By on October 9, 2013


Wojciech Braszczok, 32, an undercover police officer with the New York Police Department and ten year NYPD veteran, was arrested Tuesday on riot and criminal mischief charges in connection with the attack on a SUV driver by a pack of motorcyclists. So far six participants in the attack on Alexian Lien have been charged. Braszczok (pronounced brass-chuck) was one of at least three NYPD officers who participated in the ride and were present at the incident. He is expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday. Officer Braszczok’s lawyer said before the arrest that the detective was simply a witness but police sources told the Associated Press that videos of the attack show Braszczok punching the SUV’s back window, already damaged, and then kicking the SUV twice before leaving the scene.

Braszczok’s failure to report his presence at the bike ride and attack for three days after it happened drew suspicion from NYPD Internal Affairs. Undercover NYPD officers are under no obligation to act if they witness a crime but they are expected to report it. Braszczok’s attorney, hired for him by the Detectives’ Endowment Association union, said that his client was not carrying his badge or gun on the ride and that he was aware of cases where officers were disciplined or fired for blowing their covers. Braszczok ”had no other option, so he drove away,” his attorney said.

Because of the arrest, Braszczok has been suspended from the department. CBS News’ local New York affiliate reported that another police officer taking part in the ride was narcotics detective, Samir Gonsalves. Detective Gonsalves was in the news back in April when he was arrested for allegedly pushing an officer who was trying to break up a domestic dispute between Gonsalves and his girlfriend.

CBS News Senior Correspondent John Miller, a former New York City deputy police commissioner, reported that one of the officers being investigated was an undercover officer assigned to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs department. It’s not clear if that is the same person as Braszczok. “The irony there, of course, is they’re the ones who track down police for misconduct,” Miller said on the CBS This Morning television show. “He’s been assigned there about three weeks. He hadn’t started his undercover assignment yet, but he was riding along. And he is talking to his lawyers about whether to meet with prosecutors or be questioned by police. So the NYPD hasn’t interviewed him yet.”

Additionally, the NYPD on Tuesday released images of four more motorcyclists considered persons of interest in the case. In addition to Braszczok, the riders so far arrested include Craig Wright, Christopher Cruz and Reginald Chance.

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32 Comments on “Wojciech Braszczok, NYPD Cop, Arrested In NYC Motorcyclists’ Attack on SUV...”

  • avatar

    I know these cops may not have had a legal obligation to intervene, but it shows a serious deficiency in character and sense of duty to first, do nothing to diffuse the situation, and second actually participate in the assault.

    I’m of the opinion that law enforcement officers are never “off-duty” when it comes to keeping the peace. In reality, we are all peace officers in our society and anyone who would willfully circumvent justice in a case like this deserves what’s coming to them.

    • 0 avatar

      danio, you need to read between the lines a little here. he’s one of the perpetrators of the assault.

    • 0 avatar

      Frequently police officers are encouraged by their department not to get involved in things off-duty if they don’t absolutely have to. When it comes to modern police work the attitude of some administrators can be summed up like this: ATL. Always Think Liability. Specifically, always think of ways to avoid liability.

      That being said, this goes beyond not doing anything in the moment. The police officer participated in a rolling riot and an assault on a family who was, prior to the rolling riot, minding their own business. So in this instance he was acting as a part of a criminal gang. Why would a police officer actually become part of a criminal gang’s assault on innocent people?

      Goes back to that gang mentality thing that was written about a few days ago.

    • 0 avatar

      If he was undercover, a couple harmless kicks and punches would help him keep his cover.

      You’d be surprised what undercovers have to do.

  • avatar

    “Oh, Look! Subhuman trash terrorizing a little girl!
    I wants me some of this!”

    I hereby shred my Polock card.

  • avatar

    I’m sure his punishment will be PAID leave of absence…

    • 0 avatar

      any other job, he would be fired, with no pay. But thanks to the police union they get a paid vacation and get to keep their job.
      Talk about justice!

      • 0 avatar

        In all fairness, there are a couple considerations to the paid leave policy (standard across pretty much all law enforcement and a few other fields too):

        Society values things like “innocent until proved guilty” and “due process.” Yes, even for blatant stuff like this.

        An unpaid leave policy (when something turns out to be an unfair accusation- which happens from time to time) would make supervisors/the chain of command somewhat less inclined to take action every time serious accusations come up. Hypothetical slippery slope, right?

        Just sayin’

        • 0 avatar

          Innocent until proven guilty is a legal concept, not an employment concept.
          Most people are tired of the public servant being held to a lower standard than society when most of us feel that they should be held to one that is higher.
          If you assault a cop there are higher legal penalties than the same offence committed against the general population. The reverse should also be true, when a cop commits a crime the punishment should be higher.

          • 0 avatar

            I think that presumption of innocence (ie. benefit of the doubt until an investigation is concluded) is not only a legal concept, but a societal one.

            I agree with you in that for those, in a position of public trust, if found guilty of certain crimes legal penalties should be higher.

        • 0 avatar

          OK with the assumption of innocence part. But if he is indeed convicted on a later day, shouldn’t he be sued to also pay back the amount of salary while he was off duty?

      • 0 avatar

        I doubt he will keep his job. Pretty difficult to argue you’re innocent when you are caught on video tape being not innocent. As for paid leave, as JimC2 mentioned there are larger considerations. The Supreme Court has ruled that firing a public employee is a government taking action, and that those being fired are entitled to due process. That obligates public agencies to at least provide a hearing and to document everything they are doing for an administrative hearing in the least, and then often for a court hearing on the matter.

        Further, the union (and for the record, I think collective bargaining by public employees is a complete disgrace and should be outlawed) has negotiated more due process that must be observed before firing an officer, even if he/she is guilty as hell and everyone wants them gone.

        In a case like this due process will be observed to the letter. All i’s will be dotted, all t’s crossed…and THEN they’ll fire the guy. If it was some other person’s word against his, odds are he’d keep his job and not face any real penalties. But since he went and got himself caught participating in a riot and an assault on tape, he’s toast. He won’t be drawing a cop paycheck for very long. Given the evidence, a suspension without pay and then a termination is probably in the very near future.

        • 0 avatar

          In the last several NYPD outrages — rapes, selling drugs, other criminal acts — the cops were fired. I really hate what this once-great police force has turned into under Ray Kelly, but I have trust in due process and believe these guys will lose their jobs. They may even become prison b####s.

    • 0 avatar

      The word I’m hearing from people who served time wearing a uniform in Gotham is that the police union isn’t going to lift a finger to help this guy. A number of people seem to be pretty pissed off at the very idea of hanging around with a bunch of scumbags with rap sheets who ignore traffic laws and zip through traffic at triple-digit speeds any time they see the cops, endangering everyone.

      …and then actually participating in the effort to beat an innocent dude down and putting his wife and child in fear is just way beyond excuse. Plus, irony of ironies, there are rumors that this guy actually worked Internal Affairs himself.

      So, in short, he’s probably been a real jerk on a number of occasions and nobody liked him anyway. Then he got caught buddying around with the sort of people that cops generally loathe (namely criminal vermin) and got caught participating in a violent criminal act. Factor all of that in and the general impression I’m getting is that his butt will be swinging in the wind with zero sympathy or consideration.

      …which is as it should be.

  • avatar

    I guess these guys aren’t undercover anymore :P

    “…talking to his lawyers” How about he talks to his mother to review a few things, ohhh, let’s see right and wrong, let’s see what else, oh yeah, basic morality.

    To think that probably none of this would have come to light if it had not been for a gopro camera, a youtube account, and the dumbass owner of both. And it’s no wonder that crooked cops hate being recorded.

    Now to get some popcorn ready as the apologists spin their version of this latest development.

    • 0 avatar

      Buddy of mine worked at a university and they had a mini riot, including multiple assaults on police officers. The police agencies involved in trying to deal with the riots went on youtube and sure enough lots of people posted video of themselves hurling things at police officers.

