Tag Archives: 104th Precinct

Cops arrest Middle Village, Ridgewood residents in fireworks bust


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD104Pct

They won’t be having a blast this Fourth of July.

Two Middle Village residents and a Ridgewood man were arrested Thursday for illegally possessing fireworks as part of the NYPD’s ongoing crackdown on unlawful pyrotechnics leading up to Independence Day.

The 104th Precinct stopped Middle Village’s Jason Rodriguez, 28, and Tina Foley, 29, at 9:50 p.m. Thursday night at the intersection of 65th Place and Admiral Avenue in Middle Village. Reportedly, they were found in possession of $2,000 in illegal fireworks, some of which were left unattended with a 3-year-old child in their car.

Additionally, the precinct also took into custody Wilfredo Maisonave, 32, of Ridgewood after he was caught possessing fireworks in front of a location on Woodward Avenue between Flushing Avenue and Troutman Street at about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy professionally-operated and permitted fireworks displays such as the Macy’s 4th of July spectacular on the East River, but it is illegal for residents to set off their own fireworks.

“The 104th Precinct will have extra patrols out all day and night to deal with illegal fireworks,” Det. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit said in an email. “If you get caught, you can be subject to arrest.”

Anyone who witnesses fireworks being illegally used or sold in New York City is urged to call 911.

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Detectives collar suspect in Ridgewood rape attempt


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police charged a Brooklyn man on Tuesday with the attempted rape of a woman whom he followed into a Ridgewood apartment building last week.

Larry Williams, 24, of Bedford-Stuyvesant is accused of trying to sexually assault a 28-year-old woman on the 1900 block of Palmetto Street at about 9:15 a.m. on June 25. Reportedly, he was not known to the victim.

According to authorities, Williams followed the victim into the building, then confronted her as she attempted to enter her apartment. Reportedly, the suspect tried to pull the victim’s pants down.

Police said the victim engaged in a physical struggle with Williams, then managed to enter her apartment and lock the door behind her. Williams reportedly attempted to push the door open, but his efforts failed and he fled the scene.

The incident was reported to the 104th Precinct; the woman was not injured.

Members of the NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad tracked down Williams and arrested him Tuesday following questioning at the 112th Precinct’s Forest Hills stationhouse, where the squad is based. Williams is charged with attempted rape, burglary, sex abuse and forcible touching.

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Cops seek man who tried to rape woman in Ridgewood apartment


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated June 26, 1:05 p.m.

Detectives released a video Thursday night of a man wanted for attempting to rape a 28-year-old woman inside an apartment building in Ridgewood earlier that morning.

According to police, the incident occurred at 9:15 a.m. at an undisclosed location on Palmetto Street.

Reportedly, the suspect — described as a black male in his late teens to early 20s, standing 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds — followed the woman into the location, then up to her apartment.

When she attempted to enter her residence, police said, the perpetrator tried to pull her pants down. The victim reportedly was able to fight off the suspect, then got into her apartment and locked him out.

Police said the would-be rapist then tried to push the door open, but was unsuccessful and fled from the location. The woman was not injured.

Anyone with information regarding the incident or the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages will be kept confidential.

Editor’s note: An earlier version, based on information the NYPD provided Thursday, incorrectly identified the location as Woodside. We regret any confusion which may have resulted.

 

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Crime drops in 104th Precinct but ID theft still up


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angela Matua

BY ANGELA MATUA

Crime dropped across the 104th Precinct last month, with the exception of identity theft, which has been a continuous problem, according to the precinct’s commander.

Capt. Mark Wachter, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, told guests at the 104th Precinct Community Council Meeting in Maspeth Tuesday night that crime dropped by 8 percent, with 60 crimes in the past 28 days.

Though the number of robberies and burglaries has stayed even for the year, there has been a recent uptick in wallets stolen from vehicles. Wachter urged residents to remove any personal items from their cars when they leave.

P.O. Rob Selmer of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit warned about the dangers of identity theft and encouraged people to shred all of their mail and not to give money to people who claim to be from the IRS or any government organization. He also urged those going away for vacation to have a friend or neighbor pick up their mail.

“If you’re going away for the summer, let them pick up your mail,” Selmer said. “Mail is a big indicator that you are not home.”

