Posted Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Michael Puskas has been honored by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with a Life Saving Award for his heroic efforts following the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013.

Detective Michael Puskas

Detective Michael Puskas

Detective Puskas was recognized at the ATF’s annual  awards ceremony held in August at ATF headquarters in Washington, DC, and received the award on Sept. 29, at the ATF’s Woodland Park field office, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Prosecutor’s Chief of Investigations John R. Speirs announced today.

Prior to joining the Prosecutor’s Office, Detective Puskas was employed as a Special Agent with the ATF, serving as a Tactical Medic in the Special Operations Division.

Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, law enforcement conducted an extensive search for one of the two suspects identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The search ended several days later when the injured suspect was located hiding inside a boat.

Detective Puskas accepting the award on Sept. 29

Detective Puskas accepting the award on Sept. 29

The suspect was subsequently removed from the boat by law enforcement personnel when Special Agent Michael Puskas and his partner, not knowing if the suspect was personally armed with an explosive device, administered life-saving first aid.

The suspect was then transported to the hospital, where he survived his injuries.


His survival enabled investigators to ultimately obtain significant information regarding details leading up to the attack.

“Detective Puskas disregarded his own safety to render life-saving aid,” said Prosecutor Knapp. “His actions allowed authorities to discover the motives behind this despicable terrorist act and to successfully prosecute Tsarnaev.  I am proud to serve with Mike Puskas.”

Inquiries should be directed to Prosecutor’s Public Information Officer Paul Merkler at [email protected] or 973-285-6215.