Plain-clothes officers witness drive-by shooting, apprehend suspects

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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS (PIX11) -- Three plain-clothed NYPD officers who happened to be at the right place at the right time were able to catch two suspects responsible for a drive-by shooting in Upper Manhattan early Saturday.

The officers were patrolling the Washington Heights area in an unmarked grey Ford Taurus around 3:46 a.m. when they noticed a verbal dispute between a 21-year-old pedestrian and a passenger in a silver Honda Accord with tinted windows, which was stopped at a red light on West 172nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, police said.

(From left to right) Officers James Burke, Ruben Pagan and Jonathan Rivera witnessed the drive-by shooting and apprehended the suspects one block away. (Photo: NYPD)

(From left to right) Officers James Burke, Ruben Pagan and Jonathan Rivera witnessed the drive-by shooting and apprehended the suspects one block away. (Photo: NYPD)

The officers then witnessed the passenger display a gun and shoot the victim in the right thigh before taking off on Amsterdam Avenue.

After the officers engaged their emergency lights, the suspects stopped the car on West 171st Street. They recovered a .22 caliber Beretta from the back seat.

The driver, 21-year-old Joshua Monsanto from New Rochelle, and his passenger, 19-year-old Hugo Rodriguez from the Bronx, were arrested and charged with attempted murder, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

EMS transported the victim to St. Luke's Hospital, where he remains in stable condition. No officers were injured.