Tag Archives: Atlantic Avenue

Ozone Park man fatally hit on Atlantic Avenue


| lguerre@queenscourier.com


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A 54-year-old Ozone Park man was struck by a car and killed on Saturday as he attempted to cross Atlantic Avenue, cops said.

Police responded to the scene just after 9 p.m., where they found Oscar Pauzhi lying on the roadway with severe head trauma.

Pauzhi was hit by a 2006 Hyundai Elantra that was traveling westbound on Atlantic Avenue near the intersection of 107 Street in Richmond Hill, authorities said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the car remained on the scene, according to police. 

There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

 

 

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25 years for fatal shooting outside Richmond Hill bar


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


The Ozone Park man who fatally shot a 19-year-old nearly three years ago was sentenced on Tuesday, January 8 to 25 years to life in prison.

Miguel Viruet, 37, was convicted on second-degree charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon last month for the May, 5 2010 shooting of Christian O’Hara outside Scooby’s Bar on Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.

“Today’s sentence is a measure of justice for an innocent young man whose life was tragically cut short,” said District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement. “It also underscores our need to be vigilant in keeping illegal guns off of the streets of our county and out of the hands of those intent on violently attacking others. Violence such as this will not be tolerated on the streets of Queens County.”

In his testimony, Viruet said he received a call just before 4 a.m. on May 5 from his brother who was outside the bar and said he was punched in the face. Viruet said he drove to the bar with two others and spoke to the bouncer, asking who punched his brother. The bouncer told Viruet that his brother was drunk, had been punched outside the bar and not allowed back in.

After driving away, Viruet walked back to the bar later and, from across the street, fired about nine shots at a crowd of people standing outside of the establishment. O’Hara was fatally hit in the lower torso.

 

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Cops who arrested pair in car thefts honored


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Erica Camhi

Two officers were honored at the most recent 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting in Richmond Hill.

Captain Martin Briffa announced officers Kevin Warmhold and Kenneth Vencak as Cops of the Month during the Precinct Council’s monthly meeting on January 17.

Briffa — executive officer of the 102nd Precinct — said the pair was feted for arresting two individuals who attempted to make off with a stolen van.

On January 3, at around 11 p.m., Briffa said the two officers saw a male and female acting suspiciously on Atlantic Avenue. According to Briffa, the suspects removed a license plate from a Ford van, switched it with another plate and drove off in the stolen van.

Upon pursuit, Warmhold and Vencak were able to nab the criminals after a few blocks.

The male perp was later found to have 13 prior arrests — all for stealing cars — while the arrested female had three. The license plate in their possession, according to police, was also from another vehicle the pair stole.

According to Community Council President Maria Thomson, arrests like these have led to the success of the precinct and safety of the community. In fact, the 102nd Precinct was chosen as the 22nd safest precinct in the city, she said.

“We really are doing very well here,” she said, “I know — and you know — that our police officers, our captain, our lieutenants and our sergeants are working very, very hard.”

But because of their success, the 102nd Precinct did not get any new police officers from the latest graduating academy class — which was one concern raised by a resident.

“Because of the fact that we’re doing so well with statistics, we are being penalized,” Thomson said. “That is not fair.”

Thomson urged residents and local elected officials to write a letter to the police commissioner or mayor asking for more officers for the precinct.

Another resident raised concerns about three burglaries that allegedly took place on 127th Street during Christmas week, but Briffa assured there were “no pattern robberies right now.” However, Briffa encouraged homeowners to check their front door locks because most burglaries, he said, occur because front doors are not locked properly.

The majority of complaints stemmed from incensed residents living on Park Lane South, who say a nearby house has been drawing in a slew of unwanted activity after the building was foreclosed on by the bank in 2009.

According to residents, “squatters” have been living there, congregating, screaming and causing trouble inside. Residents also allege that there is drug and alcohol abuse inside the house, and one neighbor said he often smells marijuana coming from the home when he opens his window.

Although the captain said he can’t do anything about the squatters, he said if there is illegal drug use, he can try and get them locked up.

Meanwhile, he said neighboring residents should call the precinct to come out and investigate if they notice illegal activity.

Additional reporting by Erica Camhi

Residents opposed to Woodhaven street changes


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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The city’s plan to change the direction of two streets in Woodhaven is heading down a one-way road to opposition.

While the project is only in its proposal stage, plans to convert 84th Street from one-way northbound to one-way southbound from Liberty to Atlantic Avenues and turn 89th Avenue from a two-way to a one-way street running eastbound between Woodhaven Boulevard and 97th Street have been met with resistance from residents and local civic groups.

“Both of these changes are not good for the community. They weren’t asked for by residents,” said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association (WRBA). “It doesn’t make very much sense, and it’s a bad change.”

Wendell said if the changes are implemented, the “symbiotic” relationship between Woodhaven and its adjacent neighborhood — Ozone Park — would suffer by the newfound difficulty that would come from traveling back and forth.

He said the 84th Street alteration would eliminate one of the main northbound entry points into Woodhaven, leaving only Woodhaven Boulevard and 76th Street as northbound roads that cross Atlantic Avenue.

“It’s like the doors of a supermarket — with the entrance and exit doors next to each other. If you close one of those doors, it’s going to cause problems. This cuts off one of the valuable entrances back into Woodhaven from Ozone Park. This is going to hurt both communities.”

Wendell also said turning 89th Avenue into a one-way street would severely inconvenience residents — some of whom would be forced to go “at least six blocks out of their way” to get home.

“In order to get home, the only way they can do it is to make this really awkward turn on Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, which is congested already,” Wendell said. “That’s the move this is going to force all these people to make. These residents are not going to have a choice. It’s going to be the only way to get home.”

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the request to convert 89th Avenue to a one-way operation came from Community Board 9 (CB 9) in 2008 due to the narrow roadway width, coupled with parking on both sides. The westbound direction was recommended to foster the safe curbside drop-off of students, a DOT spokesperson said.

CB 9 has yet to vote on the proposal, according to District Manager Mary Ann Carey, due to “so much controversy” revolving around the issue. The board postponed the original meeting to vote on the plans in order to seek more input from the community, although Carey said CB 9 sent out notices to residents back in 2008 when she said the plans were first proposed.

“There are so many different opinions. There are a few who are for it, but there are so very many who spoke in opposition of it. CB 9 more than likely goes with the community, but when the community is divided, it’s hard to decide,” Carey said.

The proposals will be voted on during a public hearing scheduled for February 1 at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Ozone Park.

Carey said that although feedback from the community board carries a lot of weight, the city Department of Transportation (DOT) will make the final call.