New York City Police are investigating an armed gang terrorizing Manhattan in a string robberies - including a shooting at an Upper East Side restaurant that left terrified diners fleeing after a victim was shot in the leg.
Surveillance footage shows terrified Manhattan diners caught up in the lastest brazen robbery, this time at Philippe Chow on the Upper East Side after 10pm on Wednesday when two masked, armed men attempted to rob two men of their Rolex watches.
They stole one man's Rolex watch and shot a 28-year-old man on a first date in the leg when he tried to grab the robber's weapon.
Chief of Detectives James Essig said the police are looking for three suspects who drove away in a Black SUV.
At a press conference on Thursday, Essig said, 'We are currently looking at other familiar similar patterns in the precinct. And we'll be getting video out and pictures out to the public to ask for their help in this crime.'
Police said a 28-year-old male, identified as Melchior Cooke, was dinning outside Philippe Chow when an armed man stepped up to his table minutes after 10 pm and demanded his watch. He was shot in the leg when he wrestled the gun away from the robber. A 31-year-old man was also approached at the restaurant at the same time and robbed him of his Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner watch
Chief of Detectives James Essig said police 'are currently looking at other familiar similar patterns in the precinct'
Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams had lunch at Philippe Chow on Thursday, the day after the brazen armed robbery
Adams addressed New York City residents condemning the crime and insisting that he has a plan to make the city safe
Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams returned to the scene of the crime the next day to dine with restaurant owner Philippe Chow, eating at the same table where Melchior Cooke, 28, was shot.
'This is not a restaurant where crime problems are happening, but for someone to come by and attempt a robbery while you sit down and enjoy a meal is just unacceptable,' Adams said.
Before sitting down to dig into his vegan meal, Adams said, 'Our restaurants are really the bellwether of how well we recover. And I constantly state that the prerequisite of our prosperity is public safety.'
'The boldness of those who want to hurt New Yorkers are looking to prey on innocent people no matter where they are … if we ignore this problem in Brownsville it is going to spill over on Broadway,' he continued.
Adams had lunch at the restaurant to show New Yorkers that they should not be afraid.
'Let's patronize this restaurant and tell those who want to intimate us with crime, we are not fleeing from crime. We are not going to shut down our city. We did not shut down from a pandemic and darn it we are not going to shut down for crime.'
Adams shared his plan to handle crime if elected mayor. 'We need to reinstitute our anti-gun unit, plainclothes unit to go out to target the gangs and guns, and get them off our streets.'
According to police, one man wore a white hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. One man wore a black shirt and black shorts. Both were armed. The third suspect is believed to have remained in the getaway car.
Essing said, 'A black