By Jerry DeMarco
[Video below.] It seemed like so much TV sensationalism at the time, but unconfirmed reports now say that authorities have this ex-con in custody in connection with a contract hit on police in retaliation for the arrest of a man charged with the cold-blooded murder of Lakewood Police Officer Christopher Matlosz.
The would-be gunman, 50-year-old Donald “Donnie” Dorsey, 6’1″ and 240 pounds, was released from Bayside State Prison in Leesburg last September after serving less than eight months of an 18-month sentence for a shoplifting conviction.
I believe the report by WPIX-11 (see below).
What gives it solid credibility with me is that it comes from Mike Sheehan, a former New York City homicide detective I came to know in my years on the police beat as a man of impeccable credentials (Mike spread his name beyond law enforcement circles by using his investigative skills and contacts while working for Channel 5, establishing himself as a hard-nosed, trustworthy newsman you simply didn’t mess with).
Now, I say, authorities can make their own example: Try the man responsible for the contract, as well as the alleged hit man, Dorsey, on attempted murder charges. Then put the word out that anyone who dares try the same stupidity can expect to face the same consequences.
Amid the fear and anxiety caused by the original WPIX report was the knowledge that no law enforcement officer, or official, was going to rest until this was sniffed out — and snuffed out.
Police, by their very nature, are on their guard. They’re hard-wired to be vigilant, to watch their partners’ backs — to watch their own backs, when necessary. They know that complacency can kill.
You’ve met cops who seemed stiff, rigid, almost defensive, right? That’s because they’re doing what they’re supposed to. If they don’t know you, their first instinct should be NOT to trust you — until you prove otherwise.
That’s because every minute of their working (and, often, non-working) lives is spent under a potential threat. The uniform itself is a target of sorts for wackos, jokers and would-be tough guys who have no respect for the badge. Every call is a risk, every traffic stop a gamble — especially with all the guns out there, many of them in the hands of idiots.
What the papers and TV should be doing is encouraging everyday citizens to pay attention themselves.
Very few crimes in this world suddenly happen. There are indicators — some of them right there in your face. There are also subtle signs, which, if you’re paying attention, you’ll pick up on — lots of people going in and out of a residence and not staying long, to use an oversimplified example.
Here’s a better example: You know of someone who’s mouthing off about hurting someone — be it a law enforcement officer or a janitor — call it in, right away.
It’s like they say in NYC: If you see something, say something. Believe me: The police won’t feel bothered. As a matter of fact, they appreciate the help. Instead of complaining about their rapidly disappearing pensions or worrying that a gang member is hiding in the closet, what if we help those who protect and serve us — especially now that there are fewer and fewer of them around, thanks to your governor?
When you think about it, by helping them, we help protect ourselves.
As for my friends in law enforcement, as always: Be safe. Take nothing for granted. Nice grab on this one. Hopefully, he leads you straight to whomever took out the contract.
Here’s Mike Sheehan’s report for WPIX (Ch. 11):