Tag Archives: Crime

‘Beats’ headphone thefts on the rise throughout NYC


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The city’s thugs have a new favorite to go with their stolen iPhones—stolen Dr. Dre headphones. The legendary rapper’s pricey, high-tech headphones, called “Beats by Dr. Dre,” are the new rage among bandits because they’re seen as “status symbols,” a police source said. Although they have yet to dethrone the iPhone as thieves’ top target, the headphones — which retail for $300 to $500 — are being snatched from kids at an alarming rate since the latest model hit the market around Christmas. Read More: New York Post

Eye in the sky


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

One Astoria legislator is keeping an eye on crime – literally.

Following the violent mugging of a neighborhood deli owner in a local parking lot – which went undetected due to a broken Department of Transportation (DOT) surveillance camera – Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. has installed his own recording device overlooking the area, located at 33rd Street between 23rd Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria.

Vallone, who is the chair of the public safety committee, was unable to convince the DOT to repair its recorder, and instead, had the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit install a camera on the side of his district office.

“When DOT admitted ownership, their first response was, ‘It doesn’t work and we are going to remove it immediately,’ instead of ‘We will fix it immediately.’ It was then removed without telling us. I decided I wasn’t going to deal with the bureaucracy, and I’d put a camera here on the side of my office. We are trying to prevent people from pulling stupid stunts, but if they insist, we will capture it on camera, they will get their 15 minutes of fame and hopefully 15 days in jail.”

To alert patrons and criminals alike that they are being taped, Vallone also installed a humorous sign next to the device which reads, “Smile You’re on Council Camera” – a reference to the television show “Candid Camera.”

The councilmember’s actions were prompted by the vicious attack on Rosario DiMarco, who owns Rosario’s Deli, located on 22-55 31st Street in Astoria.

DiMarco was beaten and mugged by two men in the municipal lot on December 21 of last year. The 54-year-old father of three was sprayed in the eyes with mace and struck multiple times with a stick. He also severely strained a ligament in his right hand when he was knocked to the ground.

“I’ve been doing physical therapy for three months,” he said. “[My hand] is at about 75 to 80 percent now.”

DiMarco was “pretty furious” upon learning that the DOT’s camera was unable to capture the criminals.

“Why do they have a camera if it doesn’t work,” he said. “The city doesn’t care about the outer boroughs like Queens – only Manhattan. If this was a camera in Manhattan it would have been working. They have money to change the signs for the names of bridges, why don’t they protect the people?”

The deli owner, who is concerned about the camera’s fate after Vallone’s council term ends, is pleased someone is now paying attention.

Vallone – who also had an NYPD recording device installed on Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Avenue – is hoping the camera will dissuade deviants from preying on people in the poorly-lit lot, which he says has an “occasional homeless population.”

 

Starting the New Year with good news for New York City


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

By Mayor Michael Bloomberg

New York is entering the new year riding a crest of good news. On average, we’re living longer and healthier lives than ever. We’re also the safest big city in the nation, and safer from crime, fire and traffic fatalities than at any time in modern memory. And we have good reasons to hope that these trends will continue in 2012.

Let’s start with life expectancy. Babies born in New York City in 2009 can now expect to live an average of 80.6 years. According to the city’s Department of Health, that’s almost three years longer than newborn life expectancy was in the year 2000; it’s also nearly two-and-a-half years longer than the comparable national average. Life expectancy for adults is up as well; for 40 year olds, it now averages 82 years. That’s nearly two years longer than life expectancy for 40 year olds nationwide. Our lifespan gains are also greater than counties with other major cities across the nation.

There are two big conclusions to draw from this hopeful news. The first is that many of the aggressive steps we’ve taken to improve public health – such as encouraging New Yorkers to quit smoking and get tested and treated for HIV – are big factors in adding years to our lives. And the second thing to remember is that these life expectancy figures are averages: If you carry out those New Year’s resolutions to watch your weight, exercise and stop smoking, the chances are that you can live even longer.

