An Ozone Park man convicting of shooting an off-duty police officer in 2013 was sentenced has been sentenced to 59 1/3 to 66 1/3 years to life in prison this week.
According to Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown, Jose L. Bernazard, 42, whose last known address was on 88 Street in Queens, tried to gain entrance to the Jamaica home of Christina Rodriguez on Sunday, June 2013, at around 10 p.m.
When Rodriguez refused his entry, Bernazard then allegedly climbed through a window according to trial testimony. Once inside, he reportedly began to assault her and her 10-month old son.
Hearing their cries for help, off-duty police officer Joseph Koch, 28 at the time, went to their aid. He reportedly had his police shield clipped to his waist band in plain view.
As Bernazard and Kock struggled during the confrontation, Bernazard allegedly grabbed Koch’s gun and shot him in the hand. Bernazard was also struck by a bullet during the struggle.
All four individuals were taken to the hospital from the scene to be treated for their injuries.
Brown said a subsequent investigation revealed that Bernazard had stalked Ms. Rodriguez between January 26, 2012, and June 16, 2013, during which time he assaulted Ms. Rodriguez on three separate occasions prior to the June 16, 2013, incident.
“The defendant is a clear danger to the woman he had briefly dated, her son and to the general public,” said Brown. “This individual showed a total disregard for the judicial system. He broke into the home of his former girlfriend, assaulted both her and her young son and repeatedly ignored lawful mandates to stay away from her. And when he continued to harass and stalk her and a police officer intervened attempting to effect his arrest, the defendant shot him. In this case, a lengthy prison term was more than warranted and the defendant will likely spend the rest of his days behind bars.”
A jury convicted Bernazard on April 18, 2016, of second-degree attempted murder, second- and third-degree assault, first-degree attempted assault, first degree burglary, aggravated criminal contempt, second-degree criminal contempt, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation,second-degree criminal trespass, fourth-degree criminal mischief and first-degree stalking following a three and one-half week trial.