The gunman who got into a confrontation with police officers, then crashed a stolen car into a fence in a failed bid to escape after an attempted robbery of Staten Island diner, has been pinned in five recent robberies in the borough.
Michael Grimes, 41, of Staten Island, confessed Thursday to the string of robberies, which began with a carjacking and armed robbery of a Duane Reade pharmacy on Sept. 30. The most recent one before Thursday happened Oct. 18, when Grimes robbed a CVS pharmacy a block and a half from the diner.
On Thursday, just after 3 a.m., the recidivist armed robber wearing a green camouflage mask and black hoodie entered the Golden Dove Diner near Arthur Kill Road and Richmond Ave, and pointed his .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun at the diner manager and two plainclothes police officers, who were seated in a booth together.
He announced a robbery, saying "This is a stick-up."
One of the officers, who are assigned to the 122nd Precinct conditions team, threw the manager to the floor and out of the line of fire. The other officer produced his gun and yelled, "Police, drop the weapon! Don't do it!"
When Grimes didn't respond, the officer fired once at Grimes, who was at the unmanned cash register about 14 feet away. The shot did not hit Grimes.
Grimes fled outside, and while fleeing, pointed his gun at the officers. The officers fired 12 shots, and one hit Grimes in the left leg.
Grimes then climbed behind the wheel of a maroon 1996 Dodge Stratus that he had stolen earlier and fled through a Walgreen's parking lot and then eastbound on Gurley Avenue, according to NYPD chief spokesman Paul Browne.
The two officers radioed a description of the fleeing suspect and the car.
Pursued about a mile away on Richmond Hill Road and Forrest Hill Road by NYPD and MTA police officers, Grimes turned onto Stone Lane, a dead end, where he crashed into a fence.
There, he got out of the car, tossed his gun under it, and was taken into custody.
The weapon was recovered at the scene.
Grimes also dropped a Yankees baseball cap stuffed with $179 in cash that detectives believe he stole in another armed robbery in Perth Amboy, N.J., earlier this morning.
Grimes was transported to Staten Island University North Hospital where he remains in stable condition.
Grimes has 13 prior arrests, including five for robbery. He has served two upstate prison sentences of approximately three years each in 1991 and 2004, for burglary and robbery, respectively.
The officers were 29 and 35 years old, with eight years on the job between them, said Browne. Neither had previous police-involved shootings.