April was a banner month for drunk NYPD officers embarrassing themselves and endangering others. A couple weeks ago, three different off-duty cops managed to wind up with DWIs (plus one reckless driving charge and a wreck) in the space of 72 hours. Last week, a pair of detectives spent four hours getting wasted in a Howard Beach bar while they were supposed to be investigating a robbery — a night out that ended with one of the men accidentally shooting the other in the hand. (The shooter also received a DWI after he rushed his injured partner to the hospital.) Now an NYPD officer is being questioned for “shooting and critically wounding” a civilian in Westchester while off-duty on Tuesday night. And, yes, booze seems to have been a factor.
The details of what happened aren’t entirely clear yet. A police source told the New York Times that the unidentified cop, a six-year veteran assigned to the Bronx’s 46th Precinct, had been drinking with some other off-duty colleagues:
At some point, the officer pulled his vehicle over to the side of a service road in Pelham. It is not clear why he did so, or what immediately transpired. But the officer fired a gun at the back windshield of another car, striking a man in his 40s several times, the person said.
It is not clear why the officer began shooting, the person said.
The officer, who has not yet been identified, drove away, but surrendered after being chased by a local police officer in Westchester County, the person said.
The victim’s condition and identity aren’t known. Meanwhile, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Department is now “assisting” the Village of Pelham police in their investigation, and charges are expected later today. Police chief Bill Bratton acknowledged that the drunken shooting was on trend. “We are always concerned about any of our officers in off-duty activities that result in criminal activity,” he told reporters. “At the same time, we’re very concerned with a number of reports. I, personally, am very disturbed about the number of incidents in recent weeks that are part of a longer term problem of inappropriate use of alcohol by members of our department.” He’s not the only one.