Photo: Gregory P. Mango
A sun-loving Brooklyn cop set to testify in an armed robbery trial held up the proceedings for a full week when he jetted off on a Mexican vacation without telling prosecutors, The Post has learned.
“He never showed up for court, then went on vacation, and with a double jury trial no less!” a court source said.
“Everyone’s pissed off,” a law-enforcement source said.
NYPD Officer Elvis Merizalde, a six-year-veteran, now may face suspension for his flighty ways, sources said.
He was scheduled to give important testimony Oct. 1 in the trial of Humphries Quaye, 33, and Jerrod Drumgoole, 39, two men facing an armed robbery rap in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
But the Sunset Park cop left the judge, lawyers, and more than two dozen jurors hanging when he didn’t show up for court. He then flew to Cancun with his family the next day, shutting down the trial until he returned to court Oct. 8, court records show.
The prosecutor on the case had “reserved” Merizalde to testify that day, so she was shocked when he didn’t show, a law-enforcement source said.
“I guess he already had his tickets,” a court source quipped.
“The police approved his appearance in court so it seems they were taken a little by surprise by his sudden vacation,” another law-enforcement source said.
Merizalde’s trip wasn’t the first time he disrupted the trial, according to court sources.
When he was instructed to stay near the courthouse during the trial’s lunch break in late September, he drove back to his Staten Island home. When called about his whereabouts, Merizalde said he was stuck in traffic and couldn’t make it back in time, court sources said.
“It’s weird. He was supposed to testify. The ADA was very upset he took his vacation to Mexico,” said Drumgoole defense attorney George Sheinberg.
When Merizalde finally testified about responding to the scene where the two alleged robbers were collared, he was unsure of his answers. Afterward, he declined to comment about his days in the sun.
“You don’t know where the gun went, you don’t know if it was tested?” a prosecutor asked.
“No,” Merizalde answered.
A source close to Merizalde said the cop claims he came to court Oct. 1, but couldn’t find the courtroom or reach the prosecutor. After he waited around for several hours, he went home, then flew south the next day.
“Elvis showed up to the courthouse but couldn’t find or reach the ADA. The ADA ignored him,” the source said, adding, “He’s in danger of being suspended.”
A court source confirmed the NYPD planned to suspend Merizalde over the incidents.
One jury convicted Quaye last Friday and the Drumgoole jury will continue deliberations Tuesday.