BUSHWICK, Brooklyn — An off-duty police officer allegedly pistol-whipped a man outside a Bushwick nightclub and robbed him, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Anthony Delacruz, 34, and an unidentified accomplice were caught on video in a confrontation with another man on May 28 around 3:30 a.m., officials said. Delacruz pointed his service weapon at a man who was hiding behind a car.
All three men go off camera and, when they return, the unidentified accomplice is carrying clothing and sneakers, prosecutors said. Delacruz and his accomplice walked away.
The victim, who can be seen on camera dressed only in a t-shirt and boxers, walked away with no shoes on, officials said. Delacruz allegedly pistol-whipped him when they were off camera. The victim’s DNA was found on the muzzle of Delacruz’ gun.
A shell casing at the scene also massed Delacruz’ gun.
“This defendant’s alleged brazen and criminal behavior was in direct contradiction to the oath he took to protect and serve,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “He then allegedly made a deplorable situation worse by falsely accusing multiple individuals of robbing him.”
Delacruz had initially told other officers that his alleged victim had actually robbed him along with some other men, officials said. Officers responding to a call for shots fired found him near El Mekkah Bar and Grill.
He allegedly told them he was in his vehicle when he was surrounded by several men who stole his gold chain, Rolex watch and a gold ring before fleeing, prosecutors said. Delacruz said he chased after the perpetrators and fired at them once.
A group of people were taken into custody after Delacruz told police his version of what happened, but video evidence quickly showed his version of events was not accurate.
He was arraigned on 14 charges Wednesday. Delacruz was charged with robbery, assault, menacing, falsely reporting an incident and petit larceny, among other charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison for the robbery charges.