The teenage son of a retired NYPD commander has been arrested for driving his BMW through a group of protesters in the West Village, injuring one of the demonstrators, police sources said Thursday.
Justin Burgos, 18, was behind the wheel of his BMW when a group of protesters blocked the street with their bicycles near Bleecker and W. 10th Sts. about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.
The protesters were demonstrating near the Sixth Precinct stationhouse, demanding that Sgt. Joseph Cuervo be fired for allegedly assaulting a gay Black man back in 2013.
Video from the scene shared on social media shows the BMW driver honking his horn as he tries to barrel through the blockade. When a bike falls under the BMW’s front wheel, a cop pulls it away as protesters begin to encircle the car.
A moment later, the Staten Island resident allegedly accelerated through the crowd, clipping two protesters as he sped away.
“Someone just ran their car into #FireCuervo protesters right outside of NYPD’s 6th precinct,” wrote Twitter user @AshAgony, who posted the video. “NYPD came & ripped a protester’s bike out of the car’s way before the car went through & hit protesters as it sped off. Protesters ran after the car & then cops ran after them & the car.”
Police stopped Burgos near the intersection of Grove and Bleecker streets and charged him with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless endangerment, fleeing an officer in a vehicle and other charges. He was freed without bail at arraignment Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court.
An 18-year-old protester hit by the BMW was treated at the scene for an injured right knee, police said.
Burgos is the son of an NYPD deputy inspector who retired from the department in 2018, a police source with knowledge of the case said.
In 2015, Cuervo, who at that time held the rank of officer, and a handful of other cops were sued by Michael Watson for mocking him with homophobic slurs when they found a sex toy in his possession following a marijuana bust in the West Village.
The officers allegedly threw Watson to the floor and punched and kicked him when he talked back to the cops, the lawsuit alleges.
Watson received a $150,000 settlement from the city in February 2017, records show. The deal did not include an admission of wrongdoing from the NYPD.
With Maggie Flahive