2004-10-22 / Front Page

Police Standoff At Hammel Houses

By Brian Magoolaghan


Detectives lead Harold Falls, 26, and Tyree Jackson, 19, into the 100 Precinct Stationhouse on Tuesday after arresting them at the Hammel Houses.
Detectives lead Harold Falls, 26, and Tyree Jackson, 19, into the 100 Precinct Stationhouse on Tuesday after arresting them at the Hammel Houses. A narcotics operation at the Hammel Housing complex this week led to a dangerous standoff between police and two suspects in an apartment with young children, police said.

Officers from the Queens Narcotics Bureau arrested two men, whose names were not immediately available, inside 84-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. A third suspect, Danny Russel, 34, who law enforcement sources say tossed away a 9mm Ruger as he fled the scene, got away.

Police searched the area and broadcast the description of a black male wearing a black jacket and hat, but Russel remained on the lam for about three hours.

At 6 p.m., officers discovered that Russel, and another man, Melvin Adams, 28, were in a 7th floor apartment – along with a 2-year-old baby and a 3-month-old infant.

Police went to the apartment to arrest Russel, but he refused to open the door and indicated there were children inside. Police Captain Paul Piekarski called for a full mobilization of officers in the 100 Precinct and called in the Emergency Service Unit as well as the Hostage Negotiation Team, according to a police source.

ESU, which routinely breaks down doors in barricade situations, was held off for fear it could jeopardize the safety of the children, according to the police source. Three hours later, Russel and Adams peacefully surrendered without further incident.

The children were taken to Peninsula Hospital Center for observation.

Once inside the apartment, officers discovered two plastic sandwich bags containing crack cocaine, a law enforcement source said.

Russel is charged with felony weapons possession charges, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Adams was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Russel and Adams were awaiting arraignment as The Wave went to press.

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