Off-Duty Police Officer Accused Of Pulling Out Gun At Farmingdale Bar

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Nassau County police officer has been suspended without pay after allegedly pulling out his gun at a bar.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall with the details

bar cop gun 002 Off Duty Police Officer Accused Of Pulling Out Gun At Farmingdale Bar

Bar surveillance tape purporting to show Nassau Police Officer Ritchie Heffron pointing gun at bartender Charlie Ball (credit: Handout)

Officer Ritchie Heffron was off-duty when he was caught on tape last Tuesday allegedly pulling out his weapon and pointing it at  bartender Charlie Ball at the South Main Street Pub in Farmingdale.

Ball told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera he didn’t realize the “severity” of what happened until he watched the video.

“I turn my back and I turned back around and the the next thing I know, he’s got this gun out and pointed right at me,” Ball said. “It could have gone a different way.”

Ball was just closing up for the night when he said Officer Heffron’s drunken demeanor inexplicably turned volatile, belligerent and paranoid.

“I saw him playing around and fidgeting with his shirt, and then he exposed the weapon,” Ball told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “I see the gun, it was almost disbelief. I said, ‘put that away before somebody gets hurt.’ He re-holstered the weapon.

“The fellow he was with was saying, ‘are you crazy, are you out of your mind?’ And then he pulled out the gun again,” Ball said.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Speaks With Bartender Charlie Ball

Ball said that the bar, thankfully, was otherwise empty.

“He emptied the ammunition clip, discharged a bullet from the chamber.  So now I knew that this was a fully-loaded, automatic weapon ready to go,” Ball said.

No one was injured during the incident.

Bar management notified Nassau Police Internal Affairs. Police said they have been interviewing witnesses and reviewing the tape secured from the pub.

Criminal charges have not been filed against the officer at this time, police said.

“…The investigation confirmed misconduct…including the inappropriate display of his firearm…The officer’s weapons were removed, and the officer was suspended without pay,” the department said in a statement.

Nassau County Police said in a statement that the investigation is continuing in consultation with the Nassau County District Attorney.

Neighbors said the officer has a wife and two children, and that the family is well-liked in the community.

John Danna has known the veteran cop for 15 years.

“Great guy, great neighbor, always going around helping everybody, always wants to help out everybody,” Danna told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez. “Great dad, plays ball with all the kids out here, never seen any violence in him.”

Danna said he was convinced that there’s more to the video than meets the eye.

“There’s definitely something else in this story that the TV or the camera didn’t pick up, there’s definitely another side to this story that’s not being put out there,” Danna said. “It’s not Richie to do something like that.”

Neighbors also said Officer Heffron has admitted himself into alcohol rehab.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Mona Rivera
  • kendra

    that is exactly right if you ask me most cops are crooks who carry a badge and a gun and that is a bad bad thing which means most of them are just out to get people for there personal gain.

  • http://Gmail Timmy

    Roy is right runs for rehab if he is not indicted the Feds should come in and investigate n c p d and their cozy relationship with the D A n c p d also has the laziest do nothing force in the country just observe and u will see

  • Tameeka Knowles-Peebles

    The bartender should’ve grabbed the officer’s gun and emptied it into the drunkard’s forehead: problem solved.

  • Bell Toller

    The officers civil rights have been violated.

    This video violates the privacy act.

    • jon

      yea, i bet he is innocent too!

  • LJ

    Inexcusable!! And why is the bartender smoking a cigarette or a cigar? This is illegal to do so in a bar in NY!

    • Paul

      Actually, its illegal in all of New York. I happen to live near this establishment, and while the area is nice, this place is a dive, hence the lack of attention paid to the smoking ban.

  • mj

    this is NOTHING unusual . i was in a bar once and a drunk at the bar punched some girl. when a bunch of us approached him , he pulled out a gun. turns out he was an off duty cop . thats the police …us against them. they believe they are above the law .

