TUCKAHOE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — An investigation into the New York City Police Department is spilling over borders, as the Westchester County district attorney is looking into whether local cops let off a drunk, and potentially dangerous, off-duty NYPD officer.
The early morning accident on Sagamore Road in Tuckahoe shook Melissa Horne out of her bed, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“We were about to go to bed, and then we heard a huge crash,” she said.
What was more shocking is that the man behind the wheel was one of New York’s finest – and that he may have been drunk.
Worse yet, a revealing phone recording has sparked allegations that Tuckahoe cops tried to cover it up.
“Chris, I’ve got one of your guys down the block, and he’s bombed – bad,” one officer is heard saying on the recording.
The taped conversation between two NYPD police officers was part of a ticket-fixing investigation. On the recording one officer, only identified as “Chris,” detailed how he helped a Tuckahoe police sergeant choreograph a plan to clear the intoxicated driver.
“I’m like, ‘right, he got the deal,’” the officer said. “There’s nothing that says DWI, it just says I [expletive] up, I caused an accident.”
Police said that in April 2010, the off-duty cop drove his SUV into a decorative light pole, knocking it – and a parking meter – down.
“All we saw was just a big, black SUV, and then that was it, and then by the time we got outside, he was gone,” Horne said.
After the officer crashed there, he quickly sped off. Police had to chase him down, and once they found him, they never administered a sobriety test.
The officer on the phone said the Tuckahoe sergeant urged him to convince the drunk cop to sign a summons for a significantly lesser offense.
“Alright, you’re going to go [expletive] home, you’re going to sign these two summonses – basically, vehicle accident like improper driving, erratic driving causing property damage to town,” the cop said on the recording.
Tuckahoe police did not respond to CBS 2’s request for comment Wednesday night.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, though, said the department was stepping up by creating a special Internal Affairs task force to stop cops from fixing summonses.
“That process clearly has to be strengthened, and we believe by moving it into Internal Affairs, it will make it a much stronger process,” Commissioner Kelly said.
The Westchester County district attorney opened up an investigation into the tape. Charges against the officer for damaging village property were reportedly dropped after he made restitution.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.