Nassau County Police Officer Charged With Pointing Loaded Gun At Farmingdale Bartender

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Nassau County police officer has been charged with pointing his department-issued weapon at a bartender during an off-duty confrontation.

Officer Richard Hefferon, 46, of Farmingdale, was released without bail after surrendering to Nassau County police on Friday morning. He was charged with one count of reckless endangerment.

Police said Hefferon was off-duty at 5:50 a.m. on April 26 when he pointed a loaded weapon at a bartender’s head. Prosecutors say the incident at the South Main St. Pub was captured on a security camera.

“He was an off-duty officer, obviously with too much to drink, pulls his loaded weapon and points it at the back of my head,” bartender Charlie Ball told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “I don’t think anyone should get special treatment for that.”

Mona Rivera Speaks With South Main St. Pub Bartender Charlie Ball 

“It is a relief to me because for the last month or so I didn’t know what was happening, I didn’t know where this guy was,” Ball told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

The bartender said he still has nightmares after the incident.

“I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t re-live the video, I keep seeing it in my head, seeing it in my head, again and again, and it could have been a really really bad thing,” he said.

Ball said that he realized his life was in danger, but it wasn’t until he saw the video that he realized how badly the situation could have gone.

“When the incident happened, I was in shock – it wasn’t until afterwards, when I reviewed the tape, and I saw it could have really turned out to be something,” Ball said. “Somebody could have gotten killed.”

No one was hurt in the incident.

“Police officers are expected to uphold high standards of professionalism, both on- and off-duty, and most do,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. “This defendant chose to place lives at risk, and he will now face the consequences of that choice.”

Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor. Officer Hefferon faces up to one year in prison if convicted.

The 17-year Nassau County veteran was placed on restricted duty after the incident, and his weapons were confiscated.

bar cop gun 003 Nassau County Police Officer Charged With Pointing Loaded Gun At Farmingdale Bartender
South Main St Pub in Farmingdale, L.I. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Mona Rivera
  • joe

    were not getting anywhere. with this , so i hope well to everyone involved i just look at the positive in all people , and i believe all of us have problems not one is perfect and if you have some time ill share some of mine …………………….

    • joes

      well said!!

      • joe

        well enjoy the day dont know if you noticed there are mutiple joes in this forum so not everything came from me……..i really do believe good things are learned from bad mistakes, and hope there is some learning going around

  • joe

    understand none of us were there just 3 people . no one should pass judgements the media makes it much worse the first interview with charlie he admits there was no threat they were discussing guns and the military wanted to see it . this cop was wrong for having his weapon no dought but my point is to have 21 years of sevice tarnished by one incident i believe he should be punished but not to lose everything. also the bartender did play a role in this serving a already drunk person alchol after hrs so makes you think, and to bring his personal life well who cares no ones business this happened on his own time and again there is much more to this story and you know it. and yes he is recieving help and doing well.

    • joes

      I do beleive u brought up the personal life of the emplyoee… and I do hope this man gets help also I do not believe he shoild lose evrything,just never to be a cop again…………as well as I know both Parties too and I also know who u r and i know you were never served a drink inthis bar by Charlie..and i am sure you never threatned a man for a drink just because you had a weapon, as well as I am sure you would not have gotten away with driving drunk unless u are a cop. I wonder how many people got dui from this man. a policeman of all people should think before they act,I know he was not trained like that not even in the Marines I also served and never once used that as a excuse for acting out wrong. I hope your friend is fine in the end.
      oh yeah how do u plead not guilty and say that he is taken responsibilty for his actions?

      • joe

        you are right i did and for that i apologize

  • J. Chavez

    How can you moron’s say cops are exempt from laws and get special treatment when responding to an article about a cop getting arrested and charged of a crime? WOW you guys are smart

  • Jon

    “Oh brother here we go again where the police get special treatment. If I was drunk and put a gun in someones head without video I would still be in Rikers Island. This guy still has his job. NYPD biggest organized crime out there.”

    WHAT!? NYPD? Do you have any idea what your talking about? Special treatment!? He got arrested. Just because he has his job now doesnt mean a thing. I wish people had to have someone of a clue before they post

  • Cris Rivera

    Oh brother here we go again where the police get special treatment. If I was drunk and put a gun in someones head without video I would still be in Rikers Island. This guy still has his job. NYPD biggest organized crime out there.

