Gunman gets 20 years for shooting at police officers in Jackson Heights

Gunman gets 20 years for shooting at police officers in Jackson Heights
Courtesy NYPD
By Bill Parry

A man who opened fire on two police officers in Jackson Heights in 2011 was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison Tuesday.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Antonio Olmeda, 57, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty earlier this month to the attempted murder of the two cops.

Olmeda was wearing a fake beard, a black trench coat, eyeglasses and a fedora near 37-55 76th St. on Dec. 2, 2011 at 3:45 p.m. when uniformed Police Officers Stephen Danisi and Matthew Ferrara, who were on foot patrol, were approached by a civilian who alerted them to a suspicious man. The officers approached and began asking questions, according to the charges.

Olmeda refused to take his hands out of his pockets and Danisi placed his hands on the defendant’s shoulders in order to restrain him.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens DA’s office, Olmeda then pulled out a gun and the officers took cover. The defendant fired three shots at the officers and fled the scene.

The officers, who were not hit, pursued Olmeda and found the fake beard, eyeglasses and hat he was wearing on the sidewalk at 77th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. They were submitted for DNA testing and came back as a match for Olmeda, who had a DNA sample on file in the New York State DNA Index System.

Olmeda was arrested on Dec. 19, 2011, on East 16th Street in Manhattan, while sitting in an automobile. A .38 caliber revolver with two live rounds of ammunition was found in the vehicle, along with three spent .38 caliber shell casings.

On July 12, Olmeda pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted murder before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C, Holder, who sentenced the defendant to 20 years to life Tuesday.

“This case underscores the real dangers that police officers face every day on the job,” Brown said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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