QUEENS MAN HIT WITH ASSAULT, FORGERY, GUN CHARGES AND MORE AFTER RAMMING POLICE CAR AT ROADBLOCK IN AUGUST
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that David Griffiths, 24, has been indicted by a Queens grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on gun charges, criminal possession of stolen property, possession of a forged instrument and other crimes. The defendant was allegedly in a stolen car when police pursued him in early August 2021. Trying to avoid arrest, the defendant allegedly slammed into a police vehicle – flipping the car over and injuring the officers inside.
District Attorney Katz said, “This case is a stark reminder of the intersection between violent crime and “white-collar” offenses; both of which take a devastating toll on our communities. The dedicated assistant district attorneys of my Major Economic Crimes Bureau pursue these crimes with equal intensity to bring safety and justice to our Borough. The defendant in this case tried to escape being caught allegedly breaking a myriad of laws and put our police and anyone on the street that day in danger. The defendant is accused of not only operating his own credit card mill with a counterfeit cash printing side business, but he was also allegedly carrying a loaded firearm. This kind of criminal activity will not be tolerated in Queens.”
Griffiths, of 133rd Avenue in Laurelton, Queens, was arraigned today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on a 173-count indictment charging him with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, assault in the second degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the second and fourth degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first and second degree and criminal possession of forgery devices. Justice Cimino ordered the defendant to return to court on October 27, 2021. If convicted, Griffiths faces up to 15 years in prison.
District Attorney Katz said that, according to the charges, at approximately 8:40 p.m. on August 7, 2021, at 223rd Street, police officers observed the defendant get into and drive off in a blue Mercedes Benz GLE 43 AMG that was allegedly obtained using a stolen identity. Officers attempted to pull the defendant over, leading to Griffiths taking evasive action, driving onto a sidewalk and then ramming a police vehicle, flipping it onto its roof. Two of the officers inside of the car were taken to a hospital for treatment.
DA Katz continued, at 119th Avenue and 236th Street Griffiths allegedly jumped out of the car and attempted to flee the scene on foot, discarding evidence as he ran from police. Included in the items allegedly discarded by the defendant were a loaded purple Taurus 9mm pistol, counterfeit currency, forged state identifications, some of which included a photograph of the defendant but with a different name and stolen and forged credit cards.
The defendant was apprehended near the Cross Island Parkway, about a block away from where he abandoned the Mercedes.
District Attorney Katz continued that a search of the Mercedes allegedly driven by the defendant lead to the discovery of 81 stolen checks from various banks with various names. These checks totaled more than $411,000. There were also 26 stolen credit cards recovered, along with seven additional state identification cards containing the defendant’s photo but with different names and addresses, and over $18,000 in cash – $10,600 of which was counterfeit. Also recovered from inside the vehicle were items indicating the defendant was operating a forgery operation, as he was in possession of reams of check stock paper, a color printer and high quality ink.
Continuing, the DA said, the investigation by police did not stop at the point of arrest. Police executed a Court-authorized search warrant for a storage facility unit allegedly owned by Griffiths. Police allegedly recovered an additional cache of stolen credit cards, mail phishing tools, forged identifications, and a “check washing” station with chemicals used for altering information contained on stolen checks.
The investigation was conducted by Special Agents from the United States Secret Services New York Field Office, Police Officer John Hart of the NYPD’s 105th Police Precinct under the supervision of Sergeant Nicholas Bekas and Lieutenant Christopher Dipreta and Detective Patrick O’Connell of the NYPD’s Queens South Grand Larceny Squad under the supervision of Lieutenant Glenn Kennedy.
Assistant District Attorney Sean Murphy of the District Attorney’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Mary Lowenburg, Bureau Chief, Catherine Kane and Jonathan Scharf, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.