Two cops arrested a man for carrying a loaded gun at a Bronx subway station — then let him keep the weapon in his waistband all the way to the precinct, video and a photo obtained by the Daily News show.
Billy Walters, 37, was nabbed Tuesday after cops caught him sneaking into the 149th St.-Grand Concourse station with a loaded handgun tucked in his pants.
The .45-caliber pistol was still sticking out of Walters’ waist as Officers Nicholas Martinez and Meba Cespedes walked him into Transit District 11, the photo and video show.
The smoking gun photo appeared to violate the NYPD Patrol Guide, which says a thorough search must be conducted immediately before or after a suspect is handcuffed and any weapons and contraband should be removed and safeguarded.
The video shows cops taking the gun off him at a police precinct.
“While these incidents are rare, it exemplifies the dangers associated with even the most routine arrests. The officers of the NYPD are committed to apprehending dangerous individuals and to taking illegal firearms off the streets,” said NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie.
A video obtained by The News shows cops standing with Walters before processing him. One of the officers takes the gun out of Walters’ pants. A sergeant on the scene then reaches into Walters’ waistband and pulls out something black, saying, “S--t, we missed it.”
On Wednesday, the NYPD touted Walters’ arrest as an example of good communication between units within the department — because a Bronx detective squad was looking for him.
“When there is communication like this, the job gets better,” said Capt. Igor Pinkhasov, the commanding officer of Transit District 11. “It’s like putting a puzzle together. One person can do it, but it will take five hours. If you bring in other people with other ideas, you can put it together in 20 minutes.”
“We believe that the firearm we found on him was the one he used in the hospital,” Pinkhasov said. “This is just going to make that case stronger.”
At least one retired cop was irked that Walters was allowed to hold on to the gun as long as he did.
"Based on that photo I am outraged professionally and as a matter of public safety,” said Warner Frey, a retired captain who was commanding officer of the Detective Bureau Investigations Unit and a former commander of Transit District 11.
Walters was charged with theft of services and criminal possession of a weapon.
Police were looking for him after a 42-year-old Lincoln Hospital worker alleged he flashed the gun at her and screamed “I’m going to f--- you up!” on Sept. 5.
Walters has eight arrests on his record, mostly for drug possession, sources said. He was arrested for assault in 2000, cops said.