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article imageThree NYPD officers arrested in separate incidents

By Arthur Weinreb     May 2, 2014 in Crime
New York - During a five-day period ending Tuesday, three of New York City's finest have been arrested and charged for completely unrelated occurrences. All allegations involve drinking, driving and guns.
The three incidents involved officers who had been drinking and driving when they were alleged to have discharged their firearms. One of the charged officers was on duty at the time. The NYPD acknowledges the excess use of alcohol is a problem in the department.
Officer Brendan Cronin
The incident, described as the bloodiest of the three, occurred before midnight on Tuesday. According to police in Pelham, New York, Officer Brendan Cronin, 27, a six-year veteran of the NYPD, was stopped at a stop light when another car pulled up along side of him. Cronin is alleged to have then taken out his gun and fired 13 rounds. Six of the bullets struck a 47-year-old man sitting in the other vehicle. The man was driven to a hospital and was listed in stable condition with wounds to his torso, arm and hands.
An officer with the Pelham Police Department later stopped Cronin. According to the officer, the NYPD cop waved his gun out the window and only dropped the weapon and his keys after being repeatedly told to do so.
Pelham Police Chief Joseph Benefico described the shooting as " dangerous and bizarre." He said, "We have not been able to find any link between the two persons. We have nothing to link either party to each other—no road rage, nothing."
Cronin has been charged with felony assault. The officer refused to take a breathalyzer test and may face a further charge of DUI. Cronin posted bail and agreed to a suspension of his driver's licence as a condition of bail.
Sgt. Wanda Anthony
According to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, Sgt. Wanda Anthony, 43, was out with her boyfriend and returned with him to his Watchung, N.J. home around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. She got into a verbal altercation with her date's wife and was asked to leave.
Anthony left and then the residents of the home heard the sound of breaking glass. When they went out to check, and Anthony said she would come back "with her boys." No one was injured but a bullet was discharged and went into a car parked in the driveway.
Anthony was later stopped in a high-risk traffic stop. She identified herself as a New York City police officer and the gun she had was her service revolver. Like Cronin, she refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Anthony, a member of the NYPD for 16 years, is facing charges of DUI, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth-degree aggravated assault. She was released on a $60,000 bond.
Det. Jay Poggi
Unlike the other two cases, Det. Jay Poggi was on duty at the time he allegedly discharged his firearm. In the early morning hours of April 24, Poggi and his partner, Det. Matthew Sullivan, signed out of the station saying they were going out on a robbery investigation.
The pair stopped at two establishments along the way and had a few. When they returned to their unmarked police car, Poggi, behind the wheel, decided to show his partner the hammer on his old Smith and Wesson .38. The gun discharged, striking Sullivan in the wrist, breaking a bone.
Poggi drove Sullivan to a hospital where he underwent surgery. A police officer at the hospital noticed Poggi displayed signs of impairment and demanded he provide breath samples. Poggi, 58, a 31-year veteran of the NYPD, was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.113, above the legal limit of 0.8. Poggi was charged with DUI and later released on his own recognizance.
Of the three incidents, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, "I personally am very disturbed about the number of incidents in recent weeks that are part of a longer-term problem of inappropriate use of alcohol."
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