There’s lots of good news on the public safety front, too; in fact, the NYPD and FDNY have just given New Yorkers the safest decade on record. The number of murders in our city last year was the third-lowest ever. It was also the 10th consecutive year that we’ve recorded fewer than 600 murders. While even one murder is one too many, keep in mind that before 2002, we hadn’t seen as few as 600 murders a year since the early 1960s. And during the past 10 years, we’ve decreased crime overall more than 34 percent.

We’ve also just closed out 10 years with an average of 88 fire deaths per year; that’s by far the safest decade since the FDNY started keeping records. Over those 10 years, we’ve made the average response time to fires 20 seconds faster than it was during the previous decade. And during 2011, ambulances cut their average response time to life-threatening emergencies to six minutes, 31 seconds – a new record low.

We’ve also made our streets safer than ever. Thanks to better engineering, education and enforcement, we ended 2011 on track to having the fewest traffic fatalities on record. Over the past 10 years, we’ve cut traffic deaths in the five boroughs by 40 percent. That means that today, our rate of traffic fatalities is roughly two-thirds lower than the national rate.

Madonna Badger spared details of fire that killed her 3 daughters & parents


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Madonna Badger spared details of fire that killed her 3 daughters & parents

The marketing executive whose three daughters and parents died in a Christmas morning fire was spared the horrific details of the tragedy, her brother said Tuesday. Madonna Badger was “as devastated as you could imagine,” Wade Johnson said. “Like any mother and child would be. She’s largely unaware of many of the details … She’s resting.” Badger, who escaped the inferno at her Connecticut mansion, wasn’t told that her father died trying to save one of his granddaughters. Their bodies were found just inches apart on either side of an open window amid the rubble. Read More: Daily News

 

Off-duty firefighter saves elderly couple from blaze on Staten Island

An elderly Staten Island couple and their beloved pet cat were rescued from the balcony of their burning apartment by an off-duty firefighter driving home on Christmas night. Steven Carl, a seven-year FDNY veteran, was heading back to his South Beach residence on Sunday after celebrating the holiday at his parents’ home when he spotted flames at 11:45 p.m. above the roofline not far from his block. With his wife and their two kids in the car, Carl followed the trail of black smoke to Atlantic Avenue and discovered a two-family home engulfed in flames. Read More: New York Post

Tidal crime wave hits Rockaways

The Rockaways are getting rocked by crime! Felonies in the 100th Precinct in Queens, which blankets Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel and other western areas of the peninsula, have gone through the roof, according to the latest police statistics. Burglaries have jumped 144 percent, from 54 last year to 132 this year. Felony assaults have soared 66 percent, from 78 to 130. Robberies have gone up 31 percent, from 63 to 83. Grand larcenies are up 26 percent over last year. The crime wave is so pervasive that a local deli is even offering pamphlets that warn customers, “Do You Feel Safe and Secure? We Hope You Do … But Maybe You Shouldn’t!” Read More: New York Post

 

Knicks claim former Harvard guard Lin

The Knicks have claimed former Harvard PG Jeremy Lin off waivers, according to a league source. Lin spent his rookie year in Oakland, but was waived by the Warriors, and new coach Mark Jackson, on Dec. 9. The Rockets picked Lin up, but waived him Sunday to clear roster space in order to sign Samuel Dalembert. Lin, 23, was undrafted out of Harvard but appeared in 29 games for the Warriors as a rookie last season, averaging 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest. Read More: New York Post

 

Registration open for Golden Gloves

The crown jewel for boxing aficionados, the Daily News Golden Gloves, is increasing its reach and accepting jabs from a wider population. For the first time in Golden Gloves history, the tournament will be open to all entries from the state of New York when registration opens for 2012. “After 85 years of world-class competition, it’s about time that we expand the reach of the Daily News Golden Gloves to include all of New York,” said Gloves director Brian Adams. “As the oldest and largest boxing tournaments in the world, we want to set a positive example for the youth of New York state, not just those representing the metropolitan area. It’s a chance to follow in the footsteps of the many boxing greats that got their start in the Daily News Golden Gloves.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Conn. mayor: Fire that killed 5 not foul play

A Christmas Day fire that killed three children and their grandparents was a tragic accident related to a fireplace in the home, not the result of foul play, the mayor said Tuesday. Investigators were expected to reveal the cause of the fire later Tuesday, but Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia told The Associated Press described the cause as “fireplace-related.” He could not provide more details. “The preliminary information is it was just a tragic accident,” he said, adding that foul play had been ruled out. Neighbors said they were awakened by screams shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and rushed outside to help but could do nothing as flames devoured the large Victorian home. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx tot dead, dad under arrest after fight with girl’s mother

Police say a 3-month-old Bronx girl is dead and her father is under arrest following an altercation with the child’s mother and grandmother. Police said Tuesday that 20-year-old Kevin Palmer was arrested on assault charges after a physical confrontation with the 19-year-old mother of his child and her 43-year-old mother. Neither woman received major injuries. Read More: New York Post

 

Public Advocate Releases City’s Worst Landlords Watch List

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on Tuesday released his latest list of what he says are the worst landlords and buildings in the city. Some 358 buildings are on the list, owned by 317 landlords. “1071 Home Corp” ranks at the top of the list, with 753 hazardous violations and five buildings on de Blasio’s “watch list”. Three of the top five landlords have buildings in the Bronx, and two have buildings in Brooklyn. Read More: NY1

 

Straphangers Stranded In December Blizzard File Suit

A group of passengers is suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority one year after they were stranded on an A train in Queens during the post-Christmas blizzard. About 25 people trapped for eight hours on the A train are named as plaintiffs in the suit. They were left without heat, water or food when the train got stuck in several feet of snow between Aqueduct and Rockaway Boulevard. New York City Transit President Thomas Prendergast told the City Council earlier this month MTA officials “forgot” about the train. Read More: NY1

 

New dirt on pervy UWS super

Shocking, newly released court documents describe the ordeals of alleged victims of a former Upper West Side building super accused of pressuring cash-strapped female tenants to pay their rent with sexual favors. “He told me to take my clothes off really slowly so that he could watch,” one of the women said in a deposition about William “Billy” Barnason. “He had sex with me for about probably a minute . . . He slapped me on the ass and said, ‘Now we’re even.’ ’’ The woman and her roommate were allowed to move into another apartment the next day, owned by the same elderly landlord, Stanley Katz. Read More: New York Post

 

Al Qaeda in Iraq says it was behind Baghdad blasts

An al Qaeda front group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks that ripped through markets, cafes and government buildings in Baghdad on a single day last week, killing 69 people and raising new worries about the country’s path. The coordinated attacks struck a dozen mostly Shiite neighborhoods on Thursday in the first major bloodshed since U.S. troops completed a full withdrawal this month after nearly nine years of war. They also coincided with a government crisis that has again strained ties between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites to the breaking point, tearing at the same fault line that nearly pushed Iraq into all-out civil war several years ago. Read More: New York Post

Liu in FBI cross hairs


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Liu in FBI cross hairs

A federal probe into the campaign fund-raising operations for city Comptroller John Liu is now focused on the candidate himself, The Post has learned. “If campaign-finance rules are being circumvented or violated, there’s certainly a question whether the candidate himself knew about it or was a party to it,” one law-enforcement source said. “Did [Liu] know, and what was his role?” The FBI last month charged Liu moneyman Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan with steering $16,000 to Liu’s campaign through “straw donors” to hide massive contributions made on behalf of an out-of-state businessman who actually was an undercover federal agent. Read More: New York Post

New York bars ready for Jets-Giants game

It’s on! Football fans will pack bars around the city to watch the Jets-Giants battle at the Meadowlands tomorrow — and the watering holes are breaking out all the bells and whistles for the pre-Christmas crowds. Special drinks, free booze and lavish spreads will be at the ready for the throngs expected to take a break from their holiday shopping to root for their teams. Read More: New York Post

Santa brings early holiday joy to kids at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children 