  • RichieT

    WHY, was the bar even open. 5:50 am.
    Nassau County;
    Any place that serves liquor, wine, or beer, are supposed to be closed 4am to 8am
    Sunday 4am til 12 noon.
    The bartender had to have something to do with it. If it wasn’t somebody he knew, the cop, the bar would have been closed.

    • joe

      i agree and why keep serving him till 9:30 am this is a fact, bartender just wants a free paycheck both parties made a mistake but only one will pay for it

  • joe

    i happen to know both of these parties, one who spent 4 years in the marines protecting our country and 17 years protecting our streets and the other a known convict serving alchol @ 6 am prompting to see his gun after 7 free shots he got his wish. a very poor judgement on this officer but never criminal .never believe what you see in the news this bartender new this officer , served him before .has tried this before by serving an off duty cop and asking what its like to have a gun pointed to his head they were srewing around. not making light of it but when the truth comes out and this bartenders 15min of fame are over we will see. this officer is paying dearly believe me. everybody makes a mistake and he has lost everything. i believe this bartender will be held acctountable also this is why its in the news. also charges were never filed in the begining but the video was sold to the media .makes you think????

    • joes

      tthat gives him the right to pull a gun on someone . how would u feel if it were your family he held a gun to……he should have stayed in the marines…oh yeah you cant sell the vidieo you jerk

      • joe

        thats because you tried to sell the video and how was a cleaning person serving drinks is this the way this bar is run if so ill be there and i grew up in farmingdale been at this bar when charlie was serving drinks not making lite of this situation every one has problems it took something bad to make this officer know he has a problem in which he is recieving help, he has also taking full responsibility but to lose everything over one incident in which i believe both parties played a role. i think everyone should be givin a chance there is alot more to this story and you know it will all come out. i do believe in second chances,

    • joes

      I dont think he should have left the marines…….and he should be pay dearly oh and by the way there is no monet to be made from this just getting a nut with a gun off the street,so our tax money does not continue to pay for a nut with a gun.. and special treatment. please stop defending this creep. and by the way u do not know both parties and they never met before this incident…and that is fact

    • joes

      He spent 17 years hiidinng behind a badge constantly breaking the law driving around drunk and breaking the law if anyone thinks this is the first time he has done this you r wrong it is the first he got caught on vidieo..anything short of a demanding of ihis immideate resignation from the police dept. would be an outrage an an embarrasment, to the peiople of this community and the true heros that protect us!! if you want his real story this cop should have his hair folicoles tested to learn the rea; truth, or just go ask his girlfriend of 4 years at her bar… funny

      • joes

        hey Joe u might want get rid of those pba cards…

    • joes

      Free paycheck where do you get that? I WANT ONE! your are as crazy as the cop!! oh yeah he is not a bartender but he is a cleaning man that this officer demanded a drink from…..he did not sell him a drink the cop stole it he did not pay or even TIP regardles of anything lets not lforget this man put a gun to someones head. anybody who cant exercise self control should not be a cop, THIS JUST GIVES COPS ANOTHER BLACK EYE

    • joes

      Joe you r right everyone else is wrong……ask his wife and girlfriend they r waiting for there paychecks, when do u get yours? you should be embarresed to call Heffron your friend. he made the news twice for being a loser both times

      • joe

        listen why are you so upset , he is getting help and is being punished, he admits his mistake, how about the bar never one time admit they were wrong for serving past 4 am (the law) and serving someone who charlie says came in drunk (the law) this officer is paying for his mistake and has cooperated with authorities not trying to make maby this bar should clean up there act. how does charlie say he is serving drinks as a bartender and you say he is the cleaner ok i see…………………….

  • joe


  • Paul G.

    He was released without bail on 1 count of reckless endangerment!?!?!?!? ABOVE THE LAW, AGAIN! I have a licensed firearm. If I did what this PIG did I would be facing a $25000 bail, criminal possession of a weapon charge( because he used his weapon in a unlawful way), reckless endangerment charge, menacing, 3rd degree assault and have my firearm license taken away.

  • joe

    They should add other charges of armed robbery, first degree reckless endangerment, criminal posession of a weapon etc adn get his pig ass kicked by the bartender too..

