Robert Borrelli said he wonders every day why Brendan Cronin shot at him and Joseph Felice at a Pelham intersection two years ago.
Cronin will have plenty of time to ponder that question in state prison. The former NYPD officer was given a nine-year sentence today for drunkenly firing at least 14 bullets at the two New Rochelle men who were driving home from a recreational hockey game, injuring one of them.
“I am truly sorry,” Cronin said in a statement apologizing to the victims that he read in court before being sentenced.
“I will continue to pray for forgiveness and mercy,” he said.
Cronin, wearing a gray suit and standing expressionless throughout the proceeding, has been in custody since a week after his guilty plea in September, which called for the nine-year sentence.
Cronin was sentenced to nine years for each of four felony charges, and one year for a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge, but those terms will be served concurrently. The 28-year-old had pleaded guilty to two counts each of attempted murder and assault for shooting at Felice and Borrelli without provocation on April 29, 2014.
Cronin, a police veteran of six years who worked in the 46th Precinct in the Bronx, had been training at an NYPD shooting range before consuming 10 drinks, including beer and liquor, at a bar on City Island, he told Pelham police after his arrest.
Borrelli and Felice were stopped at the traffic light at Sixth Avenue when Cronin walked up to their vehicle and fired from his Glock service weapon. Felice was hit six times and still has a bullet lodged in his chest.
Borrelli, who was not struck, rushed his friend to the hospital, likely saving his life. Cronin was arrested a few blocks away in New Rochelle after a Pelham officer pulled him over.
Borrelli and Felice each delivered statements in Westchester County Court before Cronin was sentenced by Judge Barry Warhit. They said Cronin, who showed no emotion while in court, has expressed no remorse for his actions.
“In nine years he will be released from the cell that contains his life,” Borrelli said in court. “He has sentenced me to a lifetime of imprisonment by my own mind.”
“You will receive no forgiveness from me,” he told Cronin. “Forgiveness is between you and God.”
Felice said Cronin, who got married since the shooting and whose wife has a child on the way, “had the audacity to register for margarita glasses” while planning his wedding.
“These are not the actions of a remorseful man looking at 25 years in prison,” Felice said with his wife by his side.
Felice, choking back tears at times, said Cronin’s actions have “had an impact on me, my wife and young son that no words can define. The life that I once knew is gone. Each day is now scarred by the actions of Mr. Cronin.”
Cronin, who faced a maximum of 25 years, deserves to serve 20 years in prison, Felice said.
“That would be justice to me,” he said.
The judge called Cronin’s actions “inexcusable and outrageous.”
“They have caused incalculable pain to the victims and their families,” Warhit said.
Warhit noted, though, that Cronin had an unblemished record prior to the shooting, and that he was sentenced to more than the minimum of five years.
After the sentencing, Felice, Borrelli and their lawyer Randolph McLaughlin held a press conference outside the courthouse. McLaughlin said their focus is now on civil litigation against Cronin and New York City.
“We’re calling for the adoption of a true zero-tolerance policy for drinking, driving and misusing your weapon,” he said. “We pray that, as a result of the lawsuit and their struggle, this will be the last time an NYPD officer is sentenced for attempted murder.”
One thought on “Ex-NYPD officer ‘sorry,’ given prison in Pelham shooting”
Nine years is better then walking free I guess. Does that sack of shit get his uniform, badge and gun back if he makes it out alive?