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NYPD Sgt. From Putnam Facing Manslaughter Charge

Putnam County resident and New York City Police Department Sgt. Erik Duran, 36, was recently indicted and arraigned on charges related to the death of a man who was fleeing police custody.

Duran was indicted on charges of second-degree manslaughter, first- and second-degree assault, and criminally negligent homicide.

According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, the indictment alleges that Aug. 23, Duran, as an undercover member of the NYPD Narcotics Borough Bronx Tactical Response Unit, forcefully threw a cooler at Eric Duprey as he was driving a motorized scooter, causing his death.

Duran was suspended and placed on modified duty following the incident.

He was arraigned Jan. 23 before State Supreme Court Justice George Villegas, who set bail at $150,000 bond or $150,000 cash. Duran is due back in court in April. He faces 25 years in prison.

According to James, at about 5 p.m. Aug. 23, members of the NBBX team arrived on Aqueduct Avenue between West 190th and 192nd streets in the Bronx to conduct their fourth “buy-and-bust” operation, or undercover drug purchase, of the day. During the operation, NBBX team members encountered Duprey and attempted to arrest him, at which point he got on a motorized scooter to flee.

As he rode the scooter toward West 190th Street, Duran reportedly grabbed a civilian’s cooler off of a nearby table and threw it at Duprey, striking him in the head and causing him to lose control of the scooter.

Duprey then sideswiped a tree before he was thrown from the scooter and hit his head on the curb, landing under a parked vehicle, said James. When medial services arrived, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pursuant to New York Executive Law Section 70-b, the attorney general’s Office of Special Investigation assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed.

Also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer may have caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

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