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Ozone Park convict gets 40-to-life for crime spree

TimesLedger Newspapers

The second member of a violent twosome that rampaged across southeast Queens two years ago got slapped with 40 years to life last week for shooting at the police while hanging out the window of a speeding, stolen car, the Queens DA said.

Darius Lowery, 25, and his co-defendant, 33-year-old Urban Fermin, kicked off their hour-long crime spree when they stole a 55-year-old St. Albans man’s car around 7:30 a.m. one February day in 2010, DA Richard Brown said.

About a half hour later the two men, wearing masks and dark clothing, forced their way into an elderly woman’s South Ozone Park home, ransacking the house of cash, a digital camera, jewelry, a video game console and a flat-screen TV before taking the batteries from the woman’s phone and speeding off in the stolen car.

The two then drove by their next victim, a 35-year-old woman walking along 128th Street. Lowery got out of the hot car and brandished a gun, demanding the woman hand over her pocketbook before ripping it away from her, Brown said.

He then rummaged through her pockets, taking her credit card, driver’s license, cellphone and cash before hopping in the car while Fermin drove off.

Shortly thereafter a pair of police officers spotted the two men sitting in the car at an intersection, and when they approached them, Fermin hit the gas and took off on a high-speed chase through three precincts, Brown said, often driving the wrong way down one-way streets.

When the chase got to Sutphin Boulevard in South Jamaica, Lowery hung out the passenger side window and fired at least eight rounds at the chasing police car, according to Brown, before the two jumped out of the moving car a few blocks away, where Fermin was arrested.

Police opened fire when they saw Lowery reach inside his waist band, but no one was hit and Lowery was able to get away until he was arrested at his home 12 hours later.

After a five-week trial in Queens Supreme Court Lowery, an Ozone Park resident, was convicted of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, attempted assault, attempted aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary, robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, the DA said.

Justice Kenneth Holder sentenced him to 40 years to life in prison May 16.

“This case is a reminder of the demanding and dangerous challenges that police officers face each day in protecting the public,” Brown said. “Thanks to the officers’ quick action in this case, the defendants’ hour-long crime spree netted them nothing more than spending the rest of their lives behind bars.”

Fermin was convicted of the same charges in March and sentenced to 30 years to life in jail.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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