Tag Archives: 110th Precinct

Cops cuff Corona man who robbed two victims within 15 minutes

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Images

A Corona man tried his luck at robbing two individuals yesterday afternoon, but it ran out when the victims chased him down and recovered their property, according to authorities.

The 110th Precinct first got a call at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday after Joseph Valdez, 21, of Corona allegedly snatched a phone from a girl who was walking with a friend on Christie Avenue near 99th Street, police said.

The victim and her friend then decided to run after Valdez to retrieve the phone, authorities noted. The perpetrator dropped the phone onto the ground, damaging it, and ran away.

Several minutes later, Valdez allegedly grabbed a phone from a second victim’s hand — this time a young man — when he was chased again by his victim. A struggle ensued when Valdez also tried to steal the victim’s backpack as he was being chased, but he was unsuccessful a second time and dropped the backpack on the ground.

Police Officer Christopher Musa, in responding to the incidents, spotted Valdez during the second robbery and was able to apprehend him.

Valdez was charged with third degree robbery, third degree criminal mischief, acting in manner injurious to a child, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana.


Corona music store duo get first-ever charges for pirating tunes using memory cards: DA

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A Corona music store owner and his employee are singing the blues after being charged last week for allegedly selling pirated music stored on memory cards to an undercover investigator.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Evaristo Cruz, 43, of 48th Street in Sunnyside, who owns Poblanos Records at 95-10 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona, and store employee Guevera Rubi, 31, of 38th Avenue in Corona, allegedly sold illegally downloaded music to the undercover investigator on two occasions between July and September 2015.

The agent worked for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which is actively working with law enforcement to crack down on music pirating.

On July 15, prosecutors said, Cruz allegedly sold the undercover investigator an SD media card for $30. The memory card held 609 songs, including music from artists such as Cuban salsa singer Rey Ruiz, Colombian salsa band Grupo Niche, bachata musician Antony Santos and more.

The undercover agent visited the store again on Sept. 2, when Rubi told him that a USB drive would cost $20 — but he could get music on the drive for an additional $20. He was instructed to come back later for the flash drive and when he returned, he was given a flash drive with 512 songs on it, including a new song by Romeo Santos and rapper Nicki Minaj.

Members of the 110th Precinct, joined by the undercover investigator, executed a search warrant at the store on Sept. 16, the district attorney’s office said. A desktop computer was recovered along with 12 different memory devices with storage capacity ranging from 4GB to 16GB. The computer contained more than 1,000 songs that were counterfeit or pirated.

Brown added that the owner and employee were the first people ever charged with pirating music using memory cards.

“In the past, illegally downloaded music was sold on compact discs or CDs. Now songs are being distributed on even smaller devices — flash drives and memory cards,” Brown said in a statement. “While some may ask, ‘What’s the harm?’, the fact of the matter is downloading music without paying for it is a crime.”

Cruz was arraigned on Sept. 17 on charges of criminal possession of forgery devices and first-degree failure to disclose the origin of a recording. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted and was ordered to return to court on Oct. 20.

Rubi, who was charged with first-degree failure to disclose the origin of a recording, faces up to four years in prison and was also ordered to return to court on Oct. 20.


Security guard arrested for impersonating cop in Elmhurst

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos via Twitter/@NYPD110Pct

A phony cop — with badge, gun and bullet vest in tow — came face to face with actual police officers in Elmhurst earlier this week, according to authorities.

On Wednesday, police officers from the 110th Precinct were on patrol near 59th Avenue at about midnight when they saw an argument going on between a group of people in the parking lot of Joe’s Crab Shack, located at 92-50 59th Ave.

The cops then intervened and while dispersing the group found 50-year-old Dwight Harley from Flushing, who was employed as a security guard for the restaurant, authorities said.

The officers noticed what looked like an NYPD badge on Harley’s belt and when they asked about it, the suspect said he was an off-duty police officer, but did not have the proper identification, according to authorities.

Upon arresting Harley, the officers found a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun in a holster of his belt and also noticed he was wearing a bullet-resistant vest and had pepper spray, two sets of handcuffs, an expandable baton and two Motorola radios.

Harley was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal impersonation of a police officer.


PHOTOS: Queens residents enjoy a fun ‘Night Out’ with New York’s Finest

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Promoting greater harmony between police and the people they serve, Tuesday’s National Night Out Against Crime brought thousands of Queens residents out to venues across the “World’s Borough” for family-friendly activities.

From Astoria to the Rockaway Peninsula, each Night Out event included free games and activities for children of all ages as well as refreshments, live music and other entertainment. Residents also had the opportunity to meet with the officers who serve their community and learn more about the NYPD’s various crime prevention programs.

