Tag Archives: Grand Central Parkway

Astoria man charged as serial tagger for graffiti acts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens district attorney's office

An Astoria man was indicted Wednesday for allegedly tagging trees, traffic control boxes and more in the past year, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Michael Mestric was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on 19 counts of criminal mischief and 19 counts of making graffiti.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the 30-year-old “found a canvas for his tag at nearly every turn.”

Between May 2013 and April of this year, Mestric’s tag “AOE” was found spray painted on highway walls along the Grand Central Parkway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway, Brown said. Mestric is also being charged for tagging control boxes, a fence, tree, and a historic observation deck at Astoria Park.

“Graffiti is not art – nor is it a victimless crime. Tagging encourages lawlessness. It leads to decreased property values and is expensive to remove,” Brown said.

The damage and cost of removing the graffiti allegedly exceeded $12,500, with the observation deck at Astoria Park alone costing more than $2,500 to repair.

If convicted, Mestric faces up to seven years in prison.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pedestrian struck and killed while walking on LIE


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

police car

A 38-year-old man was fatally hit by a vehicle early Wednesday morning as he was walking in the middle lane of the Long Island Expressway, cops said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was struck at about 3:15 a.m. on the westbound side of the roadway at the Grand Central Parkway near Corona, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The driver of the vehicle, a green Ford, remained at the site of the collision and the investigation is ongoing.

It was not immediately clear what the pedestrian was doing on the expressway.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

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


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

20-year-old woman dies in Grand Central Parkway motorcycle crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

Updated 1:07 p.m.

A motorcyclist was injured and his passenger was killed when he lost control of his bike on the Grand Central Parkway early Tuesday morning, cops said.

The crash happened while the motorcyclist was traveling westbound on the roadway at about 4:30 a.m. just before the 94th Street exit in East Elmhurst, according to police.

The bike’s operator, a 21-year-old man, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition with injuries to his shoulder and legs.

His 20-year-old passenger, Giuseppina Lascalia of Astoria, was also taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead,  authorities said.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man killed in two-vehicle crash on Grand Central Parkway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated 4:32 p.m.

A car crash Thursday night left a 19-year-old dead and sent three others to the hospital after a driver struck another vehicle on the Grand Central Parkway, according to police.

The accident happened at about 11:50 p.m. near Union Turnpike, cops said.

A Nissan Maxima was driving westbound in the parkway’s middle lane directly behind a Honda Accord when it attempted to change lanes and hit the side of the Honda, authorities said. The Nissan then lost control and struck the guardrail before overturning.

The driver of the Nissan, 19-year-old Andy Ramdhanie, of Holis, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three of the Honda’s occupants, a 57-year-old and 23-year-old woman, and a 20-year-old man, were taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center with minor neck and back pain.

The investigation is ongoing, cops said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

125-year-old East Elmhurst flower shop blossoms next to controversial homeless shelter


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

For more than a century, one East Elmhurst family has been helping their neighborhood bloom.

Donhauser Florist, located at 71-01 Astoria Blvd., was established in 1889 by Hans Donhauser, a German florist who immigrated to the United States. While working at a Brooklyn cemetery he heard that St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens was in need of a florist.

He then moved to East Elmhurst and built a greenhouse on 71st Street and Astoria Boulevard. After a few years, 12 more greenhouses were added and a flower shop was built on 49th Street and Astoria Boulevard.

Donhauser’s family worked at the shop, including his sons, daughters and even his great granddaughter Gladys.

“When your parents are in the business, you’re in the business,” said Gladys about working at the shop since she was 12 years old. “It’s all I’ve known.”

Donhauser Florist moved to 71-01 Astoria Blvd. and replaced one existing greenhouse, while the other 12 were later sold to become the Westway Motor Inn.

Gladys, who grew up at the house currently still standing next to the shop, has owned the store since 1977 together with her husband William Gray, who initially started working at the 49th Street shop.

Since then the Grays have been providing flower arrangements for their neighbors, some of whom they have shared first communions with and years later, weddings. William even arranged all the flowers for his own wedding.

The shop provides flowers for visitors to St. Michael’s Cemetery, located across the Grand Central Parkway, first communions, weddings and other special occasions.

However, the Grays, who have been married for 60 years, say business has been up and down ever since the city’s Department of Homeless Services decided to first use the Westway Motor Inn, located right next door, as a temporary homeless shelter.

“It was once an exquisite hotel with beautiful rooms and a pool,” Gladys said. “Since about a decade ago we started to have problems with it. People were afraid to come around the shop.”

Two weeks ago, the city approved converting the motel into a permanent homeless shelter housing more than 120 families.

Although they are nervous on how the permanent shelter will affect the community and their business, the couple continues to welcome customers with smiles on their faces.

“I hope it stays for 125 more years,” Gladys said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

One dead after vehicle catches fire on Grand Central Parkway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of @FabianBuchheim

Updated Wednesday, May 28, 9:55 a.m.

One person was killed and two people were injured in a vehicle fire on the Grand Central Parkway Tuesday afternoon.

The car, a 2010 Toyota Highlander, burst into flames about 1:40 p.m. on the eastbound side of the roadway near the exit for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, cops said.

One of the passengers, identified by police as 50-year-old Dale Tulloch of Yonkers, N.Y, died in the fire. The driver, a 26-year-old man, and another passenger, a 25-year-old woman, were taken to New York Hospital Queens with minor injuries.

Officers at the scene were told that the vehicle ran over a piece of metal, which ignited the gas tank, cops said. The SUV then pulled over to the side of the parkway, where the occupants noticed smoke coming from the car, followed by flames.

