Police Officer Michael Bergman (left) leaves Brooklyn Supreme Court after being indicted in June. Photo: Noah Goldberg/Brooklyn Eagle
A member of the NYPD avoided a prison sentence on Wednesday when a Brooklyn judge gave him one day in jail and four years of probation as a punishment for lying about getting run over.
Michael Bergmann, 34, pleaded guilty to perjury in November and on Wednesday he faced Justice Danny Chun for sentencing. Bergmann had falsely claimed in a criminal complaint that a man tried to run him and his partner over, and subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury, one count of making a false statement and one count of official misconduct.
“This defendant, a former police officer, admitted to the disturbing conduct of falsely charging an individual with a crime he did not commit,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Our communities and our criminal justice system rely on the integrity and truthfulness of police officers, so we must hold accountable those who abuse their positions and violate the public trust.”
Bergmann was an officer for six years and was assigned to the NYPD’s Grand Larceny Division.
The District Attorney’s Office asked for a sentence of six months in jail plus probation.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, on Feb. 1, 2019, Bergmann and his partner were on patrol on 65th Street between Second and Third avenues in the 72nd Precinct when Bergmann allegedly recognized a burglary suspect, who had just parked his car. Bergmann allegedly intended to arrest him for driving without a license.
In the criminal complaint and later during grand jury testimony, Bergmann claimed that, after he and his partner exited their unmarked police car, the suspect had backed up his car in an attempt to hit them with his own car. Bergmann said the car nearly hit his partner before it reversed direction and nearly hit him.
Bergmann claimed that he was directly in front of the car between its headlights and had to dive to the ground in order to avoid getting run over as the suspect allegedly drove away. Bergmann claimed to have suffered light abrasions to his elbow as a result of the fall.
The suspect was arrested two days later and charged with attempted assault and reckless endangerment, and was eventually indicted on 10 separate charges that would ultimately never be proven in court.
It wasn’t until the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office received video surveillance footage on May 28, 2019, that Bergmann was caught in his lie. According to the District Attorney’s Office, that video showed the unmarked police car pull up to the suspect’s car, the two officers emerging from the car, then the suspect’s car driving off without ever coming close to striking either officer, who were never in front of the car and never had to dive out of the way.
Bergmann’s partner’s name was never released to the public, nor was the partner ever charged.
The case was handled by the District Attorney’s Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau.
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