New York’s lousiest: Off-duty cop could spend seven years in slammer after road-rage assault

Top prosecutor: Gov. Cuomo announced that Eric Gonzalez will remain the borough’s District Attorney until the 2017 election.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

An off-duty police officer who allegedly pistol whipped a man after a rear-end collision on New Year’s Day faces up to seven years in prison after prosecutors slapped him with assault and other charges at a Wednesday arraignment.

“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.”

Prosecutors allege the officer drove his Jeep Cherokee equipped with illegal lights and sirens near Avenue N and Bedford Avenue, and flashed his high beams at a car in front of him, which he then hit from behind.

The defendant then exited his vehicle and hit the other driver in the face with his gun and his handcuffs before driving away, according to the district attorney’s office.

But the victim hopped back behind the wheel of his car and took off after the cop while his girlfriend called the police, prosecutors allege, and both motorists ran red lights and sped during the chase that ended when the officer fled after the victim crashed into his Jeep.

Authorities arrived at the scene of the collision soon after, and the victim received treatment at a nearby hospital for cuts to his mouth, while the defendant never reported the incident to his colleagues at the Police Department, according to the district attorney’s office.

Authorities arrested the officer on Jan. 2, according to the district attorney’s spokesman, who said the defendant is currently out on bail.

Police did not originally respond to questions regarding where the officer was assigned, but prosecutors said at the arraignment that he worked in Transit District 32 in Crown Heights, where he is no longer assigned, according to another officer from the sector.

The defendant was suspended for 30 days following his arrest, according to the district attorney’s office, and a police spokesman said he is currently on modified duty, performing administrative or similar jobs that cops are assigned to when they are accused of wrongdoing.

The officer — whom prosecutors arraigned on 11 charges that also included criminal possession of a weapon, reckless driving, menacing, and leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it — is due to return to court on Aug. 8, according to the district attorney’s office.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.

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