Police are searching for three men who brutally assaulted and robbed an off-duty New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer in the Bronx.
NYPD officer Muhammad Chowdhury, 48, was jogging along Olmstead Ave. in the Bronx neighborhood of Soundview when three suspects stopped him near Lafayette Ave. and attacked him at about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the authorities. The assailants reportedly hit Chowdhury in the head and stole his wallet, keys and phone before fleeing the area in a black Honda sedan driven by a getaway driver.
The off-duty officer was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in critical condition after he was found lying on the sidewalk and bleeding from his left ear. He suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.
On Wednesday, Nadira Sherin, Chowdhury’s wife, said his condition has improved, noting that he is out of a medically induced coma.
“He got his senses and he is doing well. He is responding to his wife,” Jamil Ahmed, a nephew of Chowdhury, said. “He’s speaking, responding to his wife and doctor.”
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“The family is shocked. They didn’t expect this,” Ahmed added. “The police officers who are the public servants and are our protectors — if they are getting attacked, how are we safe in the city?”
The suspects have assaulted and robbed at least 19 people in the Bronx and Queens since Aug. 1, according to the police. They reportedly started with carjackings before robbing people on the street. The attack on Chowdhury is the latest incident linked to the suspects.
“You cannot let these men out the same day that they are arrested,” Sherin told the New York Post. “Punish them. If they release them the same day, that is not justice for my husband.”
“He (made) the city his priority and he did 18 years of service for this city,” she added. “He deserves to be given justice. He does not deserve to be attacked like this.”
Mohammed Ali, a friend of Chowdhury’s, blamed the violent crimes across the city on New York’s bail reform laws.
“I don’t hold the criminals responsible for this, I hold the politicians that are responsible,” Ali told Daily News. “Same guys doing this again and again. Police officers are fed up arresting them and they come out through the other door.”
Police are still searching for the suspects. The family of the victim will be organizing a Bronx protest to demand justice for Chowdhury, according to Ahmed.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.