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109th Pct. Cops of the Month raid gambling den in Broadway

Sgt. Mike Lubomski (l. to r.), Officer Phil Degorter, Sgt. Jim Blauvelt and Officer Elaine Galvin pose with their Cop of the Month awards during the October meeting of the 109th Precinct Community Council. Photo by Connor Adams Sheets
TimesLedger Newspapers

Brian Maguire, deputy inspector of the 109th Precinct, honored four officers last week as the precinct’s newest Cops of the Month.

Maguire issued the awards to Sgts. Jim Blauvelt and Mike Lubomski and Officers Phil Degorter and Elaine Galvin during a ceremony at the precinct’s Oct. 12 community council meeting for their leadership in a Sept. 30 raid on a Broadway gambling den.

Commending them for their “great police work,” Maguire told of the harrowing scene the officers happened upon that night, when the team arrested three men accused of breaking into a home filled with 20 people that was being used as an illegal gambling location.

Maguire said that when the officers arrived on the scene, they went to the open basement door in the back of the house, which was promptly slammed shut by someone inside. When an officer opened it back up, they were greeted by a grisly scene that included “numerous males stripped down.”

Two of the men had allegedly been pistol-whipped and one had been allegedly stabbed in the backside, Maguire said.

The stripped men the police found in the home were the alleged victims of Austin Scott, 29, and Jason Scott, 26, both of 46-30 204th St. in Auburndale, and Christopher Hart, 27, from 113-14 209th St. in Queens Village, who were each charged with robbery, burglary, assault and unlawful imprisonment, police said.

Police said they responded to a 911 call of a home invasion around 2 a.m. only to find the suspected den from which they recovered knives and firearms, including an old-fashioned “street-sweeper shotgun,” Maguire said.

After accepting his award, Degorter said it was one of the most intense nights he had experienced as a police officer.

“Knowing that there were guys with guns running around was very hectic. They’d all been arrested prior for similar things. They definitely could have hurt someone. They were heavily armed,” Degorter said, adding that receiving the monthly award gave him “a great feeling.”

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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