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Detective Hnath Honored For Stopping Burglary

Lynnfield detective was off-duty this month when he came across a burglary in progress, leading to two arrests.

Lynnfield Selectmen approved a commendation for Detective Anthony Hnath at Monday night's meeting .

The incident took place on Tuesday, Nov. 8 when Hnath was off duty, driving his own car down Walnut Street. He saw a vehicle slowly driving in the neighborhood, and observed a couple of men acting suspiciously.

Hnath informed his colleagues of the situation and further checked out the situation after one of the men, who had been knocking at the door of a Walnut Street residence, was no longer visible. He rang the home's doorbell and then ran around the back of the house, intercepting a burglary suspect. A brief chase ensued and Hnath caught up to the suspect and kept him subdued until Lynnfield Sergeant Louis Trapasso arrived. The other suspect, a 26-year-old Woburn man, was later arrested in Lynn after police put out a BOLO alert for the Mitsubishi he was driving.

Almost all of the Lynnfield Police Department appeared to be on hand to see Hnath receive his commendation, as well as considerable praise from Chief David Breen and the town selectmen.

"Detective Hnath epitomizes all the values that we look for at the police department here in Lynnfield," said Selectman Bob MacKendrick. "This is an example of what our people are capable of."

Selectman Al Merritt recalled how he had once joined Hnath on a patrol, saying that "his demeanor was fantastic" and praising him for seeing town residents "as residents, not criminals."

Select Board Chair Arthur Bourque, himself a retired state trooper, noted his own first-hand experience with crime situations, and cited Hnath's ability to make the right decisions even in the considerable stress of that moment - especially since the Lynnfield detective headed into the situation unarmed and not even equipped with handcuffs.

"You deserve a lot of credit for making a lot of right decisions and for doing a lot of really good things," Bourque told Hnath.

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