A lawyer for the Queens man facing robbery and assault charges after a Roosevelt Field shooting that sent shoppers scrambling for safety days before Christmas, said Monday his client may testify before a grand jury.
The attorney for defendant Oliver Lee, 21, of Little Neck, also said after a Mineola court conference he could end up mounting a psychological defense in the case.
Attorney Anthony Colleluori said he met Lee for the first time Monday when a judge assigned him the case. Lee faces six felonies, including robbery, assault and weapons charges.
Authorities allege that on Dec. 22, Lee snatched an $18,750 Rolex watch inside a Tourneau store at the Garden City mall, showed a handgun and tried to flee.
But authorities said the store’s security guard, a retired NYPD detective sergeant, stopped the gunman and got into a violent struggle with him. During the struggle, which lasted about 90 seconds, a round was fired from Lee’s semi-automatic handgun, striking a 67-year-old mall worker in the shoulder, police said.
At a news conference a day later, acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said the actions of the security guard, Kenneth Krug of North Baldwin, “resulted in the defendant only being able to discharge one round.”
Police said two unarmed mall security guards helped Krug restrain Lee, and an off-duty NYPD inspector assisted in handcuffing the suspect.
“The district attorney’s office has informed me they have already presented the case to the grand jury. They’re just waiting for a decision as to whether or not my client will testify,” Colleluori said Monday. He added that some facts have yet to come out “that I think will help him in the defense.”
Colleluori called his client “a nice kid, very polite,” who has no history of criminal convictions and is doing “surprisingly well for someone who has undergone the traumas he’s gone through over the recent part of his life.” Colleluori declined to be more specific.
Prosecutors declined to comment Monday.
A pastor for Lee’s family was in court Monday to support the defendant, whose appearance in the courtroom was waived.
“I just want to say our church supports Oliver and our community also supports him,” said the Rev. Jae Lee of Ebenezer Mission Church in Bayside, Queens.
The defendant, who is jailed in lieu of $750,000 bail, is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 6.