Thursday, September 10, 2009

Officer Recovering from Tire Iron Attack

Beat Near Queensboro Bridge While Off-Duty

An NYPD officer assigned to the 112th Precinct continues to recover at Manhattan hospital after he was savagely beaten with a tire iron during a road rage incident two weeks ago.

Officer Damian Bartels, 28, was struck repeatedly in the face by a group of three men who had cut him off at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge on August 29, according to police and neighbors. The officer, assigned to the Forest Hills stationhouse, was coming home from Manhattan at about 3:30 a.m. with his girlfriend when the incident occurred.

Bartels was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell, where he underwent 11 hours of surgery last Friday to rebuild his nose, jaw and eye sockets. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly visited with the officer and his family following the operation.

According to a neighbor and congregant at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, the officer’s family is hopeful that Bartels will recover and didn’t lose his eyesight.

A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the three suspects, who fled the scene after the attack. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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