Tag Archives: brett picou

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Korean grocer H Mart to replace closing Waldbaum’s in Bayside

Korean grocery chain H Mart has secured a deal to replace a Bayside Waldbaum’s that is set to close in July, the Daily News has learned. It is the second property in Queens owned by the A&P supermarket chain that has hit the market in recent weeks, causing uncertainty and unease among neighbors. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Ailing elderly couple in Rockaway without phone service for three weeks

An 85-year-old woman with dementia and her ailing 90-year-old husband in Rockaway were without phone service for three weeks because Verizon did not repair their line. The couple’s frustrated daughter, Rita Burgess, 53, managed to restore service, but only by switching to Time Warner Cable. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Fraud take one for wife

Who says chivalry is dead? One of the masterminds behind an enormous identity- and credit-card-theft scheme took a hit for his wife yesterday when he ’fessed up in exchange for her walking free. Read more: [New York Post]

8 hurt as kids’ bus flips

Five special-needs students were lucky to walk away with just cuts and bruises yesterday morning in Queens after a taxi blew a red light and hit their school bus, causing it to flip over, authorities said.The southbound cab met the westbound bus at 150th Street and 87th Street at 6:25 a.m. The kids, ages 4 to 11, were en route to Yeshiva HS and PS 80. They were treated at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. So was their driver, also for minor injuries. Read more: [New York Post]

Nearly 3,700 City Educators Alerted They No Longer Have Jobs

Nearly 3,700 city teachers, administrators and aides in four boroughs were told Monday they no longer have a job at their schools. The educators put on notice are from the 24 schools in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens the city is closing this summer to clear out staff members. Read more: [NY1]

Queens School Employee will not Face Sex Abuse Charges 

Sex abuse charges were dropped against a Queens paraprofessional Monday. The Queens District Attorney says a grand jury decided not to indict Brett Picou, 30. He was accused of fondling six female students at P.S. 52 in Springfield Gardens. Read more: [NY1]

Teacher’s aide charged with touching girls at P.S. 52


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

An elementary school teacher’s aide has been arrested for sexually abusing six female students on multiple occasions, officials said.

Brett Picou, a 30-year-old paraprofessional at P.S. 52 in Jamaica, allegedly slapped and held the buttocks of several girls, ages nine and 10, many times as they walked up the stairs or bent over to tie their shoes, the district attorney said. According to officials, Picou also moved his hands down their backs and touched their buttocks after hugging them.

The incidents took place between last November and February 15 of this year, according to the district attorney. Court records also show one case in which Picou allegedly lifted up the skirt of one female student and rubbed his fingers on her thigh.

“I am sad to report, once again, that a professional employed in our public schools has been accused of inappropriately touching his students,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “The charges in cases of this nature are disturbing on a number of different levels. When parents deliver their kids into the custody of teaching professionals, they have a right to assume that they will not be abused. The alleged actions of this defendant can never be tolerated.”

The case came to light when school personnel overheard the students talking about the incidents. School officials then immediately contacted the police, the district attorney said.

While criminal investigations remain ongoing, ripples of concern continue to spread throughout the parent body.

“I’m in shock right now. I didn’t even know that was going on,” said Shahiarra Fraser, parent of a four-year-old daughter in the school. “This worries me. It makes me want to take my child out of this school.”

Some parents told The Courier the whole thing could have been prevented if the school conducted background checks and followed up with complaints reported earlier.

Evelyn, a parent who did not want to disclose her last name, said one female student spoke up about Picou previously, but was told by school staff that she was “blowing it out of proportion.”

“I didn’t think she was lying. When a kid says something, you should listen,” Evelyn said. “That’s the school’s fault for not checking.”

Still, one parent of an eight-year-old girl — and close friend of the alleged offender — said she has and will continue to trust Picou.

“This is very shocking and very disturbing to hear, and I don’t think the accusations are true,” said Candice White, who said she has known Picou for over 10 years. “He’s not the type to do that — not to my knowledge. I trust him. After knowing him and growing up with him, I would never suspect him of doing that.”

White said Picou had just gotten married last year and is also a newly-minted father.

Still, not all parents were as trusting, and echoes of anger reverberated around P.S. 52’s playground after school hours.

“All these kids in here… he could have had any opportunity to be alone with them at any point in the school. It’s crazy,” said one parent named Kevin, who did not want to give his last name. “If that was my daughter, he wouldn’t have to worry about the police getting him. That’s disgusting.”

Picou is charged with seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse, seven counts of forcible touching, one count of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

P.S. 52 declined to comment, and Department of Education officials did not respond as of press time. However, The Courier has learned that school officials sent a letter to parents on February 27, informing them of the allegations. According to the letter, Picou has been suspended and removed from the school.

