An off-duty police officer was assaulted around 91st Street and Riverside Drive around 10:40 p.m. Thursday night, and the suspect stole his gun, an NYPD spokesman said. During the struggle, shots were fired, although it’s unclear if the officer fired the shots or if the suspect did. As of 1:30 a.m., the suspect had not been caught.
“[The off-duty officer] was possibly attempting to apprehend him,” the spokesman said. “There was a struggle. He was struck. The guy took his gun and fled.”
As for other details, “it’s still under investigation,” the spokesman said.
Update: As of 9 a.m. DNAinfo says the attacker hasn’t been found but the gun was recovered in Riverside Park. The officer suffered “minor lacerations.”
Nearby residents told me via twitter that they heard eight shots: “I heard 5 shots. Pause. 1 shot. Longer pause. 2 shots,” said Nicole; her account that was confirmed by another nearby resident. Police swarmed the area around 91st and ordered all off-duty officers out of Riverside Park, according to police scanner traffic. The officer was taken to St. Luke’s hospital; he did not suffer any gunshot wounds, the NYPD told me.
At least one helicopter flew overhead, shining a spotlight on the ground below. According to @JamieLee74, who was listening to the police scanner, the suspect was heading North on Riverside Drive and was described as a”6’2 blackman. Hoodie. With a gold logo. Blue jeans. Muscular build. Headed northbound. Goatee.”
Another Upper West Sider, Roberto, said via twitter that Upper West Siders continued about their business amidst the mayhem: “The helicopter trying to locate someone with light beams, circling. People walking their dogs as usual just looking up.”
I’ll update as I learn more!
Photo of police in the area via @spanishNY