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21 cops, firemen honored

Medalists’ line of duty bravery cited

(Published April 10, 2000)

Fourteen members of the Metropolitan Police Department and seven members of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department recently received honors for courageous service at the annual Mayor’s Meritorious Service Awards luncheon.

Police Officer Andre Suber and Fire Sgt. Joseph Morgan received the highest honor, the gold medal, for their acts of bravery. Two firefighters who died in the same Cherry Road NE fire last May 30 in which Morgan was critically burned – Anthony S. Phillips Sr. and Louis J. Matthews – were honored posthumously with gold medals as well.

Suber, who is assigned to the First District, captured two suspects allegedly fleeing the scene of a shooting last May 31, despite being fired upon more than 30 times as he pursued their vehicle in the Third Street tunnel. The suspects’ vehicle eventually went out of control and crashed.

Edward L. Morgan was the only emergency medical technician honored this year. Morgan received a silver medal for running into a burning two-story apartment building, extinguishing a man on fire and dragging him out of the building to safety.

Silver medals also were awarded to Capt. Robert P. Mullikin and Firefighters William D. Caudle and John W. Windsor Jr., who rescued several people from a Rhode Island Avenue NW fire last year.

Police Officer Carlos Amaya of the Fourth District, Officers James Penland and John Holloway of the First District and Reserve Officer Kurt Hoffman of the First District received silver medals for teaming up to arrest several suspects in a drive-by shooting last May 8 at M Street and First Place NW. They also recovered a handgun, ammunition and cash.

Detective Steven Dekelbaum and Master Patrol Officer Dennis Fitzgerald of the Fifth District also received silver medals. Dekelbaum was honored for his careful analysis of crime data and extensive follow-up with victims, which solved a series of armed robberies in Northeast Washington. Fitzgerald battled intense smoke from a Bladensburg Road NE apartment fire last April 28 to successfully evacuate many senior citizens and disabled persons from the building.

Officer Malcolm Gaines of the Sixth District received a silver medal for his foot pursuit and arrest of an armed offender whom he witnessed shoot the driver of a vehicle in the 4700 block of Alabama Avenue SE last Aug. 29. Gaines also radioed for medical assistance for the victim and recovered the assailant’s weapon.

Officers Carlos Mejia, Daniel Robinson, James Eckert and Ronald Wilkins of the Seventh District were awarded silver medals for their teamwork last Oct. 25 in rescuing a kidnapping victim and arresting two armed suspects who allegedly beat and shot the victim, then forced their way into a home in the 600 block of Yuma Street SE.

Officers Dane Snapko and Dennis Hance of the Special Operations Division’s Harbor Patrol received silver medals for their attempt to save the life of a man by diving into the Washington Channel near the Case Bridge last Sept. 11. The officers rescued the man from the water within minutes, but he later died from his injuries.

The awards have been presented by the D.C. Chamber of Commerce for the past seven years to show what the chamber characterizes as the business community’s "appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives every day to safeguard the people and property of our nation’s capital."

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator