An NYPD officer has been suspended for firing his gun at a bar, then driving drunk. Officer Lester Sanchez, of Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct, was arrested for the March 9 incident that happened when he was off-duty.
The problems reportedly started when Sanchez and his girlfriend, a fellow NYPD officer, got into an argument with patrons in a Brooklyn bar. As the argument escalated, bar staff reportedly told the rowdy group to leave.
As reported by NY Daily News, Sanchez and the others left the bar, but continued the argument outside. At some point Sanchez reportedly went to his car, grabbed his gun, and headed back toward the bar.
Sanchez contends that a group of women has surrounded his girlfriend, Officer Janice Caban, and were threatening her. Witnesses report that Sanchez pointed his gun directly at one of the women before firing it into the air.
Sanchez jumped into his car and drove away from the scene. He was eventually pulled over and arrested for the disturbance at the bar and driving under the influence. Officers report that there was an open container of alcohol in Sanchez’s car, and he appeared to be intoxicated.
As reported by CBS, Sanchez refused a breathalyzer test and told officers that his gun was in his locker at the precinct. Officer Janice Caban initially has possession of the gun, but turned it in to investigators.
Officials report that the 29-year-old NYPD officer was suspended without pay for firing his gun at a bar and driving while intoxicated.
Sanchez’s girlfriend, Janice Caban, has also been suspended without pay for her part in the incident. As she is currently considered a rookie, the 25-year-old may lose her badge without a hearing.
The NYPD officer’s suspension and arrest threaten to ruin his career. Authorities and internal affairs are still investigating the situation. Sanchez has hired an attorney and did not offer any comment about the incident.