Gunpoint Robbery At BCHS
The victim, a 16-year-old student at the school, said the men, age 16, 17 and 22, surrounded him in a stairwell and shouted at him to give them his money, according to court records. When he refused, one of the men, John Arce, 17, allegedly “pulled out a black handgun, pointed it in the air, cocked it, and again demanded the [victim] give them his money,” according to the records.
Arce then handed the gun to one of his alleged accomplices, Luis Irizary, 16, and tried to search the victim’s pockets. The victim shoved Arce and tried to run away and was pistol whipped from behind.
The would-be robbers apparently gave up and began to flee the school. A school official told police he saw a handgun fall from Irizary’s coat, according to court records. Irizary picked up the weapon and then continued running, according to the witness account.
Another student, who chased the young men, injured his wrist when one of them assaulted him, police said.
Officers from the 100 Precinct caught up with Arce, Irizary and another man accused of participating, Luis Agosto, 22, at Beach 96 Street and Shorefront Parkway. The young men were later identified by witnesses, police said. Police did not find the weapon, but a black pistol grip was recovered.
Arce, Irizary and Agosto, who live separately in the Hammels Houses, are charged with two counts of first degree robbery – an armed felony offense – two counts of second degree robbery and second degree assault, according to court records. They were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court the following day. Judge Joseph Zayas set bail at $15,000 for Arce; $2,500 for Irizary; and $7,500 bond plus $5,000 bail for Agosto, according to a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
The Wave contacted the Department of Education seeking comment for this story. Alicia Maxey, a DOE spokesperson, requested additional time in order to address the paper’s questions and then failed to provide a comment by press time.