Fallen law enforcement remembered on National Peace Officers Memorial Day
Law enforcement officers on Wednesday are gathering in Washington, D.C., to remember their fallen on National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Four Pennsylvania officers are among those being honored during the national memorial service, including New Castle Detective Sgt. Brian S. Cuscino, 44, and state prison guard Sgt. Mark Baserman, 60, of Johnstown.
Cuscino suffered an apparent heart attack during a physical training exercise April 19, 2018.
Baserman died Feb. 26, 2018, after investigators said he was punched and kicked by an inmate at the Somerset County prison.
Gov. Tom Wolf ordered state and American flags to fly at half-staff in honor of the memorial day during National Police Week. The White House will be lit in blue in appreciation of police officers.
Other officers in the region who have been killed in the line of duty over the past two decades include:
• New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw was killed Nov. 17, 2017, while pursuing a suspect fleeing from a traffic stop. Rahmael Sol Holt, 30, is facing the death penalty if convicted of first-degree homicide at trial.
• On July 14, 2017, state Trooper Michael Stewart was killed on Route 711 in Ligonier when his vehicle struck a garbage truck. No criminal charges resulted from Stewart’s death.
• Canonsburg police Officer Scott Leslie Bashioum was shot and killed when he and another officer were ambushed during a domestic abuse call on Nov. 10, 2016.
• St. Clair police Officer Lloyd Reed was gunned down on Nov. 28, 2015, as he responded to a domestic abuse call at a home. The man accused of firing the fatal shot was acquitted at trial.
• Ligonier Township police Officer Eric Eslary, 40, was killed May 5, 2015, when his vehicle was hit on Route 30 by a drunk driver. His killer, Clair Fink , 33, of Ligonier is serving a 12- to 30-year prison sentence.
• Perryopolis police Officer Richard Champion died on Dec. 12, 2014, during a vehicle pursuit.
• East Washington Officer John Dryer, 46, was fatally shot and a second officer injured during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Washington County on Dec. 19, 2011. The suspect was killed by a police sharpshooter during a standoff.
• Lower Burrell police Officer Derek Kotecki was killed Oct. 12, 2011, during an ambush outside of a fast food restaurant. Charlie Post, the man police say fatally shot Kotecki, was killed during a shootout with police.
• State Trooper Paul G. Richey, 40, was killed Jan. 13, 2010, while responding to a domestic dispute in Cranberry, Venango County.
• Penn Hills police Officer Michael Crawshaw died in a gun battle on Dec. 6, 2009, when his patrol car was sprayed with gunfire from an AK-47-style rifle.
• Pittsburgh police Officers Paul Sciullio, Stephen James Mayhle and Eric Guy Kelly were killed in a shootout in the Stanton Heights section of the city on April 4, 2009.
• FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks was shot to death as he and other agents attempted to serve a warrant in Indiana Township on Nov. 19, 2008.
• State police Cpl. Joseph Pokorny was shot to death during a traffic stop on Dec. 12, 2005, in Carnegie.
• State police trooper Robert Bianchin of Harmony died in a car crash in Butler County, on April 27, 2003.
• State police trooper Joseph Sepp was shot during a gun battle on Nov. 9, 2002, in Somerset.
• State police trooper Tod C. Kelly died after being struck by road debris in Robinson on Nov. 7, 2001.
• Aliquippa police Officer James Naim , 32, of Hopewell, Beaver County, was shot to death while patrolling the Linmar Terrace housing complex in Aliquippa on March 15, 2001.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .