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Suffolk cop acquitted of menacing charges, his defense lawyer says

Suffolk police Officer Gregory Hanrahan.

Suffolk police Officer Gregory Hanrahan. Credit: SCPD

A Suffolk County police officer accused of pointing a gun at three women during a 2017 dispute outside a Patchogue bar has been acquitted of menacing charges stemming from the case, his defense attorney said Thursday.

Gregory Hanrahan, 35, was found not guilty Tuesday on three counts of menacing during his bench trial before Judge Paul E. Hennings in First District Court in Central Islip, said Anthony M. La Pinta,  the police officer's attorney.

After the Nov. 5, 2017 altercation, Hanrahan, then a two-year veteran of the department assigned to the Seventh Precinct in Brookhaven Town, was suspended without pay and forced to surrender his handguns, police said at the time.

Hanrahan faced menacing charges after he engaged in a dispute with the women on West Main Street in Patchogue outside The Tap Room bar, officials said. 

Surveillance video captured the altercation, according to court records. Police accused Hanrahan of pointing his weapon in the women’s direction as they walked away.

The video shows the exchange between Hanrahan and the women, before he walked away, La Pinta said. A short time later, one of the women approached Hanrahan, touched his back and then his left arm while he carried the holstered gun in a rear waistband, La Pinta said.

“The intent was not to scare them, the intent was to protect his weapon,” La Pinta said. “He drew the weapon to protect the weapon in a manner to which he was trained in the police academy.”

The women and Hanrahan had been drinking at The Tap Room and didn’t know each other or speak while inside, La Pinta said. The woman who touched Hanrahan did not know he was an off-duty officer or carrying a weapon, La Pinta said.

“He believes he should have never been charged," La Pinta said. "He very much desires to move forward with his career as a police officer.”

Records of the acquittal were sealed following the hearing, La Pinta said. Attempts to reach the prosecuting attorney and judge in the case were unsuccessful.

Hanrahan remains suspended without pay pending an internal affairs hearing, La Pinta said.

Suffolk police declined to comment Thursday night.

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