Suspect charged for killing Zhiwen Yan

Glen Hirsch, 51, of Briarwood has been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to the death of Zhiwen Yan, a 45-year-old Chinese food restaurant delivery worker from Middle Village, who was gunned down on his scooter back in April, just moments after dropping off an order in Forest Hills.

Zhiwen Yan and his wife on their wedding day.

According to investigators, on April 30, the suspect was observed on multiple surveillance cameras driving by the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant on Queens Boulevard.

Allegedly he had passed by the restaurant seven times, just before 9:30 p.m., when the victim, Yan, was said to have left the restaurant to deliver an order. He then managed to get behind the scooter and followed him to the address at 108th Street in Forest Hills.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said that Yan then dropped off the food order, returned to the scooter, and rode away. It was when he stopped at a red light, at the corner of 67th Drive and 108th Street, when Hirsch allegedly approached the victim on foot.

Having recognized Hirsch, Yan started to back away on the scooter. At that moment, the suspect allegedly fired a single shot, striking the delivery worker in the chest causing him to fall off his scooter. EMS quickly responded and transported Yan to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst where he was pronounced dead. The suspect and his Lexus RX3 SUV were also seen racing away from the scene.

“As alleged, a petty dispute over a take-out order became an obsessive point of contention for the defendant who began to stalk and harass employees at the restaurant for months,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement following the indictment. “The tragic end result was the murder of a hard-working employee, who left behind a devastated family and a grieving community. Gun violence is never the answer and will not be tolerated in Queens County. Following a thorough investigation by my office and the NYPD, the defendant has been apprehended and will now face justice in our Courts.”

Hirsch already had a history of causing issues with employees at the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant going back to Nov. 30, 2021, when the suspect allegedly placed an order that evening asking for extra packets of duck sauce, which he was provided. Nevertheless, he became irate and insisted that the restaurant refund his money because he wanted to return the food. But when the worker refused to take it back, Hirsch called the police.

When police arrived, the employee explained that due to COVID-19 protocols, they could not accept the order back. Hirsch then stormed out of the restaurant. Over the months that followed, he allegedly threatened and harassed several Great Wall employees, including the owner, Kai Yang.

The allegations further indicated that on Dec. 16, 2021, the victim, Zhiwen Yan, saw the defendant using a knife to damage a worker’s car that was parked outside. Hirsch allegedly threatened him, saying “I have a gun,” and “be careful, this is the last time I’m going to tell you.”

But as Hirsch left towards his vehicle, three restaurant workers followed and confronted him. One of them pulled down his mask while the others took pictures of his face and the license plate of his gray Lexus SUV with their cellphones.

The charges state that Hirsch then returned to the restaurant again on Jan. 28, this time brandishing a firearm and talking to one of the workers who was outside shoveling snow. He reportedly said, “How’s your car? Remember me? I will kill your entire family.” The employee quickly rushed back inside to call the police. When he returned outside, the suspect was gone but the tires on his car were slashed.

Hirsch was arrested on June 1, following the issuance of a warrant. A subsequent court-authorized search warrant was later executed at his wife’s home, where police say they recovered eight firearms from inside a closet believed to contain items belonging to the suspect.

He was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder on a 10-count indictment and is being charged with second degree murder, possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, menacing, and stalking.

If convicted on all charges, Hirsch faces between 29 and 44 years-to-life in prison.

Teacher charged with forcibly touching student

A high school teacher at Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences was arrested by NYPD Police officers with the 107th Precinct last week after allegedly putting his hands on a female student.

Shannon Hall, 31, of Jamaica, has been charged with two counts of forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated harassment, and sexual abuse stemming from allegations he abused two female students, ages 14 and 16.

“As parents, each day we drop our children at school, and entrust their care and custody to teachers, whom we expect to be our surrogates in every regard. It shocks the conscience to believe that a person in a professional capacity, charged with a child’s welfare, would exploit his position of authority and trust, and as alleged, endanger a child’s welfare and engage in aggravated harassment and sexual abuse with students,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement to the press.

According to the charges, on May 24 and May 25, Hall allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to a 16-year-old female student, including one that read “I want to be with you,” followed by an apology the next day, explaining that he was drunk the night before.

While in school, Hall allegedly told the 16-year-old victim that he was jealous of her and a male student and that she should look out for him the way that he looks out for her. Later that evening the victim communicated with Hall via text, asking what he had meant. Hall allegedly responded that he wanted to kiss her, smoke with her and have sex with her.

After sending the texts, he allegedly threatened her via text saying that if she showed anyone the messages she would be dead.

In a separate incident, on May 25, Hall was inside his classroom with a 14-year-old student when he allegedly grabbed and squeezed her breast.

Hall was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Denise Johnson, on June 2, and has been charged with two counts of forcible touching, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated harassment, and sexual abuse.

Hall has been ordered to return to court on June 28, after press time. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine for each of the two individual complaints.

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