NYPD Cop Accidentally Shoots Theft Suspect in Harlem

Police say the man was down on the ground and they were attempting to cuff him when one of the officers fired one shot as he was trying to holster his gun

By Katherine Creag
|  Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012  |  Updated 12:46 PM EDT
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NYPD Cop Accidentally Shoots Theft Suspect

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The NYPD says an officer accidentally shot a suspected thief in the leg during the man's arrest.

Police say Richard Pearson had been panhandling near a Harlem restaurant Monday evening and then swiped cash from a recently paid bill off an outdoor table. Officers driving by heard the commotion and raced after Pearson, catching up to him about a block away.

Police say Pearson was down on the ground and they were attempting to cuff him when one of the officers fired one shot as he was trying to holster his gun. Police say the officer said he thought his finger was off the trigger. Pearson, 47, was shot once in the leg and is in stable condition.

The officer is on desk duty pending a routine investigation.

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