Two Nutley residents, Nutley Police Sgt. Jeffrey Polewka and Detective David Fontoura, of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, were awarded Medals of Valor by the 200 Club of Essex County.
The narrative that accompanied the medal is printed here in full.
On the evening of Oct. 31, 2017, Detective David Fontoura was “off-duty” at his residence in Nutley when he heard six to eight gunshots, fired nearby in rapid succession.
Fontoura immediately took police action.
Exiting his residence, Fontoura observed an adult male lying in the street. The victim was bleeding heavily from his head and torso.
Checking the victim for signs of life, Fontoura detected a faint pulse and began to render medical aid.
The victim’s eyes soon rolled towards the back of his head and he stopped breathing.
As Fontoura administered CPR in an effort to save the victim’s life, Nutley Sgt. Polewka arrived on the scene to assist with the aid.
Moments later, the officers heard a man’s voice yelling from behind their location.
As the man approached, Fontoura and Polewka observed that he was holding a semi-automatic handgun in his right hand.
The two officers assumed a tactical position. They drew their service weapons and ordered the male suspect to drop his weapon. After several verbal orders, the suspect finally dropped his gun and was taken into custody.
The officers remained tactically vigilant while continuously surveying the area for other suspects and performing CPR on the victim who regretfully succumbed to his wounds.
Throughout this incident — with a dangerous and armed suspect and a medical emergency — the officers demonstrated tremendous restraint, bravery, teamwork and dedication.
The 200 Club of Essex County is proud to present Valor Awards to Detectives David Fontoura and Sgt. Jeffrey Polewka.