LUNENBURG – A Lunenburg police officer was recognized for his quick thinking for saving the life of an elderly man who was viciously attacked by a dog last summer.
On Aug. 1, Officer Gage Russell responded to the town’s Animal Control Facility on West Street following a report of a dog actively biting a 75-year-old man.
When he arrived on scene, the dog was still biting the man, later identified as Wayne Comeau, the husband of the town’s Animal Control Officer Kathy Comeau.
According to a press release from the Worcester District Attorney’s Office, Officer Russell got into the kennel with Comeau who was struggling from his injuries and fatally shot the dog in order to save his life.
After the incident, Comeau was airlifted to a Worcester hospital and eventually released. Comeau is still recovering from the injuries he sustained, which included serious bite wounds throughout his body, including his face and neck.
On Nov. 14, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. presented Officer Russell with his Excellence and Merit – TEAM Award. Early created the TEAM Award in 2019 to recognize public safety employees who go above and beyond the call of duty.
“This officer arrived at a chaotic scene, but remained calm, assessed the situation quickly and took immediate action,” Early said. “Officer Russell saw the animal latched onto Wayne Comeau’s arm and knew the grave situation the victim was in.”
Lunenburg police Chief Thomas Gammel said: “Officer Russell’s quick response and actions saved Mr. Comeau’s life. I believe Wayne would not have survived the attack if Officer Russell did not intervene. It was a fast and fluid scene where Officer Russell had to assess the situation quickly. Using his training, Officer Russell responded appropriately and professionally without hesitation and saved a life. We are proud to have him serve the town of Lunenburg.”