Wachter said the precinct has removed 15 derelict cars from an area in Maspeth and an unlicensed tow truck from Grand Avenue after several residents called the precinct to complain. Only towing companies in the Directed Accident Towing Program are allowed to tow trucks, he said.

“This is a tow truck that basically operates illegally to skate around New York towing cars when they’re not supposed to,” Wachter said. “If you get into a car accident there’s one tow truck that’s supposed to come, not just Joe Schmoe’s towing service.”

During the question-and-answer portion of the meeting, residents warned Wachter about a suspicious massage parlor in Maspeth, graffiti on the Woodhaven Boulevard underpass, speeding problems near the Metro Mall in Middle Village and abandoned houses in Maspeth and Glendale.

“We need the community involvement,” Wachter said. “We rely on information you give us to solve these crimes.”

Wachter also presented police officers Nicholas Mancuso and Jonathan Hili with Cop of the Month honors for arresting four people in a home invasion on Gates Avenue in Ridgewood.

DSC02479

“We probably prevented a shooting,” Wachter said. “If we didn’t take these three guns off the street, what could’ve happened? We’ll never know the answer to that question but it’s something to ponder.”

Wachter and newly-elected Precinct Council President Len Santoro, who was elected president in place of Mario Matos, presented the officers with plaques donated by the Ridgewood Times.

Bob Monahan, executive director of the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, also spoke about programs offered by the council, including a young adult internship program for people ages 18 to 24 who receive job training and an internship with companies throughout New York City.

The organization also has a youth employment program for people ages 14 to 24 who work at the youth council during the summer. Monahan encouraged people at the meeting to tell young people in the community about these programs.

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Five teens caught in Middle Village robbery


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Five teenagers were taken into custody following a Tuesday night robbery in Middle Village, police reported.

Authorities stated that the two victims were traveling through Juniper Valley Park at approximately 10:25 p.m. when they were approached by the five suspects. One of the perpetrators reportedly displayed a knife and demanded the victims’ cellphones.

During the course of the robbery, the group attacked the teens and removed their iPhones before fleeing from the scene, authorities said.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the incident; the victims suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police apprehended the five perpetrators in the area of 69th Street and Metropolitan Avenue shortly after the incident. They were identified as Jonathan Perez 18, from the Bronx; Kenneth Cabrera 18, of Glendale; Justin Santos 19, of Middle Village; a 17-year-old male, of Maspeth; and a 15-year-old male from New Britain, Connecticut.

Each suspect was charged with robbery.

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Ridgewood group eyes NYPD roster and homelessness


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Hiring more police officers and reducing homelessness were hot topics during the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association (RPOCA) meeting on June 4 at the Ridgewood Older Adult Center.

According to Captain Mark Wachter, the 104th Precinct has witnessed a 9.5 percent drop in the seven major crime categories. Problems plaguing the command include an upswing in identity theft, scams and theft of unattended property, such as wallets and laptop computers left in cars.

Even so, crime is up in other parts of the city, and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley noted the City Council wants funds to hire more police officers included in 2016 fiscal year budget.

According to Crowley, Commissioner Bratton approached the City Council and requested funds to hire 500 extra police officers, primarily for the city’s anti-terrorism task force. However, Crowley estimates the need for more officers to be double that amount.

“It’s rare that you even have a commissioner of an agency that disagrees with a mayor,” Crowley said. “But the truth of the matter is, he could use a thousand more police officers.”

Crowley estimates that the police department spends roughly $700 million dollars in overtime pay to officers each year. “If you add enough resources to pay people straight time…you would save a significant amount of money by not having to pay time and a half,” she added.

She proposed deploying the additional 500 officers Bratton requested to problem areas throughout the city, including troubled neighborhoods such as Brownsville and the South Bronx, which, according to her estimates, have witnessed a 40 percent uptick in major crimes within the past year.

Crowley also tackled the issue of homelessness and rent increases, a topic of particular concern to the growing Ridgewood community.

“Some people are charging outrageous amounts for rent and it’s driving a lot of families out. This is happening throughout the city,” she explained.

As a preventative measure, Crowley announced that she has allocated funds in the budget for the city’s LINK Program. This network of social services is designed to fight homelessness by keeping families out of shelters and helping them stay in their own homes.

In addition to vital resources, Crowley said that she had also allocated funds for local trees and park improvements, as well as other capital requests from Community Board 5. This news delighted former RPOCA president Paul Kerzner, who has been advocating for the planting of more trees throughout Ridgewood.

