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Press Release- Two Sheriffs Officers Honored for Roles in Shootout

2/24/2017 12:00:00 AM

Two McHenry County Sheriff's officers took home 2016 Officer of the Year honors from the McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association at their annual award meeting Tuesday.  Both officers were recognized for their courageous and professional handling of a shootout with a heavily-armed murder suspect last April.

              MCSO Sgt. Anthony Penna, now a 25-year veteran, and Deputy Michael Urgo, with 10 years' experience, were on duty as part of the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Fugitive Task force on the evening of April 15, when they were notified that a stolen vehicle believed to be driven by the prime suspect in a double homicide in Kentucky, had just been located in McHenry County.

              The vehicle had been stolen from Florida and was believed to be in the possession of Gerald Boyes Jr., a convicted violent felon who authorities believed responsible for the murders of his father, Gerald Boyes Sr., 73, and the latter's companion, Billie Potter, 67, in Paducah, Ky.

              Kentucky detectives then traced Boyes and the car to northern Illinois and advised the Task Force, who deployed Penna, Urgo and two Lake County Sheriff's deputies.  They observed the car as it began moving and kept it under surveillance as it crossed the line into Lake County, circled through a residential area and parked.  Boyes was observed sitting in the vehicle for some time.

              Having developed a plan to apprehend the driver, Urgo used his squad car to block the suspect's reverse movement, then he and Penna approached on alternate sides, each accompanied by a Lake County deputy, and began shouting commands for the driver to follow.

              Boyes reached over to the passenger side and picked up a firearm.  All four deputies fired and Boyes was fatally wounded.  In addition to the first firearm, a handgun was found in Boyes's belt and another on the passenger seat.

              "Who will ever know what crimes were prevented by finding and confronting this violent felon?" McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said.  "He was obviously trying to create distance between himself and the scene of a double homicide four days earlier, one of the victims being his own father, and he had to know he would top the list of suspects.  Desperate behavior would only come naturally in that situation, and he could lash out at anyone.  I am proud of Sgt. Penna and Deputy Urgo for helping to bring this crime spree to a close."

              "It is a complete honor to be chosen as a 2016 officer of the year for McHenry County.  There were many notable nominees who did some outstanding and courageous acts, and others who were recognized for the excellent professional work in their departments," Sgt. Penna said.

              "I am honored to be both a nominee, and recipient of this award. This is an award for not only myself, but all of the Law Enforcement Officers that were involved in the resolution of this incident," Deputy Urgo said. 

 

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