A Port Jefferson Station man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a grand jury’s indictment on attempted murder charges related to a shooting outside a Port Jefferson restaurant.
Ethan Ladd, 20, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of first degree assault, criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon in the June 19 shooting in the parking lot at Tommy’s Place Restaurant and Bar on Main Street, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Ladd was involved in an argument with two men at the restaurant when a group of people moved to a parking lot outside at 2 a.m. and began to fight. Police said Ladd pulled a handgun from his car and shot one man in the abdomen and the other man in the leg and the arm.
Both men were hospitalized with gunshot wounds and Ladd was arrested the next day. Police said Ladd was a member of a local gang.
District Attorney Timothy Sini called the shooting a "senseless act of gun violence committed by a dangerous individual."
"Both victims have been left with severe lasting impacts as a result of the shooting. My Office will continue to hold gang members and perpetrators of gun violence accountable," he said.
Ladd’s attorney Steve Politi, called the indictment "garbage" and accused the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office of politicizing the case and overreaching in filing attempted murder charges.
He said Ladd is not a gang member and had no prior criminal history. He said Ladd was being chased by other gang members at the time of the shooting. Politi said Ladd did not shoot the injured victims.
"This DA has no experience and overcharges and doesn’t look at what the facts suggest," Politi said. "They scare the public into having an opinion before they go and learn the truth to sensationalize and poison the jury pool."
Suffolk County Judge James Saladino set bail June 21 at $100,000 bond or $25,000 cash, which Ladd posted.
Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei continued bail in the case Wednesday, turning down the district attorney’s request for $1 million cash bail.
If convicted, Ladd could face up to 50 years in prison.