Police Officer Alain Scharbarger New York City Police Department New York End of Watch: Sunday, March 13, 2011

Photograph: Police Officer Alain ScharbargerPatch image: New York City Police Department, New York

Police Officer Alain Scharbarger
New York City Police Department
New York

End of Watch: Sunday, March 13, 2011

Biographical Info
Age: 42
Tour of Duty: 10 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Assault
Date of Incident: Sunday, March 13, 2011
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Police Officer Alain Scharbarger was killed when he was
pushed off a stoop by a suspect he was attempting to arrest.
Officer Scharbarger and other officers responded to a call of a
domestic dispute in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. When
they arrived, they were met by a female victim who told them
the suspect had threatened to kill her and that she had an
order of protection again the suspect. Additionally, she told
them that the suspect had run into his home.
Three officers, including Officer Scharbarger, responded to the
suspect’s home. The father of the suspect initially told officers
that his son was not home, but after additional questioning
admitted that his son was inside the house. The officers
entered the house and located the suspect. They removed
him from the house onto a stoop in front, where the victim
identified him.
The officers began to place the suspect under arrest and had a
handcuff on one wrist when a violent struggle ensued. The
suspect pushed Officer Scharbarger backwards with both
hands over a 21-inch railing, causing him to fall nine feet to
the sidewalk below. Officer Scharbarger struck his head and
fractured his neck.
Officer Scharbarger was taken to Lutheran Medical Center
where he died from his injuries.
The suspect was arrested at the scene after being tasered by
other officers.
Officer Scharbarger had served with the New York City Police
Department for 10 years and had previously served with the
United States Navy. He was assigned to the 84th Precinct.

Agency Contact Information
New York City Police Department
1 Police Plaza
Room 1320
New York, NY 10038
Phone: (646) 610-6700
Please contact the New York City Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

A veteran NYPD cop was killed Sunday morning when he was pushed off the front stoop of a Brooklyn brownstone while trying to collar an ex-con for domestic violence, police said.

Police Officer Alain Schaberger, 42, fell about 9 feet and fractured his neck. He was rushed to Lutheran Hospital, where he died.

"He was very well-respected," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said of the 11-year NYPD veteran. "It’s a terrible tragedy."

Schaberger was killed as he and two other cops attempted to handcuff George Villaneuva on the front stoop of his Boerum Hill home shortly before 5 a.m., Kelly said.

The small-time crook had earlier threatened to kill his girlfriend at her home, also in Boerum Hill, Kelly said at a press conference at Lutheran Hospital. She had an order of protection against him.

As the cops led Villaneuva, 42, out of the front door of the brownstone on St. Mark’s Place, his girlfriend got out of a police car and identified him.

The cops then moved to handcuff Villaneuva, who had been drinking earlier. They had already placed one of his wrists into the cuffs when he shoved Schaberger with two hands, Kelly said.

Schaberger fell over a 21-inch railing and tumbled head-first onto the sidewalk.

Both men are the same height – 5-foot-8 – but Schaberger had 20 pounds on his killer, Kelly said.

After the deadly shove, Villaneuva went berserk, and was so violent officers had to Taser him twice.

"I saw a lot of cops trying to subdue the suspect," recalled Sabine Aronowsky, 40, a resident of the block. "It took a while to get him into the [police] car. He wouldn’t get into the car."

Police at the scene said that once Villaneuva was finally placed into a cop car, he tried to smash out a window.

Kelly described Schaberger, a U.S. Navy veteran, as quiet and hardworking. His family and girlfriend visited him at the hospital.

Mayor Bloomberg lauded Schaberger for his bravery in trying to protect a woman from abuse – or worse.

The mayor noted that Schaberger was a member of a 2001 Police Academy class that was forced onto the streets early because of 9-11.

Charges are pending against Villaneuva. He has 28 prior arrests, mostly for robbery and burglary, Kelly said. He was released from a state prison in 2005.

Villaneuva was the aggressor in 12 prior domestic-violence incidents, involving his girlfriend and his mother, Kelly said. He was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend on Feb. 4, Kelly said.

But Villaneuva’s uncle, Ely Figueroa, 62, said the girlfriend later refused to press charges.

"She loves him, I tell you that much," Figueroa said.

The tragedy unfolded Sunday morning after Villaneuva was hanging out with Figueroa and others, drinking beer and watching a boxing match.

"He was calm," Figueroa said, adding that Villaneuva told him about wanting to "straighten up" his wayward ways.

Villanueva left the party about 1:30 a.m. Police said that at 4:22 a.m., Villaneuva’s girlfriend called 911 from a single-room occupancy on Bergen St., where she lives.

"He said he was going to kill me," Kelly said, recalling what the girlfriend said about the crazed Villaneuva. "He said he’s across the street, and is going to kill me, and don’t call the cops."

Villanueva then entered the building and was arguing with the girlfriend, prompting a security guard to call 911, Kelly said.

Villaneuva split before cops arrived. The officers took the girlfriend around the block to Villaneuva’s home, so she could identify him. The officers had to rouse him from sleep.

Kelly said NYPD officers respond to 700 domestic disturbances each day – a number that is often higher on weekend days.

Kelly and Bloomberg lamented how domestic violence incidents can spiral out of control, particularly if the agressor has a history of domestic violence.

"Any police officer will tell you domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous," Kelly said. "They can become violent very quickly."


NYPD officers later lined up in front of the Lutheran to pay their respects. Many openly wept as medics loaded his body into a waiting ambulance.

The ambulance drove out  flanked on both sides by his fellow officers who saluted as the ambulance turned down Second Avenue.

Villanueva was arrested last month on a domestic violence charge involving the same 48-year-old woman, and police have responded 12 times to calls involving the couple.

Commissioner Kelly described Scharberger, a U.S. Navy veteran, as quiet and hard-working. Charges are now pending against Villaneuva.


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