Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Alleged Looters Smash, Rob Stores in Coney Island, the Rockaways

NEW YORK — Hundreds of cops descended on Coney Island and The Rockaways Tuesday night, arresting more than a dozen people who allegedly looted eight stores during the blackout caused byHurricane Sandy.

The NYPD declined to confirm looting reports, but police sources did state that officers made multiple burglary arrests in the 100th and 101st precincts in Queens, and in the 60th Precinct in Brooklyn.

In The Rockaways, cops collared more than 12 people in the 100th and 101st precincts, a police source said. It was unclear how many of the suspects were charged with burglary.

  • Three suspects were arrested at a Radio Shack 87-09 Rockaway Beach Blvd.
  • Two were allegedly caught burglarizing a store at 85-14 Rockaway Beach Blvd.
  • Six were arrested at 38-01 Beach Channel Drive.
  • One person was arrested at 57-25 Shore Front Parkway.

In Coney Island:

  • One person was arrested at Mermaid Avenue and West Street.
  • Another suspect was arrested at Neptune Avenue and 36th Street.

Businesses on the south side of Mermaid Avenue near 30th and 31st streets appeared to have sustained the worst damage. Citibank, Family Drug Store and 99 Cent and Up, in particular, had gaping holes in their metal roll-down gates. Storefront windows of Mega Aid Pharmacy were also smashed, and merchandise littered the ground outside.

By nightfall, cops stood on every block of Mermaid Avenue, intensifying in number as the road approached Sea Gate and Coney Island's western shore. Close to 100 officers and dozens of police cars were outside Fine Fare supermarket on 29th Street, and cops were starting to set-up mobile lighting units at 30th and 32nd streets.

Visit the for full Hurricane Sandy coverage.

Hurricane Sandy: 8 NYPD officers treated for hypothermia

Rescued cops from Coney Island’s flooded 60th precinct were rushed to the hospital Monday night with hypothermia.

The Brooklyn station house was evacuated after being surrounded by

water from Hurricane Sandy’s surge. Some officers were brought to

Maimonides Medical Center when their body temperatures dropped to

dangerously low levels.

“The Maimonides ER treated and released eight NYPD personnel for

hypothermia related to a flooding situation in Coney Island,” the

hospital confirmed to the Daily News.

A source who was being treated in the emergency room at the same time

says that one female cop was who was hypothermic was unconscious, and

that other officers feared she might die at one point.

Another had to be rescued from the basement screaming, according to the source.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Off-duty NYPD officer shot

An off-duty NYPD cop has been shot in the Bronx, according to emergency reports. The officer was brought to Bronx Lebanon hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

Officer Ivan Marcano, 27, was in a car with his girlfriend when she saw two men robbing someone, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Marcano got out of the car and identified himself as a police officer, Kelly said. That is when one suspect shot him, Kelly said.

The wounded Marcano got back in the car, saw the suspects again, and fired at them, killing one, Kelly said.

Marcano then found an ambulance, which rushed him to the hospital, Kelly said.

Officers recovered one gun at the scene.

The NYPD mobilized dozens of officers in pursuit of the other suspect.

The shooting happened at 85 West Burnside Avenue in the University Heights section of the borough.

Video from SkyFoxHD shows several police vehicles and dozens of police officers in the streets of the neighborhood, areas blocked off by crime scene tape, and a white Ford Mustang under scrutiny.

Just a day earlier, a Nassau County cop was shot and killed in a traffic stop at the border of Queens and Nassau.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brooklyn, NY - Shomrim, NYPD Apprehend Borough Park Bank Robber

Brooklyn, NY - Dime Savings Bank on 13th Avenue near 50th Street in Boro Park was hit for the second consecutive day by the same robber. In yesterday's heist, the robber got away with $2,000. He returned today, claimed he was armed, and made off with an additional $8,000.

The suspect, still wearing his ski mask and gloves, was apprehended after he was spotted running down the block by a man making a meat delivery to a neighboring store. According to a press release by Councilman David Greenfield, the delivery man yelled out "chaptzem", before contacting the Boro Park Shomrim and the NYPD.

