By Daniel Offner
Gunfire erupted in the early morning on Saturday, June 11, at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 58th Avenue in Maspeth, sending people scrambling for their lives. Police responded and made an arrest, recovering a firearm from the scene.
The incident occurred at approximately 6 a.m., when a man, who was described as disheveled with ripped clothing, reportedly walked into Pat’s Service Station on Rust Street. Witnesses said he was robbed of his wallet and cellphone and asked to use the phone at the station.
Kevin Coyne of Pat’s Service Station said that a man walked in with scratches all over his face claiming he just got beat up and mugged. “A couple of minutes later I heard shots,” he told The Queens Ledger.
According to eyewitnesses, the man then ran off and gunfire erupted.
“This is out of hand. Maspeth is supposed to be a safe place,” one eyewitness to the event said. “Police showed up rather quickly, but nonetheless there are so many guns on the street, what are they going to do?”
While attempting to close the roadway to secure the crime scene, a 67-year-old man driving a 2020 Tesla T2 traveling westbound on Rust Street was directed by officers to stop his vehicle. According to police, the driver inadvertently pressed on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal, causing him to veer right. The car then mounted the sidewalk and proceeded to collide with the rear of an uninvolved and unoccupied truck at the location.
According to eyewitnesses, the car drove underneath the truck and decapitated the driver who is reportedly in critical condition.
Police indicate that the operator of the vehicle is likely to die as a result of sustaining severe head trauma as a result of being pinned inside his vehicle. FDNY personnel were able to extricate the driver and EMS transported him to Health and Hospitals-Elmhurst in critical condition.
Juan Gonzalez, 31, of Brooklyn, was subsequently arrested at the corner of 59th Avenue and 58th Place, around 8 a.m. According to investigators, he allegedly discharged his firearm following a dispute. The firearm was later recovered at the scene.
Gonzalez faces charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a firearm, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a disguised gun, and the possession of a large-capacity ammo feed device, according to a DCPI spokesperson.