2006-09-07 / Front Page

HERO SANIT WORKER SLAIN

By Charles Rogers

Sanitation workers Michael Kalinowski, left, and Damon Allen stand in front of building on Remsen Avenue where they saved a girl a year ago. Allen was shot to death early Monday while trying to save others.
 Mike CastelanoSanitation workers Michael Kalinowski, left, and Damon Allen stand in front of building on Remsen Avenue where they saved a girl a year ago. Allen was shot to death early Monday while trying to save others. Mike Castelano It was the September 17, 2005 issue of the Canarsie Courier that we ran the story of hero Sanitation worker Damon Allen, 33, who, along with his partner Michael Kalinowski, 25, caught a 4-year-old girl who was dropped from the second story of a burning building by her stepfather. Allen and Kalinow-ski were praised for their efforts and honored by receiving the city's Gold Medal of Honor from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Now, not even a year later, Damon Allen is dead, one of four men shot on Prospect Place in Crown Heights at about 1:30 a.m. Monday after a birthday party broke up and he and others were about to walk home.

Published reports indicated there was a gun battle where at least 50 bullets flew in every direction. Allen was in the process of pushing two girls to the ground - out of harm's way - when he was struck in the head with a bullet, killing him instantly.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told members of the media that Allen had nothing to do with the shooting. The other three people shot were taken to Kings County Hospital. One was reported in critical condition and the other two were reported stable.

Police reported late Tuesday they had arrested Anthony Williams, 27, of Crown Heights, who was interrogated at Kings County Hospital where he was being treated for gunshot wounds incurred in the shootout. Commissioner Kelly told reporters Williams had al-legedly robbed someone at the birthday party and was chased away by residents and guests. He came back a short time later and, sources said, began firing into the crowd as they were leaving the party. Someone in the group of partygoers retaliated, supposedly shooting Williams four times. His wounds were not considered life threatening, police said.

Allen, who worked out of the Brook-lyn South 17 Depot on Avenue D in the northern section of Canarsie, had been in the middle of an overnight shift a year ago when he and Kalinowski saw the house on Remsen Avenue on fire. They stopped the truck to see if they could help and Allen ran towards the building because he saw a man and a child on the third floor fire escape. The man yelled, "Somebody catch my daughter!" and Allen told him to de-scend one more flight, if possible. From that point, the child was dropped safely into the arms of the brave sanitation workers.

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