Four 68th Precinct officers that responded to a gruesome home invasion on Ovington Avenue last month were awarded Community Medals of Valor on Friday, February 3 as the group’s swift action is said to have helped save the life of the 70-year-old woman who lived there.
On Friday, January 20, 68th Precinct officers responded to the scene, 359 Ovington Avenue, after a call was made to 911 by the victim’s neighbor, who lives in the apartment underneath, at around 10:15 p.m. that evening.
The responding cops — NYPD Sergeant Nicholas Danna along with Police Officers Sanad Musallam, Michael Pascale and Christian Aleman — went up to the apartment, where they also heard the victim screaming for help, and knocked on the door. When no one answered, they kicked it in and saw the victim on the floor, with her face, arms and torso bloody and her apparent assailant “still on top of her,” a police source told this paper shortly after the incident.
The woman’s assailant had smashed a vase on her head, the source said, adding that the apartment was littered with glass from a broken mirror and that the alleged perpetrator was seen by the officers “cutting her up on the throat and arms” with a piece of glass.
The officers on the scene then “tried to place [42-year-old Queens resident Luis Hernandez] under arrest, but he resisted and they ended up tasering him.” Once he was in handcuffs, the source continued, the officers attended to the victim who was bleeding heavily from the neck, putting gauze on her neck to stop the bleeding, before she was transferred to NYU Lutheran Medical Center, where she received 30 stitches.
The doctors and nurses at the medical center, the police source added, said that the timely call from the victim’s neighbor and the officers’ actions likely saved her life.
The group was awarded the medals at the precinct, located at 333 65th Street, by Councilmember Vincent Gentile for thinking on their feet.
“When these four brave officers got to the scene, they forced themselves into the apartment, where they found the attacker still on top of the victim,” said Gentile. “They saved a woman’s life while facing the unknown. She is in good spirits and recovering well. Their dedication to the people of Bay Ridge has not gone unnoticed and I was proud to present them with these Community Medals of Valor.”
Additional reporting contributed by Helen Klein