2006-02-02 / Other News

Marine, Civilians Grab Robbery Suspect On Rockaway Parkway

By Charles Rogers

Sergeant Urgelio Romain (inset), who works at the U.S. Marine Career Center on Rockaway Parkway, and the two owners of the nearby Postal Express store, which was being robbed, grabbed a robbery suspect and held him for police. Another suspect, wielding a handgun, got away.
Sergeant Urgelio Romain (inset), who works at the U.S. Marine Career Center on Rockaway Parkway, and the two owners of the nearby Postal Express store, which was being robbed, grabbed a robbery suspect and held him for police. Another suspect, wielding a handgun, got away.

Thanks to quick work by two civilians and a U.S. Marine, a suspect was caught in the act of allegedly robbing a postal service store at gunpoint on Rockaway Parkway on January 13th.

Police are searching for an alleged accomplice who escaped out the door of the Postal Express Plus Mini Con-venience Center at 1454 Rockaway Parkway as his partner was being ap-prehended.

Sergeant Edward Quigg and Police Officer Michael Kelliher of the 69th Precinct’s Anti Crime Unit were on patrol in the area when they responded to a call that a robbery was taking place at the store at 4:57 p.m.

When they arrived, Marine Sergeant Urgelio Romain, who is stationed at the recruiting office next door to the site of the robbery, and the store’s owners, brothers David and Meyer Gradstock, were holding a 15-year-old suspect.

 Charles Rogers Charles Rogers Meyer Gradstock said that both suspects — appearing to be between 15 and 17 years old — were wearing ski masks when they came into the store. One displayed the gun and said to the owners, “Give me the money!” He then went behind the counter, open-ed the cash drawer and removed approximately $88 dollars.

Meanwhile, a passerby saw Sergeant Romain at the door of the recruiting station and alerted him to the robbery, at which time Romain, in uniform, came in the postal center’s front door just as one of the suspects fled. The second suspect started to run out of the store but the Gradstock brothers grabbed him by the arms and Sergeant Romain stood in his way. That was enough to stop the alleged thief in his tracks.

Sergeant Quigg and Officer Kelliher took the youth to the Foster Avenue station house and charged him with robbery.

The youth who escaped is described as about 17 years old, wearing a black hood and jeans. The name of the captured suspect is being withheld because of his age.

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