Nassau cop who drew loaded gun at bar pleads guilty

Nassau County police officer Richard Hefferon, 48, of Nassau County police officer Richard Hefferon, 48, of Farmingdale, is not expected to serve time in jail after pleading guilty to drawing his service weapon in a Farmingdale bar in 2011, his lawyer said. Photo Credit: News 12 Long Island

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A Nassau County police officer is not expected to serve time in jail after pleading guilty to drawing his service weapon and taking aim at an employee in a Farmingdale bar, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Richard Hefferon, 48, of Farmingdale, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree menacing, a misdemeanor.

Hefferon is set to be sentenced by District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer on Oct. 3.

Nassau police Insp. Kenneth Lack, a spokesman for the department, said Hefferon, who was most recently assigned to the Police Oriented Patrolling Unit in the Sixth Precinct, will remain on the force but will not carry a service weapon.

A spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice declined to comment on the negotiated plea deal. Hefferon had originally been charged with reckless endangerment, also a misdemeanor but a more serious offense.

Charlie Ball, the bar manager Hefferon admitted to menacing, said he was "really disappointed."

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"I had a drunk cop pointing a loaded gun at the back of my head," he said. "He's still on the force? This is crazy."

Robert McDonald, the Mineola attorney representing Hefferon, said the officer has earned a second chance.

"This guy has a stellar record," McDonald said. "One night he made a very bad mistake. After that, he didn't run away from that mistake; he addressed it."

McDonald said Hefferon has undergone extensive alcohol treatment and has "turned his life around."

Hefferon, who was off-duty, had several drinks at the South Main Street Pub in the early morning hours of April 26, 2011, before he aimed his loaded pistol at the manager's head, prosecutors said.

It's unclear what sparked the incident, according to McDonald.

Security video showed the off-duty officer aiming the gun and holstering it. After drawing the weapon again, he removed the ammunition clip and ejected a round from the chamber. He then placed the clip, bullet and handgun on top of the bar.

"I was in total disbelief," Ball said at the time. "Later on, when I saw the tapes, it sunk in. I realized how dangerous it could have been."

With Kevin Deutsch

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