A cop killer is on the cusp of freedom, and the victim’s heartbroken family is speaking out in an 11th-hour bid to keep him behind bars.
Eddie Matos is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for the 1989 murder of rookie officer Anthony Dwyer, who was on the job just two-and-a-half years when Matos shoved him from a Times Square roof.
Matos has been denied parole six times since 2014, but last week, a two-person parole panel was split on whether to set him free — and the Dwyer family is now waiting for a final decision next week from a three-member panel.
“I’m sick to my stomach. We’re almost expecting him to be released because of everything [going on with law enforcement] in this world,” Dwyer’s younger sister, Maureen Brisette, told The Post. “They don’t think of the victims anymore. It’s all about the criminal and they have more rights than we do.”
“He can rot in hell,” Dwyer’s devastated mom, Marge, said of Matos.
On Oct. 17, 1989, Matos and three accomplices shattered the glass door of a McDonald’s on Seventh Avenue and 40th Street with a sledgehammer and rounded up the employees at gunpoint, court papers show.
But a maintenance worker escaped, returning with three police officers, who saw Matos run toward the back of the restaurant.
They spotted the career criminal scrambling up a ladder to the roof, and Dwyer, 23, followed.
Once on the roof, Matos shoved the young cop down a 25-foot air shaft.
About 10 seconds later, a cop discovered Dwyer lying on his back at the bottom of the airshaft.
It took emergency services 45 minutes to bring him up, but he was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital.
Matos was captured the next day.
He was sentenced in 1990 to 25 years to life after being convicted of second-degree murder.
His three accomplices were also indicted.
“It feels like an eternity that my brother hasn’t been here, but it also feels like yesterday,” Brisette said, choking back tears.
Dwyer’s devoted sister turns 45 years old on April 28. “The best birthday gift,” she said, would be for Matos to again be denied parole.
Brisette wrote a letter on behalf of the Dwyer family to the parole board pushing for Matos to stay behind bars.
“To have to pour our hearts out for the 7th time now is unimaginable,” Brisette wrote in the April 12 letter. “Having to try and convince complete strangers that my brother Anthony was an AMAZING person and Police Officer is hard enough but to have to relive October 17, 1989, the day convicted cop killer Eddie Matos pushed my brother, a uniformed New York City Police Officer to his death so that he could get away with his crimes is heart-wrenching. Having to do this because members of the parole board couldn’t agree to keep this animal in jail for the rest of his life is just crazy to me.”
“This is outrageous cruelty towards the families of our fallen heroes,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. “The Parole Board acts as if it’s completely blind to the family’s suffering, waiting and hoping for a decision, only to be told they must wait some more.
None of this is an accident. It is all part of a calculated plan to make these hero families lose hope and stop fighting for justice. We will not allow that to happen.”