NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City cop was accused of beating a man up during a dispute in Coney Island, and later tracking his victim down and using a gun to intimidate him.
Officer O’Keefe Thompson, 30, was assigned to the 60th Precinct covering Coney Island, Brighton Beach, West Brighton Beach and Sea Gate.
According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Thompson was on duty and in uniform on July 8, 2017, when he ran into Raymond Crespo, 23, in the vicinity of Mermaid Avenue and West 32nd Street in Coney Island.
Thompson ordered Crespo to pick up a plastic cup that had been knocked out of his hand. When Crespo refused, an argument ensued, and Thompson allegedly threw him against the doorway of a nearby bodega, and knocked him to the ground, before dragging him out onto the sidewalk.
Authorities said Thompson grabbed Crespo again — as the man lay motionless on the ground — and dragged him several more feet, before dropping him and announcing, “don’t you know that I’m from the Ville,” an apparent reference to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville.
“I’m astounded at this whole fact this happened to me,” he told CBS2’s Erin Logan, “I don’t know what his intentions was.”
Crespo told authorities that he went home, and woke up with a swollen face and headache prompting a call to 911 and a visit to Coney Island Hospital. He was treated for swelling and bruising to the face, and possible concussion symptoms before being released.
“This officer here was a thug. He was not someone I could look forward to defending me. This is an officer that turned into something. I don’t know what was wrong with the guy,” Crespo said.
Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez announced that on July 9, Thompson finished his tour at 2:30 a.m., went to Crespo’s neighborhood in plainclothes, raised his shirt to display a firearm tucked into his waistband.
“Why are you (expletive) on my name? Do you what I’m going to do to you?” Thompson is alleged to have said, before being pushed away by a crowd of bystanders.
Crespo said he’s been struggling since the attack, rarely leaving his home.
“I was always outside playing basketball and hanging out with my friends,” he said.
Gonzalez called Thompson’s alleged actions ‘unacceptable.’
“Police officers risk their lives every day to keep us all safe. However, this defendant crossed the line by allegedly assaulting a man and later threatening him. Such conduct is not only unacceptable, it undermines public trust in our justice system and will not be tolerated in Brooklyn,” he said.
Thomspon was arraigned on Monday, in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. He was charged with one count of intimidating a witness, two counts of third-degree assault, and two counts of official misconduct. He was released on his own recognizance and will be back in court on November 29.
If convicted, Thompson faces up to four years in prison.
Crespo said even after the incident, he doesn’t fear cops. He respects and admires the job that they do.