The perpetrator was chased down and caught by members of Shomrim at 14th Avenue and 52th Street, only one block from the scene of the robbery. Shomrim held the suspect and NYPD arrested him. The robber is currently in custody. Criminal charges against him are pending.

By: VIN News By Allison C. Witty

Suspected terrorist tried attacking New York Fed, FBI says

Federal agents and detectives arrested a man who allegedly tried to blow up a van outside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, a Bangladeshi national who lives in Queens, parked a van full of what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb outside the Fed building on Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan -- just blocks from the World Trade Center site -- Wednesday morning and set off a cell phone detonator, according to the Department of Justice.

But the van did not blow up because the so-called explosives were not real and were provided by an undercover FBI agent, the DOJ said.

"Attempting to destroy a landmark building and kill or maim untold numbers of innocent bystanders is about as serious as the imagination can conjure," Acting Assistant Director Mary Galligan said in a statement. "The defendant faces appropriately severe consequences. It is important to emphasize that the public was never at risk in this case, because two of the defendant's 'accomplices' were actually an FBI source and an FBI undercover agent. The FBI continues to place the highest priority on preventing acts of terrorism."

The suspect and the agent had been planning the attack for months, the DOJ said. Agents with the Joint Terrorism task Force closely monitored Nafis and the plot.

Nafis came to the United States in January 2012 to recruit people to form a terrorist cell and to carry out an attack on U.S. soil, the DOJ said. He claimed to have ties to al-Qaeda and sought out al-Qadea contacts in America to help him plan the attack, authorities said.

He wrote a statement that he intended to release after the attack to claim responsibility, authorities said. In the statement, Nafis wrote that he wanted to "destroy America" by targeting its economy, the DOJ said. He also quoted from Osama bin Laden in justifying what he assumed with be the killing of women and children, federal officials said.

Authorities charged Nafis with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda Authorities said the public was never in any danger.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dozens of Kids Injured by Pepper Spray in Queens School

SOUTH OZONE PARK — At least 34 students were injured, including 11 who were hospitalized, when a young student accidentally released pepper spray in the school's cafeteria Tuesday morning, according to witnesses and officials.

The incident happened at J.H.S. 226 at 121-10 Rockaway Blvd. about 10:30 a.m., forcing the cafeteria to be evacuated after the 11-year-old unleashed the noxious substance, police said.

"I know the girl who did it. Her mom gave her pepper spray because she walks home from school by herself," said a sixth grader who was in the cafeteria when the incident happened and whose name DNAinfo is withholding because of his age. "After she sprayed it it made my chest tight because of my asthma and it got in some of the kids' food."

Eleven students were taken to area hospitals for minor irritation and 22 others were treated at the scene, EMS Chief Debra Calley said. 

Another sixth grader said a number of his classmates were exposed to the spray.

"Everybody started coughing and [the principal] told us to go [to] the auditorium," the student said.

The Department of Education said the girl was showing the pepper spray to her friends when she accidentally set it off. More than 34 students were affected, the DOE said.

"EMS & FDNY are on the scene and treating the affected students," the DOE said in an email. "A doctor at the scene will look to treat and release the students as at this point.... All parents and families are being contacted regarding the incident."

Police said the girl was not taken into custody after the incident.

Queens City Councilman Ruben Wills stopped by the scene and said he hoped school officials would be understanding.

"I would hate to see disciplinary action for something that was an accident," he said. "That responsibility will ultimately be with the [Department Of Education]."

Body Found in Williamsburg

Police are investigating the death of a man in his 40s whose body was found near South Fourth Street and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg Tuesday morning.

Law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York he was found in a pool of blood and appeared to have been stabbed in the neck. The body was discovered on the second floor of a building that neighbors say has been abandoned for years.

Emergency responders pronounced the man dead at the scene. 

A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. 

No other details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: Patti McConville/Getty Images

School Bus Rear-Ended by SUV in Queens

ASTORIA — Nine people were injured Tuesday morning after a school bus was rear-ended by an SUV on 31st Avenue, the FDNY said.

The crash, at the corner of 36th Avenue near Broadway, occurred about 10:30 a.m. when a black Mercedes SUV slammed into the back of the bus, officials and witnesses said.

