Howard Beach man pleads guilty to assaulting police officer with a crowbar in Kew Gardens

A Howard Beach man admitted he assaulted an NYPD officer with a crowbar during a 2019 foot pursuit in Kew Gardens. (Photo via Getty Images)

A Howard Beach man admitted to striking a cop in the face with a crowbar and causing severe physical injuries during a 2019 attempted burglary at a Kew Gardens home, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Andres Tabares, 40, of 89th Street, pleaded guilty Monday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis to assault in the first degree for his attack on NYPD Officer Anthony Spinella who was one of the cops pursuing two defendants who were attempting to burglarize a home on 59th Avenue. Co-defendant Marlon Morales Moreira, 32, of 75th Street in Woodhaven, was also charged in connection with the incident.

According to the charges, on the night of Tuesday, April 16, 2019, a man made a 911 call saying he heard someone at his back door trying to break into his home. Police responded to the scene and spotted Tabares and his co-defendant, who fled the scene in different directions as officers gave chase. As Spinella caught up to Tabares, he grabbed his shirt, at which time Tabares swung his arm around and smashed him in the face with a crowbar he was holding.

Katz said Spinella sustained a serious physical injury to his left eye, sustaining an abrasion to his eye with bleeding behind his eye, swelling and temporary blindness. At the time of his arrest, Tabares allegedly stated in sum and substance that “it was a mistake” and that he was just “trying to get away.”

Morales Moreira was apprehended without incident.

“In pleading guilty, the defendant has taken responsibility for causing severe injuries to a police officer, who was responding to a report of an attempted burglary,” Katz said. “The defendant now faces a prison term as punishment for his criminal actions.”

Justice Lewis indicated he would sentence Tabares to 12 years in prison to be followed by five years of post-release supervision at his Oct. 7 sentencing. Co-defendant Morales Moreira is awaiting his next court date on Sept. 21.