Hockey players shot by drunken off-duty NYPD cop plan $90 million lawsuit
Joseph Felice and Robert Borrelli say they will sue Officer Brendan Cronin, the city and the NYPD over an April shooting in which Cronin shot at the two men as they sat in a car. The cop was allegedly drunk and was off-duty. Felice was hit six times and was only saved because Borrelli immediately drove him to the hospital, according to accounts.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 2:11 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 4:24 PM
Two weekend hockey players fired a $90 million legal slapshot Tuesday at an NYPD officer accused of shooting at them while he was drunk.
Joseph Felice and his teammate, Robert Borrelli, announced they intend to sue Officer Brendan Cronin, the city and the police department for the April shooting.
“Joe and I very nearly lost our lives when New York City Police Officer Brendan Cronin, armed and drunk, made the decision to try to kill us by discharging his weapon at us as we sat in my car,” an emotional Borrelli said at his lawyer’s office.
“I honestly don't know how we survived this unprovoked ambush or why he chose to single out Joe and myself for his vicious rampage.”
Felice, who works in finance and plays forward for the New Rochelle Wranglers, is still recuperating from being shot six times. So Borrelli read his statement.
“What happened to Rob and me was a random act of violence committed by a ruthless man,” Felice wrote. “This could have happened to anyone. I just happened to be coming home from winning a hockey game.”
Felice still faces numerous surgeries to repair his shoulders and arms, lawyer Randolph McLaughlin said.
“Frankly it's a miracle both men didn't die that day,” the lawyer said.
Then, referring to Cronin, McLaughlin added, “What was in his head?”
So far Cronin has not supplied an answer to that question.
Frankly it's a miracle both men didn't die that day.
Assigned to the 46th Precinct in the Bronx, Cronin was charged by Pelham police with first-degree assault. He is now awaiting the decision of a Westchester County grand jury, which is weighing an assault indictment against him.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Cronin has been suspended by the NYPD.
Borelli and Felice don’t know Cronin. They were headed home when the off-duty cop, who had allegedly been drinking earlier with other officers, pulled up to their car at a light in Pelham and — without any warning — began blasting away, police said.
Cronin discharged all 13 rounds from his NYPD-issued gun and Felice, who was sitting in the passenger seat, absorbed six of the bullets, police said.
Borrelli, who plays goalie on the team, quickly drove his bleeding buddy to Montefiore Medical Center and “made the 'save' of a lifetime,” Felice said in his statement.
Cronin was pulled over a short time later by Pelham officers responding to 911 calls about a man driving erratically with his car's hazard lights flashing.A 27-year-old Yonkers resident, Cronin told arresting officers he had no memory of firing his weapon. He also refused to take a Breathalyzer test