Officer Joshua Comitale

(Troy Police Department, NY)

On August 22, 2015, Officer Joshua Comitale, along with additional officers, responded to a call for an attempted carjacking. Officer Comitale was the closest officer and encountered a suspect who was on foot and matched the description that had been put out. Officer Comitale delayed approaching the suspect until backup officers could respond to the area. Once backup officers arrived in the area, Office Comitale exited his vehicle in order to approach the suspect. It was at this point that the suspect attempted to flee the area on foot.

Officer Chad Klein was one of the initial backup officers to respond, and while still in his vehicle he was shot in his shoulder by the suspect through the driver’s side window. Officer Comitale, having witnessed the suspect firing on Officer Klein, he returned fired at the suspect, striking him and causing him to fall. The suspect returned fire and more than 20 rounds were exchanged between the suspect and Officer Comitale. During this exchange of gunfire, Officer Comitale sustained wounds to both legs, which rendered him immobile. The suspect was also struck five times during this exchange, but continued resisting arrest.

Additional responding officers were able to use a TASER to incapacitate the suspect. The suspect ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Officer Comitale was able to apply tourniquets to his wounds before assistance arrived. Both wounded officers were transported for medical treatment and are recovering from their injuries. Subsequent toxicology tests on the suspect revealed an extraordinary level of PCP was in his system.

The actions of Officer Comitale demonstrate extraordinary bravery and a willingness to save the lives of others, without regard to his own personal safety.