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Off-duty police officer charged in New Year’s Day road rage assault

Brooklyn Daily
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An off-duty police officer who allegedly pistol whipped a man after a rear-end collision on Jan. 1 was arraigned in court Wednesday on a litany of charges, including assault.

“This defendant’s alleged aggressive driving and outrageous behavior resulted in a frightening attack on a fellow motorist,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “There is no place for road rage in Brooklyn and it is especially alarming coming from a trained police officer.”

The police officer was arraigned on May 9 on 11 charges including assault, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless driving, menacing, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it, and other charges. He could face up to seven years in prison. His next court date is Aug. 8, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s office.

The officer allegedly was driving his Jeep Cherokee that had illegal lights and sirens near Avenue N and Bedford Avenue, flashing his high beams at a car in front of him, and then hit it from behind. He then allegedly exited his vehicle, and hit the driver of the other car in the face with his gun, and then hit him repeatedly with his handcuffs before driving off, according to the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said the victim followed the officer in his car while his girlfriend called the police. Both drivers were allegedly running red lights and speeding and the victim eventually crashed into the officer’s Jeep, but the officer again fled. Police arrived soon thereafter, and the victim was treated at a hospital for cuts to his mouth. The officer did not report the incident to police, prosecutors said.

The officer was originally arrested on Jan. 2, according to a district attorney spokesman, and is currently out on bail.

Police did not originally respond to questions regarding where the officer was assigned, but prosecutors said on Wednesday that he worked in Transit District 32 in Crown Heights. An officer from Transit District 32 said he was no longer assigned to that sector.

The officer was suspended for 30 days following his arrest, according to the district attorney’s office, but a police spokesman said the officer is currently on modified duty, which refers to administrative or similar duties which officers are assigned to when they are accused of wrongdoing.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Posted 12:00 am, May 11, 2018
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