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.





















Officers Rescue Unconscious Man from Burning Vehicle – Receive Medal of Valor

Montgomery County Police Officers Cody Fields and Brian Nesbitt have been awarded the Montgomery County Police Department – Medal of Valor, the highest award given by the Department, for their heroism and bravery while rescuing an unconscious individual from a burning vehicle.  The rescue was captured on Officer Field’s in-car camera and the video is being released to the public for the first time.

Tomorrow, the officers are being recognized for their life-saving efforts at the 42nd Annual Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce – Public Safety Awards and are receiving the Gold Award*.

On September 1, 2015, at approximately 12:19 a.m., officers were dispatched to a collision on the outerloop of Interstate 495 between Georgia Avenue and Connecticut Avenue. As officers were responding, the 9-1-1 dispatcher informed officers that witnesses were reporting that the vehicle was smoking and that the driver was still inside.

Officer Cody Fields arrived at the scene of the collision within three minutes and observed the vehicle on the left shoulder of Interstate 495; the driver’s side of the vehicle was against the Jersey wall.  The engine compartment was on fire and the car was quickly filling with smoke. Officer Fields rushed to the passenger side of the vehicle and observed that the driver was still in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and was unconscious.

Checking the passenger side door and window and determining they were locked, Officer Fields used his ASP baton to break the front, passenger window; the area outside of the vehicle filled with a great deal of smoke.  Officer Fields was then able to reach in the car and unlock the door.  Officer Brian Nesbitt, who had just arrived, rushed to assist Officer Fields.

Officer Fields reached in from the front, passenger side of the vehicle while Officer Nesbitt entered the rear, passenger side of the car.  Working together, both officers were able to remove the operator from the vehicle.  The fire began to spread from the engine to the passenger compartment.

Immediately, Officers Fields and Nesbitt began medically accessing the unconscious driver.  Fire & Rescue personnel arrived and continued care.  The 34-year-old driver was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The two officers were checked by medical personnel at the scene.

Fire & Rescue personnel who responded to the collision commented that if not for the quick and heroic actions of Officer Fields and Officer Nesbitt, the driver would have succumbed to either smoke inhalation or the flames from the fire.

Chief Tom Manger says of the officers’ actions, “Officers Cory Fields and Brian Nesbitt placed their own lives in danger and exhibited uncommon bravery and dedication when they rescued Mr. Isreal, who was unconscious, from his burning vehicle.”

Officer Cody Fields has been a Montgomery County police officer for approximately three years, and Officer Brian Nesbitt has been a Montgomery County police officer for approximately 12 years.  Both officers patrol the 3rd District.

*In addition to these two officers, other Montgomery County Police officers will be recognized at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce – Annual Public Safety Awards tomorrow.  A press release with additional information about these officers and their awards will be issued tomorrow.



Click here to watch video






Note to Media: Officer Cody Fields and Mr. Isreal (the man the officers rescued), will be available to speak to the media tomorrow, March 11, at 11:00 a.m. at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce – Annual Public Safety Awards held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and County Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852).  If you have questions, please call the Public Information Office (240-773-5030, option 4) tomorrow after 8:00 a.m.



Officer Performs Life-Saving Actions on Child on Interstate 270

Yesterday at approximately 4:23 p.m., Montgomery County Police Officer James Herman was on his way home after completing his patrol shift and initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 270 in the area of the Muddy Branch Road exit. While Officer Herman was speaking with the driver, another vehicle pulled off the highway and parked behind the officer’s cruiser. A man and a woman exited their vehicle with a 9-month-old girl and ran to the officer, explaining that the child was unresponsive. Officer Herman noted that the child was ashen in color. While cradling the girl in his arms, the officer began to perform CPR; the child soon regained consciousness. Officer Herman radioed to dispatch that Fire – Rescue personnel were needed at the location. At this time, a Good Samaritan, who identified himself as an out-of-state firefighter, stopped his vehicle on the side of the road to offer assistance. Fire – Rescue responded and transported the girl to a local hospital. The woman with the child identified herself as the grandmother and the male is believed to have been a family member.

Officer James Herman is an 11-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department and currently works in the 2nd District. Commander Falcinelli of the 2nd (Bethesda) District said, “I am very proud that Officer Herman was in the right place at the right time to save this infant’s life. He followed his training and his efforts resulted in a positive outcome. He is an excellent representative of the dedication and professionalism that Montgomery County Police officers possess.”

On Sunday, Montgomery County Fire – Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen E. Mann, who responded to this incident, stated, “I am told that this child is doing better and only still alive due to the quick actions of Officer Herman and the unknown civilian who assisted him in providing this life-saving intervention.”

The Good Samaritan, who is believed to be an out-of-state firefighter, has not been identified. There was a National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Maryland, yesterday, and the man was wearing a shirt associated with that memorial. It is possible that this man had attended this service earlier in the day. The Department would like to thank this individual for his willingness to come to the assistance of our officer and this child.

Montgomery County officers receive CPR and other emergency medical training during the police academy and throughout their careers as part of annual in-service training.


UPDATE: Via social media,the out-of-state firefighter has been identified as Brody Channell, a firefighter with the Little Rock, Arkansas Fire Department.  Channell was in Maryland to honor his father, Capt. Dennis A. Channell, at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.  Channell’s father died in the line of duty February 10, 2014, while responding to a call for service.

UPDATE: Due to privacy laws, the Department was initially unable to obtain the child’s name.  We are happy that her family reached out to the Department and that we can now identify her as Kenzlee Mae Cushman.



Officer James Herman

Officer James Herman