Painesville Police Officer Awarded Medal of Honor for Heroic Actions

On Wednesday, September 5 the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association awarded Painesville Police Officer Ryan Cueni the Medal of Honor for his actions of bravery taken without regard for his own safety in facing an armed suspect on February 2, 2017.
On the day of the incident at 3:15 a.m., Cueni and fellow officers responded to a report of a male forced entry to an apartment on Brentwood Drive, Painesville. Upon arrival, officers learned that the suspect, a 39-year-old male later identified as Michael Jenkins, had obtained a knife from the kitchen before forcing his way into a locked bedroom where the residents, a female victim and her two young children, ages 5 and 13, were hiding. The suspect then held the female down at knifepoint.
Thinking quickly, Cueni made entry into the darkened apartment through a window and unlocked the front door to allow other officers to enter. Cueni made his way to the bedroom and engaged the suspect verbally, observing that the children were in a state of panic. Selflessly, Cueni placed himself at serious risk by crawling over an overturned dresser and turned his back to the suspect and weapon for several seconds to enable the children to get behind him and locked them into a closet for protection. Cueni proceeded to try and find an opportunity to free the mother who was held at knifepoint. Ultimately, the male was tasered by an officer while
Cueni and another officer provided lethal cover and were able to free the female victim relatively unharmed. The suspect was arrested and ultimately sentenced to five years in Lorain Correctional Facility as a result of the incident.
“Ryan is an extremely humble and modest guy who didn’t think twice about putting himself in harm’s way for those kids,” said Painesville Chief Dan Waterman. “He has rarely missed a day of work in his 21 years in the department and we are fortunate to have such a high integrity and hardworking officer on our team.”