Victim of NYPD chokehold accused in Bronx bias robbery

BRONX (WABC) -- The man who was put in an apparent chokehold by a police officer in Queens was taken into custody in connection to a robbery on Tuesday.

Ricky Bellevue, 35, is accused of trying to rob two victims Tuesday morning near 3rd and Brook avenues in the Bronx.

Bellevue and another man are accused of making anti-gay slurs toward the victims before trying to take one of their bags.

The victim fought back and during the struggle, Bellevue is accused of cutting the victim in the face and both hands.

Bellevue was taken into custody and taken to Lincoln Hospital where he is being treated for a laceration to the eyebrow. He is facing charges of robbery as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, harassment stalking and unlawful possession of marijuana.

The other suspect, 28-year-old Trevel Parris, is also facing multiple charges in connection to the incident.

Video showed Officer David Afanador performing the banned chokehold last month in Rockaway Beach as police were trying to arrest Bellevue, who they say was threatening them.

Afanador has since turned himself in to the Queens District Attorney's Office in Kew Gardens. The 39-year-old is charged with strangulation and attempted strangulation.

Bodycam video shows officers engaging with a group of men on the boardwalk for more than 10 minutes, with the group taunting and cursing the officers, all while recording.

WATCH: Police bodycam footage of the arrest:


After his arrest, Bellevue could be heard saying he's bipolar.

Officer Afanador was immediately suspended without pay, but the new Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act calls for anyone who does the maneuver to be charged.

During a brief arraignment, the defense entered a not guilty plea on Afanador's behalf. He faces seven years in prison if convicted.

Afanador was released on his own recognizance and ordered to surrender his passport and stay away from Bellevue.

"The ink from the pen Gov. Cuomo used to sign this legislation was barely dry before this officer allegedly employed the very tactic the new law was designed to prohibit," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. "Police officers are entrusted to serve and protect, and the conduct alleged here cannot be tolerated. This police officer is now a defendant and is accused of using a chokehold, a maneuver we know has been lethal."

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Mike Marza reports the NYPD officer who allegedly used an illegal chokehold during an arrest in Queens surrendered to face charges Thursday.


Defense attorney Stephen Worth said Afanador would fight the charges "vigorously."

"Even under the most difficult of circumstances, this maneuver, this kind of action, is exactly the kind of police conduct that the NYPD has banned and our State Legislature criminalized," Katz said.

Afanadaor has had eight complaints against him in the past. In 2016, he was acquitted of a felony assault charge during a different arrest.

Katz declined to prosecute Bellevue in connection to the incident that led to the chokehold.

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