Officer Anthony "Rico" Freitas

Officer Anthony "Rico" Freitas

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Bureau of State Parks, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, November 17, 1992

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Anthony "Rico" Freitas

Officer Anthony Freitas drowned when his patrol car crashed into the Presque Isle Marina channel in Presque Isle State Park.

A search was initiated after he failed to answer radio calls and report back to the department at the end of his shift. Other officers located tire tracks near the water and the U.S. Coast Guard began to search for the vehicle near the spot.

They located the vehicle 45 minutes later and it was pulled from the water shortly thereafter.

Officer Freitas has served with the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks for 16 years. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, and son.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Rico was a great friend and fellow officer of mine at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. I had been a seasonal for 2-3 years when he came on the force.

Always there when you needed help, he was fun, caring, dedicated and generous, but also industrious and dependable.

He started as a seasonal and then became full-time at some point after I left the force in 1979.

I remember a 1978 incident which illustrated his judicious behavior. I was on patrol with an inexperienced seasonal (who shortly thereafter left the force) while trying to get a situation under control in the middle of a crowd. A third party trouble maker was trying to stir up bystanders. My attention turned to the trouble maker who was warned HE may be the one who would be arrested. Things were starting to become of concern to me UNTIL I saw Rico, and my (now deceased) other great friend and fellow officer Larry Feldman, slip unnoticed into the periphery in an unmarked patrol car. They simply waited while I cuffed the rabble-rouser (who turned into a cry-baby even before we left the parking lot). I went from concerned to confident knowing my great fellow officers would be out of that patrol car in a heartbeat if things had gone bad. The crowd backed off and everything deescalated. No one was harmed.

Chris L Nelson, Seasonal patrolman
Presque Isle State Park Police, summers of 1976-1979

August 15, 2021

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