Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Police seek Queens, Brooklyn bank robber


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect wanted for an attempted bank robbery in Ridgewood yesterday and a Brooklyn bank robbery in March.

In both incidents, the suspect passes a note and demands money.

The Brooklyn robbery occurred on March 22 at 2:25 p.m. inside of a Popular Community Bank at 2095 Ralph Avenue.

Monday’s attempted robbery took place at a bank located at 59-01 Myrtle Avenue around 10:50 a.m.

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 Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Livery cab driver stabbed to death in Brooklyn


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

A man was brutally killed while driving his livery car in Brooklyn Thursday.

The driver, identified as 54-year-old Uro Orji Ama, who has close family ties to Rosedale, was dropping off two passengers near Lott Avenue and Thomas Boyland Street in Brownsville around 5:30 p.m. when one of them allegedly stabbed him with what a witness described as an umbrella, said police.

After the attack, the car reportedly crashed a short distance away and the suspects, a man and a woman, escaped from the scene.

Ama was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead, said police.

The NYPD is offering a $12,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Updated Monday, June 17

 

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10 Queens, Brooklyn men busted in connection to auto theft ring


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Ten men were arrested in connection with an auto theft ring with the intention to resell the stolen cars, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The defendants, all from Brooklyn or Queens, have been charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and conspiracy.

According to the indictment, the men stole close to a dozen vehicles between the dates of Dec. 5, 2011 and Feb. 27, 2012. The majority of the vehicles were stolen from various car dealerships as they were being unloaded off a transportation truck. One car is believed to have been stolen from a private individual.

Brown said the bust of this theft ring is a part of his ongoing efforts to reduce the number of auto robberies in the borough.

“Since I took office in 1991 – when an astounding 50,000 cars a year were reported stolen in Queens – the incidence of auto theft has dropped to fewer than 3,000 cars a year being reported stolen in Queens,” he said. “Operations like the one being announced today in conjunction with the New York State Police are effective measures to ward off auto theft.”

-BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

 

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Sanitation worker rescues dog left in Astoria trash bag


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of BARC Shelter

It was just another day on the job for sanitation worker Victoria Roman — until something caught her eye.

On Friday morning, April 5 as the Brooklyn native was working in Astoria, she approached a garbage bag that began to move. When she and her partner looked inside, they found a wagging tail and a very sickly looking dog.

“First I thought it was just paper in the bag because she was white. When she moved I thought she was a rabbit,” said Roman. “I did what came naturally and what I think anyone else would do to an animal in that condition.”

After calling in her find to her superiors, Roman asked her supervisor to watch over the helpless animal until she finished her shift and could then find a way to care for the dog. Having dealt with the loss of her own dog, which she had for over 16 years, Roman decided not to take rescue home.

Due to financial problems, Roman could not immediately take the pup to her personal veterinarian and instead asked for help from a friend who referred her to BARC Shelter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“I didn’t want to take her to a shelter where she would be put to sleep,” said Roman. “BARC is a non-kill shelter and they will find her a loving home.”

Although the Maltese, now lovingly nicknamed “Victoria” at the shelter after her rescuer, was found matted with feces and with an eye infection, she is now bathed, full of life and slowly getting better.

“She’s in good health,” said Alex Kaplun, dog kennel supervisor at BARC Shelter. “She’s been very curious, friendly and sweet. She’s learning how to be a dog.”

“Victoria,” who is believed to be eight years old, is currently living with the shelter’s owners, Tony Spato and Vinny Spinola and is under the care of Veterinarian Elaine Felton who is looking after her and treating her for anemia. Once

“Victoria” gains weight and the shelter believes she is healthy and in a comfortable state, then she will be put up for adoption.

Due to close to 100 applications coming in to adopt “Victoria,” the shelter is no longer taking any more but still welcomes donations to fund her recovery through the shelter’s website at barcshelther.org. Along with “Victoria,” Kaplun also hopes people can take the time to adopt other less unfortunate animals at the shelter who are looking for a place to call home.

