A seemingly drunk off-duty NYPD officer was arrested late Tuesday night in Westchester when he allegedly shot a man six times, authorities said.
Brendan Cronin, 27, was charged with assault in the first degree, Pelham Police Chief Joseph Benefico told amNewYork. Cronin, who police said is assigned to the Bronx and has been a cop for five years, was allegedly driving east on Lincoln Avenue near Sixth Avenue just before midnight.
Benefico said he allegedly shot the passenger of another car after sitting a red light. He doesn’t appear to have known the victim.
Cronin may have been drunk at the time, said NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.
“I personally am very disturbed about a number of incidents in recent weeks that are part of a long term problem of inappropriate use of alcohol by members of the department,” Bratton said at an unrelated press conference.
The victim, who is in stable condition, was driven to Montefiore Medical Center in New Rochelle hospital. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, arm and hand, Benefico said.
Pelham police recovered 13 shell casings from the scene.
Pelham officers followed Cronin for several blocks before he stopped. Benefico said Cronin then allegedly pointed his gun out of the window and only dropped it after an officer repeated the order to do so several times.
Cronin has been suspended without pay, police said.
Cronin was arraigned Wednesday and held in lieu of $250,000 bond, said his attorney, Pierre Sussman. He pleaded not guilty.
Sussman said Cronin comes from a “solid” hard-working family from upstate. His fiance works as an EMT.
“We will vigorously be fighting these charges,” Sussman said.
This is the second recent incident in which an officer allegedly shot someone while drunk. Last week Detective Jay Poggi was charged with driving while intoxicated after allegedly shooting his partner, Det. Matthew Sullivan, according to the criminal complaint. He drove Sullivan to the hospital, court records show.