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Rego Park man gets max for holding cop hostage

Adrian Leibovici ofRego Park resident received a maximum sentence of 25 years to life after he was convicted of holding a detective hostage at gunpoint in a Manhattan police station in January.

Leibovici, 44, who pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping, hit Det. Michael Ahearn over the head with a .38-caliber handgun and held him in an interview room in the 19th Precinct for more than three hours. Ahearn was unavailable for comment.

Leibovici was picked up for questioning after his ex-girlfriend filed an aggravated harassment complaint on Dec. 14, 2001, claiming Leibovici threatened to shoot her over a custody dispute involving their daughter, police said.

Police frisked Leibovici, but failed to find his weapon. During questioning, Leibovici became agitated and struck Ahearn with his gun and dragged him into the interview room. Laying on the floor at gun point, Ahearn refused to hand his 9-mm gun to Leibovici as Police sharpshooters aimed at rifles at him through the room’s two-way mirrors, police said.

As hostage negotiators spoke with him, Leibovici demanded to talk to the media and to have certain items retrieved from his apartment. Acting as a reporter, Michael O’Looney, the Police Department’s deputy commissioner of pubic information who formerly was a reporter for WCBS-TV, spoke with Leibovici before he agreed to surrender.

After giving up, Leibovici told police that he would have dropped the weapon if he felt he had to kill Ahearn or another officer, according to a report filed by Det. Thomas Hackett.

The incident inspired a recent episode on the popular television show NYPD Blue, in which the character Det. Andy Sipowitz was held hostage, said a detective from the 19th Precinct.

Leibovici, sounding penitent at the sentencing, asked State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Atlas to put him away. The prosecutor, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Ann Donnelly, agreed.

Leibovici was also convicted of possession of a loaded weapon in Manhattan in 1984.

You can reach reporter Brendan Browne by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 155.

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