CIVIC CENTER — The NYPD will review the actions of two detectives who allowed a suspected heroin dealer in their custody to steal a police van, striking one of them as he fled, police said.
Det. Savage and Det. Tepperman, whose full names were not released, arrested Bryan McMenamin Monday and were bringing him to the 104th Precinct stationhouse with another suspect about 7 p.m. when they left the two arrestees alone in a police van, police said.
The detectives said that they left the suspects unattended only after getting a radio call that some officers needed help at Cooper Avenue and 59th Street, officials said.
That's when the ex-con made his escape.
"He was a very flexible young man who had the ability to turn a back cuff into a front cuff," said NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on Wednesday.
McMenamin was re-arrested in a Civic Center apartment on Tuesday afternoon and the NYPD was trying to determine if the arresting detectives breached protocol, Bratton said. Neither was immediately disciplined.
"We will review what occurred to see if there is a need to change policy," Bratton said.
McMenamin, who served about 8 years for robbery, was arrested Monday after police found drugs and weapons in his car, authorities said.
Detectives saw the driver of the car, Peter Zacharakis, make an illegal turn in a 1999 Saturn station wagon at 66th Street and Central Avenue and pulled them over, the Queens District Attorney's Office said.
After Zacharakis handed over a fake New York drivers license, detectives searched the car and found nine baggies of heroin, a Ziploc bag of heroin, a machete, a gravity knife and a pellet gun, prosecutors said.
The two men were put into the police van and the detectives got out just blocks away, prosecutors said.
McMenamin then grabbed hold of the wheel and floored it, but not before Det. Savage, 35, grabbed hold of the driver's side door, prosecutors said.
McMenamin dragged Savage for about a block — ripping off some skin on his leg and possibly tearing a ligament — until he finally let go, prosecutors said
The escapee ditched the van at Myrtle Avenue and Decatur Street with Zacharakis still in the back seat, prosecutors said.
"He gave me the heroin," Zacharakis told police when they finally caught up, according to prosecutors.
On top of his initial drug charges, McMenamin was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, escape and tampering with evidence, according to the criminal complaint.
He had been arrested three times prior including for menacing in 2001, robbery in 2003 and arson in 2011, police said.