By Mark Hallum
A Little Neck resident was sentenced to 11 years in prison for a Nassau County stick-up gone wrong back in December 2015.
Oliver Lee, 22, walked into the Roosevelt Field Mall’s Tourneau store in Garden City with a firearm and tried to leave with an $18,000 Rolex before being met with opposition from a security officer and retired NYPD sergeant. In the struggle to disarm the Queens man a round was discharged and hit a 69-year-old employee in the neck, according to the Nassau County District Attorney. The guard, Kenneth Krug, survived.
Lee pleaded guilty in June to robbery in the first degree and three counts of assault in front of Supreme Court Justice William Doninno, the DA said.
“An innocent 69-year-old mall employee was shot and holiday shoppers were terrorized when this defendant’s gun fired following his attempted theft of a Rolex,” Nassau DA Madeline Singas said. “Thanks to the bravery of a retired NYPD sergeant, he was apprehended, and now he will pay for his crime behind bars.”
Krug managed to jam the firearm after the initial round was fired and two other security guards jumped in and subdued the would-be thief. According to Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter in 2015, Lee had about 10 Oxycodone pills on his person, but there was no evidence of drugs playing a role in the incident.
“Kenneth Krug’s actions can only be described as heroic. He engaged in what was a life-and-death struggle,” Krumpter said at a news conference.
The Little Neck resident shared a rowhouse with his mother off of Douglaston Parkway, near the Fairway, and neighbors at the time were shocked to hear of the incident.
One anonymous neighbor in 2015 said Lee never moved out of his mother’s house, but aside from spending some time in community college, he was known to have rowdy friends over where they would hang out in the backyard.
According to the Nassau DA, Lee will not only serve time behind bars, but will spend five years on post-release supervision.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall