Yardley Borough Police Chief Joseph D. Kelly III received a standing ovation at the Sept. 7 council meeting, his first since being wounded in an Aug. 18 shooting incident.
“It’s amazing to be back here sitting with you,” said Mayor Chris Harding, who also repeated some words he had written down when Kelly was in St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown Township recovering from the shooting.
“Even from your hospital bed, you are most concerned not with yourself but with your family and the Yardley Borough community,” Harding said.
“This is a reminder of how life can change in a split second, and how law enforcement officers can be asked to lay their lives on the line on any given day.”
Kelly suffered injuries to an ear and hand when Colin Frank Petroziello, 24, allegedly fired a shotgun blast through the front door of his unit at Yardley Commons Condominiums in the borough, according to information from the Bucks County District Attorney’s office. The chief was assisting a county probation/parole officer with an offender check on Petroziello, and the two had knocked on the door and identified themselves as law enforcement officers, the DA said.
During a recent preliminary hearing, Petroziello was ordered to face attempted murder and related charges in Bucks County Court.
At the Sept. 7 meeting, Kelly –borough police chief since 2015 – praised the work of his fellow officers during his absence. He said he has returned to work but is on modified/light duty and didn’t know when he would return to normal duty.
“I’ll just say what I’ve been saying all along,” Kelly stated after the meeting. “What defines this town is its reaction to the shooting, not the shooting itself. The outpouring of support for me and my family has been second to none.”