The police officer who traded shots with a cop killer stopped riding his motorcycle after his son was born because he didn’t think it was worth the risk, a neighbor said Thursday.
Officer Joseph Ayala was one of two officers who confronted suspect Alexander Bonds moments after the unhinged ex-con executed Officer Miosotis Familia early Wednesday morning as she sat in a mobile command post in the Bronx.
Ayala, 54, and Sgt. Keith Bryan caught up with Bonds, 34, about a block away after the victim’s partner frantically called for backup. Bonds was killed during a gunfight with Ayala and Bryan, who squeezed off 20 shots at the suspect.
Ayala’s Westchester neighbors called him a hero Thursday saying his presence on the block keeps residents there safe.
“There are 15 houses here and half of them are cops,” said neighbor Kevin McCarron, 61. “So you feel safe here. He’s been here for about 15 years. He’s a good guy, a working stiff like the rest of us. I’m glad he shot that guy. I would have shot him too.”
McCarron said he and Ayala used to ride motorcycles together.
“When his son was born he told me, ‘I’m going to stop riding bikes because I have a son now. It’s not worth it,’” McCarron recalled. “I told him, ‘You’re a cop and you’re worried about a bike?’ He faces more danger on the streets. So he doesn’t ride anymore. He wants to be there for his son.”
Ayala plays on the NYPD’s baseball team and his Facebook page includes several photos of him in uniform.
Ayala and Bryan were hailed across the city for their heroism. One of the pats on the back came from former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who shouted them out on his Facebook page.
“Thank God for Bryan and Ayala,” Kerik wrote, “and every cop in our country like them.”
To donate to the Daily News’ fund for Miosotis Familia's family with credit card or PayPal, go to nydn.us/FamiliaFund or send payments electronically to Daily News Charities, account number 9387-575-837, routing number 021-000-322 or make checks payable to Daily News Charities, Inc. and mail to:
POLICE OFFICER MIOSOTIS FAMILIA FUND
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New York, NY 10004
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