The list of honored individuals include Harrisburg Police officers, Dauphin County Co-Responders, Attorney General agents, Harrisburg Firefighters, and citizens. Officer Brandon Hoover was honored with Officer of the Year.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Maisel, Director of Communications
HARRISBURG — Following a year where nearly 80 percent of city homicides were solved, and countless other lives were saved by officers’ heroic actions, the Harrisburg Bureau of Police celebrated more than 80 individuals Tuesday at its annual awards ceremony.
The 82 people honored across 15 categories are largely Harrisburg Police officers, and also Dauphin County co-responders, Community LifeTeam EMS paramedics, Harrisburg firefighters, and Pennsylvania Attorney General agents. One citizen, an off-duty HACC security officer, was also honored for his heroism.
All awards are from the 2022 calendar year.
Officer Brandon Hoover was awarded Officer of the Year. Officer Hoover received an award of Valor for his role in saving the lives of a mother and her young child at a January 2022 incident at the Dock Street Dam. He also received a Distinguished Unit Citation for responding to a reported shooting at an after-hours nightclub in September 2022.
The entire list of honorees and their awards are as follows:
Award 1 – Armed & Dangerous Individuals
Incident Date: 01/16/2022
Valor: Officers Chad R. Showers, Brandon J. Hoover
Merit: Officers Christopher M. Novak Marc S. Howell Brian M. Stright
Brendan J. Kovach Sethton A. Weist Brandon Remington
Colin Ware Cpl. Brandon D. Braughler
Distinguished Unit Citation: Schuyler N. Glotfelty Austin L. Snyder Kristina M. Kelley Stephen A. Marte Brandon J. Hoover Evan D. McKenna Dauphin County Dispatcher Will Gibler
Harrisburg Bureau of Fire
Lifeteam EMS: Paramedics Kay Ross, Edward Ream: EMT: David Malysz, Michael Raymond, Jorden Helsel
*Summary of Incident: On 01/16/2022 at about 3:30 in the morning 1st Platoon Officers responded to the Dock Street Dam for a report of a vehicle in the Susquehanna River with persons on the roof. The temperature was in the single digits and the river was moving fast with an ice flow. When officers arrived, they found the vehicle in the river with a male holding a female and child hostage at knife point. All three were wet from the freezing river. The Officers made every attempt to de-escalate the incident and resolve the hostage situation. When the suspect came at the hostages with the intent to attack them with the knife, Officers were forced to use deadly force to save the lives of the female and child.
Officers Chad Showers and Brandon Hoover displayed outstanding courage without regard to personal safety while engaged with an armed adversary. Both Officers recognized the dangerous and evolving nature of the situation and employed their patrol rifles after attempts to de-escalate the male were unsuccessful and the male moved to attack the woman and child. Their heroic actions saved the lives of the female and child.
Every officer at the scene that day displayed outstanding courage without regard to their personal safety that resulted in the saving of two lives by placing themselves as close to the river as possible to negotiate with the male and to manage the rapidly evolving situation. The officers then remained calm and ensured the preservation of witnesses, evidence, and the scene for investigation.
Dauphin County Dispatcher Will Gibler displayed exceptional professionalism by communicating information, making notifications, and being a calm voice throughout this active and rapidly evolving incident.
Harrisburg Fire and Lifeteam EMS were on scene, ready to respond immediately to perform rescue and life saving measures if needed. Harrisburg Fire conducted a risky rescue with their ladder truck to get the female and child off of the vehicle. EMS quickly provided medical care and transported them to the hospital.
In this incident the Harrisburg Police, Harrisburg Fire, and Lifeteam EMS displayed their professionalism and courage during an extremely stressful incident. Its times like this when we appreciate all involved their dedication to duty and the preservation of justice.
Award 2 – Mental Health Crisis
Incident Date: January 12, 2022
Merit: Cpl. Christopher Auletta, Officer Brian Stright , Officer Christopher Novak
Distinguished Unit Citation:
Officers Brock Fasnacht Brandon Remington Christopher Palamara
*Summary of Incident: On January 12th, 2022 officers were dispatched to a convenient store in the 1500 block of State St. for an involuntary commitment of a mental health patient. The female patient was non-compliant and holding a small child. The parents of the female were requesting police assistance to get their daughter into mental health treatment which had been an ongoing life struggle for the female.
