43rd Annual Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards

Today, March 31, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce recognized local public safety personnel for their acts of bravery and heroism at the 43rd Annual Public Safety Awards luncheon.

Congratulations to the following Montgomery County police officers who were honored today for their responses to the following incidents:

  • Northampton Drive Repeat Offender
    • Officer Yves Didier N’Kodia, Honorable Mention
  • Domestic Violence in Germantown
    • Sergeant Manuel Saponara, Honorable Mention
    • Officer Brian Holloway, Honorable Mention
  • Suicide Attempt in Germantown
    • Officer Dale Steffen, Honorable Mention
  • Deadly Shootings at Westfield Montgomery and Aspen Hill shopping centers
    • Officer David Kocevar, Bronze Award
    • Sergeant Brady Clouser, Bronze Award
    • Corporal Jeffrey Rachael, Bronze Award
    • Detective Donnie Oaks, Bronze Award
    • Detective Kenneth Halter, Bronze Award
    • Detective Roger St. Louis, Bronze Award
    • Detective Thomas Tippett, Bronze Award
    • Detective Richard Volpe, Bronze Award
    • Detective Charles Bullock, Bronze Award
    • Detective Dominic Dinisio, Bronze Award
  • Flower Branch Apartments Explosion/Fire
    • Officer Jeffrey Hughes, Silver Award
    • Unit Awards to:
    • Sergeant Troy Brenner
    • Corporal Jason Halko
    • Officer Jarrett King
    • Officer Daniel Fitzpatrick
    • Officer Maxie Weisz
    • Sergeant Douglas Carr
    • Officer Christopher Soriano
    • Officer Christopher Kemble
    • Officer Patrick Keep
    • Officer Heather Haynes
    • Officer Kevin Crowley
    • Sergeant Paul Bandholz
    • Officer Steven Goldberg
    • Officer Brandi Barber
    • Officer Michael Wengloski
    • Officer Michael Damskey
    • Officer Michael Herda
    • Officer Gregory Pagonis
    • Officer Cody Fields
    • Officer Keven Argueta
    • Officer Nathan Bush
    • Officer Jacob Zaika
    • Officer Joshua Swecker

The Montgomery County Police Department is publicly releasing for the first time, body-camera video from the emergency response to the overnight August 10 into August 11 Flower Branch Apartments explosion/fire:

VIDEO: Emergency Response to 2016 Silver Spring Explosion/Fire Including Body-Camera Footage (Edited):






VIDEO: Emergency Response to 2016 Silver Spring Explosion/Fire Including Body-Camera Footage (Full Version):







Please see the 43rd Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards program for more detailed information regarding the awards and award recipients.

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MCP Officer Struck By Vehicle On Interstate 270

Today, March 30, just after midnight,  Montgomery County Police – Sixth District officer Robert Sagona was traveling north on Interstate 270 (I-270) in the area of Montgomery Village Avenue (Maryland Route 124 – Exit 11) in his marked cruiser when he observed a black, Chevrolet Impala driving erratically in front of him at a high rate of speed.  A registration check of the vehicle’s tag indicated that the tag was not registered to that vehicle.  When Officer Sagona attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle, the driver failed to stop and continued to drive north on Interstate 270.  A pursuit of the vehicle was initiated.

Officers from the 5th District were alerted to the pursuit and deployed Stop Sticks on the northbound lanes of the roadway; the suspect vehicle’s tires were deflated and the vehicle was rendered inoperable.  The two occupants of the vehicle then fled from the vehicle on Interstate 270 just south of the exit for Clarksburg Road (Maryland Route 121 – Exit 16).

Officers from the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police Department-Montgomery County Division, and troopers from the Maryland State Police (MSP) assisted in the search for the suspects.  A MSP helicopter was also called to assist.  The suspects were not located.

During the search for the two suspects, Officer Sagona had walked from the northbound lanes of I-270 to the southbound lanes.  When the search was suspended at approximately 1:20 a.m., Officer Sagona began to return to his vehicle, which was parked on the northbound portion of I-270.  A Maryland State Trooper had positioned his marked vehicle to block the far right, southbound lane.  The driver of a 2011 Subaru Forrester, who was traveling south, moved from the right lane to avoid the MSP cruiser and struck Officer Sagona who was in the middle lane.

The driver of the Forrester is identified as Hunter Lee White, age 19, of Germantown.

Officer Sagona was airlifted to a hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries by the MSP helicopter that had come to assist in the search for the suspects.

