Staten Island Advance
December 7, 2002

Judge dismisses case against man accused of shooting officer

NEW YORK (AP) -- A State Supreme Court judge in Queens has decided not to reinstate charges against a man accused of shooting a police officer, saying that he had not been granted a speedy trial.

Justice Laura Blackburne dismissed the charge of attempted murder against William Hodges, 31, who was accused of shooting rookie officer David Gonzalez during a scuffle in 1999.

Blackburne ruled on Friday that the prosecution had failed to meet the six month deadline for bringing Hodges to trial.

Gonzalez, who was shot in the leg, said he was disappointed with the decision.

"He tried to kill me and now he's walking the streets. I hope he doesn't kill anybody," Gonzalez said.

Hodge's family members hailed the decision, but police union officials angrily criticized it.

"It makes every police officer doubt why they do what they do when the courts don't stand behind them," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

The Queens district attorney's office said it would immediately appeal the ruling.