NYPD cops shot and wounded a teenager after he wheeled and fired at them during a foot chase on an East Harlem street early Sunday, police said.
Matthew Melendez, 18, was hit three times in the upper torso and arm, police said. He was in stable condition at Harlem Hospital early Sunday night.
Four plainclothes officers from the Manhattan North anti-crime unit raced after Melendez on E. 119th St. about 3:15 a.m. because they suspected he had a concealed weapon, police said.
None of the cops were hit, police said.
Police officials would not say how many shots were fired by either side or how many of the cops squeezed off rounds. The shooting is under investigation.
The officers tried to stop Melendez near the corner of E. 119th St. and Lexington Ave. after they spotted him adjusting his waistband in a manner that suggested he was carrying a concealed handgun, police said.
Several witnesses reported hearing the officers yell, "Police! Stop!" as they confronted Melendez, who was packing a black, semi-automatic pistol, a police source said.
But Melendez ran away, heading east on E. 119th St., cops said. He whirled and fired at the officers near the corner of Third Ave. He was shot along Third Ave. near E. 120th St., cops said.
His handgun was recovered near where he fell, partially covered in snow, police said.
Melendez, who lives in the Taft Houses in East Harlem, was charged with attempted murder, criminal use of a firearm and other counts, police said. It was not clear when he would be arraigned.
His mother, Mildred Faverey, 47, who visited Melendez in the hospital last night, said he went out with friends Saturday night after caring for his 8-month-old daughter.
"That's not like my son," Faverey said of the charges against him. "He wouldn't do that."
"He's the greatest father to his daughter," she added, wiping away tears. "He told me, 'Mommy, trust me, I didn't do what they said I did.'"
Melendez has eight prior arrests, including collars for robbery, marijuana possession and criminal mischief, a police source said.