The collision investigation is being conducted by the Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) and the  vehicle investigation is being conducted by the Central Auto Theft Section (CATS).

Officer Sagona, a Sixth District patrol officer, remains hospitalized in stable condition.  He has been on the Police Department for approximately four years.




Fifth Suspect Arrested for 2016 Gaithersburg Park Homicide

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department-Major Crimes Division have arrested a fifth suspect for the homicide of 18-year-old Cristian Antonio Villagran-Morales that occurred in the Malcolm King Park located at 1200 West Side Drive in Gaithersburg and that was discovered on June 17, 2016.

Jose Coreas Ventura, also known as Josue Corea, age 20, was arrested as a fugitive from justice on Tuesday, March 28, in Bedford County, Virginia.  Coreas Ventura has been charged with first-degree murder via a Montgomery County warrant.  Coreas Ventura is currently in the custody of the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority awaiting extradition to Montgomery County.  Four suspects had previously been arrested and charged with first-degree murder for the homicide of Villagran-Morales.

The four suspects previously arrested:

  • Juan Gutierrez-Vasquez, age 16, of Queen Victoria Court in Gaithersburg (charged as an adult) – arrested on July 1, 2016
  • Vanesa Alvarado, age 19, of Lakeworth Drive in Gaithersburg – arrested on July 1, 2016
  • Oscar Ernesto Delgado-Perez, of an unconfirmed address – arrested on September 7, 2016
  • Josue Fermin Caudra-Quintanilla, age 18, of Hyattsville, – arrested on February 3, 2017

Detectives consider this homicide to be gang-related; All five suspects are believed to be associated with the criminal gang MS-13, and Alvarado and Gutierrez-Vasquez, upon their arrest, stated to detectives that they believed the victim to be a member of a rival gang.

This homicide investigation is ongoing and therefore additional information will not be released at this time.















Previous Press Releases:

Police Investigate Homicide, Body Located in Gaithersburg Park

Advisory – Press Conference Today: Two Suspects Arrested for Gaithersburg Park Homicide; Two Additional Suspects Wanted

Two Suspects Arrested for Gaithersburg Park Homicide; Two Additional Suspects Wanted

Update: Third Suspect Arrested for Gaithersburg Park Homicide; Fourth Suspect Wanted

A Fourth Suspect Arrested for Gaithersburg Park Homicide; One Additional Suspect Wanted

Concern For Missing Rockville Man

Update: April 7, 2017 – Daniel Garrett Zancan has been located safe and unharmed.  The police and family thank the public and media for sharing this missing person case.

Detectives from the 4th District Investigative Section are asking the public for assistance in locating a missing Rockville man.

Daniel Garrett Zancan, 33 years old, last had contact with family members on Sunday, March 27.  He is described as a white male, 5′ 8″ tall, and weighing 160 pounds.  He has short brown hair, brown eyes, and a tattoo on the rear of his right shoulder.

Daniel Zancan is believed to be operating a dark green, 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV with Maryland tags, 2AR2968

Police and family concerned for his physical and emotional welfare.  Detectives are urging anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Daniel Zancan to immediately contact the 4th District Station at 240.773.5500.


Update: Identities Confirmed/Additional Details Released in Officer Involved Shooting

Detectives from the Major Crimes Division continue to investigate the officer involved shooting that occurred in Montgomery Village, Monday evening.  Today they are confirming additional details related to this event.

At approximately 10:55 p.m., Officer Matthew McGowan arrived at 10022 Stedwick Road for the report of a bike theft that had occurred earlier.  He spoke with the complainant, Richard Alexander Tilley, 28 years old, at the scene.  Over the next 17 minutes, Officer McGowan investigated the theft and obtained information to write a theft report.

A departmental body camera, worn by Officer McGowan shows that as he was in the process of providing Tilley the report number, Tilley suddenly and without provocation produced a knife and lunged at the officer with the knife.  Officer McGowan initially began to defend himself from the attack and fell to the ground.  Tilley continued to assault the officer and Officer McGowan drew his sidearm, shooting multiple rounds and striking Tilley.  Officer McGowan immediately called for assistance stating that shots had been fired and that Fire and Rescue personnel were needed.

Responding officers provided first-aid to Tilley and assisted Officer McGowan.

Tilley was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officer McGowan, a five year veteran, was placed on paid Administrative Leave while the investigation moves forward.

Detectives from the Major Crimes Division continue to investigate the incident.  Anyone with information regarding this shooting is asked to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240.773.5070.