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New Rochelle Police Detective May Lose Job Over Assisting With Arrest While Off-Duty Despite Being Acquitted By Judge

New Rochelle, NY – A veteran New Rochelle police detective who defended himself and struck a suspect while assisting with an off-duty arrest in 2021 is facing possible termination from the police force.

New Rochelle Police Department (NRPD) Detective Mike Vaccaro, a 17-year law enforcement veteran, was acquitted in July on a misdemeanor attempted assault charge in connection with the incident, The Journal News reported.

New Rochelle City Judge Matthew Costa concluded prosecutors failed to prove Det. Vaccaro was attempting to injure Malik Fogg during the Feb. 15, 2021 brawl.

Costa also concluded the detective’s use of force that day was justified, The Journal News reported.

Despite his acquittal, the City of New Rochelle has reportedly brought him up on department charges and is seeking his termination.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Feb. 15, 2021, when off-duty Det. Vaccaro spotted Fogg punching the windshield of a woman’s vehicle at the SuperGas station on Main Street, The Journal News reported.

Investigators later determined the woman was Fogg’s mother.

When Fogg realized Det. Vaccaro was recording the attack with his cell phone, he became enraged and demanded to know why he was being recorded, The Journal News reported.

Det. Vaccaro did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer and drove away from the store, at which point Fogg got into another vehicle and began chasing him, according to police.

The off-duty detective called 911 about the incident, as did Fogg’s mother.

The detective drove several blocks down Main Street before spotting fellow NRPD Officer Matthew Velasco, The Journal News reported.

When Det. Vaccaro stopped his car, Fogg got out and stormed towards his vehicle, demanding that he get out and calling him a “coward n-word,” according to court documents.

“I’ll beat the (expletive) out of you!” Fogg declared four times while Officer Velasco tried to move him away from Det. Vaccaro, The Journal News reported.

Fogg continued to yell as Officer Velasco attempted to take him into custody, according to court documents.

Cell phone video showed Det. Vaccaro then stepped in and grabbed the suspect’s arm, at which point Fogg balled his hand into a fist and raised it up, The Journal News reported.

But before he could punch the off-duty detective, Det. Vaccaro hit him in the face two times.

A third NRPD officer arrived at the scene at that time and Fogg was ultimately subdued and arrested, The Journal News reported.

Fogg was initially charged with multiple offenses in connection with the incident and for the attack on his mother, but most of those charges were later dropped, according to the paper.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor traffic violation.

Fogg has since filed a federal lawsuit against the City of New Rochelle, the NRPD, and Det. Vaccaro, The Journal News reported.

Det. Vaccaro was suspended without pay for 30 days over the off-duty incident and was subsequently placed on paid administrative leave.

His disciplinary hearing is reportedly slated to take place this week.

Det. Vaccaro’s family and friends have created a petition in an effort to help the longtime detective keep his job so he can complete his 20 years of service with the NRPD.

Click here to sign the petition in support of Det. Vaccaro.

You can see video from the arrest in the newscast below:

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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