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Corona man who hit officers, torched house draws 30 years

By Rebecca Henely

A 52-year-old Corona man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday for setting the home of a Forest Hills couple on fire, returning later in the day to attack the male resident and then assaulting and striking with his car three officers during his arrest, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Vipan Chander, 52, was convicted Nov. 19 of burglary, arson, assault, attempted assault, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest after a jury trial in Queens Supreme Court, the DA said.

Judge Salvatore Modica sentenced Chander to 30 years in prison earlier this week, the DA said.

“The defendant has proven himself to be a menace to society and deserving of the lengthy prison sentence imposed,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “He has exhibited a complete disregard for human life.”

Chander’s attack centered around Parveen and Ram Shandal, who had once let Chander’s wife and children stay at their house, the DA said. On Sept. 15, 2009, he set the interior of the house on fire with gasoline, the DA said. Parveen Shandal fled the house, the DA said.

After setting the house aflame, Chander came back hours later and attacked Ram Shandal, hitting him on the head two times with a heavy metal object and causing lacerations, the DA said.

Police later attempted to pull Chander over at the intersection of 66th Road and Grand Central Parkway, but Chander struck the officer’s patrol vehicle and fled, the DA said. Chander hit another officer two blocks later with his car, causing the officer to hit Chander’s car hood and windshield, the DA said.

A third officer then tried to arrest Chander, the DA said. They wrestled and the officer was injured in the fray, the DA said.

After Chander, who had bloodshot and watery eyes, was arrested, a Breathalyzer test revealed he had a .15 percent blood alcohol content reading, the DA said. The legal limit in New York is .08 percent.

The officers were taken to a nearby hospital for bruising and pain, the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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