Kerzner estimates that roughly $300,000 would be required in the 2016 budget for tree planting in the community. Crowley explained that she had allocated that amount in the previous year’s budget for stump removal and the planting of 100 new trees.

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Five-alarm inferno in Queens Village amid stormy weather


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@FDNY

Updated Monday, June 1, 11:24 a.m.

Firefighters battled a five-alarm inferno at a Queens Village commercial building Sunday night amid wild weather that caused street closures borough-wide due to flooding.

According to the FDNY, the blaze broke out at about 6:30 p.m. on the ground floor of the warehouse located in the area of 218th Street and 98th Avenue.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the city were battling the inferno, which was upgraded to a five-alarm fire at about 8:47 p.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported, and the blaze was brought under control about four hours later.

The 109th Precinct tweeted that the odor of heavy smoke from the fire wafted across northeast Queens. Residents in the Queens Village area were advised to keep their windows closed and limit outdoor activity until the smoke dissipated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, as thunderstorms carrying torrential rains rolled through the city, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reported numerous road closures due to flooding.

As of 9:01 p.m. Sunday night, the OEM reported flooding forced the closure of the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Union Turnpike in Glendale and the Long Island Expressway at Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows. Both roads have since reopened.

The 104th Precinct also reported that part of Cypress Avenue at Vermont Place in Glendale was closed after a sinkhole developed at a construction site.

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Woodside couple tricked by group of deceiving burglars: cops


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for five people wanted in connection with a recent deception burglary at an elderly couple’s Woodside home.

Authorities said the incident occurred at 3 p.m. on May 1 at an undisclosed location within the confines of the 104th Precinct, when two suspects—a male and a female—knocked on the door of a home belonging to a 90-year-old man and an 88-year-old woman.

When the couple answered the door, police noted, the male suspect claimed he and his partner were from Long Island Jewish Medical Center and there to visit the couple’s daughter. The couple then let the duo inside their home and got into a conversation.

Moments later, a third suspect—a female—entered the home and asked to use the bathroom, cops said. This suspect walked upstairs purportedly to use the bathroom, but instead searched the couple’s bedroom and removed all of their jewelry and credit cards.

Following the theft, all three suspects left the home in an unknown direction. The couple later reported the incident to the 104th Precinct.

During its investigation, the 104th Precinct Detective Squad obtained surveillance camera footage from the Payless Shoe Source store at the Rego Center Mall showing two female suspects attempting to use one of the stolen credit cards in making a transaction.

The squad also obtained security video from the Outback Steakhouse at the Queens Place shopping center in Elmhurst showing the five suspects- a male and four females- trying to use a stolen credit card to pay their check.

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

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Maspeth students learn about public servants on Law Day


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Leaders in local, state and national law enforcement joined emergency response teams and civic groups in celebration of the 39th annual Law Day hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth on May 22 at Maspeth’s I.S. 73.

Maspeth-based lawyer and Kiwanis member Edward McGowan created Law Day back in 1976 as a civic project for his term as the group’s president. The event initially began with 10 guest speakers and has since expanded to include over 30 instructors and speakers from all facets of law enforcement and legal professions.

McGowan created the program as a way to give back to the children of the community, as well as to the school he himself once attended.

“This school is my foundation for what I am today,” he said. “The program is all about giving the kids the opportunity to sit in a classroom with a uniformed officer and ask questions.”

This year’s Law Day event featured representatives and guest speakers from a wide range of groups, including officers from the 104th Precinct, Maspeth Kiwanis, the MTA Police Unit, the Middle Village Ambulance Squad, NYC Office of Emergency Management, DSNY Community Affairs Unit, Maritime lawyers, NYPD Crime Prevention and Community Affairs Units, as well as agents from the FBI.

Instructors and speakers from each group were sent into classrooms to discuss their roles and professions with students in a series of three, 20-minute presentations.

“They get a chance to show a little bit about themselves and say, ‘Hey, you can do this, too,'” McGowan added.

Jon Kablack, a member of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP), spoke with a seventh-grade class and shared his own experiences and struggles as a high school student.

“You learn, in life, from your mistakes and how to fix them,” he said. “But as a community servant, I want to come and help you fix those now, so that you’re not held back later in life.”

Kablack also discussed the topic of graffiti with the students, an important issue that often involves the community’s youth. He explained the differences between true art and vandalism and urged the class to report such incidents.

