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Queens Chronicle

Hurricane Sandy gas line gunman convicted

Used handgun to cut ahead in Astoria

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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:22 am, Thu Jul 3, 2014.

A St. Albans man who pulled a gun as the car he was in attempted to cut a line at a gas station in the wake of Hurricane Sandy has been convicted of menacing and weapons possession charges.

Sean Bailey, 37, faces seven to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 3, according to a statement issued by the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“Superstorm Sandy stands as one of the worst natural disasters to strike our city in recent memory,” Brown said.

“In its aftermath, the vast majority of New Yorkers behaved decently, though there were random instances, such as in this case, where the defendant refused to play by the rules and chose instead to resort to thuggish behavior in order to get what he wanted,” the district attorney added.

Bailey, who had been held on $50,000 bail since his arrest in November 2012, was convicted following a nine-day trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak.

The hurricane cut power to many areas of the city for several days. Gas stations that lost power and did not have backup power generation systems were unable to operate their pumps.

Stations that did have power ran out of gasoline in short order as lines often backed up for several blocks.

According to testimony at Bailey’s trial, a 29-year-old man was waiting on line near a station in Astoria at the intersection of Astoria Boulevard and 43rd Street when a white BMW pulled up and attempted to cut into the line.

When the first driver complained, Bailey got out of the front passenger seat and walked up to the man’s car while displaying a Phoenix Raven .25-caliber pistol and threatened the victim while ordering him to pull back.

Police were summoned by a 911 call and immediately arrested Bailey at the gas station.

He was convicted of second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing.

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