Hannibal Ali, 56, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery on Sept. 23, 2019. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post-release supervision.
“It is very fortunate that the young man – a hero who acted without thought for his own safety – survived being shot as he chased down the robbers,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “The defendant has pleaded guilty in this case and is going to prison for his actions that day. This kind of brazen thievery will not be tolerated in Queens County and those who violently break the law will be prosecuted and incarcerated.”
According to charges, at 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 17, 2018, Ali was part of a three-man crew that robbed a bodega on 36th Avenue. The trio wore authentic-looking police shields while two of the robbers wore masks. One of the men went behind the store’s counter and grabbed a bag of cash as well as taking money from the register. The men then exited the store and ran toward a waiting van.
A relative of the bodega’s owner, who was in the shop at the time, ran after the men and was ultimately shot in the leg. As the man fell to the ground, the van drove off to parts unknown.
Charges say that Ali was spotted on video surveillance inside the store unmasked with a fake police shield around his neck and a firearm in his hand.
Ali’s co-defendant, Osvaldo DeJesus, 25, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. The third defendant’s case is pending.