NYPD lieutenant shot in ankle during ‘violent struggle’ with gang member

“I have to commend the four officers for the incredible restraint that was shown on [body camera] video,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea

By Nicholas Williams
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — An NYPD lieutenant was shot in the ankle during a “violent struggle” with a Bronx gang member, cops said Saturday.

The lieutenant and three uniformed officers were responding to a 911 call on Lyman Place near Freeman St. in Morrisania at 11:55 p.m. Friday when they spotted the suspect, who took off running, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

When cops caught up with the man, identified by police as 26-year-old Jerome Roman, a “violent struggle ensues,” Shea said outside Jacobi Medical Center at an early morning press conference.

During the fight, Roman fired off one round, striking the lieutenant in the ankle. The shell casing got jammed in the pistol’s barrel, preventing him from firing again, Shea said.

Pablo Cruz, who lives on the block, was woken up by the gunfire.

“It was only one shot, like Bang!” Cruz said. “Then I woke up and was like ‘Oh, I heard a shot.’ I was just hearing all the commotion.

“Sometimes I don’t know if its shootings or firecrackers cause they be doing a lot of firecrackers,” he said.

Shea said Roman and the cops struggled for eight minutes before he was taken into custody.

“I have to commend the four officers for the incredible restraint that was shown on [body camera] video,” Shea said. “They are wrestling with a perpetrator clearly armed with a firearm and are repeatedly telling him to let go of the firearm.”

Roman’s bullet punched through the lieutenant’s ankle and struck a nearby parked car, Shea said.

“The individual was safely taken into custody with no injuries,” Shea said. The lieutenant, he said, was taken to Jacobi Medical Center and was treated and released.

“He’s expected to make a full recovery,” Shea said. The three officers with the lieutenant were treated for minor injuries.

Roman is a member of the Lyman Place Bosses and has been arrested more than two dozen times, sources with knowledge of the case said. Over the years, he’s been arrested for weapons possession, obstructing government administration and tampering with physical evidence.

He’s also unsuccessfully sued several Bronx cops who he claimed illegally arrested him four times in 2014 and 2015. The case was thrown out in federal court when it was proven that the officers were on other assignments or off-duty the days he was arrested, according to court papers.

The gang member was arrested on gun possession charges in November and was out on $30,000 bail when Friday’s shooting took place. He had also been convicted of a firearms charge in the past, officials said.

Lou Turco, the president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, said that the wounded lieutenant was in “good spirits.”

“He’s lucky,” Turco said. “An individual like this with that criminal past was out to shoot somebody. No doubt about it. These officers saved somebody’s life last night.”

“This guy doesn’t belong in the streets,” Turco said. “People like that always catch an innocent bystander when they try to shoot someone. He needs to be in jail.

“This time we were lucky, but we shouldn’t go to work counting on luck,” Turco said.

Cops charged Roman with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and other charges.

©2021 New York Daily News. 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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