Articles on this Page
- 09/19/14--15:22: _Sailors Reunite in ...
- 09/19/14--13:10: _'All Clear' Issued ...
- 09/19/14--16:24: _Stratford Resident ...
- 09/19/14--19:18: _2-Alarm Blaze Displ...
- 09/19/14--16:48: _Cop Car Slams Into ...
- 09/19/14--18:48: _Bridgeport Police I...
- 09/20/14--06:55: _4 Charged in Murder...
- 09/20/14--13:55: _Gunman Says Hello, ...
- 09/20/14--10:19: _Cop Saves Choking D...
- 09/20/14--09:05: _Simsbury Police Shi...
- 09/20/14--12:02: _Silver Alert Cancel...
- 09/20/14--11:55: _Motorcyclist Seriou...
- 09/20/14--12:31: _Silver Alerts Issue...
- 09/20/14--08:06: _Officer Failed to H...
- 09/20/14--14:44: _Mars Chocolate Issu...
- 09/20/14--12:43: _Chaplin Town Hall D...
- 09/20/14--06:00: _Fight Over Parking ...
- 09/20/14--13:10: _Man Who Robbed Bank...
- 09/20/14--13:03: _Insect in School Lu...
- 09/20/14--13:52: _Navy Sailor Awarded...
- 09/19/14--15:22: Sailors Reunite in Hartford 60 Years After Setting Sail
- 09/19/14--13:10: 'All Clear' Issued at WestConn After Bomb Threat
- 09/19/14--16:24: Stratford Resident Suffers Smoke Inhalation After Fire
- 09/19/14--19:18: 2-Alarm Blaze Displaces 3 New London Families
- 09/19/14--16:48: Cop Car Slams Into Dunkin' Donuts
- 09/19/14--18:48: Bridgeport Police Investigate "Plastic Bag" Robberies
- 09/20/14--06:55: 4 Charged in Murder of Boy, 9
- 09/20/14--13:55: Gunman Says Hello, Shoots 4: Cops
- 09/20/14--10:19: Cop Saves Choking Driver: NYPD
- 09/20/14--09:05: Simsbury Police Ship Cooling Vests to Military K9 Units
- 09/20/14--12:02: Silver Alert Canceled for 31-Year-Old Middletown Woman
- 09/20/14--11:55: Motorcyclist Seriously Hurt in Vernon Crash
- 09/20/14--12:31: Silver Alerts Issued for Missing Hartford Brothers
- 09/20/14--08:06: Officer Failed to Help Kids Approached by Strange Man: Mom
- 09/20/14--14:44: Mars Chocolate Issues Recall Over Undeclared Peanut Butter
- 09/20/14--12:43: Chaplin Town Hall Deemed Safe After Military Paraphernalia Call
- 09/20/14--06:00: Fight Over Parking Space Leads to Standoff in Meriden
- 09/20/14--13:10: Man Who Robbed Bank Wore Female Wig: Cops
- 09/20/14--13:03: Insect in School Lunch Investigated
- 09/20/14--13:52: Navy Sailor Awarded Silver Star
Crew members of the USS Emmons reunited with their fellow sailors in Hartford on Friday, 60 years after they set sail together for the first time.
“I look forward to this every year,” said Anthony Esposito.
The ship, commissioned Dec. 5, 1941, at Boston Naval Shipyard, was the last naval fighting ship to be commissioned before the U.S. officially entered World War II.
The USS Emonds played a big part in both theaters of the war, but after being sunk by Kamakazes off Okinawa in 1945, the stories were a bit different.
“I remember the first one that came, the first plane that came over,” said Esposito.
Esposito was standing behind a machine gunner as a Japanese plane flew right over his head and hit one of the ship's stacks.
Connecticut’s Armand Jolly, USS Emmons gunner's mate and president of the USS Emmons Association, was on board as well.
“All of a sudden, over the loudspeaker, we heard, 'Abandon ship,'" Jolly recalled.
With face and hands burning and no life jacket, Jolly jumped overboard. At least 60 died in that attack. Thanks to shipmates who pulled him from the water, Jolly wasn’t one of them.
Jolly and Esposito came to face to face at the State Capitol on Friday, along with seven other Emmons friends they could never forget. Their meeting was one of the crew's annual reunions, which began in the 1950s.
"There was a hiatus, to take care of our families and make a living. When the reunions resumed, it was with a different direction in mind," said Ed Hoffman, Emmons quartermaster and secretary of the Emmons Association.