Local elected officials, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, attended each gathering and presented proclamations to the precinct commanders. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who made the rounds at Night Out events across the city, stopped by the 113th Precinct’s Night Out in Springfield Gardens.

The National Night Out Against Crime, founded by the National Association of Town Watch, aims to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities. Millions of people across the U.S. and Canada were estimated to have participated in Night Out events Tuesday evening.


Would-be home invader cuts Elmhurst woman’s neck: NYPD

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

Police released on Tuesday afternoon a sketch of a man who recently assaulted a 24-year-old woman while trying to enter her Elmhurst apartment last month.

Authorities said the incident took place at 2:40 a.m. on July 28 inside an apartment house in the area of Hampton Street and Baxter Avenue.

According to police, the perpetrator — described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, standing 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds — approached the victim as she attempted to enter the front door of her home.

Reportedly, the suspect put a sharp object against the left side of her neck, causing a laceration, and asked her several times if she lived alone. After the victim screamed, police said, the perpetrator ran out of the building and fled in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 110th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. The victim was treated at Elmhurst Hospital.

Anyone who can identify the suspect or has any other information about the incident 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 are kept confidential.


Police investigate alligator sighting in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/NYPD 110th Precinct

Officers from the 110th Precinct are on the hunt for an alligator after a possible sighting in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday morning.

Reportedly, a jogger spotted the reptile — affectionately dubbed “Jaws” by the 110th Precinct —and called 911.

According to Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson, who reported the sighting on Twitter, the alligator is described as 3 1/2 feet long and “kinda thick.”

Manson also took to the precinct’s Twitter account to ask for advice about what kind of food officers should use to lure the animal out. “We need your advice. What kind of food should we use to lure the beast out!? After all he is a NYC gator. Pizza?” he asked in a post.

Officers arrived at the scene and canvassed the area but have not been able to track the reptile down.


Pervert exposes himself to young girl at Elmhurst Park

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police released on Wednesday a sketch of a man who exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl at Elmhurst Park last month.

According to authorities, the perpetrator was in the front passenger seat of a dark-colored SUV near the park at the corner of Grand Avenue and 79th Street at about 3 p.m. on May 28.

Reportedly, the suspect observed the 10-year-old girl, who was walking to a nearby youth center, then opened the door and flashed himself at the child. The SUV then sped away from the location.

The incident was reported to the 110th Precinct; no injuries were reported.

Anyone with information regarding 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 are kept confidential.



Crime rates down for the year in the 110th Precinct

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Crime continues to drop across the 110th Precinct, the force’s commanding officer announced at the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting on Monday night.

“We are down 6.2 percent in crime for the year so far,” Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson said. “We have major reductions in robbery, burglary and grand larceny.”

The precinct is currently down eight robberies for the year, from 111 last year to 103 thus far in 2015. Police officers have made 63 robbery arrests this year, Manson noted, leading to the lower crime rates that the precinct is seeing.

Although crime is down overall for the 110th Precinct, vehicle thefts are on the rise. Manson told those in attendance that they have been six more stolen cars this year than at this point last year.

“The other area we are up in is felony assaults. We’ve been fighting that since the beginning of the year; there’s a lot domestic felony assaults,” Manson said. “One of the reasons we think we’re up in domestic assaults, it’s not a bad thing, it’s because we’re doing a lot of outreach. We’re going out on the streets and out into the community and we’re giving out pamphlets and letting people know about domestic violence and how they can report it. So we think more people are reporting it.”

Manson also alerted those in attendance of three recent crimes that turned out to all be connected within the 110th Precinct.

The first two crimes were robberies in which a male, Hispanic suspect drove up to people on the street and robbed them of their cellphones at knife point.

Later that night, police witnessed two men fighting in the street on Queens Boulevard near 74th Street, where one of the men stabbed the other six times with a small knife. That suspect was taken into custody and brought to the stationhouse. The other man was brought to the hospital and will survive his wounds.

“While we were in the stationhouse with this male, our officers in the room began tracking one of the cellphones from the earlier robberies,” Manson added. “We ping it, we get to find out the location, we look down and the location came to the same room we were in. We looked at the property that we were taking from the guy who just stabbed the guy six times and he has both cellphones. So we got him for all three crimes.”


Cops seek Elmhurst shooter who injured two during gunplay

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police ask for the public’s help in finding a gunman who injured two people after opening fire on an Elmhurst street last weekend.

