A 29-year-old NYPD officer with the Bronx's 44th Precinct was arrested and indicted on reckless endangerment charges Tuesday in a case stemming from a February 2021 traffic stop in the borough he serves, prosecutors said.
The officer, identified as Richard Delahanty, was involved in a car stop around 6:30 p.m. two days after Valentine's Day that year. The officer was driving an unmarked police vehicle traveling north on Gerard Avenue when he and two partners inside spotted a gray Dodge Charger with excessive tinted windows and loud exhaust, according to an investigation. Delahanty put the cruiser's siren on and pulled the driver over on East 167th Street.
The driver sped away as the officers got out of their vehicle, leading police on a brief chase, an investigation found. Delahanty and the other officers caught up with the car near Walton Avenue, where they once again got out of their cruiser. The driver of the Charger put the car in reverse and pulled a K-turn, driving right past where Delahanty was standing.
The officer reached for the car door, and cut his hand as it got caught in a partially open window, according to the investigation. As the vehicle took off, Delahanty allegedly fired six shots at the car, which could be a violation of department policy. Others on the street ran away, while those in nearby cars ducked for cover.
It didn't appear anyone was seriously hurt. His attorney, Michael Martinez, said that a review of the evidence will show that Delahanty committed no crime and that "we fully expect the sole misdemeanor charge pending against him to be dismissed at a later date.”
Delahanty was arraigned Tuesday on one count of second-degree reckless endangerment. He is due back in court on May 18.
A police spokesperson said Delahanty has been suspended from the department without pay.
The driver of the Charger, 28-year-old Luis Cabrera, was arrested hours after the incident and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty to that charge and paid a $200 fine.
News of the arrest comes about a day after a separate and unrelated car stop in the Bronx led to an 18-year-old man getting shot in the head and critically injured by police as he allegedly tried to flee the scene and drove at officers.
The man's father says he wants the state attorney general to investigate the shooting, while NYPD officials refer to a standing department policy regarding firing at moving vehicles. Cops aren't supposed to shoot at one unless something other than the vehicle is being used by a weapon, though there is what officials described as a "carve-out there that gets reviewed on a case by case basis."
Body warn camera and nearby surveillance footage are being reviewed by investigators.