- Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Richarson Myrthil usually drives his 16-year-old brother to Caloosa Park to play basketball and then leaves to practice his own game elsewhere.
But on Nov. 19, the 25-year-old came back to play just before a drug deal became violent. Instead of playing basketball, Myrthil tried to save the life of a man who had just been shot in the back.
A crowd of about 50 dispersed into the woods but Myrthil stayed. He searched for his brother, and found him, and also spotted the victim — Desean Menelas.
Menelas grabbed onto Myrthil’s leg.
“I need help I got shot,” Myrthil said 20-year-old Menelas begged. “I told him I’d help him. He said ‘promise me you’ll help me.’ So that’s what I did.”
Myrthil cradled him in his arms, used a shirt to put pressure on the wound and drove to a hospital. On the way there, he flagged down officers. He also gave information that led to an arrest in the shooting.
On Tuesday, the Boynton Beach Police Department honored Myrthil for his bravery and life-saving efforts. They gave him the Citizen Appreciation Award and offered encouragement at the department’s quarterly awards.
“We are told that you have aspirations of becoming a police officer … our profession certainly needs more individuals like you,” said Capt. Matthew Zeller.
The department awarded officers and dispatchers in a ceremony that offered only a “glimpse” of everyone’s hard work, Zeller said. Tuesday’s was the department’s first awards ceremony under the leadership of Interim Chief Kelly Harris. She replaced Jeffrey Katz who retired in December. Harris welcomed two new officers: Carlos Borrero and Jessi Festa.
Detective Marco Villari, who has been with the department for about eight years, received the Civility Accountability and Pride award — the department’s highest honor. The married father of three young girls works in the Major Case Squad and is a member of the SWAT team. His investigations include homicides, robberies, sexual battery, animal cruelty and human trafficking cases.
Villari said he felt bad being the sole recipient because it takes several officers to make a successful case. Still, he said he was honored and said his family is pleased.
“It’s been a lot on them that I’m always gone. They’re definitely happy I’m getting awarded for all the time I’m not home,” he said.
Additional awards included: