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An 81-year-old grandmother toasted Independence Day with a bigger bang than she bargained for when a stray bullet grazed her leg as she lounged in her backyard last Thursday night, police said.
Corradina Spadaro had been sitting behind her home at 58-29 79th Ave. getting some air with her daughter-in-law when she felt a prick against her left leg around 9:30 p.m.
My mother thought maybe a bee or something stung her or maybe it was a firecracker, said Spadaros 27-year-old granddaughter, who asked that her name not be used. It was a bullet.
This thing happened, this noise boom, said the victims son, Louis Spadaro, who was away at a coffee shop at the time of the shooting. They thought it was firecrackers.
After the granddaughter came downstairs to help clean the wound with alcohol, Corradina Spadaros daughter-in-law ventured back outside, where she soon found a bullet lying nearby. It had apparently grazed Spadaros leg before falling to the ground.
Spadaro lives with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in a neighborhood of attached homes a block north of Cooper Avenue, along the southern section of Ridgewood that borders a row of cemeteries demarcating the Queens boundary with Brooklyn. Both Spadaro and her daughter-in-law are from Italy and speak little English.
Police arrived when neighbors called 911 after finding a dent in their car they thought might have been caused by a gunshot. Although they did not find any signs of a bullet near the car, the Spadaros approached police to show off the bullet found in their yard, and Corradina Spadaro was taken by ambulance to Elmhurst Hospital Center.
A source at the 104th Precinct said the investigation has yielded few clues.
Theres really not a whole lot that we know, he said. Theres no suspects right off the bat.
The wound was a minor one, and Spadaro was treated and released that evening.
It looked like somebody sliced you with a knife, like a deep cut, her granddaughter said.
But Spadaros skin around the wound has grown increasingly black and blue in the days following the shooting, and her granddaughter said she would go back to the doctor if it gets any worse.
Whatever it is, shes still doing her thing, Spadaros granddaughter said. You know her, she still dont stay still.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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