An off-duty Long Island police officer was caught by a bar’s surveillance cameras pulling his department-issued gun and aiming it at a bartender during a confrontation. The officer, Richard Hefferon, was “ordered to surrender all weapons while off-duty after he pleaded guilty in July to third-degree menacing,” according to New York’s CBS Local.
In a recent decision, however, judges ruled that Hefferon would not have to serve any jail time for the incident. Instead, he was issued a $500 fine, 150 hours of community service and court-mandated substance abuse therapy.
The therapy was issued because Hefferon was drinking when the incident occurred in 2011. Since then, the officer has sobered up, according to Newsday.
Charles Ball, the bartender involved in the event, claimed that he was dismayed by the judge’s ruling of no jail time.
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“I’m disgusted. It’s shameful. He should be dismissed. He’s a menace. He plead guilty to menacing. He doesn’t belong in the police department,” Ball said after hearing about the decision.
District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer attributed the incident primarily to Hefferon’s substance abuse, justifying his lack of jail time by citing his commitment to getting sober.
“It was a shame that it took something like this to realize that your life was spiraling,” Fischer said.
Ball, the man most affected by the incident, adamantly maintained his stance towards the ruling.
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“This man is a menace and he remains on the force. He keeps his job and he keeps his pension. Shameful. I’m very disappointed,” Ball said.