Hershey – Two Pennsylvania State Police troopers, who risked their lives in separate incidents in Berks and Lycoming counties, were honored today with the State Police Medal of Honor, the department’s highest award.
Sgt. Adam R. Kosheba, from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Dauphin County, and Cpl. Brad J. Eisenhower, of Troop F, Montoursville, Lycoming County, received medals during an awards ceremony at the State Police Academy in Hershey.
“Both of these troopers showed unparalleled bravery and commitment,” State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said in presenting the awards. “Their performance was in the best traditions of the Pennsylvania State Police.”
Kosheba received the honor for his actions during a shootout with a man who killed Berks County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Pagerly.
On June 30, 2011, Pagerly and Kosheba were part of a federal and state police task force trying to arrest Matthew Connor on burglary, firearms and assault charges. Connor had fired a weapon during a domestic dispute and fled toward a family cabin in an isolated wooded area.
As police approached, Connor opened fire on the officers with an AK-47 rifle. Several rounds fired by Connor struck Pagerly. Kosheba returned fire, killing Connor.
The state trooper, a former paramedic, began providing medical aid to the gravely wounded 28-year-old Pagerly. Kosheba, with the help of other officers, carried Pagerly up the wooded hillside to a police vehicle approximately one half mile away.
Kosheba continued to administer first aid to Pagerly in the backseat of the vehicle as they drove to the landing site for a medical helicopter. Continued attempts to save Pagerly were unsuccessful, and he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
“Sgt. Kosheba’s selfless and courageous actions undoubtedly saved the lives of other task force members who were ambushed by this dangerous fugitive,” Noonan said.
Kosheba, who enlisted in the state police in 1993, is assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Dauphin County.
Eisenhower received the award for helping a young mother and her two children who were stranded on the roof of their home by rising floodwaters.
On Sept. 7, 2011, the State Police Montoursville station received multiple calls of residents stranded in their homes during extreme flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee.
Eisenhower and his partner, Cpl. Larue Stelene, responded to the area. A man flagged down the troopers, saying that his daughter and her children were stranded on top of their home.
The troopers found the home was about 200 feet out in the water. All the surrounding homes and structures had already been washed away and flooding conditions prevented the use of a conventional rescue boat.
While awaiting a hovercraft, Eisenhower tied a rope around himself as Stelene held onto the other end. The swift-moving water was impossible to navigate, and Eisenhower was swept into the water. Stelene was able to pull him to safety.
The hovercraft arrived and Eisenhower joined the crew, helping to get the woman and her children to safety.
“Corporal Eisenhower selflessly disregarded his personal safety and rescued a woman and her two children,” said Noonan. “His courageous actions during this incident stand as a testament to the highest standards and traditions of the Pennsylvania State Police.”
Eisenhower, who joined State Police in 2000, is assigned to the Patrol Unit at Troop F, Montoursville.
State Police have presented 58 Medals of Honor since the award was created in 1970.
For more information about the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.state.pa.us.