New York Cop’s Widow Sues, Claiming Sergeant’s Sex Demands Led to Suicide
(NEW YORK) -- A married New York City police officer was driven to suicide because his female boss wouldn't take no for an answer when he tried to end a stationhouse affair, according to a lawsuit filed by his widow.
According to the suit, Officer Matthew Schindler, 39, last year told his superior officer Sgt. Christine Hirtzel that "her sexual demands" and her threats to ruin his career had "caused him to contemplate suicide."
Later that day, Feb. 13, 2012, Schindler, a 14-year veteran of the force, parked his car on the side of the Long Island Expressway and shot himself in the head with his own sidearm.
Schindler, a beat cop in Queens, N.Y., was having an affair with Hirtzel, but he "was made to understand that he would suffer tangible detriment in his job, job assignments, work conditions and future prospects if he did not submit to [her] sexual advances and demands," according to the suit.
Prior to killing himself on the night before Valentine's Day, Schindler warned his boss that he was thinking about killing himself, but she let him leave the stationhouse on his own and with his pistol anyway.
Worried that Schindler might hurt himself, Hirtzel came clean to a superior, confessing to the affair and warning that the cop was suicidal, according to the suit.
"The precinct captain attempted to communicate by phone with [Schindler]…and persuade him against suicide," according to the suit. But, soon after, Schindler shot himself.
Gina Schindler, the widow of the cop, was left to care for five young children. The lawsuit does not specify how much she is pursuing in damages.
A man who picked up the phone at Hirtzel's home said "no comment" and said she was not available.
A spokeswoman from the New York City law department said they were reviewing the lawsuit. "We are reviewing the claims. I cannot comment further since the matter is pending," the spokeswoman said.
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