Authorities said the incident occurred at 12:10 a.m. on May 24, when the suspect—described as a black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with white letters on the front, white jeans and black and white sneakers—fired a shot in front of a location on 43rd Avenue near Corona Avenue.

Reportedly, both victims—a 25-year-old male and a 17-year-old female—sustained gunshot wounds to their lower left legs. Police noted that the male victim was hit by a fragmented bullet.

Officers from the 110th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Paramedics brought the man and woman to Elmhurst Hospital and Forest Hills Hospital, respectively; both were treated and later released.

Police released on Friday night security camera footage of the suspect fleeing the scene.

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



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.


$2K reward for man who choked, cut girlfriend in Elmhurst: NYPD

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man who goes by four different names for recently choking his girlfriend and slicing her with scissors.

On March 9 at about 3 a.m. Mario Rubiano-Gonzalez — who also uses the names William Para, Orlando Morales and John Zea — choked his girlfriend inside a home on Pettit Avenue in Elmhurst, according to cops. He also sliced the woman across her forearm with scissors, causing serious physical injury.

According to the 110th Precinct, neither the suspect nor victim has prior domestic violence history, but Rubiano-Gonzalez does have a nonviolent prior arrest.

The suspect, who is being sought for assault, is described as a white Hispanic man, 5 feet 5 inches tall, with black hair, brown eyes, and weighing 173 pounds.

There is a $2,000 reward being offered for any information that leads to the arrest of Rubiano-Gonzalez.

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.


110th Precinct plans to tackle rise of domestic violence

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Scott Bintner

The 110th Precinct wants victims of domestic violence to speak out to put an end to a crime trend sparking up within the precinct’s borders.

During the precinct’s monthly community council meeting Thursday night in Corona, Captain Ralph Forgione, executive officer at the 110th Precinct, told attendees about a 6.7 percent decrease in crimes for the 28 day to date period.

However, he added that both felony assaults and stolen cars have been driving the numbers up within the precinct. 

In regards to stolen cars, Forgione said that the theft of these vehicles tends to involve tow trucks, while the theft of motorcycles involves box trucks or vans. 

“If you see someone towing a car, don’t just assume that it’s a tow truck. Call us and let us pull over the guy, let us see if he’s actually towing the car or stealing the car,” Forgione said. “We got it under control last year but it’s starting again this year so we need to nip it in the bud right away.”

According to statistics, most of the felony assaults reported in the 110th Precinct are related to domestic violence. Out of 23 felony assaults so far this year, 16 have been domestic violence incidents and 15 of those were first-time offenders. 

In a recent incident, an 87-year-old man beat his 83-year-old wife with a hammer while she was waiting to head into surgery at Elmhurst Hospital. According to a criminal complaint, the man didn’t “want to see her suffer.”

Forgione said they are stressing to residents the importance of reporting any cases of domestic violence and if anyone hears anything to call the precinct. 

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt out there. I don’t care how old you are, it’s not normal for [a] husband to beat up on the wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend,” Forgione said. “If you hear something, let us get there. You could be saving this person’s life. Let us get involved.”

The 110th Precinct, which just last week brought in a new domestic violence sergeant from the 104th Precinct, will also conduct more outreach in the community with officers handing out fliers along Roosevelt Avenue and Broadway, and at Queens Center and Flushing Meadows Corona Park. 

“We want you to report it because in order for us to combat that and help you, we need to find out how big the problem is and come up with a better solution.”

Along with going over the issues in the surrounding community, two police officers were awarded Cop of the Month plagues for their work in March.

Police Officers Seungjin Huh and Bryan McCullough were both given cop of the month awards at the 110th Precinct community council monthly meeting. (THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano)

Police Officer Seungjin Huh received his award for helping close out a burglary pattern within the precinct. On March 24 at 10 p.m., Huh responded to a burglary in process and at the scene saw a broken gate. He then got out of his patrol car to investigate and found a man in a garage. The suspect was brought in for stealing items out of the garage, but was later connected to three other charges.

Police Officer Bryan McCullough also received the Cop of the Month award for March after he helped bring in a suspect, who on March 10 allegedly robbed an 11-year-old child at knifepoint.


Pair sought in Queens police impersonation robberies

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A phony cop is stopping people on the streets of Queens before robbing them and jumping into a getaway car, authorities said.

Police have released video footage of the fake officer in the act and say he has robbed six separate victims between October and March in Middle Village, Woodside, Elmhurst and Corona.

All of the victims were traveling on foot when they were stopped by the suspect described as Hispanic or white, about 30 to 40 years old and with a heavy build, authorities said. He then searched the victim and removed property from them before fleeing with a second suspect who was waiting in a black Lincoln Town Car or dark van, police said.