      Search warrants were obtained, phones and computers were seized, and a bunch of people found themselves facing felony charges all thanks to putting video footage of themselves and their friends throwing rocks at the face of police officers on youtube.

      Same friend busted a major pot dealer on his campus because the pot dealer posted a picture of a huge stash in his dorm room on a social networking site.

      There’s a saying in law enforcement: “Thank God most criminals are idiots.”

      • 0 avatar

        Reminds me of the case here in Pennsylvania where a man on parole, who was forbidden from owning or possessing a firearm, posted a video on Facebook…of him firing a gun.

      • 0 avatar

        “Thank God most criminals are idiots.”

        Of course it’s hard to say how many criminals never get caught because they are not idiots.

        • 0 avatar

          According to people with IQs between 75 and 90 are seven times more likely to be jailed than people with IQs between 110 and 125. That could be explained by average IQ of police officers ranging from 100 to 111. Criminals (at least those getting caught) are not terribly smart but cops are not too far ahead. If Mr. Braszczok reached 100 he cheated or it’s time to change the intelligence assessments scales. Besides his poor ethic denotes poor judgement. Guess he never heard about plausible deniability.

          • 0 avatar

            Correlation is not causation and all that, lets not muddy the waters here with irrelevant statistics.

            This incident has very little to do with intelligence and a helluva lot to do with personal ethics and morality.

  • avatar

    This story just keeps getting better and better (or worse and worse, depending on your perspective).

    I wonder if any of the Law & Order spinoffs are still on the air (the original one ceased airing a few years ago). If so, the writers must be furiously typing the script at this very moment. That show loved episodes ripped “straight from today’s headlines.”

  • avatar

    You dont have to identify yourself as a cop to get in front of a fellow biker and tell him to chill.Has society lost its ability to think rationally? Is this the same Wojo from Barney Miller?

  • avatar

    What I don’t understand is this. If a parent as much as farts near their minor child, they are likely to be charged with a host of criminal charges like “endangering welfare of a minor. ” All these bikers pound on a glass window putting the 2 year old girl in extreme danger of severe injury or death and not a single charge of child endangerment or attempted murder?!!! Pisses me off. Because that is the real crime here.

  • avatar

    Officer Wojciech Braszczok, did not report his witness to a crime in a timely manner, he did not try to diffuse the situation that he witnessed, he did join in the criminal activity. 3 strikes he’s out, or going to be in someplace he will make some new er… friends.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Say what you will, to a large part of the citizenry, any large group of loud motorcycles carries with it an air of menace. Just the noise alone is quite an anti-social exclamation point. To join such a group, in-and-of-itself, is a statement (whether understood by its members to be such or not). For a cop to be in this kind of group is woeful, but for him not to call 911 immediately after the initial event is an extreme derogation. Having spent a lot of years in NYC, I can’t say I’m surprised by any of this. There is an underlying lawlessness there right below the surface that percolates up at regular intervals. It’s usually minimized, except, of course, by its victims.

  • avatar

    FYI, the man in the dark jacket and yellowish shirt is one Sergio Consuegra, a regular civilian passing by who witnessed the gang trying to pull Lien’s wife out of the car to do God-knows-what and stopped them, as other bystanders yelled “Not the lady!”

    Consuegra got between the fallen Lien and the gang and stood there protecting him until cops arrived.

    He may well have saved Lien’s life and the that of the wife, at great risk to his own.

    He’s a hero, and perhaps the only bright spot in this whole wretched affair.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    philadlj, many thanks for mentioning this. An act of bravery like that is not something many would risk with this crazed mob. It was truly noble. I wonder, myself, what I would have done beyond calling 911.

  • avatar

    This story gets more pathetic by the second. I am amazed that a cop, any cop would be part of this. I tend to see the opposite with most police. They tend to see themselves as a separate and unique group. Group 1 – cops
    Group 2 – civilians and potential law breakers
    Group 3 – law breakers/criminals.
    That concept seems to be completely lost upon the cops in this fun harmless group ride.

  • avatar

    Brass-chuck had better put some jelly in his pocket, because he’s toast.

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