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In a bedside arraignment at Jamaica Hospital, a 40-year-old man was charged with stalking his ex-girlfriend and attempted murder after an off-duty police officer was shot when he broke up a domestic dispute on Father’s Day in South Jamaica, the district attorney said.
Jose Bernazard was on the mend from the wound he received while allegedly struggling with Far Rockaway Police Officer Joseph Koch when he was slapped with a 24-count indictment June 27, with the top charge of attempted murder carrying a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted, DA Richard Brown said.
“The defendant has been charged with having exhibited a total disregard for the judicial system and the law,” Queens’ top prosecutor said. “He is accused of assaulting on four separate occasions a woman he once dated, repeatedly ignoring a lawful mandate to stay away from her, and with shooting a police officer attempting to affect his arrest. His alleged actions clearly show that he is a threat to society.”
Brown said the Ozone Park man had allegedly been stalking his ex-girlfriend, Christina Rodriguez, for months before he showed up at her place June 16.
Rodriguez claimed she woke one night in January 2012 to find Bernazard on top of her, choking and pummeling her.
He allegedly told police he “broke the door to get in and get my stuff” and was arraigned on assault charges, Brown said.
The court served him with a restraining order, which Rodriguez said Bernazard allegedly violated when he attacked her three separate times between March and December 2012, Brown said.
Police said when Bernazard showed up at Rodriguez’s home on Father’s Day, he forced his way inside and started attacking her and her 10-year-old son before the boy ran out of the house screaming for help.
Koch, who was at a nearby barbecue with his fiancee, heard the young boy’s pleas and, with his police shield clipped to his waistband, identified himself as a cop and went into the building, police said.
Authorities said Bernazard was able to get a hold of Koch’s gun and allegedly shot him once in the hand, and in the ensuing struggle took a bullet wound to the abdomen himself.
Bernazard, Koch, Rodriguez and her son were all taken to the hospital.
State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Modica went to Jamaica Hospital so Bernazard could be arraigned on two counts of attempted murder, menacing a police officer and assault in addition to a list of charges stemming from his alleged attacks on Rodriguez, the district attorney said.
Bernazard was ordered held without bail and is due back in court July 22.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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