NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer who was arrested twice for alleged brutality was re-arrested Sunday after Long Island police said he fired a gun into the Atlantic Ocean while he was off duty.
David Afanador, 39, was carrying a loaded Beretta 9mm pistol and three magazines loaded with 15 rounds when officers investigating a report of shots fired in Long Beach saw him exit the beach with three other people around 6 a.m. 50 on Sunday, police said. .
Afanador was accused last year of putting a black man in a forbidden chokehold while answering a call on a Queens boardwalk. The NYPD suspended him without pay after this arrest, then placed him on restricted assignment. He was not authorized to carry firearms, police said.
An NYPD spokesperson, Sgt. Edward Riley, said Afanador has again been suspended without pay.
Afanador was arraigned Monday by video in Long Beach City Court for felony possession of a weapon and prohibited use of a weapon. He was also cited for possession of alcohol, which is prohibited at Ocean Beach Park, for carrying an open can of Truly Hard Seltzer, police said. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.
A woman arrested with Afanador was also charged with firing the gun into the ocean. She is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and prohibited use of a weapon, police said.
A message seeking comment was left for Afanador’s attorney.
Afanador, who has worked for the NYPD for more than 16 years, pleaded not guilty last June to strangulation and tried to escalate the strangulation charges after cellphone video showed him putting his arm around a man’s neck on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk.
The man, Ricky Bellevue, 35, appeared to lose consciousness. Bellevue was arrested in an unrelated Bronx incident a few weeks later after police said he flashed a box cutter and made anti-gay statements during an attempted robbery.
Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD for years and were banned statewide last year. Afanador is due in court in that case on Wednesday.
In 2016, Afanador was acquitted of charges of pistol-whipping a 16-year-old boy during a marijuana seizure, breaking two teeth. The beatings, seen on video, continued until the boy fell to the ground and was handcuffed.
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