The man accused of shooting two police officers in the Queensbridge subway station last week faces serious charges from the incident he claimed started because he feared deportation, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Raul Nunez, 32, was arraigned last Thursday at his bedside in Bellevue Hospital on numerous criminal counts, including attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the DA.
The Dominican Republic native got into a scuffle Oct. 21 with two plainclothes officers while trying to use an unauthorized MetroCard that ended with all three men being shot, the DA said.
“This case once again underscores the dangers that our police officers face each day,” Brown said in a statement. “A seemingly routine stop at a subway turnstile turned deadly in seconds — reminding all of us that there is nothing routine in police work.”
Officers Jason Maass and Shane Farina approached Nunez at the turnstile when he tried to use a student MetroCard, which he was not authorized to use around 5:10 p.m, according to Brown. When Nunez failed to produce identification, the officers tried to handcuff him, but he fought back and all three fell to the ground, the DA said.
Brown said Nunez was deported from the United States in 1998. He told authorities he was in the country illegally and did not want to be deported again, according to the DA, who said Nunez knew Maass and Farina were officers when he admitted that he “went wild” on the subway platform.
Nunez allegedly took Maass’s 9mm pistol and shot both officers and kept firing at them as he ran up to the main level, Brown said. Once he got there, he allegedly shot at Lt. Gary Abrahall, the officers’ superior, who returned fire and wounded the immigrant, according to the DA.
Maass suffered a gunshot wound to the lower torso and was treated at Elmhurst Hospital, where he was released later that night, according to the NYPD. Farina suffered injuries to his lung, liver, bowels and intestines at Elmhurst Hospital and was still being treated at Elmhurst Hospital as of press time Tuesday, police said.
Nunez was sent to Bellevue where he was recuperating from gunshot wounds to the leg and torso, police said.
Queens Criminal Court Judge Deborah Stevens Modica ordered him to be held without bail and ordered him to return to court Nov. 6. If convicted on all of his charges, Nunez faces up to 25 years in prison, Brown said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 146.
©2008 Community News Group
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