Diners were sitting in Exo Cafe, at 70-20 Austin St., about 10:55 p.m. when the accident damaged the restaurant’s winter vestibule and shattered some of its windows, according to Elias Kalogiros, the establishment’s owner.
Police said the city plow truck hit the garbage can, which then struck the vestibule.
A 36-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the NYPD.
“We were really upset about what happened. We thought it was complete negligence,” Kalogiros said.
“If somebody was standing inside of the vestibule…they would have got hurt or even died.”
The truck driver, who said he didn’t know what had happened, kept going, but was flagged down, according to Kalogiros.
Kalogiros wasn’t at the restaurant at the time of the incident, but was able to see it later through surveillance video.
“It looked from the video that [the plow truck] was reckless,” he said.
In a statement, the Department of Sanitation said it conducted an investigation into the accident and “is taking disciplinary action against the operators of the equipment.”
Police are looking for three men who they say stole a dozen watches from a Forest Hills jewelry store.
The three suspects entered Kinara Jewelers on Austin Street on Saturday, March 31 at approximately 12:45 p.m. One of the men held the door while simulating a weapon, while another smashed the display glass with a hammer taking 12 watches, police said. The third man stood by the door.
The suspects fled after the smash and grab in a blue Chrysler 300, according to authorities.
Police described the suspects as black males in their 20s.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
Queens drivers are reaching deeper into their pockets — more often — to park around the borough
“I have to constantly feed the meter, when I can barely feed myself in this economy,” said Theresa Bulgosi as she shopped along Vernon Boulevard.
City motorists now get only 15 minutes for a quarter — $1 for an hour. The rates were raised as part of the city’s budget plan. The timing adjustments began in Queens this summer as new muni-meters were installed.
“The city increased the prices and lowered the time. I think that’s an outrage. I know they’re desperate for money but just cut off the welfare. A quarter was for 20 minutes, now it’s for 15 minutes. It makes a difference when you’re constantly parking,” said Grace Lorini, in front of Banana Republic on Austin Street in Forest Hills.
Many areas of Queens were already outfitted with muni-meters, but the city plans to replace all single space meters with muni-meters throughout the borough by June of next year.
The installation of muni-meters began in Forest Hills — parts of 71st Drive, 73rd Place, 80th and Selfridge Streets — and Middle Village — on Metropolitan Avenue from 69th Street to 74th Avenue – on Saturday, October 1.
Store owner Judy Zhu from Valuclean Cleaners on Bell Boulevard pays about four dollars a day in the muni-meters, which only lasts four hours, but that doesn’t stop her from getting tickets.
“In the past two weeks, I got three tickets. I went inside the cleaners to get change for the car and when I returned I already got a ticket for $35,” said Zhu.
Janet Akilov agreed and said, “It’s too expensive now and it makes me rush while shopping or eating,” while waiting for her muni-meter receipt to print in front of Kabul Kabob Restaurant on Main Street, Flushing.
Though drivers are incensed by increased rates, some see the advantages muni-meters provide – such as providing more parking spaces and accepting credit/debit cards.
“It’s nice not to have to carry around a pocketful of quarters around anymore just for meters,” said Thom Lee, a LaGuardia Community College student.
For those still partial to the single space meters, a request for proposal was issued for a vendor to sell the meters as memorabilia.