Good Samaritan Stops NYPD Officer Arrested For DUI On Long Island

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Terrified drivers honked and flashed their headlights as a car swerved down a highway in the wrong direction. But it took more dramatic action to stop an alleged drunk driver.

CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez talked with the man who managed to stop the off-duty officer, who was arrested for DUI.

Eric Minkoff, 32, said he never imagined he’d one day be responsible for saving the lives of countless drivers.

“It was thrilling and nerve wracking,” Minkoff said.

Early Sunday morning, the New Hyde Park graphic artist was a designated driver. He had just dropped off his friends and was driving on the Sagtikos Parkway in Suffolk County when he saw a woman driving a Chevy Cavalier on the wrong side of the road.

“All these cars were like pushing, moving off to the side of the road — honking their horns, flashing their lights — and she was also hitting the median,” Minkoff said.

Minkoff, who was in the southbound lane, said the median separated him from the female driver, who was driving southbound in the northbound lane.

Minkoff said he called the police pleading for help, not knowing the woman behind the wheel was an off-duty cop.

“My first thought is this woman’s going to kill somebody,” Minkoff said. “I didn’t know what to do at that time because I’m on the other side of the road. The only thing I could think of is just stick with her.”

Minkoff, staying in his lane, drove alongside the woman on the Sagtikos for eight miles as she traveled around 65 m.p.h. in the wrong direction.

The woman finally stopped at the opening of a median near Pineaire Drive. Minkoff pulled his Toyota Prius right in front her and blocked her from going anywhere else.

“She tried to go around me any way possible, and I kept going back and forth back and forth back and forth until the police finally came,” Minkoff said.

When police finally arrived, they soon found out they were arresting one of their own. State Police said 26-year-old Candice Smith, an officer with the NYPD, was drunk.

“I don’t think I’m a hero. I was just doing what needed to be done at the time,” Minkoff said.

Minkoff said he is still shaken up by the irony that he protected a woman who’s job is to protect and serve.

Smith has been suspended by the NYPD for 30 days.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

    • bunky

      Ya know, your comment is a uneducated as your spelling of the pornstar’s name you use here.

    • Steve Feuss

      You’re an idiot! Why would you even drop a comment like this? It has nothing to do with the story, or heroism of an individual for doing more than his part to try to keep people safe and “do the right thing.” Kudos Eric Minkoff!!

  • Mary

    The bottom line is Minkoff acted, involving himself in a situation that could have turned tragic, preventing the same to occur. There should be more like him.

  • Jeff S.

    Minkoff stopped the drunk cop from going further by blocking her with his car. What if she backed up and continued driving the wrong way and killed someone. Would Minkoff still be a hero or would he be arrested?????

    • Marty Helgesen

      It would be very unlikely that anyone driving the wrong way on a limited access highway was doing it deliberately. It usually is the result of driving drunk, as in this case, or people getting confused while driving on unfamilar roads. The only real solution would be to install depressible spikes, like those used at some parking lots, that would shred the tires of any car going the wrong way. Of course, there would have to be a device that notified the local police and special warning lights that would prevent other cars from hitting the stopped cars.

  • Marty Helgesen

    People seem to be assuming that the 30 day suspension will be the only penalty. It seems more likely that it is only a first step. Later there will be a formal hearing, the equivalent of a trial, which can result in removal from the force.

  • Nick

    A cop that’s drunk? Say it isn’t so. HA!

  • Surfin Bird

    Mr. Mnkoff had no right stopping her. He aint a cop.

    • Meme Meyagi

      kill yourself

    • bunky

      You too are an idiot. Anyone can do anything they want to if they witness a crime being committed. In this case this man saved a lot of lives.
      Go back to you Schlitz there Archie.

  • Long Islander

    why is she not being fired? if it were me, my job would be gone! She has taken an oath to protect and serve, not to be protected fromand served alcohol. She is a disgrace, but I am in agreement that she will claim some sort of abuse or prejudice and get away with it

  • Big Moore

    AND SHE ONLY GOT SUSPENDED FRO 30 DAYS?? If it was me or you we would have been FIRED!

    • cop kid

      pls tell me ur not actually suprised that she wasn’t fired, but merely suspended? wanna REALLY get mad? how’s this – NOW imagine she was probably suspended WITH pay?!

      • Jimmy Ellis

        Really? Suspended for 30 days? That’s it? I’m in the wrong line of work. Being a cop is being a legal criminal.

  • mj

    another ” HERO” cop …. i’m surprised she didn’t shoot him

    • cop kid

      exaaactly! i see u already know the drill – shoot 1st, ask questions later…smh

  • The Good Samaritan

    hopefully she will get her act together.
    The Good Samaritan is shaken but has spoken

  • Jeff

    The word “who’s” is a contraction of “who is” or “who has.” The word “whose” indicates possession. So Minkoff should be shaken up by the irony that he protected a woman *whose* job is to protect and serve.

  • Anne Shindel

    Being a survivor of a drunkin driver car accident, I TOTALLY Commend this wonderful man for saving innocent lives. For someone who’s soposed to be protecting us from drukin drivers, I’m appalled that she is a cop & she drove drunk. Thank god noone was hurt & I think she should not only be suspended, but fired from the police dept.!!!

  • dee dee

    She wasn’t drunk, that’s how females drive!

    • cop kid

      don’t insult yourself like that!

      • answer it

        cop kid, stop buffing out!

    • Leo


  • Gerry Attrick

    Candice will likely claim that she was being sexually harassed by her superior and was forced to get drunk and drive on the wrong side of the road …

    • RevSharpson

      She thought HERMAN CAIN was chasing her!

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