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10-10-2003, 06:37 AM
4 Cops AWOL During Game

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By Rocco Parascandola
Staff Writer

October 9, 2003, 5:12 PM EDT


Four men did the unthinkable outside Yankee Stadium Wednesday night: they passed on a chance to see the Bronx Bombers battle the Bosox and went instead to shoot pool in Washington Heights.

Problem is the four men were on-duty cops, police said yesterday, and all four officers were suspended.

Their supervisors found out about the misconduct when someone tipped them off, police said.

The officers -- Michael Mulqueen, a 17-year veteran, Michael Kelerchain, a 15-year veteran, Eugene Gagliano, a 9-year veteran, and Edward Arnold, a 10-year veteran -- were suspended for being off-post and for leaving their borough. They are all assigned to the 46th Precinct.

On Wednesday, however, they were assigned to a scalping detail at Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees and Red Sox squared off in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

Typically, cops assigned to arrest scalpers do the bulk of their work in the time just before the game starts, and sometimes as late as the second or third inning.

At that point, they may look for scalpers trying to sell tickets for upcoming games or they may be assigned another role inside or outside the stadium.

The accused cops, however, instead simply stopped working and headed for the Billiards Cafe, on West 181st Street.

Already dressed in civilian clothes from the Yankee Stadium detail, the cops did not stand out, but police officials said they were told later in the evening about the misconduct.

Stu London, an attorney for the officers, said "there may have been a miscommunication" about where the officers were supposed to be once the game started and the scalpers cleared out.

He said "all their responsibilities were adhered to" and that suspending them was an "overreaction."