An officer with the South Windsor (CT) Police Department has died from injuries sustained in an off-duty incident while trying to break up a fight.
"It is with profound sadness that the members of the South Windsor Police Department mourn the death of Sergeant Matthew Mainieri," the department said in a Facebook post.
Maineri was at a bar in Murrells Inlet, SC, when he was assaulted, according to WTNH-TV.
South Carolina deputies have charged 21-year-old Kelton Jess Todd with assault. Further charges are pending as the investigation remains ongoing.
Mainieri was a 20-year employee of the department, having begun working as a Community Service Officer in January 1998 and becoming a police officer in May 1999. During his career, Mainieri served as an officer, corporal, and sergeant. He served in the Traffic Division and Detective Division. He was a member of the regional traffic unit and was an accident reconstructionist.
"He was also an outstanding instructor in many areas including firearms and motorcycle instructor. He was a member of our regional emergency services team (C.R.E.S.T.) and was skilled at explosive breaching," the department said.
In recent months, Mainieri became heavily involved in starting a drone program for the department and obtaining the drone technology to find missing persons and suspects.
He was also the recipient of several awards including the department Medal of Valor, Chief’s Award, and Certificates of Commendation.
Mainieri is survived by his mother, sister, girlfriend, and countless friends.
"We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends as well as his police family throughout Connecticut and beyond. Final arrangements have not been made as of this writing and we will be assisting his family during this difficult time," the department said in its Facebook post.