April 12, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
An off-duty NYPD officer was convicted Wednesday of a gunpoint robbery and assault that took place in 2016 outside of a Bushwick bar.
Anthony Delacruz, 35, now faces up to 25 years in prison for robbing a man of his cash, jewelry, cell phone, and even his clothing and shoes, before pistol-whipping him near the Elmekkah Bar and Grill on Wyckoff Avenue on May 28, 2016.
Delacruz was also found guilty of falsely reporting an incident after initially lying to the police at the scene, telling them that he was the victim of the robbery and identifying the man he had robbed as the supposed perpetrator.
Delacruz was formerly an officer of the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint but was fired following the incident.
“This defendant’s actions were truly abhorrent: Not only did he commit a gunpoint robbery, he then falsely accused others of robbing him,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “That he was a police officer sworn to protect and serve make this conduct even more outrageous. With this verdict, the defendant has been held accountable for his disturbing conduct.”
According to trial testimony, Delacruz and an unidentified accomplice confronted the victim outside of the bar at 277 Wyckoff Ave. at around 3:30 a.m.
Officer Delacruz then pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at the victim. They robbed the victim of his valuables and clothing, and at some point hit him with the gun and fired a shot.
Delacruz and his accomplice are then seen on security camera walking away, carrying clothes and sneakers, leaving the victim dressed only in a T-shirt and boxers.
When officers arrived on the scene, responding to a 911 call of shots fired, Delacruz fabricated a story that he had been surrounded by several individuals who stole his gold chain, Rolex watch and a gold ring. He then said he had chased the robbers and exchanged gunfire with them.
Delacruz then pointed to a group of people, which included the victim of Delacruz’s crime, identifying them as the ones who had supposedly robbed him. The entire group was taken into custody, but investigators later found that the some of the men identified by Delacruz were in a different location when his alleged robbery occurred.
Following the incident, Delacruz was taken to a hospital where it was discovered that he did not have his badge while armed, and had the smell of alcohol on his breath, making him unfit for duty.
Delacruz will return to court on April 29 for sentencing, where he will face up to 25 years in prison.