Police were called to Lexington Avenue in East Harlem for reports of a man shouting and throwing bottles early Monday. Two officers located and apprehended Guiteau Idore, 42, and identified him as requiring medical treatment for his actions. After a brief struggle at the scene, police officers Fausto Gomez and John Chiodi escorted Idore to a nearby hospital for evaluation, with one officer riding in an ambulance alongside paramedic Brendon Hernandez and the other following in a patrol car.
Once at the hospital, The New York Times said, Idore tried to flee. In the ensuing struggle Idore managed to unholster Chiodi's gun and fire two shots, one of which grazed Gomez's foot, police said. Idore's hands were still handcuffed behind his back through the entire ordeal.
Seeing the scuffle, Hernandez jumped in and stripped the weapon from Idore.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly praised Hernandez for his quick actions.
"I understand Mr. Hernandez has aspirations of becoming a New York City police officer," Kelly said Monday. "He certainly demonstrated today that he has what it takes."
As for a handcuffed person being able to get hold of a police officer's holstered weapon and fire it, a department spokesman said it "is very hard to do."
"It's unusual, but it happened," the spokesman said.