Tonawanda News

Local News

May 9, 2013

Fallen officer's funeral

Tonawanda News — Dozens of police officers, friends and family members attended the funeral of Evans police officer Frederick Garrasi III Wednesday in Tonawanda. 

Garrasi, 24, of Angola, was struck and killed while off duty Friday afternoon as he was heading eastbound on his motorcycle on Route 5 in the Town of Hamburg.  

A vehicle driven by Lorraine Pelc, 65, of Lake View, collided with Garrasi’s motorcycle at 12:15 p.m, killing him on site, according to Hamburg police. No charges have been filed against the driver. 

On Wednesday, more than 100 officers lined the front of the St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral as a police procession constituting more than a dozen area departments led Garrasi’s coffin down Eggert Road, past flag-wielding members of the American Legion and Patriot Riders, where the sounds of a bagpipe rang in the air. 

North Tonawanda police officer Stephen Endres, who is a part of the department’s newly formed honor guard, said Garrasi had been a former student of his at the police academy before he became a full-time officer in Evans three months ago.  

“He was a very nice kid, very polite,” Endres said. “Seeing all these police cars here is a fitting tribute to his memory.” 

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jeffery Wilson said he came to the funeral with five federal officers to pay their respects to Garrasi, who became a part-time member of the Evans Police Department in 2011. 

“We came out to show our support for our fallen brother,” he said. 

Kenmore police officer Tim Phillips who saluted Garrasi one last time in front of the church said he too came “out of respect for a fellow police officer.” 

“It’s a family,” he said. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.

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