FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 18, 2017
Police Officer Indicted for Allegedly Assaulting Young Man
In Coney Island, Then Trying to Intimidate Him after Incident Reported
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a New York City Police Officer has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with misdemeanor assault and intimidating a witness for allegedly attacking a 23-year-old man in Coney Island following a verbal altercation, and later confronting him about reporting the incident.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Police officers risk their lives every day to keep us all safe. However, this defendant crossed the line by allegedly assaulting a man and later threatening him. Such conduct is not only unacceptable, it undermines public trust in our justice system and will not be tolerated in Brooklyn.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Police Officer O’Keefe Thompson, 30, who was assigned to the 60th precinct at the time of the incident. Thompson was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of intimidating a witness, two counts of third-degree assault and two counts of official misconduct. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on November 29, 2017. If convicted, he faces up to one and one-third to four years in prison.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on July 8, 2017, shortly after midnight, in the vicinity of Mermaid Avenue and West 32nd Street, in Coney Island, Brooklyn, the defendant, who was on duty and in uniform, ordered Raymond Crespo, 23, to pick up a plastic cup that his friend had knocked out of his hand. Crespo refused the defendant’s request and an argument ensued. It is alleged that Thompson then threw Crespo against the doorway of a nearby bodega, knocking him to the ground, before dragging him out onto the sidewalk.
It is further alleged that Crespo was motionless for a few seconds when Thompson grabbed him again, dragged him several more feet and dropped him to the ground again before stating, in sum and substance, “Don’t you know that I’m from the Ville (referring to Brownsville)?” The incident was captured on surveillance video. Following the incident, the victim went home, went to sleep and subsequently woke up with a swollen face and a headache. The victim dialed 911and was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he was treated for swelling and bruising to the face, as well as for possible concussion symptoms. After the victim was discharged from the hospital, he filed a complaint against the defendant later that same day.
According to the investigation, the defendant was assigned the evening tour from July 8, 2017 to July 9, 2017. At the end of his tour, at approximately 2:30 a.m. on July 9, 2017, the defendant went to the victim’s neighborhood, in plainclothes, looking for him. Once the defendant spotted the victim, the defendant allegedly confronted the victim, raised his shirt and displayed a gun in his waistband to the victim, and stated, in sum and substance, “Why are you shitting on my name? Do you know what I’m going to do to you?” A crowd of bystanders successfully pushed the defendant away from the victim. This incident was also captured on surveillance video.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detectives assigned to the Brooklyn South Investigations.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney T. Peter Choi, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Joseph P. Alexis, Chief of the Trial Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.