2 men flee after trying to rob plainclothes NYPD captain

Officials say the men tried to rob the captain, then punched him in the head

Rocco Parascandola and John Annese
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A pair of would-be robbers got away on foot after one of them punched a plainclothes NYPD captain in the head Thursday night, police sources said.

NYPD Captain Stephen Spataro was on duty and working with a Patrol Boro Manhattan South special operations unit when two men in their 20s walked up to him at 41st St. and 10th Ave., sources said.

At least one of the men gestured to his own waistband as if he had a gun, sources said.

“What you got?” one of the suspects said, right before the other punched him in the face.

What Spataro had was his service weapon, which he pulled on the muggers after being punched, sources said.

The suspects ran off empty-handed. Spataro suffered minor injuries.

The captain was canvasing the area investigating reports of past crimes when the men approached him, sources said.

“These two characters picked the wrong guy. The captain took good police action when outnumbered,” said Roy Richter, the president of the Captains Endowment Association.

“The perpetrators may have gotten away today, but I am confident they will be arrested in the near future,” Richter said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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