Pedro Barbosa was arrested and accused of trying to hit two NYPD officers with his car after they confronted him back in February, and now, surveillance footage is proving one of the two officers was lying about the claim.
On February 1 at 12:30 am, Barbosa drove to visit a friend in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. After parallel parking his car, he reportedly noticed a black, unmarked SUV parked alongside him. Barbosa says he recognized the vehicle as one driven by NYPD officer Michael Bergman and his partner, whose name has not been released.
According to the Washington Post, Barbosa recognized the officers because he’d had several past encounters with them.
“It seemed like every time, 24/7, no matter what, if I’m anywhere, they were there,” Barbosa says, according to The Post. “They would follow me wherever I went. They’d tell me, ‘We’re going to get you off the streets.'”
Bergman and his partner were reportedly part of the NYPD’s Grand Larceny Division. And with a suspended licence, Barbosa knew Bergman could at any time attempt to pull him over. “If they found anything in my car, even a screwdriver, they’d arrest me for possessing burglary tools,” he said, according to The Post.
As for the incident on February 1, over which Barbosa was arrested, Bergman told a grand jury: “The defendant locked eyes with me, turned the car into reverse, floored the vehicle into reverse approximately seven feet. As I’m still yelling, the defendant put it in drive, turned the vehicle towards me to the point where I was in between his headlights, and if I didn’t jump out of the way, I would have been under his vehicle.”
However, surveillance footage of the encounter was obtained by an investigator for Barbosa’s lawyer and clearly tells a different story. Instead, the surveillance video shows Barbosa simply driving off, not even close to striking Bergman or his partner.
Because of Bergman’s accusations, Barbosa was charged with one count of first-degree attempted assault, one count of attempted assault on a police officer, one count of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree attempted assault, one count of second-degree reckless endangerment, one count of third-degree assault, and one count of third-degree attempted assault. If convicted, he was looking at a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 45.
After the release of the video, Barbosa was acquitted of any wrongdoing and Bergman was indicted on a charge of perjury. In June, the Brooklyn district attorney’s officer also announced an investigation into his previous cases.
Prior to his indictment, Bergman was on paid modified duty with the NYPD while he disputed the charges.
Last week, Bergman pleaded guilty to perjury and was terminated from his post at the NYPD. His partner, who witnessed the incident and presumably knew Bergman was lying about it, doesn’t appear to have been disciplined.
See the surveillance footage that vindicated Pedro Barbosa below.