A Laurelton man was indicted by a Queens grand jury on assault and gun charges after ramming a police car at a roadblock in August, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
David Griffiths, 24, of 133rd Avenue, was arraigned Thursday, Sept. 15 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimono on a 173-count indictment charging him with multiple crimes after police recovered counterfeit cash, forged driver’s licenses and a loaded firearm that had been inside the vehicle.
According to the charges, on the morning of Aug. 7 at 233rd Street, police officers observed Griffiths get into and drive off in a blue Mercedes Benz GLE 43 AMG that was allegedly obtained using a stolen identity. Officers attempted to pull Griffiths over, leading to Griffiths taking evasive action, driving onto a sidewalk and then slamming into a police vehicle, flipping it onto its roof, according to the charges. Two of the officers inside of the car were taken to a hospital for treatment.
At 119th Avenue and 236th Street in Cambria Heights, Griffiths allegedly jumped out of the car and attempted to flee on foot, discarding evidence as he ran from police, according to the charges. Included in the items allegedly discarded by Griffiths were a loaded purple Taurus 9mm pistol, counterfeit currency, forged state identifications, some of which included a photo of Griffiths but with a different name, and stolen and forged credit cards.
Griffiths was apprehended near the Cross Island Parkway, about a block away from where he abandoned the Mercedes. Katz explained that the investigation did not end with the arrest.
Police executed a court-authorized search warrant for a storage facility unit allegedly owned by Griffiths. Police allegedly recovered an additional cache of stolen credit cards, mail phishing tools, forged identifications and a “check washing” station with chemicals used for altering the information contained on stolen checks.
“This case is a stark reminder of the intersection between violent crime and white-collar offenses, both of which take a devastating toll on our communities,” Katz said. “The dedicated assistant district attorneys of my Major Economic Crimes Bureau pursue these crimes with equal intensity to bring safety and justice to our borough.”
The investigation involved special agents from the U.S. Secret Service from the New York field office.
“The defendant, in this case, tried to escape being caught allegedly breaking a myriad of laws and put our police and anyone on the street in danger,” Katz continued. “The defendant is accused of not only operating his own credit card mill with a counterfeit cash printing side business, but he was also allegedly carrying a loaded firearm. This kind of criminal activity will not be tolerated in Queens.”
Justice Cimino ordered Griffiths to return to court on Oct. 27. If convicted, Griffiths faces up to 15 years in prison.