Painesville Police Officers Recognized for Life Saving Actions

On Tuesday, October 2, on behalf of the Lake County Chiefs of Police Organization, Eastlake Police Chief Larry Reik presented awards to four Painesville Police Officers for their life saving actions taken on July 23 involving a flipped vehicle that quickly submerged in a pond off Renaissance Parkway in Painesville.


Painesville Police Officer Kevin Love, Officer Cory Whitt and Officer Brian Avery all received the Life Saving Award for their actions. Officer Ryan Cueni received the Medal of Honor for his key role in the incident and is the first police officer on record of the Lake County Chiefs of Police Organization to be issued the Medal of Honor twice in his career.


On Tuesday, July 23 at approximately 2:45 a.m., Painesville Police began pursuing a Toyota Corolla for running a red light at the intersection of Richmond and Chester Streets. The vehicle fled onto Renaissance Parkway at a high rate of speed, lost control and crashed into a pond, landing on its roof.


Officers Cueni, Love, Whitt and Avery rushed to the area observing that the vehicle was sinking quickly. Cueni was able to remove a 33-year-old female passenger and was advised there was still another person inside the vehicle. Cueni struggled to get into the now fully submerged vehicle and at the last second pulled a 32-year-old male to safety.


“Lake County officers and supervisors feel that Ptl Cueni’s quick actions put his own life in jeopardy, while saving the lives of the two passengers, as the vehicle literally sank out of sight. The actions of Ptl Love, Ptl Avery and Ptl Whitt were also instrumental in assisting with this rescue,” said Chief Reik at the award ceremony.


Officer Cueni was recognized with his first Medal of Honor on September 5, 2018 for his heroic actions while facing an armed suspect who held a mother while her two children were hiding on February 2, 2017. Without regard to his own safety, Officer Cueni climbed over a dresser, turning his back to the armed suspect and ushered both children to safety before freeing the mother from knife point.


Left to Right: Officer Brian Avery, Officer Kevin Love, Officer Cory Whitt and Officer Ryan Cueni