A prostitute allegedly stole an off-duty NYPD officer's car and gun last night after he stopped at an ATM to get money to pay her, according to reports.
The incident happened just after midnight Tuesday when off-duty officer Ali Sheppard, a 13-year NYPD vet, allegedly picked up Taquanna Lawton, 20, at Liberty Avenue and Sackman Street in Brownsville. Police sources told the NY Post the two were on their way to a motel in East New York when the 38-year-old Sheppard stopped to withdraw cash at an ATM at the Imperial Hotel.
While he was out of the car, Lawton allegedly jumped into the driver's seat of the Jeep, which was still running, and drove away. Sheppard's department-issued Smith & Wesson gun was in the front seat as well. Lawton was arrested early Wednesday morning, and both the car and gun were recovered. Police say she has been charged with grand larceny auto.
Sheppard has been suspended, though it is unclear whether he will face more serious charges: "He was immediately suspended and he'll be facing some disciplinary charges," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said today during an unrelated press conference. "We are working on the investigation."
"You gotta be fucking kidding me," Sheppard's father Eugene Sheppard told reporters this morning outside his Brownsville home. "Excuse my lingo man. This is a surprise."
"I would never have thought this," the dad continued. "The man has been in the service twice. I’ve never heard that he would pick up a prostitute...I’m in shock actually. This is a child that I raised by myself as a single parent and I’ve never known anything like this to happen, ever. He’s a good kid."