 

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Officer from Queens precinct kills child, boyfriend in apparent murder-suicide


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

An off-duty police officer who was recently assigned to a Queens precinct shot her boyfriend and their one-year-old son before killing herself at their home in Brooklyn, according to published reports.

The officer, identified as Rosette M. Samuel, 43, had reportedly become part of the police force in September 2000 and was currently working at the 108th Precinct, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside and Hunters Point.

According to reports, the body of Samuel’s boyfriend was found lying in the front hallway of the home, while Samuel and her child were found face up on a bed in a bedroom inside the family’s first- floor apartment home located on East 56th  Street in East Flatbush.

Samuel’s 19-year-old son from a previous relationship escaped through a bedroom window from the house  after hearing gunshots and called 911 at around 8:30 a.m., reported the New York Times.

According to the Daily News, cops did not find a suicide note at the scene.

 

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Overnight service disruptions on N, Q, R trains this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Starting Monday night, there will be service disruptions on the N, Q and R trains between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m for four consecutive weeknights, as part of the MTA’s Fastrack maintenance program:

  • N trains run in Queens and Brooklyn only.
  • Q trains run in Brooklyn and are rerouted via the D line in Manhattan.
  • R service ends early in Manhattan and Queens each night. (R shuttle service between 95th Street and 36th Street, Brooklyn runs all night.)

Travel alternatives

  • In Queens, take the M (or E local) instead of the R.
  • Take the 7 for service between Queens and Manhattan.
  • In Manhattan, use nearby stations on the 8th Avenue (A, E), 7th Avenue (1, 2) 6th Avenue (D, F, Q) and Lexington Avenue (4, 6) Lines.
  • Take the 2, 4, D, F or Q between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • N trains make local R stops between Jay Street-MetroTech and 36th Street.

Police arrest man connected to citywide grand larceny spree


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

suspects

Authorities have arrested a man tied to a robbery spree where the suspects trick victims by telling them they have a flat tire, then steal property from inside their vehicles.

Mario Gutierrez, 50 of College Point, has been charged with grand larceny for four out of 13 incidents that occurred in Queens.

Two additional robberies in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan are connected to those crimes.

 

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Robbers wanted in flat tire scheme in three boroughs


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

grand larcenies

Police have connected four recent grand larcenies throughout the city to 12 more that took place in Queens between August and February.

During each incident, victims are approached by one of the three suspects who distracts the victims usually by informing them that their cars have a flat tire. When the victims go to inspect the damage, the other suspects removes property from inside of the vehicles.

Two of the recent robberies occurred in Brooklyn, one was in Manhattan and the fourth was in Queens on Saturday, March 23 near 101st Avenue and 121st Street.

The suspects were caught on video during a grand larceny that took place at approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 28 in a parking lot along Northern Boulevard, and the most recent incident on March 27, at about 12:35 p.m. near Withers Street and Union Avenue in Brooklyn.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Police looking for Queens, Brooklyn commercial robbery suspects


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD is trying to find several suspects wanted for three gunpoint robberies and one attempted robbery in Queens and Brooklyn.

In each incident, the suspects gained entry into the business, displayed firearms and demanded money, according to police.

On March 1 and March 8 they stole cash from two Brooklyn businesses—Caribbean Air Mail located at 7915 Flatlands Avenue, and Faith Variety Store, located at 1586 Rockaway Parkway.

They also robbed a Caribbean Air Mail in Queens, at 221-15 Linden Boulevard on March 6.

On Friday, March 15, the suspects hit another business in the borough, Caribbean Vision, located at 218-83 Hempstead Avenue, but fled without taking anything.

There were no reported injuries in any of these incidents.

Both suspects are described as black males in their 20s.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Arrest in connection to bodies found in Howard Beach brush fire


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

A Brooklyn man was arrested in connection to the two bodies found in a brush fire in the Spring Park Preserve last week, authorities have announced.

