The man accused of stalking a Chinese food delivery man and shooting him to death on a Forest Hills street has been released on $500,000 bail.
Glenn Hirsch, 51, of Briarwood, has been placed on house arrest and has been fitted with an ankle monitor, according to a statement from the office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Zhiwen Yan, a 45-year-old father of three, was slain on the night of April 30 while making deliveries for the Great Wall restaurant on Queens Boulevard.
Authorities allege the shooting was the culmination of a long-running grudge Hirsch nursed over several months after being angry with the amount duck sauce he was given with an order last fall.
Hirsch was arrested June 1. A search warrant executed at his wife’s apartment building that day allegedly turned up eight guns.
Hirsch is accused of harassing restaurant staff on November and in December. On Jan. 28 he allegedly threatened workers with a gun.
Published reports state he has 10 sealed arrests. The New York Post quoted Hirsch’s attorney, Michael Horn, as admitting his client had a dispute with the restaurant but also saying police have arrested the wrong man.
Yan was a popular figure in the community with his regular greetings and pleasant demeanor. On the night of April 30, Hirsch allegedly circled the block around the restaurant repeatedly until Yan went out to make deliveries on a scooter.
He was shot once in the chest at the intersection of 67th Drive and 108th Street.
While Katz’s prosecutors sought to have Hirsch remanded, Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder set bail at $500,000 cash, $10 million in secured bond or $15 million in partially secured bond.
Many in Forest Hills, particularly in the Asian community, have been apprehensive about Hirsch making bond.
“Bail is not, and never was, meant to be punitive; rather, its purpose is to ensure the accused returns to court to answer the charges,” Katz’s office said in an email to the Chronicle. “The law gives the judge the discretion to set bail in an amount the judge believes is reasonably calculated to accomplish this purpose.
“In this case, although we asked the court to remand the defendant without bail, the court set bail in a very substantial amount while agreeing to impose conditions we requested, including house arrest and electronic monitoring. Any violation of the terms or conditions could result in bail being revoked.”
The DA’s Office also said it worked to make sure Hirsch was outfitted with an electronic monitoring device before he was released.
On June 25, U.S. Rep Grace Meng (D-Flushing) took to Twitter to express her concern over rumors that Hirsch would make bail.
She attached a statement with state Senators Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach); Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills); and Councilwoman Lynn Schulman (D-Forest Hills) expressing their concern, calling the prospect troubling.
“Granting bail would be the wrong decision and we hope that it does not happen,” the statement said. “Someone who is a clear and present danger should not be released back into the community that still grieves Zhiwen Yan’s death.”
When granting bail, judges are not permitted to consider the danger a defendant may pose to the community — New York is the only state in the country where they cannot — and under laws passed in Albany in 2019 are required to set the least restrictive conditions possible aimed at assuring that a defendant will make his or her next court date.
Among the conditions of Hirsch’s release is that he not go near the Great Wall restaurant.