Coney Island

Coney Island amusement park worker sentenced to 13 years for attempted murder

October 27, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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A simmering dispute over customers and profits at a game booth in Luna Park escalated into violence two years ago, resulting in a 13-year prison sentence on Thursday for Joseph Colon, a former employee of the iconic Coney Island amusement park.

The conflict between Colon and his 38-year-old co-worker reached its boiling point on the evening of Sept. 10, 2021. Working at the Jumbo Prizes booth, Colon observed that his co-worker was unarmed. 

Seizing this opportunity, Colon took a tactical position behind the booth, drew an unlicensed handgun and fired a single shot. The bullet struck his co-worker in the chest.

Following the shooting, surveillance footage showed Colon exiting the booth and briefly pursuing the victim before heading down Bowery Street. He was then seen removing his camouflage hoodie on Stillwell Avenue and disposing of it in a trash bin inside Nathan’s Famous. DNA evidence later confirmed the hoodie belonged to Colon.

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The victim collapsed near the intersection of Stillwell and Mermaid avenues. Emergency medical services transported him to NYU Langone Brooklyn, where he underwent treatment for severe injuries, including a gunshot wound to the chest, a collapsed lung, a broken rib and a lacerated liver. After approximately a week, he was released from the hospital.

Colon fled to Temple, Pennsylvania, but his run ended there. He was extradited back to New York by the United States Marshals Service and the NYPD’s Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Colon was sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Susan Quirk to 13 years in prison, along with five years of post-release supervision. He had been convicted on May 31, 2023, following a jury trial, on multiple charges including second-degree attempted murder and first-degree reckless endangerment.

“This shooting at Coney Island’s Luna Park was an outrageous act of violence that nearly killed a man and put many more people in harm’s way,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Gun crime will not be tolerated in Brooklyn, and today’s sentence ensures that the defendant has been held accountable for his deplorable actions.”

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