Off-duty cop arrested in Greenwich St. shooting


By Lauren Dzura

A night out turned violent when an off-duty police officer shot and wounded a man in a bar brawl last Friday night in the Financial District.

The argument started over a glass of beer at the restaurant, Cordato’s, on 94 1/2 Greenwich St. near Rector St., police said.

Cops said Bernard Marti, 31, got into an argument July 22 with an unidentified 23-year-old man who knocked over his beer. At about 10: 40 p.m., police say Marti pulled his service revolver, which discharged a shot that hit the victim in the left thigh.

The suspect fled but witnesses pursued him and alerted police who apprehended Marti soon after he got into his car parked nearby at the curb. Marti was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

The victim was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital and was released four days later.

Marti has been a police officer for about six years and was posted to the 25th Precinct, which covers East Harlem. Any officer who is arrested is suspended for 30 days and restricted to desk duties pending the verdict of his criminal trial, a police spokesperson said. If found guilty, the police department will start their own internal investigation and if Marti is found to have violated police guidelines, they will bring up their own charges against him.

Jerry Moore, who works in the area and witnessed part of the assault, said the shooting did not make a big commotion in the neighborhood.

“There were like eight or nine homicide cops and the sidewalk was blocked off,” said Moore.

Employees at Cordato’s, which has a bar in the back where the fight broke out, did not comment on the shooting.

Cordato’s is on an unusual Financial District block with two sex-related businesses — the Pussycat Lounge, which features topless dancers, and Thunder Lingerie, an adult video store. Nearby residents and workers say they generally feel safe in the area though.

“In the back [of Cordato’s] is the slummiest bar and it looks rough,” Moore said. “But it’s just people having a good time.”

Captain Anthony Bologna, new commander of the First Precinct, said since the shooting he has been reviewing past crimes in the immediate vicinity and it is not a problem area in the precinct. Bologna was also the executive officer in the precinct in 1998.

Corner delis, restaurants and hardware stores, as well as tourists and businessmen flood this block of Greenwich St. during the day, leaving little room for foul play while the sun is out.

“I’ve been working here for years,” said an employee of Trade Center Locksmiths and Hardware, who declined to give his name. “It’s perfect in the day, but I don’t know about nights.”

“I thought it was as safe as anyplace else,” Moore said of the neighborhood. “But not anymore if cops are shooting people.”

—With reporting by Albert Amateau

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