"The front-end of the SUV kind of crunched in the back of the bus," said witness Derek, 30, who asked that his last name not be used.

It was unclear how many children were aboard the bus at the time of the crash.

None of the injuries were considered serious. Paramedics treated the victims at the scene and released them, the FDNY said.

by Tuan Nguyen, Wil Cruz

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cop Caught on Tape Beating Man in Jewish Center Under Investigation

CROWN HEIGHTS — An officer caught on tape beating an unarmed man inside a community center for at-risk Jewish youth last Monday has been relieved of his gun and badge pending an NYPD investigation, New York has learned. 

New York City politicians and residents of Brooklyn's close-knit Jewish community were outraged after surveillance tape surfaced Sunday night showing two officers from the 71st precinct apparently beating a young man who had been staying at the ALIYA Jewish outreach center and synagogue on Oct. 8.

"This is clear and convincing evidence of police brutality," said City Councilwoman Letitia James, who joined Assemblyman Dov Hikind and other elected officials at a press conference Monday decrying the beating. "Homeless people should be treated with more respect than that which is exhibited by this video."

The altercation began just after 4 a.m. last Monday, after a volunteer security guard, identified by the organization and in court papers as Zalman Trappler, roused Ehud Halevy, 21, who had been sleeping in the center's lounge for more than a week. 

According to the criminal complaint, Halevy was sleeping naked on a couch in the women's section of the center.  

"Zalman woke him up and told him to get dressed, and he didn't appreciate being woken up. It must have turned verbally confrontational," said Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, who runs the center on East New York Avenue and said he frequently hosts youth with nowhere else to go. "That's what it started over, put on your pants."

Feiglin said Trappler would have known that Halevy was a guest of he center, but apparently called police anyway. What followed was a confrontation with two officers from the 71st Precinct, who can be seen on the surveillance tape rousing a shirtless Halevy, and striking him repeatedly after he appears to resist their attempts at escort him outside. 

But sources inside the NYPD said the tape doesn't tell the whole story. 

"They're in there prior to [the beginning of the tape]for a good five minutes trying to tell the guy you have to leave the location," a police source told New York. "They had no intention of locking that guy up, none."

Police sources confirm that the male officer in the video, identified in court papers as Luis A. Vega of Brooklyn's 71st Precinct, was put on modified duty. Halevy was arrested and charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, and harassment.

"Police responded to a call of a dispute inside of a synagogue's outreach center in Brooklyn, where a man refused to vacate the women's portion of the center," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. "The officers used force to affect the arrest." 

Friends say Halevy, who was released last week on $1,500 bail, has been staying with a girlfriend in Manhattan since the incident. 

"He's really upset about it," said pal Danny Grill, who called Halevy bright and quiet, and insisted his friend was never one to make trouble. 

It's unclear exactly how local news obtained the video, which leaked late Sunday night.

"We didn't want the video to get out the way it did," Feiglin said. "It was subpoenaed by the legal aid team. From then we don't know what happened to it."

But for Feiglin, the real concern his how to rebuild trust with the vulnerable population he serves. 

"The whole center is on edge," the rabbi said. "A lot of members who were there that night ran off — we haven't seen them since." 

by Sonja Sharp

12-Year-Old Girl Struck by Car and Seriously Injured on Boston Road

WILLIAMSBRIDGE — A 12-year-old girl was struck by a car and seriously injured as she crossed Boston Road early Monday, witnesses and officials said.

The unidentified girl was walking alone through the crosswalk at Boston Road and Colden Avenue shortly before 7 a.m. when a gray vehicle slammed into her and threw her several feet, witnesses and officials said.

"She was unresponsive," said Michael Rascona, 25, who works at a food distributor nearby.

The girl was taken to nearby Jacobi Medical Center in serious condition. Her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, however, FDNY officials said.

Hours after the accident, emergency vehicles towed away the battered car that struck her.

The NYPD said the driver of the vehicle, who was not identified, remained on the scene and was has not been charged.

by Jeanmarie Evelly, Aidan Gardiner

Seven Firefighters Injured Battling Blaze in East 184th Street Home

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — Eight people, including seven firefighters, were injured in a massive blaze at an East 184th Street house early Monday, the FDNY said.

