Early yesterday, an off-duty police officer got into an argument with a group of youths in Washington Heights and ultimately fired at them during the confrontation. According to the Post, it was a "Halloween hoax gone horribly wrong," with the youths "jumping from a large cardboard box in order to spook passers-by"—and one unhappy passer-by was the off-duty cop.
The unidentified narcotics cop got into a fight at West 170th Street and Fort Washington Avenue with the group of five males who are 16-20 years old. The Post reports, "While the cop waited for backup, one teen thug, Joseph Peralta, 18, pinned him against a parked car while a buddy tried to pummel him with a metal trash can, police said. The officer identified himself as a cop, then drew his weapon and fired one shot that hit Peralta in the groin."
Peralta's father told another story, "The cop got scared, and he attacked one of the boys. My son came to defend his friend. He didn't identify himself as a police officer. What would have happened if he had killed my son?" And a resident in the neighborhood told NY1 that the victim was a familiar face, "The kids who hang out on that corner don't usually bother anyone. It kinda surprises me that his would happen on this corner if anything."