Jamaica teen faces up to 25 years in prison for attacking grandmother heading to church: DA

A teen from Jamaica was arraigned Wednesday for allegedly shoving a 68-year-old grandmother down church steps during an Apr. 7 mugging that left her with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.
Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A 16-year-old Jamaica boy was indicted by a Queens grand jury for shoving a grandmother down the steps of a Jamaica Hills church as she was heading to Sunday mass on the morning of Apr. 7.

The defendant, of 89th Street in Jamaica, was arraigned Wednesday in Queens Supreme Court on a 12-count indictment charging him with first-degree assault and first-degree robbery for attacking 68-year-old Irene Tahliambouris in front of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and stealing her property and car.

The teenager was also indicted for a separate incident for allegedly stealing another woman’s car days earlier.

According to the charges, at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Apr. 7, Tahliambouris was walking up a short flight of steps at the church, located at 84-35 152nd St., as the defendant approached. He is seen on video surveillance running up the staircase beside her and then stepping in front of her. Without saying a word, the teen shoved the victim, causing her to fall backward and land headfirst on the concrete sidewalk.

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Once Tahliambouris was on the ground, the defendant is seen on video surveillance picking up her purse, which contained $300 in cash, her cell phone, credit cards and the keys to her 2006 Nissan Altima. He can be seen putting his hands near the victim’s waist and pockets as she lied motionless on the sidewalk. The defendant is also seen on video entering Tahliambouris’ 2006 Nissan Altima, which he also stole to make his getaway from the church.

The family of Irene Tahliambouris launched a GoFundMe campaign for contributions that would help get her “what she needs to get her life back together.” Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Tahliambouris to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital with serious injuries, including a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. She remains in the ICU and is listed in critical but stable condition, unable to stand or move on her own.

The NYPD recovered the vehicle more than three miles away, and crime scene investigators dusted for prints that linked the youngster to the brutal crime. Detectives from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows arrested the teen 72 hours later in front of his home on 69th Street.

“An assault on an elderly woman walking into church on a Sunday morning is unconscionable,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “After allegedly pushing the woman down the stairs, the defendant robbed her and stole the woman’s car. We are grateful that the victim is recovering and that we were able to secure serious charges against him from the grand jury.”

The teen is separately charged with another robbery on Apr. 4 in Rochdale Village. At approximately 10:15 a.m. on that day, the defendant allegedly followed a 50-year-old woman into an elevator at a building on 127th Avenue.

The defendant told the woman he followed her from a bank and saw her take money out. He demanded the money and her keys. The defendant allegedly put his hand in his pocket and pointed what appeared to be a weapon at the woman. The victim then gave the teen her car keys. He is seen on video surveillance leaving the building and getting into the woman’s Toyota Corolla and driving away.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Bruna DiBiase ordered the teenager to return to court on May 15. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.