An off-duty New York City correctional officer accused of shooting dead a Bronx teenager opened fire in fear for his life, his attorney said on Friday — as the prison guards’ union came to his defense and said they think , the incident was presented unfairly.
Dion Middleton, 45, fired a single shot at a car that allegedly killed 18-year-old Raymond Chaluisant after he felt a “stab in his back” and saw a passenger in a car make a hand gesture, said Joey Jackson, the attorney for the law enforcement officers’ union.
“I’m trying to provide context,” Jackson said in Bronx Criminal Court. “That context would suggest to the court that at the time my client delivered a single round, he did so with the belief that he was in imminent fear of death.” was.”
Benny Boscio, president of the Benevolent Association of Correction Officers, defended Middleton on Friday, calling the type of water gun “an ongoing threat to public safety.”
“Although this incident is still under investigation, we are aware that the media has reported a number of things that are not based on fact,” Boscio said in a statement. “Our officer fired a single shot in a situation where he felt his life was in imminent danger, particularly after he felt something hit his back.”
An NYPD traffic officer was also hit with pellets in the same area, Boscio claimed.
“Toy guns no longer resemble toys, as illustrated by the images of this water gun, and they remain an ongoing threat to public safety,” Boscio said. “We will provide Officer Middleton with the best representation possible to ensure his legal rights are protected.”
Several correctional officers and Middleton’s family observed the court proceedings. His family declined to comment to a reporter from The Post.
Chaluisant, who was shot in the face on the passenger side of an Acura early Thursday, had an Orbeez water pellet gun with him when he died.
“Let’s call it what it is, a weapon. It looks real and it’s a weapon that shoots pellets that tend to cause pain,” Jackson said, hinting that the teen may have participated in a viral TikTok challenge with the Orbeez.
“It’s all the rage on TikTok and I think a lot more young people are going to have significant problems if they keep using it,” Jackson told Judge Jeffrey Zimmerman.
Orbeez pellets are soft to the touch, but can cause injury and even cut skin when shot from a gun.
Middleton, who showed up in khakis and a purple shirt that read “Survivor,” was ordered to bail for $1 million, $1 million partially secured, $500,000, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office US dollars in cash or a $500,000 credit card.
“My client would have no reason to know the age of the person who shot him at the time,” Jackson added.
“The only thing my client wanted was to have the opportunity to go home to his loved ones that night and I turn around and deal with this car, he wasn’t trying to kill anyone, he was trying to protect and preserve oneself.”
But Assistant District Attorney Mena Beshay said, according to the corrections officer himself, he never saw anyone holding a firearm or a weapon and he never heard gunfire.
“He also stated that he was not injured and was not injured and was not shot,” Beshay said. “The defendant then continued on his usual path and at no point did he stop and call the police or inform anyone.”
“His actions show that he did not intend and definitely did not intend to take responsibility for the fact that he had just fired a round,” Beshay added.
The judge said he believed the correctional officer was a flight risk and asked if he thought he had been hit by a gunshot.
“It doesn’t appear from his testimony that he knew he was shot,” Zimmerman said. “He talks about feeling a sting. It felt like glass, but he doesn’t say I know I was shot.”
https://nypost.com/2022/07/22/accused-nyc-teen-killer-dion-middleton-feared-for-his-life-attorney/ Accused NYC teenage killer Dion Middleton feared for his life: Attorney