The fire started at 17 East 184 about 6:20 a.m., but quickly spread to two adjacent buildings, fire officials said.

FDNY Deputy Chief Ron Werner said when firefighters tried to enter the two-story structure, it became engulfed with flames.

"The firefighters had to move in and try to put the fire out on the lower floors and continue to move up. But in doing that, the upper floors became completely controlled by fire," Werner said. "They did a valiant effort to try to save the building, but unfortunately, because of the amount of fire, we had to back them out."

Anna Caridad, 28, who lives nearby, said the flames shot out of the building.

"The flames were big," she said. "There was red and orange everywhere. I've never been that scared in my life."

Seven firefighters suffered minor injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals, Werner said. Another person was treated at the scene for minor injuries, he added.

The fire was brought under control a little more than an hour later, Werner said.

The American Red Cross of Greater New York was on scene and provided assistance to 26 people affected by the fire.

"Some of them are shaken up," said Cathy Hartwell, a Red Cross spokeswoman. "They're safe, and that's what they can be happy about."

by Trevor Kapp, Aidan Gardiner

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mother Killed By Bus While Crossing Street In Queens

A Queens woman died Saturday night after she was hit by a bus as she crossed Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica Hills.

Maleka Chowdhury, 54, was with her daughter around 7 p.m. when she was hit by a Nassau Inter County Express Bus.

The victim's brother, Mahfuz Chowdhury, says she had gone out shopping for groceries.

"The daughter crossed the street. The mother was in the middle of the street. At that time the bus came and hit her, my sister. After hitting, the bus continued to drive," he said.

Police say they do not expect the bus driver to face any criminal charges, but they are still investigating.

In a statement, Nassau Inter-County Express says it is cooperating with the investigation and that the driver will be tested for drugs and alcohol.

By: NY1 News

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NJ Fire Destroys 3 Homes, Displaces 9

A two-alarm fire in New Jersey destroyed three homes early Saturday morning, leaving nine people homeless, officials said.

The fire began on the top floor of a two-family home on Smith Street in Newark at approximately 3:30 a.m. and quickly engulfed the entire building and two adjacent homes.

One resident, who would only identify herself as D, said she barely had time to grab her four young children before the walls went up in flames.

"When I woke up the windows were on fire," she said. "I just got the kids and ran out of there."

Firefighters responded and were able to contain the blaze before it could spread to other homes, officials said. The nine residents in the three damaged homes were able to escape the blaze safely. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, though investigators say a squatter may have been responsible. 

Another Attempted Child Abduction in NJ

Authorities are investigating another attempted child abduction in New Jersey Friday night, the fourth in Bergen County in the last two weeks.
It happened in Hawthorne at the Rec field on Wageraw road, police said.
It is not clear whether this attempt was related to the three other recent abduction attempts, which took place in Hackensack, Maywood and Oradell. Police have linked those three cases and believe the same man may be behind them. 

On Friday, authorities said a man approached a boy in Hackensack, asked him for directions and then tried to get the boy inside his car.

On Thursday, a man approached a 7-year-old girl in Oradell, and a week ago, police say he pulled up next to a girl in Maywood and asked her if she wanted to see his puppies. 

Police have released a sketch of the suspect in the first three incidents.

2 people shot and killed outside a Bronx motel

Two people were fatally shot outside a motel in the Bronx where guests heard the horrified screams of the victims early Saturday morning.

Police say the shooting happened around 3:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Holiday Motel located off the New England Thruway in the Eastchester section . Authorities said a 38-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man were found with gunshot wounds to the head.

The New York Post said the two victims were shot by the women's ex-boyfriend and that the female victim could be heard by guests pleading with the gunman not to shoot. The Post said woman's ex-boyfriend shot her current boyfriend before chasing her to the back of the hotel. She pleaded for her own life before she was shot and killed.

Police said the gunman is still at large.

The shooting victims are from Elmont, L.I., according to the Post and authorities have not released their names. Sources told the Post the unidentified female victim had a restraining order against the suspect.


