On October 19, 2017, multiple 911 calls were received for a robbery in progress at Shawmut Avenue and Washington Street. Callers stated that a woman had been robbed, and a witness was following the suspect who was carrying a knife.
While performing a detail with several other officers, Captain Detective James Hasson observed the witness yelling that a woman’s purse had been stolen, and he pointed toward the suspect. The captain observed the suspect holding a large knife in his hand, later identified as a M6 Bayonet. Observing an immediate deadly threat, Captain Hasson told the suspect to stop and drop the knife. Captain Hasson continued to give lawful demands directing him to drop the knife, however, the suspect ignored all commands and approached the officers within several feet. Captain Hasson drew his department issued firearm, pointed it at the suspect, and again ordered the suspect to drop the knife. The suspect then opened the front passenger door of a nearby Cadillac Escalade parked at the curb and occupied by a young woman. The woman hastily exited the vehicle and fell to the ground. As the suspect attempted to flee, Captain Hasson and Captain Philip Terenzi approached the passenger side door and additional officers, Lieutenant William Meade and Sergeant Michael Hanson, approached the driver’s door with weapons drawn. Sergeant Hanson prevented the suspect from closing the driver’s door, and both Lieutenant Meade and Sergeant Hanson verbally commanded the suspect to drop the weapon. Captain Terenzi discharged his department issued OC spray through the open passenger door. Simultaneously, the suspect threw the knife out the open passenger door towards Captain Hasson and continued to try to place the vehicle in motion.
Although sprayed multiple times, the suspect continued to resist the officers’ attempts to remove him from the vehicle. Captains Hasson and Terenzi then went around to the driver’s side of the vehicle, and together, while the suspect continued to resist violently, the four officers were able to remove him from the vehicle and take him into custody.
Demonstrating extreme courage and poise in the face of a completely unexpected armed confrontation, the officers reacted in a tactful and restrained manner. Despite being met with a threat that was clearly within the bounds of justifying the use of deadly force, the officers refrained from discharging their firearms.
For their efforts, they are each awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation.