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Mayor Bloomberg & NYPD Commish Give Update On Shooting Of Police Officer

kelblThe following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered at Harlem Hospital Center this morning:

“Well good morning. I’m here with Police Commissioner Kelly, Chief of Department Philip Banks, Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski, Chief of Internal Affairs Charles Campisi, Chief of Manhattan North Bill Morris, NYPD’s Chief Surgeon Dr. Eli Kleinman, PBA President Pat Lynch, and City Council Member Inez Dickens was here earlier to inquire about the officer’s health.

“We are here at Harlem Hospital because one of our police officers was shot early this morning. Commissioner Kelly and I visited with Officer Fausto Gomez, a seven-year veteran of the Department, who was shot this morning while escorting an emotionally disturbed person.

“Thankfully Officer Gomez’s injuries are non-life threatening. He is alert, treated and has already been released. The Commissioner and I spoke with his family, and because his injury wasn’t that serious it was a lot easier to have that kind of conversation than sometimes when the officer is injured much more seriously or worse than that.

“Commissioner Kelly will provide you with more details, but in short Officer Gomez and his partner, John Chiodi, were escorting the emotionally disturbed person here to Harlem Hospital for evaluation when that individual attempted to flee as they entered the hospital. During a struggle he was able to grab Officer Chiodi’s firearm. Shots were fired, hitting Officer Gomez in the foot.

“An EMT was able to disarm the perpetrator and no one else at the hospital was hurt. Emergency personnel here quickly came to the officer’s aid, and from all accounts he should recover very quickly.

“The Police Department, as you know, gets thousands of calls a year for emotionally disturbed people, and these interactions involve plenty of risk and unpredictable behavior. This morning’s incident is another example I think of the dangers of our officers face every day and the incredible restraint that they demonstrate.

“Last year, 12 officers were shot in the line of duty. They put their lives on the line to protect us every day, and we need to make sure we can do everything we can to protect them. Fortunately in this case it was not a serious wound, but a tiny fraction of a degree difference in the direction of the gun and it could have been.

“Commissioner Kelly will now brief you on the rest of the details.”

The following are Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly’s remarks as delivered:

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

“At about 4:55 this morning, the Department received a 911 call, initially as an assault-in-progress, at 117th Street and Lexington Avenue. The police officers who responded determined that the individual, who they located, was an emotionally disturbed person.

“The caller said that the individual had been throwing bottles and that in fact he had assaulted somebody in the street. As the Mayor identified, the two officers – Officer Fausto Gomez and Officer John Chiodi of the 25th Precinct – responded.

“The subject, Guiteau Idore, a male, 42 years of age, was handcuffed behind his back and taken in an ambulance with Officer Chiodi and Brendon Hernandez, the EMT, the person who was assigned to the ambulance. Officer Gomez followed in a marked patrol car.

“They were escorting him here to Harlem Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. On arrival here at the hospital, the officer began to remove the individual from the ambulance, and just as that happened, the subject tried to flee.

“Now, both the officers, Officers Chiodi and Gomez, grabbed onto him and were on either side of him as he walked up the he ramp. Then, as they reached the top of the ramp, the individual began to struggle again. Again, he was handcuffed – he was handcuffed behind his back.

“He managed somehow to remove Officer Chiodi’s service weapon and fire that weapon two times, striking Officer Gomez one time in his left foot, a graze wound. Emergency Medical Technician Brendon Hernandez quickly pulled the gun from Idore’s hand.

“He racked it, to make it safe, and he did an outstanding job. We understand that EMT Hernandez has aspirations of becoming a New York City Police Officer, and he certainly demonstrated that he has what it takes to do the job. Officer Gomez is in good condition.

“We believe he’s about to be released, as a matter of fact. Idore was removed to Metropolitan Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, and he has an extensive arrest history, including assault, menacing and numerous domestic violence incidents. Mr. Mayor?”

(YWN Desk – NYC)

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