Once again, the advantage of New Yorks hand gun ban. Good to see legal immigrants are still making the cut and making a positive impact in thier communities
Originally Posted by Queens ChronicleMachete-Wielding Clerk Bloodies Alleged Thief
By Joseph Wendelken, Editor
(Robert Stridiron) Omar Rodriguez was slashed on the head, hand and arm after allegedly trying to rob a bodega in Woodhaven last Wednesday night.
An alleged thief left a Woodhaven bodega on a stretcher last week af er the shop’s owner went for his fruit
“You could hear from the first floor in Spanish: ‘Help! Help! I’m getting robbed!,’” recalled Shamir Martinez, 19, who was staying in a house across the street from Erick Deli Grocery on 77th Street on Wednesday night. “They were really fighting in there.”
Omar Rodriguez, 27, the suspect, entered the store at approximately 5 p.m. He allegedly pulled out a loaded, semi automatic handgun and went behind the store’s counter, demanding money from the owner, John Marte.
Marte, 50, grabbed a machete and slashed the would-be robber on the head, right hand and left arm.
“He pulled his gun, I pulled my machete and we went to war,” Marte said through Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights), who translated for him on Thursday.
One of Rodriguez’s ears and one of his fingers were severed, according to witnesses. Martinez, who rushed outside, said that splatterings of blood covered the inside of the store. The bodega remained closed through the end of last week.
Rodriguez got off two shots during the encounter, but Marte was not injured. Rodriguez, from Brooklyn, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. He was charged with attempted murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.
Marte, who police believe acted in self-defense, does not face charges. Although regular shoppers say that his wife often aids him in the store and that his four grown daughters sometimes visit, only an elderly employee was in the bodega with Marte on Wednesday night.
Marte purchased the bodega roughly a year ago.
Neighbors say that the store has been the target of thieves in the past, and add that Marte deserves better.
“He always tries to help you out,” said Joel Rivera, a 87th Street resident. Rivera recalled once being in the store with a woman who kept asking Marte the prices of items, only to return them to their shelves because she couldn’t afford them.
“She didn’t want beer. She was trying to buy food for her kids. He (Marte) said: ‘Take it. When you got the money, come see me.’”
Evaristo Sinarente, Marte’s brother, said of the Dominican Republic emigrant: “He’s a very good guy. He works hard every day.”