Tag Archives: Arrest

Tumbling crime numbers top 108th Precinct Council meeting in Sunnyside


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime plunged in the 108th Precinct over the last four weeks, the force’s commanding officer reported during Tuesday’s 108th Precinct Community Council meeting at Sunnyside Community Services.

Capt. John Travaglia said that the precinct, which covers all or parts of Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside, recorded a 28 percent drop in major crimes in the last 28 days. The plunge included a 50 percent fall in robberies, an 11 percent decrease in burglaries and a 46 percent drop in grand larcenies.

Continuing the positive news, Travaglia said the precinct recorded no incidents of rape, homicide or auto accident fatalities so far this year.

“Our numbers reflect how safe of a community we live in,” Travaglia said. “This is a wonderful place and the statistics don’t lie.”

Travaglia did, however, caution residents about preventing burglaries during the coming spring and summer months.

“As the weather gets warmer, we tend to leave our windows open to let the nice breeze into our homes,” he said, “but when you leave your home, remember to shut those windows and lock them.  These are crimes of opportunity, and we want to make sure we take that opportunity away.”

Travaglia and the council honored one officer in particular for his efforts to fight crime. P.O. John Miszuk of the precinct’s Anti-Crime Team received the Cop of the Month Award for apprehending a violent robbery suspect earlier in the month.

At 10:30 p.m. on March 21, 108th Precinct officers responded to a 911 call regarding a robbery in progress in the vicinity of 47th Avenue and 46th Street. According to Travaglia, the suspect approached his male victim from behind with a knife, demanding cash and belongings. After a brief struggle, the victim’s face and hand were slashed and the perp fled on foot.

The victim surrendered some personal property, but managed to hold on to his cellphone and call the police. Travaglia spoke with the victim over the phone and tried to get a description of the perp, as well as the victim’s location. Miszuk and his team combed the area searching for the suspect based on the description given to 911.

Miszuk apprehended the suspect a few blocks away from the crime scene, while Travaglia was still on the phone with the victim. The suspect was allegedly found in possession of a knife, as well as crack cocaine and a crack pipe.

Travaglia and Precinct Council President Diane Ballek presented Miszuk with a plaque donated by the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly.

The Precinct Council also welcomed Marissa Beckett from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). Beckett announced the creation and expansion of several programs aimed at helping victims of domestic assault at Family Justice Centers in each borough.

“Domestic Violence is a pattern of power and control,” she explained. “It can begin as threats and can escalate to physical abuse.”

Some of the programs offered at the Queens Family Justice Center, located at 126-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, include Safe Horizon, ESL classes, parenting programs and the Healthy Relationship Training Academy aimed at preventing cyber bullying and dating violence among teens. Help is available to all regardless of their language or immigration status.

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Tenant charged with attempted murder, arson in fire that destroyed eight Woodhaven homes


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

Updated Monday, March 23, 12:41 p.m.

BY SALVATORE LICATA AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

A man was arrested for allegedly setting a fire that caused eight houses in Woodhaven to go up in flames on Wednesday night because his landlord had just evicted him.

Luis Lopez, 30, a tenant at 91-21 90th St., where the blaze started, was arraigned on Friday on charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree arson, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated cruelty to animals in connection to the fire that left eight injured and killed two dogs, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Lopez, who faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, was being held on $100,000 bond, according to court records. His next court date is April 7.

“The defendant is charged with setting a fire that could have killed numerous people and did take the lives of two dogs — all because the defendant was allegedly angry about being evicted from his apartment,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Arson is a serious crime and the defendant now faces spending a considerable amount of time in prison.”

On Wednesday, at about 8 p.m., Lopez was ordered to vacate the premises of where he was living, according to officials. About 10 minutes later, the landlord and her boyfriend smelled smoke. The door was blocked from the other side and it took them several attempts to escape from their basement apartment, prosecutors said. As the two fled, they saw smoke and an orange glow coming from Lopez’s first-floor bedroom.

By the time firefighters arrived at the two-story home, the flames had spread to the roof and adjacent residences.

The Courier/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The Courier/Photo by Salvatore Licata

About 39 units and 168 members responded to the blaze, which left six residents and two firefighters with minor injuries. The fire also displaced more than 60 individuals, officials said.

“The investigative work by our fire marshals resulted in the timely arrest of this suspect,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Setting a fire is a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences. Fortunately there was no loss of life at this incident, but tragically the quick moving fire destroyed eight homes before being brought under control.”

