Heroic NYPD officer Susan Porcello won’t be an “America’s Most Wanted” all-star after all — but she doesn’t care anyway.
“It’s all well and good,” said Porcello, who got on the radar screen of the popular TV crime show after she befriended an ailing World War II veteran and then paid for his funeral out of her own pocket.
“I’d do what I did again in a heartbeat,” she said.
What she did was truly above and beyond the call of duty.
Last July, Porcello was dispatched to Gasper Musso’s Marine Avenue home after a 911 call reported him ill from an overdose of his medication.
Paramedics arrived and began treatment on the diabetic Musso, but Porcello focussed on the man’s emotional wounds.
Learning that he had no family or friends, Porcello stood by her new “grandpa,” visiting him regularly and helping him connect to other area seniors. Later, Porcello helped get him an apartment in a senior-citizen facility.
Most important, she was right there when the 84-year-old died in November, ensuring that his final wish of being buried next to his mother was honored.
She used her own money to pay for a funeral at St. Patrick’s Church befitting a World War II vet — who fought in the Marianas Islands in 1944.
“No way was I going to let this brave old Marine … get buried in Potter’s Field,” she told the Daily News last year.
Porcello arranged for a Marine Corps color guard, and even paid for a wake at McLaughlin’s on Third Avenue.
“She went above and beyond,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, her commanding officer at the 68th Precinct. “We’re always saying that the community is an extension of our family and she proved it. “For her to take this step not only gave an area resident the respect and dignity he deserved, but gave a lot of the veterans hope that they’re not being forgotten.”
Maybe in Bay Ridge, but not with voters nationwide, who ended up making Porcello third to the eventual winner, Det. William Weigt of Peria, Ariz. Weigt’s story differs from Porcello’s in that he was paralyzed from the chest down after a drug-related shooting in 2005, according to the “America’s Most Wanted” Web site.
©2009 Community News Group
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