Tag Archives: good Samaritan

Men rescued after jumping into East River in Long Island City  

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Three men ended up in the East River off of Long Island City Monday night after one of the men jumped into the water to try and save the other two, police said.

On a challenge the pair leaped into the East River, but one of the men apparently didn’t know how to swim and both struggled in the water, according to published reports,

A good Samaritan passing by the area near 48th Avenue at about 8 p.m., went in to rescue the 21-year-old and 22-year-old, cops said. All three were then pulled to safety by police.

The good Samaritan refused medical attention at the scene.

The two other men were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in stable condition.



Juan Pablo Dapena helped save Queens woman from meat cleaver attack

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

meat cleaver attack

His wife, kids, co-workers and just about everyone who reads about Juan Pablo Dapena thinks he’s a hero.

He’s the only person who doesn’t.

“I think a lot of people would have reacted the same way,” said Dapena.

Dapena, of Fresh Meadows, sprang to action when he saw a man hacking a woman with a meat cleaver on Wednesday, May 23.

Cops later identifi ed Kang Wang, 53, as the suspect who nearly killed his wife, Hui Zhen Liu, 52, with a meat cleaver near the pair’s Flushing home.

Dapena was driving to the No. 7 train station around 5:40 a.m. on his way to work as a loss prevention officer at the Marriot Marquis, when he spotted something unusual.

“I noticed a younger guy was trying to control an older man and I saw the older gentleman pick up a bundle of wood and throw it at a body on the floor,” he said.

A former U. S. Marine, Dapena, 44, reacted quickly. He pulled over in a nearby driveway, called 9-1-1, and yelled, “drop it, drop it, drop it.”

When yelling didn’t work, Dapena reached in his silver Pontiac for something to help him stop Wang, but all he found was an ice scraper.

“That’s all I had,” Dapena said.

The vet didn’t know what to make of Wang.

“He concentrated his gaze on me. I didn’t know what he was thinking,” Dapena said.

Wielding the scraper, the good Samaritan stopped and subdued the husband until cops arrived. Wang was arrested at the scene and charged with assault, possession of a weapon and attempted homicide, according to police.

Officials said his wife was taken to New York Hospital Queens in critical condition, but her status has not been updated.

Wang’s son, who was trying to stop him before Dapena arrived, thanked the hotel worker for his help.

But Dapena is just happy he was able to save a life.

“I am a Buddhist. Life to me is important,” he said. “My conscience would have bothered me if I just kept on going and I heard later that a lady got killed.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com


Woman Found Dead In Burning Bayside Building

A woman is dead and a man is hospitalized after a fire in Queens. The flames broke out around 7 p.m. Wednesday in the basement of a two-story home on 214th Place in Bayside.  When firefighters arrived, they found a 33-year-old woman dead from an apparent stab wound and a 50-year-old man who tried to hang himself in a closet. Read more: [NY1]


Son fought off father who allegedly slashed wife with meat cleaver

A brave son and a Good Samaritan fought off a maniacal Queens man as he slashed his wife with a meat cleaver this morning, cops said.The couple were fighting in their Flushing apartment on Parsons Boulevard, when husband Kang Wang, 53, attacked his wife, Huizhen Liu, 52, at about 5:55 a.m., sources said. Read more: [New York Post]


Suspect Charged With Robbing Blind Queens Woman

A suspect has been placed under arrest and charged with robbing a blind Queens woman. Investigators say Latisha Richardson, 39, of Queens and an unidentified man targeted the 68-year-old victim at the F line station at 75th Avenue in Forest Hills back on April 16. Read more: [NY1]


Devils waste 3-goal lead but win behind Ryan Carter’s late goal

The Devils turned a stellar first nine minutes and an opportunistic final five into a stirring victory over the Rangers that moved New Jersey within one win of a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. Suddenly, No. 1 seed New York is on the brink — again. Read more: [ESPN]


First Presbyterian Church to mark 350 years with Street Fair and community service

