2011-07-07 / Other News

Police Negotiate Surrender After Four Hour Flatlands Hostage Drama

By Neil S. Friedman


One of two suspects (in white shirt) in bungled robbery of Avenue N liquor store surrenders to police to end hostage situation on June 29th. Police said neither hostages nor alleged robbers were hurt. 
Courtesy N. Y. Daily News/ Todd Maisel One of two suspects (in white shirt) in bungled robbery of Avenue N liquor store surrenders to police to end hostage situation on June 29th. Police said neither hostages nor alleged robbers were hurt. Courtesy N. Y. Daily News/ Todd Maisel An attempted liquor store robbery turned into a hostage standoff with scores of police dispatched to Avenue N and East 48th Street last week. No one was hurt in the four-hour ordeal and, according to media reports, the suspects gave themselves up 30 minutes apart to NYPD Hostage Negotiation Unit officers.

Izkiya Tolmasov, 49, a clerk at Arrow Wine and Liquor on a busy commercial strip a few blocks east of Flatbush Avenue, told police that two men wearing hoods walked in on the morning of June 29th, pointed a gun to his head and demanded money.

According to the New York Post, Ted Peters, 23, and Andrew Philson, 25, then asked the clerk to show them a rear exit. Knowing there was none, the clerk saw this as a chance to run out of the store.


Tactical unit officer grabs man after he escaped liquor store. 
Courtesy of NY Daily News/ Todd Maisel Tactical unit officer grabs man after he escaped liquor store. Courtesy of NY Daily News/ Todd Maisel “I ran as fast as I could,” Tolmasov told the Post, “I saw the door and ran for my life.”

When the suspects were talking to the clerk, another hostage managed to escape.

However, the allegedly armed duo still held one customer hostage, who they told to lie on the floor in the rear of the store as they helped themselves to bottles of whiskey, according to officials.

Passersby, who apparently watched the situation develop when the two suspects entered the store, called police, who were on the scene before the clerk ran out, and flagged down patrol cars from the 63rd Precinct.

The third hostage, 46-old lawyer Robert Kane was released by the men after three hours, but when he ran out of the store, a Tactical Unit officer apparently thought he was one of the suspects and tackled him and quickly pulled away from the area.

No one was injured, but police indicated that one shot was fired at the liquor store owner’s dog, which apparently scared the animal and he ran to the basement.

One account said that the mother of one of the robbers managed to convince them to give up after she was summoned by police and allowed to enter the liquor store. After she spoke to them, they decided to surrender to police about thirty minutes apart.

Police said both men had a record of prior arrests, including robbery. They were arraigned last Thursday with Peters held on $500,000 bail and $100,000 bond and Philson on $100,000 bond and $500,000 bail, according to a Kings County District Attorney office spokesman. The spokesman also said both men were to be charged with kidnapping, as well as robbery, unlawful imprisonment, reckless endangerment and Peters faces an additional charge of criminal use of a firearm.

On Friday, sources said federal authorities are also entering the case, according to a Brooklyn Federal Court complaint. Both suspects could therefore face significantly tougher sentences if found guilty in a federal court.

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