New Rochelle Detective Michael Vaccaro Resorts to Begging for Money

New Rochelle Detective Michael Vaccaro Resorts to Begging for Money

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 12, 2023) — On Thursday, May 11, Patch posted an advertorial, a paid post contributed by a Patch Community Partner, to promote a fundraising pitch for New Rochelle Police Detective Michael Vaccaro. Patch added the caveat the information presented has not been verified by Patch. Obviously not, as the advertorial piles lie upon lie.

FundtheFirst Asks For Support Of Detective Vaccaro: Fundraiser Launched to Support New Rochelle Detective Michael Vaccaro

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On Monday, February 15th, 2021, Michael Vaccaro was involved in an incident while off-duty that resulted in his arrest. He was charged with attempted assault in the third degree and prosecuted by the Westchester County District Attorney. He was acquitted in a bench trial by Judge Matthew J. Costa in New Rochelle City Court. That much is true.

The advertorial begins with a lie.

The anonymous author claims Vaccaro, observing a violent incident between a male outside his car and a female insider her car, “successfully drew the attacker's attention away from the woman”.

CCTV video presented at Vaccaro’s trial depicted Vaccaro attempting to video record the verbal altercation, as he told investigators. He did not intervene. He did not call the police. He did nothing. He sat in his car next to a gas pump and watched.

The woman drove off. The man walked back to his car. The incident Vaccaro had been watching ended. Only after the altercation ended did the man notice Vaccaro aiming his phone camera at him.

Vaccaro later told investigators he pushed the wrong button on his phone so only took a still photo so did not make a video recording of the incident. He could not even do that right.

The “organizers of the fundraiser for Detective Vaccaro on” describe Vaccaro as taking “heroic actions” “and saving a woman from being attacked”. They claim Vaccaro’s actions “exemplify bravery and dedication”. Hardly.

There was nothing heroic about Vaccaro’s actions that day: he failed to intervene in a verbal altercation between a man and a woman, drove away when the man approached him, damaging the gas pump nozzle inserted into his car as he did so, then drove into another car on Main Street in his rush to flee the scene, then after being chased around the streets of New Rochelle, he inflamed the situation further even though another officer was separating Vaccaro from the man; once the man was put under control by other officers, he repeatedly struck the man, then went back for more after other officers had the man under control.

Put simply, Vaccaro is an immature prat, a coward, and someone who should never have been allowed to wear a badge or carry a gun.

I attended the Vaccaro trial. I know that Andrew Quinn, Vaccaro’s defense attorney, did a masterful job portraying Vaccaro’s actions as reasonable and consistent with his training. Quinn convinced the judge with a cogent, frame-by-frame analysis of the infamous cell phone video. As a legal matter, Quinn was highly effective. That said, ultimately, anyone viewing the cell phone video of the incident must consider what was in Vaccaro’s mind that day. Given his track record of juvenile behavior (and 17 sustained disciplinary charges, one for each year of his career as a New Rochelle Police officer), it is hard to watch the video and not conclude that Vaccaro was angry, waited until it was safe for him to do so, then took numerous shots at what by then was a defenseless man.

The Westchester County District Attorney's Office did not arrest Vaccaro for “defending himself”. Vaccaro was the protagonist.

After the trial ended, the City of New Rochelle filed papers to terminate Vaccaro, which he and his friends now characterize without explanation as “unfair and politically motivated”. They are calling on the NRPD to reinstate Detective Vaccaro immediately.

Vaccaro’s departmental hearing was scheduled to begin in September 2022, to run for two or possibly three days, so it would have ended in October 2022. The final hearing date was two days ago, Wednesday, May 10, 2023.

Post-hearing briefs are due three weeks after receipt of the final transcript. The Hearing Officer expects to complete the process as soon as possible, so there may be a decision within 60 days.

The reason the hearing process has dragged out for 8 months, with another two months to go, is the same as it has been throughout since the day of the incident on Monday, February 15th, 2021: the conduct of Michael Vaccaro.

Vaccaro has deliberately dragged out the process, presumably because he knows his termination will be sustained, and he wants to accumulate service time towards his retirement as long as he can. He has sought, and been granted, one postponement after another. He had had no incentive to complete the hearing process because he was being paid his full salary to do nothing.

Several months ago, after Vaccaro sought yet another adjournment, the hearing officer granted a request by the City to remove Vaccaro from the payroll during the adjournment period.

Detective Vaccaro is not “in the middle of an ongoing departmental hearing”, the hearings ended two days ago, the day before Patch published Vaccaro’s tin-cup rattling polemic.

Vaccaro is currently off the payroll through his own decisions to stonewall the hearing process. His legal fees continue to mount due to his own decisions to stonewall the hearing process.

Not explained is the role of the New Rochelle PBA, which typically provides legal support to officers facing disciplinary proceedings, including termination hearings. Is the PBA not paying Vaccaro’s legal expenses? If not, why not?

Vaccaro went off payroll in February 2023, about 10 weeks ago, and in just that short time Vaccaro is in a significant financial crisis? Is there no PBA fund? What about unemployment insurance?

The anonymous author closes by saying Vaccaro supporters “continue to fight to get Detective Vaccaro's job back” even though a decision is months away.

Apparently, they know something the public does not — that Vaccaro fared poorly in the hearings, and he expects to be fired.


Michael Vaccaro – Malik Fogg Archive

Tin Cup

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