First Presbyterian Church at 89-60 164th St., Jamaica, is celebrating its 350 anniversary with a variety of activities including a street fair and by taking the church out into the community. Saturday, May 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more: [New York Daily News]


Martin Luther beats Brooklyn Friends, 3-0, to win PSAA Division II baseball championship at MCU Park in Coney Island


Kevin Schick doesn’t look like a shutdown pitcher when he’s warming up. Martin Luther’s senior lefthander is a soft-tossing, side-armer with a slender frame. But once the game begins, Schick has impeccable control, and he even finds a way to use his lack of velocity as a strength. Read more: [New York Daily News]


City youths vie for spot in free tennis clinic at Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing


For a young New York City tennis player, it’s a long — not to mention expensive — road from the neighborhood hard court to playing Arthur Ashe Stadium in late August. But at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing on Saturday, more than 200 kids competed for a little help in getting there. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

This Morning’s Headlines

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

DOE takes two ‘politically connected’ schools off the chopping block, axes 24 others

The city’s education-policy board voted just before midnight last night to close and then immediately reopen two dozen schools with new names and new staffers in an unprecedented move that could displace more than 1,000 teachers. Two last-minute reprieves were granted yesterday before the vote, and they went to a pair of politically backed schools — Grover Cleveland HS in Queens, which counts state Assembly Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan as an alumna, and Bushwick Community HS in Brooklyn, which garnered several vocal supporters, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Read More: New York Post


Air man’s dogged pursuit

The Port Authority worker who got down on his hands and knees to try to rescue a canny canine who wandered onto a busy runway at La Guardia airport Wednesday is a cat lover who is allergic to dogs, he lamented. But Paul Malichek, 57, didn’t want to spook Byrdie — a 14-month-old Rhodesian ridgeback who had escaped her travel crate and turned the runway into her own private dog run — so he crawled toward her as jets idled nearby. Read More: New York Post

Occupy Protesters Turn Focus To Mounting U.S. Student Debt

Occupy Wall Street protestors gathered in Union Square in Manhattan on Wednesday to mark the day they say the U.S. student debt reached $1 trillion dollars and to draw attention to what they called the financial sector’s “predatory” student loan market. The Federal Reserve disputes the figure, saying U.S. student debt is currently $870 billion. President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney have called attention to the issue on the campaign trail to try to court the college-age vote. U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives have proposed separate bills to keep interest rates for poor and middle class students at the current level for another year. Read More: NY1


Mother, Sister Of Queens Terror Suspect Testify On His Behalf

The mother and sister of a Queens man accused of plotting a terror attack in the city gave emotional testimony for the defense in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday. Alisa Medunjanin choked back tears as she talked about her brother, Adis, and the raid on their home. She recounted the story of dozens of agents with weapons storming their sixth-floor apartment to arrest her brother. Alisa said she thought her brother had gone to Pakistan to get married. Prosecutors, who wrapped up their arguments earlier Wednesday, said Adis Medunjanin was there receiving Al-Qaida terror training. Read More: NY1


Rapper Talib Kweli emcees at St. John’s University

Like any great rapper, Talib Kweli knows how to freestyle. Without any notes or prompts, the Brooklyn native rattled off a first-person history of hip hop music to a captive audience of more than 400 students at St. John’s University on Tuesday. “Hip hop is such a folk thing,” the 36-year-old lyricist told the Daily News. “It speaks directly to the people and the language that they are using right now.” Read More: Daily News


While NY Giants sit tight with No. 32 pick, NFC East division rivals Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys load up to challenge Big Blue


One of the crucial issues for the Giants as they go through the offseason getting ready to defend their Super Bowl title is whether they indeed have an identity crisis. Are they the Giants who struggled to become the first team to not only win the NFC East with a mediocre 9-7 record but the first team to win the Super Bowl at 9-7? Or are they the team that raised its game to an unimaginable level in the playoffs and beat the Falcons at home in the wild-card game and then the Packers and 49ers on the road — the two best NFC teams in the regular season — before finishing off their incredible run with another Super Bowl victory over the Patriots? Read More: Daily News


Hero helps thwart Sunnyside rape

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Michael Pantelidis

Sunnyside residents can feel safer under one Good Samaritan’s watch.

