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Queens Chronicle

Guilty in shooting of off-duty cop

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Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 12:53 pm

An Ozone Park man who shot an off-duty police officer coming to the aid of a woman who was being beaten in 2013 has been convicted of second-degree attempted murder and other charges.

Jose Bernazard, 42, shot former NYPD Officer Joseph Koch in his hand on June 16, 2013 as Koch responded to cries for help from the son of a woman Bernazard was assaulting in her Jamaica home.

Bernazard, who grabbed for Koch’s off-duty weapon, was shot in the abdomen in the altercation. He faces 50 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on May 3.

A statement by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Koch’s injuries were severe enough to end his career.

Koch was leaving a Father’s Day barbecue on South Street when he heard a boy in the street screaming that his mother was being attacked.

He ran to the woman’s home and confronted Bernazard

“Although the police officer was off-duty ... he adhered to his oath to serve and protect the public by immediately going to the woman’s aid,” Brown said. “During a brief struggle, however, the defendant grabbed the officer’s gun and fired a round, which struck the officer and shattered the bones in his hand.

“Although the young officer was fortunately able to regain control of the situation and effect an arrest, his wound was severe enough to force him to give up what had been his life-long dream of being a police officer, Brown added.

Koch was honored at the White House by President Obama in May 2014, one of 53 Top Cops from across the country chosen by the National Association of Police Organizations.

Bernazard had dated the woman a few times and had been stalking her for about 18 months, assaulting her numerous times and violating protective orders on at least three occasions.

He also was convicted of second- and third-degree assault, first-degree burglary, aggravated criminal contempt, second-degree criminal contempt, criminal obstruction of breathing or circulation, second-degree criminal trespass, fourth-degree criminal mischief and first-degree stalking.

Brown’s office said Bernazard stalked the woman between January 2012 and June 2013. 

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