The City of Utica honored two good Samaritans on Wednesday who helped a Utica Police officer subdue an armed suspect on July 31.
Stanley Markis grew up on Lexington Place in Utica. He now lives in Pennsylvania but was back home for a visit last week and heard a struggle outside his childhood home. When he went outside to check, he saw Utica police officer John Lomonico struggling with burglary suspect Ronald Flagg.
"I thought maybe the guy would just let him handcuff him but he didn't and was fighting him. then I said, do you need help and he said, yes I do," said Markis.
While Markis and Lomonico were trying to control Flagg, they saw a gun in his hand.
"We saw the handgun, we are worked on getting it and finally got it. I was lucky enough to be able to stand up and kick it. I kicked it about 25 feet away," said Markis.
Another neighbors, Jack Carter, heard the fight and came outside his house to help. Carter said he was thinking of Thomas Lindsey and other Utica police officers who died after being shot by suspects
"Officer Lomonico was saying he was trying to go for his gun, so I came down, grabbed his arm and put it in an arm bar," said Carter.
The two men helped Lomonico hold Flagg until other officers arrived on the scene. On Wednesday, Carter and Markis were honored by Utica's mayor and police chief. Chief Mark Williams said they may have saved officer Lomonico's life.
"The surprise of seeing a loaded handgun in this guys hand and have the presence to pry his fingers off the gun says a lot," said Williams.
Both Carter and Markis said they were just glad to help out.
"Things can happen like this and you need to be there and hopefully lend a hand," said Markis.
Different city agencies came together to provide the two men with $500 gift cards. Jack Carter said he was happy with just a handshake from officer Lomonico be his family also received a trip to Enchanted Forest Water Safari in a limousine.