Mike Novak woke up to the sound of a woman screaming at 5:45 a.m. on April 8 – Easter Sunday.

The 54 year old rushed downstairs, thinking of his wife’s safety first. After finding her unharmed, Novak ran outside to find a woman being attacked and groped by a man in the bushes down the block from his house.

“I heard someone screaming, ‘Help me, help me,’” Novak said. “I ran out into the street and I heard the screaming again. I saw there was a commotion in the bushes in front of the house down the street. As I came closer, the guy looked up, saw me and ran.”

Novak, who has 30 years of kung fu experience, initially gave chase, but was not wearing shoes and was unable to catch the suspect.

“He had a good lead on me and he was wearing sneakers,” said the Sunnyside resident of 31 years. “The lady was saying, ‘Please don’t leave me,’ so I went back to her. I pulled her out of the bush and brought her inside. She was disheveled and frightened.”

Due to the darkness, Novak was unable to provide a detailed description of the deviant, but said he was a Hispanic male in his late 20s, approximately 5’7”, wearing a brown, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. The victim, a neighbor of Novak’s, is 30 years old and roughly four inches shorter than her attacker.

According to Novak, the woman said she was returning from an evening out with her family and was walking home from the nearby No. 7 train station when she was attacked on 39th Avenue and 46th Street. The hero broke up the assault mere moments after it began.

Despite his valiant behavior, Novak is hopeful most would react in the same manner he did.

“I’m not the kind of person that’s going to listen to someone screaming for help and lower the blinds,” said Novak, who does not fear confrontation due to his martial arts experience. “I did what a person is supposed to do. When there is a woman in danger, you are supposed to get help and not just sit around and do nothing. Today it’s a stranger – tomorrow it could be your loved one. I don’t think of myself as a hero. I did what I had to do, which was get this scumbag off of the lady.”

Local elected officials united with Novak at a rally on April 10 to speak out against the attack. The legislators and Sunnyside’s Good Samaritan also handed out fliers with a description of the perpetrator to raise the public’s awareness of the incident.

“One sexual assault against any woman in this city is one too many,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who is working with the 108th Precinct during the investigation. “Sunnyside is one of the safest communities in New York City and we all must be vigilant as a community as the 108th precinct pursues leads in the case. I will do all I can to assist the NYPD in getting this sexual predator off our streets. We will track down this cowardly criminal and make sure he is punished and put away.”

The police request that anyone with information regarding the attack call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

Final act of Good Samaritan

| mchan@queenscourier.com

The Howard Beach grandfather who died after a final good Samaritan act had a history of helping others, family members said.

Paul Trinchese, 61, was accidentally struck by an unidentified man suffering from a violent seizure — after rushing to his aid, according to reports.

The incident occurred during a student talent show at Ave Maria Catholic Academy on February 2. The man was treated at the scene, according to reports, and Trinchese died later that night at his home on 98th Street, his family said.

“It wasn’t shocking that he went to help. He was always like that,” said his daughter Gilda Turano, 31. “He was always trying to help people however he can.”

Trinchese died of apparent cardiac arrest before emergency responders arrived. Family members said he had a history of heart problems, but he never had a heart attack and he was always vigilant in checking his health.

It was unclear whether or not the punch caused the heart attack leading to Trinchese’s death.

Trinchese, a well-known metal worker in Ozone Park, was a longtime resident of Howard Beach. He owned Trinchese Iron Works, building gates and railings for several decades.

He leaves behind a wife of 39 years, Filomena, five children and eight grandchildren — with one more on the way.

“He was a funny guy, and he was very straightforward. He told you how it is,” Turano said. “He had a lot of friends. We’re remembering his good memories and trying to be strong.”

School officials directed comment to the Diocese of Brooklyn, who did not respond as of press time, and police officials could not be reached.

Wake services were held on February 4 and 5. Trinchese was buried on Monday, February 6 at All Saints cemetery in Middle Village.