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Groping Suspect Shot in Subway Tried to 'Body Slam' Cop onto Tracks

By Tom Liddy | December 10, 2011 2:03pm
Cops investigate a police-involved shooting at the 125th Street D train station on Dec. 9, 2011.
Cops investigate a police-involved shooting at the 125th Street D train station on Dec. 9, 2011.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

MANHATTAN — A man suspected of groping two teenage girls at a Harlem subway stop tried to "body slam" an arresting officer onto the tracks as two trains rumbled into the station, police said.

Jacob Sanford, 22, an ex-con with nearly two dozen arrests, faces a slew of charges in connection with the wild Friday afternoon incident inside the 125th Street station on the A, B, C and D lines including forcible touching, sexual abuse, child endangerment, theft of service and resisting arrest.

Cops said the Bronx man's lengthy rap sheet of 19 arrests includes assaulting officers in 2007 and 2009. In the later case he pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and served a year in jail, sources said.

Sanford's record also includes arrests for robbery, menacing and reckless endangerment, according to cops.

In Friday's incident, a 13-year-old girl told her mother that she had been grabbed by the suspect on the mezzanine level of the station around 12:30 p.m. and the mom yelled for help.

An off-duty transit officer, a 19-year veteran of the force, came to their aid. While he was gathering information, an 18-year-old woman approached him and said that she too had been groped by a man who was headed towards the D train platform.

Cops said that the officer spotted Sanford seated on a bench on the platform and identified himself as an officer. When he went to confront Sanford, a struggle ensued and the suspect allegedly lifted the 40-year-old cop off the ground.

Witnesses said that Sanford tried to "body slam" or "flip" the officer as express and local trains entered the station.

During the scuffle, a shot was fired from the officer's gun, hitting the suspect in the buttocks, police said.

Sanford was taken to Harlem Hospital where he was listed in stable condition and the officer was taken to St. Luke's for evaluation.

Police said that the 13-year-old victim's mother reported hearing the cop yell "police officer, get down, get down."

Investigators also discovered a knife on the platform near where the scuffle unfolded that Sanford allegedly admitted was his.

The alleged groping incidents are among the more than 600 reported in the subway system this year and one of 11 in the 125th Street station alone, police said.

Some 380 arrests have been made system-wide while seven have been made at the 125th Street station.