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Pair Commended for Bravery--Newsday

Pair Commended for Bravery--Newsday

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Published by Alan J Krawitz
Newsday story on good samaritans commended for thwarting a robbery in NYC
Newsday story on good samaritans commended for thwarting a robbery in NYC

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Published by: Alan J Krawitz on Oct 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Pair commended for bravery /Seasonal workers in park break up arobbery in progress by three mennear Arthur Ashe Stadium
March 10, 2004 by ALAN KRAWITZ. Alan Krawitz is a freelance writer. / A pair of brave parks workers who helped foil an attackinside a bathroom in a Queens park were honored recently by grateful city officials from the police department to the borough president's office.The two seasonal parks workers, Elaine Goodman, 40, a mother of nine fromthe Bronx,and Dwight Skeeter, 45, a resident of the Borden Avenue Men's Shelter in Long Island City, both said they were just doing their job.Goodman said that as she worked next to the men's bathroom near the Arthur  Ashe Tennis Stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park back in January she heard awoman calling for help. When she looked in the bathroom, she saw a man beingassaulted by two other men. "That's when me and Dwight jumped in and separatedthe guys," Goodman said.Radioed for helpShe and Skeeter then held the two suspects along with one lookout whileradioing for help, unaware that police were merely a quarter mile away. Assemb.Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) was holding a news conference at the New York  Hall of Science to welcome new police officers into the 110th and 115thprecincts.
Peralta said he didn't find out that parks workers had thwarted a crimeuntil after the news conference. "It was ironic that this type of crime wouldhappen on the same day, just as we were welcoming new police officers to thearea," he said.Peralta praised Goodman and Skeeter and said they were "the epitome of getting involved.""The two parks employees were very impressive," said Dep. Insp. MartinConway of the 110th Precinct, who was in the first police car to arrive at thescene. "They had these guys sitting on their hands with their shoes off. Theyweren't going anywhere." According to police, the suspects attempted to rob the victim, a33-year-old man, of his wallet and gold chain. The victim was unharmed other than minor cuts and bruises to the face.Police said the suspects, Jesus Saul, 29, and Santiago Guroura, 24, bothof Queens, and Angel Garcia, 26, of the Bronx, were charged with assault androbbery. At a March 1 ceremony at the park, Conway presented Goodman and Skeeter with commendations for bravery and appreciation on behalf of the policedepartment. Five other parks workers - Joseph Blackmore, La Mecca Wallace,Rupert Le- Grande, Alfred Nardo and Edward Johnson - received commendations for assisting in detaining the suspects."Everyone did a great job and a public service," Conway said.Goodman and Skeeter also have been honored by City Parks Commissioner  Adrian Benepe and City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach). Addabbo
awarded Goodman and Skeeter citations for meritorious acts.Queens Borough President Helen Marshall even acknowledged the pair in her  State of the Borough address in late January. She said Skeeter and Goodmanrepresented "the best in public service.""It was just my instinct to help that lady," said Goodman, who has beenwith the parks department for a year. "When you hear someone yelling for help,you just jump in. I kept yelling, 'Get off of him! Get off of him!' Theyunderstood all right."'Blessing from God'Skeeter said it was a "blessing from God that we were there to help." Hesaid that after learning about the bathroom fight, he helped Goodman subdue thesuspects and "make sure they couldn't get away." Acknowledging his personal struggles, Skeeter said, "Life's thrown me a fewcurveballs, but things are looking up now."Skeeter, who has a 14-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old son, said thatonce he straightens out his life, he hopes to "make my way back to my family."Parks officials said he was hired through a job training program fivemonths ago and has been an exemplary employee.Queens Parks Commissioner  Richard Murphy had high praise for not only Goodman and Skeeter, but for all his employees. "The staff is like a familyhere . I hardly ever get transfer requests. People do a great job here, theyreally take care of the park and morale is always high," Murphy said. Asked about the attention heaped on Goodman and Skeeter, Murphy said theresponse from the media has been positive. "So far, it's been like a rock tour 

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