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Democratic mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams on Thursday backed up his debate-stage anecdote about breaking up a subway mugging while off-duty during his days as an NYPD cop, arguing that Finest should carry their service weapons at all times for just such occasions.
Adams’ campaign released apparent NYPD documents detailing the 1985 incident, as well as the arrest history of the man he said he busted.
Adams, who currently serves as Brooklyn borough president, referenced the decades-old incident during last week’s first in-person Democratic primary debate when challenged by rival Maya Wiley on his position that off-duty cops should carry their service weapons.
“I’m off-duty on the train, I hear the yell of the Chinese man,” recalled Adams, claiming that the victim was the target of a “hate crime.”
“He was being assaulted and robbed,” continued Adams. “I was off-duty [and] I was able to stop those armed perpetrators from carrying out their actions while off-duty. The state law states that a police officer can carry off-duty because he has to respond 24 hours a day to any crime that’s taking place in the city.”
The documents provided by the Adams campaign indicate that Adams arrested a 20-year-old man on charges including robbery and assault on Oct. 27, 1985, in Lower Manhattan.
The Post is withholding the alleged perpetrator’s name because the NYPD declined to verify or comment on the documents, and he could not be reached for comment.
The robbery bust was one of several arrests on the report provided by the Adams campaign, almost all of which are listed as sealed.
Adams has previously vowed to pack heat as mayor to save taxpayer money on a security detail, and encouraged cops to carry their weapons to religious services should the need arise to take down a mass shooter.
Wiley — who last week rankled the NYPD’s unions by releasing a campaign ad in which she claimed cops don’t think her and other black New Yorkers “deserve to breathe” — dinged Adams on the trigger-happy stance during the debate.
“Isn’t this the wrong message to send our kids [who] we’re telling not to pick up the guns?” she asked. “We don’t want guns all over our city.”
Adams said in a statement Thursday — hours ahead of another mayoral debate — that he stands by his position that off-duty cops should be armed to help bust criminals at a moment’s notice.
“Police officers take an oath to protect New Yorkers — and as trained professionals they are exactly who we want to respond to crime, whether or not they’re on duty,” he said. “There have been many times I was able to stop a crime or catch a suspect while off-duty, and other officers do the same thing every day.”
Additional reporting by Steven Vago and Craig McCarthy
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