Tag Archives: 112th Precinct

Woman found dead inside Rego Park apartment house


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Property Shark/Christopher Bride

An investigation is ongoing regarding the death of a 40-year-old woman in a Rego Park apartment Monday morning.

Officers from the 112th Precinct were called to the apartment on 63rd Drive near Carlton Street sometime before 8:15 a.m. Monday and discovered the woman in a third-floor unit.

Paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced her dead; her body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.

Her identity was not disclosed by police pending family notification.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Identity theft tops crime talk at 112th Precinct meeting in Forest Hills


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

BY ANGELA MATUA

With identity theft on the rise, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) representative came to Wednesday night’s 112th Precinct Community Council meeting in Forest Hills to educate residents on the issues and solutions related to the problem.

Robin Eichen, a lawyer with the FTC, distinguished between different types of fraud that exceedingly affect senior citizens, including healthcare fraud, work-at-home fraud, phishing, grandparent family fraud, and romance, lottery and sweepstakes scams.

In advising residents on how to avoid becoming a victim, Eichen suggested that they shred all financial documents and paperwork with personal information before discarding them in the trash.

Eichen also stressed that residents should avoid providing their personal information —including credit card numbers or their Social Security number — or any kind of payment to unfamiliar people. She said people or organizations who ask for money through the phone, email or mail should be properly vetted.

She also suggested that residents carry only what they need in their wallets. Items such as Social Security or Medicare cards do not need to be carried at all times.

Computer users should also regularly update anti-virus software and avoid clicking on unsolicited emails, according to Eichen. She also said that passwords should be made difficult for anyone to guess.

Victims of identity theft should report the crime to ftc.gov, the state attorney general’s office and a consumer reporting agency like Experian. Victims of identity theft can also call 877-438-4338.

Regarding local crime, the 112th Precinct’s commanding officer — Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison — reported a 1.8 percent decrease in major felonies this month. Though officers have been able to stem the rash of commercial burglaries near Queens Boulevard, she noted, the number of residential burglaries have spiked.

Most of the burglaries occur from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the area bounded by Jewel Avenue to 65th Avenue and 68th Drive and 68th Road.

This area is problematic, Harrison said, because Forest Hills High School is located near the confines. She said one witness to a burglary said the two suspects involved looked like teenagers.

Harrison urged homeowners to get alarms for their homes, install security devices such as sensors or cameras and to always lock their windows when they are away.

The commander also outlined the precinct’s plan to prevent quality-of-life problems related to the summer concert series at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, which begins on May 28.

“From a police department standpoint were going to do pretty much the same thing we did last year during the concerts,” Harrison said. “We have a contingency plan … my specialty units, Anti-Crime Units in plain clothes, my Conditions Unit will be around to make sure that people who have been drinking or maybe urinating in places other than a bathroom, that they’re appropriately dealt with and we’re going to continue to do that to make everything safe.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Precinct council meets new officers, domestic violence chief in Forest Hills


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

BY ANGELA MATUA

New faces were introduced at the 112th Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday, March 18, at the precinct’s Forest Hills headquarters.

Capt. William Matusiak, who has been on the job for 31 years, will be joining the precinct as an executive officer from the Midtown North precinct.

Though Matusiak never served in Queens, he grew up in Maspeth and Woodside.

Sgt. Brian McGowen, who previously served the 109th Precinct, will be supervising area schools.

The new community affairs officer, P.O. Tony Jimenez, is originally from the 104th Precinct and is also a clergy liaison. He has worked for the NYPD for 22 years.

Chief Diana Pizzuti of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North, said she hopes the new additions to the precinct will help “build relationships between cops and kids” especially “with the recent unrest” that has taken place across the country that has strained relations between police officers and the communities they serve.

Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff at the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Tracy Weber-Thomas also addressed the community about what services are available for victims of domestic violence.

Approximately 282,000 domestic violence occurrences were reported in New York City last year, according to Weber-Thomas, with 53,000 reported in Queens. Of the cases in Queens, 1,300 were in the 112th Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park.

The Queens Family Justice Center, located at 106-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, is a “one-stop service center” that will help victims of domestic abuse regardless of immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation or the language they speak, said Weber-Thomas.

Weber-Thomas encouraged anyone who is a victim of domestic violence to visit the family justice center, where no appointments are needed to speak to a counselor. Children can play in a children’s room while parents meet with a prosecutor or apply for housing or financial assistance.

The city also runs a NYC Healthy Relationship Academy initiative that coaches children ages 17 to 24 to run workshops about dating violence and healthy relationships for adolescents and young adults.

Click here for more information about the city’s domestic violence prevention programs.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

109th Precinct to pilot NYPD’s newest online social experience


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rob Trombley

The 109th Precinct’s commander, Captain Thomas Conforti, has become an ambassador of social media and technology to the NYPD.

He was one of the first commanding officers in the city tapped to introduce Twitter while leading the 112th Precinct last year, and he organized the first online precinct community council meeting.

Next month, the tech-savvy police captain will serve his online-forward liaison role again as the first in the department to make use of a growing social software platform called IdeaScale. The crowdsourcing platform will give residents the ability to vote and give feedback on ideas or projects by the precinct.

“Twitter is good for me to get information out to people, but when I need to know people’s opinions on something in the community, how do I get that?” Conforti said to a room full of members of the recently formed We Love Whitestone organization on Wednesday. “I think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s going to build on my belief that the police department is reaching far more people that have concerns than they ever had before.”

After an idea is submitted on IdeaScale by an organization, members can share their opinions, which can be anonymous, and they can vote on the idea. The goal is to get more people involved to make better decisions and strengthen ideas.

Created in 2009, the software is being used worldwide by 25,000 customers and 4 million users, according to its website. This includes various private organizations, institutions, and federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Navy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and even the White House.

One way the precinct will use IdeaScale is to share plans for events and collect feedback from residents, Conforti said. They’ll be able to know what members of the community think and what’s popular.

Conforti believes that it will also help them reach more people who want to connect with the precinct but may not have the time to attend monthly community meetings.

“We understand that people might have some issues so they don’t come to meetings,” Conforti said. “They could reach out any time at their convenience over social media.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Cops seek suspects in Forest Hills, Rego Park business burglaries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have released a photo of a man wanted for questioning in a burglary pattern at businesses in Rego Park and Forest Hills dating back to January.

The most recent burglary occurred on March 4 at the Key Food supermarket at 92-02 63rd Dr. in Rego Park after breaking into the market’s side door, police said.

Authorities said the crooks also visited that day the Da Mikelle II Restaurant, located at 102-53 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, broke through a rear door and removed an undetermined amount of money.

The person of interest is pictured in a security camera image taken at a nearby 7-Eleven shortly after the March 4 burglaries, authorities said.

Police described the six other incidents in the burglary pattern as follows:

  • On Jan. 24, the burglars broke through the rear wall of the Knish Nosh restaurant at 100-30 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills and removed kitchen utensils and cash.
  • The following day, Jan. 25, burglars broke through the rear door of the Midorinatsu Hibachi restaurant at 111-16 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills and stole cash, an ASIS laptop computer and two safe boxes.
  • On Feb. 18, the suspects entered through a skylight at the Rainbow store at 63-22 Austin St. in Rego Park and removed assorted drugs.
  • On Feb. 26, the burglars unsuccessfully attempted to break through the rear door of Colony Drugs and Surgical at 103-19 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills.
  • The next day, Feb. 27, the crooks also failed in attempts to break into two Rego Park restaurants: Vstrecha at 98-98 Queens Blvd. and Nasicha at 98-92 63rd Dr.

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.

 RECOMMENDED STORIES

Candlelight vigils across Queens to pay tribute to fallen NYPD officers


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Communities across much of Queens are coming out tonight to hold candlelight vigils for the two police officers slain in Brooklyn over the weekend.

Candles and flowers have begun to appear on Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in Brooklyn, where two police officers were shot to death over the weekend.

While the incident may have occurred in Brooklyn,  people and precincts all across Queens are honoring the officers Monday night.

The candlelight vigils are being held all across the borough to pay tribute to Police Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40. The two were killed in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Dec. 20. In what is being called an assassination, shooter Ismaaiyl Brinsley walked up behind the car and killed the two officers.

The shooter then ran to the G line subway station at Myrtle-Willoughby Aves with cops chasing him. After disappearing into the station, he shot himself in the head on a platform, according to reports.

In Jackson Heights, a candlelight vigil will be held at 5 p.m. at Diversity Plaza at the corner of 37th Road and 74th Street, Jackson Heights. The vigil is replacing a tree lighting. “Please come in peace and dignity,” read the notice announcing the vigil.

The 109th Precinct council in Flushing will be holding a similar ceremony at 149th Street and Willets Point Boulevard at 7 p.m. The event is also being sponsored by the “We Love Whitestone Association.”

The 109th Precinct wrote on its Twitter account: “The outpouring of support for the #NYPD is overwhelming. More tears fall with every message read. The brave officers of the #109pct THANK YOU.”

