Two teenagers from the Rockaways on Thursday, Feb. 3, were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court and charged in the Feb. 1 shooting of an off-duty NYPD officer in Arverne, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Chad Collie, 19, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Far Rockaway, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Laurie Peterson on a 13-count complaint charging him with attempted murder in the first degree and other crimes. Jayare Robinson, 18, of Beach Channel Drive in Arverne, was arraigned before Judge Peterson on an 11-count complaint charging hims with attempted murder in the second degree and other crimes..
According to the charges, at around 10 p.m. on Feb. 1, the two defendants walked up to a vehicle stopped at a traffic light near the intersection of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 62nd Street. Collie allegedly tapped on the driver’s side window and demanded that the driver get out of the vehicle. The driver, 22-year-old off-duty NYPD Police Officer Manuel Soto, then got out of the car.
Video surveillance shows Collie and Robinson standing on either side of the victim, who then attempted to get away from them. Collie allegedly fired three shots at the officer and one bullet struck him in the shoulder. The off-duty officer returned fire but hit neither of his assailants, according to the charges. The two defendants then fled on foot from the crime scene.
Uniformed officers from the 100th Precinct in Far Rockaway in an unmarked police vehicle responded to the sound of gunfire and spotted the two defendants on Beach 62nd Street, according to the DA. The officers from the precinct’s Public Safety Team followed the two alleged gunmen to the intersection of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 59th Street, stopped a few feet in front of them, and exited the vehicle, Katz said.
According to the charges, Collie allegedly fired a shot at them, hitting the rear of their car. The defendant then allegedly threw the gun, which was later recovered, into a patch of grass and continued running. Shortly after, the uniformed officers apprehended both men.
Three shell casings were recovered near the intersection of Beach 62nd Street and Beach Channel Drive, where Collie allegedly fired at the off-duty officer, who received medical treatment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for his injuries. Another shell casing was recovered near the intersection of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 59th Street, where Collie allegedly fired at the uniformed officers, the charges stated.
“This was a brazen carjacking attempt that all-to-easily could have ended in yet another tragedy for the NYPD and all New Yorkers,” Katz said. “As alleged, the defendants — one of them brandishing a gun — confronted the victim, an off-duty police officer, as he sat in his car at a red light. After the off-duty police officer got out of his car, defendant Collie allegedly fired three shots, one of which hit the victim in his shoulder. The defendants then fled and defendant Collie allegedly shot at uniformed officers, who were able to apprehend them. This blatant disregard for human life must be answered with certain justice.”
Judge Peterson set Collie’s return date for Feb. 7. Collie faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top charge.
The judge ordered Robinson to return to court on Feb. 7. Robinson faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Meanwhile, Officer Soto was released from Jamaica Hospital Center Thursday afternoon. The rookie officer is the sixth member of the NYPD shot this year.