Queens court officer stalked woman: DA

By Nathan Duke

A 43−year−old Queens criminal court officer has been arrested after he allegedly stalked a borough woman, following her in disguise and approaching her on numerous occasions in Woodside and Astoria during the past year, the Queens district attorney said.

Christopher Ofee, who lives in Woodside and works as a court officer at the Kew Gardens Courthouse, was arraigned Friday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gene Lopez on charges of stalking and harassment in six alleged incidents during which he approached a Queens woman, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

The defendant, released on his own recognizance, was also arraigned on harassment charges for allegedly approaching another woman during three reported incidents in Woodside, the DA said.

Ofee, who could face up to 90 days in jail if convicted, was scheduled to return to court April 30, a DA spokeswoman said.

In January 2008, the defendant, wearing a cast on his leg, allegedly asked the woman for directions to the subway near the Westway Motel on Astoria Boulevard in Woodside, the DA said. He then offered her a ride, but she declined, the DA said.

One month later, Ofee allegedly approached the woman near the Jackson Hole Diner in Woodside and again asked for directions to the train and offered a ride, but she walked away, Brown said.

In April 2008, a similar incident allegedly occurred at Ditmars Boulevard and Hazen Street in Woodside and another took place two months later at the corner of 49th Street and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, the DA said.

In November, Ofee allegedly approached the woman at Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street in Astoria and asked for the location of the Q69 bus, the DA said. He then asked her where she was going and she told him to stop approaching her, he said. The defendant then allegedly stuck up his middle finger at her while executing a U−turn in the middle of the street, the DA said.

In March, he allegedly approached her again at Ditmars Boulevard and 81st Street in Woodside, the DA said. The woman walked home and called the police, but during that time, Ofee is alleged to have driven by her in his car several times, he said.

Police pulled the defendant over shortly afterward and noticed that the zipper of his pants was down, Brown said. Officers allegedly found two black wigs in the car as well as duct tape, he said.

Ofee has also been accused of stalking another woman during three incidents between April 2008 and January, the DA said.

During the first incident, the woman accepted a ride from Ofee. The defendant allegedly told her that he was working on an advertisement of “Spider−Man” and needed photos of people wrapped in a web−type material, the DA said.

He is accused of approaching her two other times, during which she fled, Brown said.

A spokeswoman for the city Court Administration Office said Ofee has been suspended for 30 days and stripped of his gun. He will return to work on modified assignment, but will not be able to carry a weapon, she said.

The defendant, who worked as a city police officer from 1995 to 2001 before resigning, has been a court officer since 2005, she said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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