Rogelio Rodriguez, 34, was charged on Tuesday, March 12 with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence.

According to the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Rodriguez is only one of four men involved in the brutal homicide of 22-year-old Rudy Superville and 25-year-old Gary Lopez, both of Brooklyn.

“The defendant is accused of participating in the brutal murder of two men whose bodies were dumped and intentionally set on fire in an attempt to cover up the alleged crime,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

The two men’s bodies were discovered after firefighters put out a blaze around 4:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6 near the Belt Parkway in Howard Beach. The medical examiner later determined that both victims had been shot several times and had blunt force trauma to the head. Superville had also been stabbed.

A day earlier, inside Rodriguez’s 143 Grove Street residence, he allegedly struck the two victims with a gun and kicked them after they had already been shot by one of the unapprehended suspect. Lopez was shot again by another one of the apprehended suspects, then struck by a third. It’s believed that Superville was also stabbed during that time.

The men may have been killed after a botched drug robbery, according to reports.

In an apparent attempt to cover up the crime, a day after the bodies were dumped, Rodriguez went to Newton Creek in Maspeth and threw seven firearms, including the two of the guns involved in the homicides, into the water.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

 

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Districting commission files final map for approval


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

The lines have been drawn and they’re staying.

New York City’s Districting Commission filed Monday, March 4 its final map to the City Clerk for approval. The final of three drafts had been submitted to the City Council on February 8, after which the legislature had three weeks to vote or the new districts would automatically be adopted.

And that’s just what happened.

The Commission will now file the map with the Department of Justice, who will have 60 days to ensure the plan is kosher with Section 5 the Voting Rights Act. Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan are all covered under this part of the law to ensure that minority voting rights are ensured and protected.

There are 35 minority districts in the city under the new plan, according to the Districting Commission, in which racial and language minorities are the dominate block in the district. This is a five district increase from the 30 of such created in 2003.

 

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G train to undergo full review by MTA


| hchin@homereporternews.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of State Senator Michael Gianaris

G train riders are one step closer to getting changes and improvements enacted on their subway line.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has agreed to “undertake a Full Line Review of the G train” and the review will be completed by the end of June 2013,” the transit agency announced on Friday, February 22. Residents and politicians signed a petition and rallied in January to pressure the MTA to begin addressing ongoing problems on the train line.

“I am pleased our efforts to push the MTA to improve G train service prompted the agency into action, resulting in today’s announcement of a full-line review to be completed by this June,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris, who has pushed for the MTA’s review along with State Senator Daniel Squadron and several area officials. “The G train is a lifeline for New Yorkers traveling between Queens and Brooklyn, and  I am hopeful the MTA will expeditiously implement much needed improvements so this line can better serve our commuters.”

 

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Bloomberg gives final State of the City address at Barclays Center


| hklein@homereporternews.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Ted Levin

It may have been Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last opportunity to deliver the State of the City address, but one thing was clear, it was no swan song.

Addressing a crowd at downtown Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — arguably the largest development to come to fruition while he occupied City Hall  – the mayor spent a full hour going over the achievements of his nearly 12 years at the helm of the city of New York, and promised to keep pushing forward during the last 320 days of his administration.

There was definitely a feel of theatricality to the entire event, with performances by the Brooklynettes and their junior counterparts.

Thus setting the stage, the mayor primed the pump for both his elaborate recap and his announcements, which ranged from the clearly popular (support for gun control, immigration reform and the DREAM Act – all of which engendered loud applause) to the considerably less so (a long defense of stop and frisk as well as of the city’s position in the protracted school bus strike).

Probably the most discussed announcement beforehand was a proposed ban on Styrofoam take-out containers, something that the mayor said he would work on with the City Council. Explaining that the material as “virtually impossible to recycle and never bio-degrades,” Bloomberg contended, “it’s not just terrible for the environment. It’s terrible for taxpayers,” increasing the cost of recycling by some $20 per ton, “because it has to be removed.”

