Video: Brazen robbers shoot customer dining outside upscale NYC eatery

Shooting outside Philippe Chow

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Naveen Dhaliwal has more on the violent incident outside Philippe Chow.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 28-year-old man was shot in the leg after two gun-toting men held up diners eating outside an upscale restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

It happened just after 10 p.m. Wednesday outside Philippe Chow on East 60th Street.

The mask-wearing suspects emerged from a dark-colored SUV and descended on two men who were dining at different tables.

Video first obtained by Eyewitness News shows the incident unfold:

One suspect stole a 31-year-old man's Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner.

The other suspect approached a 28-year-old man on a date at a separate table to rob him.

That victim resisted and struggled with the suspect, grabbing his gun, which suddenly went off.

The victim, later identified as Melchior Cooke, was shot in the leg, and the startled suspect dropped the weapon and fled.

Cooke, a plumber with a 4-year-old son, staggered onto the sidewalk and placed the gun in the restaurant.

First-arriving police officers placed a tourniquet around Cooke's leg before he was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell with a non-life-threatening injury.

His mother, Lisa Cooke, said she was breathing a sigh of relief on Thursday that her son is OK.

"I have nine kids...I would expect that from him, he's not going to let anyone do that...pull a gun out and rob him -- he's not going to let that happen..my kids aren't that type of kids," Cooke said.

"We believe the patrons have no connection to another, the two perps come out, they go right to the tables that each individual was sitting at, we believe this is a robbery for high-end jewelry," said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.

So far, no arrests have been made.

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