A crowd of people stood by as State Trooper 1st Class Jack Vegliante attempted to subdue alleged purse-snatcher Daniel Quinn. Only New Haven native Pamela Bullock, who saw the struggle from her car, stopped to help.
The incident, which occurred in Fair Haven on Jan. 4, left Bullock, a health care provider, with minor injuries and extensive car damage. In response, the New Haven Department of Police Service, the Connecticut State Police Union and the New Haven Police Department gathered together on Feb. 14th to recognize Bullock’s efforts.
“[Bullock] put herself in harm’s way to help a law enforcement officer,” New Haven Police Chief Melvin Wearing said.Ê”What she did was very courageous and compassionate.”
Bullock still does not see herself as a hero.
“I just did what I thought everyone else would do,” she said. “I’m just your average person.”
State Police Union Treasurer Mark Wallack, Officer Michael Monaghan of the New Haven Police Office of Victim Services, and Vegliante were present at the award ceremony. The State Police Union gave Bullock a plaque of appreciation for her actions and $1,148 to cover insurance charges resulting from the damaged car. Monaghan presented Bullock with a Good Citizen Award on behalf of the New Haven Police Department.
The Department of Police Service said Wearing was responsible for organizing efforts to cover Bullock’s medical expenses and wages lost due to the incident.
“I was honored,” Bullock said of the award ceremony.
New Haven Police said the incident occurred at 6:45 p.m., shortly after East Haven Police issued a broadcast describing a vehicle and perpetrator involved in an alleged purse snatch that had occurred in East Haven. Vegliante pursued Quinn’s vehicle as it traveled on I-95 into New Haven, where it finally stopped on English Street. Vegliante caught up with the suspect, who had left his vehicle, and a struggle ensued.
Bullock, who was driving by the scene, noticed the confrontation and pulled over. Vegliante saw her approach, and requested aid. Bullock used her vehicle to block the suspect’s car and attempted to help Vegliante subdue Quinn. Nevertheless, Quinn broke free and entered Bullock’s car in a desperate attempt to escape.
Bullock then tried to take the keys from the ignition, and both she and Vegliante were knocked down in the process.
City police then arrived at the scene and took Quinn into custody, but not before he plowed Bullock’s car into a New Haven Police vehicle.
While Bullock does not know if she would do the same thing again in a similar situation, she said she hopes that someone would come to her aid if she needed help. Citing the infrequency with which positive stories like hers can be found in the news, she said she does not think enough people are willing to do what she did.
“People don’t want to get involved,” Bullock said.
Wearing attended the ceremony of appreciation to extend a personal thank you to Bullock.
“Thanking [Bullock] and assisting her to cover some of the out-of-pocket expenses she incurred as the result of this incident can never repay such an extraordinary act,” Wearing said.
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