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Long Beach High teen faces attempted murder charge

Police investigate the crime scene at the Long

Police investigate the crime scene at the Long Beach LIRR Rail Road bus depot. (May 21, 2012) Credit: Jim Staubitser

A 17-year-old boy accused of shooting a fellow Long Beach High School student in the chest during a confrontation Monday was ordered held on $400,000 bond at his arraignment Tuesday, authorities said.

Rodney L. Arnold Jr. was arrested at the scene, a bus depot across the street from Long Beach police headquarters, moments after law enforcement officials said he fired multiple times during the encounter -- striking his 17-year-old victim once in the chest.

Arnold entered no plea to charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon at his arraignment in Long Beach City Court. His lawyer, Christopher Devane of Mineola, did not comment afterward.

The victim, who was identified in court as Obe Isaac of Long Beach, was taken to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. He is expected to survive.

Prosecutors said in court Arnold was already on probation for an assault he had pleaded guilty to as a youthful offender. They also requested and received an order of protection barring Arnold from contact with Isaac. Arnold is due back in court on June 6.

Police said the four teens involved in the incident, which took place outside the bus depot at the Long Beach Long Island Rail Road station at about 3:40 p.m. Monday, all attend Long Beach High School.

Sgt. Eric Cregeen said three teens, including the victim, had a confrontation with Arnold, who drew a .22-caliber revolver and began firing.

"The victim was struck in the chest, but got really lucky -- it's a non-life-threatening injury," Cregeen said.

Neither Isaac nor the teens with him were charged.

Outside court, Arnold's family said the teen had been harassed over a previous incident. His mother, Lakeisha Williams, said the three jumped Arnold and he defended himself.

"My son has been terrorized for months," she said, adding, "I don't condone what happened at all and my heart goes out to the family of the victim."

Isaac's cousin, Tyrenzo Brown, 26, said Isaac and Arnold were once good friends but had been feuding for some time. He disputed the claim that Arnold had been harassed previously. "It's not a rivalry. It's nothing serious between them," he said.

A police source said previous incidents involving Arnold and at least two of the teens had been reported to police. The source would not elaborate on the incidents because they are under investigation.

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