2013-07-05 / Top Stories

Officer Becomes Father’s Day Hero

By Miriam Rosenberg

Police Officer Joseph Koch Police Officer Joseph Koch A 101 Precinct officer’s quick reaction may have saved a life while he was off-duty on Father’s Day.

On June 16th, Officer Joseph Koch, 29, was in Jamaica, Queens visiting with family and friends. At approximately 10 p.m., a young man who lived close by came running saying, “He’s is trying to kill my mother.”

Koch jumped into action coming to the defense of the boy’s 34-year-old mother, Christina Rodriguez. The officer ran to the Rodriguez home and entered it with his weapon drawn. It was then that Jose Bernazard, 40, saw Koch.

“He [Koch] enters the door as this individual is coming out,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “He [Bernazard] apparently sees the weapon and charges into the officer. A struggle ensues. Shots are fired.”

As a result, both Koch and the perpetrator were injured. The bullet reportedly entered Koch’s left hand and broke several bones. Koch underwent surgery and was released from the hospital on June 21st. It is possible more surgery will be needed.

“It’s a serious wound,” said Kelly. “He lost a knuckle on his ring finger.”

Rodriguez went to the hospital with a head wound that required 11 stitches.

Rodriguez’s son Jacob, 11, whose quick thinking allowed him to find help for his mother reportedly said, “Everybody is calling me a hero. I’m thinking about becoming a police officer because of what Joe did. He saved me and my mom. Maybe I can do that for others.”

According to reports, police had gone to the Rodriguez home several times on domestic violence calls. Bernazard, the alleged assailant, is in stable condition after being shot in the abdomen, the neck and the hand.

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