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Suspects in Skull-Cracking Bronx Mugging of Off-Duty Cop Wanted for 19 Robberies

Suspects in Skull-Cracking Bronx Mugging of Off-Duty Cop Wanted for 19 Robberies

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The suspects who unleashed a violent attack and robbery on an off-duty NYPD officer that left him with a fractured skull are wanted for a string of at least 19 robberies, according to police.

The latest attack, which involved the off-duty officer, occurred just before 11 a.m. Tuesday, police told NBC New York, when the officer may have been out for a morning jog. Police said that he was approached by three individuals, who repeatedly struck the victim in the head before taking off with his cellphone, keys and wallet — which contained multiple debit cards and forms of ID.

He was discovered by fellow officers lying wounded in the street near the intersection of Olmstead and Turnbull avenues in the Unionport neighborhood, right outside of the P.O. Serrano Playground. Police said he was bleeding from the ear.

The officer, identified as Muhammed Chowdhury, was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he was said to be in critical condition with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, police said. His family told NBC New York on Wednesday that he is making steps toward recovery at the hospital, now able to open his eyes, talk and identify himself.

A cousin told NBC New York that doctors told them that it was touch-and-go for a while, giving him “72 hours that the might recover or might not” before Chowdhury woke up.

“He’s in better shape, I should say. Thank glad he’s in better shape. Who knows what happens next. He was brutally attacked. His head is totally injured,” said Mohammed Ali, a friend of the injured officer. “He’s a very good man, unfortunately what happens was disgusting. We can’t tolerate this.”

The 48-year-old Chowdhury was assigned to Central Park, but was not on duty at the time of the alleged attack. He lives in the Castle Rock neighborhood, in a house he purchased recently (his family’s first house) just a few blocks from where he was attacked.

Police are looking into whether the mugging might be part of an ongoing robbery pattern. Police later released images of three individuals allegedly involved in a string of robberies throughout the Bronx and Queens that have left nearly two dozen people attacked, the latest being against the officer.

Police said that the men are wanted for terrorizing the Bronx and Queens in a total of 19 robberies, saying the men are responsible for several violent car jackings, and allegedly using the stolen cars to commit other crimes.

Sources said that after attacking Chowdhury, an 18-year NYPD veteran, the three men fled in a black Honda Accord with New York license plates.

In a statement, Police Benevolence Association President Pat Lynch said “While we pray at our injured brother’s bedside tonight, police officers across this city are searching for the cowards who did this to him. Make no mistake: we will find them.”

The PBA boss went on to attack the justice system and lawmakers who “refuse to hold criminals accountable — not even a police officer can walk these streets safely.”

There identities of the suspects were not yet made clear. A large ongoing investigation is underway.

“If it was up to me, I would take the law into my own hands for my friend. But the system doesn’t allow that,” said Ali. “You can’t take law into your own hands, You have to work with the law.”

 

A woman who said she recognized the attackers said her family member was also attacked when he went out to get lunch.

“He was blocked in, cornered in at the stop sign. He was told to get out of the car and when he got out, a gun was out right in his temple of his head and they asked him to just give them the car and he let it go,” said the woman, who did not wish to be identified.

Police released these additional images of the suspects allegedly involved in the mugging of the off-duty NYPD officer, which may have been part of the string of robberies in the Bronx and Queens

With the robbers on the street, the victims’ friends and family are asking for the community to help out and speak up, as police continue their search.

“As we pray for the speedy recovery of this injured officer, the NYPD is actively investigating today’s attack on one of their own and is working tirelessly to bring the suspects to justice,” Mayor Eric Adams’ press secretary, Fabien Levy, said in a statement to News 4. “We will continue to work day in and day out to remove violent criminals from off the streets and end the unchecked violence in our city.”

 

This article was first published on NBC New York.



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