Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an off-duty New York City Police Officer has been arraigned on a 14-count indictment in which he is charged with first-degree robbery and other charges for allegedly robbing a man of cash, jewelry and a cellphone at gunpoint and pistol-whipping him outside of a Bushwick nightclub.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s alleged brazen and criminal behavior was in direct contradiction to the oath he took to protect and serve. 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 District Attorney identified the defendant as
Anthony Delacruz, 34. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 14-count indictment in which he is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree robbery, one count of third-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault, one count of second-degree menacing, two counts of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, two counts of distinctive number; form of number plates; trailers, and one count of petit larceny. Bail was set at $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash and the defendant, who was suspended today by the NYPD following his arrest, was ordered to return to court on March 21, 2018. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on May 28, 2016 at approximately 3:30 a.m., in the vicinity of Wyckoff Avenue and Grove Street, near the El Mekkah Bar and Grill, officers responded to a 911 call for shots fired. Responding officers were allegedly told by Officer Delacruz – who did not initially identify himself as a police officer or state that he had fired his service weapon – that 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. Officer Delacruz allegedly said that he then chased after the perpetrators and exchanged gunfire with them, firing his gun once and there were possibly two shots returned.
While on scene, Officer Delacruz allegedly pointed to a group of people who he said were involved in the robbery. All were taken into custody, and video evidence taken from El Mekkah definitively showed that none of the men identified by Officer Delacruz were involved in the alleged robbery. The men were visible on camera in a different location from where the alleged robbery occurred. The officer was taken to a hospital, where NYPD personnel determined that he was not forthcoming about details, and not in possession of his shield while armed and therefore unfit for duty.
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. The video further shows Officer Delacruz allegedly pointing his service weapon at that man.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, the three men go off camera and when they return to camera view the unidentified accomplice is carrying clothing and sneakers and he and Officer Delacruz walk away. The victim can later be seen on camera dressed only in a t-shirt, boxer shorts and with no 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. A shell casing recovered on the scene matched the defendant’s gun, the investigation found.
During the course of the investigation, Officer Delacruz identified the pistol-whipped victim as one of the men who robbed him. Charges that were filed in connection with that alleged incident were later dismissed.
(via Breaking 911)