The mental examination was granted after a request by the defense during the arraignment of Radcliffe Meeks, 33, of 184-28 North Conduit Ave., in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault of a police officer, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the DA spokesman said. Meeks was held without bail and ordered to return to court April 17, when the results of the evaluation were expected to be announced, the spokesman said. If later convicted of the charges, the 33-year-old could face up to 25 years to life in prison.The attack on the officer, Robert Burns of the 113th Precinct's Street Narcotics Unit, landed the veteran policeman in Jamaica Hospital. While Burns was expected to make a full recovery, he experienced a close call, Queens DA Richard Brown said. "Fortunately, the knife missed the officer's cartoid artery by a fraction of an inch," the DA said.Burns and his partner were responding to a 911 call March 22 from a homeowner who reported that a man had threatened to shoot him, Brown said. The two officers found Meeks near the corner of Dunkirk Street and Elmira Avenue, and when Burns approached him, a struggle ensued, the DA said. Meeks allegedly slashed Burns with a carpet knife on his hand and neck before Burns' partner shot Meeks once in the elbow, causing him to drop the weapon, Brown said.Meeks was brought to Jamaica's Mary Immaculate Hospital, where he gave officers a statement later read during his arraignment, the spokesman for the DA said. In the statement, as read in court, the Springfield Gardens man said, "I was on my way to the Laundromat when a black car made a U-turn in front of me. A casually dressed man approached me and said something which I didn't understand, because I only speak Japanese." He added that he then slashed the man before a woman yelled "drop the knife" and fired a shot.It was not the first time Meeks had been charged in an incident with the police, law enforcement officials told Newsday. He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest in 2003 and was sentenced to a year in jail after a scuffle with an officer writing someone a parking ticket, the paper said. Meeks was also found guilty in 2001 of assaulting a police officer in Jamaica and sent to jail for a year, the paper said. Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@times
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