NYU Bigwig's Son Shot in Botched Drug Deal
Police are looking for two "masked bandits" who shot two men in a Greenwich Village apartment Monday night during what investigators think was a botched drug deal. The dealers/victims? A 31-year-old ex-con who served time in Arizona for another pot-related charge and the 24-year-old son of a big-time NYU administrator.
24-year-old Alex Bongard is the son of Debra LaMorte, NYU's senior vice president for development and alumni affairs (in other words: the university's chief fundraiser). Police say he and a friend, 31-year-old Lucas Hilde, were shot in the chest Monday night in Bongard's third-floor, $2,500-a-month Bleecker Street apartment. Police found marijuana in the apartment and believe Bongard and Hilde were dealing drugs when two men, posing as customers, stormed in wearing ski masks and opened fire.
According to the Daily News, the 31-year-old Hilde is still facing charges from what the paper calls "his alleged part in a national marijuana ring" that involved smuggling 200 pounds of weed. The Post adds that he was paroled last November before "[leading] Utah cops on a wild, 130-mph chase through the desert in a car loaded with pot."
Both men were reportedly rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where they are said to be in stable condition. The Post points out that Bongard's father is a 69-year-old Florida hotel executive who "previously served more than six years in Ohio and federal prisons for financial crimes related to a collapsed Cincinnati savings-and-loan."
His mother, LaMorte, has run NYU's fundraising office since 2001. She is often credited for helping the university launch an aggressive campaign that raised more than $3 billion for the university and, according to NYU's tax filings, ranks fifth among the school's most well-compensated administrators. Her husband, Harvey Dale, is a professor of philanthropy at the university's law school.
The papers say Bongard was once a student at NYU's School of Continuing Studies. In September, a 21-year-old Pace University student who was selling pot from his luxury apartment in the Financial District was also shot (and killed) during a bungled drug deal.