When NYPD Sgt. Roger “RJ” Coleman saw a man with tattoos on his face and neck on a Manhattan subway platform back in May, he knew he was looking at the killer from a wanted poster that he had just handed out to his cops.
“We were all looking for this guy,” Coleman told The Post Thursday at an awards ceremony in Brooklyn, where 11 sergeants were honored by the Sergeants Benevolent Association’s union. “I gave the fliers to all my guys. And, sure enough, he walked right to me.”
Coleman, who was on the L train platform at 14th Street and First Avenue, looked at a female police officer standing nearby, and they both snapped into action.
“She just knew when I gave her the eye signal, ‘This is the guy we’re looking for,’” the 24-year veteran recalled at the Sergeants Benevolent Association luncheon in Dumbo. “You just know it when you know it.”
The two officers fought Nicholas Brent Gibson, who was wanted in Miami, and were able to take him down with the help of an MTA worker.
Gibson, aka Brent Savage, was wanted for killing a 77-year-old victim with a sword — and claimed to have murdered six other people since 1999.
Coleman said he thought about pulling his gun, but “it was very close quarters. We were almost on the tracks a couple times.”
The MTA worker knocked the killer off balance, allowing the officers to take him to the floor and cuff him.
Sgt. John Moynihan, of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, was also honored at the event for his work in helping to arrest Cesar Sayoc, the terrorist who pleaded guilty in August to sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN.
“We wound up getting some information that they were being mailed from Florida,” he said. “Then we deployed a team consisting of NYPD personnel, the FBI and the US Postal Service down there to try to figure out where the packages were coming from.”
The team determined the packages of dud bombs were coming from a postal hub, but still had to find Sayoc.
“We eventually discovered Cesar Sayoc in his van, and we proceeded to follow him and pursue him, and he was taken down in Florida at a local mall,” Moynihan, a 34-year NYPD vet, said. “It was great teamwork. Terrorism is such a vital part of what we do here.”
He didn’t arrest a suspect or find a serial killer, but Sgt. Michael Alfieri was honored for doing his part to keep other cops safe.
Alfieri responded to a call of a man with a gun in a ninth floor apartment on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The Technical Assistance Research Unit cop flew a drone that hovered outside the apartment.
“He was barricaded in his apartment,” Alfieri told The Post. “So we had a pretty good vantage point through his glass window. If they’re going to go in there, it would be nice to know that he laid the gun on the window sill.”
Once the man was no longer holding the weapon, cops barged inside and arrested him.
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“When the guys got up there,” the 13-year NYPD veteran said, “they realized it was a simulated gun.”