"As we aged, we realized there was something much more important the Emmons had done. When the reunions renewed in the 1970s, it was to keep the memories alive and pay respect and honor the guys who didn't make it back,” said Hoffman.
Back in the same room, it was like no time had passed. Once boys, they're now brothers, together again.
“It brings tears to your eyes,” said Esposito.
The "all clear" has been given at Western Connecticut State University's main campus in Danbury after a emailed bomb threat prompted the evacuations of four buildings Friday afternoon.
School officials are calling the incident a "hoax bomb threat" and police said they did not find anything suspicious while conducting a sweep of the campus.
The message, sent from an unusual domain, named four buildings and said bombs had been placed in two of them, school officials said.
The Midtown Student Center, Newbury Hall, Haas Library and University Hall were evacuated and locked down as a result. University police and state police brought in bomb-sniffing dogs to search the area.
All buildings at the midtown and westside campuses have since returned to normal operations, according to the university.
A daycare across the street from the campus was also placed on lockdown as a precaution, according to the Danbury Patch.
There is a developing emergency situation on campus that has necessitated the evacuation of several buildings. More info coming soon.
— WestConn (@WestConn) September 19, 2014
Photo Credit: WCSU
A Stratford homeowner was taken to the hospital Friday afternoon after suffering smoke inhalation when fire broke out at a house on Luanne Road, according to the fire department.
Firefighters were first called to Bunnell High School on Bulldog Boulevard around 4:30 p.m. Friday. They were rerouted when neighbors of the home at 85 Luanne Road called to report heavy smoke pouring from the home, fire officials said.
One resident suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for treatment. Firefighters said the homeowner’s injuries have been been deemed non-life threatening.
A total of 24 firefighters from Stratford, Bridgeport and Milford battled the blaze and took control of the fire within 25 minutes of arriving on scene, according to the fire department.
The American Red Cross is providing the homeowners with temporary housing and the Stratford Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating to determine the cause of the flames.
Photo Credit: Stratford Fire Department
A homeowner was treated for smoke inhalation after fire broke out at this home on Luanne Road in Stratford.
A two-alarm fire that broke out at a house in New London on Friday left 12 adults and three children without a home.
Crews responded to the home at 514 Ocean Avenue on Friday evening to battle a blaze that spread across the second and third floors.
Fire officials said residents were home at the time but everyone got out safely. Firefighters brought the flames under control within about 15 minutes.
The second and third stories suffered moderate fire damage and the building has been deemed uninhabitable, the New London fire battalion chief said.
The Red Cross is providing emergency housing to 12 adults and three children in the three families who lived in the burning home. Famlies have also received food and clothing supplies and personal care items, according to the Red Cross.
Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the blaze.
Photo Credit: Tom Curcio
Three families were displaced by a two-alarm fire at 514 Ocean Avenue in New London on Friday.
A South Jersey police vehicle slammed into a doughnut shop Friday morning.
The police SUV crashed into the Dunkin' Donuts shop along White Horse Pike in Berlin, New Jersey just before 11 a.m. Winslow Township Police said the SUV crashed into the building after colliding with another car.
The unidentified Winslow Township Police officer suffered minor injuries, according to investigators. The other driver refused treatment.
No customers or employees inside the store reported any injuries, according to police.
As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, you could see the Winslow Township Police SUV right through the front window of the coffee shop with the driver's side door open.
Police said the crash caused structural damage to the building. No word yet on when repairs will be made.
Investigators said that the officer wasn't headed to a call at the time of the wreck. The cause of the wreck remained under investigation Friday afternoon.
Photo Credit: Kenny LaFountaine
Bridgeport police are searching for the hooded robber who ripped off a hair salon Thursday evening and may also be responsible for trying to rob a convenience store earlier that evening.
According to police, a man carrying a plastic bag entered Another Level Hair Salon at 2436 Main Street in Bridgeport around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. He took money from the store owner and stole a customer’s purse.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect entering the hair salon, then running away with the bag in tow minutes later.
Authorities are investigating to determine whether the suspect was also responsible for trying to rob Uptown News & Variety at 4200 Main Street just half an hour earlier.
Police said a hooded suspect walked into the store holding a plastic grocery bag and carrying a gun. It’s not clear whether the gun was real or imitation, according to police.
When the robber demanded money, the store clerk shouted for the business owner and the suspect fled, police said.
