5 wounded in shootout at eatery

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An early morning dispute turned bloody Sunday when a group of men who were refused entry to a Fresh Meadows steakhouse fired more than two dozen rounds into the restaurant, injuring four patrons in the residential area, police said.

One of the suspects was shot in the hand in the wild shooting at the Porterhouse Grill at 192-13 Union Turnpike, authorities said.

The police said they arrested three of the suspected gunmen - Shawn Anderson, 22, of 89-30 187th Place in Hollis; Anwar Griffin, 17, of 117-15 195th St. in St. Albans; and Louis Koonce, 21, of 190-05 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans - who were charged with attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.

If convicted they could face five to 25 years in jail, said a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney's office.

Police were searching for the fourth suspect in the gun attack that rocked the neighborhood across the street from Cunningham Park, where complaints about late-night drinking and rowdiness are common but violence is not.

The altercation started at about 3 a.m. between a group of four men and a man at the door of the Porterhouse Grill after the men were not allowed to enter the restaurant, where a private party was going on, said Officer George Jensen, a Police Department spokesman.

Police said that after they were turned away, the group returned to their 1992 blue Dodge van and picked up handguns.

After arming themselves the four men went back to the restaurant where they allegedly started shooting up in the air at Porterhouse exterior and at the crowd in the restaurant, said Detective John Giammarino, another Police Department spokesman.

Police said the suspects fled in the van after the shooting.

The Dodge van was not recovered and the investigation into the shooting was continuing as of presstime, police said.

Among the patrons, Carlos Mendez, 25, who was shot twice in the thigh, and Thomas Davis, 26, who was shot in the left arm, were taken to New York Hospital Medical Center in Queens, said the NYPD. A spokeswoman for the hospital said Mendez was treated and released Sunday and Davis was in satisfactory condition.

Dawn Scott, 25, was shot in the stomach and twice in leg, and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital. She had minor wounds and was in stable condition, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Germaine Futrell, 22, was shot in the leg and was taken to Queens Hospital Center. A hospital spokesman said Futrell was released Monday morning.

Anderson, one of the alleged gunmen, was shot in the hand, police said. He escaped the scene in the blue van and later hailed a cab to take him to Queens Hospital Center for treatment for his injury and was arrested at the hospital, police said. A hospital spokesman said Monday he was in stable condition in the surgical unit.

Civic leaders said the shooting at the Porterhouse Grill, which is at one end of the Union Turnpike strip of restaurants and bars, reflected the problem the community has encountered with drunken and disorderly patrons on the thoroughfare that bisects the residential Fresh Meadows neighborhood.

Bob Harris, the president of the Cunningham Park Civic Association who lives about a block and a half from the shooting, said there had been problems with the bars in the area for a long time. He said the all-night store on the corner of 193rd Street and Union Turnpike also attracts crowds and noise.

"The neighbors are unhappy with the noise, pollution, trash and fighting, all the things that happen when people leave a bar around 2 or 3 in the morning," he said.

Jim Gennaro, a member of Community Board 8, said the New York State Liquor Authority does not have enough agents to cover Queens or the rest of the city. He said there are a total of 14 agents for the entire city, Long Island and Westchester.

"They can't get the job done," he said. "Until some of these establishments get their licenses pulled, the violence and community disruption will continue."

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