By Dustin Brown
A man and woman from Kew Gardens were arrested last month for allegedly carrying out a series of armed muggings in which they sometimes fired random gunshots to intimidate their victims, the Queens district attorney said.
Donald Rosenberg, 21, of 68-56 136th St., and Valerie Gourdet, 20, of 69-11 138th St., have been charged with numerous counts of robbery, burglary and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with one burglary and three muggings in Jackson Heights, College Point and Maspeth, police said.
Both are in custody, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, with bail set for Rosenberg at $500,000 and for Gourdet at $200,000.
Rosenberg was arrested April 17 on Junction Boulevard near the Long Island Expressway when an officer approached his car and saw him place a handgun in his waistband, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office.
The gun, which Rosenberg allegedly stole along with a Sony Play Station, engagement ring and two other firearms in a March 27 College Point house burglary, ultimately connected him to the armed robbery pattern, for which Gourdet was later arrested, the DA said.
In each of the three muggings, which spanned a week in early April, Rosenberg and Gourdet allegedly robbed a pair of victims with a gun in hand before fleeing in a red Honda with Virginia plates, according to the criminal complaints.
On April 5, Rosenberg and Gourdet both flashed handguns as they forced two men into an alleyway by 32nd Avenue and 54th Street at 12:30 a.m., where they frisked the men and demanded money, the complaint said. Rosenberg allegedly loaded his handgun and fired a round into the air before he and Gourdet fled with a backpack containing an X-Box video game system and game, it said.
A week later, at 14th Avenue and 129th Street in College Point, Rosenberg stepped out of his car and forced two men to the ground by pointing a gun at their chests, the complaint said. Rosenberg and Gourdet allegedly stole a neck chain and some cash in the 8:15 p.m. mugging, according to the DA’s office .
Their approach was nearly identical a few hours later at 3 a.m., when Rosenberg is accused of again forcing two men to empty their pockets in front of 55-36 69th Place as he pointed a gun at their chests, taking money, a learner’s permit and cigarettes, the complaint said.
But Rosenberg allegedly fired one round at one of the victim’s feet before he and Gourdet, who searched the two men’s pockets, fled the scene, the DA said.
He came back moments later to tell one victim not to pick up his cell phone from off the ground, the complaint said.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.