An off-duty NYPD officer was arrested Sunday night after waving his gun at a group of rowdy, belligerent Rangers fans. For some reason, that's a crime, and Officer David Hendrick, a 16-year veteran assigned to the Manhattan Task Force, faces a felony charge of criminal possession of a weapon and a lesser charge of menacing. MTA cops stopped the Ronkonkoma-bound train in Mineola after several frightened passengers called 911 to report that a man had brandished a gun.
Usually the NYPD is tight-lipped after an arrest like this, but in this case Officer Hendrick, who is also a licensed reverend in Michigan and a Pluto fan, gave an interview to Newsday about the incident. He says he pulled his gun in self-defense after the Rangers meatheads reacted violently to his attempts to shush them. Hendrick claims he flashed the piece to let "them know that... who's boss," but "by God's grace and mercy and love, I was able to put that gun aside."
In case you can't watch the video now, here's Hendrick's defense in his own words:
I was letting them know that... who's boss. I always give everybody two chances. I said, 'You have two choices: Stop the drinking, stop the smoking, the disrespect by everybody, or I escort you off the train.' [One Rangers fan] says, 'F.U.' A rumble ensued. I had my gun on me. They were coming at me; we were fighting, throwing blows. I pulled out my gun, pointed it at the subjects, it was two against one. They were out for blood. By God's grace and mercy and love, I was able to put that gun aside. Unfortunately, it might have not been the best thing to do.
Hendrick has been suspended without pay. Anyone who's had the misfortune of riding the LIRR after a hockey game knows that Hendrick showed supernatural restraint in not blasting some holes in those Rangers jerseys, but really, this video is why the NYPD pays Paul Browne to do the talking.