Tag Archives: 102nd Precinct

Honda Accords, Nissan Maximas targets of tire and rim thefts: 102nd Precinct


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

In the past two to three months, police from the 102nd Precinct, representing Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and north Ozone Park,  have seen an increase in rims and tires being stolen from late model Honda Accords and Nissan Maximas.

In high-theft areas, cops said to etch the Vehicle Identification Number on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lids to make it difficult for thieves to market any stolen car parts.

Cops advise drivers to always roll up windows and lock the car, no matter where it is parked, and also remove valuables and GPS mounts. They also recommend parking in front of houses that have cameras.

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Officer Quwella Brown, quwella.brown@nypd.org or 718-805-3217.

 

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South Queens precinct sees increase in green dot scam


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The 102nd Precinct has seen a rise in a new green dot scam that is costing people thousands of dollars.

Scammers are calling up potential victims, pretending to be from a government agency such as the IRS, INS or a utility company and are telling residents they owe a certain amount of money, police said.

The victim is then told if they don’t pay the money within a certain amount of time, they will be arrested or deported. The scammer instructs the victim to purchase a reloadable debit card, such as a Green Dot MoneyPak, and provide him or her with the transaction numbers located on the back of the card.

Police said true utility companies and government agencies would not contact you demanding immediate payment via the Green Dot MoneyPak.

For more information, please contact 102nd Precinct Crime Prevention Officer Quwella Brown at quwella.brown@nypd.org or 718-805-3217.

 

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South Queens cops host domestic violence seminar


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Despite the fact that incidents of domestic violence have increased by more than 50 percent in the 106th Precinct in the past year, police still say victims are underreporting the crimes.

Citywide last year, the NYPD responded to more than 240,000 calls of domestic violence, said Sergeant Noreen Lazarus.

“But there are still so many occurrences and incidents that are not being reported,” she added.

The 106th Precinct joined the 102 on Thursday to conduct a domestic violence seminar as part of a series of community outreach initiatives intended to ultimately help decrease the crime.

A very diverse population makes up south Queens, cops said, and Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer, said local police are “trying to break down that cultural barrier” so anyone can feel comfortable reporting an incident.

“We’re not interested in your immigration status. What we care about is you,” said Sergeant Diane Silverstein.

Alexandra Patino from the Family Justice Center of Queens said more than half of her clientele is “foreign born.” She works with them regarding child and/or spousal support, helping to separate domestic violence victims from dangerous situations.

“Some are tied to people out of fear of deportation. We don’t want people to continue to be victimized out of fear of deportation,” she said.

Patino and the Family Justice Center can also help victims in getting their green cards.

In the coming weeks, the precincts will be continuing to spread domestic violence awareness by visiting local schools, PTA meetings, men’s groups and more.

“We understand the situation can become very emotional,” Silverstein said. “We are about everybody being safe and everybody obeying the law.”

 

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Local precincts hosting seminar to combat 53 percent increase in domestic violence crimes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Domestic violence crimes have increased over 50 percent in south Queens and cops are reaching out to bring awareness to the community.

“There are laws we obey. There is a population out there that you cannot prey upon, including your family,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding office of the 106th Precinct.

The precinct is teaming up with the neighboring 102nd Precinct to host a seminar on domestic violence awareness on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fair Field Pavilion, 131-10 101st Ave. in Richmond Hill.

The seminar is “open to anybody who wants to come,” Schiff said, and will feature guest speakers from the district attorney’s office, mayor’s office, social workers and psychologists.

The 2013 year-end statistics showed a 53 percent increase in domestic violence assaults in the 106th Precinct, Schiff said.

The NYPD expanded the definition of domestic violence to include all couples, spousal or not, as well as long-term roommates.

“The definition has expanded, so have the crimes,” Schiff said. “That contributes to the increase.”

During the seminar and also through efforts to curtail the crime, police will educate victims, mainly women and children, and detail how they respond to domestic violence reports, including the initial response and possible remedies for the situation.

Cops will also seek out aggressors and “educate them.”

“We want them to know this is what can happen to you should you lay hands on your family,” Schiff said.

 

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Cops honored for nabbing thief after repeated burglaries


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Officers Joao Rosero and Christopher Martins were on a routine patrol when they nabbed a suspect called one of the most “prolific” thieves in south Queens. The pair was honored as the Jamaica Rotary’s January cops of the month for the 102nd Precinct.

Rosero and Martins responded to a burglary in progress near 95th Avenue and 129th Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 2. The suspect was trying to climb into an elderly man’s backyard, said Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, the precinct’s commanding officer.

After getting a description of the suspect, a 17-year-old male, the “young go-getters” were able to successfully identify and arrest him.

“These are the kinds of young guys we need here in the command,” Sautner said.