Kablack also encouraged the students to complete their homework and maintain good grades so that they could gain admittance to a good high school and college, and eventually the career of their choice.

“You can do anything you want to do,” he said.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit addressed a sixth-grade class with a similar message of encouragement.

“If you set your goals, you could do anything,” he said. “Sometimes you have to work harder than other people to get to your goals, but you will get there.”

Sadler explained how the NYPD’s motto of “Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect” should be applied to life inside and out of the classroom.

“Be that guy or gal that chooses the right way,” he said. “That’s why I became a cop. I wanted to show people how to be that better person and to protect and serve those who can’t protect and serve themselves.”

McGowan hopes to plan a large event and celebration for next year’s 40th Law Day anniversary.

“I hope I’m saving lives and creating something,” he said. “Out of this, I got to help a lot of people.”

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In Glendale, 104th Precinct looks to improve on crime drop


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime numbers continue to plummet in the 104th Precinct, but the command is looking to do even better.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, came to the precinct’s Community Council meeting on Tuesday at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and reported a 26 percent reduction in overall crime in the past month. This included a significant downturn in domestic violence and felony assaults.

The precinct also experienced a 40 percent decrease in grand larcenies and stolen cars. Wachter credits crime prevention tactics, such as personalized home visits and spreading awareness about scams, with the large reduction.

In an effort to confront quality-of-life concerns, the 104th Precinct also held a successful undercover sting operation last Saturday to combat prostitution along Cypress Avenue and Starr Street on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border. According to Wachter, officers made six arrests and seized one vehicle for illicit activity.

“We put pressure on and basically make it go away,” he said. “We don’t want it to go somewhere else; we want it to go away.”

Despite these victories, burglaries remain an area of particular concern for the command. The Community Council’s Public Safety Committee and P.O. Eddie Collado of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit delivered a video presentation and discussion on home burglary prevention.

“The burglar is an opportunist,” Collado said. According to police, perpetrators often gain access to homes through unlocked rear windows, doors and fire escapes.

Collado urged residents to secure windows and doors with the proper locks and volunteered to conduct personalized home safety surveys upon appointment. He also asked that residents register their valuable items such as electronics and bicycles with the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit. The items are marked with serial numbers that can potentially help identify and recover them if lost or stolen.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Sean Paul Hynes was honored as Cop of the Month for apprehending a suspect wanted for robbing a Boar’s Head delivery truck driver at gunpoint on April 21 on Woodward Avenue at Woodbine Street in Ridgewood.

According to Wachter, Hynes and his fellow officers from the 104th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit were able to track the suspect and his getaway vehicle through the use of undisclosed computer resources. Within minutes of the robbery, Hynes was able to track the vehicle to a specific location in Brooklyn.

A brief foot pursuit ensued, after which the male suspect and his weapon were taken into custody.

“It’s one less gun on the street, but we can never measure how many victims the gun could have taken out,” Wachter said.

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Volunteer patrol praised for efforts to find missing Glendale student


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Efforts to track down a missing Glendale student and honors for a graffiti-fighting cop were highlighted during Thursday’s meeting of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall in Glendale.

Capt. Gregory Mackie, 104th Precinct executive officer, commended the civilian patrol for their help in the search for 12-year-old Kwan Williams, a student at P.S. 113 in Glendale, who went missing after school on May 11. After an extensive precinct-wide search, Williams was eventually found safe at his father’s home in Manhattan.

As part of the effort, the 104COP mobilized 13 patrol cars in the search for Williams. Units searched local parking lots and parks, including Juniper Park, Mafera Park and the Forest Park Bandshell and surrounding areas.

In addition to the diligence of the patrols, 104COP members also credited social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter with helping to spread the word about the missing boy. According to Mark Pearson, 104COP first vice president, the missing persons flyer was posted and tweeted to all of the local civic groups social media pages. It was shared an estimated 350 times online, and reportedly reached 35,000 people.

“It was a great showing of community,” Pearson said.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit commended the use of social media in the search for Williams. “Let’s take advantage of the outlet we have and use it for something good,” he said.

Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, expressed pride over the effort and the search’s success.

“We’re out there and we’re looking to help,” Kotnik said. “It’s a good feeling that we had a purpose.”

