scott and Jason Kirchner are being recognized for their keen observations, diligent pursuit of dangerous suspects, and outstanding courage. Bravely intercepting two heavily-armed gang members, these remarkable officers undoubtedly prevented additional carnage. They are well-deserving of commendation.