36 Brave, Tenacious NYPD Cops Honored at Medal DayJune 11, 2014
36 Brave, Tenacious NYPD Cops Honored at Medal Day
Award winners included Bronx Officer Juan Pichardo, who was bound, pistolwhipped and shot in the thigh by car dealership robbers; and detectives who solved the ‘Baby Hope’ case after 22 years
They never gave up — and now they have the medals to prove it.
An off-duty Bronx cop who was bound, pistolwhipped and shot in the thigh – but still managed to arrest two thieves – and a crew of never-say-die detectives who cracked the 22-year-old murder of “Baby Hope” were among the awardees at the NYPD’s Medal Day event Tuesday.
Police Officer Juan Pichardo was moonlighting at a Bronx auto dealership in January 2013 when two gunmen barged in, New York Mayor de Blasio told a standing-room-only crowd outside of 1 Police Plaza.
“Officer Pichardo was bound by the wrists and the would-be robbers put a gun to his head and demanded the combination to the safe,” de Blasio said. “Officer Pichardo refused to give them that information. He was pistolwhipped and while that was happened he managed to wiggle out of his restraints and fought for the weapon of one of the perpetrators.”
“Shot in the leg in the process, he still overpowered the gunman and held him until backup arrived, and provided a description that led to the apprehension of the second gunman. That is an amazing example of courage,” de Blasio said.
The soft-spoken 12-year NYPD veteran was humbled to receive the Medal of Valor, the department’s third highest award.
“I am very honored to be recognized by the police department,” Pichardo said. “I’ve always wanted to be a cop.”
Detectives from the NYPD’s Cold Case Homicide Squad received a unit citation for their tireless work in solving the murder of “Baby Hope” — a murdered unidentified child found stuffed in a cooler near the Henry Hudson Parkway back in 1991.
“It’s a great honor to receive (this award) on behalf of my detectives and some of the others who are retired,” Sgt. Daniel Chiarantano of the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad told the News after accepting the award. “We have very dedicated detectives who did a fantastic job and they continue to do so every day.”