A suspected gunman and ex-con has been arrested for slamming into the back of an off-duty NYPD cop’s car and firing off shots at the vehicle Wednesday — later hiding the weapon in a teddy bear, federal prosecutors said.
The officer, on his way to work at Harlem’s 30th Precinct, was waiting at a traffic light approaching the Macombs Dam Bridge in the Bronx about 6:30 a.m. when Jamar Baker, 26, hit the cop’s back bumper, the complaint from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said.
When the officer turned right onto the bridge to cross into Manhattan, Baker rammed the bumper a little harder. The off-duty cop stopped his car, and Baker allegedly pulled up alongside him, snarling: “What are you gonna do, (homophobic slur)?” — then spit in his direction.
Both men continued on into Manhattan, and as they neared the corner of Edgecombe Ave. and W. 155th St in Harlem, Baker sideswiped the cop’s car.
Baker, who lives in the Bronx, pointed a gun out the driver’s side window and fired off two shots, striking the cop’s passenger side tire and front bumper. He then drove off in his Ford Explorer — firing a parting shot at the cop, the complaint alleges.
At 8:20 a.m., police pulled over the Ford, which has New Jersey plates, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Baker, along with his five-month-old baby and the baby’s mom, were taken to Harlem’s 32nd Precinct.
At the precinct, an unnamed witness said Baker arrived at her home in New Lots to take her kids to school on Wednesday morning, but that he was acting strangely, appeared “jittery” and told her: “They’re after me.”
Cops investigating the New Lots home found a .380-caliber gun stuffed inside a teddy bear in a baby’s crib — a pistol that matched the shell casings found at the scene.
Baker served about five years in prison after he was convicted in a 2014 robbery conspiracy. He is currently on federal supervised release.
He was charged with possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony and possession of ammunition after having been convicted of a felony for the Wednesday shooting — charges that could land him behind bars for up to 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Baker will face federal time for the crime after it was determined the recovered pistol and ammunition were manufactured out of state.
“For no apparent reason, Jamar Baker allegedly decided to pick a fight with an innocent driver heading to work,” Williams said in a statement. “Little did he know, the victim we allege he harassed and shot at is an NYPD officer who was on his way to the precinct to begin his shift. The random attack and senseless criminal behavior not only put the officer in danger, but we also allege Mr. Baker hid the weapon inside a child’s toy, and put it back in the child’s crib.”
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