Flushing attacker gets 15 years for cop assault

By Jeremy Walsh

A Flushing man who attacked a rookie cop with a baseball bat and stole his gun and handcuffs in Jackson Heights two years ago was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Danny Fernandez, 23, was convicted Jan. 29 of criminal weapons possession in a two−week jury trial that did not reach a verdict on other charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer and robbery. He awaits a retrial on those charges, the DA said. He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars last Thursday.

“This case is a reminder of the demanding and dangerous challenges that police officers face each day in protecting the public,” Brown said in a statement. “It is fitting that he received the maximum penalty allowed under the law.”

Around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2007, Fernandez allegedly walked up behind uniformed Police Officer Joseph Cho at 39th Avenue and 102nd Street in Jackson Heights and struck him once with a baseball bat, knocking him to the ground, the DA said.

When he saw that Cho was still moving, Fernandez allegedly struck the officer once more in the head, grabbed his gun and cuffs and ran away, the DA said.

Officer Patrick Lynch, who at the time was only out of the police academy two months and on foot patrol, testified that he saw Fernandez steal Cho’s equipment and gave chase.

Fernandez still had the items when Lynch apprehended him, the DA said. The bat was recovered at the scene of the assault, the DA said.

Cho was taken to a Queens hospital in serious condition and treated for a fractured skull and concussion, Brown said.

Both Cho and Lynch were assigned to the NYPD’s Field Training Unit at the time of the incident.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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