MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — The NYPD cop busted on charges he plotted to kidnap, cook and eat women gave no sign of his alleged plans at work, his astounded colleagues said.
Officers at Morningside Heights' 26th Precinct said they were "stunned" to learn that Gilberto Valle, 28, was arrested Wednesday after federal investigators say they uncovered his plans to drug and rape women, then cook them in his oven and eat their body parts, according to court documents.
Colleagues described Valle, a six-year veteran of the police force, as "just an average officer, nothing remarkable in either direction."
"It's a shock to everybody," one police officer said. "This is completely unexpected. No one can believe it. The reaction is exactly the same as people who are reading the story for the first time."
The officer added, "No one knows or has seen any type of this behavior."
Another officer said Valle was quiet and didn't hang out with other cops. He wasn't known for making a lot of arrets, the officer said.
Morningside Heights residents were also astonished to learn that one of their local cops was facing such alarming accusations.
"I'm stunned because — what was he thinking of?" said Frank Werring, 59, a Morningside Heights resident. "Were there any telltale signs?... I've got sisters and it makes me nervous."
Dominick Rawlins, 42, said he worried about his girlfriend's and daughter's safety.
"It's terrible," Rawlins said. "Just a human being eating somebody, that's awful."
Valle was charged with conspiracy to kidnap and accessing a computer without authorization. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.