By Joe Anuta
The NYPD descended upon a quiet Bayside street Saturday night with guns drawn and what neighbors described as a SWAT team-like vehicle after a resident allegedly pushed his girlfriend inside the basement of a 42nd Avenue home at gunpoint and refused to come out, police said.
Athanasios Kakouras was cuffed and charged with assault and resisting arrest about 2 a.m., police said, although the man’s mother and a neighbor called the hours-long standoff an absurd overreaction.
“This must be the biggest drama ever in Bayside,” said resident Jasmine Singh, who was told to vacate her house Saturday night by a rifle-wielding NYPD officer.
At about 10 p.m., police responded to a report of a man with a gun outside a strip of shops along Station Road near the corner of 192nd Street, the NYPD said.
By the time cops arrived, the suspect had fled in a red Toyota, but cops soon spotted the car and police traced the plate number to the 42nd Avenue home Kakouras shared with his parents nearby.
When the City’s Finest arrived, officers observed Kakouras with a firearm allegedly pushing a woman into the basement of the brick home, according to the NYPD.
Eyewitnesses said soon afterward police cars blocked off the street and trained their cross hairs on the house. An all-terrain vehicle manned by armed officers in helmets and bullet-proof vests pulled up to the house, and shortly afterward the woman, who was Kakouras’ girlfriend, emerged.
Neighbors said she was taken into custody, but police said Sunday she was not charged with a crime.
Kakouras has a lengthy rap sheet and has served jail time, police sources said. Fellow Baysiders described him as having a short temper and several brushes with the law.
During the standoff, a witness heard the ex-con back-talking the officers from an open window and the front door.
“If I was armed, you would have already shot me,” the neighbor recalled hearing Kakouras yell at one point, at another time saying: “I know my rights. You need a warrant!”
The man’s father was in the home at the time and came out midway through the face-off.
Kakouras’ mother acknowledged her son had some anger issues, had gotten into a fight up the street that night and had consumed some alcohol, but she was furious at the insinuation he threatened someone with a gun.
“The whole thing was a big show for nothing,” she said, noting he had not been charged with criminal possession of a firearm. “He was scared and in a panic.”
She also disputed published reports that her husband suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
“He’s 66 and he works,” she said Sunday afternoon. “He’s at work right now!”
Singh, who lives next door, said there was not a nicer family on the block.
“The way they had it set up you would think he killed someone,” she said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.