Another major announcement was the administration’s decision to promote electric cars, adding 50 to the city’s fleet of vehicles and pushing for a third of New York’s taxis to be electric by 2020. In addition, Bloomberg said the city would “pilot curbside vehicle chargers that will allow drivers to fill their battery in as little as 30 minutes.” The goal, he said, is to “create up to 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years.”

The mayor also announced “an executive order waiving all city fees for Sandy-related repair work,” and the creation of a panel to “design eight new high schools based on the most promising college readiness strategies” for students mostly from neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and low rates of college readiness.

“Over the past 11 years,” Bloomberg contended, “we have beaten the odds, and the obstructionists, over and over again, not just here in Brooklyn, but in neighborhoods all across the city.” The result, he said, includes projects such as Barclays Center, as well as a “record low” number of murders and shootings, as well as record low “incarceration rates,” “job growth…exceed[ing] the national average in all five boroughs,” and the addition of 750 acres to the city’s parkland.

But, he added, his administration will not rest on its laurels.

“Our goal,” Bloomberg said, “is not to spend the year cutting ribbons. It’s much bigger than that. Our goal is to advance projects – and start new ones – that will keep our city on the right course for decades to come.”

 

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New photo exhibit shows before and after effects of Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NPS

Homes and businesses were not the only places that Sandy destroyed.

Gateway National Recreation Area, which encompasses parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Monmouth County, New Jersey, is also still recovering from the storm and has yet to fully reopen.

The effects that Sandy had on the area can now be seen in a new exhibit, “Hurricane Sandy: Before and After,” at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

“These [photos] are snapshots in time. It’s the chance to see a historic event,” said Charles Markis, a park ranger and the exhibit’s curator.

As part of the storm recovery effort, the National Park Service (NPS) Incident Management Team went around the area taking photos to assess the storm damage. The team, one of the largest assembled in NPS history, even had access to aircraft for aerial pictures.

After looking through those photographs, and receiving inquiries from the public on what had happened to Gateway after the storm, Markis saw them as more than a remediation tool.

Using those photos, as well as shots from the NPS already had of the area’s condition before Sandy, both from on the ground and satellite imagery, he put together the “Before and After” exhibit.

He describes the 30 photos, some of which are side-by-side comparisons, as sad, yet interesting and beautiful, and has received a similar response from those who have seen it.

“My point was not to celebrate the disaster but to tell the story of what happened,” said Markis.

The photos show scenes of structural destruction at Jacob Riis Park, boats thrown onto land away from Great Kills Harbor and parking lots buried in sand.

The pictures also illustrate resilience through recovery progress maps, and that’s the ultimate message that visitors should take away from the exhibit.

“While these pictures demonstrate damage, the take-away message should not be one of doom and gloom, but rather one of resilience,” said Gateway superintendent Linda Canzanelli. “There is still a lot of work to do and some things have changed forever. But the park is reopening, the natural areas will rebound and park visitors will be welcomed back.”

 

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Five Queens residents busted for selling dangerous counterfeit toys


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Five Queens residents have been charged with selling counterfeit Chinese toys that posed several safety hazards to children, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced.

“They allegedly retooled their operations many times in order to avoid detection, and despite repeated citations by the authorities, they continued to peddle counterfeit toys featuring Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and other popular children’s characters,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

In addition to violating copyright law, the five that were arrested are also accused of selling toys with a “high lead content and cheap knock offs with substandard parts that break easily and pose a choking hazard.”

These fake versions of toys that featured popular children’s characters, such as Winnie the Pooh, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Spiderman and Mickey Mouse, as well as those from movies, such as Toy Story” and “High School Musical,” were sold, both wholesale and retail, from a storefront and warehouse in Ridgewood, and other locations in Queens and Brooklyn between July 2005 and January 2013.

“When it comes to trademark infringement, don’t mess with Mickey or other American icons,” said NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

 

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