Officer Tragically Dies After Being Shoved Over Railing During Scuffle
Officer Alain Schaberger
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
March 14, 2011
BROOKLYN – Slain Brooklyn cop Alain Schaberger’s devastated fiancée said Sunday that her life could never be the same without him.
“It’s like I’m waking up in a nightmare,” Shoshone Peguese, 45, said with tears streaming down her face outside the couple’s home in Cortlandt Manor, Westchester County.
Peguese recalled kissing Schaberger goodbye Saturday night – just hours before he fell to his death in a scuffle with a ex-con in Brooklyn.
“Alain left last night to go on duty to work the night tour,” she said on the front porch of their bungalow, 50 miles outside the city on a picturesque mountain ridge. “He just said he was tired. I kissed him and told him to be careful.”
She said that she and Schaberger, 42, had intended to marry, and that he wanted to help her raise Peguese’s two kids and retire in seven years.
Instead, Peguese raced to Schaberger’s hospital bed Saturday, to say one last goodbye before he died.
“My mother said not to go and see him like that, but I had to,” she said.
Schaberger was a 10-year NYPD veteran who was born in Vietnam. He came to the U.S. when he was 5 years old with his father – an Army vet who worked as a civilian guard at the U.S. Embassy when Saigon fell in 1975 – and Vietnamese mother.
Raised in East Islip, L.I., Schaberger grew up on tidy block of single-family homes and played basketball at the local public school.
“I would also like to thank my family for encouraging me and giving me confidence during my high school years,” he wrote in the 1987 East Islip High School yearbook.
Schaberger attended college briefly, then bravely followed his father’s footsteps into public service.
He served in the Navy from 1991 to 1995 and joined the Police Academy in 2001, where he was in the class forced onto the streets early because of 9/11, patrolling Ground Zero checkpoints and escorting grieving family members.
Schaberger spent the last six years on the night shift, patrolling Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct, where he died early Sunday.
But at home he was a loving, low-key man, who would often travel with his fiancée to South Carolina to attend powwows with her Native American tribe, the Pee Dee Indian Nation.
“A lot of people thought he was native,” said Peguese, a New York City Transit employee. “They thought he was one of our people.”
Schaberger was fond of barbecuing steaks, cooking up lamb or porkchops, to go with her special potato salad.
Recently, they went to the town’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But now, Peguese is left trying to explain to her kids why he’s gone.
Her 9-year-old son is taking it hard, she said: “He’s trying to be a strong little man.”
Schaberger often returned to East Islip to visit with his parents and sister, Tracey, a nurse with two kids, neighbors said.
“It’s tragic. It’s unbelievable,” said neighbor Mitchell Greif. “He was a great guy from a good family. He was always pleasant and polite. His parents are devastated.”
Schaberger’s mother – a hairdresser – and father were too distraught to speak with reporters.
“It’s a shame,” said Bill Conley, 59, an electrician who has lived next-door to the Schaberger family for 25 years. “It’s always the good ones that die young.”