NEW YORK — An emotionally disturbed man being transferred from an ambulance to the emergency room at Harlem Hospital shot an NYPD officer once in the foot before being wrestled to the ground by an FDNY EMT on Monday, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The suspect, identified as Guiteau Idore, 42, of Queens Village, had attempted earlier to grab the service weapon from the officer and was thwarted, but was successful in a second attempt — managing to fire two shots, Kelly said.
The wounded officer, identified as Fausto Gomez, 40, of the 25th Precinct, was treated at Harlem Hospital and later released. Another officer, John Chiodi, 42, also of the 25th Precinct, was not wounded.
The EMT, Brendan Hernandez, who said he has aspirations of one day joining the NYPD, was hailed as a hero.
"He has what it takes to do the job," Kelly said at a news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg early Monday at Harlem Hospital, adding that he would check the police applicant waiting list for a possible opening for Hernandez.
"We are lucky that this was not more serious," Bloomberg said of the shooting. Kelly called the circumstances "a very unusual situation."
The commissioner said the officers had picked up Idore on 117th Street at 4:55 a.m. after spotting him throwing bottles and assaulting someone on the street. Idore was placed into an ambulance and, Kelly said, Chiodi rode with him to the hospital while Gomez followed in his police cruiser.
Though handcuffed, Kelly said Idore attempted to snatch Gomez' gun while being moved from the ambulance to the hospital, but was subdued. However, he grabbed for the gun a second time moments later -- and this time managed to get it.
Kelly said Idore fired two shots, one striking Gomez in the foot, before the trio -- Gomez, Chiodi and Idore -- fell to the ground and Hernandez, the EMT, wrestled the handgun away from Idore.
Idore was charged with assault and menacing and was transferred to Metropolitan Hospital Center in East Harlem for evaluation.
Kelly said Idore has a history of domestic assault.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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