2004-12-16 / Front Page

DINER SHOOTER GETS 80 YEARS

Firefighters from Engine 257 and Ladder 170 assist personnel from Department of Environmental Protection in sealing gushing water at East 105th Street and Avenue K last Sunday after a car went out of control and knocked a fire hydrant off its base. The basements in at least five homes were flooded before emergency services were able to stop the flow. No one was injured. See story on page 5.                                             Seth GottfriedFirefighters from Engine 257 and Ladder 170 assist personnel from Department of Environmental Protection in sealing gushing water at East 105th Street and Avenue K last Sunday after a car went out of control and knocked a fire hydrant off its base. The basements in at least five homes were flooded before emergency services were able to stop the flow. No one was injured. See story on page 5. Seth Gottfried By Charles Rogers

The man who was found guilty as an accomplice of a 14-year-old who shot up the crowded Galaxy diner last January, wounding a number of people, has been sentenced to serve 80 years in jail.

Michael Blount, 27, whose home is in upstate New York, was ordered by Judge Anne Feldman to serve four consecutive 20-year prison sentences. The teenager who did the shooting during the robbery pleaded guilty earlier this year and is currently serving five to ten years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed as a juvenile.

Miraculously, no one was killed in the bloody shooting at the popular diner, located on Pennsylvania Avenue near Linden Boulevard, which was crowded with diners eating breakfast.

Blount admitted he and the teenager held up the restaurant at gunpoint. He said he demanded money from the cashier and the 14-year-old proceeded to start shooting at patrons.

The customers and workers dove under tables while bullets flew over their heads and struck nine people, none of whom were seriously injured. While Blount told them that only the teenager did the shooting, police later disclosed they discovered shell casings from two separate guns, a .45 caliber and a 9 mm automatic.

Officials from the office of District Attorney Charles Hynes said Blount has an extensive record and had been out of jail on parole for a mere three months when he and his accomplice robbed the diner.

Sources said a third man, the man who apparently masterminded the diner robbery, Ramel Simmons, 23, killed himself last February in his home near Albany, New York when police discovered his hideout and surrounded it.

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