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Off-duty NYPD officer charged in Sagtikos road rage case, cops say

Off-duty NYPD Officer Donald Vale, 38, of Bay

Off-duty NYPD Officer Donald Vale, 38, of Bay Shore, was charged with menacing after he brandished a gun and tailgated a motorist who had cut him off on the Sagtikos State Parkway on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, State Police said. Credit: NYS Police

An off-duty NYPD officer from Bay Shore faces a menacing charge after he allegedly brandished a gun at a motorist and tailgated her after she cut him off on the Sagtikos State Parkway, state police said Tuesday.

Donald Vale, 38, was arrested at his home hours after the Saturday road rage confrontation and charged with second-degree menacing, a misdemeanor, police said. He was released and given a Dec. 5 court date, police said.

Reached by phone at his home Tuesday night, Vale declined to comment. He has been suspended without pay, the NYPD said.

At about 2 p.m. Saturday, Vale was headed southbound on the parkway in a Chevy Tahoe when the other driver cut in front of the off-duty officer’s vehicle in an attempt to merge onto the Southern State Parkway, said Trooper Frank Bandiero, spokesman for the state police on Long Island.

Bandiero said the motorist made the move that sparked the road rage after she and a passenger discovered they were in the wrong lane. Vale then tailgated the other vehicle eastbound on the Southern State Parkway, police said.

“He was behind her when she saw what she thought was a gun,” Bandiero said.

Before Vale sped off, the other driver got his vehicle plate number and reported him to police, authorities said.

In an interview with state police investigators, Vale admitted to the road rage incident, but not to pulling a gun on the other motorist, Bandiero said.

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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