PHOTO: Slain Police Officer Vincent Harrison. Photo Courtesy of Facebook/Vincent Harrison
By Michael V. Cusenza
These are trying times for the men and women of the 100th Precinct.
An off-duty cop assigned to the Rockaway outpost was killed on Sunday in a hit-and-run accident in New Jersey, two days after its executive officer suffered a heart attack at his home.
Rookie Police Officer Vincent Harrison, 25, was struck around 3 a.m. on the Jersey Turnpike in Elizabeth. According to reports, Harrison pulled his vehicle onto a southbound shoulder after getting into an accident with another driver. The Valley Stream, LI, native then exited his car, walked up to the driver and got into a verbal dispute with the woman, according to published reports. Harrison then backed away from the car and onto the Turnpike – just as a third auto appeared, blasting Harrison. That SUV came to a brief stop, then sped away, according to New Jersey police.
Harrison was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the SUV surrendered to authorities on Monday. William Espinal-Mejia, 35, has been charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Last Friday, 100th Precinct Capt. Matt Hanrahan was hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest at his Suffolk County home.
Civic leaders and officials reached out to the Rockaway Beach Boulevard stationhouse this week.
“As former president of the 100th Precinct Community Council and an active member of the NYPD Community Partner program, to hear the loss of Officer Vincent Harrison breaks my heart,” Danny Ruscillo told The Forum on Monday. “I send my condolences and prayers to his family, co-workers and friends. Also to hear that the Executive Officer Capt. Matthew Hanrahan of the 100th Precinct suffered a cardiac arrest was shocking; my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family for a full recovery.”
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) said, “These twin tragedies encourage us to remember the quiet, fragile humanity of the men and women in blue who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I wish Captain Hanrahan a full recovery and speedy return to the force.”