2011-12-09 / Top Stories

Ex-Cop Acquitted Of All Charges

By Nicholas Briano

A retired New York City correction officer and Rockaway Beach resident was acquitted on all charges this week for a 2010 incident outside a Jackson Heights bowling alley where he shot two men in self-defense, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Michael Iavecchio, 55, was working as an armed security guard at AMF Bowling Alley at 69-10 34 Avenue on February 6, 2010 when he was arrested and accused of assault and attempted murder for the shooting of two men outside the bowling alley after they were asked to leave the premises for smoking inside.

He was acquitted of the charges that included two counts of second degree attempted murder and two counts of assault.

Events unfolded at around 1:40 a.m when Iavecchio asked Gerard Hourigan and Justin Donaghy, both 30, to leave. According to trial witnesses and Iavecchio, the two men appeared heavily intoxicated and police were able to confirm the men were three times above the legal limit that night. The incident occurred when Donaghy charged at Iavecchio outside the bowling alley. He drew his firearm in hopes that Donaghy would stop charging at him, but instead the confrontation escalated to the point where Donaghy was shot.

“People heard them saying how they were going to kill me,” Iavecchio told The Wave. “He threatened me several times inside the bowling alley. I was protecting myself. He charged at me and tried to grab the barrel of my gun.”

Shortly after Donaghy was shot, the other shooting victim, Hourigan, began to charge at Iavecchio, as well, when he was also shot. Both men survived their respective gunshot wounds.

“I was shouting at them to stand back,” Iavecchio said. “I kept backing up and was screaming at them to stop. I didn’t want to shoot anyone that night.”

Iavecchio, besides being a retired correction officer, is also a United States Marine Corps veteran. The jury of his peers was comprised of ten men and two women.

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