A teenager accused of shooting a newlywed Marine in Times Square in June has rejected a plea deal that was offered to him on Monday in a Manhattan court.
Prosecutors offered 16-year-old Avon Darden a seven year jail sentence for allegedly shooting Marine Samuel Poulin in the back while he was visiting the tourist hotspot earlier this summer.
Darden, who has been charged with attempted assault in the first degree and weapons possession in the second degree, refused to take the deal.
Avon Darden, 16, has turned down a deal offered to him by prosecutors. He is pictured being walked into Manhattan Supreme Court on charges of Attempted Murder, Assault, Reckless Endangerment and Criminal Possession of a Weapon for the June 27 shooting
Darden is allegedly pictured with the gun during the shooting on June 27 near Times Square
Avon Darden, 16, is pictured in surveillance footage while cops searched for him
Darden had allegedly been aiming at a street performer when shots were fired.
He shook his head as an assistant district attorney read the offer in Manhattan Supreme Court, according to the New York Post.
Darden could now face more than 25 years in prison should he be found guilty of all the charges against him. He is continuing to plead not guilty in the June 27 shooting.
He is accused of opening fire following an argument with a street performer.
One of the bullets ended up ricocheting and hit Poulin in the back.
The young Marine was hospitalized after the shooting but was not seriously injured.
Samuel Poulin, 21, was hit in the back by a ricocheting bullet as he walked with his family near the Marriott Hotel on W. 45th St. around 5:15 p.m. on June 27
The young soldier recently graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, with a commission in the US. Marine Corps
Darden reportedly has been arrested for three felonies, including one for a gun possession charge, before he turned himself in.
Cops said that the shooting was prompted after rival breakdancers argued the night before when Darden had allegedly walked in front of a performer.
Darden allegedly returned the next day and argued with the other performer for a second time before he allegedly whipped out the gun and opened fire.
Poulin, a soldier, recently graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, with a commission in the US. Marine Corps.
Times Square, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, sees an estimated 50 million visitors annually and about 330,000 people pass through it daily, many of whom are tourists like Poulin.
Times Square, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, sees an estimated 50 million visitors annually
Police are pictured working the scene where an innocent bystander, 21, was struck by a ricocheted bullet outside the Marriott Hotel in June
Scared bystanders were sent scurrying as the shots went off earlier this summer
Rapes in New York City were up 3.1 percent so far this year, with 842 reported as of August 1, compared to 817 in the same period of 2020
New York City is in the midst of skyrocketing crime rates overall.
NYPD crime data show that rapes are up 3.1 per cent so far this year, with 842 reported as of August 1, compared to 817 in the same period of 2020.
Other sex crimes are up 26.3 per cent to 2,719 this year, compared to 2,152 last year, according to NYPD statistics.
Shootings have spiked 15.8 per cent in 2021 compared to last year, with 900 shooting incidents in 2021 compared to 777 in 2020.
There are also 12 per cent more shooting victims this year, the data shows, with 1,057 people falling prey to gun violence compared to 944 last year.
The biggest leap in crime rates is for hate crimes, which have surged by 103 per cent in the last year.
The data come amid numerous random attacks on Asian Americans in the city in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.