The NYPD detective whose recorded tirade against an Uber driver went viral this week apologized for his actions Friday in a televised interview with a New York City television station.
Patrick Cherry, a Sayville resident who until the incident served in the NYPD’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, told an NBC 4 New York reporter that if the driver was in front of him at the moment, he would be apologetic.
“I apologize for yelling, for getting angry for a seemingly not-so-important event,” Cherry said.
Cherry also apologized to the Uber driver’s passenger, Sanjay Seth, who recorded the original video that has since been viewed more than 3.2 million times on YouTube, as well as the public and Bill Bratton, the NYPD police commissioner who publicly reprimanded Cherry after the video came to light. Bratton stripped him of his badge and gun and placed him on modified duty.
In the original video of the incident, Cherry is heard saying, "I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that, it's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"
"The only reason you're not in handcuffs, going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do. Because this is not important enough for me. You're not important enough," he also said.
While Cherry did apologize, he painted a different picture of the events that led up to the fiery confrontation. He said he had been using his blinker while trying to parallel park – contradicting Seth’s previously published report – and only got angry after the driver honked and gestured at him, and refused to provide Cherry with his license and registration.
Cherry also denied that race was a contributing factor to the confrontation. The driver told Cherry in the original video that he had been in the United States for “about two years.”
Despite the apology, there has been no report of Cherry being reinstated to full, active duty with the NYPD as of Saturday night, April 4.
Cherry admitted to overreacting, but also added that he felt the response to the video became overblown.
“At the end of the day, this was simply one individual who got angry and yelled,” Cherry said.