Brooklyn cop convicted for gunpoint robbery outside of Bushwick nightclub
Victim's pants and shoes stolen by the officer after pistol-whipping
An off-duty cop was found guilty of robbing and assaulting a man outside a Bushwick nightclub in 2016, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced Thursday.
Anthony Delacruz, a 35-year-old officer who pistol-whipped a man before robbing him of his jewelry, cash, cellphone and clothes, also falsely reported to responding officers that he had been the victim of the robbery – not the perpetrator.
In addition to robbery and assault charges, he was found guilty of falsely reporting an incident.
The NYPD fired him following the conviction. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced on April 29.
“This defendant’s actions were truly abhorrent: Not only did he commit a gunpoint robbery, he then falsely accused others of robbing him,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “That he was a police officer sworn to protect and serve make this conduct even more outrageous. With this verdict, the defendant has been held accountable for his disturbing conduct. I remain committed to prosecute without fear or favor anyone who engages in violence in our communities.”
The incident occurred on May 28, 2016 around 3:30 a.m. outside of the El Mekkah Bar and Grill on Wyckoff Avenue near Grove Street, according to prosecutors.
Officer Delacruz – caught on video with an accomplice confronting a third man who was hiding behind a car – pointed his gun at the victim before the three men disappear from the camera’s view.
Later, on camera, Delacruz and his accomplice walk away. The accomplice is holding clothing and sneakers.
The victim on the other hand, re-enters the video shoeless, in boxers and a t-shirt.
Prosecutors said that Delacruz pistol-whipped the victim, whose DNA was found on the muzzle of Delacruz’s gun. Police also found a shell casing from Delacruz’s gun at the scene.
Police officers responded to a 911 call of shots fired and officer Delacruz, who did not initially identify himself as an off-duty police officer, according to prosecutors, claimed that the victim stole his gold chain, Rolex watch and gold ring before running off. Officer Delacruz claimed that he chased after the supposed perpetrators and that they had exchanged gunfire.
Eventually, Delacruz, formerly of Greenpoint’s 94th Precinct, pointed out a group of people on the scene and claimed that they were involved in the robbery. Prosecutors said that video evidence eventually cleared all of the men Delacruz indicated, but not before his victim was arrested. Those charges were later dismissed.
Delacruz was taken to the hospital that night. Prosecutors said he had alcohol on his breath, didn’t have his shield and so was unfit for duty.
Prosecutors also said that officer Delacruz had New Jersey license plates on his car that did not belong to his vehicle, and found fake New Jersey plates on his car later on in their investigation as well.
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