FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Police Officer Convicted for Off-Duty Road Rage Assault
Struck Motorist with Pistol and Handcuffs, Causing Him to Require Stitches; Fled the Scene
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a New York City Police Officer has been convicted of felony assault, weapons possession, reckless driving and other charges for attacking a motorist on New Year’s Day 2018.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant endangered the life of not only the victim he assaulted but those drivers and pedestrians who shared the road with him that evening. The fact that he is a trained police officer makes his behavior even more disturbing. There is no place on our streets for road rage, and now a jury has held the defendant accountable for his brazen criminal conduct.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Michael Baror, 25, formerly of Transit District 32. He was convicted yesterday on charges of second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, reckless driving, improper use of a siren and improper display of plates following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, who set sentencing for May 8, 2019.
The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on January 1, 2018, at approximately 10:30 p.m., at Avenue N and Bedford Avenue, the defendant was driving his personal vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee that was illegally equipped with lights and sirens. He was flashing his high beams at a car in front of him and rear-ended it. He then got out of the car and pulled out his pistol and pistol-whipped the other driver, a 29-year-old man. He also repeatedly struck the victim in the face with handcuffs before getting back in his vehicle and driving away.
The victim followed the defendant. The victim’s girlfriend, who was also in the vehicle, called 911 and remained on the phone during the chase. While the victim’s girlfriend was reporting the plate number to the 911 operator, the defendant concealed his license plate with an electronic device. Both vehicles were speeding and running red lights and the victim eventually crashed into the defendant’s vehicle. Police were at the scene within minutes, but the defendant had fled the scene. He did not report the incident to police or his supervisors. The defendant was arrested the following day and a search of his vehicle revealed that he removed the lights and sirens. The defendant, who is seen on surveillance video with a thick beard and hair on his head during the incident, had shaved his head and beard by the time police arrived to arrest him the following day.
The victim was treated at a hospital and sustained stitches to the mouth, swelling and bruising about the face and head, a contusion to the top of his head, a cut to the nose, and an injured shoulder.
The case was investigated by NYPD Sergeant John Pietanza of the Internal Affairs Bureau Group 34.
KCDA Paralegal Michel Chung assisted with the case.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Chief of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Prabhalya Pulim, also of the Hate Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Joseph P. Alexis, Chief of the District Attorney’s Trial Division.