THE BRONX — The off-duty police officer who was shot in the leg while trying to stop a robbery of his family's Williamsbridge car dealership was released from the hospital Saturday afternooon.
Police officer Juan Pichardo, who is the father of three, was moonlighting at the 3040 Boston Rd. dealership when two men entered Thursday at 6:30 p.m., one of them carrying a Bryco .380 handgun, police and relatives said.
Pichardo grabbed the alleged gunman, Jefferey Okine, 22, and wrestled him to the ground, even as Okine shot him in the thigh, police said.
As of Saturday, Pichardo was already up and moving on both feet, family said, and was able to leave Jacobi Medical Center to rounds of applause from his admiring blue-clad NYPD colleagues.
"There was a lot of members. They did the normal routine, how they all stand up and clap," said Brian Tolentino, 23, the officer's nephew and the manager of the dealership.
He said Pichardo was faring well, and in a photograph taken Saturday, Pichardo was smiling broadly as he's congratulated on his heroic feat.
"He's in perfect condition, he's even walking," said Tolentino. "Of course, we're all glad to have him back."
The two men who attempted to rob the dealership, Okine, and Tyquez Harrell, 22, were arrested after Pichardo held Okine down until police arrived, and after Harrell was tracked down in a white Impala that had acted as a getaway car, along with Marquis Daniels, 23, and Rayshaun Jones, 25.
The four men are facing charges including attempted murder, assault, burglary and criminal possesion of a weapon, according to police.
An hour later in Brooklyn, two plainclothes transit officers were also shot on an N train while confronting an armed straphanger, Peter Jourdan, 37, whom they had spotted walking between cars.
Both officers were released Friday afternoon from Lutheran Medical Center.
Pichardo did not wish to comment on the robbery incident and was declining interview requests, Tolentino said.