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Local samaritans recognized for helping Utica Police officer

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The city of Utica honored two civilians for their extraordinary courage on Wednesday.   
    
Jack Carter, of Lexington Place, and Stanley Markis, born and raised on Lexington now living in Pennsylvania, were in the right place at the right time last Thursday and a Utica Police officer is convinced he's alive today because of that fortunate timing and the bravery of the two men.
     
Officer John Lomonico responded to a burglary call Thursday, July 31.  He arrived to find suspect Ronald Flagg coming out of the window of a Lexington Place home, a pry bar in one hand and pillowcase stuffed with stolen items in the other.  After a brief chase, the officer tackled Flagg.  Markis was helping a relative move out of the family homestead when he saw the struggle. He went to help and noticed the suspect holding what turned out to be a loaded handgun.  Markis pried the gun from the suspect's hand and kicked it across the street. 
     
"That guy wasn't giving up. He wanted both guns," said Markis during today's ceremony honoring him, Carter and Lomonico.  
     
When the suspect went for the officer's duty weapon, Carter grabbed his arms so the officer could handcuff him.
      
The city of Utica on Wednesday honored the three men in the same spot where the extraordinary courage of the two ordinary citizens shined a bright light on a neighborhood not always cast in a positive one.
    
"Cornhill gets a bad rap from time to time. I'm from here. I can tell you this much; there are good people that live in Cornhill,"  said Utica Police Chief Mark Williams. 
    
The city presented the three men with certificates of appreciation.   For the two good Samaritans, $500 gift cards, donated by the city, Police PBA and Police Chief's Union.  And for Carter, who helps care for his five nieces and nephews, a full day at Enchanted Forest Water Safari, complete with limo ride there and back.  The children clapped and cheered at this news.  Their uncle, the hero, was taken aback.
   
"I didn't expect anything like this, I expected the certificate because they called me about that so that's what I expected. I didn't expect all this...it's crazy," said Carter.
   
The men hope that their example will prompt others to change the world for the better, if given the opportunity. 
   
"If you get an opportunity and you see somebody that needs a hand, don't walk away. Give them a hand," said Markis.
    

Officer Lomonico declined an on-camera interview after the recognition ceremony, saying he's just extremely grateful to Carter and Markis. 

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