Sgt. Erik Duran, 36, entered the plea during his arraignment in Supreme Court in the Bronx. The plea also covered criminally negligent homicide and assault charges which he is also facing for the death of Eric Duprey, 30, on Aug. 23 in Kingsbridge Heights.
Duprey, a deliveryman with three young children, was attempting to flee a drug arrest when he crashed.
The prosecution is being handled by attorneys with state Attorney General Letitia James’s office, which is empowered to investigate deaths in law enforcement custody.
According to the Attorney General, members of a police narcotics team were conducting a buy-and-bust operation at Aqueduct Ave. between W. 190th St. and 192nd St. about 5 p.m. on Aug. 23.
The officers encountered Duprey and tried to arrest him. He fled on the motorized scooter toward 190th St. Duran allegedly grabbed a cooler off a nearby table and threw it at Duprey hitting him in the head.
Duprey lost control of the scooter, sideswiped a tree and was thrown from the scooter. He struck his head on the curb and landed under a parked vehicle. He died at the scene.
The city Medical Examiner ruled Duprey died of blunt trauma and classified the case as a homicide.
Both Mayor Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban criticized Duran’s use of a cooler.
After his not guilty plea, his bail was set at $150,000 each for cash, insurance company bonds, and partially secured bonds. He faces up to 25 years in prison. He is due back in court on April 18.
More than 100 NYPD officers packed the courtroom in support of Duran.
Eric Duprey’s wife Orlyanis Velez along with family and friends also witnessed the arraignment, along with members of the Black Lives Matter Greater New York chapter were also present.
Prior to the hearing, there was some tension between the groups. One member of Duprey’s supporters hissed “Goons!” at the officers in the hallway outside the courtroom.