Off-duty cop fights off would-be robbers

May 30, 2008 2:08:10 PM PDT
Two off-duty police officers heading to a club were jumped by a mob who bashed one of the officers over the head with a chair, police said Friday.The detectives and a relative were in the Washington Heights neighborhood shortly after midnight Friday when a group of about six or eight men decided they would try to rob them, police said.

One of the suspects came up from behind and sucker-punched one of the detectives, and the others pounced, kicking and punching at the officers and the relative. An assailant grabbed a wooden chair from the street and started beating one officer over the head until the chair broke.

During the struggle, a shot was fired from a detective's off-duty gun, hitting one of the assailants in the shoulder, police said. It wasn't immediately clear whether the officer fired the weapon or it went off in the struggle.

Police officials said a preliminary investigation showed the shooting was justified.

Three of the suspects, including the wounded suspect, ran to a nearby apartment where they were later arrested, police said. Authorities were searching for the others involved in the assault. Police did not release the names of those arrested.

The officer who was hit with the chair was taken to Bellevue Hospital. That officer's injuries did not appear to be life threatening, and the injuries to the others were not serious, police said. It did not appear that anything was stolen in the incident.