Officer Stright entered the store and noticed the female still holding the child and was in a manic state. He attempted communication with the female for several minutes while other officers secured the scene in the store to create a safe environment for them and to keep out citizens who may attempt to enter the store. The female continuously refused help from officers. Cpl. Auletta arrived and also attempted to speak with the female who was locked in behind the counter with the store clerk. This went on for several minutes without success.
The female then became more irate and Officers feared that the child could be injured. The female then started damaging the door and it opened up. Officers took quick advantage of this and entered in behind the counter and grabbed the female as she attempted to flee. Cpl. Auletta and Officer Stright grabbed the female as she struggled to break free, Officer Novak removed the child from the female’s arms. Together officers were able to detain the female without injury to all involved. The officers, through team effort, were able to rescue the child and get the female proper mental health treatment. This is a great example of great communication and quick thinking by all officers involved.
Award 3 – Homicide
Incident Date: 2/9/2022
Distinguished Unit Citation
Officers Cpl Donald Bender Christopher M. Palamara,
P.A. Attorney General’s Agents:
James Hinton Ashley Baluh Sean Haggarty Dawn Matson
Maurice Edwards Lauren Hoffman-Diller Kurt Zitsch Thomas Moore
*Summary of Incident: At about 0645 hours on Wednesday, 2/9/2022, Officers Bender and Palamara were assisting members of the P.A. Attorney General’s Office with a warrant service in the 1400 blk of Liberty St. While there, they heard a woman screaming and went to investigate. They discovered a victim suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim informed them that her brother had shot her at point blank range. The Officers and Agents began moving toward the home she had come from. They observed someone fleeing from the house and gave chase. The suspect was able to make it to his vehicle and flee the area. The Agents were able to obtain a partial registration number which aided in the apprehension of the suspect. They cleared the home, finding two deceased adults, two wounded children and an elderly adult inside the home. They quickly began rendering aid and helping to evacuate the wounded family members. Their dedication to duty and selfless response stopped an ongoing attack which, had targeted several generations of a family. Their actions also aided in the apprehension of the suspect within the hour.
Award 4 – Traffic Stop & Burglary w/ Guns
Incident Date: 4/4/2022
Merit: Cynthia Kreiser Mark Kingsboro
Unit Citation: Todd Arnold Esteban Restrepo John Doll
Erik Henry Kelly English Chad McGowan
Cpl. Teresa Covey Sgt. Robert Minnier
*Summary of Incident: On 4/4/22, Officers from 2nd Platoon responded to the area of 16th and Market Sts several times that morning for repeated reports of shots fired and people loitering. One caller reported a male who was reloading a revolver to the rear of a building. Due to the nature of the repeated calls, Officers maintained a rotating presence to monitor the area and suppress any further violence. Later that day, Officer Mark Kingsboro conducted a traffic stop at N. 16th and Market Sts. He was assisted by other Officers at the scene. That investigation yielded over an ounce of suspected crack cocaine and an illegal short barrel AR-15 rifle which was loaded. While on scene for that investigation, Officer Cynthia Kreiser had observed an intoxicated man stumbling into the scene. He was carrying home improvement items that were still in the factory packaging. As she observed him, she noticed a butt of a pistol sticking out of his jacket pocket. She attempted to detain him and a physical scuffle ensued. Officer Kingsboro who was still on scene assisted with detaining him. While they were gaining control, Officer Kreiser was able to remove the pistol from his possession. Through further investigation, officers discovered that the items being carried by the male had just been stolen during a burglary just down the street. The suspect was also a convicted felon. Their actions that day undoubtedly prevented additional violence, took two firearms off the street, and solved a burglary before it was even reported.
