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Brooklyn, NY - Drugs, Gun, Alcohol And Multiple Priors For Sanitation Worker In Bizarre Vandalism Spree In BP/Flatbush

Published on: February 20, 2016 08:51 PM
Last updated on: February 21, 2016 12:50 AM
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Sanitation worker Roman Protas arrested by the NYPD on Thursday Feb. 18, 2016 (Exclusive Photo Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)Sanitation worker Roman Protas arrested by the NYPD on Thursday Feb. 18, 2016 (Exclusive Photo Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)

Brooklyn, NY - A sanitation worker who reportedly drove through the heart of Brooklyn’s Jewish community with both a gun and antipsychotic drugs in his vehicle is under arrest after a bizarre chain of events that began with a vandalism spree in Borough Park on Thursday morning and ended with a police chase in Flatbush several hours later.

Police said that they received a call at 8:49 AM on Thursday morning from passers-by who observed a uniformed sanitation worker throwing trash at a religious statue in front of a church located at the corner of 58th Street and 13th Avenue. 

According to a witness who spoke with CBS News, the sanitation worker was shouting obscenities and consumed alcohol in his truck before driving away from the scene. Surveillance footage shows the suspect returning approximately half an hour later to vandalize a second statue in the church’s front yard.

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Police canvassed the area looking for the suspect, finally spotting him in his truck at Avenue L and E9th Street several hours later.  The sanitation worker refused to pull over for police and tried to escape in his street sweeper.  He was observed driving through a red light in his escape attempt before he was finally stopped by the NYPD and arrested at approximately 12:15 PM.

The suspect, identified as 38 year old Roman Protas, was found to have a bottle of anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to another person in his vehicle.  WABC News is reporting that Protas, who allegedly has eight prior arrests, also had a gun in his truck.

Sanitation worker Roman Protas is seen on Surveillance waking up to a religious statue throwing garbageSanitation worker Roman Protas is seen on Surveillance waking up to a religious statue throwing garbage

Protas was charged with Criminal Possession Controlled Substance, two counts of Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Tampering 3rd Degree, Reckless Driving, Disobey Traffic Control Device and unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle at the time of his arrest. 

Hate Crime charges were later added to one of the counts of Reckless Endangerment because of a statement Protas made to police at the time of his arrest saying that he hated Roman Catholics.

Sanitation worker Roman Protas arrested by the NYPD on Thursday Feb. 18, 2016 (Exclusive Photo Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)Sanitation worker Roman Protas arrested by the NYPD on Thursday Feb. 18, 2016 (Exclusive Photo Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)

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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 20, 2016 at 09:13 PM yaakov doe Says:

With 8 prior arrests how was he on a City payroll?

2

 Feb 20, 2016 at 11:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
yaakov doe Says:

With 8 prior arrests how was he on a City payroll?

Well, with so many politicians being corrupt, a lowly garbage collector is sure to get by. I bet HE won't get a pension, though.

3

 Feb 21, 2016 at 12:50 AM Aron1 Says:

He hates Roman Catholics and his name is Roman. How bizarrely ironic.

4

 Feb 21, 2016 at 07:27 AM DOVE1 Says:

I don't get this whole garbage truck's.
I can understand they block the street for 4 minutes but blocking cars in the morning rush hour for 30 minutes and if we honk they show us the finger thats chutzpah

5

 Feb 21, 2016 at 08:15 AM blubluh Says:

He had anti-psychotic drugs in his possession yet acted like a psychotic? He either hadn't taken enough of them or it's not a very effective medication.

6

 Feb 21, 2016 at 08:45 AM zasizest Says:

What's that I hope he's not wearing tzitsis?

7

 Feb 21, 2016 at 09:42 AM Butterfly Says:

How did he get his job?? City workers have to be fingerprinted!!

8

 Feb 21, 2016 at 10:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Aron1 Says:

He hates Roman Catholics and his name is Roman. How bizarrely ironic.

Simple.... he was not taught ואהבת לרעך כמוך to love others like himself.

9

 Feb 21, 2016 at 07:59 PM StevenWright Says:

Tried to escape in his street sweeper. Must have been a real high speed police chase!

10

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