Suspect in Officer Arthur Lopez shooting moved to LI
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The ex-convict who police say fatally shot a Nassau County police officer and a Brooklyn man was transported to Long Island Wednesday and preparations were being made to formally file charges as early as Thursday.
Flanked by two police officers, Darrell Fuller, 33, wearing a yellow shirt and a sling, limped shortly before 5 p.m. from a rear door of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he had been in guarded condition.
More than a dozen members of the media stampeded down 135th Street toward Fuller, who lives in Queens. He did not answer reporters' shouted questions as officers put him into an unmarked police car.
"You coward!" yelled bystander Francisco Hernandez, 32, a factory worker from Jamaica, Queens. "You should have killed yourself!"
When at least seven marked and unmarked Nassau County police cars arrived at police headquarters in Mineola, the vehicle carrying Fuller disappeared into the building's underground garage.
Fuller will be kept overnight in the building and could be arraigned Thursday, officials said.
Police have accused Fuller of Monday's fatal shooting of Police Officer Arthur Lopez of Babylon Village and Brooklyn resident Raymond Facey, 58.
According to police, Facey was shot in the head. His daughter said he had stopped along the Cross Island Parkway to talk on his cellphone.
Lopez, an Emergency Services Unit officer, had been killed during a traffic stop on 241st Street in Floral Park. Officials said that he was shot in the chest and was not wearing his mandatory bullet-resistant vest.
On Wednesday, Nassau police officials strengthened their vest policy, requiring all on-duty officers, not just those in uniform, to wear soft body armor.
Uniformed cops, like Lopez, have been required to wear bullet-resistant vests under a rule imposed in August 2011, but not all officers do. The policy now extends to the whole force. In the past, nonuniformed officers, such as detectives and plainclothes officers, had to only have the vests available.
"We did have a must-wear policy for anybody in a uniform, and that did extend to ESU," said First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.
Failure to wear a vest subjects a cop to discipline, but Krumpter said no one had been disciplined for not wearing the vests.
There can be exceptions made, such as for cops doing undercover work.
Nassau police officer union president James Carver said he will call for an investigation into the reason Fuller was free, despite serving five years in prison for attempted murder, then violating parole on a drug charge in 2010.
"My guy is dead from a guy who was out on parole, and I want to know how this happened," Carver said Wednesday.
According to a law enforcement source, Fuller pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2005 after he and another man got into a fight at a party at Fuller's home in Queens with David MacDonald. He had no criminal record at the time and was sentenced to five years in state prison, followed by five years of parole supervision, officials said. After being released, Fuller violated his parole in March 2010, when he was arrested on felony drug sale and possession charges in Nassau County.
According to John Byrne, a spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, at the time he was arrested Fuller was in a car with another man, who had been the target of an ongoing drug investigation. Byrne said there was not sufficient evidence in the case to prove that Fuller had advance knowledge that a drug deal was happening or that he ever handled the drugs or the money as they were exchanged.
Prosecutors therefore offered Fuller a plea deal to a misdemeanor charge, and Fuller was sentenced to a year in prison, Byrne said. Fuller was released on May 26, 2011, subject to parole supervision, he said.
"The evidence supported the misdemeanor charge and ensured that this defendant would be off the streets, in prison, for at least another year," Byrne said.
Peter Cutler, spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said parole officials were following the law. He said Fuller's sentence on the attempted murder charge was for a specific length of time -- five years.
Cutler said after Fuller pleaded down to a misdemeanor on the drug charges, parole acted reasonably in putting him back in prison for a year.
"The judge hit the parolee hard," Cutler said. "He gave him a year back in prison. Everyone did their job."
A spokesman for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Mangano has drafted a letter to state leaders asking for legislation that would toughen sentences for parole violators.