Westchester Men Suing NYPD Officer for Nearly Killing Them in Drunken Shooting

By
Brendan Cronin.

The fallout from that April week when three New York cops drunkenly shot at people in separate incidents continued Tuesday, when Joe Felice and Robert Borrelli announced that they are suing NYPD officer Brendan Cronin for almost killing them in an unprovoked attack. (New York City, NYPD chief Bill Bratton, and several other members of the Department are also named in the $90 million lawsuit.) For people having trouble keeping the stories straight: Cronin is the one who — after spending the day at a shooting range and the night having drinks with his fellow off-duty officers in City Island — pulled over to the side of a road in Pelham and used his Glock 9 mm service weapon to fire 13 or 14 shots into a SUV carrying Felice and Borrelli, who were stopped at a red light. He then fled the scene, but a Westchester cop picked him up a few blocks away.

While Cronin's bullets missed Borrelli entirely, Felice was hit six times in the arm, torso, shoulder, and hand, according to the New York Post. In a statement, he recalled being "critically wounded with just minutes to spare before bleeding out and dying." "I honestly don't know how we survived this unprovoked ambush, or why he chose to single out Joe and myself for his vicious rampage," Borrelli tearfully added during a press conference at the office of Randolph McLaughlin, the lawyer who is representing both men. 

Felice is seeking $60 million for his injuries, while Borrelli wants $30 million for emotional distress. Meanwhile, Cronin, a 27-year-old assigned to the 46th Precinct, has been charged with assault and suspended from work. He could also be charged with attempted murder. When asked about the case on Tuesday, Bratton (who previously said that he was "very disturbed" by Cronin's actions, along those of the officers involved in similar incidents) refused to comment, though he allowed that the lawsuit was "not unexpected." It certainly wasn't.