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A Howard Beach man was arrested after he assaulted a police officer as he tried to flee from a burglary attempt in Kew Gardens Hills.

Andres Tabares, 37, was charged with first- and second-degree assault, aggravated assault upon a police officer or peace officer, assault on a police officer, fireman or emergency medical services professional, second-degree attempted burglary, possession of burglar’s tools and resisting arrest. If convicted, Tabares faces up to 25 years in prison.

Marlon Morales Moreira, 28 of Elmhurst, was also taken into custody in connection to the incident. He was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree attempted burglary and second-degree obstructing governmental administration and faces 25 years in prison if convicted.

“This incident illustrates the dangers police officers face every day on the job. The officer responded to a call from a homeowner that two individuals were breaking into his home,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan. “One of the defendants, on the verge of being arrested, responded by allegedly hitting the police officer in the eye with a crowbar. This heroic public servant has temporarily lost sight in his eye. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration.”

According to charges, at 9:40 p.m. on April 16, a man called 911 saying that he saw two people trying to get into the backdoor of his 59th Avenue home. Upon their arrival, officers allegedly saw Tabares and Morales Moreira, who then took off in different directions. Police gave chase, with Officer Anthony Spinella pursuing Tabares on foot.

Officer Spinella caught up with Tabares and grabbed his shirt, and that’s when Tabares allegedly swung his arm around and hit the police officer in the face with the crowbar he was holding.

Charges say that Officer Spinella sustained an abrasion to his eye with bleeding behind his eye, swelling and temporary blindness. After being arrested, 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.

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