Both incidents are under investigation and police are working to determine whether they’re connected.
Anyone with information is urged to call Bridgeport police Det. Art Calvao at 203-581-5240.
Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department
Surveillance footage shows the suspect entering the hair salon with a plastic bag and running out moments later.
Four people were charged in connection with the murder of 9-year-old Antonio Smith, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Friday.
Derrick Allmon, 19; Jabari Williams, 22; and Michael Baker, 19, and an Paris Denard, 19, all face charges of first-degree murder. Williams also faces a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Antonio was found shot multiple times Aug. 20 in a backyard in the city's South Side Grand Crossing neighborhood.
At a Friday news conference announcing the charges, McCarthy said the men -- who are all documented gang members -- were driving around in two separate cars looking to confront members of a rival gang.
McCarthy says the men located the gang members they were looking for in the 1200 block of East 71st Street, and Williams handed Allman a gun and told him to shoot.
"As Allman approached his intended targets on foot, he came across Antonio Smith in a rear yard of a residence. Believing that Antonio Smith was yelling a warning to his intended victims, Allman shot Antonio Smith multiple times, wounding him fatally," McCarthy said.
McCarthy says Allman fled the scene and discarded the .380 calibre handgun in a nearby sewer, which was recovered by investigators Thursday. Police say the same handgun has been traced to two other shootings this year, including a murder.
Antonio's mother, Brandi Murry, said the boy had walked out of the family's house by himself that day while his older brother and sister were watching him after he threw a "temper tantrum" because he got into trouble.
Murry said she rushed home from work and called police to report him missing, and that's when officers arrived and told her what happened to her son.
"I don't even understand it, why anyone would do this," Murry said. "I'm praying for the whole city right now ... not even just for my son and my family, I'm praying for everybody. And I don't even want any other parent to even go through this."
Antonio would have entered the fourth grade this fall.
“He was just a kid,” said family friend Bridgett Jackson. “You should not have to bury a kid.”
"He will never graduate eighth grade, go to high school or get married," neighbor Rebecca Sankey said.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut
Police in Queens are searching for a gunman who shot four men outside a home in Corona Friday night, according to the NYPD.
The gunman and one other suspect walked up to the victims outside 32-14 106th St., near Northern Boulevard, at about 9:45 p.m. and said hello, police say.
The gunman then fired at least one round at the victims, and the two suspects ran away, according to police.
A 24-year-old man was shot in the arm, a 25-year-old man was shot in the torso and head, a 25-year-old man was shot in the torso and head, and a 34-year-old man was shot in the right side of his face, police said.
They were all taken to Elmhurst Hospital. Two are in critical condition, and the other two are in serious but stable condition, the FDNY said.
None of the injuries is life-threatening.
There are no arrests, police say.
Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York
A police officer stationed on a Bronx highway saved a driver who started to slow down when she began choking on a piece of candy, the NYPD says, and the rescue was captured on the officer's dash cam.
The officer was conducting speed enforcement on the Bronx River Parkway Wednesday when he saw a 2014 Ford Taurus slow down in the right lane, according to the NYPD.
He pulled up behind the car, got out of his vehicle and immediately noticed the driver was in distress, police said. She appeared be having difficulty breathing and was holding her throat.
"Are you choking? You're choking?" the officer is heard saying in the video as he motions her out of the car.
"Yes, sir," the 49-year-old woman says, gagging.
The officer performed the Heimlich maneuver on the woman, which dislodged the throat lozenge blocking her airway, police said.
The woman appeared to be OK after the officer performed the Heimlich. He radioed for an ambulance to the scene.
They’re a soldier’s best friend — military working dogs serve faithfully on the front lines alongside U.S. military personnel. So, the Simsbury Police Department designed the “Heroes and Hounds” program to ensure they’re not forgotten while deployed around the world.
The program is the brainchild of Simsbury’s Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz, a Marine Corps veteran who’s no stranger to working dogs. Rudewicz supervised the Hartford Police K9 unit for 22 years.
“I wanted this to benefit two solider, the two-legged, and the four legged,” said Rudewicz. “Since 2009 I’ve probably sent roughly 2,800 care packages all over the Middle East, to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“All year long we do this, we collect and send care packages to our military and their K9 supports,” Simsbury Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen said. “The officers are very proud of it. We have many officers who were also in the service, so it makes them even more proud.”