  • joe

    This cop should be thrown in prison for a long time. Another reason why I hate cops…

  • nyc

    Just another drunk ! Only this one is a Cop and carries a gun legally ! Hang em High to set a example !

  • Kayla

    How come he wasn’t charged with menacing a felony like anyone else who points a gun at someone else is? I know then he would have to give up his gun and we need more arrogant cops on the street to kill more innocent people. Another corrupt police department!

    • http://Aol Joe

      Nassau P D and D A take care of their own even special treatment leaving court house in an unmarked cop car from
      Inside the tunnel the state attorney general should look at this snd prosecute it if not bring in
      The Feds

  • Goblin

    Where’s the charge for criminal possession of a weapon like the rest of us would get for doing something like this?

  • Joey Maricone

    Notice when Cop pulls a gun he intends to Kill.

    This Off Duty Cop should be thrown off the force.
    (1) 17 year experience
    (2) why did this COP point a gun at the bartender?

  • DJS

    The FIRST thing that should be looked at… IS WHY WAS THE BAR OPEN AT 6 AM in THE MORNING???? Does LI have different rules for different people? Last I knew, is that bars close at 2 AM. SOOOO,, what was the bar doing open and serving booze? The ABC board should be all over this situation. THEN the cop should be fired on the spot, no lawyers no union BS, JUST shown the door What would we be reading had he pulled thge trigger?. All too often we are reading about what cops are doing on the wrong side of the law. Yes, they are under alot of pressure with their job, BUT that does NOT give them the right to vent as they do . Look at yesterdays news NYPD cops arrested for gambling, others for rape, drugs you name it. It’s a daily news item these days, cops ARE the news. Makes on wonder how many are doing this ntype of activity and not caught yet. I cannot wait unti what Sat. nnews will bring!!!

  • Toldhuso

    Supervisors, DA & Court to Officer: You are ordered to into the TWO STEP PROGRAM.
    Officer: Yes Sir’s.
    S/DA/C: STEP ONE, hold out your wrist……..

  • boris

    hi everyone! what’s going on?

  • brooklyn_guy

    How adding charges of Driving While Intoxicated ?
    Public Intoxication?

    Where is the prosecutor’s backbone?



  • David Ruffin

    I hope the cop stops drinking. Alcoholism can destroy the best of minds.

  • Erik

    Wow Dale, how about not? A cop is a HUMAN off duty or on Duty, they need to respect us…We have the right not to like them or respect them, theres no law against that….And what the heck, 1 count of reckless endangerment and restricted duty?? This man committed a FELONY (at least just one, probably several), any other person would be looking at prison right now, and for a long time too! This is a prime example of corruption in law enforcement. Police should be held to a HIGHER standard than the average man as they set the standard…How can a criminal tell me to follow the law? This is an absolute travesty, and this man should be charged properly,

    • Dale Auburn

      You’re forgetting that all cops are Legally Designated Heroes and thus EXEMPT from ALL LAWS.

      • Erik

        Oooooh yeah I forgot about that, how silly of me!……So where can I pick up a badge? Haha

      • Shut up Dale

        Dale stop being a troll. It’s not amusing anyone but yourself.

  • Dale Auburn

    Even off-duty, a cop is still a cop, and all civilians MUST physically honor the badge. The bartender clearly failed to do so.

    • http://Aol Joe

      Lock him up throw key away

    • No Respect Cause None Earned

      Nobody honors the badge anymore. Why you might ask? it is clear from story after story after story that are making headlines every single day throughout the country, that not even the person the badge is issued to honors it. Imagine the stories we never hear about and those that are covered up within the police ranks (and that is many). Pulling a gun on someone as this guy did should require him to enter a mental hospital. I would take that cop for all he is worth if I was the bartender and then I would kick the ever living out of him. What a looser cop. Again, their are many.

  • Bridget

    You are probably right Kendra. They would say he has a drinking problem and will get treatment..

    • P.I.

      nope..they would say that it was a robbery in progress and the galant off duty officer in a fierce struggle with the perp bravely disarmed him but sadly the bartender got into the line of fire.
      Try explaining the powder burns and the angle of fire…and that darn pesky camera…now where do they keep that camera chip…?

  • kendra

    damn it might get worse before it gets any better what is up with these cops uh?now if that gun would have gone off he probably would have got a slap on the wrist and gone and been on desk duty…..when he should have went to jail like the rest of us normal people.

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