Tag Archives: Cross Island Parkway

Man found dead of apparent suicide on Cross Island Parkway in Bayside

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Morning commuters on the Cross Island Parkway were shocked to see the body of a 57-year-old man hanging from an exit sign pole in Bayside on Wednesday morning.

The body was found at 6:47 a.m. on the eastbound Exit 31 of the Cross Island Parkway, according to NYPD.

The man, who has not been identified, was reportedly alive but unconscious and unresponsive when cops arrived on the scene.

He was pronounced dead upon the arrival of emergency medical technicians.

The medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death, but the case is being investigated as a suicide.

Some commuters took to social media to write about what they had seen on their morning ride.


Cambria Heights teen charged in crash involving school bus, NYPD van, elderly couple

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

A 19-year-old Cambria Heights resident has been charged for causing a crash involving three vehicles Tuesday, and for briefly fleeing the scene because he was “scared,” authorities said.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, just after 3 p.m. on Aug. 11 two NYPD officers, who were traveling in an unmarked minivan on the Cross Island Parkway near the Jamaica Avenue exit, saw Matthew Robinson driving a 2009 BMW at high speeds and weaving in and out of lanes.

It is then alleged that Robinson, who was speeding in the right lane, tried to swerve into the middle lane between two vehicles when there was clearly not enough room to do so safely. The 19-year-old then struck an unoccupied mini school bus on the right lane, and a Honda in the middle lane, causing the Honda to veer into the left lane and strike the cement median, Brown said.

According to prosecutors, the unmarked NYPD minivan then struck the Honda, which rolled up onto the hood of the vehicle and flipped multiple times before landing upside down.

The Honda’s 77-year-old driver was left hanging upside down in his seat, bleeding from his nose and mouth and with bumps and bruises to his body. The driver’s 73-year-old wife was also bleeding from a large cut to her head.

Robinson allegedly then exited the BMW and fled the site with a backpack without exchanging any information, authorities said. He then allegedly returned about 5 minutes later, without a backpack, and said, “I’m sorry. I got scared.”

The driver of the Honda and his wife, and the two police officers — who suffered back, neck and wrist injuries — were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Robinson is has been charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene without reporting personal injury and several other infractions and violations of New York State’s vehicle and traffic laws — driving on roadway lanes for traffic and speed restriction.

“The defendant is accused of driving at an excessive speed and changing lanes without regard to his safety or that of the motorists around him,” Brown said. “As a result of his alleged actions, four people —including two police officers — were injured and the defendant now faces serious criminal charges.”

The 19-year-old is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.


Attempted robbery, car chase ends after crash into Whitestone home

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jackeline Garcia

A dramatic car chase through Queens Wednesday night ended with a getaway car slamming into a Whitestone home and two suspected robbers in handcuffs, police said.

The trouble began at about 7:45 p.m. at a cellphone store in Flushing.

According to authorities, three men entered the Verizon store at 191-30 Northern Blvd. while wearing masks and simulating a firearm, and announced they were robbing the place.

The suspects then fled without taking anything, with one escaping on foot and the other two getting away in a van.

Police were able to spot the van near the Cross Island Parkway and Willets Point Boulevard a short time later and a chase reportedly ensued. As the cops went after the suspects, the van struck two parked cars before crashing into a nearby home on Willets Point Boulevard.

One suspect, 20-year-old Xavier Oneal of Brooklyn, was arrested at the scene. The van’s other occupant, 38-year-old Andrew Taylor, also of Brooklyn, was nabbed not far from the scene at Utopia Parkway and 17th Road after fleeing on foot. Both have been charged with robbery, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle and menacing, police said.

According to the FDNY, five people were hurt as a result of the chase. Four were taken to North Shore-LIJ with minor or non-life threatening injuries. One person refused medical attention at the scene.


