Two ex-cons are facing more than 20 years in jail apiece for the botched, booze-fueled Flatlands robbery that ended in a hostage standoff — with a twist of lime.
Police said suspects Ted Peters, 23, and Philson Andrews, 25, entered Arrow Wine and Liquor on Avenue N at 1:30 pm on June 29 and allegedly flashed a weapon, scaring three people — and a dog — inside the store. The dog was sent scurrying to the basement when one of the suspects fired at it — but missed.
Peters and Andrews allegedly wanted to rob the till and run, but workers at a neighboring business saw what was going on in the store and flagged down a passing police car. Within a matter of minutes, cops had surrounded the liquor store, which is near E. 48th Street.
Apparently, neither Peters nor Andrews were equipped to handle the situation, so the two allegedly started pulling bottles off the shelves and drinking the liquor, not realizing that their hostages were using the opportunity to escape.
First, store cleark Izkiya Tolmasov, 49, ran out of the front door, moments after the suspects asked her if there was a back entrance.
As the four-hour standoff drew on, real estate lawyer Robert Kane, who was buying a lottery ticket at the store when the gunmen came in, also ran out toward awaiting police officers.
Cops, however, didn’t know if Kane was a hostage or a kidnapper, so they tackled him to the ground and handcuffed him until they could confirm his identity.
“I kept thinking [Peters and Andrews] were amateurs,” Kane told the Daily News last week. “There were really f—ed up.”
Yet, they talked a good game: When the scene first unfolded, both suspects called Kane their “insurance policy.” They also told him to call his loved ones and say goodbye.
Down two hostages, Peters and Andrews saw no other recourse but to drink even more. Officials said the two allegedly began sharing a bottle of Jack Daniels, shouting out threats that kept everyone on edge.
“I’m facing 20 years and I’m not coming out alive,” one of the suspects allegedly shouted as the standoff continued.
But, at around 5:30 pm, both men surrendered after hostage negotiators talked them down. As extra leverage, cops brought one of the suspect’s mothers to the scene. She joined police in asking the two men to give up.
When they finally threw up their hands and exited the store, only one hostage — and the dog — remained, police said.
Both men were charged with kidnapping, robbery and reckless endangerment and arraigned on $100,000 bail. Attempts to reach their attorney was unsuccessful by Tuesday.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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