Wojciech Braszczok, center, a detective with the New York Police Department, is led out of Manhattan Criminal Court while wearing a black mask to cover his face on Wednesday. / By Andrew Burton, Getty Images
Any New York City Police Department officers involved in the Sept. 29th skirmish on a Manhattan highway between motorcyclists and the driver of an SUV amount to "knuckleheads" who are damaging the reputation of the department, a police sergeant told USA TODAY in a telephone interview.
As of Thursday night, one NYPD undercover officer was among seven people arrested in the melee on the city's West Side Highway that was captured on video that went viral and prompted police to investigate. The family of a biker hit by the SUV in the incident says his spine was crushed and he is paralyzed. The SUV driver, who was in the vehicle with his wife and young daughter, suffered lacerations to his face, police said.
"What I make of the whole thing is the NYPD will wind up with a blemish on its image as a result of the behavior of a couple of knuckleheads," police Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said during the telephone conversation with USA TODAY. "For the most part, I think the majority of NYPD is good people providing law enforcement service on an everyday basis."
Just like any police agency or organization, "we have our share of knuckleheads," Mullins said. Officers are "supposed to be contributing (to society), not contributing to its demise," he said.
Mullins said he assumes there will be more arrests in the coming days, but he does not know if they will include any more staffers with the NYPD. "I know this department is conducting a thorough investigation."
Mullins comments came after Tuesday's arrest of Wojciech Braszczok, an undercover police officer charged with riot and criminal mischief.
Braszczok was arraigned Wednesday, and prosecutors say he was an active participant in the incident. He has been charged with gang assault, assault and criminal mischief, and posted $150,000 and was released.
Braszczok is one of at least three NYPD officers who took part in the ride and subsequent brawl in which bikers surrounded the SUV, the SUV broke out of the pack, bumping into bikers and the bikers gave chase, ultimately attacking the SUV and breaking in windows.
Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Sergeant: Officers involved in bike/SUV incident a 'blemish'