By Ellen Moynihan and Larry McShane
New York Daily News
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NEW YORK — A second teen suspect was busted Thursday for the savage beating and robbery of an NYPD officer only hours before the randomly-targeted victim exited a Bronx hospital for his next step toward recovery, police said.
The 16-year-old boy was taken into custody for the vicious and unprovoked attack on the same day a smiling Officer Muhammed Chowdhury left Jacobi Medical Center in a wheelchair to the rousing cheers and whistles of about 100 fellow cops and supporters.
The 48-year-old cop, attacked last month while on an off-duty morning jog, flashed a thumbs-up and waved to the crowd before his transfer to a rehab facility to continue his medical care. His wife and children were joined by other family members for the sendoff.
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks on behalf of police Officer Muhammed Chowdhury’s family,” said his cousin Ifthakhar, a fellow NYPD member. “Please continue to keep him in your prayers for a well recovery.”
Chowdhury needed some support from his cousin as he climbed into a waiting car for his next stop on the road to recovery.
The teen was arrested in the Bronx around 6 a.m. for his alleged role in the August beatdown by a notorious robbery crew, with police still seeking two more suspects in the attack where the officer was beaten so severely that he could not speak.
The 18-year police veteran, who also suffered a fractured skull before the attackers fled in a black Honda sedan, was listed as a John Doe at the hospital until fellow officers were able to determine his identity.
[PREVIOUS: Suspect admits role in attack on off-duty cop, tells NYPD it’s his ‘third time doing this’]
Cops arrested 18-year-old Oshawn Logan last month, with a criminal complaint alleging the teen admitted his part in the attack. He was charged with gang assault, robbery, unlawful possession of a false ID and assault.
Charges were pending against the second suspect Thursday, police said.
Authorities said the attackers were responsible for 19 robberies in the Bronx and Queens last month as they moved from the armed theft of automobiles to targeting innocent passersby on the street.
“We will put this case together,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the NYPD’s largest union, the Police Benevolent Association, promising to track down the last two suspects. “We will go out in the streets and doggedly get these perps that attacked our officer.”
Chowdhury was jogging down Olmstead Ave. in the Bronx neighborhood of Soundview about 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 23 when the assailants intercepted him near Lafayette Ave. and started pummeling the helpless victim, authorities said.
They stole his wallet and cellphone and left him nearly unconscious on the sidewalk. The callous attackers lifted the officer’s credit card and later used it at a store in the Bronx.
[PREVIOUS: Off-duty NYPD cop critical with fractured skull after ambush by mugging crew]
Deputy Inspector Bill Gallagher, commanding officer of the NYPD’s Central Park Precinct, where Chowdhury works, was there to greet the injured cop as he left the hospital Thursday.
“It’s really a great day for us. I’m thrilled to be here,” Gallagher said. “We’re really thrilled that Mohammed was able to (leave) the hospital safely and much better than when he came in.
“He is dependable, wonderful, and really embodies what we call New York’s Finest.”
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