On Friday, officers packed up the latest shipment of care packages which will include Department of Defense-approved K9 cooling vests, paid for by an anonymous donor from West Hartford. The vests are earmarked specifically for K9s trained in explosive ordnance detection, who often work out front on patrols and road-clearing missions in extreme conditions.
“It’s hot out there, it’s uncomfortable,” Rudewicz explained, “and we figure this is a good way to give them a little comfort right away.”
Heroes and Hounds care packages contain treats for the dogs and their human handlers, such as hygiene items, snacks, dog toys, bedding and safety gear. Cash and item donations come from the police department, town employees, local businesses and nonprofits, and residents across the state.
Simsbury Police Sgt. Mark Critz knows firsthand how much the packages mean to deployed troops; he’s a retired Army major who served multiple tours in combat zones.
“When you get the package, it’s a good feeling because you feel like you’re so much closer to home when you get it,” said Critz.
To support Simsbury’s Heroes and Hounds program visit http://www.simsbury-ct.gov/police-emergency/pages/animal-control-officer or call 860-658-3110.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
A Silver Alert for a missing 31-year-old Middletown woman has been canceled.
Sang Pak was reported missing on Saturday.
Photo Credit: DMHAS Police
A Silver Alert was issued Sept. 20 for Sang Pak, 31, of Middletown.
A motorcyclist was airlifted to Hartford Hospital for treatment of serious injuries after crashing on Bolton Road in Vernon Friday night, according to Tolland County Dispatch.
The crash happened just before 9 p.m.
Bolton Road was closed for several hours between Wildwood Road and the Bolton town line, according to Vernon police. The road has since reopened.
Vernon police and fire officials responded to the crash, and LifeStar was called to airlift the driver to Hartford Hospital.
Police said the motorcycle driver's injuries are significant. The driver has not been publicly identified.
There was no update available Saturday on the motorcyclist's condition.
Check back for updates.
Hartford police are looking for two brothers reported missing from their home overnight Saturday.
Silver Alerts were issued for Jose Caban, 14, and Lexus Alfinez, 12, of Hartford, on Saturday after their mother reported to police she noticed Caban was missing at midnight when she got up to use to the bathroom. She told police she last saw him at 8 p.m. in his bed. The mother also discovered that her other son, Lexus Alfinez was also missing and police said that the two brothers are likely together.
Caban has a history of running away, according to police.
Police described Jose Caban and Lexus Alfinez as Hispanic males with black hair. Caban is 5-foot-5, weighs 120 pounds and has blue eyes. He was wearing grey shorts when he went to bed.
Alfinez has brown eyes, is 5-foot-2 and weighs 90 pounds.
Police said that neither brother has a mental illness and that neither are on medications.
Hartford police ask anyone with information on the Caban brothers' whereabouts to contact Sgt. Sonia Watson at 860-757-4041 or Det. Ivys Arroyo at 860-757-4236 in the department's Special Investigations Division.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hartford Police Department
Silver Alerts were issued for brothers Jose Caban, 14, and Lexus Alfinez, 12, both of Hartford.
Authorities are investigating after two sisters, ages 13 and 7, were confronted by a strange man in a car while walking home from school Monday and tried but failed to get the attention of a nearby Bridgeport, Connecticut, police officer.
The girls' mother, Gloria Byfield, said the girls were heading home Monday afternoon when a man in a tan car tried to get their attention.
"She said the guy pulled over in front of her and got out the car and continued trying to talk to her and say things to her and at that point she got on the phone and called me," said Byfield.
Byfield said the man ran off and she instructed her daughters to go to a nearby officer, just two blocks from Waltersville School, while staying on the phone.
"I went to the police officer, and I told him. And he told me he was off duty so he couldn't do anything about it, and he told me to walk home," said 13-year-old Anya Jackson.
Byfield says the officer told her daughters to have their parents file a report of the incident with police.
The two girls walked to their mom and she went to the police station.
Authorities said they've increased patrols in the area and launched a criminal investigation into the suspicious vehicle and internal affairs is investigating the allegations against the officer.
“The investigation is underway and is a priority for the Office of Internal Affairs. We teach our kids to go to a police officer if they are scared or in trouble. I taught that to my son," said Asst. Police Chief James Nardozzi, in a statement released by the department. "Investigators are still gathering the facts, but I can’t stress enough how seriously we take these allegations.”