Award 5 – Robbery Arrest
Incident Date: 05/08/2022
Merit: Officers Schuyler N. Glotfelty, Austin L. Snyder, Brian M. Stright=
Distinguished Unit Citation:
Kristina M. Kelley Chad R. Showers Anthony Cummings
Sethton A. Wiest Caleb J. Tanner Brendan J. Kovach
Stephen A. Marte Cpl. Brandon D Braughler
*Summary of Incident: On May 8th, 2022 Officer Glotfelty was flagged down by two robbery victims in the area of N 7th St and Maclay St. The victims indicated that the suspect was wearing a uniform and displayed a firearm, and fled the area in a white Dodge Durango. One of the victims had 700 to 800 dollars stolen and the other victim was placed in the suspect’s vehicle after being told he was under arrest by the suspect. Officers from 1st platoon diligently started searching the surrounding areas for the suspect. Officer Snyder located the suspect’s vehicle several blocks away in the Uptown Plaza McDonalds Parking Lot. The suspect was standing next to the vehicle wearing a uniform and external body armor that displayed the patch “Fugitive Recovery Agent”. The suspect was detained at gunpoint by Officers Snyder and Stright. The suspect was in possession of a badge, loaded magazines for a firearm, pepper spray, handcuffs, and a replica handgun. The victims were able to positively identify the suspect and the stolen money was returned. The suspect was charged with robbery, impersonating a public servant, and numerous other charges. All officers involved played intracule parts to assure that an accurate and complete investigation.
Award 6- Shooting at Nightclub
Incident Date: September 25, 2022
Distinguished Unit Citation:
Cpl. Brandon D. Braughler Marc S. Howell Evan D. McKenna Brian M. Stright
Cpl.Christopher M. Auletta Edgar C. Taylor Austin L. Snyder Cody E. Geier
Chad R. Showers Brandon J. Hoover Brendan J Kovach Schuyler N. Glotfelty
Haden W. Landis Stephen A. Marte
Summary of Incident: On September 25, 2022 1st Platoon Officers responded to a reported shooting in which four people had been struck. All 14 officers who responded worked together to contain a chaotic scene and confront large crowds of people fleeing the area. Officers exercised sound judgement and confidently moved through the crowd while looking for victims and immediate threats. Officers detained numerous people who appeared to be involved in the shooting and made one arrest for one individual who was interfering with the investigation. 1st Platoon officers performed at an exceptional level to secure the scene and gather possible witnesses and suspects. They were also able secure six firearms at the scene which any one of them could have been used in the shooting. The case was forwarded to Detectives where several arrests were eventually made.
Award 7 – Child Homicide
Incident Date: 9/27/2022
Distinguished Unit Citation Robert M. Fleagle Sgt. Raymond R. Lyda Stephanie Barrelet John A. Doll
Det. Ian L. Dawson Sgt. Robert J. Yost Cynthia A. Kreiser Inv. Karen A. Lyda Inv. Duane D. Pyles
Mark A. Kingsboro Jeremy Sborz Ryan. K. Fetzer Chad McGowan Jeffrey Teeter Det. Andrew Bath
Det. John D. Rosinski
Summary of Incident: At about 1135 hours on Tuesday, 9/27/2022, Officers responded to Harrisburg Hospital for a report of a severely injured child. The 5-year-old child had been brought to the hospital by their grandmother, who attributed the injuries to “abuse in the home”. The child’s father soon arrived at the hospital as well. Despite extensive life saving measures, the child succumbed to their injuries. After learning of the child’s death, the father began making statements about not wanting to live anymore and saying that the Officers should just kill him. Additional Patrol Officers and Detectives joined in the investigation. A crime scene was located, secured and processed. It was later discovered that the child had suffered both physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the father. Through their investigative efforts, they were able to bring charges against the father and secure justice for the victim.
Award 8 – Citizen Intervention in Assault
Incident Date: 08/26/2022
Summary of Incident: On 08/26/2022 Harrisburg Police were dispatched to the 2400 block of Harris Terrace for a reported active assault. Brandon Bang, an off-duty HACC security officer, was leaving his residence to go to work when he observed two elderly people being assaulted and intervened. Mr. Bang was able to subdue the highly aggressive assailant, who was under the influence of a controlled substance, and place him in handcuffs prior to police arrival. Mr. Bang suffered a bite wound to his arm during the struggle. The victims had sustained serious bodily injury including bone fractures and bite marks. Thanks to Mr. Bang’s quick and heroic action, the victims were spared any additional injury.
