NYPD officer surrenders in alleged Coney Island assault

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A New York City police officer surrendered to authorities Monday to face charges of misdemeanor assault and intimidating a witness.

Authorities say 30-year-old Officer O'Keefe Thompson allegedly attacked a 23-year-old man in Coney Island following a verbal altercation, and later confronted him about reporting the incident.

"Police officers risk their lives every day to keep us all safe, however, this defendant crossed the line by allegedly assaulting a man and later threatening him," Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. "Such conduct is not only unacceptable, it undermines public trust in our justice system and will not be tolerated in Brooklyn."

The alleged incident happened just after midnight on July 8 in the vicinity of Mermaid Avenue and West 32nd Street.

According to the investigation, Thompson, who was on duty and in uniform, ordered 23-year-old Raymond Crespo to pick up a plastic cup that his friend had knocked out of his hand. Crespo refused, and an argument ensued. Authorities say Thompson then threw Crespo against the doorway of a nearby bodega, knocking him to the ground, before dragging him out onto the sidewalk.

It is further alleged that Crespo was motionless for a few seconds when Thompson grabbed him again, dragged him several more feet and dropped him to the ground again before stating, in sum and substance, "Don't you know that I'm from the Ville (referring to Brownsville)?"

The incident was captured on surveillance video. Following the incident, Crespo went home, went to sleep and subsequently woke up with a swollen face and a headache. He dialed 911 and was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he was treated for swelling and bruising to the face, as well as for possible concussion symptoms.

After he was discharged from the hospital, he filed a complaint against Thompson later that day.

The officer is then accused of going to Crespo's neighborhood, in plainclothes, allegedly confronting him, raising his shirt to display a gun in his waistband, and said, "Why are you (expletive) on my name? Do you know what I'm going to do to you?"

A crowd of bystanders successfully pushed Thompson away from Crespo, and the incident was also captured on surveillance video.

Thompson was assigned to the 60th Precinct at the time of the incident. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance, due back in court on November 29. If convicted, he faces up to one and one-third to four years in prison.
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