Off-duty cop charged with DWI after crashing into car and trying to drive away

NYPD police officer John Riquelme (left) was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into another car in Jackson Heights Friday morning and fleeing the scene. He was celebrated by animal lovers last year for helping to get a rescue dog adopted. Photo via the ASPCA.

NYPD police officer John Riquelme (left) was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into another car in Jackson Heights Friday morning and fleeing the scene. He was celebrated by animal lovers last year for helping to get a rescue dog adopted. Photo via the ASPCA.

By Jonathan Sperling

An off-duty Manhattan police officer was arrested Friday after allegedly driving drunk and crashing into another car before attempting to flee the scene in Jackson Heights.

John Riquelme was charged with DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and refusing to take a breath test after police say he crashed into a car on Northern Blvd. near 90th Street at around 1:30 a.m. He tried driving away, but was apprehended by 115th Precinct cops near the intersection of 34th Avenue and 92nd Street, a short distance away.

Police told the Eagle that Riquelme was found behind the wheel, “with the engine still running.” He smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet when police took him out of the car.

Riquelme was celebrated by the ASPCA on Valentine’s Day last year after he led a 3-year-old pit bull terrier mix named Orson through Central Park in search of a loving home. Orson had previously been rescued by NYPD officers along with several other dogs from the basement of a South Bronx building as part of an alleged dog fighting ring.

Orson was eventually adopted out.

Riquelme is assigned to the Central Park Precinct and was suspended without pay following the alleged crash, the Daily News reported.