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First Japanese-American NYPD captain cleared of misconduct

An NYPD captain accused of intentionally botching a drunken-driving case to help an off-duty detective was cleared of all charges in Bronx Criminal Court on Friday.

Prosecutors failed to prove Capt. Naoki Yaguchi, the first Japanese-American to make the rank of NYPD captain, purposefully waited to give the detective a breath test following a fender bender in April 2017.

Eric Franz
Capt. Naoki Yaguchi poses with his attorney and family after being cleared of any wrongdoing in delaying a Breathalyzer test for off-duty detective Efrain Medina.

“The prosecution failed because no crime occurred,” Yaguchi’s lawyer, Eric Franz, told The Post on Friday.

Yaguchi had been charged with obstruction of governmental administration and official misconduct, both misdemeanors.

Prosecutors alleged Yaguchi sent a supervisor to pick the detective up after the minor accident and then purposely waited two hours to give him his breath test — knowing that any breathalyzer administered after the NYPD’s “required observation period”  would be deemed insufficient by the Bronx DA’s office.

Yaguchi’s lawyer successfully argued, however, that he was concerned about whether there was probable cause to administer the breath test.

“He is one of the honest people I’ve ever met. It was my honor to represent him,” Franz said.

“The prosecution never should have happened in the first place,” added Yaguchi’s union boss, Roy Richter. “We’re ecstatic that the judge saw it for what it was.”


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