Hudson Valley Man, Ex-Cop, Commits Suicide In Front of Police
A former Hudson Valley cop, a man who had ties to a local quadruple-homicide suspect, committed suicide after he was pulled over by police near an elementary school.
On Wednesday around 8:20 a.m., 48-year-old Gerard Benderoth of Stony Point was pulled over by State Police and the FBI on Rosman Road in the Town of Haverstraw, near a Rockland County elementary school.
Benderoth, a former officer for the NYPD and Haverstraw police, shot and killed himself as authorities approached the car, police say.
Benderoth was being investigated for his ties to Nicholas Tartaglione, reports the New York Daily News.
Tartaglione, a retired Briarcliff Manor cop, is accused of killing four Orange County men in April 2016 and hiding the bodies on his Otisville property.
Martin Santos-Luna, 41, 25-year-old Miguel Sosa-Luna, Urbano Morales-Santiago, 35, and 32-year-old Hector Gutierrez, all of Middletown, were last seen on April 11, 2016, near the Chester Diner.
The murders all took place during a drug deal near a bar called the Likquid Lounge in Chester, officials say. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, some of the men were not involved, but simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Prior to the bodies being found, Tartaglione was charged in a five-count indictment for allegedly killing the four men and conspiring to sell five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Benderoth was known in the weightlifting community as the "White Rhino" and competed in America's Strongest Man competitions.