Award 9 – Mental Health Crisis
Incident Date: October 24, 2022
Distinguished Unit Citation
Officers Jeffrey H. Teeter Jarrod M. Haar Caleb J. Tanner Marc E. Hall
Justin C. Shoeman Alexander K. Miller Haden W. Landis Cpl. Derek W. Fenton
Dauphin County Co-Responder Jorge Collazo-Gonzalez
Summary of Incident: On October 24, 2022 Officers of 3rd platoon responded to an incident where a male with mental health illness had locked himself in a bathroom and was inflicting self-injury with a sharp weapon. Co-responder Jorge Collazo communicated with the male for a while to try and get him to come out. The male continued to refuse to come out of the bathroom and it was suspected that he was still inflicting injury upon himself. Officers then formed a plan to extricate the male from the bathroom. The officers were able to make forced entry quickly and through the use of a Taser, a non-lethal device, officers were able to secure the male for his protection. The male was armed with a sharp object. No officers were injured and the male was not injured when officers used necessary force. The male was taken to the hospital for medical and mental health treatment.
Award 10 – Kidnapping of Children and Assault
Incident Date: 10/27/2022
Merit: Todd M. Arnold
Distinguished Unit Citation: Farida Kingsboro Christopher M. Novak Christopher M. Palamara Cpl. Christopher M. Auletta Schuyler N. Glotfelty Marc S. Howell Brian M. Stright Chad r. Showers Edgar C. Taylor Sgt. Scott T. Johnsen Stephen A. Marte Uriah A. Aviles Adam M. Sabo Lt. Kyle A. Gautsch Chad A. McGowan Leea Abdelmalek Robert M. Fleagle Det. Christopher M. Silvio Cynthia A. Kreiser Todd M. Arnold Nathan W. Ishman Harry E. Burger II Sgt. Robert J. Minnier Sgt. Raymon R. Lyda Kristina Kelly Det. Edwin Powell
*Summary of Incident: On 10/27/2022, Officers responded to a report of a woman having being pushed out of a vehicle in the area of 20th and Holly Sts. Investigation revealed that earlier in the morning, a man had kidnapped his estranged girlfriend and the two children they share, ages 4 & 5. He had broken into her apartment, where he attempted to strangle and smother one of the children. He then forced the victim and both kids into the victim’s vehicle. The suspect was reportedly armed with a knife and had made threats against his families’ lives. He then drove the victim and their children around, continuing to threaten them. The victim was eventually able to escape from the vehicle. The suspect fled the scene with the two small children still inside the vehicle. Multiple Law Enforcement resources were brought to bear in an attempt to locate the children. While conducting a thorough canvas of the area, Officer Arnold was able to locate the vehicle. Both children were still inside, sleeping in the back seat. The suspect had abandoned them before fleeing on foot. The coordinated response included efforts by both Patrol Officers and Detectives. The dedication and attention to detail shown by all involved, ensured the children were safely returned to their mother. Their actions reflect the highest standard of diligence and commitment to duty.
Award 11 – Arrest of Armed Suspect
Incident Date: 10/28/2022
Merit: Mark A. Kingsboro
*Summary of Incident: On 10/28/2022, Officer Mark Kingsboro was in the area of 14th and Market Sts, with other officers arresting a wanted individual. While there, Officer Kingsboro observed a male who was passing by, holding an object in his right jacket pocket. Based on the outline and manner in which it was carried, he believed this object to be a handgun. As soon as Officers could break from the scene of the initial incident, they attempted to make contact with the male. As they approached him, the suspect fled on foot. Officer Kingsboro joined the foot pursuit and was directly behind the suspect. While chasing the suspect, Officer Kingsboro was able to see the grip of the pistol the male was still clutching in his right hand as he fled. He attempted to subdue the suspect using his taser but his attempts were unsuccessful. Officer Kingsboro was able to catch up to the suspect, who now appeared to be pulling the gun out of his pocket. He was able to knock the suspect to the ground and physically detain him while grabbing and securing the gun. This Officer’s attention to detail, quick thinking and decisive action led to the recovery of an illegal firearm and various narcotics from the suspect, who had been previously convicted of violent felonies.
