62nd Precinct cops honored for top-notch police work

Two police officers were honored at the 62nd Precinct’s community council meeting on April 17 as Cops of the Month for not only solving a crime, but saving an overdose victim.

The afternoon of Monday, April 2, Police Officer Michael Lunetta and Police Officer Thomas Mercado received a call over the radio about a white male holding up a pharmacy at knifepoint, said Deputy Inspector James Rooney, commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct. The alleged perpetrator wasn’t demanding any money, but a large amount of prescription painkillers. Before leaving the store, he ingested 50 pills that the pharmacist gave him.

Lunetta and Mercado interviewed pharmacy employees and got a description of the individual. They also learned that, based on the amount of prescription pills he had ingested, he would be dead in an hour without any assistance.

With this knowledge, Lunetta and Mercado did a door-to-door search and found a bloody handprint on a fence in a West 12th Street backyard. They followed the blood trail to find the man hiding underneath a parked car clutching a bloody knife near his stomach – he had slit his own throat.

Doctors were able to save his life, and he was arrested after he recovered.

“Not only did they solve a crime, they saved a life,” Rooney said.

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