Senior Investigator John Vescio
New York State Police
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Senior Investigator John Vescio, of the New York State Police Department, as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for August 2014.
On June 3rd, 2014, Investigator Vescio was off-duty when he stopped at a busy gas station to fill up his department vehicle. He was standing at the pump next to his vehicle when suddenly a sedan slammed into the opposite side of the pump. The sedan struck the pump with such force that it hit Investigator Vescio and immediately caught on fire.
Following his instincts, Investigator Vescio quickly ran away from the burning pump and vehicles. However, once he reached a safe distance, he realized that there was an elderly man slumped over in the sedan, which was rapidly being consumed by fire. Disregarding his own safety, Investigator Vescio ran back toward the burning car in order to save the elderly man.
Investigator Vescio reached the sedan and discovered the elderly man was unresponsive and pinned inside the vehicle due to the damage caused by the impact. Investigator Vescio unfastened the man’s seatbelt and tried to pull him out of the car. After several attempts, he was able to get the man free of the car and drag him to safety.
After removing the victim from his damaged vehicle, Investigator Vescio again placed himself in danger by returning to the fire in order to retrieve his first aid kit from the trunk of his vehicle. With the kit, Investigator Vescio was able to perform first aid on the elderly man until medical personnel arrived on the scene. Miraculously, Investigator Vescio and the crash victim escaped from the incident with no injuries. Later, it was revealed that the elderly man had suffered from a diabetic episode and passed out, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and crash into the pump.
Regarding the incident, Major Keith Corlett of the New York State Police Department said, “I think John [Investigator Vescio] did a very heroic thing. He starts off as a civilian, becomes a victim, and then his police training kicks in and he actually saved somebody’s life.”
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Investigator Vescio, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2014 will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2015, during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s annual calendar.