Suspect in police ambushes arraigned on attempted murder charges

The suspect in two ambush shootings of New York City police officers was arraigned Monday on attempted murder and other charges in connection with an attack on a police vehicle and later at a police precinct.

Under the watching eyes of the police officers who packed a Bronx courtroom, a handcuffed Robert Williams, 45, made his first appearance following his Sunday arrest, wearing a gray sweatshirt and sweatpants, one eye swollen shut and a bandage on his ear.

Williams, of the Bronx, was charged with multiple counts of attempted murder. He is accused of approaching a police patrol van on Saturday night and firing at two officers inside, wounding one before escaping on foot, and also of opening fire at the 41st precinct headquarters Sunday morning and wounded a police lieutenant before being arrested.

Williams was remanded into custody after his appearance and is due back in court on Feb. 14. He was represented in court by an attorney from The Bronx Defenders. A message seeking comment left with the office was not immediately returned.


Earlier Monday, Lt. Jose Gautreaux, who was wounded at the 41st precinct, was greeted by lines of waiting officers as he left the hospital. His arm in a sling and a police jacket over his shoulders, Gautreaux got out of a wheelchair at the hospital entrance, walking to a waiting car and giving the crowd a thumbs-up. Among those marking the moment was NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

The officer who was wounded in that earlier attack, Paul Stroffolino, was released from the hospital on Sunday evening.

Police said Williams had a long criminal history, including a 2002 shooting and carjacking in which he fired a gun at police. He was paroled from prison in 2017.


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