Bronx, NY – Police have arrested a 21-year-old man who posed for pictures with a handgun beside an occupied New York Police Department patrol vehicle.
Kelvin Rodriguez posted the picture, taken in front of a marked police car from the 45th precinct, to Facebook on Friday along with the caption “Ya see da blixky … stupid dum n****s … f**k da 45th.”
“Blixky” is a slang term for a gun, the New York Daily News reported.
In the photo, another unidentified man can be seen leaning into the window of the police car to talk with the officers inside it, the New York Post reported.
NYPD took the threat seriously and began an immediate investigation.
Officers found Rodriguez on Saturday night, riding a bicycle against traffic on Frisby Avenue near Rowland Street, the New York Post reported.
He was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and criminal possession of a controlled substance initially, police said.
While in custody, investigators were able to confirm that Rodriguez was, in fact, the person posing with the gun in the picture.
Additional charges of criminal possession of a weapon and making terrorist threats were added, according to the New York Post.
Police said that Rodriguez had one previous arrest for criminal possession of a controlled substance in October of 2017.
At arraignment, the judge released him on his own recognizance without requiring bail.
Since his arrest, Rodriguez complained that his arrest may affect his ability to get a job working with small children.
He told the New York Daily News that he feared he would be denied a job opportunity at a preschool after his widely-publicized arrested.
“I was about to become a teacher’s assistant, but this has messed me up,” Rodriguez told the New York Daily News from his residence in the Westchester Square section of the Bronx.
He said he was applying for a job at the Brightside Academy child care center on White Plains Road, and feared that his efforts to become qualified for the position had been wasted.
“I have all my certificates,” Rodriguez said, referring to basic certifications he was required to have in order to qualify for an early childhood development job.
“They’re making me out to be a terrorist … I’m not a monster,” he told the New York Daily News.
Rodriguez said the police found him with the prescription drugs Valium and Xanax when the arrested him. Court papers also showed he’d been in possession of marijuana, according to the New York Daily News.
“I take medication for anxiety and depression. I am diagnosed with schizophrenia,” he said.
But he told the New York Daily News that nobody should be afraid of him.
“There was no threat,” Rodriguez said. “I’m a good kid.”
Police departments across the country have been taking threats made via social media more seriously.
Rodriguez’s picture with that specific pose took NYPD back to a very real and dark place in its recent history when Officer Miosotis Familia was ambushed and murdered in the Bronx in July of 2017.
A source told the New York Post that it could have easily been a “Ramos and Liu situation” if Rodriguez had fired his gun at the unsuspecting officers, referring to the two Brooklyn cops who were assassinated as they sat in a patrol car in 2014.
The killer’s motive was revenge for the self-defense shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO – a shooting which the Obama administration said was legally justified.
Their murders kicked off the Blue Lives Matter movement.
“In light of what’s happened in the last two years, this could’ve been a very bad situation,” another source told the New York Post. “Cops often face verbal threats, this was much more real.”