Man fatally hit on Cross Island after exiting moving vehicle, running across roadway: cops  

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 54-year-old man was killed on the Cross Island Parkway Tuesday night after he exited his moving car and was struck by a van as he tried to cross the roadway, according to authorities.

At about 5:40 p.m., the victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was driving eastbound in the left lane of the Grand Central Parkway near Little Neck when he got out of his Mercedes, police said.

His car then crashed into the center median and came to a stop.

After exiting the Mercedes, the man ran across the westbound lanes of the Grand Central Parkway and attempted to cross the northbound lanes of the Cross Island Parkway, where he was struck by a Ford van, cops said.

The victim was taken to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the van remained at the scene and the investigation is ongoing, authorities said.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the victim exited the car.


49-year-old motorcyclist dies in Whitestone Expressway crash

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

A motorcyclist riding on the Whitestone Expressway Saturday night was killed when he was ejected from his bike, according to police.

The 49-year-old victim was driving southbound on the expressway at the Cross Island Parkway around 10:18 p.m. when the accident occurred, cops said.

The motorcyclist, who has yet to be identified by police, was taken New York Hospital Queens, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The investigation is ongoing.


SUV hits, kills pedestrian in Bellerose

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

An early morning accident in Bellerose Saturday left a pedestrian dead, police said.

A 2011 Ford Expedition struck an unidentified male about 6:50 a.m. near the Cross Island Parkway and Union Turnpike, according to the NYPD.

He was taken to North Shore-LIJ where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The 69-year-old driver remained on the scene and the NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad is investigating, police said.



One person dead in Cross Island Parkway crash

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

One person is dead after a messy crash on the Cross Island Parkway yesterday.

Police responded to the car accident on the thoroughfare near exit 26 at 10:15 p.m. The victim, a 49-year-old Hispanic male, was unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his head and body when cops arrived, and EMS pronounced the man dead on arrival at the scene, authorities said.

The man was travelling northbound on the Cross Island Parkway, according to officials, and hit the right side guardrail, causing the 2005 silver Toyota Corolla he was driving to flip over. The victim was ejected from the vehicle, cops said.

The man’s name was not released at this time and the investigation is still ongoing.




One dead, one injured in motorcycle accident on Cross Island Parkway

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

One man is dead and another injured after a motorcycle accident on the Cross Island Parkway.

According to the NYPD, on Sunday at approximately 5:36 a.m. police responded to a 9-1-1 call of a motorcycle accident northbound on the Cross Island Parkway near the Whitestone Expressway. Police found David Wilson, 27, of South Richmond Hill with severe trauma through his body. Emergency medical services responded to the scene and pronounced Wilson dead on arrival.

Through investigation, police found Wilson had been driving a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle traveling north on the Cross Island Parkway when he lost control  of the bike and struck a barrier near the Whitestone Expressway. There was also a 27-year-old male passenger on the motorcycle who was taken to Queens General Hospital and is in stable condition with cuts around his body.

There were no other vehicles or people involved in the accident and the investigation is still ongoing, police said. 



New owner looks to end unlucky streak at former Patrizia’s of Bayside site

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The new owner of a luckless Bayside restaurant site is determined to end a streak of bad breaks at the locale.

“We’re going to bring it back to its original glory,” said George Makkos, whose newest restaurant, Vivaldi, replaces Patrizia’s of Bayside.

The 201-10 Cross Island Parkway building had been a revolving door of new management since the popular Caffe on the Green closed in 2009.

Valentino’s on the Green took over after that, but was soon followed by Patrizia’s. Patrizia’s shut down after less than a year in business.

Vivaldi is set to open for dinner in the first or second week of June.

“I don’t want to compare myself to anybody,” said Makkos, 51, of Manhattan. “I cannot speak for anybody else. I can only speak for what I stand for, and I stand for quality, perfection, impeccable service and attentiveness to the customer.”

A Parks Department spokesperson said Makkos has a record of running successful upscale restaurants. The president of 123 Restaurant Group, he operates several wedding venues and catering halls in Queens, Manhattan and Long Island, including Battery Gardens and the Venetian Yacht Club.

