A New York City man accused of fatally shooting a would-be robber was hit with an additional 24 gun charges and had his bail doubled. However, the new charges are not directly linked to the deadly shooting.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Charles Foehner was confronted by a man in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Surveillance video shows the man, 32-year-old Cody Gonzalez, staggering toward Foehner. Gonzalez allegedly demanded money and cigarettes.
Gonzalez allegedly had a pen in his hand, which Foehner mistook as a knife. After several warnings, Foehner purportedly shot and killed Gonzalez with a handgun after Gonzalez lunged at him.
Gonzalez reportedly had at least 15 arrests dating back to 2004 and a record of mental illness.
After turning himself into authorities on Thursday, Foehner was initially charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, and held on $25,000 bail.
However, Foehner was arraigned on Friday and slapped with 26 counts of criminal possession of a weapon, but was not charged in the fatal shooting. His bail was also doubled to $50,000.
Police executed a search warrant of Foehner's apartment and discovered roughly two dozen firearms.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Randazzo said police found "approximately 26 firearms, including pistols, shotguns, rifles, an AK 47, two body armor vests and multiple rounds of ammunition" at Foehner's home.
Foehner has a license for five rifles, but not for the handguns, including the one used in the alleged self-defense shooting.
The 65-year-old retired doorman allegedly told authorities that he was armed with the illegal handgun to protect himself because crime rates have skyrocketed in New York City.
"Last night I was carrying a firearm because of the way the city has been for the last three years," Foehner reportedly told investigators. "I read the crime stats and I see so much crime. I had the pistol. I obtained it in a bar one night.”
Foehner said he had the gun since the 1990s. He added that he also collects firearms as a hobby, but didn't have permits for most of the firearms that he owns.
However, the judge had zero sympathy for the alleged mugging victim.
"The defendant was on the street with a loaded, unlicensed gun," Judge Jerry Iannece said in Queens Criminal Court. "There are too many shootings in this city! The court is quite concerned with what we see."
Foehner’s lawyer, Margaret Lin, pleaded with the judge to release her client without bail. She contended that Foehner is a deli worker with no criminal record who “lives steps away " from the courthouse, and is not a flight risk.
"This incident is a total aberration in his life," Lin told the court. "He is the one who called the police immediately after the robbery, where he is the victim."
However, Iannece decided to double Foehner's bail.
” Lannece said, "What is concerning to the court is the large arsenal of weaponry found in his apartment… in the city of New York, where there are many, way too many shootings."
Foehner faces up to 25 years in prison on the top charge of criminal possession of a firearm in the first degree, according to the New York Post.
Foehner is scheduled to return to court on June 5.
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