Updated Monday, Jan. 26, 9:57 a.m.
Police have arrested a man in the assault of an off-duty NYPD officer outside a St. Albans supermarket less than 24 hours after releasing video footage of the suspect.
“The defendant is accused of allowing a relatively minor bumping incident in a supermarket — to which he was not even directly involved — to rapidly escalate into a violent assault that resulted in him causing serious physical injury to his victim,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The accused attacker, Tommie Williams, 27, of Jamaica, was arraigned on Friday on assault and harassment charges, according to the district attorney’s office.
The victim, a 42-year-old off-duty cop, was at the Pathmark on Springfield Boulevard near 132nd Avenue at about Monday afternoon when he accidentally bumped into Williams’ girlfriend, according to Brown. Williams confronted the officer, telling him that he would be outside waiting for him.
As the officer was walking to his car, Williams came up to him, punched him in the face, causing the officer to fall to ground, authorities said. Williams then got into a vehicle. When the cop tried to approach the car and take a photo of it with his cell phone, Williams allegedly punched him and he fell to the ground again. Williams then fled in the vehicle.
The officer had to undergo surgery for facial fractures, which required a metal plate and metal wires to be placed in his face.