2nd District Officers Intervene to Avert Tragedy

Officers from the 2nd District of the Montgomery County Department of Police were dispatched around 10:45 pm last night to a group home located in the 6300 block of Greentree Road in Bethesda for the report of a missing person.

Officers were notified that an adult male had been missing from the group home since 9:00 pm.  Staff at the group home were actively searching for the missing man when they finally located him on the Union Arch Bridge located at 7934 MacArthur Boulevard.

Responding Officer Marcella West and Officer Samuel Yun arrived at the Union Arch Bridge to discover the man had climbed the safety fence on the bridge and was getting ready to jump off the bridge and into traffic below.  Officer West was able to grab the man and hold onto him, preventing him from jumping while Officer Yun climbed the safety fence and was able to secure the man from the other side.  Additional officers arrived to assist and the man was eventually pulled to safety.  The man was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation.

If it were not for the officers’ quick thinking and disregard for their own safety, a tragedy would have occurred and a life would have most certainly been lost.

Commander Gagen of the 2nd District stated, “The quick and courageous actions taken by these officers helped save a life and avoid a tragedy from occurring.  Their heroic efforts showed their dedication to public safety and it is a testament to who they are as Montgomery County Police Officers.  I am truly thankful that the young man will be able to get the help that he needs and I couldn’t be more proud of our officers’ actions.”



Police Officer Suffers Medical Emergency in Wheaton

Today, officers from Montgomery County Department of Police – 4th District responded to the Westfield Wheaton Mall for the report of a theft in progress.

While on the scene investigating the incident, one of the responding officers suffered a medical emergency and collapsed.  Other officers on the scene immediately began administering first-aid to the downed officer.

Personnel from the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Services responded to the scene and provided care and transported the officer to the Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.  The officer remains in critical but stable condition.

Acting Chief Russell Hamill commended the efforts of the officers on the scene to come to the aid of another officer in distress.  Additionally, he thanked the MCFRS personnel who came to the aid of the officer and provided exemplary service to a fellow public safety professional.  Hamill went on to thank the community for the outpouring of support witnessed during this time of concern.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.



Fifth District Officers Take Suspect into Custody During Fire in Clarksburg Townhouse

On Thursday, October 11 at approximately 5:33 p.m., 5th District officers were dispatched to a three-story townhouse in the 22000 block of Fair Garden Lane in Clarksburg for the report of a violent male suspect “destroying” the house.

Just as the caller to 9-1-1 was hanging up, the Emergency Communications Center call-taker could hear a smoke alarm going off in the background, but couldn’t confirm details of a fire, other than it was originating in the kitchen. Fire and Rescue personnel were also dispatched to the residence.

Upon arrival, the complainant who was outside the residence, confirmed that her boyfriend was still inside and had likely been drinking before becoming destructive and starting a fire in the kitchen of the residence.

Firefighters and one 5th District officer made entry into the first floor and were in the process of advancing the hose line to the first-floor kitchen when they encountered the suspect. He refused to leave and began throwing pots and hot/burnt debris at the firefighters and officer.

The stove was on fire with the fire extending to surrounding cabinets. Firefighters were able to begin extinguishing the fire before retreating from the residence. (By protocol, in any incidents in which there is violence, weapons involvement, barricade etc., MCFRS will wait for police to secure the scene. They make every effort to attempt to create a safe environment for those in close proximity to the fire.)

Officers entered the house a second time, which was still thick with smoke, and continued to be struck by objects thrown at them by the suspect, as they attempted to try to get the him to leave the house. Officers had to back off from their attempts, and began evacuating the adjoining townhouses.

The officers developed a plan that involved the use of protective shields and the possible use of a Taser when approaching the man a third time. The plan succeeded in protecting the officers from the thrown debris and the Taser was effectively deployed, preventing the male and officers from additional injury.

The suspect violently resisted officers’ attempts to handcuff him and remove him from the home as the fire grew more intense. One of the officers used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire on the stove, with flames then reaching three feet. The front and rear doors were opened to help dissipate the pervasive smoke. After the suspect was in handcuffs, firefighters assisted the officers in removing the suspect from the home, and then fully extinguished the fire.

The suspect, a 48-year-old resident of the house, was transported with non-life-threatening injuries, to include smoke inhalation, by Fire and Rescue personnel to an area hospital for emergency evaluation.

Ten officers who responded to the incident were transported to Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown for treatment of smoke inhalation and later released. The department thanks all the emergency room staff who provided excellent services to the officers.

Fire Marshals are conducting an investigation. Their investigation has determined the fire cause was incendiary (Arson), with fire damage about $2,000 total to structure and contents.

Charges are currently pending from both police and the fire marshals. The suspect’s name cannot be released until he has been charged.

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44th Annual Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards






Today, March 16, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce recognized local public safety personnel for their acts of bravery and heroism at the 44th Annual Public Safety Awards luncheon.

