• BREAKING NEWS Shelter in place lifted after prisoner captured

Officer found in connection with asthma death

August 31, 2010 8:42:21 PM PDT
A uniformed officer that a heartbroken family says denied them help when their daughter was dying has been identified.

Officer Alfonso Mendez of the 84th pct. has been suspended for failure to take proper police action.

The 30-year-old officer is a 5-year veteran of the force.

"It's a shame that it took four days for this officer to come forward and reveal himself, " Michael Ojeda, Briana's father said.

This is what the Ojeda family has been wanting and has been demanding, but Tuesday night there was no celebration, because in the end it still doesn't bring back their angel.

"She's going to be missed," Carmen Ojeda, Briana's mother, said.

"The best daughter in the world," Michael Ojeda said.

After four long and torturous days, they finally got a call from internal affairs, the officer had been found.

Officer Mendez, who lives in Ridgewood, Queens, was on his way to patrol the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday night, when his world collided with a dying 11-year-old girl.

Instead of emerging as a hero, he has now been suspended without pay for failure to take proper police action.

"You hear people screaming, 'she needs CPR, she needs CPR', the mother is telling him, 'do you know CPR', with a smirk on his face he said, 'No, I don't know CPR'," a witness said.

Little Briana Ojeda, seized by asthma, could not breathe.

Carmen Ojeda was racing her child to the hospital and begged the officer for help, but was greeted with a cold and passive callousness.

Brianna did not survive the race to the emergency room.

"Just say you're sorry, that's all I want, give her peace!" Carmen Ojeda yelled.

Investigators finally found the officer through old-fashioned detective work.

He had gassed up his vehicle at the 76th precinct that day, they showed his photo to eyewitnesses, and made a match.

"Trust us, that's it. Thank God, hopefully this won't happen to somebody else," Anthony DeStafano, a family friend said.

Briana's funeral will be held Wednesday.


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