Nearby in the 108th Precinct, another vigil for the officers was organized outside the station house. It was set to start at 6:30 p.m.

In Forest Hills, the 112th Precinct will also be paying respects to the two police officers with a candlelight vigil. They will hold the ceremony in their station house on Austin Street at 7 p.m.

On Friday, there will be a viewing service in Glendale at Christ Tabernacle Church for Ramos and the funeral service will be held the next day in the same church at 10 a.m.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

‘Dangerous’ Elmhurst intersection to get crossing guard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Pedestrians and school children will soon be able to safely cross a busy Elmhurst intersection.

Last year, state Sen. Jose Peralta called on the Department of Transportation to study the intersection of Junction Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway and restore a school crossing guard to ensure the safety of pedestrians, especially school children, who cross the “dangerous” thoroughfare.

P.S. 206, located at 61-02 98th St., is near the heavily trafficked area. Students cross the intersection on their way between home and school every day.

“The children and the parents are in great danger each time they navigate this intersection because the drivers do not drive with care or follow traffic regulations,” P.S. 206 Principal Joan Thomas wrote in February, requesting to bring back a school crossing guard. “In addition, we have had some instances in which some of our walkers have been harassed on their way to school in the morning and there is no adult present who can assist them.”

The 110th and 112th Precincts had previously told Peralta that a crossing guard was that assigned to the area because  guards are stationed at other nearby intersections.

Now, after Peralta renewed the call for a crossing guard once Vision Zero was implemented, he has learned that the 112th Precinct will assign a crossing guard to P.S. 206 in the upcoming months.

“This is a very dangerous intersection for children and there’s simply no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard provides to kids,” Peralta said. ”Thankfully, a crossing guard will finally be reinstated there.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Suspect swiping checks from Queens mailboxes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A suspect has been raiding Queens mailboxes for checks, then cashing them in for larger amounts of money, according to police.

Cops said eight thefts have taken place around Yellowstone Boulevard or 108th Street between Dec. 29 and March 22.

After the checks were removed from the mailboxes, they were each altered to a larger sum of money and deposited into ATMs, officials said. The suspect or suspects then take the cash from the accounts.

Police have released a photo of a suspect taken from a Bank of America ATM taken at 248 East Fordham Rd.

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.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Rash of Forest Hills burglaries prompt safety meetings


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A rash of burglaries in Forest Hills has prompted a second safety meeting in two months.

Home and car break-ins have skyrocketed in Forest Hills and Rego Park this year, according to the 112th Precinct.

According to Captain Thomas Conforti, property crimes make up 80 to 85 percent of criminal activity in the 112th Precinct.

A special meeting geared towards teaching precautionary measures was held by the precinct’s Community Council on May 6. The first was held early last month.

Residents were told to keep windows, doors and garages locked at all times. The 112th Precinct also encouraged residents to bring in mail and newspapers each morning so intruders do not assume the house is unoccupied.

Concerned residents can also have their homes surveyed for by police for free under an NYPD service.

Little could be said about break-in details because of ongoing investigations, Conforti said. But at least two arrests have been made in connection with the burglaries.

For more information on safety, call 718-520-9321.

-BY LUKE TABET

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

Suspect punches, robs woman inside Queens apartment building


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect who robbed and assaulted a woman inside a Queens apartment building Tuesday afternoon.

Around 1 p.m. the suspect followed the 25-year-old victim into her building near Wetherole Street within the 112th Precinct, punched her in the face and removed her wallet, according to the NYPD.

The victim was treated at a local hospital and released.

Anyone with information in regards to this assault 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 or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 36 with a windchill as low as 18. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 27 with a windchill as low as 18. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: There There 

There There  is a wildly unpredictable theatrical roller coaster about being the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong things. Christopher Walken, on tour in Russia with a solo show, mysteriously falls off a ladder and is unable to perform. Karen, who apparently proofread the script once, is asked to fill in. On until January 12 at the Chocolate Factory in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens schools damaged by Sandy welcome students back

On the first school day of 2013, students at P.S. 207 were finally back in their building. Read more: NY1

Off-duty cop charged with DWI in Queens

An off-duty New York City police officer was arrested Wednesday and charged with driving while intoxicated and fleeing an accident in Queens. Read more: CBS New York

Boehner sets House votes on Sandy aid after Republican attacks

House Speaker John Boehner abruptly reversed course on Wednesday and set a timetable to approve $60 billion in Superstorm Sandy relief, after fellow Republicans including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heaped scorn on his cancellation of an earlier vote. Read more: Reuters

