2007_02_nypdbat.jpgYou know that beating of a rookie cop in Queens from yesterday? It turns out that suspect Danny Fernandez was staking out cops so he could steal a gun. Fernandez had been waiting three hours until decided to attack Officer Joseph Cho with a baseball bat in Jackson Heights at 1AM. Luckily, fellow rookie cop Patrick Lynch saw the attack and chased Fernandez - who ended up running into a third rookie, Christine Schmidt. Lynch and Schmidt arrested Fernandez.

Fernandez admitted he owed $16,000 in debt and wanted a gun - and police handcuffs - to use in stick-up robberies. He had followed Cho for 30 minutes, and sneaked up on him from between two parked cars and hit him on the head with a bat. Cho was hurt, but still moving on the ground, so Fernandez hit him on the head again. Cho'sskull was fractured and required 20 stitches; he is in stable condition.

Fernandez was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, and more. Representative Joseph Crowley said, "The whole thing is just unbelievably hard to describe, the notion that someone would have the depravity to hit anyone, much less a police officer. I think that the full extent of the law needs to be brought to bear on the individual so this won't be tolerated." And Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Lynch and Schmidt, "What an outstanding job they did. Through the bitter cold they stayed alert and determined, and they stopped a potential killer and got the gun back."