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Story on Policeone.com

Career crook killed robbing undercover NY police

The well-known robber pulled a pellet-gun on two plainclothes cops before being shot

Kirstan Conley , Larry Celona and Selim Algar
The New York Post

QUEENS - Two undercover cops fatally shot a crook in Queens Saturday night after he pointed a pellet gun at them as they arrested a drug dealer, police sources said.

'They're cops, you idiot!" the drug dealer bellowed to Victor Santos, 42, who didn't realizing that his two marks were actually plainclothes police officers involved in a drug buy-and-bust operation.

Authorities believe that Santos thought he had stumbled on a robbery in progress at Seneca and Gates avenues in Ridgewood at around 10:45 p.m. - and hoped to clean out all three men, sources said.

"He thinks he's witnessing a drug [robbery] and thinks he's going to take the proceeds from everyone," said a police source, adding that Santos was known in the neighborhood for pulling heists.

Santos exited the livery car he was in as soon as he spotted alleged drug dealer Nolan Rivera, 39, and the two undercovers, ran toward the trio and raised his weapon at the officers as their backs were turned, police said.

The handcuffed dealer saw Santos pulling his realistic-looking weapon and yelled at him that he was waving a gun at law enforcement, not a pair of thugs, authorities said.

The detectives wheeled around to face Santos and came face to face with what they thought was a Glock semiautomatic pistol. The officers then squeezed off six shots and struck the seasoned robber three times in the torso and leg, cops said.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at nearby Wyckoff Heights Hospital.

Sources said Santos' weapon was later discovered to be a Walther CP99 compressed-air pistol.

Departmental policy allows officers to fire their weapons if they fear imminent danger of death or serious injury, police said.

Witnesses said the undercovers - neither of whom had fired his weapon before - had their badges displayed during the lethal incident.

The dead man had 39 prior raps against him for charges that included assault, trespassing and robbery, and had just been released from prison in June after a six-month stint. He had 15 prison stays under his belt, with his first arrest dating back to 1987.

Rivera told investigators he recognized Santos from the neighborhood but didn't know him personally.

"I was watching 'Law and Order: SVU' and I heard four to five shots ring out," said nearby resident David Treutly of the shooting. "When I went outside, there were eight to 10 plainclothes talking together, and at least 14 cop cars showed up."

Rivera was taken to a local hospital for observation after allegedly ingesting a small amount of crack cocaine during the chaos, cops said.

He was eventually charged with sale of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana.
 

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The dead man had 39 prior raps against him for charges that included assault, trespassing and robbery, and had just been released from prison in June after a six-month stint. He had 15 prison stays under his belt, with his first arrest dating back to 1987.

In other words he was a Democrat....kudos on turning your life around.
 

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I still don't understand why they charged their best wittness for the cops, years ago he would of gotten a pass, but now all has changed. Nice job boys.
 
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