NY man caught on video in standoff with cops pleads guilty to gun charge

Marcus Washington's April arrest nearly turned violent after he appears on video to reach for a .45-caliber gun


By Frank Donnelly
Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, NY — From a near-fatal encounter with armed cops to a dustup inside a police stationhouse to getting behind the wheel without a license, Marcus Washington's brushes with the law this year have run the gamut.

And now, the Stapleton resident will spend some time in an upstate prison for his troubles.

Washington resolved charges in three separate cases with guilty pleas on Monday in exchange for a promised sentence of four years behind bars.

The most significant case unfolded on April 22 after the defendant allegedly fired random shots into a Stapleton apartment.

According to a criminal complaint, the female resident said she saw Washington outside her building with a gun and moved away from the kitchen window before hearing two gunshots.

On returning to the kitchen, she found a gun casing near the window and a bullet hole in the glass.

Authorities released photos from the scene, including a cracked window from the bullet entry and a .45-caliber Hi-Point pistol. No one was hurt.

Responding officers spotted Washington outside the Stapleton Houses on Warren Street and confronted him.

An officer's body-cam footage shows Washington sitting on the ground, surrounded by cops with their guns drawn at around 1:16 p.m.

The defendant was told to put his hands in the air, but the situation escalates as he appears to reach for a .45-caliber gun alongside him.

Officers yell at Washington to stop and again instruct him to raise his hands.

The defendant slowly complies and officers swarm in and arrest him.

One officer then removes the clip from the gun and throws it to the side.

"Loaded," he said.

"I was a second away," the cop says.

No shots were fired during the confrontation, and no one was injured.

At that time, Washington was free on $3,000 bond arising from a Jan. 28 incident at the 121st Precinct.

Police said the defendant barged into the stationhouse in Graniteville around 2:30 p.m., cursed and threatened cops and demanded the return of his property taken from him during an arrest two days earlier.

Officers informed Washington his property had been returned the previous day, apparently after he was released on his own recognizance following his arraignment in Criminal Court on charges of obstructing governmental administration and trespassing, stemming from a Jan. 26 incident at the Staten Island Mall, according to police and court records.

Officers told the defendant to leave, but he refused to do so, and put his hands in his pockets, police said.

He was then informed he was being arrested and ordered to place his hands behind his back to be handcuffed, said police.

Washington darted out of the stationhouse onto the street and across the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway, causing motorists to swerve around him, police said.

Officers caught up to him, and he fought with them as they handcuffed him, said police.

Washington pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal weapon possession to resolve the April 22 case and to obstructing governmental administration with respect to the Jan. 28 case.

He also pleaded guilty to aggravated unlicensed vehicle operation stemming from an April 9 incident.

The defendant will be sentenced Oct. 31 in state Supreme Court, St. George, to four years in prison plus 42 months' post-release supervision for the gun conviction.

He'll receive 30 days behind bars for the obstruction conviction and will be fined $200 for the unlicensed driving conviction.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Defense lawyer Mark Geisser declined comment on the cases.

Assistant District Attorney Frank Prospero is prosecuting them.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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