The off-duty NYPD cop brutally beaten by a violent team of muggers in the Bronx is out of a ventilator and on the mend, relieved relatives told the Daily News on Wednesday.
“He’s come to his senses and he’s fine. He responds to his wife,” Jamil Ahmed, a nephew of victim Muhammed Chowdhury, told The News. “He talks, responds to his wife and his doctor.”
When he regained consciousness, his first words were “Pray for God”, said his cousin Shobu Ahmed.
“He’s fine now,” said Shobu, 36. ” He speaks. We’ll see what happens.”
Chowdhury, 48, was jogging down Olmstead Avenue in Soundview around 10.30am on Tuesday when the assailants intercepted him near Lafayette Avenue and began beating him, authorities said. Police believe Chowdhury was attacked by a crew responsible for 19 carjackings and thefts throughout the Bronx and Queens this month.
They stole his wallet and cell phone and left him nearly unconscious on the sidewalk.
“The family is shocked. They didn’t expect this,” said Ahmed, 23. “The police who are public servants and who are our protectors – if they get attacked, how safe are we in the city?”
“We have not yet told his children what is going on with their father,” Ahmed added.
The father-of-three often goes jogging before starting his 3 p.m. shift at the Central Park Precinct, but rarely hits the road where he was attacked, Ahmed said.
“There’s a park near the Whitestone Bridge, he used to go there,” Ahmed said. “He always did this daily routine. He would come home, take a shower and then go to work.
First responders who found Chowdhury on the street rushed him to Jacobi Medical Center, where he was treated for a fractured skull and bleeding brain.
Police and hospital staff didn’t realize the victim was an off-duty cop until he failed to show up for his shift at the Central Park Precinct, cops said.
While he reacts and the bleeding to his brain has stopped, Chowdhury’s recovery could take weeks or months, relatives said.
“I’m so happy to see him,” Shobu Ahmed said as he left Jacobi Medical Center on Wednesday. “Yesterday and today are really different. I can’t explain yesterday to you – and today is like night and day, you know?”
But the cop can’t help his fellow officers track down those who attacked him, Shobu said.
“He doesn’t know exactly what happened,” the cousin said. “He doesn’t even remember. He doesn’t know what’s going on. He’s not really, really 100 percent.”
The men who attacked him remained at large on Wednesday.
Chowdhury has been a cop for 18 years and was assigned to the Central Park Central District for at least five years, relatives said. He is also an unofficial recruiter for the NYPD, inspiring at least 15 people to join the department, Ahmed said.
“He helped everyone, it’s his personality. He wanted to do good for people and see his friends and family in good standing,” the nephew said. “He’s a hero to everyone. People see him as an idol.
Chowdhury is at least the second off-duty NYPD officer to be assaulted in the Bronx in the past month.
On July 27, an officer was stole his gun as he unloaded his car at Hunts Point after a crook rushed towards him, pulled out a gun and asked, “Are you a cop?” said the police.
The crook removed the officer’s off-duty weapon, a Glock 17 firearm, before fleeing. The officer was not injured and no arrests have been made, police said.
“He doesn’t deserve this at this stage of his career,” Ahmed said of his uncle’s attack. “Nobody deserves this.”