WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A New York City policeman was indicted Thursday on charges of attempted murder, assault and drunken driving in the apparently random off-duty shooting of a man in the suburbs.
The Westchester County district attorney said Officer Brendan Cronin parked his car at an intersection in Pelham on April 29, just before midnight. He then approached a car that was stopped at a traffic light and allegedly fired about 14 shots, hitting the passenger six times.
The victim said he didn't know Cronin and police said they found no link between the two.
Cronin, who lives in Yonkers, drove off after the shooting but was pulled over by Pelham police. They said Cronin continued to wave his gun out of his car's window after being pulled over.
Cronin refused to take a Breathalyzer test when he was arrested, and he was originally charged only with assault. But the district attorney's office said Thursday that investigators determined he had been operating his vehicle "in an intoxicated condition."
A call to Cronin's lawyer, Pierre Sussman, was not immediately returned.
A lawyer for the shooting victim said this week that Cronin had been out drinking with fellow officers before the shooting. New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said after the shooting that he was concerned by recent reports of officers drinking inappropriately.
Cronin, who worked in the Bronx, was suspended when he was arrested.
The victim, Joseph Felice, was hit in the chest, back, arm and shoulder, the district attorney said. The driver next to him, Robert Borrelli, was not hit. Both have served notice that they plan to sue New York City and Bratton as well as Cronin and any officers who were drinking with him.
Felice said Thursday that the indictment was encouraging but "only the beginning" because he wants to see Cronin imprisoned.
Borelli said he was pleased "that the grand jury recognized Officer Cronin's clear intent to kill."
If convicted of murder, Cronin could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.