Life Saving Efforts Recognize Toms River Police Department


TOMS RIVER, N.J. — The Toms River Police Department recently honored several police officers for their actions in saving lives in emergency situations earlier this year.

The police department described the situation and actions of the commended officer as follows:

Officer Kevin Oliver — Life Saving Award

On March 20th, Officer Kevin Oliver and others responded to a building fire on Mount Everest Lane in the Holiday City community. First, Oliver and Officer John Carolan rescued a man from the front door of the house while Officer Brendan Hiltz administered his CPR to him. Firefighters from the Silverton Fire Company then entered the burning house and rescued the woman as well, while Oliver performed CPR on her. Both residents were treated at the St. Barnabas Burn Center. The woman survived, but the man died from a blow to his body.

“All officers involved should be commended for their bravery, swift action and life-saving steps,” said Police Chief Mitchell Little.

Sergeant Vincent Pedalino, Cpl. Greig Errion, and Officer Kris Kowalczyk — Class C Award: For outstanding service to the community and to our fellowmen.

On March 10, police responded to the Motel 6 with a report of a suicidal man. After repeated attempts by the officer to persuade the man, the man began slitting his throat with a cutter, prompting police to break down the door. Cpl. Greig Elion, Officer Chris Kowalczyk, Sgt. Vincent Pedalino entered the room, but the man was still injuring himself while running to the bathroom after attempting a non-lethal option. He subdued the man, removed the box cutter, and received the medical assistance he needed to save his life.

“All officers involved have been commended for their rapid action, restraint, and good tactical response,” Little said.

Sergeant Chris McDowell, Officer Brian Appleby, Seaside Heights Police Robert Wasilick — Class C Award: For outstanding service to the community and to our fellowmen.

On May 17, police responded to Bachelor Street and Route 37. Chris McDowell saw a man standing in the middle of the road brandishing a large machete and yelling at a passing car. A passing off-duty Seaside his Heights police officer, Robert Wazirick, saw the man with the knife and stopped to help. The man began to advance towards the retreating McDowell, drawing his gun. While trying to defuse the situation, McDowell ordered the road closed as a safety precaution and waited for additional officers to respond with help. Away from the police, I started walking back into the wooded area, still with the machete in my hand. At one point, with the machete seemingly slipping out of the man’s hands, Officer Brian Appleby made a quick decision to move and dominate the man, creating a potentially lethal force situation. I finished what I had.

“All officers involved have been commended for their professionalism, tactics and de-escalation skills,” Little said.