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Posted: 9/3/2004 10:56:29 AM EST
September 3, 2004 -- Off-duty police Sergeant Angelo Russo dropped by his bank in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in February with little on his agenda but getting some cash.

Instead, he wound up catching a crook ? who just happened to be robbing his third bank that day, police say.

Russo was filling out a withdrawal slip when the bank manager, who knew Russo was a cop, whispered to him that a heist was in progress.

"I only had three seconds to react," Russo recalled.

"There were other customers in the bank, and I didn't know if he was armed, so I decided not to draw my weapon at that time. I let him leave the bank and followed him out." The robber got into a getaway car and sped away. Russo flagged down a police cruiser with two officers.

A chase ensued, and the three cops caught and arrested Anthony Aponick and an accomplice. Some $9,000 dollars was recovered. Aponick, who had been released from prison three months earlier, is suspected of committing at least eight other bank robberies.

"Sgt. Russo was alert and aware of the many perils, but took appropriate action," said Richard O'Neill, a retired police officer, who nominated Russo for the Post's Finest Liberty Medal.

Russo, 35, a Brooklyn native and a 15-year veteran of the NYPD, is the community policing officer at the 66th Precinct in Borough Park, Brooklyn.


I have talked to my new guys about this exact type of incident. Keeping a cool head and moving the bad guy away from the citicens is the way to handle it if at all possible. I would partner with this guy any day.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 1:25:14 PM EST
I was there for that caper. My Sergent is still steamed that the 62 pct took all the credit for that.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 9:30:11 PM EST
Great thinker, great cop
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:18:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 5:18:52 PM EST by dep4532]

Originally Posted By Luckystiff:
"There were other customers in the bank, and I didn't know if he was armed, so I decided not to draw my weapon at that time. I let him leave the bank and followed him out." The robber got into a getaway car and sped away. Russo flagged down a police cruiser with two officers.



Smart...very smart. Officer has a good head on his shoulders!
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