Councilman Eric Ulrich, Assemblyman Mike Miller and Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) announced on Friday the creation of a special relief fund by CCBQ to help the families affected by the fire.

Donations will go toward providing essentials including gift cards to local supermarkets, clothing, replacement household furniture and other necessities. Monetary donations can be made payable to CCBQ online at www.ccbq.org or by mail. Contributions should designate “Woodhaven Fire Victims” in the memo. For more information contact CCBQ’s Office of Development & Communications at 718-722-6202.

“We cannot erase what occurred, but this fund will help these families work towards rebuilding for a better tomorrow,” Miller said. “We ask the community to help in any way they can to assist these residents in this time of need.”

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Man turns himself in following deadly Long Island City beating


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/Property Shark

A man is in police custody after turning himself in for a fatal beating in Long Island City on Friday, authorities said.

Kaheem Addison, 29, of Huntington Station, Long Island, allegedly got into a dispute with Jose Antonio Cocuyo-Malaga, 32, about 2:30 a.m. at 50th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, which turned violent.

Police found Cocuyo-Malaga unconscious and unresponsive with head trauma upon their arrival. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police would not confirm what caused the fight, but according to the New York Post, Cocuyo-Malaga, a married father and chef from Astoria, was attacked after he tried to catch a ride from what he thought was a livery cab.

Addison got out of the car and “rushed” Cocuyo-Malaga, the Post said, and, as they struggled, his head was slammed into the sidewalk. Addison then fled.

Witnesses then alerted police at the 108th Precinct, which is just around the corner on 50th Avenue, reports said.

Addison turned himself into the same precinct station house with his lawyer by his side on Saturday, according to police.

He has since been charged with manslaughter.

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Attempted gun sale leads to arrest of five in Flushing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Five people were busted in the Flushing area Thursday when an attempted gun sale led police to a car containing firearms and stolen jewelry, cops said.

A man flagged down officers from the 109th Precinct Anti-Crime Team about 1:50 p.m. on Thursday to tell them that someone had just tried to sell him a gun, according to authorities.

The officers were able to find the seller at 39th Avenue and College Point Avenue and discovered that he was in possession of an unloaded silver Smith & Wesson .38-caliber firearm, cops said. Police then took him into custody.

A further investigation and search of the area where they found the suspect led cops to a Honda Accord, authorities said. Inside were three men and one woman, along with three handguns, one BB gun and assorted jewelry. Cops took the four into custody and recovered the weapons and jewelry.

The seller and the four in the vehicle — Christopher Rivera, 21, of Queens; Sergio Salcedo, 24, of Brooklyn; and Alexis Perez-Acevedo, 22 , Carmen Riley, 30, and John Nash, 26, of Manhattan — have all been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property, according to police.

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Police find gun, drug stash in Sunnyside home


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops busted a Sunnyside man Wednesday after uncovering an arsenal of guns, ammunition and drugs in his home.

As a part of an ongoing investigation, just after midnight, members of the Emergency Services and the Patrol Borough Queens North Anti-Crime units executed a search warrant at the 44th Street residence of 42 year-old Daniel Tone, police said.

Inside authorities found four loaded firearms, three imitation pistols, 169 rounds of ammunition, seven marijuana plants, approximately 17.5 grams of crack, 136 Hydromorphone pills and 48 Xanax pills, the NYPD said.

They also seized $3,124 in cash during the search.

Tone has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of controlled substance, criminal sale of controlled substance, unlawful possession of a marijuana and violation of local law, according to police.

 

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Queens man arrested for LI catalytic converter thefts has priors in NYC


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ahanix1989

The 23-year-old Jamaica man arrested on Long Island last month for stripping three dozen cars of their costly catalytic converters has a lengthy rap sheet in the city, officials said.

Nassau County police charged Dorient G. Reid in February with grand larceny for his eight-month-long raid of body shop and U-Haul parking lots that damaged more than 35 cars and their exhaust systems.

Reid crossed the Queens border to try his luck after the NYPD arrested him last March for allegedly stealing five catalytic converters out of a used auto parts lot in Jamaica, an NYPD spokesperson said.

The apparent repeat offender had nine prior arrests in New York City, including one last year for offering an arresting officer a $500 bribe from his holding cell in Jamaica’s 113th Precinct, according to the NYPD and Queens district attorney’s office.

