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Garfield Police Surprise Paralympian With Homecoming Airport Escort

Gianfranco Iannotta and the Garfield Police Department after his escort home from Newark Airport Friday.
Gianfranco Iannotta and the Garfield Police Department after his escort home from Newark Airport Friday. Photo Credit: Facebook

GARFIELD, N.J. — Hundreds of community members gathered in front of Garfield High School as a parade of police cars escorted Paralympian Gianfranco Iannotta back from Newark Airport.

The 22-year-old track and field star took home a two medals from Rio:

  • GOLD: 100-meter T52 classification, 17:17
  • BRONZE: 400-meter race T52 in 1:02

Police surprised him at the airport, then loaded him and his luggage into a vehicle and turned on the sirens.

Members of Engine 5 and Rescue Engine 3 were waiting at the Ackerman Bridge and joined the escort.

Iannotta was also welcomed home by the faculty, staff, and students of Garfield High School ,who congratulated him on his way past the school.

"His abilities and his overcoming of his condition give a lot of spirit to handicapped people to overcome their issues," Garfield Police Capt. Ron Polonkay told Daily Voice. "It's a major accomplishment for him."

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