Doctor comes face to face with ex-employee who shot him

Posted: Updated:
CHAPPAQUA -

A doctor who was shot by a former worker outside a Chappaqua deli came face to face with his attacker for the first time since the incident when he testified in court Wednesday.

When Dr. Dennis Charney took the stand Wednesday in the attempted murder case against one of his former researchers, Hengjun Chao. He testified to hearing a loud boom and having blood on his shoulder before he ran inside Lange's Deli in Chappaqua shouting, “I've been shot... I've been shot.”

The doctor says he was in the intensive care unit at his own hospital, Mount Sinai, for five days fighting for his life.

Chao was said to have shown no emotion in court as Charney recounted the horror of being shot.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Stewart Orden attempted to discredit Charney's credibility by listing several medical and pharmaceutical companies with which Charney has been associated. Orden had accused Charney during opening statements of being a manipulator, trying to hide the harmful effects of a drug used to treat depression in teenagers.

Mount Sinai Hospital stands by Charney. It issued a statement that said in part, "We condemn this act of violence, and hope that justice is served. The baseless claim made by the defense in an effort to justify a criminal act by the defendant is offensive and disgraceful."

Chao is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

Prosecutors say the Tuckahoe resident ambushed his former boss last summer as revenge for firing him. Chao was let go back in 2010 for allegedly manipulating data while he was a researcher at Mount Sinai. Dr. Charney says Mount Sinai offered Chao the opportunity to resign after his alleged research fraud came to light, but he refused.

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