NYC Detectives Face Criminal Charges for Stealing Pricey Champagne at Electric Zoo Festival
Three New York City police detectives have been charged after stealing pricey champagne from a VIP area at last year's edition of Electric Zoo, The New York Times reports.
Two of the officers, Jonathan Gonzalez and Wojciech Czech, have reportedly been suspended from duty after being charged with swiping $2,900 worth of Armand de Brignac champagne at the electronic music festival, according to court documents. The third, Warren Golden, stands accused of failing to thwart the theft and was charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
"Public confidence in the criminal justice system depends on members of law enforcement acting with the utmost integrity while on duty and following the same rules that apply to everyone else," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
The officials were reportedly assigned to a "narcotics-enforcement detail" on September 3rd. After patrons at a table ordered the champagne, colloquially known as "Ace of Spades," Gonzalez took two of the group's unopened bottles and placed them on a nearby table, according to court documents. He then fetched a backpack and placed them inside after Czech handed the bottles to him, the filings say.
The group who ordered the champagne are said to have confronted the detectives in front of a festival security officer, who returned the bottles and contacted his employer. Police were eventually notified.
Czech was ultimately charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, both of which are felonies, per the Times, who cited a news release from Bragg's office. Gonzalez was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property as well as official misconduct, according to the release.
Czech's lawyer said the detective was "shocked" by the charges. Attorneys for both Gonzalez and Golden denied wrongdoing, the Times reported.