Huntington Station - A Nassau County police officer unlawfully shot and attacked an unarmed man after a night of barhopping and managed to hang on to his six-figure job, Newsday reports exclusively.
Newsday obtained the Nassau County Police Department's internal report into the affair. The report found that officer Anthony DiLeonardo recklessly escalated a roadside verbal dispute when he shot at a cabdriver, Thomas Moroughan, five times, hitting him once in the arm and once in the chest in 2011.
The cabdriver was arrested for assault and reckless endangerment after DiLeonardo accused him of trying to run him down with his cab. Charges were later dropped when prosecutors said there was evidence the officer had been drinking; the report obtained by Newsday notes that he admitted to investigators that he'd had eight to 10 drinks.
NEWSDAY REPORT: Unjustified
COMMISSIONER'S RESPONSE: Thomas Dale's statement
NCPD INTERNAL REPORT: View the document
MORE COVERAGE: Newsday reports on cabbie's lawsuit
The internal report found that the hospital where the officer was treated after the incident noted that he smelled of alcohol and slurred his words, but fellow officers who responded to the scene did not perform a sobriety test on DiLeonardo.
The police department's report, which was completed in July of last year, recommended that several departmental charges be brought against DiLeonardo and officer Edward Bienz, who was with DiLeonardo at several bars that evening. It's unclear if they were ever disciplined, but Newsday reports that both officers remain on the force, and were paid more than $100,000 each for their work last year.
Newsday says the report shows that DiLeonardo was stripped of his weapons and put on restricted duty, but it's unclear if he ever got his weapons back.
The report obtained by Newsday offers a glimpse into the events of that evening. It says the incident started out as an alercation on a Huntingon Station street. After exchanging words with the cabdriver, DiLeonardo walked toward Mouraghan's car and fired five shots, hitting Moroughan once in the chest and once in the arm. DiLeonardo then approached the cab, broke a window with his gun and struck Moroughan in the face with his weapon, breaking his nose, the report says.
Moroughan has filed a $30 million civil suit that alleges that Nassau and Suffolk police departments conspired to protect the cops at his own expense.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota tells News 12 that criminal charges have not been filed against the involved officers because Moroughan did not want to speak to his investigators, hindering the ability to present the case to a grand jury.