Off-duty cop shot in struggle with domestic violence suspect
An off-duty NYPD officer was shot late Sunday night as he tried to break up a domestic violence dispute in Queens, police said.
Joseph Koch was leaving a party when an 11-year-old boy came out of a nearby home shouting for help, saying his mother was being assaulted inside, cops said.
The boy’s mother reportedly told police that assailant broke into her apartment and burst into the room where she was with her son. The attacker reportedly began punching the woman in the face repeatedly, knocking her into a wall, she told police.
Cops said her son tried to stop his mother’s alleged attacker but the attacker punched the boy in the face and kocked him to the ground. He turned back to the boy’s mother and continued punching and kicking her in her face, head and body, police said.
That is apparently when the boy ran for help, encountering Koch.
The boy’s mother told police that Koch appeared in the doorway. She said she recognized he was a police officer because he had his gun drawn and she could see his badge.
The victim said that Koch told her assailant to stop and put his hands up, but the assailant lunged at the officer, attacking him.
The two struggled for the gun and three shots were fired, police said.
Koch was struck once in his left hand and the suspect was struck once in the lower abdomen. No one else was shot. Both Koch and the suspect were taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition. The domestic violence victim was also taken to Jamaica Hospital where she was treated for a laceration to the head, cops said.
The suspect, who has been identified as Jose Bernazard, 40, has been arrested and charged with five counts of assault, five counts of criminal contempt, aggravated harassment, burglary, endangering the welfare of a child, and resisting arrest.