The Hempstead Town Board gave out their “Keys to the Town” for the first time to two NYPD officers in acknowledgment of their bravery after they were shot during a pursuit in Brooklyn.
Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino presented the honor to NYPD Officers William Reddin of Lynbrook and William Yurkiw of Wantagh, during Tuesday’s town board meeting.
The two officers were responding to a Shot Spotter gunshot-recognition report Feb. 20 about 3 a.m. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Yurkiw and Reddin spotted a speeding vehicle driving the wrong way down Malcolm X Boulevard where it rammed a police car, police said.
The two officers were joined by another group of NYPD officers who surrounded the vehicle of the suspected shooter, Frederick Fuentes, 34, who exchanged gunfire with police. Yurkiw and Reddin were behind Fuentes’ vehicle in plain clothes.
Yurkiw was shot in the chest, but the bullet was blocked by a bulletproof vest. Reddin was shot in the lower back and hip and required surgery. Police officials said bullet fragments remain in his body.
Fuentes pleaded not guilty last week after he was indicted on 37 counts, including attempted murder. He faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.
Both Yurkiw and Reddin were treated and released for their injuries and stood with Hempstead town board members Tuesday as Santino presented the keys.
“The quick instincts of these officers kicked in when a cowardly person took aim at New York’s Finest and threatened the community,” Santino said. “These two superheroes stood in the face of danger to prevent an armed and dangerous criminal from hurting innocent civilians and their fellow men and women in blue.”