South Ozone Park carjacker faces 18 years in prison

A carjacker was sentenced to 18 years in prison for shooting a woman in the chest who resisted his attempts to also snatch her purse, according to federal prosecutors.
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Donald Warren, a 55-year-old man from Queens, was sentenced to 18 years in prison last week for shooting a woman he tried to carjack in South Ozone Park, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

Warren and an accomplice, John Howard, 50, both pleaded guilty to carjacking and firearm charges in the case, the prosecutors said.

On Jan. 21, 2016, Warren was outside the Hampton Inn in South Ozone Park when he entered a parked vehicle armed with a weapon, according to prosecutors.

The woman’s daughter was seated in the passenger’s side while the mother was in the hotel. He drove the car around the parking lot with the daughter trapped inside, according to prosecutors.

Once the mother came back outside, he got out of the vehicle and demanded her purse, but she struck him instead, according to authorities.

Moments later he shot her in the chest and fled the scene in a stolen getaway vehicle, according to Ashan Benedict, a special agent-in-charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

“Warren deserves every day of the sentence received, and we hope his lengthy imprisonment provides some solace to the victims of his crimes,” Benedict said.

The mother was sent to the hospital and survived, according to federal prosecutors. However, the injuries she sustained required her to have a long hospital stay for surgeries.

Federal Judge Ann Donnelly handed Warren a sentence of 18 years to be followed by three years of supervised release for the South Ozone Park carjacking and another carjacking.

“Donald Warren committed violent carjackings culminating in the callous shooting of a woman for refusing to hand over her purse,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde. “Today’s sentence punishes him for the disregard he showed for human life.”

Howard was scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Both have have been responsible for numerous violent carjackings throughout Queens and Nassau County, according to Benedict.

“Donald Warren and John Howard would prowl neighborhoods in Nassau and Queens looking for unsuspecting victims to carjack or rob at gunpoint,” said Benedict. “Their pattern of violent crime escalated in a short period to the shooting of an innocent 53-year-old woman seeking to protect herself while Warren brandished a handgun and threatened her.”

The government is handling the case through the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Tanya Hajjar and Moira Kim Penza are in charge of the prosecution.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Posted 12:00 am, September 23, 2017
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