By Bill Parry
The commanding officer’s final day at the 104th Precinct in Maspeth didn’t go as planned due to a burglary suspect who allegedly opened fire at his officers Monday morning. Jeremy Clark, 27, of Rochester, New Hampshire was arrested after allegedly firing one shot at police officers near the intersection on 56th Avenue and 60th Street, according to the NYPD.
“It was kind of crazy out there,” Capt. Christopher Manson said. It all began when Clark parked his Dodge Dart at 56th Avenue and 61st Street and fired a shot at a woman, according to police.
Police responded to a 911 call of shots fired as Clark hid in a home on 56th Avenue. As units arrived, the suspect fired a shot at an officer but missed. He was tackled by police, arrested and charged with attempted murder, attempted assault of a police officer, criminal mischief and weapons charges and taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center for observation.
Residents ran for cover as did a TV crew shooting an episode of the HGTV Network’s “Million Dollar Contractor” at a nearby shop owned by the show’s host, Stephen Fanuka.
“It was a horror, but I’m happy my officers were OK and so was the lady,” Manson said Tuesday after starting his new job as the commanding officer of the 110th Precinct in Corona where he replaces the popular Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson.
Leyson made the announcement March 12 at the precinct council meeting that he had been reassigned as an administrator with the Patrol Borough Queens North. “I feel like I’m leaving on top after I was able to accomplish my own goals,” Leyson said. “That goal was to make positive change in this community.”
City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) worked closely with 110th’s commander for the last two years. “Deputy Inspector Leyson was deeply committed and cognizant of the needs of our community,” Ferreras said. “We will greatly miss his humility and how approachable he was.”
State Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst) was at the council meeting to hear the announcement himself.
“Deputy Inspector Leyson was a stellar commanding officer,” Moya said. “Throughout his tenure, he deployed his specific brand of law enforcement – a focus on safety, coupled with deep community involvement. Although he will be sorely missed, I know that he will continue to serve our borough with distinction in his next post. He leaves behind big shoes to fill, but I’m sure that Capt. Christopher Manson is more than up to the task.”
Manson led the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood for more than two years and made plenty of stops at different Queens station houses during his 27-year career. The son of an FDNY chief, Manson was a patrolman at the 108th in Long Island City, a lieutenant at the 106th in Ozone Park and executive officer at the 114th in Astoria.
“It’s my first time at the 110,” Manson said. “The neighborhood is so completely different than the 104, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the communities in Corona and Elmhurst and their civic associations. I’m very much looking forward to working with them.”
The captain may have lived most of his life living on Long Island, but he’s got Queens in his DNA.
“I was born in Astoria and lived there for one week before my family moved to Massapequa,” he said. “But, yeah, I guess that makes me a Queens guy.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr