Protect and Serve
DA: Off-Duty NYPD Cop Played Robber, Stripped and Pistol-Whipped Man
When other offices arrived, prosecutors say the cop told them that he’d been robbed — by the man whose shirt and shoes he’s taken at gunpoint.
An off-duty New York cop stripped, robbed and pistol-whipped a man in Bushwick, and then accused the victim of robbing him, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
Brooklyn prosecutors Wednesday indicted that now-suspended NYPD officer, 34-year-old Anthony Delacruz, on 14 counts including robbery after he stole the victim’s cash, clothes, jewelry, and cellphone at gunpoint outside of the El Mekkah Bar and Grill.
Cops went to the Bushwick bar after a report of shots fired, according to the District Attorney's press release. There, they encountered Delacruz, who allegedly told them that he was the victim. He said he was "off-duty and in his personal vehicle when he was surrounded by several individuals who stole his gold chain, Rolex watch and a gold ring before fleeing," according to the release.
Delacruz told police that he pursued his attackers and fired one shot at them, according to the DA's office. He added that they might have fired about two shots in return. After he was taken to the hospital, “NYPD personnel determined that he was not forthcoming about details, and not in possession of his shield while armed and therefore unfit for duty.”
The off-duty cop also allegedly fingered a group of bystanders as his attackers. But video evidence cleared them of the crime after police took them into custody, according to the DA’s press release.
Instead, police found another video—one that implicated Delacruz,
“Upon further investigation, Officer Delacruz and an unidentified accomplice are allegedly captured on video confronting another man, whose identity is known to the District Attorney, who was hiding behind a car,” according to the press release. “The video further shows Officer Delacruz allegedly pointing his service weapon at that man.”
More video evidence showed a man standing in a parking lot in just his t-shirt and boxers after allegedly being robbed by Delacruz and his unnamed accomplice. The accomplice even walked away with the victim's sneakers, leaving him without shoes.
"The victim was allegedly pistol-whipped by the defendant and DNA recovered from the muzzle of the officer's gun belonged to the victim," according to the DA's office.
But Delacruz allegedly told investigators that the shirtless, shoeless man was the one who robbed him.
Information on Delacruz’s attorney was not immediately available.
“This defendant’s alleged brazen and criminal behavior was in direct contradiction to the oath he took to protect and serve,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “He then allegedly made a deplorable situation worse by falsely accusing multiple individuals of robbing him. We will now seek to hold him accountable.”
The NYPD suspended Delacruz, who faces up to 25 years in prison, after his arrest. Delacruz was released on a $50,000 cash bail, according to Patch.com.