Friday, October 12, 2012

3 Hurt in Ambulance Crash in Brooklyn

An ambulance that collided with an SUV in Brooklyn and rolled over, hurting three people, did not have its emergency lights on, surveillance video shows. 

The ambulance was on its way to a call in the Brownsville section at about 7:30 p.m. when it collided with a black SUV near Hull Street and Rockaway Avenue, the FDNY said. 

The impact was so powerful it caused the ambulance to flip on to its side.

The two EMTs in the ambulance and the driver of the SUV were hurt and taken to Kings County Hospital in serious condition.

Neighbors said the Rockaway-Hull intersection is notoriously dangerous.

"There's multiple accidents on this corner this past year and every year," said Cynthia Askins. "The stop sign is there, but the cars coming out of Hull Street can't see the other way because the other cars are blocked." 

"We've been trying to get a traffic light here for over 10 years now," said another neighbor who only gave her first name as Cheire. "There's always accidents like every other day. The stop sign, people go through the stop sign."

Security video obtained by NBC 4 New York shows the ambulance did stop at the stop sign but its warning lights were not on.

It's not clear if the ambulance should have had have its lights on but FDNY EMS Deputy Chief Steven Morelli said "that would be the response warranted for that type of assignment." 

Police and FDNY are investigating. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Police Shoot Suspected Car Thief After Chase In Williamsburg

WILLIAMSBURG — Police officers shot a suspected car thief in Williamsburg Thursday night after chasing him into a housing project, police and reports said.

Officers stopped the man who was driving what they believed was a stolen Saturn Vue, The Daily News reported.

The man sprinted from the vehicle carrying what police believe was a gun, according to the newspaper.

The man ran to the Williams Plaza Houses and was shot near Havemeyer Street and Broadway at around 11:30 p.m., an NYPD spokesman said.

"I heard a bunch of cops yelling, 'Drop your weapon,'" said Danny Soto, 35, who lives in the housing complex. "It was like out of a movie."

Police opened fire seconds later, unleashing at least 10 shots, witnesses said.

"I seen a guy laying down on the floor," said Richie Polanco, 28, another neighbor. "He was on his back. He wasn't moving at all.

"People were scattering and running away."

The man was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, police officials said.

Police recovered a .380 caliber weapon at the scene, they said.

This shooting came on the heels of an annual NYPD report that said the number of times police fired their weapons at suspects had declined in 2011.

The mother of unarmed National Guardsman Noel Polanco, who was shot and killed by a detective last week, met Thursday with the Queens District Attorney who has pledged to investigate the 22-year-old's death. 

By: DNAinfo

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fatal Hit and Run Accident on Long Island

Police are investigating a hit and run accident on Long Island that left one woman dead early Sunday morning.

The woman was struck at approximately 1:40 a.m., on the westbound lane of Sunrise Highway in West Babylon. The unidentified victim was a pedestrian, believed to be around 30-years-old, police said.

The car that hit her fled the scene. There is currently no information on the type of car involved in the accident. An investigation is ongoing.

Police are asking anyone who was in that area and saw something that might help track down that driver to call the Suffolk County Police Department at 631 854-8100.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

25-Year-Old Stabbed and Killed Near Union Square

A man was stabbed and killed near Union Square in Manhattan early Sunday morning, police said.

At approximately 4:30 a.m., police responded to a call of an assault on West 14th Street and discovered a 25-year-old man with stab wounds to his torso and neck. He was transported to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The man's identity has not been released pending family notification.

No arrests have been made. An investigation is ongoing.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Queens DA Looks Into Fatal NYPD Traffic Stop

The Queens District Attorney's office is now looking into the deadly police shooting of an unarmed U.S. Army reservist as the man's family demands answers. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly briefly met with the mother of New York National guardsman Noel Polanco Friday night. He expressed his condolences after the unarmed 22-year-old was shot and killed by an officer on Thursday.

Before the meeting, Polanco's mother, Cecilia Reyes, said she was devastated and outraged because her son dreamed of being a member of the NYPD but ended up being killed by one.

