State Police say they are trying to determine whether a Riverhead woman charged in the pellet-gun shooting of a plainclothes NYPD officer is connected to four similar incidents that occurred the same day last week on Long Island.
Tiara Ferebee, 24, of Andrea Court, was ordered jailed on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail at her arraignment Sunday night in Queens Criminal Court.
She is charged with first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Ferebee faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, Brown said.
Before Judge Gia Morris set bail, Ferebee’s attorney told the judge no evidence exists connecting his client to the crime involving the officer, other than her alleged proximity, and no weapon was recovered.
Just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, a projectile from a pellet gun fired by a passenger in a brown 2015 Nissan Altima struck the officer, Adam Jangel, in the forehead as he drove an unmarked police vehicle west on Jamaica Avenue and 168th Street, in Jamaica, Queens, the NYPD said.
The Altima was traveling east on Jamaica Avenue at the time and had a Missouri license plate, police said. Jangel was taken to Jamaica Medical Center. He was not seriously injured, authorities said.
Jangel “has a foreign metal projectile lodged in his forehead, lodged between his skin and his skull,” NYPD Officer Joseph Zvonik wrote in a court complaint filed against Ferebee.
Jangel’s “front driver’s side window was open, and he heard a pop sound and immediately felt a burning pain to his forehead,” according to the complaint.
Officers arrested Ferebee Saturday after an investigation and the circulation of surveillance photos police said showed her sitting in the Altima.
In the complaint, Ferebee is quoted telling investigators she didn’t remember much about the shooting or anything else that day.
“I don’t know if I had a gun. I don’t remember. I don’t know and I don’t remember if I discharged a gun in the car,” Ferrebee said, according to court papers. “You know why you have me here. Just book me.”
A car matching the description of the Altima has been linked to similar shootings at vehicles on Sunrise Highway on Long Island in which at least one victim was hit, according to prosecutor Sonia Kaczmarzyk, adding that video exists connecting the Altima to the shooting.
State Police on Monday said that on Wednesday, at about 7 p.m., two eastbound vehicles on Sunrise, east of Exit 61 in Southampton, “were struck by projectiles fired from a brown Nissan Altima, shattering the side view windows.” Police said that about an hour earlier a vehicle on the eastbound Southern State Parkway near Exit 30 in Nassau County was hit.
Police said that same evening a fourth vehicle’s side view window was struck on County Route 104, near Sunrise Highway.
“All four incidents are believed to be related,” and State Police are working with the NYPD “to resolve these cases,” police said Monday in a news release.
David Blondell, Ferebee’s Legal Aid attorney, said she was charged merely for allegedly being in the area of the shooting involving the officer.
“She’s being punished for being near where something happened,” he said.
Blondell said Ferebee is a lifelong Long Islander and the sole caretaker of her parents.
He said the video doesn’t show anyone pointing a weapon.