2007-07-13 / Front Page

Cops Corral Rockaway Thugs In NYPD Shootings

Flood Peninsula With Searches, Car Stops, Vertical Patrols
By Howard Schwach

The three Rockaway residents sought in connection with the Monday, July 9 ambush shooting of two New York City police officers were in custody as The Wave went to press.

Lee Woods at his arrest on Beach 29 Street last March. He was allegedly driving the stolen SUV from which the shots were fired. Photo By Howard Schwach Lee Woods at his arrest on Beach 29 Street last March. He was allegedly driving the stolen SUV from which the shots were fired. Photo By Howard Schwach After the Tuesday arrest of Lee Woods, 29, at his Gateway Boulevard home in Far Rockaway, police fanned out in and around the public housing complexes on the peninsula, searching for two other Rockaway men wanted in the shooting of the two young officers.

The two, identified by police as Dexter Bostic, 34 and Robert Ellis, 34, were allegedly in a stolen SUV being driven by Woods when they were stopped by Police Officers Russel Timoshenko and Herman Yan.

As the two police officers approached the car, which had been stolen from a Lawrence dealership where Bostic worked as a salesman, Bostic and Ellis allegedly opened fire without warning.

Yan was wounded, but was saved by his armored vest. Timoshenko was gravely wounded, shot twice in the head, allegedly by Bostic, who was on parole for earlier gun and assault convictions.

Official NYPD photo of Dexter Bostic, who was captured in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night. Official NYPD photo of Dexter Bostic, who was captured in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night. On Wednesday night, Bostic was arrested in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Ellis was found hiding in the woods in the same area on Thursday morning.

Police sources said that right after the shootings, Bostic and Ellis were driven to Long Island, where they took the ferry to Bridgeport, Connecticut. They picked up supplies for their escape in Tarrytown, New York, and then continued on through New Jersey and into the Poconos, where they were dropped off by an unidentified friend in a desolate mountain area.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, however, the man who drove the two to Pennsylvania was convinced by his brother, a housing police officer, to tell officials where he left the two suspects.

On Tuesday night, a team of 20 NYPD detectives searching the area where the two were dropped found empty tuna cans and cracker wrappers.

At the same time, hundreds of police officers flooded Rockaway, doing vertical searches in every public housing complex on the peninsula as well as Ocean Village.

Offical NYPD photo of Robert Ellis, who was captured in Pennsylvania on Thursday morning. Offical NYPD photo of Robert Ellis, who was captured in Pennsylvania on Thursday morning. Automobile checkpoints were set up to look for the fugitives.

Sources say that more than 100 people were arrested on various charges, ranging from driving without a license to trespassing in one of the public housing complexes there.

On Wednesday afternoon, police received an anonymous tip that one of the two men had been spotted in an apartment in a private house on Bay 32 Street in Bayswater.

Police evacuated the homes in a square-block area and surrounded that house. Specialized units, including aviation, emergency services and K-9 were called in to assist in the search.

After several hours, a teen was taken from the house, but police sources told The Wave that he was in no way connected with the shootings.

At about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, a call to the Pennsylvania 911 system reported that two men matching the suspects' descriptions were seen walking along Route 80 in Tannersville. Shortly thereafter, police found Bostic hiding in the woods.

On Tuesday night, police officials set up a large mobile command post near Ocean Village on Beach 56 Street. Commanders in that mobile post controlled all of the police searches, sweeps and checkpoints on the peninsula, until the two fugitives were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday. Photo By Howard Schwach On Tuesday night, police officials set up a large mobile command post near Ocean Village on Beach 56 Street. Commanders in that mobile post controlled all of the police searches, sweeps and checkpoints on the peninsula, until the two fugitives were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday. Photo By Howard Schwach He reportedly told police that he was getting too old to run.

Ellis was found hiding in the same general area on Thursday morning.

The two Rockaway men arrested in Pennsylvania are expected to be extradited to New York City for trial. The alleged driver, Woods, has already been arraigned on charges of attempted murder in a Brooklyn court.

Bostic was on parole, having spent most of his 20's in prison, then returning to the street long enough to take part in a robbery in which his partner fired some shots at the victim. He had two convictions for violent felonies.

In March of 1991, Ellis was arrested for the rape of a local 14-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison and got out on conditional release in 1998.

On Wednesday, police sealed off a section of Bay 32 Street in Bayswater after receiving an anonymous tip that one of the fugitives was holed up in an apartment at that location. Photo by Doug Macleod. On Wednesday, police sealed off a section of Bay 32 Street in Bayswater after receiving an anonymous tip that one of the fugitives was holed up in an apartment at that location. Photo by Doug Macleod. Woods was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1999 for possession of a weapon and criminal mischief in the Bronx. He was conditionally released in 2004.

In March of last year, Woods allegedly took part in the stabbing of another local man outside of the McDonald's restaurant on Beach Channel Drive and Mott Avenue.

Woods, who lived on Beach 29 Street at the time, was charged with attempted murder, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a weapon.

He was reportedly awaiting trial on those charges when he allegedly drove the car used by the two shooters.

Police Officer Timoshenko remains in grave condition. Officer Yan was released and is recuperating at his Brooklyn home.

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