Two men who responded heroically during last New Year's Eve will be honored next week in a ceremony at ATF's national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
ATF Senior Special Agent John Capano, who during a struggle on the ground in front of with robbery suspect James McGoey of Hampton Bays, will posthumously receive the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Medal of Valor. Seaford resident Joseph Arbia, who responded to the robbery scene as an off-duty New York City police officer and shot and killed McGoey, will be awarded the Jake Kuredjian Memorial Award, which recognizes a law enforcement member officer who "has significantly contributed to the safety of agents" in an operation.
Capano, a Massapequa resident and , served 23 years as an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He was a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) who had had taught U.S. military and local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq how to investigate blasts.
Accepting the Medal of Valor honor at the awards ceremony scheduled for Aug. 23 will be Capano's wife, Dorea and children John M. and Natalie. The Massapequa family along with Capano's father James, a longtime Seaford resident, will also be presented the Gold Star Medal, ATF Memorial Award and Hostile Action Award.
The honor for Arbia will come just over a month after he and Christopher Geraghty, a retired Nassau County police lieutenant, of any criminal charges in the pharmacy robbery response after an investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney's office revealed that the use of deadly force was warranted, given the situation. Geraghty shot and killed Capano when he mistakenly thought he was the one responsible for the robbery, according investigators.
The Bureau of ATF in January blaming Capano's death squarely on McGoey, who they described as "a career criminal who chose to resume his life of crime."