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A Rego Park man was shot dead by a police sergeant after he allegedly attacked the policeman and a civilian with an aluminum baseball bat in Elmhurst July 18, police said.
Herman Perilla, 21, of 62-42 Woodhaven Blvd., Apt. N-15, in Rego Park, died July 18 from two gunshot wounds fired by Sgt. Thomas Sheehan, said Detective Carolyn Chew, a police spokeswoman.
Sheehan and his partner, Officer Joseph Schaaff, were on patrol with the anti-crime unit at 4:16 a.m. when they saw a fight going on between two groups of men that involved about six people at Britton and Roosevelt avenues, New York Police Department Chief Joseph Esposito told a news conference July 18 at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens.
Roosevelt Avenue is a heavily traveled area with lots of bars and restaurants, Esposito said. Despite this incident, crime is down in the city and all acts of violence are down in that area.
According to the Daily News and Newsday, the policemen were in plainclothes with their badges dangling from chains around their necks. Perillas friend, Rodney Imperti, who witnessed the incident, told reporters he never heard the police identify themselves.
The fight may have started when several men harassed Perilla, Imperti, and Impertis girlfriend, grabbing the womans arm as the trio walked the down Roosevelt Avenue, the two newspapers said.
Sheehan and Schaaff were attempting to investigate the situation when a bat-wielding man attacked Sheehan and attempted to strike Schaaff, Esposito said.
Perilla struck Sheehan in the stomach and the back with the bat, causing internal injuries, and also attacked a civilian, Esposito said. An aluminum bat was recovered at the scene of the shooting.
Sheehan fired two shots, striking Perilla in the torso area. Perilla was pronounced dead at the scene, while Sheehan was admitted to St. Johns Hospital on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Chew said.
Sheehan was in critical condition at the hospital, Esposito said Wednesday. But by Saturday, Sheehan had been discharged, hospital officials said. Schaaff was treated and released from St. Johns for trauma. He never fired his weapon, Chew said.
No arrests were made after the incident, which remains under investigation.
Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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