An NYPD lieutenant assigned to thwart gun violence in the Bronx was shot in the ankle after a long struggle with a well-known gang banger, Commissioner Dermot Shea said early Saturday.
The drama unfolded just before midnight when cops responding to a 911 call near Lyman Place and East 169th Street spotted a man they thought was carrying a weapon, and hopped out to investigate, Shea said during a 4 a.m. news conference.
But the suspect, identified by sources as reputed gang member Jerome Roman, 26, took off when he spotted the officers get out of the unmarked police car, prompting a brief chase.
The four officers caught up to Roman after about 50 feet, and during a “violent struggle” which took anywhere from five to eight minutes, Roman allegedly fired off a shot that hit the lieutenant in the ankle, an injury Shea described as a “through and through wound.” The bullet then kept going and struck a nearby parked car, the commissioner added.
Luckily, it was the only shot the suspect was able to fire, because the gun jammed, Shea said, when a shell casing got “stovepiped” inside the weapon. Police later found a 9mm Smith & Wesson with 12 live rounds.
“I have to commend the four officers for the incredible restraint shown on video,” said Shea, who said the video would be released in the coming days.
The NYPD has not publicly identified the suspect, but Shea described him as a “well-known to us gang member” with a lengthy rap sheet.
Roman, an apparent member of the Lyman Place Bosses, has 25 arrests under his belt, including eight felonies and 17 misdemeanors. He was nabbed in November for criminal possession of a semi-automatic pistol and has another weapons charge from August 2016, along with a sealed, “gang-related” murder arrest from December 2014, law enforcement sources said. His criminal history includes charges for menacing, gang assault, and other offenses.
Nearly all of Roman’s arrests occurred in the 42nd Precinct, which also contains Claremont, Crotona Park East, and Crotona Park. He was a victim of a shooting in the precinct area in 2018 and an alleged perpetrator of one there in 2014, the police sources said, who added that Roman is on the NYPD’s criminal possession of a weapon recidivist list.
The suspect was not hurt. The lieutenant was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he was treated and released and is expected to make a full recovery, Shea said. The other three cops were treated for “minor, bumps and bruises,” the police commissioner said.