BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA. STAFF WRITER
Copyright 2006 Newsday, Inc.
Rudy Prashad, a Queens detective recently fired for soliciting bribes, was so brazen he once had a victim show up with cash at his precinct - and even talked money with the same man while doing police work at Jamaica Hospital, according to police sources and records.
What the Richmond Hill cop didn't know then was that the victim was wearing a wire, as was a second man he tried to scam, police sources said.
Presented with the evidence, the rogue cop, better known among his supporters as "Detective Rudy," went into hiding, sources said.
The NYPD held a departmental trial without him, then fired him for misconduct, ending a once-promising 14-year career.
The newly uncovered details lay out the fall from grace of a cop so well-liked among Richmond Hill's Hindu population that he had been mulling a run for public office.
"He got greedy," said one NYPD source talking about the case. "He was all about the money."
Prashad, 40, who is married with two children, could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.
But his lawyer, Gustavo Vila, said Prashad will appeal the firing because police didn't try hard enough to find him for his trial.
Prashad was a ubiquitous presence in Richmond Hill, home to many fellow Guyanese, who found in Prashad a Hindu-speaking community affairs cop who bridged the gap between police and immigrants.
In early 2004, however, Prashad, born Rudranauth Toolasprashad, was transferred from the 102nd Precinct amid suspicions he was soliciting bribes in exchange for issuing permits for parking and special events, sources said.
According to sources and police records, Prashad tried to shake down local community activist Gurdev Dogra for $5,000 in exchange for a Parks Department permit needed to hold a concert, and for providing security for the event.
Dogra noted that the Parks Department charges only $25, but Prashad said he would have no luck with the agency.
"The Parks Department doesn't want to give permits to Indians," Prashad says on the police wire. "The last time you guys had an event, you guys didn't clean up. That's why you have to go through the back door."
Dogra eventually got the permit from Parks, but he paid Prashad $3,500 - the cash provided by the NYPD - to provide security.
Internal Affairs was at the concert, watching as Prashad directed friends of his who were working security.
Dogra could not be reached for comment.
The second victim, Mandeep Singh, met Prashad in December 2003 at the 102nd Precinct to discuss a problem with his construction business, according to sources and records.
Prashad concocted a tale about Singh's immigration status, then told Singh he could make the problem disappear for $60,000.
"You can be deported at any time," Prashad said, according to police documents.
When Prashad heard the tapes recently, he gave investigators evasive answers and claimed not to remember saying what they captured, sources said.
Prashad filed for retirement in March, took unused vacation time, and gave police a Lima, Peru, address where he could be reached.
The NYPD filed charges against Prashad, then held the departmental trial without him because it had no luck finding him. The NYPD asked the U.S. State Department to check the Lima address, but the only thing there was a barbershop, sources said.
Vila, though, said Prashad was vacationing in an apartment above the barbershop, and has the rental agreement to prove it.
"They must have made a 900-mile-an-hour drive-by without looking for him," Vila said of the State Department.
Prashad was fired last month after the department trial, just before he would have been eligible for his pension.
Even now, his supporters say they have difficulty believing Prashad is guilty of what he's been accused.
"He was very helpful to the community," said Ramesh Kalicharran, who organizes an annual Hindu parade and worked closely with Prashad. "Many people feel justice wasn't given to him."
Source: Fired NY cop 'got greedy'