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NYPD Detective Arrested For Allegedly Beating A Man Into A Coma

May 30, 1996

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. (AP) _ A white New York City police detective beat a young black man into a coma outside a disco in the Hamptons while several other men _ possibly other officers _ drew guns to hold off the victim’s friends, authorities alleged Wednesday.

Detective Constantine Chronis, 34, was being held on $1 million bond after pleading innocent to assault. None of the other men had been apprehended, but Westhampton Beach Detective Robert Nordman said ``There will be other arrests.″

The victim, Shane Daniels, 21, of Riverhead, was comatose and in critical condition at University Hospital in Stony Brook, said Ellen Barohn, a hospital spokeswoman.

Officials said the attack appeared to be racially motivated.

It began at 4:15 a.m. Sunday outside the Merakesh disco in Westhampton Beach, when Chronis and several other white men exchanged words with the victim and his two companions, said Suffolk prosecutor John Collins.

``Apparently they used racial words like the `n-word,‴ said Collins.

The victim and his friends, a young white woman and a young black man, continued to walk to their car in the parking lot, but when the other group persisted in calling them names the victim took exception.

``He turned around, stared at the group and faced off at them,″ said Collins. Chronis then allegedly advanced on Daniels, knocked him to the ground and began bashing his head with a car’s anti-theft device.

Daniels’ friends tried to help but were kept away at gunpoint by the defendants’ cohorts. ``That’s why we believe that there were other police officers involved,″ Nordman said.

Someone from the disco called 911 and Chronis and his friends took off when they heard approaching sirens, Nordman said. A witness got the license number of the car, which was traced to Chronis.

Daniels was lying in a large pool of blood when police arrived, said Nordman.

``There’s an indication that there was heavy alcohol use throughout the evening,″ by the white men in the disco, said Nordman. They were involved in other disputes with other patrons, but it was unclear what sparked the attack on Daniels.

Chronis, a 10-year veteran of the NYPD with a wife and two children, was suspended without pay after his arrest Tuesday at his brother’s home in Queens.

New York City Police officials said they wouldn’t comment.

Shane Daniels lives with mother, a Suffolk County employee and his father, a construction worker, and his older brother in a neatly groomed house in Riverhead.

``He’s a cop,″ said the victim’s brother, Darien Johnson. ``He’s supposed to help out people. He left my brother to die.″

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