Nov. 6, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
A Bronx resident was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to his role in an armed robbery that took place at an Astoria bodega in November 2018, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Hannibal Ali, 56, of Hughes Avenue in the Bronx, was part of a three-man crew that robbed a bodega on 36th Avenue at gunpoint and then fled the scene in a get-away van. A relative of the bodega owner who chased after them as they made their exit was shot in the leg.
Ali was seen on CCTV inside the store with a fake police shield around his neck and a gun in his hand. The two other men wore masks to cover their faces and also had fake police shields around their neck.
The men, according to court documents, entered the Bonoful Grocery, located at 29-11 36th Ave., at around 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 17 and accused the store owner of illegal activity. They then grabbed a bag of cash behind the counter and took money from the register.
The 30-year-old relative of the bodega owner chased after the thieves and was shot in the leg. The men then took off in a van driven by a get-away driver.
“It is very fortunate that the young man – a hero who acted without thought for his own safety – survived being shot as he chased down the robbers,” said Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan in a statement.
“The defendant has pleaded guilty in this case and is going to prison for his actions that day. This kind of brazen thievery will not be tolerated in Queens County and those who violently break the law will be prosecuted and incarcerated.”
Ali pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery on Sept. 23 and Queens Supreme Court Justice Joanne Watters sentenced him today to 15 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years’ post release supervision.
Osvaldo DeJesus, 25, Ali’s co-defendant, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. A third defendant’s case is pending.