An NYPD officer was arraigned Monday on charges that he assaulted a man on the street in Coney Island after an argument over a spilled drink, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office.
Officer O’Keefe Thompson, who was assigned to the 60th Precinct, was on duty and in uniform when he got into an argument with 23-year-old Raymond Crespo near Mermaid Avenue and West 32nd Street just after midnight on July 8, the district attorney’s office said.
A friend had knocked a cup from Crespo’s hand and when Thompson told him to pick it up, Crespo refused. Thompson then threw Crespo against the doorway of a bodega, knocked him on the ground and dragged him along the sidewalk, the district attorney’s office said.
As Crespo laid motionless on the ground, prosecutors said Thompson continued his assault, dragging him several more feet and dropping him on the ground again before saying, “Don’t you know that I’m from the Ville.” The Ville, according to the district attorney’s office, was in reference to Brownsville.
Crespo went home after the incident, but called an ambulance the following morning when he woke up with a swollen face and a headache, per Gonzalez’s office. He was treated at Coney Island hospital for a possible concussion and filed a complaint against Thompson after he was released that same day.
That night after he got out of work, Thompson allegedly went to Crespo’s neighborhood and confronted him about the complaint. Thompson, this time wearing plain clothes, showed Crespo a gun in his waistband and said, “Do you know what I’m going to do to you?” according to the district attorney’s office.
Both the initial assault and the confrontation a day later were captured on surveillance video, according to prosecutors.
“Police officers risk their lives every day to keep us all safe. However, this defendant crossed the line by allegedly assaulting a man and later threatening him,” Gonzalez said in an emailed statement. “Such conduct is not only unacceptable, it undermines public trust in our justice system and will not be tolerated in Brooklyn.”
Thompson was arraigned Monday on two counts of misdemeanor assault, two counts of official misconduct and one count of intimidating a witness, Gonzalez’s office said.
He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Nov. 29. The NYPD said he has been suspended without pay, but declined to comment further.