BY: Liliana R . Suarez, Senior Editor For World Liberty TV
Photography by Al Caplan Freelance Photographer
The Memorial Ceremony for Ptl. Mike Melchiona was a well attended event with Ret. P.O. Henry Melchiona and his family, NYPD Chief of the Department Terence Monahan, Admin. Chief Bob Ganley, TA President Andy Byford, District 1 CO Capt. O’Sullivan, former Transit Bureau Chief Joe Fox, PBA President Pat Lynch, a contingent of Officers from Suffolk County PD, and other NYPD uniformed ranks and the NYPD Color Guard and Band contingents.
Today was the long overdue recognition for Mike Melchiona who was killed in the line of duty on the 50th St & Broadway IRT subway station on February 28, 1970. A brass plaque will be mounted on that station in Mike’s memory.
I was speaking with Mike’s brother, Henry, this evening who told me that he and his family were overwhelmed by this tribute and the number of retirees, active police officers, Chiefs, former Transit Bureau Chief Joe Fox, and other ranking officers, PBA Pat Lynch, Deputy Commissioner Bob Ganley, and the MTA President were in attendance.
Also, in attendance were Pipes & Drums. K-9 Units and police officers from various police departments from the NY & NJ area. There were many Suffolk County Police officers including Henry’s son and nephew who are both detectives with the SCPD.
After the dedication the PBA provided a luncheon in District 1 for all the attendees and guests. This was a very proud moment for the entire Melchiona family.
Patrolman Melchiona was shot and killed during a foot pursuit. Patrolman Melchiona was on foot patrol when he encountered a suspect in the bathroom at IRT station at 50th and Broadway. The suspect was smoking a cigarette. Patrolman, Melchiona asked the suspect identification, with the intention of issuing him a summons for smoking in the transit system.
The suspect pulled a .22 caliber handgun and held it to Patrolman Melchiona’s head, ordering him to walk out of the bathroom. When they exited the bathroom, the suspect had Patrolman Melchiona lie down. The suspect then disarmed him. The suspect then fled with Patrolman Melchiona in pursuit.
Another Patrolman saw the suspect fleeing on foot and joined the pursuit. The suspect jumped into a cab and ordered the driver to drive. Patrolman Melchiona continued to chase the suspect on foot. The suspect then pointed his gun out the window of the cab and fired, hitting Patrolman Melchiona in the neck, killing him.
The other Patrolman continued the chase and fired multiple shots at the fleeing taxi cab, killing the suspect.Officer Melchiona had been with the agency for four years and was assigned to Transit District 1. He was survived by his wife and two young children.