Press Release Article


Date: May 31, 2012
Press Release Number: 81-2012

Officers catch attempted carjacking suspects and save man in cardiac arrest at JFK

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today honored 11 Port Authority Police Department officers for heroic actions in two separate incidents this year – one that led to the arrest of three suspects accused of trying to carjack a vehicle from a woman at an Elizabeth, New Jersey shopping mall and the other that resulted in a 49-year-old Queens man being revived by officers after he was found in full cardiac arrest at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Board members recognized the officers during the Board’s monthly public meeting.

The carjacking incident occurred on the afternoon of April 1 when a mother and her two daughters, ages 8 and 16, pulled into the Jersey Gardens Mall parking area in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As the woman pulled into a parking space, an armed man approached her and demanded her vehicle. The suspect then grabbed her door handle, banged on the car window, and allegedly fired his weapon into the ground in an attempt to gain entry into the car. The startled mother threw the car in reverse and was able to flag down a Port Authority Police officer who immediately called for back-up assistance, leading to the arrests of three suspects. Participating in the investigation of the incident and the arrest were Officers Frank Conti, Shawn Murphy, Edwardo Gonzalez, Rocco Rufrano and Sergeant Scott Kelliher.

In the airport incident, police officers Mike McCann and Mike Angerhauser were on patrol outside Terminal 4 at JFK when they found a man, later identified as Gary Roopao of Queens, lying on the roadway unconscious and unresponsive. The officers immediately began CPR and were joined by Officers Kenneth Gil and Thomas Lynch who took turns administering CPR. Officers Alfonso Rapisarda and Ernest Bohringer then arrived with a Port Authority ambulance and used a defibrillator to restart Mr. Roopao’s heart. He was transported to Jamaica Hospital where he made a full recovery.

“These officers – who protected a mother and her children from an armed man and who brought a man back to life – personify the tradition of extraordinary and heroic service of our police officers,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “Every day, outstanding officers like these protect our facilities and ensure that our customers, our employees and the public are safe.”

“Our officers regularly go above and beyond to protect not only our customers, but the public in general,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “We applaud these officers’ actions and commend them for the brave service they provide to the public every day.”

“The decisive actions of our officers typifies the type of service we provide to our customers and to the region every day,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Michael Fedorko. “Their actions are to be commended and I am so pleased the Board is bringing their valor to the public’s attention.”

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Al Della Fave, 201 239-3556

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. This includes John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

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