On Friday, April 20, 2018, Officers Wong and Henriquez responded to the area of 106 Walford Way for an emotionally disturbed person armed with a knife. The officers responded to past incidents at the location where they had to use reasonable force during an incident where the emotionally disturbed person had been stabbing himself. The officers conferred with the family who confirmed that the male subject was off of his prescribed medication acting strange and armed with a knife again. He was locked inside the apartment and could be heard barricading the door. Sergeant Mazzola and Sergeant Toner responded. Officer Henriquez attempted to begin a dialogue with the suspect in Spanish, while the male subject could be heard shouting and breaking things inside the apartment. The officers were able to unlock the door with a key provided by the family. BPD Units were set up tactically in the hallway. Sergeant Mazzola was able to partly open the door and observed the male subject with a lighter in his hand, the stove ajar from the wall, while hearing and smelling gas coming from the broken stove gas line. Officers were advised that the deployment of the electrical charged Taser could have a negative outcome. These officers began evacuating the building with EMS and requested BFD to the scene. Sergeant Toner arrived on scene with the less lethal shotgun at which time they determined that a quick resolution to the matter was necessary due to all the issues they were dealing with, in order to save the male subject. Sergeant Mazzola forced open the door enough for Sergeant Toner to deploy one beanbag from the less lethal device. The bean bag struck the male subject in the side rib area that caused him to drop the lighter and fall to the floor. These officers quickly moved in and apprehended the male subject. Emergency Medical Services transported the male subject to Mass General Hospital for evaluation and from there he was transported to Bridgewater State Hospital by Judicial Order.
The combined actions of Sergeant Mazzola, Sergeant Toner, and Officers Wong and Henriquez saved this individual’s life and likely averted a tragedy.
For their brave efforts they are each awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation.