Howard Beach Man With Airsoft Shotgun And Knife Threatens Neighbor’s Children in Their Home

The intruder Toia.

A 61 year old man entered a neighbor’s home carrying an airsoft shotgun and threatened a teenage girl and her 10-year-old brother who were home alone Wednesday evening, according to family members and the police.

Police later arrested the man, Mark Toia, of 135 Broadway, in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens, New York. Police recovered two airsoft shotguns and a pipe containing what appeared to be crack residue from the neighbor’s home, a police spokesperson said, via e-mail message. 

According to a family member the man entered the Howard Beach home around 4.30 pm and and confronted the 10-year-old as he climbed to the second floor. He went into the 17-year-old girl’s room and complained about being able to see her older brother from the window of his own home. 

He also said he had a friend who was in the mafia and could “come and shoot” the girl’s father, Kris Gounden, who doesn’t live in the home. He also told the teenager, according to a  family member, that he had a real shotgun at home and that he could “easily” use it to “kill anyone.” The man had a knife strapped to his left arm, according to the family member.

Toia heads upstairs.

Surveillance video from the home shows the man with what appears to be the airsoft shotgun and with wrappings on one arm. 

The teenager and her 10-year-old brother were the only family members at home. The teenager called their mother who then dialed 911.

In a statement to Black Star News, a New York Police Department spokesperson said officers from the 106 precinct responded to at around 4.35 pm, on June 19, from a 53-year-old woman, presumably the mother. The caller, later identified as Toia, “entered her home without permission or authority to so do, with an airsoft shot gun and a knife,” the statement from the NYPD spokesperson said, attributing information to the mother.

The police statement erroneously identified the 10-year-old boy as a “female complainant.” The statement said the man later identified as Toia “threatened a 17-year-old female by stating that he had a real shotgun in his home that he could use.” 

Police arrested Toia at his home. He consented to a search of his home where the two airsoft shotguns and a knife were recovered. “Glass pipe with alleged crack residue was recovered. The individual was taken into custody,” the NYPD statement added.

Police said Toia was charged with: criminal trespass; acting in a manner injurious to a child; menacing; reckless endangerment; criminal possession of a weapon; criminal possession of a controlled substance; and, harassment.

Toia is white while his neighbors are ethnic Indian immigrants from Guyana. The family faced alleged racist backlash from neighbors when they first moved into Howard Beach as reported in a Daily News article on April 24, 2007 under the headline “Family Haunted by Hate in Queens.” 

The children’s father, Gounden, says he was eventually hounded out of the neighborhood.

 

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