Here today we have what has evolved into a rather tumultuous situation out of Yonkers. Yesterday June 17, 2024, a Yonkers Police Sergeant was indicted on multiple charges stemming from the events that occurred during an event back in March of this year.


The event was a dangerous high-speed vehicle pursuit where multiple members of the Yonkers Police chased down a suspect who had reportedly stolen a vehicle. Officers followed the suspect through city streets where eventually the suspect was apprehended. It was during that time though the current controversy arose.

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Chase Down in Yonkers

The event in question occurred back on March 14, 2024. At approximately 9:45 pm Yonkers Police Officers began their pursuit of the suspect who reportedly had stolen a vehicle. According to the statement released by the City of Yonkers Government, the suspect caused several collisions with police vehicles during the chase and multiple officers sustained injuries in the event.

The encounter was captured on police body cam and dash cam footage. From the footage, we can see the initial interaction with police before the chase and follows all the way to the apprehension.

The footage begins with a warning for viewers because of some of the strong language used during the recording and due to the "physical force" exhibited as well.

According to the statement, investigations are launched for any and all uses of force by Yonkers Police per Yonkers Police procedure. Yonkers Police Internal Affairs Division immediately responded to the scene and began reviewing the actions taken by the Officers.

Investigation Results

In the preliminary investigation process, it was determined that Detective Sergeant Hector Cartagena...

...utilized force in a manner not consistent with training, procedures, or Department values.  It was evident from this preliminary review that this member acted alone in these actions and all other Officers on the scene followed policy and procedure.


Following the preliminary investigation, the Yonkers Police Department presented the incident to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, who then informed the Department of Justice.

The incident was then investigated by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau.

Charges Against the Sergeant

According to the press release from the Westchester County District Attorney's Office, Sgt. Hector Cartagena was indicted by a Westchester County Grand Jury for Assault in the Second Degree and Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, felonies, and Assault in the Third Degree, a misdemeanor.

High Angle View Of Judge Gavel And Handcuffs On Wooden Desk

Cartagena was arrested by the DA’s Office Criminal Investigator’s Squad and arraigned before New York State Supreme Court Justice James McCarty in Westchester County Court. He is next expected to be in court on July 31, 2024. He has also been suspended from duties without pay.

The 55-year-old Cartagena is a long-standing member of the Yonkers Police, having served for twenty-four (24) years and had been assigned to the department's Crime Scene Unit.

A Divide Response

Incidents similar to these have popped up numerous times in recent years, some of them even drawing national responses. One common denominator has been the varying amount of responses both online and from officials.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Online viewers of the video have responded with both support and criticism alike. In similar fashion officials have also had varying reactions. One of those responses came from Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza who stated...

After a review of this incident, I am outraged by the actions of this particular supervisor. His actions serve to negate the great work exhibited by the other officers involved to safely apprehend the suspect at the scene...

Similar responses were also issued by both the Mayor of Yonkers Mike Spano and the Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah. The full statements from each of these officials can be seen in the corresponding statements and press releases linked above.

Close up of microphone and fog

Sgt. Cartagena also has supporters in his corner. The main show of support comes from Detective Captain Michael Hanley the President of the Yonkers Police Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants Association.

According to multiple reports, Hanley stated that the union "stands by" Cartagena and expects that he will be cleared of charges.

Hanley would also go on to state that the statements from other officials could "put in jeopardy Cartagena's right to a fair trial". At the same time, Hanley would also go on to state...

The perpetrator's actions throughout this pursuit endangered the lives of numerous citizens of the City of Yonkers...The Detective Sergeant was performing his official duties in attempting to subdue a violent felon who was resisting attempts to be taken into custody.

The entire investigation is still ongoing and we will do our best to provide updated information if or when it becomes available. We strongly encourage readers to view the official press releases and statements currently available above.

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