Citizens recognized for efforts to assist arrest of armed robbery suspects

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Captain Joseph DiRenzo presents a North Attleborough Police challenge coin to Danny Gonzalez (left) from Sterry Street Towing (Attleboro), and Aaron Gallucci (right) from MAPFRE Highway Assistance (Medford). Courtesy photo

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

North Attleborough Police have recognized the efforts of two people who, through their actions, helped affect the arrest of suspects sought in a number of armed robberies.

According to information provided by the NAPD, Danny Gonzalez of Sterry Street Towing in Attleboro and Aaron Gallucci of the MAPFRE Highway Assistance with presented with the Challenge Coin. This award is normally given to North Attleborough Police Officers who go above and beyond the call of service while performing their duties.

 

Gonzalez and Gallucci were recognized for their courageous efforts in assisting police with the apprehension of two suspects—Valerie Proulx, 41, and Justin O’Connell, 36, both of Brockton—involved in two armed robberies in North Attleborough and numerous robberies in other jurisdictions.

According to NAPD Capt. Joseph DiRenzo, police responded to a report of an armed robbery at Shaw’s in late October. The suspects, a male and a female, had entered the store, brandished a knife at staff, and demanded money. This occurred again on Nov. 12 at the Stop & Shop on Route 1. This time, staff and customers took pictures of the suspect’s vehicle before it fled the scene as police responded.

DiRenzo said that, seeking to ditch the vehicle, the suspects called for a tow truck to take them back to Brockton. With the pair in the truck, the driver received a call telling him that the two were wanted for armed robbery. The driver pulled over at a rest stop in Bridgewater, and Mass State Police quickly arrived on the scene. Proulx was arrested, and O’Connell fled on foot. He hijacked a car, allegedly assaulting the driver with a coffee cup.

A short distance away, a State Police Trooper saw the car speeding down the road and pursued. O’Connell crashed the vehicle into a tree and was placed under arrest. Mass State Police have issued a court summons for carjacking, being armed with intent to commit robbery, and assault and battery of someone over 65. The two were taken to an area hospital, where North Attleborough and State Police detectives interviewed them. Other departments also spoke to the suspects, as similar robberies have been reported in nearby communities.