He faces multiple counts of grand larceny and auto stripping charges in both Nassau and New York City, the police departments said.

Reid will appear in Nassau court on March 28, a spokesperson for the county’s district attorney said. He also awaits a March 25 sentencing in Queens Criminal Court after pleading guilty in the bribery case, according to the borough’s district attorney’s office.

Catalytic converters, which contain precious metals inside, like platinum, have been the target of a costly citywide crime trend that is now on the decline.

In January, police arrested two men in Flushing for allegedly sawing nearly $5,000 worth of devices off eight trucks in a U-Haul storage lot at 36-30 College Point Boulevard, Crime Prevention Officer Anthony Lo Verme of the 109th Precinct said.

Since the collar, there have been no new converter thefts in the 109th Precinct, which covers downtown Flushing and upwards to Whitestone, according to Lo Verme.

Deputy Inspector Jason Huerta of the 111th Precinct — who reported a spike at the end of last year — believes the arrest will wipe out the crime around Bayside.

“We’re hoping that eliminates the problem here,” he said, “and I suspect it will.”

 

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Jamaica man arrested in connection to 2012 shooting death


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Police have arrested and charged a man with murder in connection to the 2012 shooting death of 22-year-old Sydney London.

London was found dead in the driver’s seat of his car, with a gunshot wound to the right side of his torso, near Ring Place and 118th Avenue, on April 11, 2012, police said.

Police charged 30-year-old Sekwan Carter, of Jamaica, Friday with murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

 

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Queens man charged in NYC’s first murder of 2014


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man has been arrested for the fatal Jamaica shooting that was the first homicide of the year, police said.

Cops found Julio Mora, 22, of Richmond Hill, inside of a 113th Avenue residence near Sutphin Boulevard about 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 with a gunshot wound to the chest, the NYPD said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheldon Smith, 26, who police had been searching for in connection to Mora’s murder since Jan. 2, has been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said.

 

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Cops arrest alleged catalytic converter thieves in Flushing


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File graphic image

Police arrested two men in Flushing for allegedly sawing catalytic converters off multiple trucks in a U-Haul storage lot.

The device — which contains precious metals inside, like platinum — has been the target of a costly new citywide crime trend.

Dwayne Longmore, 31, and Neil Stephens, 33, were arrested Jan. 4 and charged with grand larceny for allegedly removing eight catalytic converters out of the 36-30 College Point Blvd. lot, police said.

The stolen devices totaled nearly $5,000, according to Crime Prevention Officer Anthony Lo Verme of the 109th Precinct.

Executive Officer Captain Tommy Ng said the precinct has not seen other catalytic converter thefts since the arrests.

The 111th Precinct, which reported a spike in November and December, is also experiencing a lull in the crime this month, though other grand larcenies are spiking, Crime Prevention Officer Luigi Galano said.

Car thefts and vehicle break-ins in Bayside have increased, as drivers are still leaving valuables unattended and in plain view.

“It’s enough for us to realize there’s a problem,” Galano said.

The crimes are taking place near the Bayside Gables and from Northern Boulevard to 35th Avenue.

The NYPD said parking in well-lit areas near traffic, being aware of surroundings and checking on cars, even while at home, could help avoid thefts.

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Queens woman admits to bogus ‘blessing scam’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic

A 50-year-old con artist has admitted to duping three Queens women out of nearly $5,000 through a phony “blessing” scam, officials said.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Fengluan Qin confessed Thursday to using an ancient con game to take jewelry and large sums of cash from three unsuspecting Flushing women, between 52 and 72 years old.

Qin convinced the victims to place their cash and valuables into a bag for a “blessing ritual” that would cure their families of sickness and bad luck, before swapping the bags and stealing the goods, Brown said.

Victims of the hoax have lost $1.3 million within the last year to different crews moving throughout the city, according to Inspector Brian Maguire, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct.

Out of about 50 cases citywide, more than $500,000 has been pilfered from victims in the 109th precinct alone, Maguire said.

According to Brown, the scam that targets mostly elderly immigrant women is prevalent in Asian communities nationwide.

“People should be aware that this is just one of many confidence tricks used by individuals to swindle money from vulnerable people and should not fall victim to it,” Brown said.

The district attorney’s office said Qin, a Chinese national with an expired visa, was believed to be living in Flushing, though she did not provide an address to authorities.

