An off-duty NYPD officer stole the clothes off a man’s back outside of a Brooklyn hookah bar, then lied to fellow officers to cover and pointed a gun at a group of people in an attempt to cover his tracks, according to prosecutors.
Anthony Delacruz, 34, was arraigned Wednesday after being named in a 14-count indictment with charges including robbery and falsely reporting an incident. It comes after a chain of events on May 28, 2016, that left his alleged victim standing on the sidewalk in nothing but his boxer shorts and a T-shirt.
“This defendant’s alleged brazen and criminal behavior was in direct contradiction to the oath he took to protect and serve,” said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez. “He then allegedly made a deplorable situation worse by falsely accusing multiple individuals of robbing him. We will now seek to hold him accountable.”
Gonzalez’s office, the investigation began after Delacruz reported to police he traded gunfire with a group of men he said stole his gold chain, Rolex watch and a gold ring outside the hookah bar on Wyckoff Avenue and Grove Street in Bushwick early on May 28, 2016.
When responding officers arrived on the scene, prosecutors said they found Delacruz with his gun pointed at the group he claimed was involved in the robbery.
Prosecutors said video surveillance from the hookah bar showed that none of them were involved in the incident reported by Delacruz and were actually at a different location at the time of the reported robbery.
But surveillance footage did show Delacruz with an accomplice as he pointed a gun at a third man, according to prosecutors. When the trio left the camera’s frame, Delacruz allegedly pistol-whipped and robbed his victim.
When they re-entered the camera’s view, Delacruz’s alleged accomplice can be seen carrying the third person’s clothes; the victim, meanwhile, is in his skivvies and barefoot, according to prosecutors.
Delacruz faces up to 25 years if convicted, according to prosecutors.