JammedUp News


Hulking ex-NYPD cop kills himself as the FBI attempted to arrest him on quadruple murder charges

March 9, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Hulking ex-NYPD cop kills himself as the FBI attempted to arrest him on quadruple murder charges

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

A former NYPD officer killed himself on Wednesday in front of FBI agents who were about to take him into custody as part of a quadruple homicide and cocaine conspiracy.

Gerard Benderoth, 48 — who also goes by the nickname “White Rhino” from his days as a strongman competitor — committed suicide on a quiet road in Rockland County just before 8:30 a.m. as federal agents pulled him over.

The feds intended to arrest him on a sealed indictment linked with a murder and drug conspiracy case.

The 360-pound Benderoth was nicknamed White Rhino. (FACEBOOK)

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had already charged Benderoth’s retired Westchester cop associate Nicholas Tartaglione in December. He was charged with four murders and drug conspiracy

“If this guy put a bullet in his head rather than talk to them, he must have been in deep,” a law enforcement source said to The New York Post.

Authorities had attempted earlier on Wednesday to apprehend Benderoth at his home in Rockland County, where he lived with his wife and their four kids.

After they didn’t find him at the residence, officials caught up with him one town south approximately 15 minutes away.

Benderoth cited the movie “Conan the Barbarian” for his passion for bodybuilding. (FACEBOOK)

After he had noticed flashing lights tailing him, Benderoth called his former partners at the Haverstraw Police Department and asked: “Why are you pulling me over?”

However, Haverstraw police informed him it wasn’t them.

He pulled over his SUV and shot himself before the agents could make it to his car.

Benderoth, who worked as a cop with the Haverstraw Police Department after he retired from the NYPD back in 2005, was facing undisclosed charges for his role in the quadruple murder carried out by Tartaglione — a fellow bodybuilder and retired police officer that worked in Briarcliff Manor.

Nicholas Tartaglione was charged with killing Hector Gutierrez, Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago and Miguel Luna. (HANDOUT) One

Bharara’s indictment of Tartaglione, 49, alleges that he and unidentified conspirators sold kilo-weight cocaine for nearly one year.

In April, one drug deal turned violent, with Tartaglione reportedly killing Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna and Hector Gutierrez.

The ex-officer and the victims crossed paths at a bar his brother owned in Chester, NY called the Likquid Lounge, according to Bharara.

They were last seen together in a Chevrolet Equinox — and all four were killed in or near the bar.

Some of the four were implicated in the conspiracy, and some were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Benderoth turned his weapon on himself in his car as law enforcement officials approached in Rockland County. (CBS NEW YORK)

“These four men had not been seen or heard from since the day of their murder,” Bharara continued.

Within days of the indictment, all four men’s remains were discovered from Tartaglione’s rental property in Orange County.

It’s not clear what role the former cop played in the conspiracy.

In 2008, Benderoth was named the tenth strongest man in the U.S.

By Wednesday, the FBI had not published Benderoth’s name and only confirmed that a suicide had occurred during a traffic stop.

“While conducting a vehicle stop this morning, FBI agents and task force officers approached a man who was the occupant of a stopped vehicle,” a spokesperson told The New York Post. “During the approach, the man drew a handgun and shot himself.”

Get the latest news from the world of crime