Parents who suspect their child may have been harmed or those who believe their child may know more information pertaining to the crimes are asked to call Principal Pough at 718-528-2238 or to immediately notify the police.

 

Queens Teaching Aide Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Six Female Students


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Teaching Aide Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Six Female Students

A full-time paraprofessional working in an art class at P.S. 52 in Springfield Gardens, Queens has been arrested and charged with sexual conduct with six female students. Brett Picou, 30, who worked as a teacher’s aide and a substitute at P.S. 52 since 2008, was awaiting arraignment Thursday on seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse, seven counts of forcible touching, one count of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Read More: NY1

 

11 people, including 3 kids, escape from house fires in Queens and Manhattan

Eleven people, including three children, escaped two separate blazes in Queens and downtown Manhattan early Thursday — and one may have been the result of a firebomb. The first fire ignited in a Rockaway Blvd. apartment in South Jamaica just before 3 a.m., and the flames trapped the residents inside their homes. Witnesses later told fire investigators that a Molotov cocktail was tossed near the apartment, setting the home ablaze, sources said. Six people on the second floor suffered minor injuries along with three firefighters who were taken to Jamaica Hospital Center for evaluation, officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

Disgraced former Governor returning to national politics with fund-raiser

The Love Gov is climbing back into bed — with lawmakers. For the first time since a tawdry hooker scandal trashed his political career, Eliot Spitzer is holding a fund-raiser for a politician looking to make a national splash. The former governor is hosting the event at his Fifth Avenue home for Washington state gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee on March 5. Inslee, currently a Democrat in the House of Representatives, shares many of Spitzer’s left-leaning political stances. Insiders believe Spitzer’s soiree shows he’s trying to become a political mover and shaker once again — this time as a national kingmaker. Read More: New York Post

 

Not-so-Finest moment as cop caught napping on F train

A hero cop has been disciplined for catching Z’s on the F rain while armed and in uniform. Officer Matthew Sobota, 43, was caught snoozing on the subway by a straphanger, who snapped photos with his cell phone camera and emailed them to NYPD brass. “I thought maybe a teenager could take (Sobota’s) gun and sell it or use it. I felt like it was a potentially unsafe thing,” said Martin Bisi, 51, of Brooklyn, who took the photos of the sleepy cop on Feb. 16. Read More: Daily News

 

Knicks lose to Heat; Lin plays poorly

Jeremy Lin finally met his match last night, and it was ugly. In by far his worst performance during this 12-game surreal surge, Lin fell apart under the South Beach spotlight and the Knicks caved with him in a disappointing 102-88 loss to the mighty Heat last night at rabid AmericanAirlines Arena. “He can’t be Peter Pan every night,’’ Mike D’Antoni said. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and point guard Mario Chalmers made sure Linsanity calmed down as the Heat (27-7) won their eighth straight game by 12 or more points — one short of an NBA record. Read More: New York Post
19K taxi drivers accused of ripping off passengers won’t face charges

It was one of the biggest scandals in the taxi industry’s history, but nearly 90 percent of the 21,819 cabbies accused of ripping off passengers with inflated fares will get off scot-free, The Post has learned. In a stunning move, the Taxi & Limousine Commission is giving a free ride to 19,515 yellow-cab drivers caught setting their meters to the higher, out-of-town rate while traveling around the city. Overall, officials estimated that unwary passengers were fleeced for $1.1 million between 2008 and 2010. Of that, $238,854 in overcharges was attributed to the cabbies who will escape penalties. Read More: New York Post

Jimmy Fallon sings ode to Knicks guard Jeremy Lin on Late Night

Jeremy Lin’s game has spoken so loudly that comic Jimmy Fallon performed a Pearl Jam parody to honor the Knicks point guard. With a scraggly wig on his head, Fallon sang a tribute to the Harvard grad to the tune of the band’s 1992 hit “Jeremy.” “At home, shooting free throws and three point shots, waiting for a job/name not yet a pun/Carmelo injury,” he croons. “Came out of nowhere like an Asian Tebow.” Read More: Daily News

 

5 injured in Long Island house fire

Authorities on Long Island are investigating an early morning house fire in which five people were injured. Nassau County arson bomb squad detectives say the fire broke out at the Levittown house on Prentice Lane at 12:30 a.m. today. The four occupants — a 46-year-old woman and three 11-year-old children — managed to get out of the house quickly. They suffered smoke inhalation and were transported to a hospital for treatment. Read More: New York Post