On Thursday, an off-duty sergeant with the NYPD was arrested after, according to police, he threatened a cyclist with a firearm and shoved the man off his bike in a road rage incident. Bradley Beamer, who was previously honored for his bravery, engaged in an argument with the cyclist before allegedly brandishing his weapon and pushing the victim.
As reported by the NY Daily News, the incident took place in Queens and allegedly began when Beamer allegedly nearly hit a cyclist, who was part of a group, when making an illegal U-turn.
According to the local police, Beamer, a 12-year veteran, drew his gun and waved it in the face of the cyclist before shoving him hard enough to knock him off his bike. During the incident, the cyclist sustained a cut on his leg, though declined medical attention when authorities arrived.
Beamer has been charged with misdemeanor assault, menacing and harassment, was given a desk appearance ticket by local authorities at the 108th Precinct, and subsequently released. However, the move drew some criticism from a retired veteran detective and former prosecutor.
Eric Arnone, a defense attorney and former prosecutor in Manhattan, asserted that the issuance of desk appearance tickets by the NYPD is common for first-time offenders charged with misdemeanor assault and menacing. He said, “In that limited respect, the officer isn’t being treated differently than, say, one of my clients.”
Arnone continued, “This doesn’t change the fact that the allegations are egregious, to say the least. The same conduct committed by a person who illegally possessed the firearm would have been charged as a felony and the person brought to central booking without the benefit of being released on a ticket.”
He went on to say that, if the case was his, he would have put Beamer “through the system.”
“He makes an illegal U-turn and almost hits the guy. He can go through the system just for that,” said Arnone. “There’s no reason to pull out the gun. That’s a deadly weapon. The gun is a felony.”
After the incident, Beamer was suspended from his duties with the NYPD. His lawyer, Anthony Difiore, has declined to comment on the pending case.
In 2012, Beamer was recognized by the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association for his bravery after helping to save two boys, an 8-year-old and a 19-month-old, who were trapped in an apartment during a fire.