In the early morning of January 11th, three men — Paris Fulton, Terrence McKee and Rashiem Council, all from Connecticut — gathered outside of the front door of an apartment in the Bronx, according to a recently unsealed criminal complaint. The men shouted through the door that they were the police. Then, with no further warning, they forced their way into the apartment. (All of the details throughout this story are pulled from the criminal complaint.)
The residence was reportedly home to a suspected drug dealer named Michael Garcia. He was known to the burglars as the sort of drug dealer who would keep a few kilos of cocaine in his apartment, per the complaint, making him the perfect target for a stickup move.
When the trio busted into Garcia’s apartment, they allegedly didn’t just say they were police, they were actually armed and dressed as fake NYPD officers, too. One of them reportedly had a taser and a fake badge, and another had a gun holster and looked to be wearing a bulletproof vest. The third man wore what looked to be the sort of jacket that police officers wear on a raid, except on the back, where it should have read “NYPD” in bold letters, it read “SECURITY” instead.
As soon as Garcia spotted the fake cops, he fled to the bedroom. The fake cops reportedly chased after him, shouting again that they were indeed cops. Once they were in the bedroom, the three men demanded that Garcia get down on the ground. A second person who was in the bedroom was also allegedly forced to the floor. The fake cops then handcuffed Gacia and shoved a gun into his face. When they demanded to know where he kept his money and drugs, Garcia indicated toward his closet.
The police impersonators quickly (and reportedly) discovered trash bags stacked with cash and cocaine. They grabbed the money and drugs, and then pulled Garcia up off the floor before handcuffing their “suspect.” Then, they took Garcia with them from the apartment. Out in the hallway, they waited for the elevator together.
It seems a neighbor heard the commotion and called 911. Meanwhile, the elevator arrived on Garcia’s floor. The doors opened. The three fake cops allegedly led their suspect into the tiny box, clutching the trash bags of money and guns. The elevator doors closed. Thanks to the neighbor, though, there was a surprise waiting for them in the lobby — actual NYPD officers.
The fake cops reportedly tried playing it cool. Their plan seemed to be to ignore all the real cops rushing into the lobby. They just kept their heads down as they led their handcuffed suspect out of the building. The actual NYPD cops, however, called over to the fake cops and asked what unit they were with. The fake cops replied that their sergeant was waiting for them outside. Then, they headed for the front door of the apartment building.
Surprisingly, they made it. They felt that crisp winter breeze hit their cheeks and chill their faces as they stepped outside into the early morning air. They were free. Not willing to press their luck, though, they all ran for it — curiously, all four of them. One of the fake cops allegedly sprinted off one way while two others and Garcia ran in the opposite direction. Some of the actual NYPD cops spotted the fake cops escaping, and gave chase.
What a Bronx morning scene — cops chasing fake cops through the early morning foot traffic.
The alleged drug dealer and two of the alleged fake cops, McKee and Council, were quickly caught and arrested. The fake cops reportedly attempted to ditch their guns as they fled, but all three weapons were later located and recovered by the NYPD. Eventually, after all of the men were arrested, the actual NYPD officers discovered that the three men had nearly gotten away with $160,000 in cash and almost three kilos of coke.
But police discovered the wildest part of this story later. According to the police investigation and the unsealed court documents, a fourth accomplice was also arrested. He had been spotted waiting in a car outside the apartment building. When he was approached by an actual cop, the officer found that the getaway driver, Shamone Fulton, also allegedly had a firearm in his possession. He was arrested on weapons charges. He also happens to be the brother of one of the fake cops — Paris Fulton.
Speaking of Paris Fulton, he reportedly waived his Miranda rights and told the arresting officers that Garcia worked with two of the fake cops, and together, they’d all arranged the fake police raid as a way for Garcia to say that he was robbed and that police had seized his drugs and money.
That’s right, according to Fulton, it was a fake rip-off. Garcia was robbing himself and using fake cops to make it seem plausible to any eyewitnesses. Ultimately, though, that’s what doomed their plan — a real eyewitness, who called the real cops, who then came along and really seized his drugs and money.
That’s what you call a criminal irony.