Authorities were attempting to arrest 44-year-old Oswald Lewis, who had been on the run since skipping out on his April 1991 indictment for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Virginia, when he allegedly opened fire on them late Tuesday.
He fled to the backyard where he fired on NYPD detectives serving as back up. He fired about a dozen shots, emptying both guns, before tossing his weapons and surrendering, sources and witnesses said.
No law enforcement officers were injured and Lewis’ weapons were both recovered.
Lewis is recovering at Jamaica Hospital and will be brought to Brooklyn Federal Court to face charges.
Lewis has been wanted since April 1991 in Virginia.PreviousNext Enlarge
“The wound that he suffered, while it’s non-life threatening, it’s relatively severe,” said U.S. marshals Assistant Chief Jim Elcik. “There may be some nerve damage.”
Two of the marshals who helped apprehend Lewis were also on-scne when two marshals and an NYPD detective were shot on July 28 when they showed up to arrest child molester Charles Mozdir at a West Village smoke shop, a source said.
Mozdir died in that shootout, which the lawmen survived.
Marshals recently got a tip that Lewis was in the city and traced him to the flop apartment on 175th St.
The Guyana native was arrested twice since the warrant was issued for him in 1991, officials said Wednesday, but both times he was released before authorities realized his true identity.
Maryland State Police arrested Lewis for possession, smuggling and distribution of cocaine on May 14, 1993. Using false ID, he posted bond and a warrant for his arrest was issued later that year, officials said, when he failed to return to court.
North Carolina highway patrol cops busted Lewis on Jan. 31, 1995, for trafficking cocaine but he again presented a false ID and posted bond before authorities realized his true identity, officials said. Police there a warrant for his arrest for bail jumping when he failed to show back up to court.
Investigators do not believe he feared the feds after two decades on the run, a source said. They suspect he was heavily armed and wearing body armor Tuesday because he had enemies on the street.
“He was worried about somebody other than law enforcement,” the source said.