WARWICK, RI — Warwick Police promoted eight officers Tuesday night at City Hall and presented the lifesaving award to six, including two good samaritans who helped save the life of a Warwick Rite Aid employee stabbed in a random attack, the police who responded to the call, and an officer who saved a motorist from a drug overdose.
Mayor Scott Avedisian, Col. Stephen M. McCartney and the Board of Public Safety presided over the police promotional ceremony.
Maj. Christopher Stewart described the actions of Officer Manuel Pacheco, honored for professionalism displayed Wednesday, March 8, at about 4:35 p.m. Pacheco had been called for a crash on Palmer Avenue, finding a driver involved in the crash slumped over the steering wheel, was not breathing, and had no pulse. Pacheco noted the man’s skin was blue and bore marks indicating he was an intravenous drug user as he removed the driver form the vehicle and administered CPR. While doing so, he directed a fellow officer to retrieve his Narcan kit to administer the overdose drug to the driver, reviving him as Pacheco continued CPR.
“Officer Pacheco’s courage, determination and professionalism are in keeping with the long-standing tradition of the Warwick Police Department,” Stewart said.
The Warwick Police Department also noted the actions of Officer Jill Marshall and Sgt. Margaret McKay, who responded to the March 5 stabbing of Rite Aid clerk Alyssa Garcia, 18, by Jacob Gallant, 41, of Westport, MA.
“Officer Marshal arrived on the scene and encountered a female employee (Garcia) writhing on the floor, bleeding. Nearby, a male store patron was restraining the attacker,” Stewart said. After ensuring Gallant was restrained, Marshal began treating Garcia’s wounds.
Sgt. McKay directed the other responding officers to restore order to the scene, and take the attacker into police custody. McKay then aided Marshal in treating Garcia, applying pressure to her wounds.
“Acting without regard to their own safety, Officer Marshal and Sgt. McKay’s application of medical aid helped to save the victim’s life,” Stewart said.
Warwick Police also honored the two men who intervened and restrained Gallant that night, preventing further injury to Garcia. Connor Devine, 19 of Warwick one of Garcia’s fellow employees, and Stanley Bastien, 51, of Warwick, restrained Gallant until the Warwick officers arrived and arrested him.
Devine was not present at the ceremony, but Bastien was asked to stand before the crowd as Stewart detailed his and Devine’s actions that night.
“Witnessing the attack begin, another employee, Connor Devine, stepped in, and fought with everything he had,” Stewart said, including a shopping cart, to knock Gallant off of Garcia and stop the attack.
Bastien saw what was happening, “And ran to the aid of Mr. Devine. He was able to overtake the armed suspect, bringing him to the ground, and restraining him there until police brought the attacker into custody.”
The store pharmacist helped restore order to the situation, Stewart said, helping to alert fire and police personnel to the situation, then retrieved medical supplies to help provide aid to Garcia.
“The heroic and selfless actions of these men,” Stewart said, “are to be commended and shown as an example of what we should all aspire to during a crisis.”
Also during the ceremony:
Bradford E. Connor was promoted to Major.
Ryan T. Sornberger and Lori A. Michailides were promoted to Captain.
Michael G. Lima, Timothy J. Marshall, James P. Valkoun were promoted to Lieutenant.
Randy J. Francis and Stephen J. Major were promoted to Sergeant.
Detective Christopher R. Lo was recognized for elevation.
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