South Jamaica man guilty in cop slashing

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A South Jamaica man who slashed a police officer in the face and tried to slit the officer’s neck in 1999 was convicted of attempted murder Friday by jurors in State Supreme Court, the Queens DA said.

Robert Collins, 49, of 178-06 119th Rd. in South Jamaica was found guilty of attempted murder in the first degree and assault in the first degree for attacking an officer April 27, 1999, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Collins was also convicted of a second charge of assault in the first degree for lunging at a police officer on Jan. 28, 1999, Brown said.

He was convicted following testimony at a jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter, who is expected to sentence Collins to 40 years to life in prison on Nov. 21.

On April 27, 1999, police responded to a call reporting a family disturbance at Collins’s South Jamaica home, Brown said.

Police called for backup while trying to subdue Collins, who lunged at them with a knife, Brown said.

Police Officers Derek Storey and Joseph Dolan, both assigned to the Emergency Service Unit, arrived on the scene, entered the house and tried to reason with the defendant, who had barricaded himself in his bedroom and turned off the lights, Brown said.

After negotiations failed, the officers forced their way into the room, Brown said.

“At that time, the defendant lunged at Police Officer Storey, ripping off the officer’s mask and cutting his face four times,” Brown said. “Police Officer Storey was able to stop the knife from penetrating into his neck by tightly squeezing his neck to his shoulder.”

Both officers then subdued Collins and placed him under arrest, Brown said, but Storey needed approximately 50 stitches on his face.

“During the Jan. 28, 1999 incident, officers from the 113th Precinct similarly responded to a call of a disturbance at the defendant’s home and upon arrival, the defendant lunged at Police Officer Christopher Tocciu with a knife,” Brown said.

After that incident, the DA’s office requested that Collins post $750 in bail, but the judge released Collins on his own recognizance, said Meris Campbell, a spokeswoman for Brown’s office.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

Updated 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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