Police awards recognize bravery by officers in Allegheny County
By Margaret Harding
Published: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, 10:19 p.m.
Thinking about his family and colleagues gave Pittsburgh police Officer Christopher Kertis the adrenaline he needed when a gunman fired bullets into his legs.
Disabled by two broken wrists, Kertis knew he had reasons “to get back up and keep fighting,” he said on Friday on receiving an award for heroism stemming from the March 17 arrest of Dante Bonner.
“There's a lot of stuff in life that makes you do unbelievable things,” said Kertis, who fired back at Bonner, as did his partner, Officer Charles Thomas.
Kertis and Thomas received the “Above and Beyond” award at the 13th annual Amen Corner Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Award ceremony at the Sheraton Station Square. The event honors Western Pennsylvania officers with awards carrying names such as the “Starsky and Hutch” and “Crime Doesn't Pay.”
Bonner, 19, is awaiting trial on charges of attempted homicide, assault of a law enforcement officer and other crimes.
Kertis spent two months recovering but said he will return to the Zone 5 station in Highland Park. Six officers from that zone have been shot since April 2009.
Kertis said almost all officers on his shift beat the ambulance to the shooting scene that day, even though the ambulance was only three blocks away.
“The way the guys are at Zone 5 makes you depend on them and count on them,” Kertis said. “I trust my life with those guys.”
The “911 Quick Response” award went to South Park police Officers Jon Booth and Joe Leonetti. They rescued a woman from her car on July 10, when Piney Fork Road flooded.
“We got her to put the window down, and we got her out through the window and walked her to dry land,” Leonetti said. “We did what we had to do to make sure she was all right.”
South Park police Chief Dennis McDonough said watching them wade into waist-deep water made him nervous.
“It wasn't on the top of my list of things I wanted them to do,” McDonough said. “But time was of the essence, and I'm extremely proud of them.”
Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Newsmaker: Joseph Bonadio
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- On Pittsburgh visit, ambassador says $15B in aid to Ukraine shows support
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- FirstEnergy last to get smart meter OK
- PennDOT cash eases road repair pain in Lawrence County
- CCAC to offer early retirement incentives
- Consumers pay high-tech price in privacy for perks
- Tea Party splits GOP, kindling party’s civil war