NYPD Detectives Go to Court Over Allegedly Stealing Bottles of Jay-Z’s Champagne During Music Festival
Yesterday, a Manhattan District Attorney announced the indictment of three NYPD detectives. The men are being charged with stealing bottles of champagne worth $2,900 from the VIP area of the Electric Zoo Music Festival. The indecent took place back in September, however, more details have emerged with this indictment.
The 33-year-old Jonathan Gonzelez, 44-year-old Wojciech Czech and 31-year-old were allegedly involved in the theft of bottles of Jay-Z’s champagne brand Ace of Spades which is also owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy. The detectives were on duty for narcotics enforcement in the VIP section of the music festival when the incident occurred.
According to court documents, festival attendees ordered Ace of Spades to their VIP table. When the attendees stepped away, Gonzalez swiped two of the unopened bottles. He then set the bottles of champagne on a table where Czech and Golden were standing.
Gonzalez retrieved a backpack and Czech handed him the bottles to put into the bag. Reportedly, Golden did nothing to prevent the crime from taking place.
The detectives left when the group returned to their table, but one of the attendees witnessed the theft. The men were stopped by festival security when attempting to go into a restricted staff-only area.
After being stopped, Gonzalez identified himself as a police officer and insisted they could pass. Around this time, two of the VIPs confronted the detectives with the security officer as a witness.
Security retrieved the champagne from Gonzelez’s bag and returned it to the festivalgoers. Then, the security officer’s employer notified the NYPD of the indecent.
“In addition to the alleged theft that occurred, none of these Officers stepped up and stopped this activity. Public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while on duty and following the same rules that apply to everyone else,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr.
“As a result of the continuing joint investigation with the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, two NYPD officers were arrested and subsequently suspended from duty today,” said a spokesperson for the NYPD according to the Post.
The statement continued, “The NYPD will continue to pursue the facts in this investigation and initiate further discipline where appropriate.”
Gonzalez and Czech face charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Also, Golden and Gonzalez were charged with official misconduct.
“The charge is simply not supported by the facts and the DA’s office should never have brought this allegation against Officer Golden,” said, the attorney for Golden, Jacob Weinstein according to Insider.
As reported by Insider, Czech’s attorney, Oliver Storch said, “Det. Czech has pleaded not guilty and asks the public to withhold judgment until these charges can be fully addressed in the appropriate forum.”
It will now be up to the court to determine if the detectives were involved in any wrongdoing.
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