Saturday, May 18, 2024

Peter J. Brown, Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas and Superintendent Steven A. Williams at an award ceremony for Brown, who helped police subdue a gun-wielding shoplifting suspect.

A struggle with an armed shoplifting suspect has earned Peter J. Brown, security manager at the Macy’s Department Store in the CambridgeSide Galleria, an award from the Cambridge Police Department.

Brown was helping two police officers at the time, Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas explained in presenting the Allen T. McPherson Citizen Service Award on Tuesday. Haas referred to “his fearless efforts” helping Cambridge Police Lt. Leonard J. DiPietro and Sgt. Paul J. Sugrue on an evening in mid-October, when they were called to Macy’s to help Brown with a young man suspected of shoplifting.

“When Mr. Brown instructed the individual to remove his hands from his jacket pocket, the youth acted suspiciously by putting his hands in his jacket pocket and looking around, as if for an escape route,” police said in a press release.

DiPietro noted that the youth was more uncooperative than the usual shoplifting suspect, police said. To avoid confronting him on the main floor of the mall, where shoppers could be hurt, DiPietro and Sugrue took the suspect to the loss prevention office on the lower level, where he kept putting his hands into his jacket pocket despite orders to stop.

DiPietro frisked the suspect and found a gun, police said.

According to the award text:

After alerting Sugrue to the presence of a gun, the two officers, along with Brown, engaged in a prolonged struggle during which the suspect made several attempts to retrieve the weapon from his jacket pocket. The officers subdued the suspect and retrieved the weapon, but not until all three officers had sustained minor injuries. The gun was discovered to be a loaded .38-caliber revolver.

“The officers prevented the suspect from posing a grave threat to the public safety. DiPietro and Sugrue are to be commended for their intelligent and unhesitating response to this dangerous individual, and Brown must be recognized for his heroic actions in assisting the officers in this encounter,” it concludes.

Police also said they found significant amounts of cash and marijuana on the suspect, indicating he was dealing drugs.

This post was written from a press release.