A police sergeant died on Sunday from injuries he sustained while trying to break up a bar fight in South Carolina.
South Windsor Police Sergeant Matthew Mainieri, 44, was off duty at the time, according to a statement the department posted on Facebook.
“We have lost a wonderful officer, supervisor and friend," South Windsor Deputy police Chief Scott P. Custer said, according to the Hartford Courant.
The bar fight occurred at Uncle Tito's, located in Murrells Inlet near Myrtle Beach. Kelton Jess Todd, 21, was arrested on charges of assault of a high and aggravated nature by the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Department. Todd was released from jail on Monday on $35,000 bail, according to the Courant. The incident is still under investigation, however, and more charges could be added, investigators said.
Mainieri died from a fatal blow to his head while trying to break up the brawl.
“That’s who Matt was," Custer told the Courant, “someone who always helped those who needed help, anytime and any way he could.”
Mainieri was a 20-year veteran of the South Windsor Police Department. He started there in 1998 as a community service officer, according to the department's Facebook post. He served in both the traffic and detective divisions as he rose in his career; he was also on the emergency services team and was capable of handling and disarming explosives.
Mainieri received the department's medal of valor, the Chief's award and several commendation certificates.
In his free time, Mainieri enjoyed riding motorcycles, and travelling, especially to Vermont and South Carolina. He’s survived by his mother, sister and girlfriend, and his many friends.