The New York State Attorney General and the police department are continuing to investigate the cause of a deadly crash that involved a NYPD sergeant in the Bronx on Wednesday who was attempting to stop a man fleeing on a motorcycle, authorities said.
One day after 30-year-old Eric Duprey, who was allegedly trying to evade police on a motorcycle, succumbed to his wounds from a crash in University Heights, police officials state that the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death.
Surveillance video shows Duprey apparently fleeing from police on the vehicle at around 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 when he sped onto the sidewalk near plain clothed Sergeant Erik Duran, who is seen lifting a red picnic cooler and throwing it at Duprey, striking the suspect in the head and causing him to lose control of the bike. Duprey hit a metal barricade and was thrown from the motorcycle. He was pronounced dead soon thereafter.
Police sources said the incident unfolded after cops busted Duprey for selling drugs to an undercover officer, prompting him to flee on the bike. However, Duprey’s mother, Gretchen Soto, had a different account. She told the Associated Press that she was on a video call with her son at the time of the crash and said that he was not attempting to flee.
A candlelight vigil was held for Duprey Thursday with many of the attendees doubting the NYPD’s version of events.
The NYPD said that Sergeant Duran has been suspended from the force without pay as NYPD’s Force Investigation Division probes the deadly encounter.
“The New York State Attorney General’s Office is leading the investigation into this incident with the assistance of the New York City Police Department’s Force Investigation Division. The NYPD is committed to ensuring that there will be a full, thorough, and transparent investigation of this incident to determine the facts and to take the appropriate steps forward,” part of the statement read.
Duran is a part of the narcotic squad in the Bronx and has been a member of the department since 2010. According to records found on the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Duran has been subject to 17 allegations of misconduct over the course of his career primarily involving black men.
One of the allegations was substantiated following an investigation. In January of last year, Duran was accused of abusing his power when stopping a man and refusing to provide his shield number.
The investigation remains ongoing.