Precinct Commander Defends Suspended Cops
The Commanding Officer of the 101 Precinct this week defended two of his officers who were suspended without pay for failing to investigate a kidnapping complaint that could have taken an alleged rapist off the streets two hours before, according to authorities, he preyed on another female victim.
Speaking at his precinct's monthly Community Council meeting in Far Rockaway on Wednesday night, Captain Brian McMahon said the two unidentified officers made a judgment call without having all of the facts. As a result, Eric McCoy, who was arrested for allegedly posing as a member of
law enforcement to abduct women and commit gunpoint rapes in Queens, was free to sexually attack a 17-year-old girl later that day.
The officers responded to a laundermat in Far Rockaway on January 2 when a 15-year-old girl reported that a man was trying to kidnap her. The police arrived and, according to published reports, briefly interviewed the teen and McCoy, 37, but didn't check to see if McCoy - a paroled sex offender - had a criminal history. They apparently dismissed the girl's allegation that McCoy was trying to abduct her, brought her to a nearby subway station and told her to go to school.
Later that day, McCoy, who lives in Far Rockaway with his wife and children, allegedly used the same law enforcement ploy, which included displaying a fake badge, to compel a 17-year-old girl to go with him to a motel in Kew Gardens where he raped her, according to police.
The officers' actions are now being reviewed by the NYPD and Captain McMahon referred The Wave's inquiry to the department's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. McMahon would later offer community members at the council meeting - a forum established by the NYPD so that the public can interact with the police department - the following matter-of-fact account: "Someone called about a suspicious male. [The officers] stopped him. They didn't think they had enough to arrest him, and they made a judgment call," said McMahon. "I don't think they had all the facts in front of them. The facts later come out that [McCoy] was wanted on something else, so they were suspended."
McCoy was arrested January 3, after one of his alleged victims told investigators her attacker referred to himself as "Investigator McCoy."
The NYPD trains its officers to use opportunities such as their encounter with McCoy to find criminals on the lam. That was the case in the summer of 2004, when local police pulled over a man in Arverne for running a red light, did a warrant check and discovered he was wanted for murder in North Carolina. The man, who had been living in Rockaway Park, was arrested without incident and was later handed over to North Carolina authorities.
Not The Only Lapse
The NYPD's bungle with McCoy wasn't the only missed opportunity to safeguard the public against a dangerous sexual predator. While McCoy is listed on the state's registry of convicted sex offenders, he's registered to an address in East Elmhurst, which means that even the most proactive Rockaway resident searching for info on sexual predators in this area wouldn't have known anything about him. In fact, McCoy, whose address is listed in current court records as 147 Beach 26 Street, was still registered to 1414 Hazen Street in East Elmhurst a.k.a. Rikers Island.
A spokesperson for the New York State Sex Offender Registry told The Wave that sex offenders themselves are responsible for notifying the agency of address changes, but said that the agency does periodically check in with them.
McCoy is charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of first degree sodomy; second degree assault, three counts of criminal impersonation and two counts of coercion, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.