The Rockland County man arrested and charged with a felony after he fired a handgun in the direction of an occupied vehicle in downtown Auburn is a New York City police officer, Auburn police confirmed Monday morning.
Michael Cerrato, 29, of Pomona, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a class D felony, and second-degree menacing, a class A misdemeanor, police said.
According to an APD press release, Cerrato fired two rounds from a 9 mm Glock handgun, which he legally possessed, late Saturday night in the vicinity of Domino’s Pizza on Dill Street. Police said Cerrato is currently employed as an officer with the New York Police Department; however, the NYPD reported Monday that Cerrato has been suspended without pay.
Cerrato was training with the National Guard in the area, the APD said. Police did not state why Cerrato fired the handgun near an occupied vehicle and said Cerrato seemed “incoherent” at the time of his arrest. The shots did not strike the vehicle and no one was injured.
According to court documents, witnesses stated that Cerrato appeared highly intoxicated leading up to the incident. An employee at Domino’s said Cerrato appeared “very sloppy and staggering” and had rested against the pizzeria’s window before walking into the middle of Dill Street. Then, as a Domino’s delivery man drove by, Cerrato allegedly opened fire.
Officers converged on the downtown Dill Street block after a caller reported at about 11:25 p.m. that someone was shooting a gun into the air in front of Domino’s Pizza at 19 Dill St.
Police in several vehicles quickly swarmed the area. Police said that Cerrato was standing in the street when officers arrived on the scene and informed them that he did have a handgun.
Officers could be seen taking photographs and shining flashlights on the ground in the roadway and behind the restaurant. A patrol car blocked traffic from entering Dill Street at the intersection of North Street as officers investigated the scene down the road.
Just before midnight, yellow crime-scene tape was placed across Dill Street near Domino’s as officers continued working at the scene.
Following his arrest, Cerrato was arraigned and remanded to the Cayuga County Jail.