Two NYPD detectives working at an electronic music festival were charged yesterday with stealing a couple of unopened bottles of expensive champagne from concert-goers.
Attendees at the Electric Zoo festival on Randall's Island had ordered the Ace of Spades champagne — worth $2,900 total — from their VIP table, but as soon as they stepped away, the detectives — on drug enforcement duty — swooped in and took them, according to the charges, eventually shoving them into a backpack.
A third detective detected their misconduct but didn't intervene.
From The Washington Post:
Detectives Wojciech Czech and Warren Golden were arraigned Monday and suspended from their jobs. Czech pleaded not guilty to felony charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property; Golden pleaded not guilty to official misconduct, a misdemeanor. Both were released without bail.
A third detective, Jonathan Gonzalez, is due to be arraigned on all three charges later in the week.
"Detective Czech is shocked and saddened by the criminal charges," said his lawyer, Oliver Storch, adding that his client is a 10-year law enforcement veteran who "loves being in the business of protecting and saving lives." …
Some festival attendees who had ordered the Champagne got wise to what had happened and confronted the detectives in front of a festival security officer, who alerted his employer, prosecutors said. The employer notified police. …
All three detectives have been on modified assignments since last fall. The New York Police Department said Monday it would "continue to pursue the facts in this investigation and initiate further discipline where appropriate."
Fortunately for the concert-goers, their pricey bubbles were pulled out of the cop's backpack and returned to them.