Off-Duty NYPD Officer Breaks Mechanic's Jaw in Fight Over $35 Bill, DA Says
QUEENS — An off-duty NYPD officer broke a 20-year-old mechanic's jaw because he didn't want to pay the $35 bill for fixing his tire rim Sunday afternoon, officials said.
Officer Jason Whyte, 37, was arrested Thursday about 10:45 p.m., four days after he punched a mechanic at Rockaway Tire Center, at 153-36 Rockaway Blvd., and drove away without paying, according to prosecutors and the NYPD.
When the mechanic, whose name is being witheld by DNAinfo, told Whyte he owed $35 for repairs done to his tire rim, Whyte started yelling and cursing, prosecutors said.
Whyte then slugged the mechanic, breaking his jaw and sending him to the hospital where he needed two metal plates implanted into his jaw and "numerous stitches," according to prosecutors.
Whyte drove away without paying but was arrested Thursday and arraigned on charges of assault, petit larceny and theft of service, police and prosecutors said.
Whyte was arraigned Friday and released, according to the Queens district attorney's office. He's due back in court on Oct. 14.
Staff at Rockaway Tire did not have further information about the incident and the mechanic who was punched did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Whyte's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.