NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New York police officer pleaded not guilty to charges that he used his gun while off duty to menace unruly train passengers over the weekend.
Officer David Hendrick was suspended without pay after being arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, the New York Police Department said.
Hendrick, 38 and a 16-year veteran of the police force, is accused of brandishing his weapon in an attempt to quiet two disorderly hockey fans riding on a Long Island Railroad train Sunday night.
Hendrick, however, said the rowdy New York Rangers fans started "coming at me" after he warned them to calm down or be escorted off the train.
The officer and the hockey fans boarded a Ronkonkoma bound train at Penn Station shortly after 9 p.m., according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The two men were allegedly boisterous, drinking and harassing other passengers, the authority said, and Hendrick pulled his weapon hoping the sight of the gun would persuade them to settle down.
Instead, police met the train in Mineola, New York, and removed Hendrick.
Speaking to New York's News 12 cable station, Hendrick said that he pulled his weapon after identifying himself as a police officer and gave the two men two warnings to calm down.
When the warnings failed, he said he told the men, "You have two choices. Stop the drinking, stop the cursing, stop the smoking, the disrespect by everybody, or I escort you off the train."
"A rumble ensued," he said. "I had my gun on me. They were coming at me. We were fighting, throwing blows. I pulled out my gun, pointed it at the subjects. It was two against one. They were out for blood, and that's why I pulled out my gun on the subjects."
Hendrick was held on $2,500 bond. He entered his plea Monday and is expected back in court on October 14.
Calls to Hendrick's attorney, Steve Worth, were not returned.