2004-04-16 / Front Page

Man Shot In Beach 116 Street Battle

By Howard Schwach

Man Shot In Beach 116 Street Battle


A police officer from the 100 Precinct takes John Trainor, a Rockaway street person, into custody. Trainor reportedly began the fight that led to the shooting.A police officer from the 100 Precinct takes John Trainor, a Rockaway street person, into custody. Trainor reportedly began the fight that led to the shooting.

By Howard Schwach

What started as a fight between an often drunk young Rockaway man and a diner at the Last Stop Gourmet Shop on Beach 116 Street turned ugly early Tuesday morning when a diner decided to teach the drunk a lesson and was shot by a retired police officer who interceded in the fight.

According to police officials, the incident began at approximately 6:45 a.m. in the Last Stop, a coffee shop and restaurant attached to the Beach 116 Street subway station, the last stop on the A line.

Police say that Paul Friedl, 37, of 511 Beach 126 Street, reportedly a Gulf War Marine Corps vet, was having breakfast at the Last Stop when John Trainor, 36, of 110-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, a street person who regularly hangs out in front of the subway or nearby Pickles and Pies, began to bang on the window of the shop with a broomstick.


There was a heavy police presence outside of the Last Stop Gourmet Shop on Beach 116 Street after the shooting on Tuesday morning.There was a heavy police presence outside of the Last Stop Gourmet Shop on Beach 116 Street after the shooting on Tuesday morning.

Workers in the eatery, who asked not to be identified, said that Trainor often bothers patrons in the shop.

Friedl, apparently angered by Trainor’s actions, stepped into the street in front of the shop and an argument ensued.

According to eyewitnesses at the scene, Trainor began to beat Friedl with the broomstick.

Friedl, eyewitnesses say, pulled a knife from his backpack and threatened Trainor.


Detective Regina Blasi of the 100 Precinct Detective Squad and Sergeant Marchadia of the 100 Precinct, speak about the shooting on the street outside the eatery.Detective Regina Blasi of the 100 Precinct Detective Squad and Sergeant Marchadia of the 100 Precinct, speak about the shooting on the street outside the eatery.

At that point, a third man, identified by eyewitnesses as Joseph Manello, a retired police officer who had stopped in for coffee, came to Trainor’s aid. Manello, 61, retired three years ago after 27 years in the Midtown North Precinct,

"Drop the knife," Manello yelled, but Friedl punched him in the face and then lunged at him with the knife.

Eyewitnesses told The Wave that Friedl was screaming that he was a "commando" and a "special forces Marine."

The retired officer reportedly drew his licensed .38 caliber weapon and shot Friedl once in the cheek. According to police, the bullet passed through his cheek and impacted on his shoulder.


Police officials and detectives look at the detritus left in the wake of the shooting on Beach 116 Street outside the subway station on Tuesday morning.Police officials and detectives look at the detritus left in the wake of the shooting on Beach 116 Street outside the subway station on Tuesday morning.

Trainor picked up the broomstick and continued to beat Friedl as he lay on the street.

He was saying, "I’m dying, I’m dying," one of the eyewitnesses told The Wave.

Detectives from the NYPD’s Crime Scene Unit responded to search for the spent bullet and for other evidence. The detritus of the shooting, including bloody bandages and papers, lay in the street for hours after the shooting.

Friedl was removed to Jamaica Hospital where he remains in stable condition. He was arrested by police for menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.


The shooting began as an altercation outside the Last Stop Gourmet Shop. Sitting inside, left, is Joseph Manello, the retired police officer who shot a man that pulled a knife on him during the fight.The shooting began as an altercation outside the Last Stop Gourmet Shop. Sitting inside, left, is Joseph Manello, the retired police officer who shot a man that pulled a knife on him during the fight.

Trainor, who police say started the fight, was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Freddie Ciappetta, who owns the Last Stop, told reporters, "[Trainor] has been asked to stay away from here many times."

Manello sat for hours in the café, awaiting crime scene detectives to take his weapon and to give his statement.

Detective Regina Blasi of the 100 Squad is investigating the incident.

A spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told The Wave on Wednesday that Manello was acting in self-defense and will not be charged.

Friedl remains in the hospital. He was issued a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) for assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. He will have to appear in court after he is discharged from Jamaica Hospital.

Trainor was charged in Queens Criminal Court with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.


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