Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said a parking garage attendant who was wounded wrestling a gun away from an alleged thief and shooting the suspect will not face charges at this time, according to FOX 5 NY.
Moussa Diarra, 57, was initially charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the incident that unfolded Saturday morning. Diarra had noticed a man peering into cars on the second floor of the West 31st Street garage in Manhattan when he confronted him and asked what was in his bag.
The suspected thief, Charles Rhodie, 59, then pulled a gun out and Diarra attempted to grab the weapon. Diarra was shot twice during the fight for the gun before turning the firearm around and shooting Rhodie.
Rhodie was also charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and burglary in connection with the incident.
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Diarra’s case will be dismissed by Bragg pending further investigation, the district attorney’s office told FOX 5 on Sunday. The charges against Rhodie, who has at least 20 previous arrests according to the New York Post, will remain.
Diarra’s lawyer, Charles Clayman, said his client is pleased with the result.
“I think what [police] wanted to do was sort things out, and both men had been shot,” Clayman told the Post. “And they just didn’t have time just to start talking to witnesses at that point. By this morning, people understood exactly what had happened, what a hero and victim my client was. Obviously not the perpetrator.”
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Diarra and Rhodie were transported to a hospital in stable condition after the incident Saturday morning.
The New York City Police Department said the decision to charge Diarra was made using guidance from the district attorney’s office, the Post added.
“We were in constant touch with the DA, and I just think that the police on the scene felt that that was the right thing to do,” Clayman said to the NYP. “And then things would be sorted out by the DA, and I believe that’s what happened.”
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The initial charges against Diarra drew similarities to an incident last July where Manhattan bodega clerk Jose Alba was charged with murder after a confrontation with an angry customer who came behind his counter and assaulted him. Alba stabbed and killed the attacker in self-defense but was charged with murder and sent to the Rikers Island jail.
Alba spent nearly a week in jail until the murder charge was dropped due to intense public pressure.