By Madina Toure
The teenager who was arrested for allegedly threatening to target City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and his family in a drive-by shooting at their home in Hillcrest was a former friend of Lancman’s son, according to a spokeswoman for Lancman’s office.
The teenager, Ariel Gershakovich, 17, of Hillcrest, was charged with harassment and aggravated harassment for allegedly calling Lancman and threatening to shoot him, his wife and his three children, according to a complaint filed by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office.
The lawyer representing Gershakovich, Diane Akerman, declined to comment.
Lancman’s son and Gershakovich were friends several years ago, the spokeswoman for Lancman’s office said.
There were some prior phone harassment incidents in 2011 and 2012, but they were not serious in nature, the spokeswoman said.
The recent incidents were the first calls since then and made some very specific threats, she said.
Gershakovich was arraigned April 9 and released on his own recognizance, a Queens DA spokeswoman said. He was due back in court April 24. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail.
Temporary orders of protection were issued to Lancman, his wife and his three children, she said.
Gershakovich allegedly called Lancman April 7 between 10:50 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. and told the councilman to call him back or he would conduct an old-school drive-by shooting on Lancman and his family, according to the complaint.
When Lancman received the phone call, he was at home with his wife and children, the complaint said.
“On Tuesday evening, the councilman received a series of specific, threatening calls to his home phone,” Lancman’s office said in a statement. “The police and district attorney’s office investigated with their usual professionalism and care, and an individual has been arrested and charged.”
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour