Tag Archives: domestic violence

$2K reward for man who choked, cut girlfriend in Elmhurst: NYPD

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man who goes by four different names for recently choking his girlfriend and slicing her with scissors.

On March 9 at about 3 a.m. Mario Rubiano-Gonzalez — who also uses the names William Para, Orlando Morales and John Zea — choked his girlfriend inside a home on Pettit Avenue in Elmhurst, according to cops. He also sliced the woman across her forearm with scissors, causing serious physical injury.

According to the 110th Precinct, neither the suspect nor victim has prior domestic violence history, but Rubiano-Gonzalez does have a nonviolent prior arrest.

The suspect, who is being sought for assault, is described as a white Hispanic man, 5 feet 5 inches tall, with black hair, brown eyes, and weighing 173 pounds.

There is a $2,000 reward being offered for any information that leads to the arrest of Rubiano-Gonzalez.

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


Organization serving domestic violence, human trafficking survivors opens center in Elmhurst

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Asian Women's Center

One organization is expanding its outreach in helping victims of domestic violence and human trafficking in Queens as it opens a new home in the borough.

The New York Asian Women’s Center (NYAWC) celebrated the opening of its new Elmhurst site, located at 86-26 Broadway, on Friday afternoon. Along with opening the location, the organization was also selected by the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) to receive a contract making it the only provider of core non-residential domestic violence services in Queens.

With the three-year renewable grant, NYAWC will be able to provide needed resources and services to help survivors and their children recover from trauma due to domestic violence.

“NYAWC is proud to have a team of counselors that come from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, and speak many Asian languages and dialects and Spanish,” said Larry Lee, executive director of NYAWC. “To meet the growing demands for our services in Queens, we are doubling the number of counselors that will be stationed at the new Elmhurst office.”

NYAWC also received a two-year grant from the U.S. Office for Victims Crime to serve survivors of human trafficking with services such as counseling, case management, English classes and employment services. At the new Elmhurst office, NYAWC will also aid survivors of sexual assault.

The organization offers a 24/7 hotline at 888-888-7702, advocacy, financial education to survivors, healthy relationship workshops for teens and aid for teens in abusive relationships. All services are free and confidential.

“The work of the New York Asian’s Women Center is priceless and exemplary, and above all, culturally sensitive. They provide a very vital and important service to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, labor and sex trafficking, and many other crimes,” state Senator Jose Peralta said. “With the opening of this new center in Elmhurst, the organization will keep providing these crucial services to a very vulnerable population.”

For more information visit www.nyawc.org.


110th Precinct plans to tackle rise of domestic violence

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Scott Bintner

The 110th Precinct wants victims of domestic violence to speak out to put an end to a crime trend sparking up within the precinct’s borders.

During the precinct’s monthly community council meeting Thursday night in Corona, Captain Ralph Forgione, executive officer at the 110th Precinct, told attendees about a 6.7 percent decrease in crimes for the 28 day to date period.

However, he added that both felony assaults and stolen cars have been driving the numbers up within the precinct. 

In regards to stolen cars, Forgione said that the theft of these vehicles tends to involve tow trucks, while the theft of motorcycles involves box trucks or vans. 

“If you see someone towing a car, don’t just assume that it’s a tow truck. Call us and let us pull over the guy, let us see if he’s actually towing the car or stealing the car,” Forgione said. “We got it under control last year but it’s starting again this year so we need to nip it in the bud right away.”

According to statistics, most of the felony assaults reported in the 110th Precinct are related to domestic violence. Out of 23 felony assaults so far this year, 16 have been domestic violence incidents and 15 of those were first-time offenders. 

In a recent incident, an 87-year-old man beat his 83-year-old wife with a hammer while she was waiting to head into surgery at Elmhurst Hospital. According to a criminal complaint, the man didn’t “want to see her suffer.”

Forgione said they are stressing to residents the importance of reporting any cases of domestic violence and if anyone hears anything to call the precinct. 

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt out there. I don’t care how old you are, it’s not normal for [a] husband to beat up on the wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend,” Forgione said. “If you hear something, let us get there. You could be saving this person’s life. Let us get involved.”

The 110th Precinct, which just last week brought in a new domestic violence sergeant from the 104th Precinct, will also conduct more outreach in the community with officers handing out fliers along Roosevelt Avenue and Broadway, and at Queens Center and Flushing Meadows Corona Park. 

