Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Dwayne Gaddy has been charged with grand larceny, robbery, reckless endangerment and other crimes for allegedly commandeering a crowded MTA bus in Cambria Heights on Thursday morning with what appeared to be a handgun. All of the approximate 30 passengers were able to escape from the bus and the driver escaped through a window before the defendant crashed the vehicle into a utility pole. The defendant is currently being held on $500,000 cash bail.
District Attorney Katz said, “The alleged actions taken by this defendant not only endangered dozens of commuters, they have also further undermined our sense of safety when using public transit. This brazen lawlessness will not go unanswered in Queens County. Thankfully, the incident did not escalate further, thanks to the efforts of the MTA bus driver. The defendant has been charged appropriately and faces justice in our courts.”
Gaddy, 44, of 201st Place in St. Albans, Queens, was arraigned this morning before Queens Criminal Court Judge Eugene Guarino on a 10-count complaint charging him with grand larceny in the second and fourth degree, three counts of robbery in the second degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Guarino ordered the defendant to return to court on November 1, 2022. If convicted, Gaddy faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to the charges, on October 27, 2022, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the defendant ran in front of an eastbound Q4 MTA on Linden Boulevard while carrying a black bag and blocked the path of the vehicle. The defendant allegedly demanded to be let on board stating, “Let me on the bus, they are trying to kill me!”
Continuing, DA Katz said when the operator refused to let him on the bus, the defendant then produced what appeared to be a firearm and pointed it at the vehicle. The bus operator opened the door, allowing the defendant to board, at which point Gaddy allegedly walked up and down the center aisle while holding the weapon. According to video surveillance later retrieved from inside the vehicle, the bus driver is seen opening the doors so that approximately 30 passengers could safely disembark, likely preventing further harm, as the defendant stood next to the driver with the weapon.
Furthermore, DA Katz said the defendant allegedly demanded the driver continue driving the empty bus and stated, “Please help me, they are trying to kill me. Just drive. No, I do not want to go to Francis Lewis. They are all over Francis Lewis, they are trying to kill me over this girl.” While under duress, the bus driver continued turning down several streets at the defendant’s direction to avoid individuals the defendant claimed were trying to kill him. At some point, the defendant allegedly requested the police.
According to the complaint, as the bus driver continued driving the bus, the defendant claimed that an elderly pedestrian walking on the sidewalk is threatening him with a gun. The bus operator tried to reason with the defendant while opening the driver’s side window. After driving several more blocks, the driver was able to jump out of the vehicle, leaving the defendant alone on the bus near the intersection of 231st Street and Linden Boulevard. As alleged, the defendant immediately attempted to take the steering wheel and lost control of the bus, careening into a utility pole between 223rd and 234th Streets.
Police apprehended the defendant across the street from the collision and he was taken to a local hospital. The recovered weapon used during the course of the incident was determined to be an air-soft pistol.
The MTA bus operator was transported to a local Queens hospital where he was treated for bruising to his elbow and hip, lacerations and abrasions to his arm and finger and substantial pain.
The investigation was conducted by Police Officer Amber Harrison of the New York Police Department’s 113th Precinct under the supervision of Lieutenant Roger Lurch.
The case is being handled by the District Attorney’s Supreme Court Trial Division under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Supreme Court Trial Division Pishoy Yacoub.
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