Neighbors knew nothing of Springfield Gardens kidnapping


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen
THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Police arrested Hakeem Clark and Jason Hutson on Friday, July 27 after the two kidnapped a man and demanded ransom from the man’s family.

People living on 181st Street in Springfield Gardens said the residents of the home where a man was held hostage in a garage last week kept to themselves and never really raised any eyebrows.

Hakeem Clark, 30, and Jason Hutson, 27, were arrested on Friday, July 27 at the home of NYPD veteran Ondre Johnson and charged with kidnapping and weapons possession after holding the 25-year-old victim in the garage next to the house. The two called the hostage’s family, it was reported, and demanded $75,000 for his release.

Clark, Johnson’s cousin, lived in an apartment in the house. Johnson, a 17-year NYPD veteran, is currently suspended from duty as the investigation is ongoing, police said.

One man, who declined to give his name, said he noticed a lot of activity outside of the house on Friday and was curious why police lines were set up, but chose not to ask questions.

“I don’t really get involved,” the man said as he was leaving his home.

The neighbor said there was never anything out of the ordinary in the home, where Johnson is listed as having lived since 2004 — and something like the kidnapping was rare in what he said was a relatively quiet neighborhood.

No one answered at Johnson’s home on Tuesday, July 31, but a maroon SUV was parked in the driveway, though it could not be confirmed who the car belonged to.