“We want you to report it because in order for us to combat that and help you, we need to find out how big the problem is and come up with a better solution.”

Along with going over the issues in the surrounding community, two police officers were awarded Cop of the Month plagues for their work in March.

Police Officers Seungjin Huh and Bryan McCullough were both given cop of the month awards at the 110th Precinct community council monthly meeting. (THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano)

Police Officer Seungjin Huh received his award for helping close out a burglary pattern within the precinct. On March 24 at 10 p.m., Huh responded to a burglary in process and at the scene saw a broken gate. He then got out of his patrol car to investigate and found a man in a garage. The suspect was brought in for stealing items out of the garage, but was later connected to three other charges.

Police Officer Bryan McCullough also received the Cop of the Month award for March after he helped bring in a suspect, who on March 10 allegedly robbed an 11-year-old child at knifepoint.


110 Precinct CO talks new post, future plans

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The 110th Precinct, which encompasses Corona and Elmhurst, has a new top cop and he is ready to get to know his new community and continue the work his predecessor achieved.

Captain Christopher Manson was named the new commanding officer of the western Queens precinct and started at his new post on March 17. He is taking over from Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, who after spending the last three years at the 110th Precinct was reassigned to the NYPD’s Queens North Detective Bureau.

For the past two years, Manson was the commanding officer at the 104th Precinct, which covers Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

“I had a great time there, great community. Crime went down about 11 percent over two years. We did a lot of good work,” Manson said. “We hope to continue that here. I inherited a very good, smooth running operation from my predecessor Deputy Inspector Leyson.”

Before taking command of the 104th Precinct, the 27-year NYPD veteran was assigned for a few months at the 114th Precinct, and before that was the executive officer for two years at the 109th Precinct in Flushing.

Since starting at his new post in Corona, Manson said he has been getting know the community and its leaders, and plans to continue the outreach.

“It’s a good place. I’m happy to be here,” Manson said. “I think right now the precinct is set up right because they have a lot of manpower that works late at night.”

He added that in the year to date, crime had been down 8 percent; however, domestic violence had increased in the confines of the precinct. Based on this data, Manson said he hopes to “take a heavy look” at the issue of domestic violence.

Among other initiatives from his past post, Manson has brought over weekly deployment meetings in which he gets together with specific units of the precinct and goes over certain patterns and trends going on.

The units are then committed to addressing certain crimes in specific areas within the precinct.

“Whatever it is these different units from the precinct are committed to these crime zones. It’s worked in the past and continues to work,” Manson said.

Manson added that there other things he might want to bring over from his previous post but he still needs to get to know the 110th Precinct a bit more and then decide what should be done.

He plans to continue the precinct’s social media presence with taking over the Twitter account @NYPD110Pct.

“I’m the 110 rookie,” he said. “I’ve got a lot to learn.”


Precinct council meets new officers, domestic violence chief in Forest Hills

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua


New faces were introduced at the 112th Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday, March 18, at the precinct’s Forest Hills headquarters.

Capt. William Matusiak, who has been on the job for 31 years, will be joining the precinct as an executive officer from the Midtown North precinct.

Though Matusiak never served in Queens, he grew up in Maspeth and Woodside.

Sgt. Brian McGowen, who previously served the 109th Precinct, will be supervising area schools.

The new community affairs officer, P.O. Tony Jimenez, is originally from the 104th Precinct and is also a clergy liaison. He has worked for the NYPD for 22 years.

Chief Diana Pizzuti of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North, said she hopes the new additions to the precinct will help “build relationships between cops and kids” especially “with the recent unrest” that has taken place across the country that has strained relations between police officers and the communities they serve.

Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff at the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Tracy Weber-Thomas also addressed the community about what services are available for victims of domestic violence.

Approximately 282,000 domestic violence occurrences were reported in New York City last year, according to Weber-Thomas, with 53,000 reported in Queens. Of the cases in Queens, 1,300 were in the 112th Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park.

The Queens Family Justice Center, located at 106-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, is a “one-stop service center” that will help victims of domestic abuse regardless of immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation or the language they speak, said Weber-Thomas.