After positively identifying him, cops discovered the suspect was also linked to four additional burglaries since August. The arrest took place near the border of the 106th Precinct, and Sautner said he and the 106th Precinct’s Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, are both very familiar with his crimes.

The suspect also confessed to another attempted burglary earlier that same day.

The Jamaica Rotary also honored Officers Scott Hamburger and Anthony Fernandez from the 103rd Precint, Officers James Gherardi and Ryan Dunn from the 113th Precint, Officer William Sutherland from the 106th Precinct and Officer Jared Vasquez from the Highway Collision Investigation Squad.

“This borough has a reputation for great crime fighters and doing it in partnership with the community,” said David Barrere, new Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Queens South. “We’re going to continue to get it done. We’re going to be in your corner.”

 

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Cops looking for South Richmond Hill attempted burglary suspect


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Video surveillance

Police are looking for a suspect in connection with an attempted burglary of a South Richmond Hill home.

A male perpetrator walked through the yard of a residence near 132nd Street and 101st Avenue, and tried to open the garage on January 17 at about 2 a.m., cops said.

But the home alarm activated and the man fled, authorities said.

Video surveillance that the NYPD released shows the man walking near the side of the house.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

 

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Woodhaven QueensWay forum brings in new ideas


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File Photo

New ideas are flowing in for the abandoned Rockaway Beach rail line.

The Woodhaven Residents Block Assocation (WRBA) hosted what attendees are calling the truest, open public forum held thus far regarding the QueensWay and Rockaway Beach line.

Advocates for the proposed 3.5-mile QueensWay park along the abandoned rail line addressed those with reservations about the project and vice versa on Monday in Woodhaven.

Ed Wendell, WRBA president, brought a new idea to the table. He said the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway that currently runs through Forest Park has been “a problem for 20 years,” and QueensWay officials should use this space as their “lab experiment.”

“Why don’t we focus on cleaning up the existing greenway,” he said. “Show us what you can do, and the community will be much more receptive.”

Alexander Blenkinsopp, a WRBA member, called this idea “brilliant,” and offered an additional option for “each community to decide what they want done with their stretch of the tracks.”

The old rail line runs up 98th Street from the Rockaways to Manhattan.

“If the people of Forest Hills really want the QueensWay, let them have it in their neighborhood,” he said. “And if it’s so wonderful, the residents of Woodhaven will see how great it is in Forest Hills and will eventually welcome it into their community as well.”

Wendell echoed many people when he said one main concern to address before moving forward with building a new park is security in existing greenspaces such as Forest Park.

“We see women jogging in the morning using flashlights,” Wendell said. “How terrifying is that? That they have to do this.”

He said that park officials as well as cops in the 102nd Precinct should be given proper resources to patrol the park before more acres are added via the QueensWay, which would connect to Forest Park.

A feasibility study to determine the possibility of creating the new park is currently underway, and QueensWay supporters noted it is “just a study” and “there really is no plan yet.”

However, residents doubt a QueensWay study would show the QueensWay is not feasible.

“Any proposals that come back are going to have to take into account a lot of people’s concerns,” Wendell said. “There are a whole lot of emotions and feelings on it.”

 

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Cops pull back some Forest Park patrols


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The NYPD is pulling back some of its police presence in Forest Park months after beefing up patrols following an August rape cops connected to five other sexual assaults in the park between March 2011 and this summer.

Police decided to remove eight cop cars that were patrolling the area after there were no additional sex crimes reported in the six weeks following the rape, the 102nd Precinct’s commanding officer, Henry Sautner, said at the most recent Community Board 9 (CB9) meeting. He said the resources for the coverage could not be maintained on an ongoing basis.

Sautner said there will still be two officers assigned to patrol the park. They are also utilizing auxiliary officers through their 56-member auxiliary program, with two to three operations per week in Forest Park.

“They’re the police officers and I believe they know best what they are doing,” said Mary Ann Carey, CB9 District Manager.

But Carey said she would like to see more Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers, for which the community has been lobbying.

A Parks Department spokesperson said this fall new PEP substations in Forest Park and in Rockaway will be opening “allowing [them] to more easily patrol the parks of western and southern Queens, respectively.” The substations, said the spokesperson, were made possible due to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which also doubled the amount of city-funded PEP officers that are available for patrols.

 

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Upstate New York man charged for fatal hit-and-run in Richmond Hill


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

A man from upstate New York has been arrested and charged for an alleged hit-and-run that killed a Queens woman.

According to the NYPD, on Friday, at approximately 7 p.m. they responded to a pedestrian struck at 97th Avenue and 117th Street in Richmond Hill. Upon arrival, they found Raj Chohan, 59, of South Richmond Hill, unconscious and unresponsive. The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

A police investigation revealed the victim was walking on 117th Street along parked cars when a grey 2013 Toyota Camry heading northbound, struck her and then fled the scene.

