A NYPD precinct commander was suspended after a crash with a cab driver, and DWI is being looked into.
The Daily News has learned that a veteran NYPD precinct commander has been taken off the job because a city taxi driver said he was driving drunk.
According to an internal memo shared with The News, Deputy Inspector Paul Zangrilli, who was in charge of the Fifth Precinct in Chinatown, was suspended without pay on August 17 “pending trial of charges under the administrative code.”
Police sources say that the 17-year veteran may have been drunk when he hit the TLC vehicle in Manhattan with his NYPD-issued cruiser. No one said where exactly the crash happened.
Sources say that the cab driver, who got a minor injury in the crash, said Zangrilli was drunk, but the officers who came to the scene didn’t agree and sent the inspector on his way after filling out an accident report.
The cab driver was helped right where he was hurt. No one else was hurt in the accident, and it wasn’t clear right away if the TLC vehicle had been damaged.
After the crash, Zangrilli went back to the Fifth Precinct station house, got in his own car, and drove home. After a few hours, detectives from the Internal Affairs Bureau went to talk to him about the crash, but they couldn’t find him right away, sources said.
A high-ranking NYPD source said that Zangrilli was “fit for duty” on the night in question, so the department suspended him while IAB continues its investigation.
The inspector has not been charged with any crime.
Before being sent to the Fifth Precinct in 2019, department officials said Zangrilli worked in the Bronx. Last year, as precinct commander, he made $197,000.
In his 17 years as a cop, civilians have filed five complaints against him, three of which were for abusing his power. However, department records show that he was either cleared or the claims against him could not be proven.
When Zangrilli’s phone rang on Friday, a man said that the inspector was “not available” to talk about the suspension.
A TLC spokesman wouldn’t say anything about what happened and told people to ask the NYPD. A message sent to the NYPD by email was not answered right away.