Family remembers fallen Pa. police officer

FREEMANSBURG, Pa. - August 12, 2011

Officer Robert Lasso was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the small town of Freemansburg on Thursday.

The suspect, 46-year-old George Hicho, Jr., was arraigned on one charge of criminal homicide on Friday and is being held without bail in the Northampton County Prison.

According to court documents, the police chief saw Hitcho's two dogs attacking Lasso, so Lasso pointed a stun gun at them. That's when, authorities say, Hitcho shot Lasso in the head with a shotgun.

"I can't begin to say how devastated this family is on the loss of Robert," said father Donald Lasso, a borough councilman and the past chief of the local fire company. He was surrounded by family as they remembered the father of two small children, adding "He was with us such a short time, but changed so many lives."

"He lived for his kids. He loved them so much and now they're not going to have a daddy," said Officer Lasso's mother, Elsie Stem.

Lasso graduated from Freedom High School in Bethlehem, and went to Allentown Police Academy. Family remembered him for his life-long love of sports and wonderful sense of humor.

  "He was great with sports. Played baseball for Freemansburg, he was on Freedom football team," said stepfather David Stem.

"His nickname was Boo-Boo because, when he was a teen, like Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo, he looked in fridge for more picnic baskets," remembered Elsie Stem.

At Spiro's Family Restaurant in Freemansburg, staffers say Lasso would come in each Friday, often meeting his wife and two small children on his dinner break. Macaroni and cheese was a favorite order and his kindness made him a favorite customer.

"A warm smile, great eyes, always sweet," said Robin Honaker and Sarah Gorman of Spiro's.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered flags in the Capitol complex and in Northampton County to be flown at half-staff to honor Lasso.

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