Photo of Officer Benjamin Ambrosio by David Torres. Reprinted with permission from DNAinfo.
The police officer who was involved in a shootout with a man who took his gun on Riverside Drive and 91st Street a few weeks ago is now being investigated by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs department, DNAinfo is reporting. The news comes after it was revealed that the same officer had been involved in another scuffle a month earlier in the exact same spot. Both times the officer was knocked in the head, and then the suspects got away. For this to be a coincidence seems like a stretch.
Benjamin Ambrosio, a 28-year-old officer known for his sense of humor and for being sick a lot — officers told DNAinfo he always seems to be ill, and had contracted swine flu — has been placed on modified duty and stripped of his gun and badge. Ambrosio, who is assigned to a precinct in the Bronx, seems to hang out a lot in and around Riverside Park, and has an uncanny ability to find trouble.
According to DNAinfo, he told officers that in the first incident late at night on Sept. 27, he saw two men robbing a woman in Riverside Park around 91st street; he stepped in and got knocked in the head before the perps escaped.
In the second incident, Ambrosio said he accosted a man who was slashing tires. The man pulled a gun on him, they exchanged fire and then the man bonked Ambrosio on the head, took Ambrosio’s gun and ran off. We reported on that incident with the help of some local residents who suddenly heard gunshots going off on their usually peaceful block. Officers later found Ambrosio’s gun in the park, but the suspect got away.
Internal affairs noticed some “inconsistencies” in Ambrosio’s accounts of the incidents, sources told DNAinfo. Ambrosio and his lawyer did not comment on the matter.