The two suspects are wanted in the following incidents:

  • On Oct. 29, at about 1:30 a.m., at the corner of 82nd Street and Furmanville Avenue, $80 was taken from a 21-year-old man.
  • On Nov. 27, at about 1:30 a.m., at the corner of James Avenue and 88th Street, a 40-year-old man’s wallet containing a debit card was taken.
  • On Dec. 11, at about 12:50 a.m. in front of 39-66 65th St., a 39-year-old man’s wallet containing $17 was taken.
  • On Feb. 14, at about 4:45 a.m. in front of 102-26 45th Ave., a 37-year-old man’s wallet containing a debit card and a cellphone were taken.
  • On Feb. 26, at about 12:30 a.m. in front of 49-07 103rd St., a 33-year-old man’s wallet containing $650 and debit and credit cards were taken.
  • On March 15, at about 5:30 a.m. at the corner of 102nd Street and 45th Avenue, a 45-year-old man’s wallet containing $480 was taken.

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.


110 Precinct CO talks new post, future plans

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The 110th Precinct, which encompasses Corona and Elmhurst, has a new top cop and he is ready to get to know his new community and continue the work his predecessor achieved.

Captain Christopher Manson was named the new commanding officer of the western Queens precinct and started at his new post on March 17. He is taking over from Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, who after spending the last three years at the 110th Precinct was reassigned to the NYPD’s Queens North Detective Bureau.

For the past two years, Manson was the commanding officer at the 104th Precinct, which covers Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

“I had a great time there, great community. Crime went down about 11 percent over two years. We did a lot of good work,” Manson said. “We hope to continue that here. I inherited a very good, smooth running operation from my predecessor Deputy Inspector Leyson.”

Before taking command of the 104th Precinct, the 27-year NYPD veteran was assigned for a few months at the 114th Precinct, and before that was the executive officer for two years at the 109th Precinct in Flushing.

Since starting at his new post in Corona, Manson said he has been getting know the community and its leaders, and plans to continue the outreach.

“It’s a good place. I’m happy to be here,” Manson said. “I think right now the precinct is set up right because they have a lot of manpower that works late at night.”

He added that in the year to date, crime had been down 8 percent; however, domestic violence had increased in the confines of the precinct. Based on this data, Manson said he hopes to “take a heavy look” at the issue of domestic violence.

Among other initiatives from his past post, Manson has brought over weekly deployment meetings in which he gets together with specific units of the precinct and goes over certain patterns and trends going on.

The units are then committed to addressing certain crimes in specific areas within the precinct.

“Whatever it is these different units from the precinct are committed to these crime zones. It’s worked in the past and continues to work,” Manson said.

Manson added that there other things he might want to bring over from his previous post but he still needs to get to know the 110th Precinct a bit more and then decide what should be done.

He plans to continue the precinct’s social media presence with taking over the Twitter account @NYPD110Pct.

“I’m the 110 rookie,” he said. “I’ve got a lot to learn.”


NYPD changes commanders at 102nd, 104th and 110th precincts

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 110th Precinct Community Council

The NYPD shuffled the deck among its commanding officers at three local precincts this week.

Capt. Christopher Manson, who led the Ridgewood-based 104th Precinct for more than two years, was reassigned to command the 110th Precinct based in Elmhurst. Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, who spent the last three years at the 110th Precinct, moved on to the NYPD Queens North Detective Bureau based in Forest Hills.

Leyson bid farewell to residents, while Manson made his introduction to them, during Thursday’s 110th Precinct Community Council meeting in Corona. Both officials took to Twitter to extend their gratitude to the communities they served.

“I have been transferred to the 110 Pct and wish to thank the officers of the 104th Pct and the community for 2 years of pleasure and honor,” Manson tweeted.

“To my 3,200 followers, thank you for helping me share important info, good work & events of the 110th Pct (I had some fun with it, too),” Leyson tweeted. “As my final tweet – to the men & women of the #110Pct -it has been my honor & privilege to work with you-thank you for making a difference!”

Meanwhile, a familiar face took the reins at the 104th Precinct: Capt. Mark Wachter, who as recently as 2010 served as the precinct’s special operations coordinator. Most recently, he led the NYPD’s special Citi Field command, which coordinates policing at the home of the New York Mets.

Additionally, the NYPD named Deputy Inspector Deodat Urprasad, formerly commander of investigations at NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan South, as the 102nd Precinct’s new commander. Urprasad takes the reins at the Richmond Hill-based command from Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, who moved on to the NYPD Brooklyn Detective Bureau after more than two years of service at the 102.