2007-11-02 / Front Page

Two Still In Court Over '06 BC Halloween Melee

By Howard Schwach

It has been a year since the ugly, racially charged, egg-throwing incident that led to the arrest of four Broad Channel residents on charges of aggravated harassment, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and inciting to riot. Yet, two of those arrested remain in the criminal justice system, a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told The Wave this week.

Stewart and another plainclothes police officer stand over Rich as angry Broad Channel residents look on. Stewart and another plainclothes police officer stand over Rich as angry Broad Channel residents look on. Last year's Halloween incident started on the corner of Cross Bay Boulevard and West 10 Road in Broad Channel at about 4:30 p.m., when teens throwing eggs at passing cars on the major north-south road hit an unmarked police car with three anti-crime officers. Police sources say that the officers had been dispatched to check on a report of egg-throwing at that location.

Police reports and court records show that Detective Marques Stewart, a black undercover officer, got out of the car and approached two of the teens, Patrick Rich, 17, and Nicholas Stack, 16, both of Broad Channel.

Acell phone photo taken by an eyewitness on October 31, 2006. In the photo, Detective Marques Stewart stands over Patrick Rich. The grainy image obscures the fact that the officer is holding his baton in his right hand, but shows that his shield is hanging around his neck despite the fact that some said he never identified himself as a police officer. Acell phone photo taken by an eyewitness on October 31, 2006. In the photo, Detective Marques Stewart stands over Patrick Rich. The grainy image obscures the fact that the officer is holding his baton in his right hand, but shows that his shield is hanging around his neck despite the fact that some said he never identified himself as a police officer. While some residents say that the detective never identified himself, photos taken at the scene show that his shield was clearly hanging over the sweatshirt that he was wearing and that he had a police radio in his hand.

Court and police records say that a large and disorderly crowd gathered, taunting police and screaming racial epithets at the detective.

Court records allege that Rich jumped on the detective's back while Stack punched him in the stomach.

Eyewitnesses told The Wave at the time that Stewart responded by hitting Rich with his nightstick.

One eyewitness said at the time that Stewart knocked Rich to the ground and continued to beat on him even when he was down. Police sources, however deny that allegation.

Court records alleged that Patricia Rich, 44, Patrick's mother, screamed at the crowd, "Get the Nr," and threw rocks and eggs at the cop.

A statement released by the police department at the time said, "Video footage [from a nearby surveillance camera] showed the police establishing order to a disorderly crowd. It did not show any misconduct on [the part of] any police officer."

Rich attempted to get away by wading into Jamaica Bay, but was quickly corralled by police units responding to an "officer needs assistance" call.

Rich, his mother, Stack, and Robert Glade, 22 at the time, were arrested.

Glade was arrested for "yelling racial epithets in an attempt to incite the crowd to riot," court records say.

A spokesperson for DA Brown told The Wave this week that two of those arrested remain in jeopardy.

The charges against Patricia Rich were dismissed on October 23, after she reportedly underwent a psychiatric evaluation.

Robert Glade was given a conditional discharge on May 8. He will remain free as long as he is not arrested again in the near future.

Nicholas Stack was released on his own recognizance and is set for another hearing in early November.

Patrick Rich had been on probation on an earlier assault charge that occurred on the St. Patrick's Day prior to the Halloween melee.

He remains out on bail and has a court date set for early November.

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