2005-08-12 / Front Page

Rock Broke Patrol Car Window, Not Bullet: Cops

Police have concluded that rocks thrown from the rooftop of an apartment building – not a shotgun blast – are what last week knocked out the windshield of a patrol car in Far Rockaway.

Initial news reports said two police officers were on the street investigating an assault August 6 when an unknown sniper shot out the windshield of their vehicle, which was parked nearby.

That theory gained credence when a backup officer spotted a man on the rooftop above the scene holding what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun. Investigators recovered a piece of metal – right next to the damaged vehicle – that appeared to be a shotgun shell, a find that further supported the gunshot scenario.

The metal object was sent to the NYPD’s forensic lab where it was found to be a piece of chiseled metal – without ballistic characteristics, sources told The Wave.

Sources also said that the first officers on the scene never actually heard a shot fired and suspected from the start that it was a rock that blasted out their patrol car’s windshield.

Police now think that the white or Hispanic male, who appeared to be armed, dumped rocks off the roof of 1127 Nameoke Street – a rundown 4-story apartment building. Officers searched the entire building and arrested Miguel Gillen, 27, Francisco Huego, 35, Deoreo Rodriquez, 38, and Alex Perez, 20. Each of the men is charged with obstructing governmental administration.

Gillen, who allegedly taunted police with metal shears when they entered his unit, is additionally charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, according to a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. He was released on his own recognizance but faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, the spokeswoman said.

Police are investigating to see if any of the men were involved in the rock throwing, according to a source.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 101 Precinct at (718) 868-3400 or (800) 577-TIPS.

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