NYPD: officer dies after suspect shove

NYPD Officer Alain Schaberger was killed when a suspect allegedly pushed him over a railing, causing him to fall to his death on Sunday, March 13, 2011. (NYPD)

March 13, 2011 8:50:10 PM PDT
A police officer died after a suspect pushed him while trying to break up a dispute in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn.

"Sooner or later I knew something was going to happen. I was concerned about her but look at the way it turned out, it was a cop. A shame," neighbor Jamie Viera said.

That cop was officer Alain Schaberger, 48, knew from his years on the force that the 911 call that came in at 4:22 a.m. on Sunday could backfire more so than others and put him in danger.

A 48-year-old woman who lives on Bergen Street called police after having a heated fight with her boyfriend George Villanueva, 40.

He left, she called police telling them he threatened to kill her.

"He fights with her, she tries to get away, [there was] an order of protection, the whole 9 yards," Viera said.

By now, Villanueva was around the corner asleep in his apartment on St. Marks Place.

Two sets of officers responded, one picked up the woman and drove her to identify her alleged attacker.

Schaberger and two other officers brought Villanueva outside onto the stoop of his brownstone.

"They had one handcuff on his wrist when he pushed officer Schaberger with both hands over the railing," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

That railing was only about 1 ½ feet high and Schaberger plunged roughly nine feet to the ground striking his head and breaking his neck in the fatal fall.

Villanueva has been involved in at least 22 prior domestic violence incidents with his mother and girlfriend.

Neighbors say they've seen the girlfriend's bruises, stitches and cuts.

"She'll come up and I'll try to console her and talk but she keeps running back to him," neighbor William Smith said.

Officer Schaberger was on duty and assigned to the 84th Precinct. He also served in the Navy from 1991 to 1995. He joined the NYPD in 2001.

Villanueva arrested and charged with 1st degree murder of a police officer, aggravated murder of a police officer, criminal contempt of court and assault.