NYPD Cop Accused in Road Rage Beating ‘Never Should Have Been Hired’

An NYPD cop accused of brutally beating a motorist in a fit of road rage was deemed “unsuitable” three years ago, but a supervisor dismissed the red flags and green-lighted his hiring, records show.

Michael Baror lacked “anger management,” and “has a tendency to behave in an impulsive, reckless and careless fashion,” an NYPD shrink concluded in an internal December 2014 report.

Nine days later, a supervisor overturned the rejection — and gave Baror a glowing endorsement:

“He should prove to be an asset to the department,” psychologist Edward Fitzsimmons concluded.

But Baror, now 24, “never should have been hired,” an NYPD whistleblower charged, saying the fix was in.

Insiders blame an unfair system in which favors are granted to help certain disqualified — and possibly dangerous — candidates become NYPD cops.

Baror’s case shines a light on the shady practices, they say.

About 10:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day, while off-duty in his Jeep Cherokee, an enraged Baror flashed his illegally installed lights and siren at a car he was trying to pass, and rear-ended it, authorities said. Then, cops said, he pistol-whipped the other driver and beat his face with handcuffs, causing a bloody gash that needed 10 stitches.

“Don’t you know who I am? I’m NYPD!” Baror allegedly shouted.

Baror then sped off, running red lights, with the other driver in pursuit, authorities said. Finally, Baror slammed on the brakes and backed his Jeep into the other car with such force the air bags inflated, the couple told cops. Baror fled.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, which issued an 11-count indictment against Baror on May 9, called it “a frightening attack on a fellow motorist.”

When cops busted Baror the next day, he had removed the emergency lights and siren, and shaved his head and beard, the DA said. The other driver, James Nacmias, and his girlfriend, Jaclyn Araiza, could not ID Baror in a line-up.

“We never expected anything like this to happen, especially with New York’s Finest,” Araiza told the Post. “The man attacked us both. It’s been a traumatic experience.”

Baror’s unfortunate hiring wasn’t a fluke, an insider said.

NYPD brass or other officials occasionally get requests to help a friend or relative overcome a hiring obstacle, the source said.

“The whole appeals process is a mess. There are different paths that candidates are moved along, depending on who wants to see them qualified or disqualified. And there are people you internally ‘go to’ to have an NQ [not-qualified] overturned if they want it that way.”

Fitzsimmons did not answer an e-mail seeking comment. NYPD spokesmen did not answer questions.

NYPD psychologist Benjamin Appel, who first screened Baror, saw warning signs.

Baror’s high school records showed multiple infractions, Appel found. He once snapped at a cop who asked for his school ID: “I don’t have my f–king ID.”

As a Coney Island police auxiliary officer in 2012, Baror was suspended five days for confronting a traffic agent who gave him a parking ticket — and for improperly flashing his badge. “I felt like he was being rude,” Baror told Appel.

Baror admitted he had gotten into “more than 10” physical altercations.

“I don’t like to keep count of these things,” he told Appel, who wrote that Baror answered “with a smirk” and seemed “somewhat prideful.”

Baror said he jumped into fights — even as an auxiliary cop — “only when I feel like they are looking for trouble, or if picking on people. I used to be picked on.”

Eight days later, Fitzsimmons did a “rejection review.” He chose details that painted a different — and rosy — picture of Baror.

Fitzsimmons contacted Baror’s auxiliary supervisor, who called him “a professional,” “a really good kid,” and “always willing to help out.” The supervisor described Baror as “a very polite, very calm person who is enthusiastic about his work.”

Fitzsimmons spoke to the traffic agent, who said Baror had apologized to him: “His behavior totally changed after that and he has done great.”

Fitzsimmons also cited a James Madison HS psychologist who described Baror in 10th grade as “a well-behaved young man who poses no behavioral difficulty.”

Normally, when evaluations reach opposite conclusions, a third person interviews the candidate to break the tie, an insider said.

In this case, Fitzsimmons conducted the second interview himself.

“As a teenager, I had a short temper and was hot-headed,” Baror told Fitzsimmons. “But the only fights I ever had was for self-defense or to help someone else. I don’t provoke fights and I only protect myself or someone else. And I never started a fight in my life. I’ll walk away if angry.”

Baror described himself as “respectful, calm, easy-going.”

Joseph Giacalone, an ex-NYPD detective sergeant who teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said greater weight should have gone to the first evaluation: “It sounds like he [Baror] was prepped for the second one — he said all the right things.”

But Giacalone added, “This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about people who had questionable backgrounds get pushed through the system.”

Baror faces charges of assault, leaving an accident, weapon possession, reckless driving and menacing. He was freed on $15,000 bail and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. The NYPD took his gun and badge and put him on desk duty pending the criminal case.

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/05/26/nypd-cop-accused-in-road-rage-beating-never-should-have-been-hired/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5623 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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