Police later caught the suspect at 115th Street and 101st Avenue. The suspect was identified as Vishwanand Subryan, 23, of Schenectady, New York.

He has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and driving while intoxicated.

 

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Op-Ed: Simple measures for park safety


| oped@queenscourier.com

Late last week, the NYPD revealed that the suspect being sought in the late August attack of a 69-year old jogger in Forest Park is allegedly responsible for five previous attacks in and around the 538-acre park. Police presence has been increased with a temporary command center being set up at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South in Richmond Hill.

But this is a temporary measure, one that we’ve seen before. And in a few weeks it will be decided that the resources are needed elsewhere and it’ll be back to business as usual. Back in the 1970s, Assemblymember Frederick D. Schmidt called on the city to make Forest Park a separate police precinct – it’s an idea worth reconsidering.

The 102nd Precinct is currently responsible for Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill East, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, and the northern part of Ozone Park. The precinct includes a number of busy commercial districts (including Queens Boulevard, 101st Avenue and Jamaica Avenue) and several major roadways. That’s a large area, made even larger by the need to also patrol Forest Park.

A small precinct, or substation, with officers trained on and equipped with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for regular patrolling of the many trails within the park, would make it safer for all who use it. Even a shopping mall has its own security base – why not one of our city’s largest public attractions?

In other words, if it’s such a necessary step after a woman is attacked, why not make it permanent in an effort to prevent future attacks?

Apart from an increase in police, the city needs to do a better job of keeping the streetlights in and around Forest Park in proper working condition. We have been reporting major outages in well-trafficked areas and there does not appear to be any sense of urgency to get them repaired.

During the early morning hours on Forest Park Drive, we have seen people walking or jogging carrying flashlights, meaning the lights have been out long enough for people to learn that they need to come prepared.

Ultimately, there is no one to blame for these attacks apart from the sick animal that commits them. He will be caught, though whatever punishment he receives will never be enough. But that does not mean we can’t take precautions so as not to give this animal any tactical advantages.

Whenever possible, try not to run or walk alone. Reach out to friends and neighbors; try to make it a social activity that can be enjoyed as a group. Avoid isolated trails; remember that you do not have to go deep into the park to be alone and that just because you can see a main road from the woods does not mean that people traveling on that road can see you.

Forest Park is a wonderful place that hosts many thousand residents and visitors each year. Let’s all do everything we can to make it the safest experience possible.

Edward K. Wendell
President
Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association


Video via YouTube/Edward Wendell

 

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Woodhaven looks to resurrect civilian patrol organization


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Frank Kotnik

Woodhaven leaders are seriously considering resurrecting the more-than-a-decade defunct civilian patrol to respond to recent crimes in the neighborhood.

Members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) recently met with Assemblymember Mike Miller and members of the Glendale Civilian Operational Patrol (GCOP) to discuss how to start the neighborhood watch. And in a town hall meeting last week, WRBA members took a poll of attendees to gauge the interest, to which there were nearly a dozen responders.

“We want safer streets, we want to improve the quality of life in our community and we want our residents to feel empowered,” said Ed Wendell, president of the WRBA.

Wendell said talks about the patrol heated up after a man attempted to rape a woman in Forest Park a few months ago, but then more crimes followed. Last month a teenage girl was stabbed in Woodhaven nearly a dozen times and a few weeks ago a wife was arrested for allegedly killing her husband by smashing her car after he clung to the hood. Also, a girl was robbed recently in the area.

“We are not just sitting back and letting things happen,” Wendell said. “We are going to be a force in our future.”

There are no statistics that show whether neighborhood watch groups actually lower or prevent crime, but the precincts appreciate their help, according to an NYPD representative.

The new patrol will work together with GCOP, as Woodhaven wants to model their program on them. GCOP has been operating since 1976 and currently has about 56 active members.

GCOP will lend equipment, such as radios, reflective vests and flashlights, to the patrol once it is established. Members of the Glendale Patrol will also train new Woodhaven volunteers on how to spot suspicious activity and to be extra “eyes and ears” for the NYPD as opposed to vigilantes.

“When I got involved 25 years ago, no one lent us a hand,” said Frank Kotnik, president of GCOP. “They will not be out there by themselves.”

Miller, who was a member of GCOP for more than 16 years, said he would be willing to help collect funding for the group once the patrol becomes established.

“I always felt I was doing something significant for the community,” Miller said. “It is a good feeling and once you become a part of it you want to do more.”

Before the group can get started Woodhaven needs to collect dedicated members and address concerns, such as transportation and donations. They will also meet with GCOP again and the 102nd Precinct.

 

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Police seek slashing suspect


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a man who allegedly slashed a woman multiple times in Queens on Friday.

