Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that Dwayne Chandler, 53, has been arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on a five-count indictment charging him with assault in the first degree and other crimes for allegedly shooting a man in the back following a verbal dispute last June in a Howard Beach restaurant.

District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant in this case, a retired police officer, endangered people when he allegedly tried to settle an argument between himself and another person by firing his gun in a busy restaurant. The bullet struck a bystander in the back – thankfully, the victim survived. The defendant now faces serious charges.”

Chandler, of Staten Island, was arraigned today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles Lopresto on an indictment charging him with two counts of assault in the first degree, one count of assault in the second degree and two counts of reckless endangerment. Justice Lopresto ordered the defendant to return to Court on February 4, 2021. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 25 years in prison.

According to the charges, at approximately 7:10 p.m. on June 23, 2020, the defendant was inside a restaurant near the intersection of Cross Bay Boulevard and 164th Avenue in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens when he became embroiled in a verbal dispute with another man. Chandler then allegedly pulled out a gun and fired. The bullet missed the man he was arguing with and struck a 31-year-old bystander in the back.

Police responding to the scene arrested the defendant and recovered a black 9-mm firearm. The victim was hospitalized and as a result of the shooting suffers paralysis in his legs.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Anthony Davis of the New York City Police Department’s 106th Precinct Detective Squad.

Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Zawistowski, of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief, Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.