Makkos said the menu will feature homemade dishes cooked to original recipes concocted by Caffe’s former executive chef. He added that Vivaldi will use the finest ingredients on everything including brick-oven pizza.

While the menu and prices have not been finalized, Makkos said there will be “gracious portions for a value.” Food options will also change to refl ect the season, with lighter dishes in the summer.

Vivaldi is in the process of obtaining a liquor license. The restaurant will be open seven days a week. After the June launch, it will expand to offer lunch and catering along with dinner.






Suspects captured in Kissena Park chase charged with robbery, fake gun possession

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Two robbery suspects who led police on a high-speed chase through Queens have been charged with robbery, criminal use of a firearm and possession of an imitation pistol, according to the district attorney.

One of the defendants, Ravinder Dharamshot, 32, of Queens Village, has additionally been charged with reckless endangerment.

Dharamshot and his accomplice, 23-year-old Umair Farooq of Oakland Gardens, are accused of robbing several gas stations and a deli in the borough last month.

Around 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, a police officer spotted a minivan that matched the description of the vehicle used in those robberies near Utopia Parkway and Cross Island Parkway and gave chase, according to the DA.

Dharamshot, who was driving the vehicle, allegedly started speeding dangerously, during which time he headed the wrong way down the Clearview Expressway and drove onto the sidewalk, nearly hitting pedestrians.

After striking a police car at Colden Street and Elder Avenue, injuring two officers, Dharamshot fled the minivan.
Farooq was apprehended shortly after the crash.

Following a manhunt through Kissena Park and the surrounding streets, police found Dharamshot in a parked car in Queens Village later that day.

The pair faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.



EXCLUSIVE: Couple’s wedding plans botched by Queens banquet hall Patrizia’s

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan & Courtesy of Kathryn Martino-Miranda

A bride-to-be almost had her big day botched when an embattled Bayside banquet hall began shirking her calls two months before her nuptials, The Courier has learned.

Kathryn Martino-Miranda and her fiancé Erik Lopez had booked their March 3 wedding ceremony and reception at Patrizia’s of Bayside in November 2012, signing a $5,000 contract for a party of 55 people.

But when the Merrick, Long Island couple called back one month later, they said management would not return calls, emails bounced and voicemails could not be left.

“There was no way to get in touch with them. I felt like the rug was pulled out under me,” said Martino-Miranda, 36. “It’s cowardly not to call people back. It’s such a special day for the whole family, not just the bride and groom. It took us by so much surprise.”

Patrizia’s halted lunch and dinner service at its 201-10 Cross Island Parkway site in December 2012, The Courier reported, after being open less than a year. Officials at the family-style Italian eatery said they were only offering catering events.

The restaurant honored three full parties on January 7, according to a source close to Patrizia’s operators, but could not confirm they would uphold their March commitment to the lovebirds.

“That’s a business decision my partners and I are going to have to make,” said Paul Kolaj, business advisor and brother to Giorgio Kolaj, who is one of Patrizia’s operators. “We are doing our best to honor every party. We really are.”

Kolaj said Patrizia’s business owners would refund deposits if they could not fulfill their promises, but Martino-Miranda said she still has not heard back from a single manager or owner.

“It’s sort of heartless. You have two families who are really excited to celebrate a day like this. It creates an incredible amount of stress,” Martino-Miranda said. “You have a financial budget. You have things planned. It really threw everything for a loop. How do you do this to people?”

The pair, who have since found a new site for their reception, said they had to shell out another $500 for new and expedited invitations.

They do not expect to be reimbursed their $200 deposit.

“I didn’t feel comfortable trusting them with such a big day like that,” the future bride said. “I hope no one does this to their daughter.”



Construction to close last Queens exit before Whitestone Bridge for two years

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Motorists traveling on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge can expect long-term exit closures next month.