The suspect, Dartanyan Kingsberry, approached the 26-year-old victim around 9:20 a.m. on June 28 within the 102nd Precinct and cut her with an unknown object, said police. The suspect then fled in an unknown direction.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Dartanyan Kingsberry is described as a 23-year-old black male, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair, wearing black work boots, black t-shirt and gray jeans, according to authorities.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Woodhaven noise complaints raise concerns


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

With summer coming, concerns about noise are among the top worries in the neighborhood, as addressed at the June 15 meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA).

WRBA President Ed Wendell said many sound abusers have been a constant problem for residents. He added they often continue the noise, if not even raising the volume, if 3-1-1 is called.

WRBA recently ran an online survey that drew replies from 45 people, Wendell said. He explained that thirty-two of the complaints were for loud parties, while 39 of the total incidents took place between 6 p.m. and midnight.

“I know a couple of people here in this room have issues with neighbors that are chronic locations where the behavior, while not only rude, in some cases borders on harassment,” he said. “It sounds like what’s happened is they’ve complained a number of times, the people that have been complained about got wind of it, and now they’re fighting back with behaviors that would be considered harassment.”

While many of these complaints relate to parties, WRBA Treasurer Vance Barbour said he recently encountered two vehicles blasting music on Jamaica Avenue so loudly that the vibrations shook the cars’ windows.

“It’s just ridiculous,” he said, “They’re just wiping out our whole commercial strip.”

There were 53 calls to 3-1-1 from May 25 to June 17 within Woodhaven’s zip code, according to city data. Thirty of those calls fell under the categories of “loud music/party” or “car/truck music.”

The 102nd Precinct is taking a proactive approach to combating chronic noise makers, according to community affairs officer Jose Severino. Officers in the past have given a warning to partiers, only to turn the corner to hear the music return, he said.

Now, Severino said the precinct is issuing summonses and nipping the problem in the bud.

“I’m taking a different approach,” he said. “I don’t want to go in August, I want to go right now and take care of it.”

 

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Cops ID Ridgewood body; suspect charged with murder


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Twenty-seven year old Derek Tudor confessed to killing his mother’s boyfriend, Frank Soucie, whose body investigators recovered from his Ridgewood backyard, a police source said.

Criminal charges indicate that Tudor intentionally suffocated Soucie, 60, sometime between Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, April 28 in or around the Putnam Avenue home, said District Attorney Richard Brown.

Soucie was thought to be missing until a neighbor reported Tudor acting suspiciously to the local precinct on Tuesday, April 30.

Police responded to the call and searched the area. They searched the building’s rooftop, where investigators allegedly found a knotted electrical cord and a bottle of ammonia. On the roof of a connected building, they found a large plastic bin and what appeared to be blood. Police also found visible drag marks leading to the back of the building, according to the district attorney.

In Soucie’s backyard, police found a fresh pile of dirt, the source said. Underneath, they found a male’s body wrapped in sheets, later determined to be Soucie. According to the medical examiner’s office, Soucie died as a result of homicidal asphyxiation.

Neighbors said Soucie lived with his girlfriend, Stephanie Verni, 54, and her son in the Ridgewood apartment. The couple often argued about her son, they said, and Soucie wanted him to move out.

On Tuesday morning, eight days after Soucie went missing, Tudor was seen wandering inside Soucie’s building. He walked into a third-floor apartment, where a tenant found him. Tudor seemed “panicked” and asked to use the fire escape to get into to Soucie’s second-floor apartment just below, said the tenant’s boyfriend, Raymond Velez.

“It was weird how this kid was acting,” Velez said.

Moments later, neighbors saw Tudor come out of the building with a large white laundry bag. He threw it into a garbage can, and Velez, who was outside, went to investigate. Velez said he opened the bag and found what appeared to be burnt clothes inside layers of black garbage bags. He said the clothes gave off a burning, chemical smell.

At 6:15 p.m. that same day, Tudor went with his biological father to the 102nd Precinct and turned himself in. According to the police source, he made statements incriminating himself, and was later charged with murder.

Tudor was arrested for forcible touching in 2010. He was also arrested for jumping a turnstile.

Neighbors in the tight-knit Ridgewood community are distraught somebody could do this to their longtime friend.

“He would never hurt a fly,” said Debbie Webster, who knew Soucie for more than 20 years. “When we found out he was missing, we knew something had happened. He didn’t deserve something like this.”

Tudor was arraigned on Thursday, May 2 on second-degree murder charges. He was ordered held without bail and will return to court on Wednesday, May 15. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney.

Community cleans up Jamaica Avenue graffiti


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

photo

On Sunday, April 21, the Richmond Hill Block Association, 102nd Precinct Officers Jose Severino and Joseph Martins and cadets from the John Bowne High School Air Force JROTC cleaned up graffiti along Jamaica Avenue. They painted over several problematic sites.

 

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