Americas Most Wanted Finalist 2010
Rochester Police Department
On January 31, 2009 on the corner of Dayton Street, the life of Officer Anthony DiPonzio took a dramatic change. He was a little more than a year into his career with the Rochester Police Department, when Officer DiPonzio along with three other officers responded to a call to back up a fellow officer, Kevin Mack, on the infamous Dayton Street which was a location known for illegal drug sales. Upon meeting and speaking briefly the officers began walking to their vehicles. At that instant a shot rang out and Officer DiPonzio fell to the ground from a gunshot to the back of his head. None of the officers knew where the shot came from and while backup units were in route, the officers placed critically injured Officer DiPonzio into a patrol car in an effort to get him the medical attention he desperately needed. Anthony's chances for survival were described as slim as he was rushed into surgery. Officer DiPonzio managed to survive the night and embarked on the long and emotional road of rehabilitative recovery. A 14 year old youth was later tried and convicted for the shooting.
Officer DiPonzio has been recognized for his self-less service by being awarded the Purple Heart in January of 2009. In 2008 he received a Life Saving Award and Officer of the Month Award. Anthony's dedication, resilience and determination have combined to help him beat the odds day after day with the goal of returning to duty, which he hopes to do in a couple of months. He has made many appearances at schools, community gatherings and various events to express his appreciation and gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received. It is the citizens of the Rochester Community that Officer Anthony DiPonzio eagerly waits to return to serve and protect.