Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Son of NYU VP fighting to stay alive
Police are looking for the two suspects photographed .
The son of a prominent NYU official shot in a drug-related robbery in Greenwich Village was “on the brink,” but fighting to stay alive today, his distraught mom said.
NYU senior vp Debra LaMorte grew emotional when she briefly spoke to a reporter outside the room of her son, Alex Bongard, in an intensive care unit at Bellevue Hospital.
“He is on the brink,” LaMorte said about her 24-year-old son, who was shot Monday along with another man in his Bleeker Street apartment by robbers posing as marijuana buyers. “He is in critical condition.”
Earlier, LaMorte, New York University’s fund-raising and alumni relations chief, issued a statement saying, “I am saddened and dismayed by what has happened to my son, Alex.”
Police are looking for the two suspects photographed above.
see more videos “There will be many challenges for my son and all of us in the days and weeks ahead, but right now, as his mother, I am only focused on two things: his making a full recovery, and the NYPD catching the gunmen who shot my son,” said LaMorte.
The NYPD today took steps to do just that, releasing surveillance photos of the two men cops believe are responsible for Monday’s shooting of Bongard and Lucas Hinde, a 31-year-old who was released in June from Arizona prison for marijuana crimes.
Police said the two unidentified men donned masks when they went up to Bongard’s third-floor apartment, purportedly to buy pot, at about 11:30 p.m.
One of the men pulled a gun, and shot Bongard and Hinde once in the chest each, before running off with several hundreds of dollars in cash, along with the pocketbook of a woman who had been visiting the apartment.
“There was pot strewn all over the apartment,” said one law-enforcement source.
Another source said it appeared that Bongard and Hinde were operating a “substantial” pot-dealing operation out of Bongard’s $2,500-per-month apartment.
Hinde was in stable condition at Bellevue yesterday, and under police guard.
He had been busted last December, a month after being paroled from Arizon prison, with several pounds of pot in his car after leading a Utah police officer on a chase that hit speeds of 130 mph. That case ended with him being sent back to Arizona to finish a 2 1/2-year sentence in his prior pot case.
Sources said that although the amount of marijuana found in Bongard’s apartment was significant enough to support cops filing drug charges against one or both of the shooting victims, it was unclear whether that would happen.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. declined to comment when asked if either Bongard or Hinde would be charged.