Retired NYPD Officer Slain While Standing Up For Elderly Victim

 June 11, 2021

Whether law enforcement officers are active duty or retired, they still feel a responsibility to stand up for those who require their assistance. Unfortunately, for one retired officer, standing up for someone else did not end as he would have hoped.

Standing Up For The Elderly

Around 7:15 p.m., an elderly gentleman and a 33-year-old suspect began arguing in a pizzeria. According to New York Daily News, two retired law enforcement officers were sitting outside Korner Pizza when the argument started.

Thomas Marrian, 57, and his friend, a retired corrections officer, stepped in to protect the man. However, the suspect, identified as Michael Soto, 33, started fighting with them.

A witness said Soto was a drug user and was harassing the 86-year-old man. The New York Post said the older man was retired corrections officer Robert Velasquez's, 53, father.

Witnesses also said Soto was intoxicated at the time. According to the New York Post, Soto allegedly hit the older gentleman in the face.

Unpredictable Fight

As they fought with Soto, Velasquez took out his gun. Denzel Smith, 69, was waiting for the bus and witnessed the incident.

“They were arguing with the younger guy in the street. The guy said, ‘I’m going to get you. I’m going to shoot you.’ The other guy said, ‘I’m a retired cop.”

Denzel Smith to the New York Daily News

Soto struggled with the retired corrections officer for the gun, and it went off.

Retired Officer Down

Soto was shot in the arm, and Marrinan was shot in the chest. Witness Sam Saied said, " He falls down on the floor, and his wife came running."

She kept saying his name over and over again.

“The police were pumping Thomas, saying, ‘Wake up! Wake up!’ He wasn’t responding. The other guy was sitting there handcuffed. The crackhead was shot in the arm, and the cops dragged him to an ambulance.”

Witness Regina Uddin

Marrinan and Soto were both taken to Maimonides Hospital, and Marrinan died of his injuries. Soto is being charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted assault, and criminally negligent homicide.

Marrinan's nephew, NYPD officer Nick White said, “It’s a great weight off our shoulders to know he’s not out there and he can’t do anything like this again to vulnerable people in the community.” 

Marrinan was a loved officer who always did the right thing for his community, which he demonstrated in his last moments.

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10 comments on “Retired NYPD Officer Slain While Standing Up For Elderly Victim”

  1. I'm pro Free Speech, No Censotship, Period.
    My comments are my opinion, not to be infringed!

    1. How long does it take for an officer to respond to a 911? It takes 22 minutes where I live and we don't have the crime NYC has. The 86 year old would have been dead by the time back up arrived. With defunding the cops, would they even get help???

    2. He had already attacked the elderly gentleman. He could have killed him. The retired officer was still on duty!! His family will miss him but will know that he died with honor! They should be very proud of him.
      It is sorta like saying that the man has retired from the Marines. Never happen!

  2. WHEN SECONDS COUNT...police are minutes away [ today even longer ] so you have to see to your self and loved ones

  3. It's a shame the elderly man couldn't live out his years in peace !!! Rather a drug infused individual ended his life. Retired police are like the true military - always there !!! A drug head - they all need to be evaluated - they cause their harm to themselves while other pay their price !!! If drug heads only did harm to themselves it would be a different story - it's so bad that an elderly person had to die because of their stupidity !!!

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