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Saturday, October 4, 2008

NYPD sergeant charged with shooting up East Side ATM

The New York Daily News by ALISON GENDAR, MIKE JACCARINO AND TRACY CONNOR - October 3, 2008

Hours after accompanying Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to a midtown party, an NYPD sergeant went on a drunken rampage and shot up a cash machine, sources said. Sgt. John Hynes, 35, was arrested and suspended after his bar-hopping escapade on the upper East Side ended in gunplay, the police sources said. Hynes, a member of the Police Department's ceremonial unit, escorted Kelly to New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy's retirement party on Manhattan's Restaurant Row Wednesday. Kelly presented Dunleavy with an appreciation plaque at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grille on W. 46th St. In uniform and on duty, Hynes did not drink at the bash, sources said. Once off the clock, he changed into street clothes, but didn't ditch his 9-mm. gun before hitting bars on the upper East Side - even though NYPD regulations say cops must be unarmed if drunk. Hynes stopped at two taverns before showing up at Brady's on Second Ave., staggering around the bar, clearly aware a gun stuffed in his waistband was visible to everyone, witnesses told cops. "He just walked around to the tables but didn't say anything to anyone," bartender Peter Carew, 31, said Friday night. "Then he went to the men's room, came out, staggered around some more, then left." "I was freaking out. I wasn't going to serve the guy, but I didn't want to have to say no to a drunk with a gun," Carew said. "Thank God nobody tried to take the gun from him and nobody got hurt."

Carew said he called 911 when he heard a gunshot about a minute after Hynes left. Police sources it was sometime after 2a.m., when Hynes walked up Second Ave. to 83rd St., drew his weapon and fired at a building, hitting an ATM chained to a storefront, sources. He was nabbed half a block away. Cops found him sitting on a stoop and seized his 9-mm., which held 13 live rounds. They found a spent 9-mm. shell casing on the ground near the ATM. "It's scary," said Eric Sais, 38, manager of Copyland Center, the store next to the freestanding ATM, which has a bullet hole in front. "It still works," Sais marveled. Hynes, who joined the force in 1997, was arraigned Thursday on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and prohibited use of a weapon. He faces four years in jail, if convicted. He was released without bail. "We've entered a not guilty plea and are doing an investigation," said Anthony DiFiore, a Sergeants Benevolent Association lawyer who represented Hynes. with Kerry Burke

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