Samaritans honored by Rutland Police
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | April 10,2013
Brent Curtis / Staff Photo
Rutland Police Chief James Baker presents an award to Katelyn Borcellos, a Coffee Exchange employee who chased a man after he allegedly stole a money bag with $8,000 from the business. Four others were honored for helping in the capture.
Jerry Tift, Justin Porter, Robert Kopp and Jonathon Edwards never expected to be recognized for their efforts March 15 when, in response to Katelyn Borcellos’ cries for help, they caught a fleeing man who police said had just stolen a money bag with $8,000 from the Coffee Exchange in downtown Rutland.
“It really is nice, yeah,” Kopp said after he was handed a certificate of appreciation during a packed Rutland Police Commission meeting Monday night.
“I didn’t expect anything like this,” Porter added.
The four men and Borcellos were all honored by police at the ceremony.
The men, who don’t know each other, were going about their business at the Rutland transit center bus terminal last month when a winded man ran onto the platform followed by a petite woman, Borcellos, who was shouting for help.
Looking back, Porter, a Kmart cashier, said he didn’t think much about what he was doing when he got involved.
“If she hadn’t yelled, I wouldn’t have even known anything was going on and he would have run right by me,” he said.
Kopp, the 72-year-old owner of “Granny Blossom Specialty Foods,” said he didn’t think much about the consequences of tackling the man, who police said was Nicholas W. Young, 22.
For his efforts, police said, Kopp was bit once on the forearm and once on the biceps — wounds that required treatment at the hospital and which led to one of the simple assault charges brought against Young along with a felony charge of grand larceny.
“This lady was yelling and the kid was going by me and I just grabbed him by the jacket,” Kopp said.
Kopp, Porter, Edwards and Tift, who works as a security guard at the terminal, were able to restrain Young until he was arrested by city police. Young later denied the larceny and assault charges in court.
A brief ceremony Monday was attended by the five-member commission, a large number of city police officers and family and friends. The four men and Borcellos, a Coffee Exchange employee — who police said chased Young from the restaurant — were lauded for not only interrupting a crime but saving a business.
“The proceeds that were stolen was money that the business was planning to use to pay their taxes with,” Chief James Baker said during the presentation. “It would have been very difficult for the business to survive if that individual had got away.”
Also recognized Monday was Pittsford resident Bruce Poirier, whose actions a month ago arguably saved much more than a business, the chief said.
Poirier, 19, was in his truck, stopped at the traffic light at the four-way juncture of North Main and West streets, when he saw another vehicle rolling into the busy intersection.
“He used his vehicle to block the other vehicle from entering the intersection,” the chief said. “What no one knew at the time was that the driver of the other vehicle was a heroin user who passed out at the wheel. Bruce had the presence of mind to block the vehicle and prevent a tragedy from happening. ... I have no doubt that you saved lives that day.”
Poirier said after the ceremony that the scratches to his truck that evening were well worth it.
“One of three things were going to happen if that SUV kept going: He was going to hit an oncoming car or a pedestrian or a pole,” Poirier said.