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Two Ozone Park men are facing serious charges after they allegedly led police on a wild chase last week that began with a car theft in St. Albans and ended with a shoot-out, the Queens district attorney said.
Urban Fermin, 30, of Liberty Avenue, and Darius Lowery, 22, of 115th Avenue, were arraigned last Thursday night on various charges including burglary, criminal possession of a weapon and attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer, DA Richard Brown said. Within a span of nearly 90 minutes, the two suspects allegedly stole a Ford Focus, burglarized a home, robbed a woman and got into a gunfight with police, according to the DA.
“In less than an hour, the two defendants are accused of committing more than a dozen serious felonies — including the attempted murder of police officers who put their lives and safety at risk as they braved gunfire in an effort to bring the defendants’ crime spree to a halt,” he said in a statement.
The incident began around 7:35 a.m. Feb 2, when a St. Albans man left his Ford Focus running to warm it up and five minutes later it was stolen, the DA said. Roughly 40 minutes later, Fermin and Lowery allegedly burst into the South Ozone Park home of a 72-year-old woman and told her and her 40-year-old daughter, “This is a robbery, move in,” according to the DA.
Both men were armed with handguns and one watched the women while the other took several items from the home, including a flat-screen TV set, a Nintendo Wii, cash and a digital camera, the DA said. The two fled in the Focus, according to the DA.
Around 8:30 a.m., a 35-year-old South Ozone Park woman was walking near 128th Street when the stolen Focus stopped behind her and Lowery got out of the vehicle and approached her, Brown said. He allegedly brandished a black handgun and took the woman’s pocketbook, cell phone and driver’s licence before getting back into the car that was being driven by Fermin, according to Brown.
A marked police car, with its lights and siren on, approached the Focus after getting a tip from an eyewitness who saw the robbery and attempted to pull the car over, the DA said. Lowery, however, allegedly responded by opening fire at the police officers, who returned fire, according to Brown.
The police chased the pair but they got away, the DA said.
No one was hurt, but the car was found abandoned at 99th Avenue and 153rd Street in Ozone Park with the stolen merchandize from the burglary inside, the DA said. A handgun was recovered not too far from the vehicle, Brown said.
The two men were arrested sometime after the incident, according to the DA. If convicted on all of their crimes, they both face up to 25 years in prison, Brown said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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