Updated 03/13/2011 05:46 PM
NYPD Officer Killed While Responding To Domestic Violence Call
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
A New York City Police Department officer responding to a domestic dispute early Sunday morning died after allegedly being shoved over a railing by the suspect and falling nine feet.
Police say at around 4:30 a.m., Officer Alain Schaberger, 42, was removing the 42-year-old suspect, George Villanueva, from his home on St. Marks Place in Boerum Hill and attempting to handcuff him, when Villanueva allegedly pushed him over a railing and down a flight of cement stairs.
According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Schaberger struck his head on the cement and broke his neck. He was pronounced dead at Lutheran Hospital in Sunset Park.
Schaberger and fellow officers were responding to a for help from Villanueva's estranged girlfriend, who said he was threatening to kill her. Officials say Villanueva had 28 prior arrests and had spent some time in prison.
"All too often it comes down to what it did today, a victim, a perpetrator with a long history of violence and brave police officers and that's what happened this morning,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Alain Schaberger gave his life trying to save others.”
“The real shame here is that once the officer was down that he didn't stop, he didn't calm down,” said neighbor Sabine Aronowsky. “And I think that really delayed the other officers getting him the medical attention he needed."
Villanueva had to be Tasered. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital. Charges against him are pending.
Villanueva's uncle, Ely Figueroa said he was with his nephew for hours before the incident and didn't notice anything unusual.
"Nothing at all. We ate, had a couple of beers, watched a movie,” said Figueroa. “He never said anything about being mad or trying to hurt anybody."
Schaberger was a 10-year veteran of the police force. He also served in the United States Navy.