The 3rd Avenue exit — the last exit in Queens before entering the Bronx-bound bridge — will be closed to all traffic beginning January 7, while construction work on the $109 million capital improvement project to widen the Queens approach is done, according to the MTA.

The blockades are expected to remain in place for approximately two years, officials said.

Passenger vehicles driving from the Bronx-bound Cross Island Parkway will have to take Exit 33N at Utopia Parkway, and those driving from the northbound Whitestone Expressway will have to get off past the 20th Avenue exit and merge onto the Cross Island Parkway.

All commercial vehicles must exit the Whitestone Expressway at 20th Avenue, the MTA said.

The agency said signs will be in place and traffic agents will be on hand when the detours begin next month.

Accused cop killer charged with 3 counts of first-degree murder

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/NBCNewYork

The Queens man allegedly responsible for the murders of a Nassau County police officer and a Brooklyn motorist was indicted by a grand jury for three counts of first-degree murder.

Darrell Fuller, 33, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, on the Cross Island Parkway during a traffic stop on October 23. Fuller’s deadly rampage continued when he attempted to carjack Raymond Facey and shot the unarmed Jamaica immigrant in the head, killing him.

The indictment also includes a count of second-degree murder for Facey’s death, two counts of robbery for attempting to steal Facey’s car and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. If found guilty, Fuller could serve a life sentence.

In 2004, Fuller was convicted of attempted murder, according to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but released in 2009. In 2010, Fuller was arrested for selling crack and served another nine months before being released on parole.

As the investigation continued, more details from the case have emerged. According to the Queens District Attorney, Fuller borrowed the silver 2000 Nissan Altima from Gerald Williams, 27, on the day of the incident. The weapons said to have been used in the attack — a TEC 9 semi-automatic firearm and Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol — were in the car when it was returned to Williams. Ballistics tests are currently being run to determine if the weapons were those used to kill either Lopez or Facey.

According to court documents, the car belonged to Williams’ girlfriend Chantel Browne, who allegedly loaned it to her boyfriend. It was not clear how Williams knew Fuller.

Williams was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court where he was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If found guilty, Williams could serve up to 15 years in prison.

Queens Morning Roundup

| brennison@queenscourier.com


Friday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 71. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. East wind 5 to 7 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Halloween Haunted House

Visit for some thrills and chills! Stay for hayrides, treats, mulled cider and pumpkins on sale. Recommended for ages 4–12. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens police officer arrested in plot to kidnap, cook 100 women

A cannibalistic city cop from Forest Hills has been arrested by the FBI after the agency foiled an alleged plan he cooked up to kidnap and eat at least 100 women, according to a criminal complaint. Gilberto Valle, 28, a six-year NYPD veteran who works in Manhattan, had plotted to “kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and eat body parts of a number of women,” said the FBI, which seized the cop’s home computer containing e-mails and instant messages to a fellow conspirator. Read more: Queens Courier

Deranged nanny allegedly kills two children of CNBC media executive Kevin Krim and wife Marina

A deranged nanny stabbed to death a media executive’s two young kids inside a posh upper West Side apartment Thursday— and then slit her throat in a botched suicide attempt, police said. The children’s mother, Marina Krim, walked into her W. 75th St. apartment about 5:25 p.m. and found a scene of unimaginable horror: her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son lying motionless in a blood-soaked bathtub. Each had multiple stab wounds.Read more: Daily News

City, Nassau police arrest second suspect in Cross Island Parkway shooting

Police arrested and charged a man Thursday with lending weapons to the suspect who allegedly killed a Nassau County police officer and another bystander on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens Tuesday. Authorities say Gerald Williams, 27, loaned a car containing a TEC 9 semi-automatic firearm and a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol to Darrell Fuller on Tuesday. Read more: NY1

