Elmont man arrested after court melee

Six charged with rioting at arraignment of North V.S. murder suspect


Terry Green, 28, of Elmont, was arrested on Sept. 20 following a fight at First District Court in Hempstead during the arraignment of 20-year-old murder suspect Pedro Merchant, a North Valley Stream man who is accused of killing 17-year-old Dante Quinones-Wright, of Hempstead.

Green, one of six men arrested for the courthouse altercation, was arraigned last Saturday, charged with first- and second-degree rioting and second-degree criminal contempt. Green and the five other men — Abdul Rahim Robinson, 22, of West Hempstead; Aaron Munlin, 20, and Jerry Merchant, 50, of Hempstead; Shapeace Goodwine, 22, of Roosevelt; and Louis Merchant, 51, of Philadelphia — were due back in court on Tuesday, after the Herald went to press.

The fight broke out in a corridor, near the end of Merchant’s arraignment, after an exchange of heated comments. When the confrontation escalated to pushing and shoving, police intervened and arrested the men. Four people were injured, including two officers. One officer was taken to Winthrop University Hospital, and one of the men involved in the fight was taken to Nassau University Medical Center.

“The court officers were extraordinarily professional and effective,” said court spokesman Dan Bagnuola. “It could have been a much, much worse situation and the officers acted very, very quickly.”

Hempstead Village police, Nassau County police and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department also responded. After the fight, the court was shut down for 15 minutes, and then Merchant’s arraignment, before Judge Sharon Gianelli, resumed.

Police arrested Merchant on Sept. 19. He was charged with second-degree murder, accused of shooting Quinones-Wright multiple times in front of a home on Dartmouth Street in Hempstead on Sept. 11. He was ordered held without bail by Judge Eric Bjorneby.

Green was held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 bail.