Santa made an early visit to the kids at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside last week with the help of New York’s Bravest. Firefighters from Engine 320/Ladder 167 used their rig to help Santa descend from the roof and visit with dozens of children who are battling serious illnesses. Continuing a tradition started over 15 years ago, the firefighters also brought a van-load of gifts that ranged from toys and dolls to cameras, radios and electronic games. Read More: Daily News

2011 Crime Statistics Show Slight Decrease In Murders

The New York City Police Department’s data show major crimes like murder, rape, and robbery are up by .2 percent through December 18 this year compared to the same period last year. There have been 519 murders this year through December 18, a drop of 5.6 percent compared to almost the same time period last year. The Bronx was the only borough to see a slight increase in murders. Read More: NY1

Police Seek Suspect Who Allegedly Robbed Queens Livery Driver

Police need help finding the person who they say robbed a livery cab driver Saturday morning near 93rd Avenue and 112th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens. They say the man seen in the above photographs placed the 59-year-old cab driver in a headlock, causing the victim to crash into a fence. Investigators say he then stole money from the victim’s bag and ran off. He is described as approximately 25-years-old, 5-feet-7-inches tall, and 170 pounds. Read More: NY1

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/17/2011: Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Activist Patricia Dolan killed crossing Hillside Avenue

Patricia Dolan, longtime Community Board 8 member, president of the Queens Civic Congress, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association and the founder of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, was struck and killed as she crossed Hillside Avenue on Tuesday, November 15. Police say Dolan, 72, was crossing the thoroughfare near 198th Street — on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting — when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by an unidentified 57-year-old woman.  EMS responded to the scene and took Dolan to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Read More: Queens Courier

David Wright expects to stick around with NY Mets for 2012 MLB season

David Wright joined Ike Davis and Lucas Duda for a press conference to announce some of the Mets’ plans for their landmark season, which includes the return of Banner Day and, in April, a Tom Seaver bobblehead day. Davis and Duda both pronounced themselves fit from the injuries that affected them last season — Davis’ ankle is “full-go right now” and Duda is over his concussion. Read More: Daily News

Fairway supermarket opens in Douglaston

Foul weather did not dampen the excitement on the lines of eager customers awaiting the grand opening of the long-anticipated Fairway Market. “It’s been so long since we had a nice, big [food] store like this,” said Doris Mayne of Douglaston.  “It’s about time.” Customers lined up over an hour before the doors first opened, anxiously awaiting the store that has been over two years in the making. Read More: Queens Courier

Politicians Push For Expansion Of Good Samaritan Law At Queens Anti-Crime Rally

Elected officials in Queens are calling on residents to come together to stop crime. In the wake of an attack on a young girl and several robberies, local politicians attended an anti-crime rally Wednesday in Astoria. They spoke about legislation, including expanding a Good Samaritan law to businesses. Read More: NY1

Romanian duo sent to prison for thefts using doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards

Two Romanians in the U.S. on journalism visas were tossed in prison for up to three years Wednesday for starring in a true-crime story of theft by way of doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards. Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa, both 33, were convicted of re-encoding the gift cards with stolen bank account information and then using them to withdraw almost $18,000 from a JPMorgan Chase bank in Queens. Read More: Daily News

Noise abatement equipment muffles ear-splitting MTA fan in Hunters Point 

Silence is golden for noise-addled residents of Hunters Point. Noise abatement equipment recently placed on a large fan that exhausts fumes from a nearby subway tunnel has muffled its ear-splitting racket, according to state Sen. Michael Gianaris. Read More: Queens Courier

Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations

A top fund-raiser for Comptroller John Liu was busted by the feds yesterday for allegedly providing the city’s chief fiscal officer with thousands of dollars in sham donations in order to evade campaign-finance laws. The charges against Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan yesterday delivered a devastating blow to Liu’s ambitions of running for mayor in 2013, and have raised questions about his role as the city’s top fiscal officer. Read More: New York Post

Drugs hidden in innocent flier’s luggage

A former Yankee Stadium security guard lost his job, went through a humiliating full-body strip search and faced the threat of spending the rest of his life in jail — all because someone planted two bricks of cocaine in his luggage. Roger Levans, 56, of South Ozone Park, Queens, said the cascade of horrors began Dec. 29, 2010, after he got off his Delta Air Lines flight from Guyana, where he’d been visiting family for Christmas — and didn’t end until March, when the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn finally dropped its bombshell drug charges. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Police Blotter


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

108th Precinct

Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside

Seek man for questioning in connection with bathtub death

Police are looking for a man they say they want to question in connection with the death of a 62-year-old man, whose body was discovered in a bathtub.