"All he wanted to do was go to the military, continue his career in the military and then, what he wanted to continue was to go on to be an officer," Reyes said. "And what, for this?"

Police say ESU officers in an unmarked van and a truck spotted Polanco's Honda weaving in and out of traffic. They say they forced him to pull over. When officers in uniform approached the car, one of them, Hassan Hamdy, fired a shot, hitting Polanco. No weapon was found in the car.

Members of Polanco's National Guard unit said he was a good soldier.

"I've hung out with this guy many a times and I've never seen him to be getting loud or disrespectful," said Angel Reyes of the New York National Guard.

"Do the right thing, let the truth come out because stories we are hearing, somebody did something wrong and I'm pretty sure it wasn't him," said Radoslaw Mosiej of the New York National Guard.

Polanco had two friends in his car. One was an off-duty officer who police say claims she was asleep when the shooting happened. But the front passenger said Polanco unknowingly cut off officers in unmarked vehicles. She said there was road rage on both sides and when police pulled them over, there was an order of 'show your hands' and a shot fired.

The detectives' union president called that version of the story unbelievable.

Michael Palladino said that "No police officer is going to shoot a person if both hands are visible on the steering wheel. We have been down this road before so I just ask people not to rush to judgment and allow the investigation to conclude."

Richard Brown, the Queens District Attorney, is now looking into the shooting, saying that "The public can be assured that the investigation will be full, fair and complete."

Polanco's friends, who set up a memorial outside of the club where he worked, said that's exactly what they're demanding.

By: Dean Meminger

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Police Search For Pair Of Bronx Armed Robbers

Police are looking for two men who robbed an 87-year-old Bronx man at gunpoint last month.

Police say the two men, said to be the people seen above, made their way into the elderly man's Fordham home as he slept on September 27.

Once inside, they say the men woke him and tied him up.

The men stole cash and took off.

The victim was not hurt.

Bronx Elevator Attacker Also At Large

Police are also looking for a man wanted for beating and robbing a 69-year-old man in an elevator last Wednesday night in Crotona Park East, Bronx.

Surveillance video shows a man following the victim into the elevator.

He then begins punching and kicking him.

The man then robs the 69-year-old of his chain and runs off.

The suspect is described as being in his 20s and about 5-feet-4-inches tall with a thin build.

Anyone with information on these cases should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or

By: NY1 News

Police Fatally Shoot Driver During Queens Traffic Stop

Police say they are investigating after the driver of a car was fatally shot by an Emergency Service Unit detective this morning during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway near LaGuardia Airport.

The shooting happened just after 5 a.m. near Exit 7 on the eastbound side of the busy stretch.

Friends identified the shot driver as Noel Polanco, 22, of LeFrak City, Queens and say he was a member of the New York Army National Guard.

Police have not confirmed the driver's identity.

Authorities say a black Honda Fit Hybrid was driving erratically and cut off two unmarked ESU vehicles.

Officers then pulled the car over, according to police, and a uniformed ESU sergeant and detective approached the vehicle.

Sources tell NY1 the driver reached under his seat.

The detective then fired one shot, hitting the driver in the stomach.

The driver was brought to New York Hospital Queens and declared dead.

No weapon was recovered from inside the car although sources say a small drill was found.

Two female passengers from LeFrak City were also in the vehicle, and police say one of them was arguing with the driver to slow down and then stop for the police.

Co-workers of Polanco say he worked part-time at a car dealership and an Astoria bar called The Ice Lounge, and that the two passengers were a bartender at the bar and an off-duty police officer.

Polanco was driving the two women home from the bar at the time of the shooting, according to the co-workers.

According to the Associated Press, police believe the driver and his two passengers had been drinking, but a friend of Polanco says that the driver was sober.

Friends say Polanco was a gentle man who was not armed.

"He never carries a gun. He's a military guy, he was leaving in two weeks again, he was about to go active again," said Tito Cordero, a friend of Polanco. "There's no negative on this kid."

The detective who shot the driver has no other shootings on his record, according to the NYPD.

Due to the investigation, two eastbound lanes of the Grand Central Parkway were closed but have since reopened.

By: NY1 News