BEVERLY —The Beverly police officer nearly killed by a Hamilton officer who thought he was having an affair with his wife is back on the job.
Officer Jason Lantych returned to his full-time beat Aug. 13, said David Costa, a spokesman for Beverly police.
Lantych was shot in the thigh and wrist by Hamilton police Sergeant Kenneth Nagy Feb. 24 outside a Starbucks coffeehouse in Beverly. Five people rushed out to aid Lantych, who briefly lost consciousness.
Nagy sped out of the parking lot, but returned to the Starbucks later that night. After parking in the empty lot, and while under surveillance by law enforcement, Nagy killed himself with a gunshot to the head. A suicide note and a journal were found in the car. Prosecutors say Nagy, a 19-year police veteran, was under the impression that his wife was having an affair with Lantych.
Lantych, 36, could not be reached for comment. The 10-year veteran of the Police Department said in an e-mail to The Salem News that he feels blessed to be working again and thanked the community and his colleagues and family for their support during his recovery.
Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett has issued a report on the shootings that concluded that Nagy believed his wife, Katherine, “was having an improper relationship with Lantych.” The report said Kenneth and Katherine Nagy had discussed the possibility of divorce on the day of the shootings.
Until February, Katherine Nagy worked as an advocate for domestic victims for the nonprofit Healing Abuse, Working for Change, known as HAWC, under a grant from the Beverly Police Department. Lantych had received specialized training in domestic violence cases and had worked with Katherine Nagy at the Beverly Police Department, according to the report.
Katherine Nagy could not be reached for comment, but a co-worker at HAWC said she was still on leave.
An inquiry by Beverly police concluded that Lantych had not violated department rules, but it did question the department’s lack of policies involving personal relationships at work.
“We’re already in the process of updating our policies and procedures that internal review mentioned, and we’re trying to cover as much as we can,” said Costa, who added that Lantych had been on paid leave since the incident.
Lantych, who is assigned to patrol downtown Beverly, had been cleared by his own doctor and a city physician to return to work, said Mayor William Scanlon of Beverly.
“He’s recovered from his wounds and he’s been tested physically and psychologically and he’s been judged fit to work and he’s returned to work,” said Scanlon. “He was always a good officer and I’m glad to have a good officer back to the force.”Steven A. Rosenberg
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