N.Y. man shoots at cops, eludes search

By T.W. Farnam

Police spent several hours searching a public housing project yesterday afternoon for a man they said fired on narcotics officers and may have been shot in the arm himself.

Plainclothes officers approached two men after witnessing a hand-to-hand drug deal in the courtyard behind 150 Maujer St. in Williamsburg about 1:20 p.m., police said. One of the men pulled out a gun and there was a quick exchange of gunfire with the officers.

"I saw the bad guy come outside with the pistol from the lobby," said a man who gave his name as Alon, a mover who heard four shots while working across from the building on the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Maujer Street. "The guy looks in my face like maybe I'm a cop, too."

The suspect came out of the lobby stumbling and waited a few seconds with his gun drawn before running into the lobby of an attached building, Alon said. A police officer came out seconds later and asked bystanders where the man had fled.

"The cop looks at me and said, 'Which way did he go?'" Alon said. "I told the cops don't go in [the lobby], he will shoot you right there."

Police spent three hours searching the housing complex for the man, but said he may have escaped through a series of tunnels under the building.

Copyright 2007 Newsday, Inc.

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