A grim chapter concluded yesterday in a Coney Island (Brooklyn, NYC) courtroom as Joseph Colon was sentenced to 13 years behind bars. He was convicted for a near-fatal shooting of his colleague Alfredo Perez over what prosecutors say was a jealous rage about customer recruitment at a game booth in Luna Park.
The violent confrontation unfolded in the presence of multiple boardwalk visitors, including children, on a balmy summer night last September.
“An Outrageous Act of Violence”
“It was an outrageous act of violence,” stated Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn District Attorney. The incident left Perez severely injured but, fortunately, alive. A passerby found him in critical condition and summoned a nearby ambulance, tending to another patient, revealed Assistant District Attorney Michael Boykin.
The Legal Verdict
Colon, who is now 38, was found guilty of attempted murder and other charges in Brooklyn Supreme Court on May 31. Judge Susan Quirk rendered the sentencing yesterday. Both Colon and Perez, who are Hispanic, worked as recruiters for a Luna Park game booth called Jumbo Prizes. They were paid a small commission for every customer they successfully ushered into the booth.
The Tensions That Preceded the Shooting
Tensions between Colon and Perez escalated roughly a week prior to the violent event when Colon accused Perez of poaching one of his customers during his break time, according to law enforcement sources. The allegation wasn’t new and was part of a larger, ongoing dispute between the two men. On the fateful night, Colon had arrived at work before Perez. Prosecutors describe how he assumed a “tactical position” behind the booth, from where he drew an illegal firearm and shot Perez once in the chest.
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The Escape and Subsequent Capture
Both men fled the scene post-shooting. Perez eventually collapsed, while Colon was caught on camera divesting himself of a camouflage hoodie, which he discarded in a trash can at Nathan’s Famous hotdog stand. DNA evidence was later recovered from the hoodie. Colon continued on his way home, where, according to Boykin, he casually “greeted people, shook hands with acquaintances, and hugged and kissed neighbors along the way.”
Colon subsequently sought refuge at a relative’s house in Temple, Pennsylvania. He was eventually apprehended by the NYPD’s Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Echoes of a Similar Case
In a parallel narrative of jealousy and violence over customer recruitment, two men were sentenced just last week for orchestrating a hit on another man outside a karaoke bar in Queens, NYC, back in 2019.
The Colon-Perez case serves as a grim reminder of how workplace tensions can escalate into life-threatening situations, putting not just the involved parties but bystanders as well, in peril. “This shooting at Luna Park in Coney Island was an outrageous act of violence that nearly killed one man and put many more people in danger,” reiterated District Attorney Gonzalez.