Hero NYPD cop ignores bullet wound, takes down armed thug in Bronx
A Bronx cabbie mugged for a measly $80 said his attackers didn’t even think twice about firing on an off-duty cop — who ended up chasing the bandits and killing one of them though seriously wounded himself.
Mario Abarca, 60, said he was jumped by two men as he walked to his car outside his Harrison Ave. apartment in Morris Heights about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday — the first step in a wild chain of events right out of an action movie.
One of the brutes whacked the cab driver in the head and, with a silver handgun, ordered him to hand over everything he had.
“I was afraid that he could shoot me,” said Abarca, adding that he forked over all his cash.
No one knew at the time that Officer Ivan Marcano was approaching the crime scene in a car with his girlfriend. With little regard for personal safety, Marcano, 27, got out of the car, pulled his badge, and ordered the bandits to freeze.
“Then this kid just turned around and shot him,” said Abarca. “(The suspect’s) reaction was in one second: Boom!”
Marcano — dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, but not wearing a bullet-resistant vest — was shot in the chest. The bullet barely missed his heart as it tore through his chest.
Cops identified one of the wanted suspects as 20-year-old Jason Leiva, whose rap sheet includes arrests for robbery and grand larceny.
Leiva, who stands about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 148 pounds, was still being sought by police on Thursday.
A $22,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.