Award 12 – Vehicle Entrapment
Incident Date: November 10, 2022
Heroism: Officer Marc Howell II
*Summary of Incident: On November 10, 2022 1st platoon officers were dispatched to North Cameron St and Herr St for an accident with entrapment. Officer Marc Howell was the first on scene. He observed a damaged tractor trailer and BMW sedan fully engulfed in flames. Witnesses in the area advised Officer Howell that the driver was still in the BMW. Officer Howell quickly ran back to his patrol vehicle and retrieved his fire extinguisher. He ran back to the burning vehicle and emptied the entire extinguisher to put the fire out. The fire department arrived quickly and removed the driver using the jaws of life. EMS services had to perform emergency medical treatment on scene. The patient was treated at a local hospital for severe internal injuries and later recovered. Due to Officer Howell’s quick actions without regard for his personal safety, he was able to save the life of the driver.
Award 13 – Life Saving CPR
Incident Date: November 23, 2022
Life Saving Award: Jeffrey H. Teeter
Summary of Incident: On November 23, 2022 Officer Jeffrey Teeter responded to a residential home for a 911 call where a 3-day-old child was not breathing. Officer Teeter arrived before medial services and was brought to the child by family members. Officer Teeter recognized that the child was not breathing and appeared lifeless. He picked up the child, checked the airway, attempted to stimulate the child with a foot and chest rub. When there was no response Officer Teeter began CPR and continued to do so until the child started breathing, opened its eyes, and started crying. Officer Teeter then handed the child over to medical services who then transported the child to Harrisburg Hospital and was admitted to the NICU for observation. Due to Officer Teeter’s quick response and using his CPR training, he was able to save a life of a newborn child.
Award 14- Kidnapping and Auto Theft
Incident Date: December 10, 2022
Distinguished Unit Citation
Corporal A. Novchich Corporal Derek W. Fenton Officers Jenelle L. Keppley
James T. Bennett Justin C. Shoeman Caleb J. Tanner
Brandon M. Cossentino Haden W. Landis Corey M. Masse
Mitchell T. Gochenaur Joshua A. Criswell Jeffrey H. Teeter
Detective Jaemee I. Cobb Sgt Brian Henry
Summary of Incident: On December 10, 2022 officers from 3rd platoon responded to a 911 call at N6th St and Maclay St for a report of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was stolen while the owner was in the store with the owner’s three-month-old child in the back seat. The owner attempted to follow her vehicle with the assistance of another citizen. They drove several blocks following the vehicle but eventually lost sight of it. 3rd platoon officers immediately started searching for the stolen vehicle. Detective Cobb assisted with interviewing the victim and it was learned that the owner’s cell phone was still in the vehicle. Officers were able to track the phone in attempt to locate its position but could only obtain a general location. After a relentless two-hour search, patrol Officer Justin Shoeman located the vehicle parked in a small alley with the three-month-old child safe inside. The child had not been harmed and was returned to the mother. The group effort by the officers and detectives demonstrates their dedication to protecting and serving the community of Harrisburg.
Award 15 – Sunken Gardens Homicide
Incident Date: December 22, 2022
Distinguished Unit Citation:
Detectives Anthony O. Cummings Jason D. Brinker Ian L. Dawson
Ryan K. Fetzer Andrew M. Bath
Investigators: Karen A. Lyda Duane D. Pyles
*Summary of Incident: On December 22nd, 2022 the Harrisburg Police responded to the 1200 block of North Front St., in the area known as the Sunken Garden, for a report of a deceased female. Upon arrival officers located a partially clothed female that appeared to have been violently murdered in the Riverfront Park. An investigation, with very little evidence and no witnesses, was initiated.
Detectives began to canvass the area for any witnesses and possible video that may have captured any possible suspects. The Detectives found video of the victim with an unknown male in the area. Detectives expanded their search for video evidence and eventually found the suspect on video wearing bloody clothes. Detectives were able to locate the suspect in Pittsburgh and had the suspect brought back to Harrisburg. Detectives conducted an exceptional interview where the suspect ended up confessing to the murder. The Detectives and Investigators in this horrific crime had virtually no investigative leads and in very short timeframe, identified a suspect and obtained a confession.