The patrol also honored P.O. Justin Dambinskas of the Citywide Vandals Task Force, who was previously the 104th Precinct graffiti coordinator.

“He was one of the best graffiti coordinators in our precinct,” Kotnik said, adding that there were over 450 vandalism arrests and 2,500 sites painted and cleaned on Dambinskas’ watch.

Dambinskas credits the local judiciary system and the keen eyes of the community with helping win the war against graffiti.

“The District Attorney and prosecution in this neighborhood is the best I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “We’ve got people jail time and restitution. People are afraid to actually tag in Queens because of what happens.”

Dambinskas also thanked community and civic groups such as G-COP for contributing to the success of the precinct’s anti-graffiti operations.

“We got involved because graffiti was out of hand back in the day,” Kotnik said.

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Blue wall of support at police vigil in Ridgewood


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

As part of National Police Week, the 104th Precinct held a special candlelight vigil on Wednesday night at the precinct’s Ridgewood stationhouse, with residents showing support and appreciation for officers and law enforcement.

Members of the 104th Police Precinct Community Council, the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) and neighborhood residents joined officers and precinct leaders in remembering and honoring the sacrifices police officers have made in the line of duty.

They paid special tribute to P.O. Brian Moore, the young 25-year-old officer who was shot and killed on May 2 while on patrol in Queens Village.

Capt. Gregory Mackie, the precinct’s executive officer, offered a prayer and reflection during the vigil: “Tonight, we remember our city and its police. Day in and day out they protect and serve the community and its property. On Friday, we said goodbye to a young police officer murdered in the prime of his life while doing his job. Officers like Detective Moore bring to life the biblical teaching, ‘Greater love has no man than this to lay down his life for his friends.'”

Deputy Chief Steven Silks also spoke about the dangers officers face on a daily basis.

“It’s not ever-present, but as recent events have shown, you could be in the busiest place or quietest place, and evil could end up on your doorstep. We have to be vigilant,” he said.

Silks commended NYPD officers in Manhattan who, earlier that morning, stopped a hammer-wielding attacker who struck a cop and was believed to have assaulted several pedestrians earlier in the week. The suspect was shot by the partner of the attacked officer and later charged.

“Who knows, if we didn’t get him today, how many more people he would have injured or killed,” he said.

Vigil attendees wore blue and held small blue votive candles and signs that read “Never Forgotten” as a show of support and appreciation for local officers. Capt. Mackie led the group in a moment of silence honoring Moore, as well as officers from the precinct who lost their lives while in the line of duty.

The officers thanked the community for their continued support. Silks explained that such outpouring acts as a much-needed morale boost for officers.

“Usually, people call us when things aren’t so good, so when someone actually says thank you and says something positive, it rings home,” he said. “The recognition when the community comes out like this goes a long, long way.”

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CB 5 committee considers stricter liquor license rules


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Bar and club owners seeking liquor licenses in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village may soon need to show Community Board 5 more than just their business credentials.

Members of the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Public Safety Committee met Monday and considered a proposal that would require new applicants to complete a written form stating their intentions with regard to their businesses.

Christina Wilkinson, an active member of the COMET (Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together) and the Juniper Park Civic (JPCA) associations, proposed the idea to the committee. This measure was introduced in response to the recent influx of bars, pubs and nightspots to Ridgewood and Bushwick.

According to Wilkinson, community boards 1 and 4 in Brooklyn have already adopted this practice in response to the rapid growth and popularity of their respective neighborhoods.

“At one point, Greenpoint was in the same boat that we’re in. They didn’t think it was going to be all that bad, and it got bad,” Wilkinson said. “I think we should be better prepared. Let’s learn from them. It’s working for them.”

Public Safety Committee Chair Robert Holden expressed support for the idea and asked District Manager Gary Giordano to discuss the issue with the Executive Committee. “We’re just trying to get more information,” he explained.

Newly appointed board member Alex Maureau agreed. “It’s also a good way for the local owners to get to know us, and vice versa,” he said.

Giordano voiced support for a shorter version of the written form. “I think it has a lot of merit,” he said. “We could certainly work out something.”

According to Giordano, the board can grant recommendations for or against liquor licenses. The board also notifies the 104th Precinct and Lt. George Hellmer, the precinct’s special operations coordinator, of establishments with a prior history of problems. The precinct, in turn, will notify the board of any prior arrests, summonses or felonies committed at establishments seeking licensing.

