Friday, January 4, 2013


Juan Pichardo, hero cop, disarms bandit in bloody Bronx car-lot shootout, 2 NYPD officers shot in Brooklyn released from hospital

The 9-year New York Police Department veteran broke free of zip ties, takes bullet in thigh during hour-long battle Thursday evening. Officer Michael Levay and plainclothes partner Lukasz Kozicki both leave hospital.

Updated: Friday, January 4, 2013, 5:41 PM



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Dan Beekman/New York Daily News

“That guy could have killed one of us,” says Jason Marengo, a manager at the business. “The guy said, ‘This is not a joke, this is a stick up.’ He had a gun to my face.”

Hero NYPD veteran Juan Pichardo stared death in the face — and never blinked.
Pichardo ignored a gun-toting bandit’s threat of execution to help thwart an armed robbery at a friend’s Bronx car lot, an eyewitness said Friday.
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“That guy could have killed one of us,” said Jason Marengo, a manager at the business. “The guy said, ‘This is not a joke, this is a stick up.’ He had a gun to my face.” Gunman Jeffrey Okine and an accomplice posed as buyers interested in buying a 2001 Nissan Maxima — only to pull a gun and demand cash once they were inside the office at the Boston Road Auto Mall.
THREE COPS SHOT IN TWO INCIDENTS IN THE BRONX, BROOKLYN
The bandits wrapped plastic zip ties around Pichardo’s wrists and began rifling through the office for cash at about 6:30 p.m., Marengo recounted.
BLOOMBERG RAY KELLY

Joe Marino/New York Daily News

Mayor  Bloomberg, joined by (left to right) Transit Chief Joseph Fox, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Chief of Department Joseph Esposito, speaks to news media following the shooting of  three NYPD cops on Thursday.

The bandits wrapped plastic zip ties around Pichardo’s wrists and began rifling through the office for cash at about 6:30 p.m., Marengo recounted.
“He said he was going to kill Juan if he didn’t give him the number for the safe,” Marengo said.
“That’s when Juan grabbed the opportunity.” The nine-year vet escaped from the zip ties and jumped one of the bandits, taking a bullet through the right thigh. A bleeding Pichardo pushed the gunman to the floor, while Marengo chased the robber’s sidekick.
JOSEPH BAEZ, ACCUSED OF SHOOTING OFFICER NELSON VERGARA, JAILED WITHOUT BAIL
AUTO MALL SCENE

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News

Police and detectives are on the scene at a Boston Road auto dealership after an off-duty police officer was shot in the leg Thursday evening while foiling an attempted robbery.

While the second bandit escaped, he was arrested along with the getaway driver and a third man shortly after the shooting, police said. Pichardo was one of three city cops wounded in a single bloody hour Thursday evening. While he remained hospitalized in the Bronx, one of two officers wounded in a Brooklyn subway gunfight was released Friday.
POLICE SHOOTING GUNS

DCPI

Handguns recovered by police at the Bronx (left) and Brooklyn (right) shootings.

“It’s nice to be going home,” said Officer Michael Levay, who survived with just a welt after a bullet slammed into the back of his bullet-resistant vest around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
About 70 fellow cops applauded and bagpipes played as Levay gingerly walked into the backseat of a waiting silver sedan with his parents. Levay, 27, flashed a thumbs-up before driving off.
Levay, 27, flashed a thumbs-up before driving off. His plainclothes partner, Lukasz Kozicki, was hit three times in his legs during the shootout aboard an N train in Brooklyn. The 32-year-old Kozicki appeared pained when he left the the Lutheran Medical Center in Bay Ridge about three hours later.
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