Police Officer Piero Lasaponara was given a special Community Service award for tackling a crook who was wanted for a series of violent robberies, according to a story by Home Reporter News.
Lasaponara, who was off duty at the time, was in the Rite Aid parking lot located on 86th street near 25th Ave when noticed a suspicious man hassling a 90-year-old woman. The man, identified as Timothy Byrnes, pushed the woman to the ground attempting to rob her. Home Reporter then described the heroic actions of Lasaponara:
Quick-thinking Lasaponara first called 9-1-1 then pursued the perp. He was able to catch him in front of 8612 25th Avenue. Lasaponara, who was unarmed, identified himself as an officer. The man then turned around to face him and put one hand into his jacket pocket.
That’s when Lasaponara tackled him. During the struggle, the perp took the officer’s cell phone as he tried to call for help. As additional officers arrived, they were able to retrieve Lasaponara’s phone and subdue the perp.
Byrnes, 45, had been suspected of series of robberies which caused the 62nd and 61st’s precinct’s crime numbers to jump in recent weeks. Byrnes had been wanted for auto theft, threatening salon workers with a pipe and robbing an elderly lady.
Lasaponara’s actions allowed helped take Byrnes off the streets, hopefully allowing Bensonhurst residents to breath a little easier.