Firefighter Among Two Arrested for Attacking Off-Duty Cop in Forest Hills
QUEENS — Two men, including a firefighter, have been charged with assaulting and robbing a cop just steps from the stationhouse where he worked, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.
Despite identifying himself as an officer and trying to call 911, the alleged assailants kept pumelling him, sources said. They also allegedly tried to take his service weapon.
The firefighter, Angel Valerio, 30, who did not know the officer, was expected to be suspended, fire officials said Monday morning.
Valerio, 30, was busted last Friday for allegedly attacking the cop, who just left the 112th Precinct stationhouse on Sunday, June 30, and was on his way to the nearby train station, cops said.
According to the criminal complaint, just before midnight, the police officer was walking past a TGI Fridays restaurant at 70-00 Austin St., where five men, including Valerio, were standing outside.
As the cop walked past, one of the men, Steven Quinones, 29, allegedly elbowed him in the chin.
After the cop identified himself as a police officer, he was punched in the head, "causing a contusion and substantial pain" and knocking his glasses off his face, according to the complaint.
The cop took out his cell phone to call 911, but Quinones slapped his phone out of his hand, according to the complaint. The cop showed his gun and again identified himself as a police officer. After that the man who punched him in the head started running towards a parking lot, the complaint said.
The cop chased him and tried to subdue him, but Quinones and two other men surrounded the police officer and began punching him and tried to grab his service weapon, according to the complaint.
Afterward, the men got into their car parked across the street and drove away.
Valerio was charged with assault, attempted robbery and attempted criminal possession of a weapon for trying to grab the cop's gun. He was freed after paying $1,000 in bail and is due back in court on July 29.
Police sources said that the officer's backpack was stolen during the fracas, but the theft was not mentioned in court documents.
A spokesman for the FDNY said Monday morning that “we are expecting him to be suspended.”
Quinones, of Ridgewood, who was arrested on July 2, was also charged with assault, attempted robbery and attempted criminal possession of a weapon. His next court appearance is July 24.
In an unrelated arrest on May 18, Quinones faces charges for pot possession, according to the Queens DA’s office.