“I never want to be in a position to be okaying liquor licenses,” Giordano said. “In some cases, we have taken votes at community board meetings related to certain establishments that have been a problem. But we comment to the negative and I would prefer it that way.”

Under the current policy, prospective bar owners seeking liquor licenses must notify CB 5 30 days prior to applying for licensing from the State Liquor Authority.

Holden proposed that the extra form, if approved of by the Executive Board, be made available to bar owners as a PDF document on the board’s website. The agreement would be signed and submitted to the community board prior to seeking State Liquor Authority licensing.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit explained that he has adopted a “proactive instead of reactive” approach to new nightlife in the area. He said that he had personally visited five of Ridgewood’s newest bars, including The Monk and Onderdonk and Sons, in an effort to reach out to local bar owners.

Owners of each of the five establishments met with Sadler and other officers at a recent nightlife meeting hosted by the precinct. According to Sadler, all of the new bar owners and managers were made aware of the precinct’s regulations and guidelines, and all pledged respect and compliance.

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Precincts give crime updates at COMET meeting


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

The 108th Precinct’s commander raised concern over a rash of stolen vehicles and commercial burglaries in the Maspeth/Woodside area during the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting held Monday in Elmhurst.

Captain John Travaglia said the number of cars being stolen in the neighborhoods has escalated, especially the older-model Dodge Caravans. According to Travaglia, at least four of these vehicles have been stolen within the confines of the 108th Precinct in the last 28 days.

“What we see a lot with that is, they’re easy to steal,” Travaglia said. “And then they’re easy to steal other things with because the seats will come out quick and maybe they’ll steal a motorcycle then, and throw the motorcycle in the back of that Dodge Caravan. So we’ve seen that type of activity going on in the precinct.”

The precinct has noticed an increase in commercial burglaries throughout the neighborhoods as well. The one burglary that was reported in the 28-day time frame from the 108th Precinct occurred at 70-32 Queens Blvd., where tools were stolen from off of a construction site.

“Construction sites, houses that are under construction are being burglarized for copper pipes [and] for tools,” Travaglia told those in attendance. “This has become a prevalent problem all over Queens.”

One major highlight for the 108th Precinct is the number of traffic fatalities that have occurred since November, which is zero.

“I can report the 108 Precinct [has] not had a traffic fatality since I’ve been there in November,” Travaglia announced. “It’s been fantastic. Year-to-date, we haven’t had a traffic fatality.”

Detective Thomas Bell from the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also announced that the precinct is down in overall crime.

“Year-to-date, the 104 is down about 8.6 percent in crime,” Bell said. “We are down pretty much across the board.”

The 104th Precinct has seen two murders this year, compared to three at this time last year. There have been seven rapes compared to eight last year, 57 robberies compared to 62 last year. Felony assaults dropped to 63 this year from 69 last year, burglaries fell by just one, 110 versus 111 from 2014. Grand larcenies dropped from 198 last year to only 181 this year and grand larceny for automobiles dropped from 71 in 2014 to 57 this year.

P.O. David Saponieri from the 110th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also informed COMET about its crime numbers. There have only been six arrests during the 28-day period within COMET’s area of Elmhurst. There were two stolen cars, two grand larcenies and two burglaries.

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Cops and kids get rid of Maspeth graffiti


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Volunteers and officers from the 104th Precinct spent their Saturday afternoon wiping out graffiti during a cleanup event targeting several vandalized walls in Maspeth.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the precinct’s commander, and P.O. Gonzalez, the precinct’s graffiti coordinator, led the cleanup efforts.

Teens and young adults from the precinct’s NYPD Law Enforcement Explorers Program and School Unit joined police and auxiliary officers in painting over graffiti tags and murals along Rust Street near the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone (IBZ). Community members were encouraged to meet the officers at one of three locations to pitch in.

The community cleanup targeted factory and warehouse facades on Flushing Avenue and Rust Street, as well the concrete barrier along the railroad tracks on Rust Street and Grand Avenue. Officers also tackled a large mural on a brick wall at the corner of Grand Avenue and 58th Road.

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso
The paint and supplies were furnished through various donations, as well as through a coordinated effort with local civic group COMET (Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together).

For more information on reporting vandalism and future community cleanup events, visit the 104th Precinct Community Council at www.104PCC.org or follow the precinct on Twitter at @NYPD104Pct.

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