  • http://Aol Chris

    Where does Dale get the thought of them being hero like they are not there to carry a badge gun and their overpaid salaries and benifits for working 151 days a year Herod are the servicemen in the military protecting you Dale at one twelveth the price a nassau cop gets

    • Dale Auburn

      All cops and firefighters are legally designated Heroes because George Bush called them Heroes when he visited Ground Zero after 9/11.

    • Cops = pigs

      Nobody in their right mind should think all cops are heroes. Most of them are crooks who just want a way to legally assault people.

  • Maria

    Not everything is what it seems to be

    • Nick

      You’re perfectly right, Maria. One night your man goes to be with a pretty girl. The next morning he wakes up with a wreck. Sight is so misleading.

  • ncpdjerkoffs

    ncpd are the biggest bunch of overweight losers on the planet, they deal and do drugs, rape, they are all morons with huge chips on their shoulders thanks to their union and the pols that were paid off.

  • Jay

    File charges? Drunk Driving? If the guy refused to press charges, what business is it of yours. Who saw this guy driving? You want to charge him for drunk driving but have no proof of him anywhere near a car. People saying cops are above the law. How many times has this happened before, you make it seem like cops are a majority of criminals. So many police haters, no matter what the situation is the cop is wrong, or its a cover up. Why dont you share your view with the next cop that pulls you over, but no you wont do that, youll just kiss there a** and beg not to get a ticket.

    • JAH

      Well, if this is a first, there is still no excuse. He may have made an alcohol induced mistake, nevertheless, the same law should apply to him. If it were anyone else, they would have been arrested. Since, this is public knowledge, irrespective of whether the bartender wants to press charges or not, the officer should have to answer for his actions.

    • http://Aol Chris

      Jay sounds like a disgruntel cop but the point is he is not above the law anybody else would of have been in jail allerady and charges filed here it is 11 days later no charges what’s wrong with this picture hellooooo

  • Dan Te

    You mean he is not above the law?

  • Peter

    please fire him and take his pension away now thats a lesson learned !!!

  • Roy

    I was at a bar on 14th street a few years back,and a drunk cop pulled out his handgun and discharged it,the bouncers threw him out,but the police were never called,and he went happily on his drunk way……………..maybe it’s the same idiot!

  • JDH

    this guys is a 17 year veteran..A Union delgate..hes been doing this for years i am sure.. with the Internal affairs group involved and all the press they need to fry him.. This unlike most cases is open and shut because the video tape removes any guess work!!

  • kendra

    you know as usually that is just a cop abussing his power of authority ….and he,ll just be put on sesk duty or he was in the wrong doing or not cause cops have this mentality where they think they run everything..when they don,t realize they don,t realize that god is the one that controls all things around us..and suppose he would have shot ssome1 very very careless if you ask me.

    • KPMc

      You know… periods are not just for ellipsis any more? And punctuation doesn’t just mean being on time.

  • http://Aol Chris

    Mike is correct he will be back with full pay to replay again to be above the law these guys are not above us or the law they have got to understand that

  • dave

    doesn’t everyone understand that here is a double standard in this country. He will get off with a slap on the wrist and full back pay. and that sucks!

  • jim

    give him a break. everyone makes mistakes.

    • Pearl-Gray

      You wouldn’t say that if the gun went off and killed the guy. Or if he killed somone on the way driving drunk which he obvioulsy was. Or if he pulled you over a gave you a ticket and lied (which angry people do and no doubt he is any angry guy), or when he gets that nice big fat raise and pension paid by the tax-payers and well, most of us do not, or when he does something else as stupid as he did this night. Yes everyone deserves a break but he should know better Jim.



  • HooDatIS?
  • Tamera Starks

    just because he is a policeman off duty doesn’t mean that he should get away with it if he was just a normal person off the street he would be in jail for a long time so that’s what i think about it.

  • http://Aol Chris

    File criminal charges because he is on the job means he gets a free pass and N C P D keeps it calm by saying he is suspended Get state attorney general to prosecute a drunk cop driving to top it off unfit for duty

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