An Ivy League graduate celebrating his last day of work at Yelp assaulted an NYPD officer in Manhattan before a pair of good Samaritans jumped in to subdue him, authorities said Sunday.
Cornell grad Eric Cho, 23, was walking back to his Kips Bay home after a boozy night out with friends when he stepped in front of an unmarked cop car on E. 28th St. near Third Ave. and refused to move around 1 a.m. Saturday, police sources said.
When the cops hit the siren, Cho went to the driver’s side window and grabbed the cop behind the wheel by the throat, making it difficult for him to breathe, and socked him with a fist in the chest, according to sources and court papers.
The cop and his partner attempted to arrest Cho but he flailed his arms and kicked in the chest the cop whose neck he grabbed, police and prosecutors said.
That's when a pair of good Samaritans who saw what was going on hopped out of their car to assist the cops, finally subduing Cho, sources said.
“I saw him kick one of the officers,” said one of the good Samaritans, Armand Gega, 31, a former auxiliary cop in Queens.
“He had to be mixed martial arts trained, the way he was swinging,” said Gega. “It took four of us to apprehend him. Everything happened so quick.”
The cop Cho allegedly attacked has been on the force for more than four years, suffered swelling to his wrist and shoulder, scratches to his left ankle and arm, and substantial pain, according to court papers.
Cho was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a minor cut to his head for psychiatric evaluation. At the hospital, he said he couldn’t remember what happened but was remorseful and asked if he could apologize to the officer, police sources said. He also admitted having six or seven drinks at a nearby bar, the sources said.
He was charged with assaulting an officer, strangulation, resisting arrest and harassment. At his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court, prosecutors requested $10,000 bail but Cho was instead released without bail by a Manhattan judge.
Cho had just wrapped up a job as a Yelp account executive the night he was arrested, said his lawyer and his LinkedIn profile.
“Cops are being injured in record numbers because our city leaders have turned the streets over to the criminal advocates,” Lynch said in a statement to the Daily News. “Our only hope is for right-thinking New Yorkers to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.'”
But Cho’s lawyer, Andrew Hoffmann, said his client was anything but a law breaker and comes from a family that has the utmost respect for law enforcement.