She pleaded guilty to grand larceny charges on December 5, Brown said. She is expected to be sentenced to one to three years in prison on December 18.

As part of the plea deal, Qin must also forfeit $4,765 in restitution and sign a confession of judgment for another $10,000.

Police are urging families to spread word of the scam to older relatives and friends.

Cops said victims, if approached, should agree with the tricksters on a meeting spot and then go home and call 9-1-1.

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Tennessee man arrested at JFK Airport for having guns and ammunition


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File image

A 23-year-old Tennessee man was arrested Saturday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport for allegedly traveling with multiple guns and ammunition, authorities said.

Keenan A. Draughon, 23, allegedly wanted to check in two handguns, two rifles and two high-capacity magazines for his flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, according to District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Both guns had their serial numbers defaced, Brown said.

Draughon was stopped at the United Airlines counter at JFK Airport’s Terminal 8 at approximately 7:45 a.m., the district attorney said.

“Firearms illegally possessed in this city pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety,” Brown said. “Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon.  Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with serious felonies – as is what occurred in this case.”

Draughon – who is from Clarksville, Tennessee – was held pending arraignment Saturday in Queens Criminal Court. His lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, the district attorney said. 

Outrage over teacher’s alleged sex romp with student


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News

The Queens middle school teacher charged with statutory rape was a popular, fun educator who shared details about his personal life with his class, students said.

“He was actually a really cool teacher,” said a former student. “He was funny. He joked around with us a lot.”

Daniel Reilly, a sixth grade English teacher at I.S. 237, is accused of having sex multiple times since last November with a 14-year-old girl he used to teach, authorities said.

The 36-year-old married father from Forest Hills was charged with rape, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse at his arraignment on Tuesday, April 9, according to the district attorney.

“This case is particularly disturbing,” said District Attorney Richard Brown. “Schools should be safe havens for children. Instead, this defendant is accused of sexually preying upon one of his former students and rendezvousing with her at his residence.”

A criminal complaint details several incidents in which Reilly and the victim lay naked in bed together and engaged in sexual activities in his home.

I.S. 237 in Flushing where Reilly is a sixth grade English teacher. (THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan)

The relationship, which allegedly continued for more than nine months, surfaced when the victim’s sister found sexually explicit text messages on her phone, Brown said.

Reilly was arrested on April 8 at 8 p.m. in Forest Hills, said cops.

The educator, who makes close to $62,000 a year, has taught at the Flushing school for six years, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Education said. He was immediately reassigned out of the school, and there were no prior investigations.

Reilly posted bail for $30,000, according to the district attorney. The educator is ordered to return to court on May 6. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

Students said Reilly was open with his personal life, telling his class how “goofy” he was in high school as well as his time in the U.S. Navy.

Reilly is also a new father, according to teens who knew him, and welcomed a baby daughter to the world last year.

“That’s pretty unacceptable,” said Mike Chen, whose 14-year-old son attends the school. “Something like that is every parent’s nightmare.”

Reilly’s wife and mother-in-law leave court with his lawyer. (Photo: NY Daily News)

 

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Man tries to take 30 pounds of pot from doctor


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

The reefer is greener at the doctor’s office.

A Brooklyn man was arrested Friday afternoon for trying to take 30 pounds of pot from a South Richmond Hill’s doctor’s office, police said.

Marlon Morris, 41, was charged with criminal possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct after he allegedly attempted to pick up a package of hash that was delivered by UPS to Dr. Devicka Persaud’s medical office on Liberty Avenue at 4:50 p.m. on February 1, said cops.

Staff at Persaud’s family medicine practice did not immediately comment.

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| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Man arrested for videotaping woman in bathroom


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of NCPD

A homeless man originally from Whitestone was arrested after he was allegedly caught filming a woman relieving herself in a supermarket bathroom stall in Manhasset, cops said.

Michael Seghposs, 25, was cuffed for second-degree unlawful surveillance on Sunday, November 11, when a 58-year-old woman said she found the perp videotaping her from an adjacent restroom stall in King Kullen on Northern Boulevard, according to Nassau County police.

Seghposs, detectives said, allegedly held up his phone under the stall divider to peep at and record the female victim at around 5:45 p.m. He attempted to flee on foot after being caught red-handed by the woman, said police, but was apprehended by store employees who held him until authorities arrived.

Seghposs was arraigned on Monday, November 12 at a Hempstead district court.

King Kullen did not immediately comment on the incident.