The incident happened on Wednesday, October 19 inside an apartment on 39th Drive. Upon arrival on the scene, police observed Wayne Graves in the bathtub with two puncture wounds to his head. EMS also responded and pronounced him dead at the scene.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing.

Police say the person they are looking for is a male black, 30 to 40 years old, 5’9″ to 6’0″ with a medium build.

111th Precinct

Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Hollis Hills, and Fresh Meadows

Officers of the 111th Precinct executed two arrests for robberies in unrelated incidents.

On October 21, a man was waiting for the bus at Bell Boulevard and 48th Avenue when he was approached by a male black who demanded his phone.

The perp grabbed the phone and began punching the victim in the face. He fled the scene with the cell, leaving the victim with abrasions and a bloody nose.

The suspect, 16, was arrested a half-hour after the incident at 211th Street and 46th Avenue. He was charged with robbery.

The second arrest happened a day later when a suspect approached a victim and said “Give me the $15 you owe me.”

He then allegedly punched the victim in the head. The victim chased the 15-year-old suspect, who was arrested and charged with robbery, according to a police source.

114th Precinct

Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside, and Jackson Heights

Seek suspect who robbed food delivery man

The New York Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the suspect who is wanted in connection with the robbery of a food delivery man.

On Friday, August 26, in front of a location on Main Avenue, the suspect approached the victim, a 21-year-old man who had just made a food delivery, and threatened him. The suspect then went through the victim’s pockets and took $120 before fleeing on a bicycle.

The suspect is described as male black, approximately 16 to 19 years old, medium build, wearing a black T-shirt and camouflage shorts.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Fatal accident

On Monday, October 24, police responded to a 9-1-1 call of a pedestrian struck at Grand Central Parkway and 31st Street.

When officers arrived at the location, they determined that the man was attempting to cross the Grand Central Parkway when he was struck by a vehicle. EMS responded and took the victim to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The female driver of the vehicle had no injuries but was taken to Astoria General Hospital for observation. The vehicle remained on the scene. Police say there appears to be no criminality at this time.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/25/2011: 8 Officers Charged With Gun Trafficking in U.S. Corruption Case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Egypt to release Queens native

The Prime Minister of Israel announced that Ilan Grapel, the Queens native and law student arrested during the Egyptian uprisings in June, will be released in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners, according to Congressmember Gary Ackerman’s office. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Barbara Sheehan released from prison

According to published reports, the 50-year-old mother of two was released from Rikers Island earlier today, roughly two weeks after she was taken into custody. Barbara was in prison awaiting sentencing for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree for the shooting death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

15-year-old held in rape attempts in Queens

A 15-year-old Queens youth has been arrested on charges that he tried to rape two women this month, part of what the authorities say is a pattern of five attacks in the borough’s southeastern section that began in late September. Read More: New York Times

 

 

Queens suspect forcibly grabs woman’s breast in subway station

A suspect is being sought in connection with yet another sex crime in Queens. Police said that last Thursday a suspect approached 22-year-old woman at the Seneca Avenue M Line subway station and grabbed her breast and private area.  The suspect then fled the station for the street. Read More: CBS News

 

 

8 Officers Charged With Gun Trafficking in U.S. Corruption Case

Eight current and former New York Police Department officers were arrested early Tuesday on federal charges including gun trafficking and conspiracy to smuggle cigarettes, according to people briefed on the case. Read More: New York Times

 

 

Drug bust at LeFrak City


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

A seven-month undercover investigation at LeFrak City netted the arrest of 46 people on drug and other charges.

