Former cop indicted in Howard Beach restaurant shooting

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Frenasia in Howard Beach. (Photo via Google Maps)

A grand jury indicted a retired cop from Staten Island for allegedly shooting a bystander at a Howard Beach restaurant, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Dwayne Chandler, 53, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court of a five-count indictment charging him with assault in the first degree and other crimes for allegedly shooting a man in the back following a verbal dispute on June 23.

It was just after 7 p.m. at Frenasia, a waterfront restaurant on Cross Bay Boulevard near the intersection with 163rd Street, when Chandler became embroiled in an argument with another man, according to the charges. Chandler allegedly pulled out a gun and fired. The bullet missed the man he was arguing with and struck a 31-year-old bystander in the back.

Police responding to the scene arrested Chandler and recovered a black 9-mm firearm. The victim was hospitalized and as a result of the shooting suffers paralysis in his legs, according to the charges.

Chandler was arraigned Wednesday, Jan. 13, before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles Lopresto on an indictment charging him with two counts of assault in the first degree, one count of assault in the second degree and two counts of reckless endangerment.

“The defendant in this case, a retired police officer, endangered people when he allegedly tried to settle an argument between himself and another person by firing his gun in a busy restaurant,” Katz said. “The bullet struck a bystander in the back, thankfully, the victim survived. The defendant now faces serious charges.”

If convicted, Chandler faces up to 25 years in prison.

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