Police officer Jacqueline Melendez-Rivera offered her apology to Officer Andrew Suarez, who was shot by Melendez-Rivera's ex-con husband in a strange incident early Saturday morning. Rivera yelled, "You got a beef?" and allegedly shot at Suarez and other plainclothes police officers, even after Suarez flashed a badge. Melendez-Rivera, a 13 veteran of the NYPD, told reporters, "I'm very sorry for the injuries to Officer [Andrew] Suarez, and I hope he recovers as he was before... I feel horrible. A fellow officer - he's a father, a brother. I feel devastated. I'm very, very sorry. I pray constantly that he recovers."
Melendez-Rivera's lawyer tells the Post that her relationship with husband Jose Rivera "is now pretty much kaput," saying, "Their love story is over." The Post claims that their love story should never have begun, as it's against NYPD rules for officers to even associate with felons. The Daily News reports that Rivera, who was convicted for shooting a man in the 1990s, told his parole officer his wife was a security guard and that Melendez-Rivera went along with the lie.
Melendez-Rivera, who is 7-8 months pregnant, is out on $50,000 after being charged with evidence tampering; the police found her moving the SUV Rivera was driving when he shot at Suarez's unmarked police SUV. Melendez-Rivera claimed she was moving the car to another parking space a mile from her home because it had been parked outside a fire hydrant, but the NY Times reports that police, who were on the lookout for the SUV, were "suspicious" since the car had bullet holes and broken windows.
Melendez-Rivera's past is also being revisited. She's had four earlier allegations of wrongdoing, including a relationship with an underage member of the Latin Kings (he was found to be 17 and it was not confirmed whether he was in the gang), but none of them were substantiated. Her friends say that Melendez-Rivera was a good daughter, but rebelled by going out with the wrong men. One friend said about Rivera, "I don't know what she sees in him. He's not handsome. He's got many problems." Her lawyer, though, emphasized, "She’s never been associated with any gang members. She’s associated with the church, the army and the police.”
Officer Suarez is recovering, but his father is angry. Juan Suarez, a correction officer, said, "He couldn't believe another officer would betray him. It's terrible. It's disgusting. It broke our hearts. She betrayed the badge. It's disgusting what she did."