A St. Albans man was indicted on kidnapping and other charges for hijacking an MTA bus in Cambria Heights last month.
Dwayne Gaddy, 44, of 201st Place, was arraigned Nov. 16 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on an 11-count indictment charging him with kidnapping, grand larceny, robbery, assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful imprisonment and criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
According to the charges, at around 7:30 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 27, Gaddy ran in front of the eastbound Q4 on Linden Boulevard while carrying a black bag and blocked the path of the vehicle. Gaddy allegedly demanded to be let on board shouting, “Let me on the bus. They are trying to kill me!”
When the bus driver refused, Gaddy produced what appeared to be a firearm — which was later identified as a BB gun — and pointed it at the vehicle. The bus driver opened the door, allowing him on board, at which point Gaddy allegedly walked up and down the aisle while waving the weapon. According to surveillance video investigators retrieved from inside the bus, the driver is seen opening the doors so that the passengers could escape, likely preventing further harm, as Gaddy stood next to the driver holding the weapon and directing the driver where to go during the next 14 minutes.
As the bus operator continued driving the bus he attempted to reason with Gaddy while opening the driver’s side window. After driving several more blocks, the driver was able to jump out of the side window, leaving Gaddy alone on the bus near the intersection of 231st Street and Linden Boulevard. As alleged, Gaddy immediately attempted to take the steering wheel and lost control of the bus, careening into a utility in front of the Cambria Center for the Gifted Child, resulting in the loss of power to 850 customers, according to Con Edison. Gaddy dropped the BB gun next to the driver’s seat before exiting the bus, which sustained approximately $50,000 worth of damages.
Gaddy was apprehended immediately after the crash across the street from the collision and taken to an area hospital, and the recovered weapon used during the course of the incident was determined to be an air-soft pistol.
The driver, a 21-year MTA veteran, was taken to Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, Nassau County, where he was treated for bruising to his elbow and hip, lacerations and abrasions to his arm and finger and substantial pain.
“If not for the quick-thinking bus driver remaining calm and collected under pressure, the outcome would have been far worse,” Katz said. “We cannot allow confidence in our public transit system to be undermined and will not let this brazen lawlessness go unanswered in Queens County. The defendant has been charged accordingly and faces justice in our courts.”
Justice Cimini ordered Gaddy to return to court on Dec. 15. If convicted, Gaddy faces up to 25 years in prison.