Montgomery Officers Recognized For Efforts in Separate Incidents

Detective Jim Peacock put out a fire engulfing a car with five inside.
Detective Jim Peacock put out a fire engulfing a car with five inside. (Family Photo)
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By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 7, 2009

One officer was off duty when he drove up to a burning car with five teenagers inside.

The other, in a separate incident, was hit by a car and sent sprawling onto its hood. Holding on with one hand, he fired at least one round at the driver, just before the car crashed.

Montgomery County Police Detective Jim Peacock and Officer Kevin Reese were recognized over the weekend during halftime of a professional soccer game between the Washington Freedom and the St. Louis Athletica at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds.

"It was a real honor," said Reese, the officer who fired his gun from the hood of the car, who received the "Local Heroes" award.

Peacock, a detective in the Germantown area, was off duty and driving home the night of Oct. 21 when he came upon a single-car wreck just outside Damascus, police said. The car was on fire, with a front-seat passenger trapped inside.

Peacock, a 21-year member of the force, radioed for help, grabbed a fire extinguisher from his cruiser and emptied it into the flames. A second officer with an extinguisher helped keep the fire from reigniting, police said.

During this time, Peacock, a former volunteer firefighter and rescue worker, administered first aid. His actions, and those of others, were not enough to save one of the teenagers in the car, Ryan Didone, 15, the son of a Montgomery police captain.

Reese, in his seventh year with the department, is assigned to its Police Community Action Team. About 8:20 p.m. on Feb. 26, he and other team officers stopped a car on Castle Boulevard near Castle Ridge Circle, not far from the Montgomery Auto Park.

Officers smelled marijuana and asked the driver and the rear-seat passenger to get out, police said. The front-seat passenger slid behind the steering wheel about the time Reese ran to the front of the car, police said.

The passenger then hit the gas, and the car hit Reese, breaking his left tibia and fracturing his left kneecap, Reese said in an interview Monday. He also tore an Achilles' tendon.

He held on to the hood for about 50 yards as the person driving swerved, trying to knock him off the car. Reese said he yelled at the driver to stop and eventually fired his gun.

He is using a wheelchair as his recovery continues, and he said he hopes to be back on full duty in September.

The suspect in the case, Nicholas Banks, received injuries described as "consistent with gunshot wounds."

He is facing a first-degree assault charge.

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