In the same statement, Brett Broesder, spokesperson for Mayor Bill Finch said, "Mayor Finch expects a lot from our police officers who work hard to keep our streets safe every single day. But he also strongly believes that the top priority of our officers is protecting kids. That’s why he looks forward to this investigation turning up the facts surrounding this incident, and if there was any wrongdoing, ensuring that appropriate action is taken.”
Byfield said her children are scared and she wants the officer punished.
"At the end of the day my kids could be gone because of this one mistake, this one officer," said Byfield.
Police say they've canvassed the area searching for potential witnesses as well as surveillance video. Anyone with information is urged to call Bridgeport police at 203-576-8126.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Mars Chocolate North American has issued a voluntary recall of its M&M’s Brand Milk Chocolate Theater Box because it may contain peanut butter that is not listed on the ingredient label on the outside box.
The company identified the issue after a consumer notified it of an M&M’s Brand Peanut Butter package containing peanut butter M&M’s inside a M&M’s Brand Milk Chocolate Theater Box.
People allergic to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if their theater box contains an inner M&Ms Brand Peanut Butter bag and they consume the product, the company said in a release.
There have been no reports of adverse reactions.
The recall affects M&M’S Brand Theater Box 3.40 oz UPC #40000294764 with various lot numbers. Click here for a full list of those numbers.
The specific lot codes were shipped between May 8 and July 1, 2014, to customers’ warehouses across the U.S., including Texas, Florida, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Virginia.
Mars Chocolate said it will work with retail customers to ensure that the recalled product is not being sold. Consumers who believe they have purchased the recalled item and have allergy concerns, should return this product to the store where they purchased it for a full refund. Consumers with questions or concerns may call 1-800-627-7852, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
M&M's are viewed in the M&M store in Times Square on July 24, 2014 in New York City.
State Police responded to the town hall in Chaplin after a citizen called to report he had some old military paraphernalia he wanted to turn in.
Troopers secured the area near Chaplin Town Hall, at 495 Phoenixville Road, as a precaution.
State police determined there is no danger to the public.
No further information was immediately available.
A Meriden, Connecticut, resident will face felony charges after a conflict with a neighbor led to a police standoff during which she slipped knives under her apartment door and threatened to shoot police and other residents, then blow up or burn down the building.
Police said Regine Rivers, 48, who lives in the condo complex at 775 West Main Street in Meriden, began arguing with another resident over a parking dispute around 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Emma Guzman-Valentin identified herself as Rivers' target. She said Rivers parked over the line Thursday, leaving no room for Guzman-Valentin's car, then ignored a note Guzman-Valentin left asking her to park properly.
Rivers confronted her today.
"She started cussing and bad talking, and talking about how I messed with the wrong one and she's from Chicago," Guzman-Valentin explained. "I was like, 'Listen, it's no big deal. I just need you to move your vehicle. You don't need to take it further, but if you want to take it further, let me know.'"
She went home and returned 15 minutes later with a kitchen knife, according to Guzman-Valentin.
"She comes out with a knife, a kitchen knife, and threned me with her knife," Guzman-Valentin said. "She was pointing the knife at me like she wanted to stab me with it."
Guzman-Valentin said Rivers had a drink in her other hand.
"She was intoxicated. You could tell, because she even admitted herself that," Guzman-Valentin said. "she's like, 'Look, I am drunk, and I ain't moving no car, and that's why I got a drink in my hand and I'm walking.'"
According to Guzman-Valentin, Rivers began walking down West Main Street with the knife and drink in tow.
Residents were frightened and called the police. By the time authorities arrived, Rivers had gone back inside her apartment and turned up the music on her stereo, making conversation near impossible, police said.
A SWAT team and hostage negotiation team were called in, and residents were evacuated from the complex. While authorities were attempting to communicate with Rivers, she began slipping knives under the apartment door, according to police.
Police said she threatened to shoot authorities and other residents of the complex and told them she was armed with a 9mm handgun. She also threatened to blow up or burn down the building.
"She proceeded to threaten the cops, that she had a gun, she was going to make a bomb and she was going to blow up the place," Guzman-Valentin said. "It just got crazy. It got really out of hand."
Because Rivers refused to turn down the volume on her stereo, police called CL&P to cut the power to the building so they could communicate with her.
Authorities managed to contact Rivers' boyfriend, who was not home at the time. Police said he was cooperative and told them the couple had lived in Meriden for only two weeks after moving from out of state.
