TWO MEN INDICTED ON ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES FOR ROBBING ELDERLY WOMEN AND STABBING GOOD SAMARITAN PIZZERIA OWNERS
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Supreme Gooding, 18, and Robert Whack, 30, have been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on attempted murder, assault, robbery and other charges. The defendants allegedly attacked two elderly women on two separate occasions in March and took their pocketbooks. The defendants are also accused of stabbing the two good Samaritans who intervened when they saw the men attack one of the female victims near their pizzeria.
District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendants targeted two women to steal their handbags and stabbed two good Samaritans who selflessly intervened during one of the incidents. Thankfully, no lives were lost but we will not allow senseless violence to become the norm in our communities. Both defendants now face serious charges for their alleged actions.”
Whack, of St. John’s Place in Brooklyn, was arraigned yesterday before Queens Supreme Court Justice David Kirschner on a 17-count indictment charging him with attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first and second degree, robbery in the first and second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree. Defendant Whack is additionally charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Justice Kirschner ordered the defendant to return to Court on July 21, 2022.
Gooding, of West 41st Street in Manhattan, was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice David Kirschner on June 8, 2022, on the same 17-count indictment charging him with attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first and second degree, robbery in the first and second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree. The defendant was ordered to return to Court on July 18, 2022. If convicted, both Whack and Gooding face up to 25 years in prison.
District Attorney Katz said, according to the charges, at approximately 5:35 p.m. on March 16, 2022, a 75-year-old woman was entering her apartment building on 64th Street when she felt her purse and cane she uses being pulled out of her hands. The defendants were allegedly observed on video surveillance running down the block in possession of the victim’s purse immediately after the robbery.
According to the charges, on March 26, 2022, at approximately 8:45 p.m. a 61-year-old woman was walking on Baxter Avenue and Judge Street in Elmhurst, Queens, when defendant Whack grabbed her purse. She struggled to regain her property from Whack and Gooding. Bystanders who witnessed the attack began to yell for help.
DA Katz said, a 68-year-old pizzeria owner and his 38-year-old son heard the bystanders and ran to the corner to assist the victim. The defendants, who were in possession of the victim’s purse, attacked the men, ultimately stabbing the older man multiple times and the younger man once. Both defendants then fled the area.
The three victims were taken to a local Queens hospital. As a result of the attack, the 68-year-old victim sustained nine stab wounds to his chest and back and suffered a collapsed lung. His son also sustained a collapsed lung and a stab wound to his back, as well as other injuries. The 61-year-old woman sustained a single stab wound to the back.
Continuing, DA Katz said, the defendants were apprehended a short distance away, shortly after they fled. Police allegedly recovered a knife from Whack’s jacket pocket that appeared to have blood on it, along with 39 glassine envelopes of heroin.
Assistant District Attorney George Kanelloupolous, Supervisor in the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Eric C. Rosenbaum, Bureau Chief, Debra Lynn Pomodore and Brian Hughes, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.