Irish cop given bravery award for gun arrest

Cormac Murphy

A US police officer from Ireland who tackled an armed suspect has received an award for his bravery.

Father-of-three Patrick Brady (45) helped remove a semi-automatic weapon from the dangerous individual, who had a history of mental health detentions.

Mr Brady is first cousin to a garda who was also honoured for his courage.

Patrick, a former pupil of Dublin's Coolmine Community School, has come across a number of frightening situations as a policeman -- but still feels safer in San Francisco than the Irish capital.

When asked could he work as a garda, he replied 'no' as officers in Ireland only have a "stick to defend themselves".

The incident in question saw him and his colleague Officer Robert Wong investigate a report of a man brandishing a gun in the tourist area of Sutro Park.

When they arrived, they identified the individual and saw a handgun protruding from his trouser pocket.


Officers Brady, from Dunboyne in Co Meath, and Wong drew their own weapons and approached the man before successfully disarming him. They removed a fully loaded .45 calibre semi-automatic handgun from his possession. A search revealed a further 100 rounds of ammo in the man's cargo pants.

It turned out that the individual had been detained on previous occasions over mental health issues.

Mr Brady, who is married to school principal Maria, was named San Francisco Police Officer of the Year at a Lions Club International ceremony in San Francisco.

In a commendation, San Francisco Lieutenant Milanda Moore stated: "These two officers are to be commended for their courage during this dangerous arrest.This incident could have swiftly deteriorated into an officer involved in a shooting, if it were not for the level headed approach of Officer Brady and Officer Wong."


Patrick, the son of the late Dunboyne gravedigger John Brady, left for the US in 1997 and entered the San Francisco Police Academy in 2005, aged 38.

Based in the city's Richmond Station, he is a patrol officer and also the district's terrorist liaison and armoury officer.

The man he apprehended at Sutro Park has an extensive criminal record and mental history precluding him by law from owning or possessing any firearm.

"I firmly believe the guy was not in his right mind and was out to do harm," he said.

Mr Brady's only brother Jonathan is married to his wife's sister. He has six sisters living in Ireland.

Two of his first cousins, William and Stephen Brady, are gardai in Ireland. Patrick is following in William's footsteps -- the garda is a prior recipient of the Scott Medal for bravery.