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Ridgewood, Maspeth men arrested in LIC shooting

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Two men from Ridgewood and Maspeth were arrested last week after a Long Island City nightclub shooting left a bouncer with a bullet wound to the hip, police said.

The victim, 57-year-old Joseph Sanfilippo, was shot once in the hip during a dispute in front of the Scandals nightclub at 24-03 Queens Plaza North at 3:11 a.m. Aug. 1, police said.

He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he underwent surgery and was released the following day, a hospital spokesman said.

James Sanlucas, 22, of 1718 Willoughby Ave. in Ridgewood, and Darwin Amay, 20, of 56-04 62nd Ave. in Maspeth, were arrested last Thursday and charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting, police said.

They were arraigned Friday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Fernando Camacho, who set bail at $100,000 for Sanlucas and $5,000 for Amay, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens DA’s office, Sanlucas had allegedly retrieved the handgun from Amay’s car and fired it several times, hitting Sanfilippo once in the upper hip.

They then fled in the car with Amay behind the wheel, the complaint alleged. A surveillance video captured footage of the assailants’ escape as well as the shooting itself, according to the complaint.

Sanlucas later admitted to police that he had thrown the gun used in the shooting off the Queensboro Bridge and into the East River, the complaint said. He faces additional charges of tampering with physical evidence for allegedly disposing of the weapon.

Scandals is a topless nightclub that sits directly alongside the entrance to the Queensboro Bridge in a neighborhood that has lately been targeted by police and politicians seeking to improve its image by fighting quality-of-life crimes such as prostitution.

Often described as the borough’s gateway, Queens Plaza is a transportation hub that is expected to undergo major redevelopment as new zoning encourages more companies to move from Manhattan. MetLife has already brought hundreds of employees into a renovated industrial building two blocks east of Scandals.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

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