NASHUA — A Nashua man who was stabbed to death saving the lives of two young women being attacked on a Nashua street two years ago will receive a prestigious national honor.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wednesday in Pittsburgh that the late Paul Frontiero III was among 22 individuals chosen to receive a Carnegie Hero Fund Commission award. The medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to “individuals who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others,” according to a news release. Four of this year’s recipients, including Frontiero, lost their lives while protecting others.
On Oct. 9, 2011, two weeks before he was planning to leave for his second medical mission to the Dominican Republic, Frontiero died trying to help two women. Jill Arnold and Kathryn Libby, both of 13 Spruce St., were being harassed by Matthew Packer when Frontiero heard the confrontation and attempted to defuse the situation.
Packer had put a knife to the throat of Arnold, and Libby had already suffered minor stab wounds when Frontiero tried to stop Packer from further hurting the women, according to court documents supplied to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Frontiero died after being stabbed by Packer 16 times with a 6-inch pocket knife, including one puncture to the heart. Other vital organs, including his left lung, left kidney, diaphragm and spleen were damaged from the knife wounds.
Though Frontiero eventually died of his injuries, both Libby and Arnold survived. Arnold suffered wounds on her neck, while Libby suffered multiple slashes to her face, arm, back and rib cage.
Packer pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault in Frontiero’s death and the knife attack on the two women. Judge Diane Nicolosi sentenced Packer to a minimum of 52 years to life in prison, with the possibility of having 10 years deferred for good behavior. The sentence included 45 years to life for Frontiero’s killing and consecutive sentences of 6 to 15 years for the assault on Libby and 1 to 7 years for the assault on Arnold.
Because of his brave and selfless actions, Frontiero, 27, was presented with a posthumous Union Leader Hero Award in 2012, which honors New Hampshire residents who risk their lives to save or attempt to save the life of another person.“My son saw somebody in need and stepped in. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he tried to intervene,” Cathy Frontiero, his mother, previously told the Union Leader. “He died a hero. It might have been two deaths instead of one if it wasn’t for his help.
”The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission is a private operating foundation that distributes medals and monetary grants to individuals in the United States and Canada who act to “preserve or rescue their fellow,” according to a release, indicating that more than $34 million has been given to awardees or their survivors since its inception in 1904.