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A Queens police officer was recovering from a gunshot wound and his accused attacker was arraigned assault charges after a domestic violence call turned ugly in Ridgewood last weekend.
Police said 104th Precinct officer Rodney Lewis is expected to fully recover from his injuries after being shot once in the armpit early Sunday morning when a decades-old gun discharged during a tussle with a suspect. The shooting took place outside of 18-12 Menahan St. after police stopped 33-year-old Edwin Santana while responding to a domestic violence dispute a few doors down.
Police said when officers were conducting a search of Santana, they realized he was carrying a more than 60-year-old revolver. Authorities said as Police Officer Mark Bublin attempted to remove the gun, Santana allegedly spun around quickly, causing him to drop the weapon, which discharged upon impact with the ground.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Bublin and his partner, Lewis, were able to subdue Santana and move him to a patrol car before Lewis collapsed to his knees and said “I’m shot.”
The incident occurred at 5 a.m., before the typically busy area had come alive for the day. Jose Morano was stocking shelves in a bodega across the street when he heard the ruckus.
“I thought it was bad,” he said. “I saw four or five cops carry another cop to a car and drive him away real fast.”
The Queens district attorney said Santana was arraigned on charges of assaulting a police officer and weapons possession in Queens Criminal Court Monday.
“This case underscores yet again the dangers faced by New York City police officers every day. There is nothing routine or predictable about police work,” Queens DA Richard Brown said. “Domestic violence calls in particular usually involve emotionally charged individuals, which makes the situation difficult and extremely unpredictable for both the involved parties and those responding to the call. The situation can become even more dangerous when — as in this case — responding officers are confronted with a deadly weapon.”
According to the DA, Santana has a previous murder conviction.In 1991, he was convicted as a juvenile of killing William Sainato in Rufus King Park and served 15 years in prison.
But friends of Santana said the 33-year-old had only shown up to protect Marcello Campana, a transgender woman, and his ex-girlfriend, who was allegedly being abused by her current boyfriend, Carlos Berrios.
“They arrested the wrong guy,” said one friend, who declined to be identified for safety reasons. “They’re both bald so the cops thought [Santana] was her boyfriend. I think the gun was just for show. He’s not the type of person that would ever shoot a cop. He’s a good guy.”
Police said Lewis was in stable condition at a hospital in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon. Santana, according to the DA, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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