LI resident shot by off-duty NYPD cop was drunk, mistakenly went to wrong house: friend


The taking pictures of a 27-year-old West Babylon man by an off-duty NYPD detective at his house in what authorities initially contended was an attempted burglary might have as an alternative been a tragic mistake, a friend of the sufferer informed The Post.

A drunk Rinaldo Laviolette was attempting to open the door of Detective Douglas DeOtto’s West Babylon house on March 5 as a result of he thought it was the pal’s home the place he had simply been partying, the friend of Laviolette informed The Post.

The friend, whose sister was with Laviolette for a thirtieth birthday celebration in a close-by city Friday night time, mentioned the get together continued at a house down the block from the officer’s. When Laviolette left round 3:30 a.m., he mistakenly grabbed one other visitor’s pockets and cellphone as an alternative of his personal and was attempting to return them, the friend mentioned.

“When he goes to go back, the houses to him kind of begin to look the same,” the pal mentioned.

He mentioned Laviolette was attempting the door on the cop’s home and, discovering it locked, banged on it.

Rinaldo Laviolette
Rinaldo Laviolette’s friend informed The Post the 27-year-old was drunk when he tried to enter the wrong home.

 “And it turns out to be an off-duty cop who answers the door and sees this kid disoriented and what he thinks is this person trying to break into this house This led to what I understand is an argument,” the friend mentioned.

He mentioned the 2 tussled and Laviolette was shot within the eye.

Laviolette’s father, additionally named Rinaldo, mentioned his son misplaced the imaginative and prescient in his proper eye.

“He happened to go to the wrong house. The friend lives three houses down and the house looked similar at night,” the daddy mentioned and referred additional questions to his son’s lawyer, Stephen Flamhaft.

Flamhaft mentioned the incident was nonetheless being probed by Suffolk cops and that Laviolette had no felony file.

He mentioned Laviolette was launched from the hospital Thursday and was “doing OK.”

Rinaldo Laviolette
Laviolette was shot within the eye in the course of the encounter.

The Suffolk County Police Department would solely say Friday that the taking pictures was nonetheless beneath investigation.

A GoFundMe appeal started by friends of Laviolette to assist cowl medical bills had raised greater than $22,000 as of Friday.

“We wanted to show him that he is loved and he has all of these people sending all their love,” mentioned Kaela Yee, one of many organizers.

DeOtto, who works within the one hundred and fifteenth Precinct in Jackson Heights, couldn’t be reached for remark. The NYPD mentioned Friday he was nonetheless on lively responsibility and wouldn’t make him obtainable for an interview.

“After any weapons discharge an appropriate, full, professional non-rumor generating investigation is mandated. This case is no different,” mentioned Paul DiGiacomo, president of the NYPD Detectives Endowment Association.

DeOtto has had two complaints that went to town’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. One from 2008 about bodily power was withdrawn and he was exonerated of one other in 2011 involving a frisk, public data present.

New York has a “castle doctrine” that enables the usage of lethal power inside a house to cease what in all fairness believed to be a housebreaking, mentioned Brian Griffin, a Long Island felony protection lawyer and former prosecutor.

Griffin mentioned for law enforcement officials that doctrine may additionally lengthen outdoors the house since, even when off-duty, they change into law enforcement officials if there’s a criminal offense.

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