Off-Duty Officer Hailed A Hero For Actions In Alleged Queens Domestic Dispute
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A slew of friends, family and fellow officers made their way to Jamaica Hospital throughout the day Monday to visit Joseph Koch, the off-duty officer shot and wounded as he helped to stop an assault in Queens over the weekend.
Police said Koch, a seven-year NYPD veteran, suffered a wound to the hand after intervening in an alleged domestic dispute on Sunday evening.
The father was hailed a hero for his actions.
“He’s in stable condition, thank God,” Koch’s future father-in-law, Wilfredo Medina, told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell.
The incident happened around 10 p.m. Sunday at a home on South Road in Jamaica.
Koch, 29, was leaving a barbecue at Medina’s home when he heard an 11-year-old boy screaming for help as his mother’s ex-boyfriend was allegedly assaulting her.
“A young boy runs out and says ‘he’s killing my mother,'” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Koch, who works as a domestic violence officer, ran to the boy’s house where police said 40-year-old Jose Bernazard was allegedly beating the boy’s mother.
“The officer goes to the house, as he goes to enter the house he has his weapon in his hand. The individual, the perpetrator here runs out and rushes the officer and a struggle ensues for his weapon,” Kelly said.
Three shots were fired — one hitting Bernazard in the stomach and another hitting Koch on the hand.
His visitors at the hospital Monday said Koch — assigned to the 101st Precinct — was in good spirits.
“Very heroic,” said Troy Jordan, who witnessed the incident. “It would have been a double homicide last night, no doubt in my mind.”
“For me, he’s a hero because he saved the lady’s life and who knows, the kid also,” said Medina.
Bernazard is in critical condition.
The former couple had a history of domestic violence.
Sources said the boy’s mother had an order of protection against the suspect, Burrell reported. She suffered a seven-inch gash to her head.
Bernazard is charged with five counts of assault, five counts of criminal contempt, aggravated harassment, burglary, endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest.
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