Cops shot and wounded a teenager in East Harlem at 3:15 a.m. Sunday after a chase on foot during which he fired on three sergeants and an officer, all of whom were in plainclothes, according to the NYPD. Matthew Melendez, 18, of 1695 Madison Avenue, in the Taft projects, was hit three times and was in stable condition.
NYPD officials told reporters, according to accounts in the Times and Daily News, that the four cops approached Melendez on East 119th Street because they thought, from the way he was adjusting his waistband, that he had a concealed weapon. Witnesses told reporters that they heard the cops yell, “Police! Stop!” He ran east on 119th and, the News says, “whirled and fired” at the cops near Third Avenue. He was then shot along Third Avenue, near 120th Street. Cops said they recovered a handgun near where he fell.
The Times says Melendez fired three rounds and the cops fired 13. None of the cops was hit. He’s been charged with attempted murder and other counts. More on Melendez from the Daily News:
His mother, Mildred Faverey, 47, who visited Melendez in the hospital last night, said he went out with friends Saturday night after caring for his 8-month-old daughter.
“That’s not like my son,” Faverey said of the charges against him. “He wouldn’t do that.”
“He’s the greatest father to his daughter,” she added, wiping away tears. “He told me, ‘Mommy, trust me, I didn’t do what they said I did.'”
Melendez has eight prior arrests, including collars for robbery, marijuana possession and criminal mischief, a police source said.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 31, 2011