The NYPD has arrested a New York City police officer on suspicion that he sexually assaulted two girls who were walking through a parking lot at the Javits Center.
The officer, identified by the NYPD as Sgt. William “Willie” Graziano, 45, was charged Wednesday with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
He was placed on paid administrative leave with pay pending a court hearing, a spokesman said.
The NYPD announced the arrest Wednesday morning after two of the girls told police that Graziani, who was a patrolman in the NYPD’s sexual assault unit, had groped them.
The NYPD’s chief of department, Bill Bratton, said the NYPD would review its procedures for handling such reports and make a decision by Friday about whether to pursue criminal charges.
Graziano was arrested Tuesday in Queens, where he was vacationing.
The officer was on vacation when he was spotted walking by a group of girls in the parking lot of the Javitz Center.
The girls told officers they had been walking in the plaza when they noticed a man standing near them.
When officers approached the man, they said they noticed that he was wearing a baseball cap and that he had an unshaven face.
The officers asked him if he was a police officer, and he told them he was and then proceeded to grab the girls by the arms and headlock them to the ground.
The officers said Grazico then told them to stop because he was scared.
The girls were able to get away and call 911, but one of them called 911 herself, and the second told officers she had been groped.
The 911 call was picked up by a camera that was being used to record the incident.