New York State Senate Honors Men Who Helped Rescue 10-Year-Old Girl and Comfort Lori Bresnahan After a Brutal Assault in Clay

David J. Valesky

October 01, 2013

On September 30, State Senator David J. Valesky honored two Onondaga County men who helped rescue a 10-year-old girl, and comfort Lori Bresnahan, after a brutal assault in Clay.

During an awards ceremony at the State Office Building in Syracuse, William Cregg of Cicero and John Harke of Clay were presented with the 2013 New York State Senate Liberty Award. The medal is given to those civilians who have exhibited exceptional, heroic or humanitarian acts on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.

"It is too rare that we encounter the brave and selfless behavior that Mr. Cregg and Mr. Harke exhibited in this horrific situation," Senator Valesky said. "I am pleased to recognize their courage and strength of character with the Senate Liberty Award."

On the night of March 14, 2013, Mr. Cregg and Mr. Harke were driving separately down Ver Plank Road in Clay, when they noticed an injured 10-year-old girl running along the dark road. Both men acted immediately, leading the child to safety and calling 9-1-1. They soon learned that the child and Liverpool librarian Lori Bresnahan had been brutally attacked by David Renz, who was out on bail on child pornography charges. They also tried to save the life of Lori though she died as a result of her injuries. Renz was eventually apprehended by police in a wooded area a couple of miles from the crime scene.