NYPD Officer Charged After Drunk Girlfriend Crashes Police Car

An NYPD deputy inspector is facing charges after allegedly allowing his drunk girlfriend to drive his police vehicle, leading to a crash. Deputy Inspector Paul Zangrilli, 44, was charged by Manhattan prosecutors for his role in the 2022 incident. His girlfriend, Nikole Rupple, 35, reportedly crashed the police car into a taxi and fled the scene with Zangrilli in the passenger seat.

The incident began when Zangrilli and Rupple visited the American Whiskey bar near Penn Station. Over three hours, Zangrilli consumed five shots and seven beers, while Rupple had seven shots and three beers. After leaving the bar, Rupple drove the NYPD vehicle and collided with a taxi at West 30th Street and Tenth Avenue, injuring the cab driver.

Instead of reporting the accident, Zangrilli allegedly switched seats with Rupple and continued driving. When the cab driver caught up to them at a red light, Zangrilli offered him money to avoid exchanging insurance information. He also called an NYPD captain to the scene and lied about being alone and on his way to work during the crash.

Zangrilli later contacted the owner of the bar, asking him to delete surveillance footage of their night out. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg condemned Zangrilli’s actions, stating, “This alleged behavior was incredibly dangerous, leading to injuries for one cab driver and putting the safety of many other drivers and pedestrians at risk.”

Zangrilli has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including falsifying business records, obstruction, official misconduct, drinking while driving, and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. He has been suspended without pay, and his next court appearance is scheduled for September 25. Rupple also faces charges of drunken driving and has pleaded not guilty.