Cop investigated for throwing cooler at fleeing drug dealer who drove motorcycle on NYC sidewalk
Surveillance video reviewed by The New York Times shows the man then driving up onto the sidewalk toward a group of about 10 people sitting at a table, according to police
August 29, 2023 8:25am
Updated: August 29, 2023 8:25am
A motorcyclist fleeing from New York City police officers died on Wednesday after a sergeant threw a cooler at his head, causing a crash, authorities said.
Eric Duprey, 30, was trying to sell narcotics to a group of undercover police officers at around 5:28 p.m. near 192nd and Aqueduct Streets in the Bronx. Police tried to arrest him at the scene, but another individual, who has not yet been identified, brought him a motorcycle, on which he fled on.
Surveillance video reviewed by The New York Times shows the man then driving up onto the sidewalk toward a group of about 10 people sitting at a table, according to police.
As Duprey approached the group of people on the motorbike, the police sergeant threw a white picnic cooler at the suspect’s head, purportedly to stop him.
The impact of the cooler caused Duprey to lose control of the bike and hit a tree and a car, before falling on the ground.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene at around 5:31 p.m. to provide first aid. However, Duprey was pronounced dead at the scene a few minutes later, according to police and New York Fire Department officials. The city’s medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
The sergeant who threw the cooler, identified later as 13-year veteran of the department Erik Duran, was suspended without pay hours after the incident took place. In September, Duran joined the Bronx Narcotics Unit, which was carrying out the operation.
“Officers are supposed to be protecting people, not killing people for no reason,” said Duprey’s wife, Oryanis Velez. “I want justice for my husband.”
The incident is being investigated by New York Attorney General Letita James.
“The NYPD is committed to ensuring there will be a full, thorough, and transparent investigation of this incident to determine the facts and to take the appropriate steps forward,” said a press release from the New York Attorney General’s Office.