Weber-Thomas encouraged anyone who is a victim of domestic violence to visit the family justice center, where no appointments are needed to speak to a counselor. Children can play in a children’s room while parents meet with a prosecutor or apply for housing or financial assistance.

The city also runs a NYC Healthy Relationship Academy initiative that coaches children ages 17 to 24 to run workshops about dating violence and healthy relationships for adolescents and young adults.

Click here for more information about the city’s domestic violence prevention programs.


Glendale business aims to showcase local artists

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

The arts are coming to Glendale.

Angelica Harris runs the Excalibur Reading Program on 78th Avenue, and she hopes to transform the center into an art venue once a week.

“We don’t have a program or venue that showcases Glendale artists,” Harris said. “It’s my dream to bring the arts to Glendale.”

Harris plans on booking musicians and poets every Friday evening to showcase their work to an audience of about 30 people. The July 18 event kicks off a new feature that Harris hopes will become a staple every week.

“I want to expose artists and educate people about the need for art in the community,” said Harris, who has run the learning and tutoring programs on 78th Avenue for two years.

Bill McClure, a landscape painter and window designer, has lived in Glendale for a year and said that the creation of an art night is welcome news.

“It’s wonderful because we need places for artists to communicate and there’s nothing in the Glendale area,” he said.

Since moving to Glendale, McClure has had to leave the neighborhood to showcase his work.

But with the new venue, McClure, 52, plans to exhibit his work locally.

Harris, who has lived in Glendale for 20 years, is asking people who want to watch the music and poetry show to make a $10 donation.

Harris has a personal devotion to the arts, having written several books, including “Living With Rage,” which recounts the domestic violence she experienced.

“The arts were my salvation, my sanity,” she said. “That’s why I have this dream of the art program. I want people to talk about what art helps them with.”



South Queens cops host domestic violence seminar

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Despite the fact that incidents of domestic violence have increased by more than 50 percent in the 106th Precinct in the past year, police still say victims are underreporting the crimes.

Citywide last year, the NYPD responded to more than 240,000 calls of domestic violence, said Sergeant Noreen Lazarus.

“But there are still so many occurrences and incidents that are not being reported,” she added.

The 106th Precinct joined the 102 on Thursday to conduct a domestic violence seminar as part of a series of community outreach initiatives intended to ultimately help decrease the crime.

A very diverse population makes up south Queens, cops said, and Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer, said local police are “trying to break down that cultural barrier” so anyone can feel comfortable reporting an incident.

“We’re not interested in your immigration status. What we care about is you,” said Sergeant Diane Silverstein.

Alexandra Patino from the Family Justice Center of Queens said more than half of her clientele is “foreign born.” She works with them regarding child and/or spousal support, helping to separate domestic violence victims from dangerous situations.

“Some are tied to people out of fear of deportation. We don’t want people to continue to be victimized out of fear of deportation,” she said.

Patino and the Family Justice Center can also help victims in getting their green cards.

In the coming weeks, the precincts will be continuing to spread domestic violence awareness by visiting local schools, PTA meetings, men’s groups and more.

“We understand the situation can become very emotional,” Silverstein said. “We are about everybody being safe and everybody obeying the law.”



Local precincts hosting seminar to combat 53 percent increase in domestic violence crimes

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Domestic violence crimes have increased over 50 percent in south Queens and cops are reaching out to bring awareness to the community.

“There are laws we obey. There is a population out there that you cannot prey upon, including your family,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding office of the 106th Precinct.

The precinct is teaming up with the neighboring 102nd Precinct to host a seminar on domestic violence awareness on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fair Field Pavilion, 131-10 101st Ave. in Richmond Hill.

The seminar is “open to anybody who wants to come,” Schiff said, and will feature guest speakers from the district attorney’s office, mayor’s office, social workers and psychologists.

The 2013 year-end statistics showed a 53 percent increase in domestic violence assaults in the 106th Precinct, Schiff said.

The NYPD expanded the definition of domestic violence to include all couples, spousal or not, as well as long-term roommates.

“The definition has expanded, so have the crimes,” Schiff said. “That contributes to the increase.”

During the seminar and also through efforts to curtail the crime, police will educate victims, mainly women and children, and detail how they respond to domestic violence reports, including the initial response and possible remedies for the situation.

Cops will also seek out aggressors and “educate them.”

“We want them to know this is what can happen to you should you lay hands on your family,” Schiff said.