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Former NYPD cop's bail revoked in off-duty fatal shooting in Farmingdale

Errick Allen, the now-former NYPD rookie who authorities

Errick Allen, the now-former NYPD rookie who authorities said shot his childhood friend to death in May 2020, leaves Nassau County Courthouse after being arraigned on Friday August 20, 2021 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A judge revoked a former NYPD officer's bail Friday during his arraignment on a murder indictment more than a year after authorities say the defendant shot his childhood friend to death in a wooded area of Farmingdale.

Errick Allen, 28, of North Massapequa, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, manslaughter and menacing in the May 2020 homicide of Christopher Curro as a prosecutor revealed new details of the case while lobbying for the defendant to be remanded to jail.

The two childhood friends exchanged angry text messages, with Curro taunting Allen "mercilessly" in the days leading up to the May 12 shooting, before they agreed to meet in the woods, said state Assistant Attorney General Kristen Bitetto.

While Curro came unarmed, Allen brought his NYPD service weapon and took it out and fired a shot within minutes of their meeting, according to the prosecutor.

Curro, 25, of West Babylon, video recorded himself confronting Allen about the gunshot, before Allen confirmed that he had a gun and did shoot at Curro, Bitetto also said. Then the victim made a call that resulted in an audio recording of the gunfire that ended his life, according to the prosecutor.

"At this point Mr. Curro called 911 and told the operator a man with a gun was shooting at him. However, Mr. Curro quickly stopped speaking and less than one minute into this call, five gunshots may be heard in quick succession," added Bitetto, who is handling the case as a special prosecutor.

Four of the gunshots, fired at close range, hit Curro's head and neck before he died instantly and Allen fled, the prosecutor also said.

Authorities said previously that Allen returned to the Langdon Road scene about 30 minutes after the shooting and admitted he shot Curro, a fellow Farmingdale High School graduate.

On Friday, defense attorney Anthony La Pinta told acting State Supreme Court Justice Francis Ricigliano that his client's actions were justified.

"This is clearly a self-defense case," he said, while lobbying for Allen to remain free.

La Pinta cited Allen's parental support and what he called his client's record of compliance with release conditions, which have included a $500,000 bond, electronic monitoring and a curfew that another judge imposed last fall.

Prosecutors said then that Allen had threatened to kill himself and was hospitalized on a suicide watch after a police dog found him hiding in a shed on Oct. 19. After that episode, the case's previous presiding judge ordered Allen to continue psychiatric treatment and required monthly reports from Allen's mental health provider.

On Friday, Ricigliano cited "that nature and the severity of the allegations" against Allen and the indictment while explaining his decision to remand the former cop. The NYPD fired the rookie officer after his arrest.

The judge also agreed to request protective custody for Allen at Nassau's jail after La Pinta appealed for such a measure.

La Pinta said after court that the defense may appeal the judge's decision to hold Allen without bail.

The defense attorney said Curro's angry texts bolster Allen's self-defense contention, which he said also is "clearly supported by the physical evidence." He previously said detectives took photos showing injuries Allen suffered that night — with Allen telling police that Curro had banged Allen's head on the ground.

"We look forward to trying this case and having Mr. Allen vindicated," La Pinta added Friday.

Susanne Curro, the victim's mother, said in a phone interview that she was pleased Allen was going to jail.

"I was praying for this," she added. "... I just want to make sure that justice is done for my son."

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