Courtesy of NYPD
Some of the robbers wore masks and phony police shields.
By Forum Staff
Two men from the Bronx have been charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and other crimes for being part of a fourman hold-up team that stormed an Astoria grocery store on November 17, 2018.
A good Samaritan was shot when he tried pursuing the robbers – some of whom wore masks and look-alike police shields around their necks.
“A young man quashed down any fear to pursue the gun-toting robbers into the night. For that, he is a hero,” said District Attorney Brown. “The 18-year-old was shot in the leg and will thankfully survive the injury.
The defendants were identified as Bronx residents Hannibal Ali, 55, of Hughes Avenue and Luis Zayas, 25, of LaFontaine Avenue. Both were arraigned last week and ordered to return to court on December 12.
The two are charged with first- and second-degree robbery and seconddegree criminal possession of a weapon in two separate complaints. If convicted, the defendants face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the charges, around 8:20 p.m. on November 17, 2018, Ali and two un-apprehended others, who wore masks, walked into a grocery store on 36th Avenue in Astoria. All three wore authentic-looking police shields around their necks.
One of the two masked men walked around the store’s countergrabbed a bag with cash inside and opened the cash register to remove all the money.
The three men ran out and rushed toward a waiting van where Zayas sat behind the wheel.
While in pursuit of the bandits, the 18-year-old brother of the bodega heard a loud pop and felt something strike him in the leg. The teen fell to the ground and realized he had been shot in the left leg as the thieves sped away. The investigation into the robbery and shooting is ongoing and additional charges are likely.