The defendants – who range in age from 17 to 63 – are charged with selling crack and powdered cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and other controlled substances, including prescription medications, to undercover police officers on hundreds of occasions over a seven-month period in and around LeFrak City.

In one instance, it is alleged that 14 undercover drug purchases were made from two men who were operating out of a licensed day care center at the complex. In another instance, it is alleged that in executing a search warrant at another complex apartment, the tenants – one of whom is an inspector at the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission – tried to evade arrest by releasing a pit bull whose vocal cords had allegedly been cut. The dog was captured, but not before attacking one of the officers who required medical treatment.

“This initiative is yet another step in our continuing campaign to stop drug-dealing and drug-based violence in Queens,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “These arrests underscore our commitment to improve the quality of life for the residents of LeFrak City.”

The investigation began in March 2011 when detectives assigned to the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division received information regarding drug dealing around LeFrak City. In response, the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division and District Attorney Brown’s Narcotics Investigation Bureau dispatched numerous undercover officers to purchase crack and powdered cocaine, heroin and marijuana. During the course of the investigation, undercover officers additionally purchased methadone, Ecstasy, oxycodone, codeine and Xanax, among other drugs.

Fourteen drug sales were allegedly made out of 98-38 57th Avenue, apartment 2K, which is the location of the state-licensed Burke-Arthur Day Care Center whose listed owner is Diane Burke. Two of the defendants – Hector Rodriguez and Donnell Burnhill who are, respectively, Burke’s son and the father of Burke’s daughter’s baby – are accused of selling undercover officers marijuana, crack cocaine and Ecstasy pills from the daycare center, which has the capacity to care for 12 children.

In addition to the arrests, officers executed thirteen court-authorized search warrants and allegedly recovered nearly seven pounds of marijuana, more than two pounds of cocaine, various amounts of crack cocaine, over 3,600 pills, $3,400 in cash, and a 25-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

In executing a search warrant at 96-08 57th Avenue, apartment 4C, it is alleged that police observed Eugene Griffin, a New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission lieutenant inspector, exiting the location smoking a marijuana cigarette. When told not to move by police, it is alleged that Griffin re-entered the two-bedroom apartment. As police entered the apartment, a pit bull, whose vocal cords apparently had been altered to prevent the animal from barking, was released in an effort by those inside to evade arrest.

Arrested at the location was Eugene Griffin, 62, his wife, Joanne Griffin, 62, their son, Omar R. Griffin, 30, and Ricketta Smith, 23, on multiple charges – including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree assault. Allegedly recovered at the apartment were 263 zip lock bags of marijuana, a black bag containing a pound of marijuana, a plastic tube containing cocaine, three electronic scales, a grinder with marijuana, a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol and other items.

Police additionally served a nuisance abatement order on the day care center, the Griffins’ apartment, as well as three other apartments in the complex.

The defendants are variously charged with multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of marijuana, criminal possession of marijuana and criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions.

In addition to drug charges, some of the defendants are variously charged with criminal possession of a weapon, assault and resisting arrest.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/21/2011: Former Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy dead


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Woman fatally stabbed, 2 teens injured in Rockaways

The NYPD is investigating a stabbing spree in Queens in which a woman was killed and two teenage girls were injured. Police say the three were attacked on Beach 96th Street in the Rockaways. Police say the woman, 48-year-old Elizabeth Harris of Queens, suffered a stab wound to the abdomen and a laceration to the head. She was taken to a hospital where she later died. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

You can name a Queens park

The New York City Economic Development Corp. is asking residents to dub the 1.5 acre open space at the eastern end of Queens Plaza in Long Island City. The contest is open to New York City residents. The winning name will be selected by city representatives and the local community. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Former Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy dead

The former Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy was killed Thursday, according to the country’s prime minister. Reports early yesterday morning indicated that Khadafy was either captured or dead. Later Al-Jazeera showed footage of a man resembling the former leader bleeding from gunshot wound to the head. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Courier’s Best of the Boro: Health & Beauty nominations now open

Health is your greatest asset, but sorting through the myriad of doctors is often a fool’s errand. Now, residents who think their doctor or salon is the best can make the opinions heard by nominating them through November 17. Click here to nominate.


Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/17/2011: Woman fights off sexual assault


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Woman fights off attacker

Last night in the Brookville section of Queens a woman was violently attacked. At 7:30pm the 23 year old woman exited a bus on Edgewood Avenue when a man approached her and punched her in the head twice. The assailant attempted to bring the woman to the ground but she struggled and the attack fled.  The police are currently searching for the attacker. Read More: New York Times

 

Supporters of Barbara Sheehan protest in Howard Beach

200 supporters of Barbara Sheehan the Queens woman, who was acquitted of murdering her husband, gathered in Howard Beach last night. Sheehan who was found guilty of the lesser charge of gun possession is currently in jail awaiting sentencing. Supporters gathered outside of Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach to please for her release. Read More: ABC News

 

Police searching for deadly hit-and-run driver

Sunday morning a 2002 Chrysler Sebring was going the wrong way on a Long Island Expressway service road in Maspeth and crashed into a livery cab. The passenger of in the cab was pronounced dead at Elmhurst hospital shortly after the crash. The driver of the Sebring took off on foot. Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. Read More: NY1

 

Police seek 2 more suspects in Miracle Mile jewelry heist

Four men have been arrested and up to two others are still being sought, after a mid-day armed robbery in a Manhasset jewelry store. Armed gunmen, wielding hammers, had destroyed the glass cases to steal a supply of Rolex watches from London Jewelers. Read More: NBC News

Sheehan’s fate in the hands of jury


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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The trial for Barbara Sheehan’s life started long before September 9.

According to the 50-year-old mother of two, her life was on the line each day of the final 18 years of her marriage.

The Howard Beach resident is being tried on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for the shooting death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, on the morning of February 18, 2008.

“It’s sad what happened, but I had no choice,” said Barbara, who claims she was trying to escape from her house when her husband confronted her. “He aimed a gun at me. He tried to kill me, and I had to defend myself. I tried to get away, but he wouldn’t allow me to. At the time I thought that if I had a gun maybe he wouldn’t come at me, but that didn’t work.”

What followed was the firing of 11 shots by Barbara – the first five from the revolver she held and the subsequent six from the .9-mm Glock she says her husband reached for as he screamed that he was going to kill her.

The jury is currently in deliberation, and Barbara admits that being on trial has felt like being stuck in “quick sand.” If found guilty, she faces 25 years to life in prison.

Upon leaving the courthouse on Tuesday, October 4, one dismissed alternate juror reportedly shouted two words towards a crowd of reporters – “not guilty.”

“I hope all the jurors see the same thing,” Barbara said. “I expect to be found not guilty, because I know that I am.”

The defense’s case was centered on the roughly two decades of physical and emotional abuse that Barbara claims she suffered at the hands of her husband, who she says was a very paranoid man with “mental issues.”

“Our father was very abusive and a horrible person,” said Jennifer Sheehan, the couple’s 25-year-old daughter. “I saw a lot of abuse on my mom. It is quite obvious that it was self defense and that she’s not guilty.”

Among the myriad of injuries Barbara says her husband inflicted on her weekly in what she called their “house of nightmares” were broken fingers, black eyes, a broken ear drum, a dislocated nose and stitches in her forehead from him “bashing my head against a cinderblock wall during a trip to Jamaica.” She says her husband also had four loaded guns in the house at all times.

Barbara has been highly critical of the tactics used by Assistant District Attorney Debra Pomodore during the trial and described the ADA’s request for her to hold the guns as “total manipulation.”

“I think that the Queens District Attorney’s Office is a disgrace,” she said. “They lied about everything. They said that it wasn’t self defense and that they knew what happened, but they weren’t there. Each one of their witnesses was discredited. Pomodore showed no proof to show that any of us lied.”

If acquitted of the charges against her, Barbara says she plans to speak out against domestic violence and help women in abusive relationships. She also says she hopes to shine light on police officers involved in domestic violence, which she describes as “more difficult and scary,” because “you can’t call the police on the police.”