Antonio Olmeda, 53, has been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of two police officers in Jackson Heights earlier this month, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday afternoon.
“Our officers miraculously escaped injury when their assailant fired at extremely close range, narrowly missing them,” Kelly said in a statement. “Olmeda’s arrest was bittersweet in that it came this morning as the family of Police Officer Peter Figoski prepared for his funeral.”
A man wearing a black trench coat, hat, glasses and a fake beard allegedly shot at two officers at the corner of 37th Road and 76th Street Dec. 2, police said. The citizens group Citizens Outraged at Police being Shot had put up a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of the assailant.
City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) also condemned the attack.
A photo of Olmeda released by the NYPD showed a Hispanic man with dark hair and dark eyes.
Police on patrol had been alerted to the costumed man by a passerby who said he was acting suspiciously, police said. When the officers approached the man and asked for his identification, he pulled a revolver out of his coat, police said. He fired twice at the officers and ran away, police said.
The officers patrolling that day were not able to catch him, but recovered his fake beard, hat and glasses, police said.
Dromm said in a statement that the poor conditions on Roosevelt Avenue, a block away from the shooting, and the lack of services on the avenue have led to the area’s becoming a magnet for crime. He said five people waiting for a bus at 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue were shot in 2008.
“The physical environment on Roosevelt Avenue between 69th Street and 114th Street is a sad, dangerous symbol of urban decay,” Dromm said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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