June 3, 2023

Police officers on duty are accused of stealing two unopened, expensive champagne bottles from a group of concertgoers in a VIP area at an electronic music festival, officials said.

Shortly after the festival attendees briefly left their tables, one of them witnessed NYPD Detective Jonathan Gonzalez, 33, snatch the Ace of Spades bottles from their table Sept. 3 at the Electric Zoo Music Festival in New York City, according to court documents and depositions. .

Gonzalez is accused of taking the bottles, worth a total of $2,900, to a table where fellow detectives Wojciech Czech, 44, and Warren Golden, 31, stood and grabbed a backpack, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.

The concertgoer witnessed Czech returning the bottles to Gonzalez, who allegedly stuffed them into his backpack while Golden stood by, according to the district attorney’s office.

Gonzalez, Czech and Golden, who monitored narcotics at the festival, were charged in connection with the incident, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. announced. in a press release dated May 15.

Gonzalez and Czech are facing charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, according to Bragg. Golden and Gonzalez are charged with one count of official misconduct.

“In addition to the alleged theft that has taken place, none of these officers have stopped this activity,” Bragg said in a statement.

Attorney Oliver S. Storch, who is the Czech representative, told McClatchy News in a May 16 statement that his client has pleaded not guilty and is “appalled and saddened” by the allegations.

Attorney Jacob Weinstein, representing Golden, said in a statement to the McClatchy News on May 16 that he expects his client to be “fully vindicated” and that the charges against his client are “simply not supported by the facts.” not guilty.

According to Storch and Weinstein, Czech and Golden still work for the NYPD.

Peter Brill, representing Gonzalez, told The New York Times that Gonzalez “will be cleared of the charges.” Gonzalez pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on Monday, according to the outlet.

McClatchy News attempted to contact Brill for comment on May 16 and received no immediate response.

The concertgoers confront the detectives, officials say

After officials said they stole the champagne, the detectives went to an employee restricted area and were stopped by a security officer, the release said.

According to officials, two concertgoers walked up behind them and confronted them.

As a result, the champagne bottles from Gonzalez’s backpack were seized and returned to the concertgoers, officials said. Subsequently, the NYPD was notified of the incident, the release said.

Czech and Golden are due back in court on June 20, court records show.

Storch said Czech, who has been a seasoned law enforcement professional for 10 years, “asks the public not to pass judgment until these allegations can be fully addressed in the appropriate forum.”

Weinstein said the district attorney’s office “should never have brought this charge against Officer Golden.”

Electric Zoo is held every year on Randall’s Island. The 2022 show, which took place September 2-4, featured Diplo, Porter Robinson, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix and more.

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