A New York police officer has been arrested for allegedly falsely claiming her coworkers were sending her threatening messages. Prosecutors allege the officer was really sending the messages to herself.
Emily Hirshowitz, 36, of the Ossining Police Department, was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with four counts of third-degree falsely reporting an indicent, and three counts of first-degree filing a false instrument, which is a felony, according to The New York Post.
“This is a case of a harassed woman and it is riddled with mystery and confusion,” her attorney Paul DerOhannesian told The Independent in a statement via email.
In May of 2022, the officer, a seven-year member of the Ossining police force, reported to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office that she was receiving threatening text messages from her colleagues, claiming, “a fellow police officer or multiple police officers at my department are involved,” according to court documents obtained by the Rockland / Westchester Journal News.
The messages were hostile in tone, calling the officer insults like “dumb,” “useless,” and “reject,” with one text even urging her suicide, according to messages shared with officials in the following months.
Local officials took the complaints seriously.
On 23 August, police chief Kevin Sylvester convened a meeting to discuss the mesages, inviting local officials like the mayor. That same month, Hirshowitz attempted to withdraw her complaint.
By October of 2022, investigators looking into the case obtained a search warrant for the officer’s phone and Apple iCloud account, and prosecutors allege that evidence obtained there suggests Hirshowitz controlled multiple phone numbers sending the threatening messages.
A footnote in their complaint, however, notes that a different individual in the DA’s office could be linked to three messages, but that prosecutors were unable to press charges.
Former Ossining police officer Louis Rinaldi, who resigned this year, has emerged as a potential accomplice to Hirshowtiz, according to the Post.
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