A man who was placed in a chokehold by a cop on a Queens boardwalk June 21 was arrested himself on Tuesday in The Bronx – charged with a hate crime after he allegedly harassed two gay men, hurling anti-gay slurs at them as he tried to steal their Louis Vuitton bag with a box cutter, police sources told DailyMail.com.
Ricky Bellevue, 35, and another man allegedly approached a gay couple, aged 27 and 30, on the sidewalk at East 149th Street and 3rd Avenue in the South Bronx at about noon on Tuesday, sources said.
Bellevue followed the couple up the street, while calling them ‘fa**ot’ and ‘Ba**man,’ a Jamaican slur for gay man. He then brandished a box cutter and tried to grab one of their designer bags. The men resisted, and a fight broke out.
The 27-year-old man was cut in the face and both hands with Bellevue’s box cutter and treated for minor injuries.
Bellevue was charged with robbery as a hate crime, a felony. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he was put on suicide watch, a source said.
Ricky Bellevue, seen in a Brooklyn jersey, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with a hate crime. The other man in this video is unidentified
Bellevue, 35, made headlines last month when an NYPD cop put him in a chokehold during arrest eight days after the move was banned in the state
Bellevue was thrown to the floor after confronting officers on Rockaway Beach in New York
Just two weeks ago the New York Police Department suspended the officer for slamming a Bellevue to the ground and putting him in a chokehold – eight days after Governor Andrew Cuomo banned the tactic.
Bellevue, was standing with two white men on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach at 8.45am last month.
The two white men were filming the officers, jeering at them and encircling them.
When Bellevue gets close to the officer, bodycamera footage shows him being flung to the floor.
In his left hand he held a white plastic bag, but a policeman said he grabbed something, perhaps with his right hand, and approached the officers. The footage is unclear.
Bellevue then tells a cop: ‘You scared, you scared?’
As he approaches the officer, one of the white men turns to Bellevue and says: ‘Yo, n***** what the f***?’
One of the belligerent men tries to hold Bellevue back, but the officer lunges forward and grabs him, taking him down. A scuffle then ensues.
Photos from the scene appear to show Bellevue being held in a chokehold.
As four uniformed officers restrained the man — who was face-down on the ground — a bystander yelled: ‘Yo, he’s choking ’em, let ’em go!’
Dermot Shea, commissioner of NYPD, said the officer involved had been suspended.
‘Accountability in policing is essential,’ he said.
‘After a swift investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, a police officer involved in a disturbing apparent chokehold incident in Queens has been suspended without pay.
‘While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary.
‘We are committed to transparency as this process continues.’
The NYPD Commissioner swiftly suspended the officer and said an investigation is underway
The New York Daily News named the suspended officer as David Afanador.
Bellevue, who lives with his twin brother in Rockaway, is overheard telling the officers he is bipolar and asthmatic.
‘This is what you do to a black man on Father’s Day?’ he says after he is led to an ambulance.
‘This is what you do in America? I’m born in America.
‘You’re not here to help us. You’re here to kill us. I always get beat up by the police.’
Standing by an EMT vehicle, he complains about his neck.
‘Sir, there is no pressure on your neck,’ one officer is overheard saying.
Bellevue keeps on repeating that he is asthmatic.
A person says: ‘Sir, I am EMS, do you mind if I take a look at your lungs?’
He replies: ‘Get the f*** away from me. You put me on my head. You smacked me, n*****.’
The officer tells him he needs to stop spitting.
‘I’m going to sue y’all,’ he says. ‘I want all your badges.’
Two white men are seen in bodycam footage jeering at the police as Green looks on
A tussle ensues and Bellevue is wrestled to the floor and handcuffed
At least five officers are on the scene at Rockaway Beach
Bellevue is then helped to his feet and, in handcuffs, led towards an awaiting ambulance
While he is being looked at by the EMT, a woman yells: ‘Do you not see that they are mentally ill, as well as he is? This is foolish.’
An officer approaches him and says: ‘Ma’am. They were all acting crazy, right.’
She replies: ‘So how are they not all being detained?’
He says: ‘Let me finish. They are all obviously intoxicated. We know he has a mental history, past. We know he’s bipolar. They were all talking all types of crazy stuff to us, we did nothing, I don’t care – anybody can say whatever they want to us.
‘What changed everything is when he grabbed something and squared up and was going to hit my officer, who’s standing over there. That’s when everything changed.
‘The minute I saw him flex on him, that’s when he goes down. Because we don’t get hurt and we’re not going to leave somebody violent out here who might do that to one of you, or another innocent person.
‘And that’s why he’s in cuffs, and why he’s going to the hospital, because we know he’s ill.
‘The other two were being loud, aggressive, and we don’t like the way they are acting. But they are not acting like they were going to hurt anybody.
She suggests that he was arrested for calling the officers ‘a white piece of s***.’
He continues: ‘If we arrested every person who called me a white piece of s*** I’d have to lock up half the beach.
‘Somebody who is not being violent, we’ll allow you to have your First Amendment rights and go home.
‘Somebody who acts differently towards us or the public, that’s it and we’ll have to take you into custody.’
The NYPD swiftly released bodycamera footage from the incident
Bellevue’s lawyer, Lori Zeno of the Queens Defenders, said recovered at Jamaica Hospital.
‘I want the officer who put him in a chokehold to be in the cell next to him,’ she said at the time. ‘This guy should be charged criminally, and fired.’
Mayor de Blasio called the video ‘very concerning.’
‘We’re glad the NYPD is immediately launching an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened,’ the mayor said.
Letitia James, the New York attorney general, said individuals who use chokeholds could be found guilty of a C felony.
‘It is a very troubling video,’ she said.
She said people had gathered in front of the 100th Precinct to ‘demand justice and accountability’.