Hillary Clinton released from NYC hospital after being treated for blood clot 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital Wednesday evening and her medical team is confident she will “make a full recovery.” Read more: CBS New York

Chef sues Citi Field food contractor Aramark

He says they took him right out of the old ball game. A former Citi Field chef has sued stadium food contractor Aramark because they fired him after he took a short time off after suffering chest pain, according to a Brooklyn federal court lawsuit. Read more: New York Post

New York City launches $500K grant program for local media and entertainment small businesses

Lights, camera, money. The city has launched a $500,000 training grant program for local small businesses that specialize in media and entertainment. Read more: New York Daily News

Congress ushering in new members, with old divide

Congress is ushering in the new and the old – dozens of eager freshmen determined to change Washington and the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government. Read more: AP

NYC murders, shootings down in 2012


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Murders and shootings fell dramatically in the city last year as other felonies in the five boroughs ticked slightly upward.
“The number of murders this year will be lower than any time in recorded city history,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“The fact that the safest big city in America is safer than ever is a testament to the hard work and determination of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day — and it also reflects our commitment to doing everything possible to stop gun violence.”

In the five boroughs, there were 414 homicides and 1,353 shooting incidents, as of December 23, the most recent numbers available — both record lows since comparable statistics began being kept in 1963. The previous record low in murders was 471 in 2009.

Rape, robbery, assault and burglary saw slight upticks while grand larceny rose more than 9 percent.

When murders reached their all-time high in the city in 1990, nearly six New Yorkers were killed each day. Even with that number dropping to just over one per day, Bloomberg said one murder or shooting is one too many.

Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited police initiatives such as Operation Impact, which funneled resources to high-crime areas, for the decreases.

“We’re taking 8,000 weapons annually out of the hands of people we stop, 800 of them illegal handguns,” said Kelly. “We’re preventing crimes before someone is killed and before someone else has to go to prison for murder or other serious crimes.

Guns remained the leading cause of murder within the city; 57 percent (237) of killings were by guns last year.

In Queens, murders fell from 82 to 80 last year while shooting incidents jumped more than 6 percent.

Within the 112th Precinct, zero homicides were recorded while the 111th and 104th precincts each had one.

Murders in NYC (1990-2012):

  • 1990 – 2,262
  • 1995 – 1,181
  • 1998 -629
  • 2001 – 649
  • 2009 – 471
  • 2010 – 536
  • 2011 – 515
  • 2012 – 414*
* Number of murders through 12/23/2012

 

 

Santa was really a Rotarian


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photop by Alexa Altman

Santa Claus rang his sleigh bells loudly as he combed the halls of the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) Children’s Center. Followed closely by Frosty the Snowman, the pair peeked inside various rooms, searching for children. Toys in hand, they entered one at the end of the hallway — to an eruption of delighted squeals.

For the past 10 years, the Jamaica Rotary and the 112th, 113th and 103rd Precincts, as well as officers from NYPD Patrol Borough Queens South, have teamed up with QCP to provide gifts for the center’s children during the holiday season.

QCP is an organization that provides educational and residential services for children and adults in Queens county living with Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities, in hopes to maximize their quality of life.

Walter Durchalter, Vice President of the Jamaica Rotary, stood amongst the crowd, grabbing gifts off a cart and handing them to the excited children. His four daughters joined him at the event, dishing out gifts and wishing the children a “Merry Christmas.”

“We’re giving out toys to all the residents,” said Durchalter. “It’s something nice to give back to the community.”

Santa and Frosty shuffled down the hallway to another classroom, trailed closely by a caravan of helpers. Santa greeted the next roomful of children, waving and posing for photographs. He wished them a “Merry Christmas” and handed each child a present. Frosty shook hands with kids, dishing out gifts.

According to Durchalter, each toy was purchased by the Rotary using member-donated funds. Even Santa Claus turned out to be Jamaica Rotary President Joe Iaboni.

“I’m here to share in the charity and Christmas spirit,” said Lieutenant Donzel Cleare, head of Community Affairs for Patrol Borough Queens South. “The most important thing is to try to bring a smile to someone else.”

“It’s all about giving back,” he continued. “We take a lot for granted. To come here and do something for someone else, that’s what it’s all about.”

Charles Houston, executive director of QCP since 1988, said he was glad to have the support of so many local individuals.

“Government funding never quite gets us where we need to be,” said Houston. “So we rely on community groups, like the Rotary. Some of these kids don’t get a lot of presents, so [the toy drive] just adds to the holiday spirit.”