By Kathianne Boniello
A Bayside firefighter who used to be one of New York’s Finest apparently did not want to give up his police identity, the Police Department said last week, after he was arrested in Queens for driving under the influence and having a fake cop badge.
James Cosgrove, 40, a member of Engine Co. 320 on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Bayside, was pulled over Friday at about 6:30 p.m. when an officer noticed him driving without a seat belt, police said.
Police said the Bayside firefighter was smoking marijuana and had a small bag of the drug in his possession at the time, according to the criminal complaint. Cosgrove was also found with an open can of beer on the seat next to him and a fake police badge, the complaint stated.
Cosgrove, a former officer in the 105th Precinct in Queens Village, was driving east on the Grand Central Parkway headed toward the southbound Cross Island Parkway when he was pulled over, police said.
Cosgrove could not be reached for comment.
The firefighter was charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of an imitation police shield, police said.
A spokesman for the city Fire Department said Cosgrove, who lives in Valley Stream, L.I., has been a firefighter for more than eight years and was to be suspended without pay following Friday’s incident. It was unclear how long Cosgrove has served at the Francis Lewis firehouse.
Cosgrove was a member of the NYPD between 1983 and 1994, an FDNY spokesman said. It was not immediately known how long Cosgrove served at the 105th Precinct.
According to the criminal complaint, Cosgrove turned over his stash of marijuana to the arresting officer and admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking beer.
Cosgrove was not the first city worker with connections to the 105th Precinct to be accused of drunk driving.
In 1998, 105th Precinct Detective Robert Bolson was accused of driving drunk while off duty in Queens Village and accidentally killing a man and critically injuring his wife after hitting them with his car at 222nd Street and 93rd Avenue.
Bolson eventually was cleared of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, and instead was found guilty of common-law driving while intoxicated, meaning someone smelled alcohol on his breath or that he appeared to have been drinking. But it was not proven through chemical analysis.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.