Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 14130
Weapon: Handgun; Revolver
Offender: Sentenced to 40 years to life
Officer Thomas Ruotolo was shot and killed after he and his partner stopped a suspect with a stolen moped. Officer Ruotolo and his partner were on patrol when they heard a report of a stolen moped over their radio. When they stopped at the corner of 149th Street and Bruckner Avenue in the Bronx, they observed the suspect filling the moped with gas at the corner gas station.
Officer Ruotolo pulled his patrol car up behind the suspect and he and his partner exited. As they approached, and before they said a word to the suspect, the suspect drew a snub nosed revolver and opened fire. Officer Ruotolo was struck in the head and killed. His partner returned fire, but was shot and wounded. An off-duty officer who was using the pay phone at the gas station witnessed the incident and opened fire on the suspect, but he too was shot and wounded.
Officer Ruotolo was pronounced dead at the scene, and his partner and the off-duty officer were removed to a local hospital and later recovered from their wounds.
The suspect fled, but was later apprehended at a local hospital when he showed up seeking treatment for four gunshot wounds. The suspect, a career violent criminal who was on parole for manslaughter and robbery, pled guilty to one charge of first degree murder and two charges of first degree attempted murder. He was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. He is not eligible for parole until January 2024.
Officer Ruotolo had been a member of the New York City Police Department for three years and was assigned to the 41st Precinct. He was survived by his wife.