cop shoots NYC squeegee man who soaped car: 06/15/98 article FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 19 Jun 1998 17:54:06 -0700 (PDT)


NOTE:  Since the article below was written, Police
Officer Meyer has been charged with atttempted murder.
See http://www.newsday.com/ap/rnmpmt1c.htm
OFF-DUTY COP ARRESTED IN SHOOTING OF BRONX SQUEEGEE MAN


http://www.nypostonline.com:80/061598/news/2509.htm
FWD  New York Post - 06/15/98

     COP SHOOTS SQUEEGEE MAN WHO SOAPED CAR
     By Maggie Haberman

An off-duty cop driving home from the Yankee game
with a friend and her young child yesterday shot and
wounded a Bronx squeegee man who insisted on
cleaning his windshield, police and witnesses said.

Cops would not say what provoked the shooting, which
took place as the officer's frightened friend and her
6-year-old child looked on.

No one was immediately charged.

Sources told The Post that 28-year-old Officer Michael
Meyer was transferred off patrol duty from a busy
Brooklyn precinct a month ago under a new program that
monitors cops with an unusually high number of civilian
complaints.

The violence erupted around 5 p.m. just off the Major
Deegan Expressway at East 138th Street, when Antoine
Reid approached Meyer's car, which was stopped in
traffic about 100 feet from a highway ramp.

"Antoine put soap on the car," witness Lisa Wilson told
The Post.

Meyer yelled at Reid to take the soap off, Wilson said,
and when he didn't, Meyer got out of the car.

"The guy grabbed Antoine by the neck," Wilson said.
"He charged at Antoine and grabbed him by the throat.

"Meyer pulled out his gun and yelled, "I'll cap you! I'll
cap you!'" Wilson said. "He never said he was a
policeman."

Then, she said, one shot rang out.

Meyer told investigators at the scene that Reid struck him
in the mouth with the 2-foot-long stick on his squeegee
and threatened to kill him, sources said.

"Reid was rubbing the soap all over the car, and he
wouldn't stop," a police source said. "There was pushing
and shoving on both sides. The cop definitely felt
threatened."

The bullet entered Reid's chest and exited his shoulder.

Then it bounced off the hood of a car that was driving
back from the Puerto Rican Day parade, another source
said.

The two men and five women in the car - who watched
some of the fight - told cops they didn't think Meyer had
a reason to shoot Reid, the source said.

Police would not say officially what happened between
Meyer and Reid, only that there was an "altercation" that
is under investigation.

Cops refused to give out the results of any drug and
alcohol tests the officer might have taken until their probe
is finished.

But a police source said Meyer was "fit for duty" at the
time of the shooting.

"I really can't express my shock," said Reid's sister,
Sharon Reid-Clemente. "He's not a violent person at all.
That officer shot him at point-blank range."

Reid, who turns 38 today, was in serious but stable
condition at Lincoln Hospital.

Kisha Richardson, Reid's cousin, said she visited him
after his surgery last night.

"He's not able to talk, he has a ventilator in his throat,"
she said. "He could only shake his head and squeeze my
hand," she said.

Meyer was treated for trauma at Jacobi Hospital.

Reid's sister said he used to be homeless, but now lives
with her. He makes money cleaning car windows,
pumping gas part-time and working at a perfume factory,
she said.

"Things weren't going too well for him," Reid-Clemente
said.

"But he's been at that corner for years. All the cops know
him. He doesn't carry weapons. He doesn't hurt people.
He's a kind-hearted person."

But some residents of the Mott Haven neighborhood
where the shooting occurred described the 6-foot-4 Reid
as "emotionally disturbed."

"He's very aggressive," said one neighbor, who did not
want her name printed.

The neighbor said Reid had once gotten angry and broke
the window of a car he was trying to clean.

Meyer, a Long Island resident whose father is a retired
detective, has been on the police force since 1992.

He was moved out of the high-crime 75th Precinct in
Brooklyn's East New York under Commissioner
Howard Safir's recently implemented plan that tracks
CCRB complaints against cops.

Meyer was transferred to building maintenance.

The number and nature of the complaints against the cop
were not immediately available.

Mayor Giuliani has been trying to get squeegee men off
the streets as part of his quality-of-life campaign.

END FORWARD

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