Congratulations to the following Montgomery County police officers who were honored today:

Chief Bernard D. Crook, Jr. Community Service Award:      

Officer Melissa Coligan

Unit Citations:

Lyon Sisters Disappearance Investigation:                                                            

132 MCPD investigators (some retired and some posthumous awardees) who worked on this case from its inception in 1975 through its resolution in 2017.  Accepting the citation were:

Assistant Chief Russell Hamill

Captain Darren Francke

Captain Sean Gagen

Sergeant Richard Armagost

Sergeant Christopher Homrock

Detective Mark Janney

Detective David Davis

Detective Kathryn Leggett

Detective Frank Colbert

Westfield Wheaton Garage Rescue:                                                                    

Corporal Athanasios Bakalis

Officer Alan Yuill

Officer Michael Giacalone

Officer Kevin Correa

Honorable Mention Valor Awards:

Fourth Floor Bethesda Parking Lot Suicide :                                                                                                     

Officer Vincent Chan

Officer Alex Lanham

Rooftop Arrest :

Sergeant Brian Parker

Officer Sean Brennan                                                                                              

Officer Katelyn Stevens

Officer Eric Houston

Officer James Mirra                                                                                    

Michaels Store Response :                                                                                                          

Officer Charles Ricucci

Officer Gregory Walker

Westfield Wheaton Garage Rescue :                                                                     

Officer Andres Ramirez

Bronze Award:                                                                                                                                                                                     

Rooftop Arrest:                                                                                                         

Officer Brian Nesbitt                                                                                                                                                   For more information on the event and award recipients, see the Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards page: MCCCPublicSafetyAwards. See event photos.

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Officers Locate and Rescue Man from Submerged Vehicle

Last night at approximately 8:40 p.m., 4th District officers responded to a residence in the 700 block of Brandon Green Drive in Silver Spring for the report of a missing 72-year-old man.

4th District officers, led by Sergeant Michael Chuckeral, spoke with the missing man’s wife, who stated that her husband, Shing Wong, had not returned from a medical appointment in Wheaton that morning.  Officers learned that Mr. Wong was driving a 1997 Honda Accord.  He had a cellular phone but was not answering.  Mr. Wong also had medical issues which were of concern.  At that time, a Silver Alert was issued.

Officers from the Electronic and Technical Surveillance Unit (ETSU) began to track Mr. Wong’s cellular phone signal.  At 10:00 p.m., Mr. Wong’s phone was showing in the general area of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Harford County.

At approximately 11:00 p.m., Mr. Wong’s wife made contact with her husband on his phone.  Mr. Wong told her that he did not know where he was but that he was in water, his car battery had died, and he was unable to get out of his vehicle.  4th District officers, cognizant of the unknown power level of Mr. Wong’s cell phone battery, asked Mr. Wong direct and pointed questions about his surroundings.  Mr. Wong was able to note that he was near or under a wooden bridge and that the water was up to his waist.

After learning this information, officers focused the search on the Gunpowder River in the area of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.  As officers talked with Mr. Wong to gather additional information about his possible whereabouts, other officers continued to attempt to trace his cell phone location.  The Department also requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police helicopter in performing an aerial search of the area.  The United States Coast Guard and the Aberdeen Proving Ground Police and Fire&Rescue personnel also were contacted and lent their assistance with the search.  Montgomery County Police Search Coordinator, Jason Huggins, also responded to the area.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., Mr. Wong answered a phone call from his wife but did not talk.

Around this time, officers received another signal from Mr. Wong’s phone which indicated that the phone was in the area 3.5 miles north of the original signal and was in the area of the Bush River.  As Montgomery County Police Officer Jason Huggins (Search Coordinator) and Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to that area, Montgomery County Police Search Coordinator, Officer John Greene, remotely analyzed geographic, hydrographic, and satellite data to determine possible search areas.  Those areas were provided to Officer Jason Huggins (see third photo below) who was now in the area of the Bush River.

Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies Tatum and Walsh and Montgomery County Police Officer Jason Huggins located Mr. Wong sitting in his vehicle in a creek (at the dead end of Perry Drive) that flows into the Bush River.  The water level was even with the driver’s side window. Mr. Wong was cold, disoriented, and stated that he could not move.  Officer Huggins was able to remove Mr. Wong from his vehicle and carry him to Emergency Medical Services from Harford County.  Mr. Wong was transported to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia; his condition improved at the hospital.  The temperature of the water was approximately 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Department would like to thank the Maryland State Police, the United States Coast Guard, the Aberdeen Proving Ground Police and Fire&Rescue personnel, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in locating Mr. Wong.



Mr. Wong's Vehicle

Mr. Wong’s Vehicle

Mr. Wong's Vehicle

Mr. Wong’s Vehicle

High probability of Mr. Wong’s location based on cellular phone data and subsequently, area where Mr. Wong was rescued.