GAR­NER COP WEDS

‘She was there for him’ af­ter Staten I. choke­hold tragedy

New York Post - - NEWS - By DAVID K. LI Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Nick Fu­gallo

The NYPD cop ac­cused of putting Staten Is­land dad Eric Gar­ner in a fa­tal choke­hold was mar­ried this past week­end, law-en­force­ment sources said Mon­day.

Of­fi­cer Daniel Pan­ta­leo, 32, and Ali­cia Cross, 26, ex­changed vows Satur­day at a church in Dyker Heights, the Brooklyn neigh­bor­hood where the bride grew up, sources told The Post.

The love­birds first met shortly af­ter Pan­ta­leo was implicated in Gar­ner’s death in 2014, sources said.

Friends said the loyal Cross kept her fu­ture hubby sane dur­ing the dark­est mo­ments of his le­gal tra­vails.

“She was there for him when he was go­ing through a tough time,” a pal said.

The friend added that Pan­ta­leo has ev­ery right to live a happy life.

“He was just do­ing his job,” the pal said, re­fer­ring to the cop’s fa­tal take­down of Gar­ner. “He de­serves to have a life.”

The cou­ple’s wed­ding re­cep­tion was at the West­mount Coun­try Club in Wood­land Park, NJ, sources said.

For their first dance, the new­ly­weds waltzed to a cover ver­sion of Elvis Pres­ley’s “Can’t Help Fall­ing in Love,’’ sung by “Amer­i­can Idol” singer Ha­ley Rein­hart, ac­cord­ing to video posted by the re­cep­tion’s deejay.

Gar­ner died as he was be­ing busted for sell­ing loose cig­a­rettes on July 17, 2014.

Dur­ing the vi­o­lent take­down, Pan­ta­leo wrapped his left fore­arm around the 350pound Gar­ner’s neck, ac­cord­ing to cell­phone video of the con­tro­ver­sial ar­rest.

As Gar­ner was slammed to the ground by cops, he re­peat­edly said, “I can’t breathe.”

Those three word have be­come a slo­gan of anti-po­lice­bru­tal­ity pro­test­ers.

A Staten Is­land grand jury de­clined to in­dict Pan­ta­leo for Gar­ner’s death, which was ruled a homi­cide.

The city set­tled out of court with Gar­ner’s fam­ily for $5.9 mil­lion.

Pan­ta­leo con­tin­ues to work for the NYPD on Staten Is­land, al­though he’s not on the street, sources said.

‘DE­SERVES A LIFE’: Of­fi­cer Daniel Pan­ta­leo, who put Eric Gar­ner (above) in a fa­tal choke­hold, dances with bride Ali­cia Cross Satur­day.

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