YOU READ IT ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT FIRST: This is the hero officer who talked a troubled man out of a Paramus building where authorities believed he was holding a loaded handgun: Bergen County Police Sgt. David Donow.
Bergen County PD Sgt. David Donow (Photo courtesy
BRETT M. DZADIK )
Donow, 52, a former Fair Lawn police officer for five years, has worked the past 23 with the K-9 unit of the Bergen County Police Department.
The chiseled veteran, who has trained a half-dozen top-flight department dogs, ordinarily heads to crime scenes with Shango, a 6-year-old Malinois.
But a different purpose brought him to the Exxon offices in Paramus off Route 17 Tuesday morning after a company employee showed up with a gun, wrestled briefly with an Exxon official and then holed up in a first-floor office while the building and area were evacuated.
Donow was familiar with the man, Khalet Ringo, whom he knew as “George” from a few area gas stations where Ringo had worked, Paramus Police Chief Christopher Brock said.
It took awhile, but Donow gained his confidence and Ringo surrendered without a struggle, although Brock said he still seemed “a bit agitated” about something as he was led away.
It turned out the firearm was a replica starter pistol that fires blanks, but it easily could have been mistaken for a 9mm Baretta ( FOR MORE, CLICK HERE ).
“Not only a great cop and K-9 handler, he’s just a good guy,” Fair Lawn Officer Michael O’Brien said of Donow. “Still loves the job as if it was his first day, and anyone who knows him will tell you the same thing.”
Among his many acts of heroism, Donow was one of several police officers involved in a shootout in Hackensack 10 tens ago with a man bent on suicide by cop.
Najee Brown shot and killed his boyhood friend and cousin when officers were called to the building where it happened. As they converged on him, Brown walked down Central Avenue firing an AK-47 at them.
The officers – three from the county and 10 from Hackensack PD — took cover and demanded that Brown drop the semiautomatic weapon. But several witnesses said Brown refused.
“He just wouldn’t do it,” one said.
“You’re going to have to kill me,” several others told police.
As one of Donow’s fellow county officers approached to try and take the gun from him, Brown raised it and fired, just missing the cop’s head.
Eight other officers finally opened fire.
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