Rivers eventually opened the door and was taken into custody, police said. Authorities brought her to the hospital, where she will undergo a psychiatric evaluation. It’s not clear when she will be discharged.
"I'm stunned, because in all my years, never have we witnessed anything like this," Guzman-Valentin said. "This same lady approached me last week in a loving, nice manner, and then for her all of a sudden to threaten me in this fashion – it blew me away. It blew me away and it scared all of us."
Charges are pending, but police said Rivers will face both felony and misdemeanor counts. Her bond has been set at $500,000.
No firearms have been recovered.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Bridgeport police are asking for the public's help in identifying a bank robbery suspect caught on surveillance video footage after a robbery at the Main Street TD Bank branch on Friday night.
The bank robber was likely driving a white Chevy Suburban and parked it on Minturn Street in Bridgeport before walking to the bank at 4865 Main Street, police said. He robbed the TD Bank branch at about 6:25 p.m. on Friday, ran to the car and drove the wrong way on Minturn Street to Old Town Road, according to police.
Police described the bank robber as a clean-shaven man, likely in his mid-30s, who is about 6-foot-1 and weighs about 190 pounds. He was wearing dark sunglasses, a black New York Yankees baseball cap and a "long female-type wig," police said based on preliminary interviews in the early stages of the investigation.
Police ask anyone with information to call Det. Art Calvao at 203-581-5240.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bridgeport Police Department
Bridgeport police are asking for the public's help in identifying this bank robbery suspect caught on surveillance video footage after a robbery at the Main Street TD Bank branch on Friday night.
A New Jersey high school's food vendor says it's investigating after several students began circulating video purporting to show a live insect squirming inside a taco salad school lunch.
Video taken by North Bergen High School students show what appears to be a small worm on the lunch plate. One girl posted the video on Instagram, and another boy sent video to NBC 4 New York.
The authenticity of the videos could not be immediately confirmed Friday, but the lunch vendor for the school, Nu-Way Concessionaires, said it's investigating and that the health department was immediately called in.
"This is an isolated incident. We've taken steps to discuss this with our food producers. We are very concerned about what we feed children," said Sal Valenze of Nu-Way Concessionaires.
One student, Luis Godreau, said "I would think they would make sure nothing like that would get inside it. It's crazy to see that inside it."
Another junior student who wanted to remain anonymous said a freshman made the gross discovery and brought the video to the school's main office.
Nu-Way officials say they believe the insect was a small worm, and though rare, insects can get into produce during the agricultural process.
As a precaution, the product batch has been pulled from distribution. The USDA is also expected back at the school Monday to continues its investigation, Nu-Way said.
Calls to the school district and the North Bergen Health Department were not returned Friday night.
(WARNING: Instagram video below contains some explicit language)
Follow Checkey Beckford on Twitter @Checkey4NY
A Navy hospital corpsman who faced heavy fire to save an injured Marine was presented with the military’s third highest decoration for valor, the Silver Star, at Camp Pendleton Friday.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Kong, now a pre-med student, was serving in the Sangin District of Afghanistan on June 13, 2011 when he and fellow service members came under attack during a battalion clearing operation – just two hours into a four-day operation.
Kong saw Marine Cpl. Michael Dawers from a shot to the chest, so braving a hail of bullets, Kong rushed from his covered position into the kill zone to reach the man.
“You get so close to the them. It’s a bond you just can’t describe in words," Kong said. "People tell me I was brave and courageous but ultimately, I wasn’t even thinking."
Kong fired back at the enemy, stood up in the line of fire and pulled the injured service member to safety.
“On that June morning, Doc Kong reacted instinctively and did something very few perhaps would have done,” said Marine Maj. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson.
Kong then treated Dawers for his injuries and provided vital information about the enemy’s position, Navy officials say. Dawers survived.
As he was given the Silver Star Friday, Kong said he didn’t deserve it because he was just following his instincts, humbly calling his actions “almost more stupid than it was brave.”
“There’s so many guys out there doing so many incredible things, and they don't always get recognized for it,” said Kong. “I was just kind of out there doing my job, and you know, a Marine gets hit and you don’t really think.”
Kong looked at his fellow service members and said he knew they would do the same thing in his place.
Serving in the Navy since 2007, Kong, a San Jose native, deactivated from active duty and now studies medicine at Stanford.
In addition to the Silver Star, his awards include the Navy Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Photo Credit: Mark Sackett
Jonathan Kong receiving his Silver Star on Sept. 19. 2014, in San Diego.