Music school administrator on life-support after brutal beatdown

A beloved music school administrator was brutally beaten by a stick-wielding thug while out for his usual midnight stroll, authorities said today. Lou Rispoli, 62, a longtime Sunnyside resident who worked in the West Village, is on life support in hospice care after an unknown brute pummeled him early Saturday. Read more: NY Post

Queens D.A. announces indictments in nationwide sports betting ring

25 people have been indicted in the nationwide sports betting ring that had tentacles in several Las Vegas casinos, where NYPD Inspector Brian O’Neil says operatives influenced legal betting to increase payouts. Read more: CBS New York

Black, Hispanic LGBTs more fearful than straights in stop & frisks

Black and Hispanic gays and lesbians in Jackson Heights are more likely to be harassed by cops than their straight peers — especially during stop and frisks, a new report claims. The Make the Road New York report, released Tuesday, also alleges that transgender women are particularly vulnerable to being arrested and charged with prostitution — often without cause. Read more: Daily News




Ex-con kills decorated cop, motorist

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony DelMundo


A Nassau County police officer and a motorist were fatally shot on the Cross Island Parkway in the wake of a cold-blooded ex-con’s rampage.

Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez

Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23, a tan sedan was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Northern Boulevard in Bayside before taking off down the Cross Island Parkway. Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, was driving an ESU vehicle towards the scene and saw the sedan’s damaged fender. He signaled for the driver to pull over outside a Mobil station at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue. After a quick exchange of words, the driver shot Lopez several times and fled down the Cross Island Parkway. Officer Clarence Hudson, Lopez’s partner, administered CPR and attempted to revive his partner at the scene.

Lopez, a decorated eight-year veteran, was taken to North Shore LIJ Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

After abandoning his damaged car, the gunman, now identified as Darrell Fuller, 33, allegedly attempted to carjack Raymond Facey, 52, near Hempstead Avenue, fatally shooting the driver in the process. Fuller then took off on foot. Helicopters circled the area and officers canvassed homes in Queens Village, searching for the perpetrator.

According to published reports, Facey, was speaking on the phone with his daughter at the time of the incident. She allegedly heard her father say “someone’s chasing me.”

A nearby store owner described the scene as “absolutely crazy.”

“When we’re here alone, the store is locked,” said the business owner. “You just don’t know who’s going to come in.”

Ellis Cathey, who lives on the corner of 112th Avenue and Colfax Street in Queens Village, left his house to take out the trash and saw helicopters circling the block and officers with automatic rifles searching the area for Fuller.

“The helicopter got real low, I figured they were looking for somebody,” said Cathey. “I was searching the news channels looking for something that happened, and I saw this guy shot a cop.”

Darrell Fuller

Cathey said that he saw police discover a gray hooded sweatshirt, covered in blood. It was later reported that this sweatshirt belonged to the gunman.

“I’ve lived here since 1996, I’ve never seen anything like this happen. It really can happen anywhere though, I can’t think my neighborhood is immune to this.”

After a multi-hour manhunt, authorities found Fuller at 111th Avenue and 173rd Street in Jamaica and arrested him. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was in “stable but guarded” condition.

In 2004, Fuller was convicted of attempted murder, according to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but released in 2009. In 2010, Fuller was arrested for selling crack and served another nine months before being released on parole.

At a press conference earlier in the afternoon, Mangano spoke of Lopez’s bravery and dedication to helping others.

“He was a true hero, a very dedicated police officer of eight years,” said Mangano. “He lost his life to a cold blooded murderer.”

Lopez, who was also a volunteer firefighter in Dix Hills, Long Island, is the second Nassau County officer to be killed in the line of duty in less than a week. On Thursday, October 18, Officer Joseph Olivieri was killed when a vehicle struck him while he was responding to an accident on the Long Island Expressway.

“We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Officer Arthur Lopez, an active member of the Dix Hills Fire Department from 2003 to 2005,” said Chief of Department Richard Granahan. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, friends and fellow Nassau County police officers.”