Four 76th Precinct cops receive high praise, awards

On Jan. 11, officers Damien Clarke and Jesse Zhong were on routine patrol when they heard a crash in the vicinity of 276 Van Brunt Street. The cops, according to Captain Kenneth Corey, the commanding officer of the 76th Precinct, expected to see a car accident — but instead saw a damaged roll down security gate.

Upon further inspection, the pair noticed two men inside, burglarizing a store. The pair was arrested, and a license plate check on the suspects’ car revealed that it has been associated “with other crimes in Red Hook,” Corey noted.

For their efforts, Clarke and Zhong were given Cop of the Month plaques, and high praise from their boss, who noted their “keen eye and dedication in searching out the cause of the noise.”

February yielded two separate Cops of the Month. The first, Joseph King, was on patrol on Feb. 7 when he saw a man “known to police” departing a yoga studio at 320 Court Street. “He had numerous prior arrests,” Corey told the council at its March 2 meeting.

A quick thinking King found it odd that a known recidivist happened to be practicing the downward dog pose, so he went to question the man — who apparently used his freshly limber body to make a quick escape.

“The guy runs eight blocks,” Corey said. But King kept up, catching up with the man, and arresting him.

“The guy told him that he went into [the studio] to look at jackets and bags that people leave behind when they do yoga,” Corey said, praising King’s “keen observation and physical fitness —for his ability to apprehend this guy.”

On Feb. 15 Keith Dsouza was on patrol when he received word of three males displaying a gun and robbing a 43-year-old man at the corner of Coffey and Conover streets, snatching his bicycle.

Corey said Dsouza noticed a male — blithely riding a bicycle — fitting the description that came over the radio, but wearing different clothes. Still, Dsouza stopped the suspect, a 14-year-old,who quickly admitted to this robbery— and two others committed the day before.

“He effectively ended the robbery spree we had in Red Hook,” Corey said.

–Gary Buiso

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