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Police officers responded to the home on 59th Avenue near 153rd Street and allegedly spotted both Tabares and Moreira fleeing the scene.
By Forum Staff
A Howard Beach man has been charged with causing severe injuries to a City police officer who was responding to a home break-in last week in Kew Gardens Hills, Chief Assistant District Attorney John Ryan, on behalf of Queens DA Richard Brown, recently announced.
Andres Tabares, 37, has been arraigned on a criminal complaint charging him with first- and second-degree assault; aggravated assault upon a police officer or peace officer; assault on a police officer, fireman or emergency medical services professional; second-degree attempted burglary; possession of burglar’s tools; and resisting arrest. City Department of Correction records indicate that Tabares has also been charged with violating parole. Bail was set at $150,000 and Tabares was ordered to return to court on May 3.
According to the charges, at approximately 9:40 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, 2019, a man called 911 and said he saw two people trying to get into his backdoor. Police officers responded to the 59th Avenue address and allegedly spotted both Tabares and his co-defendant, Morales Moreira. Tabares and Moreira took off running in different directions and cops gave chase. Police Officer Anthony Spinella pursued Tabares on foot. Spinella caught up to Tabares and grabbed his shirt—that’s when Tabares allegedly swung his arm around and hit the police officer in the face with the crowbar he was holding.
According to the complaint, Spinella sustained an abrasion to his eye with bleeding behind his eye, swelling, and temporary blindness. Tabares, after being arrested, allegedly said that “it was a mistake” and that he was just “trying to get away.”
Moreira, 28, was apprehended without incident, Ryan noted. The Elmhurst resident is charged in a separate complaint with first-degree assault, second-degree attempted burglary, and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.
“This incident illustrates the dangers police officers face every day on the job,” Ryan added. “The officer responded to a call from a homeowner that two individuals were breaking into his home. One of the defendants, on the verge of being arrested, responded by allegedly hitting the police officer in the eye with a crowbar. This heroic public servant has temporarily lost sight in his eye. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration.”
If convicted, both Tabares and Moreira face up to 25 years in prison.