Unarmed cab driver calls firing of Nassau Police Officer Anthony DiLeonardo for the ‘greater good’

DiLeonardo admitted to Suffolk investigators that he drank before shooting unarmed cabbie Thomas Moroughan in Huntington in 2011. (5/6/14)

HUNTINGTON - Attorney William Petrillo says his client, cabbie Thomas Moroughan, believes it's for the "greater good" that Anthony DiLeonardo was fired from the Nassau County Police Department.

As News 12 previously reported, DiLeonardo was off-duty when he allegedly fired five shots at Moroughan in February 2011 during a road rage incident in Huntington. Moroughan was initially arrested, but the charges were later dropped. An internal affairs report obtained by Newsday found DiLeonardo "committed 11 counts of unlawful conduct."

No criminal charges have ever been filed against DiLeonardo or the other officer he was with at the time of the shooting.

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DiLeonardo’s attorney Bruce Barket says his client fired the shots in order to defend himself against a car that was driving at him.

Internal affairs investigators contradict the claim saying in a report, "There appears to be no reason for DiLeonardo, who unquestionably was consuming alcohol that evening, to have unholstered his weapon before he started to approach the cab." 

Civil rights attorney Fred Brewington, who is not directly involved in the case, says there should be a criminal investigation, as well as an independent board to oversee the Nassau Police Department.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney says in order to pursue criminal charges, they need access to the internal affairs report and the testimony of Moroughan. A federal judge has blocked their request for the report. Moroughan's attorney says his client has chosen not to file a testimony because he wants to move on with his life.

He has filed a civil suit against the county.

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