Patrol Officer Christopher Ernst earns commendation for excellence in service

by Frank Schroth

Patrol Officer Christopher Ernst was recently awarded a commendation for excellence police service. His instincts and diligence resulted in the arrest of two criminals, Yohan Gomez of Medfor and Tatiana Martinez of Hyde Park. Mr. Gomez was a known felon who had been released from prison as a result of suppression of evidence stemming from Annie Dookan Drug lab scandal. Here is what happened.

On December 9, 2012 at approximately 2:30 in the morning Officer Ernst responded to a 911 call regarding a suspicious sedan on Meagher Avenue. He arrived to find the vehicle parked and running with a man and woman inside. He was told that they had pulled into this street off Blue Hills Parkway after blowing a front tire and that  a friend was coming to pick them up. Their friend arrived and the officer was told they would be back in the morning to pick up the car. Ernst noted the woman’s name, had them lock the car, and saw them off. He then left the scene. But he had second thoughts after a discussion with fellow officer Robert Mason.

It was a busy night and there was a lot to be done but something didn’t feel right to Ernst. he returned to Audubon Road and Meagher Avenue to once again check this vehicle. Upon closer inspection with a flashlight he discovered what appeared to be a bullet hole in the drivers side door and a large bag of marijuana tucked in the side door pocket with a black revolver tucked next it. During this second inspection Officer Mason had been conducting a search of the neighborhood. He located a brown Mercury Marquis on Meagher Avenue and inside were the two suspects, Tatiana Martinez and Yohan Gomez. These were the same two individuals who had been in the vehicle at Officer Ernst’s initial encounter.

They were placed under arrest for carrying a loaded firearm without a license and possession of a Class D substance in excess of one ounce. A search warrant was executed the following day by Detective Pamela DiGiovanni and an examination of the vehicle recovered seven medium size bags of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, a 357 magnum revolver that had two discharged cases and three live rounds, and a small bag containing a brownish substance believed to be heroin.

On learning of the arrest Boston Police expressed relief. Gomez was a habitual and dangerous felon. It appears at the time of the arrest that Martinez and Gomez had been involved in some type of drug transaction in Boston just prior to Ernst encountering them, and that shots were fired between the suspects and unknown individuals at that time.

In commending Officer Ernst Chief of Police Richard Wells states,

You were very fortunate during your initial interaction that it did not result in a lethal force situation with these two felony suspects. Your personal diligence as well as the fact that you reached out to Officer Mason and Sergeant Douglas to assist you helped to achieve the arrest of these two serious criminals.

As Chief of Police, I understand that you have only been on this job a relatively short number of years. Your immediate supervisors have repeatedly commented on your performance and professional tenacity. It is this type of effort and commitment that is critical to the success of the Milton Police Department. You are hereby awarded one day off for attention to duty and excellence in police service.

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