Union County News

Freeholders Honor Elizabeth Police Officers Who Rescued Boy Struck By Train

From left are Elizabeth Police Officer Luciano Nicolas Porto, Officer Eric Santiago Gora and Freeholder Angel Estrada at the Union County Freeholders' meeting on July 20, 2017. Credits: Rebecca Panico
Elizabeth Police Officer Eric Santiago Gora, left, speaks at a Union County Freeholders' meeting on July 20, 2017 where he and his partner, Officer Luciano Nicolas Porto were honored. Credits: Rebecca Panico
From left are Elizabeth Police Officer Eric Santiago Gora, Officer Luciano Nicolas Porto and Freeholder Angel Estrada at the Union County Freeholders' meeting on July 20, 2017. Credits: Rebecca Panico
From left are Elizabeth Police Officer Eric Santiago Gora, Officer Luciano Nicolas Porto and Freeholder Angel Estrada at the Union County Freeholders' meeting on July 20, 2017. Credits: Rebecca Panico
Bruce Paterson, an activist from Garwood, asked the board to explain two ordinances that were about to be voted on at the Freeholders' meeting on July 20, 2017. Credits: Rebecca Panico

ELIZABETH, NJ - Two city police officers who rescued a 13-year-old boy struck by a freight train were honored Thursday night by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Elizabeth Police Officers Eric Santiago Gora and Luciano Nicolas Porto responded to Franklin Street on May 11 to find the boy going into shock with an amputated leg.

“We have to also acknowledge that there are individuals who, every day of their lives, put their lives on the line," said Freeholder Angel Estrada, before presenting the two officers with a framed resolution recognizing their actions. “And at the same time [they] make a true delivery of their talents.”

Sign Up for E-News

Gora applied a tourniquet to the boy's leg, using his skills as a trained EMT and registered nurse, while Porto assisted. The boy was airlifted to University Hospital in Newark and survived.

Gora spoke briefly before accepting the resolution, calling the experience “truly humbling.” He thanked his girlfriend, supervisor and freeholders.

The freeholders also congratulated Gora for receiving the Shield Award in June for outstanding service to his community and service beyond the call of duty from the New Jersey Knights of Columbus.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to donate a 1994 International Navistar command post vehicle to the City of Elizabeth since “it is no longer need for County purposes,” the resolution read.

The freeholders also approved a resolution awarding a $50,000 contract until Dec. 31 to the Urban League of Union County in Elizabeth for a prisoner re-entry program called Reconnections. The program helps people returning to the community from incarceration to access social services.

Meanwhile, an ordinance that read “fixing the salaries of the county counsel and department heads” was also adopted. TAP asked Clerk of the Board James Pellettiere for a full description of that ordinance at Thursday night’s meeting, but he did not send it by this article’s deadline.

Pellettiere said after the meeting the ordinance had to do with a “reorganization.” He said full descriptions of ordinances usually have to be obtained through an open public records request. Such requests generally take seven business days for agencies to respond to.

Bruce Paterson, an activist from Garwood, asked the freeholders in the public comments section to explain the same ordinance and another titled:

“An ordinance to amend ‘the laws of Union County: administrative code and policies and general legislation’ by amending part 1, chapter 1, article XVI, Department of Human Services; article xx, Department of Correctional Services; article XXIV, Department of Economic Development; chapter 49, fees, article V, engineering & public works fees to add § 49-10.; chapter 100, personnel -- article XVI, employee handbook and chapter 128, smoking policy.”

After Paterson sat down, the board unanimously approved both ordinances without explaining them. Freeholders Mohamed Jalloh, Sergio Granados, Linda Carter and Bette Jane Kowalski were not present at the meeting.

TAP also asked Pellettiere at Thursday night’s meeting for the full description of the ordinance to amend the the laws of Union County. He did not respond to two follow up emails asking for the ordinances by this article’s deadline.

Additionally, the freeholders adopted a resolution to modify the county budget by $2 million for the Union County Oak Ridge Project in Clark. The project will provide a field, locker room and additional amenities for Union County College sports teams that have outgrown their current facilities near the Cranford campus.

TAPintoElizabeth.net is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @TAPElizabeth.

Download the TAPinto App!  Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday morning, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Proud to Support Tom Malinowski for Congress

March 7, 2018

Every single day, whether I want to be or not, I am reminded how important it is that Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in November and check Donald Trump. Fortunately, there is a terrific candidate in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District who can beat incumbent Leonard Lance. That candidate is Tom Malinowski.

I'm a lifelong New Jersey resident -- including ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Celebrate Holy Week at First Congregational Church

March 22, 2018

First Congregational Church invites visitors of all ages to observe Holy Week with special services beginning on Palm Sunday, March 25, and continuing through Easter Sunday on April 1, in the sanctuary at 125 Elmer Street in Westfield.

The Palm Sunday service on March 25 will begin with a traditional Palm Processional. Children are invited to meet in the Chapel Lounge prior to the 10 a.m.