SHOTS FIRED AT OFFICERS- ARBOR PLACE TOWNHOMES

(New Castle, Delaware 19720) Yesterday afternoon, November 11, 2021, two New Castle County Police detectives, along with a Delaware Juvenile Probation Officer, all assigned to the Division’s Safe Streets Team were operating in an undercover capacity, inside a vehicle, in the 100 block of Parma Avenue – Arbor Place Townhomes. These officers were in the area to gather intelligence regarding juveniles known to be involved in violent crime. After observing several juveniles in a wooded area, the officers started their car and began to drive from the area.  As they neared the parkland on Parma Avenue, multiple shots were fired at the officers’ vehicle. The officers were able to flee the area without being injured. 

Other members of the Division of Police converged on the area and, with the assistance of the involved officers, a residence of interest was quickly established. As officers attempted to contact the occupants of that residence, multiple individuals fled from the home, many jumping from windows. All were taken into custody without incident. 

During the investigation, which remains ongoing, detectives conducted a series of interviews and executed a number of search warrants. Based on the information gathered and the evidence collected, detectives were able to charge two juveniles and one adult with the following charges:

Juvenile #1, a 15-year-old male, was charged with Attempted Murder 1st Degree (3 Counts), Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Conspiracy 1st Degree.

Juvenile #2, a 16-year-old male, was charged with Attempted Murder 1st Degree (3 Counts), Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Conspiracy 1st Degree.

Rashid Snow, an 18-year-old male, was charged with Providing a False Statement to Law Enforcement with the Intent to Delay/Hinder and Investigation. 

Snow was arraigned at the Justice of the Peace Court 11 and released on $2,000.00 Unsecured bail. Both Juvenile #1 and Juvenile #2 were arraigned by New Castle County Family Court and committed to the New Castle County Detention Center in lieu of $95,000.00 cash bail. 
            

Colonel Joseph Bloch, chief of the New Castle County Division of Police issued the following statement:

“What occurred yesterday on Parma Avenue demonstrates the real-life dangers America’s police officers face daily. I am grateful that our officers, and the Juvenile Probation Officer assigned to our Safe Street team, were able to return home to their families, unharmed; the reality is, that is not always a guarantee. The brazen actions by these juvenile offenders are disturbing and cause me great concern not only for the safety of Delaware’s Law Enforcement but, for each member of the public. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to address the violence that occurs in our communities and continue to make New Castle County a safe place to live and work.”

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact Detective Sergeant Orzechowski via email at thomas.orzechowski@newcastlede.gov or by telephone at 302-395-8110. 

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IN MEMORIAM: LT JOSEPH SZCZERBA

On this date, nine years ago, Lieutenant Szczerba of the New Castle County Division of Police went to backup other officers who were searching for a disorderly man near Penn Acres Park. He located the man at East Roosevelt Avenue and Fithian Drive and, after a short foot chase, began to struggle with him. During the struggle the subject pulled out a knife and stabbed Lieutenant Szczerba.

Other officers were able to take the subject into custody. Lieutenant Szczerba was transported to Christiana Hospital where he succumbed to the wound.

On September 30th, 2013, the subject pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and 13 additional counts. On January 17th, 2014, the subject was sentenced to two life terms in prison without parole.

Lieutenant Szczerba was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and awarded the department’s Medal of Honor.

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Lt. Joseph Szczerba

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.”

-Laurence Binyon

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