NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NYC Councilman Daniel Halloran says NYPD Traffic Officer Daniel Chu used his red light and swerved through a Queens neighborhood at high speeds – all in a rush to get a coffee at Dunkin Donuts!
A traffic officer is under investigation, accused of acting above the law.
It all began when a city councilman allegedly caught the agent doing something extremely illegal: using his flashing red lights, and speeding, to buy coffee!
It wasn’t a red light camera, but a red-haired councilman who caught traffic agent Daniel Chu red-handed, waltzing out of a Dunkin Donuts the other day with a cup of coffee.
“He is livid,” City Councilman Daniel Halloran said.
Chu apparently didn’t like being caught on candid camera, so he whipped out his ticket book and handed the councilman a $165 ticket for what Halloran says are trumped-up charges.
“He says, ‘you’re going to take pictures of me? Well, I’m going to write you a summons,’” Halloran said.
But that’s only part of the story. A few minutes earlier, Councilman Halloran decided to follow Chu through the quiet streets of his Whitestone, Queens neighborhood after Chu put on his flashing red lights, as if to rush to an emergency.
“He was on a cell phone, talking while this was going on,” Halloran said.
The “emergency” soon became apparent.
“He was in a rush to get a coffee coolata at Dunkin Donuts, and felt he could blow stop signs, speed, swerve in traffic,” Halloran said.
Halloran says he couldn’t believe a traffic agent would break so many laws.
“This guy is running around in a police department vehicle at high rates of speed, careening through a neighborhood, to get to Dunkin Donuts,” Halloran said. “I think there’s a real problem with that.”
It turns out that Officer Chu has something of a history in the neighborhood. Former NYPD cop Tim Dillon told CBS 2 he was a pallbearer at Gleason’s Funeral Home when Chu showed up.
“The family was getting ready to transfer the body from the funeral home to the church,” Dillon said. “The traffic agent felt that they were all double-parked. There was a confrontation – he started yelling and screaming at the family members.
“Traffic Agent Chu had a cigarette in his mouth, screaming at everybody. He took his cigarette and flicked it toward the area of the family and indiscriminately just started scanning the cars up and down, cursing at them, yelling at them,” Dillon said.
There’s another thing to consider: if a police officer had seen the traffic agent talking on his cell phone, speeding, and blowing through stop signs, it could have netted him 18 points on his license – and after 11 points, your license gets revoked.
Councilman Halloran is demanding a review of every ticket written by Officer Chu. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the case is under investigation.