The driver and the surviving passenger managed to escape before the car ignited, but the 50-year-old, who was in the backseat, did not, according to police.

The incident is still under investigation.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Former Parkway Hospital will be converted to condos


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Jasper Venture Group

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

After being shuttered for six years, the site of the former Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills will be converted to a residential building.

Jasper Venture Group, a real estate investment firm, announced on May 7 that it plans to demolish the former hospital at 70-35 113th St. and construct a bigger building than the 70,000-square-feet property.

Including a parking lot, the site is more than 107,000 square feet.

The company did not release how many units the new building will have or when it is set to be complete, but said the new residential space will “breathe new life into the idle site.”

“The additional housing this project will provide when complete will be a relief to those seeking a more spacious option to the compact living New York City provides,” the company said in a release. “[T]he former Parkway Hospital will be luxurious, offering its residents a view of the lakes and their own slice of serenity.”

Parkway Hospital overlooks Grand Central Parkway and rests just outside of both Willow Lake and Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The state closed the hospital in 2008 and it has been vacant since. The hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Former Parkway CEO Robert Aquino was sentenced to four months in jail in May of 2012 after he pleaded guilty to bribing former State Senator Carl Kruger to try to keep the medical facility open.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

NYPD detective who fatally shot National Guardsman charged: reports


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The NYPD detective who fatally shot a National Guardsman on the Grand Central Parkway was charged in connection with the death, according to published reports.

Detective Hassan Hamdy received a departmental charge Thursday of “failing to employ proper tactics causing a civilian’s death,” when he shot 22-year-old Noel Polanco during a traffic stop in October 2012, reports said.

Sergeant Thomas Glaudino, who was responsible for Hamdy’s unit that day, was also charged with failing to supervise his team to prevent the alleged tactical mistakes, reports also said.

Polanco was pulled over when he was seen driving erratically in his car, weaving between lanes and speeding on the highway before allegedly cutting off an unmarked police vehicle. Hamdy allegedly fired the single shot that killed Polanco when he told him to put his hands on the steering wheel and Polanco reached under the seat.

In February of 2013, a Queens grand jury concluded that there would be no criminal charges filed in connection to the death of Polanco.

Two months ago, Polanco’s family reached a $2.5 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Flushing man decapitated while trying to cross Grand Central Parkway


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A 31-year-old Flushing man was killed while crossing the Grand Central Parkway Friday night, police said.

Fidel Vidal Diaz was hit by two vehicles when he tried to cross the westbound lane of the roadway at 31st Drive, cops said. Diaz was decapitated by the crash, according to reports.

The first vehicle was a 2005 Ford Mustang and the second was a 2002 Volkswagen. Both drivers remained on the scene of the accident, cops said.

Police and EMS responded just after 11 p.m. and Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials.

Cops are still investigating the accident.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Family of slain National Guardsman reaches $2.5 million settlement in suit against city


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The family of slain National Guardsman Noel Polanco has reached a $2.5 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

“While the family of Noel Polanco does not believe justice was done on the criminal side of our legal system certainly there was a measure of justice from the civil side of our legal system with the settlement of damages for wrongful death,” Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer for Polanco’s family said.

The 22-year-old Army Reserve member was fatally shot by NYPD police officer Hassan Hamdy during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway in October 2012.

Polanco was pulled over when he was seen driving erratically in his car, weaving between lanes and speeding on the highway before allegedly cutting off an unmarked police vehicle. Hamdy allegedly fired the single shot that killed Polanco when he told him to put his hands on the steering wheel and Polanco reached under the seat.

Last February, a Queens grand jury concluded that there would be no criminal charges filed in connection to the death of Polanco. By the end of the month, Polanco’s mother, Cecilia Reyes, announced a $20 million notice of claim to file a lawsuit against the city, NYPD and the officer who shot her son.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Motorcyclist killed on Whitestone Expressway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Bronx man died Saturday after he lost control of his motorcycle and collidided into a median on the Whitestone Expressway.

The crash occurred around 10:15 a.m. as 35-year-old Jose Bosque was riding southbound on the roadway at the Grand Central Parkway, said police.

Bosque was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Two dead, four injured, driver arrested in Grand Central Parkway crash


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Vic Nicastro

Four people traveling on the Grand Central Parkway were seriously injured and two died after the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed on June 29 at about 4 a.m, cops said.

The driver of the vehicle, Queens Village resident Madosh Hansraj, has been arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter, one count of felony assault, two counts of criminally negligent homicide, illegal speed and speeding and driving while ability impaired, according to authorities.

His bail was set at $250,000, according to court records.

Hansraj, 20, lost control of the vehicle, identified as a 1996 Honda, when he tried to switch from the center lane to the right lane while traveling eastbound at high speed in the parkway, according to a police investigation. Cops said he tried to brake, which  caused the vehicle to slide off the roadway and bang into the railing.

Three of four people in the backseat were not wearing seat beats and flew through the rear window, the police said. Two of the ejected passengers, Meera Dukharan, 17, and  Anil Persaud, 18, were found dead on arrival at the scene.  The third has serious injuries. He along with the other rear passenger and a teenager in the front passenger seat have minor injuries and are now being treated at New York Hospital.

 Updated Monday, July 1

 

 RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with ice pellets. High of 36 with a windchill as low as 25F. Winds from the East at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 90% . Monday night: Overcast with ice pellets and snow, then rain after midnight. Low of 36 with a windchill as low as 28F. Breezy. Winds from the East at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 100% .

EVENT OF THE DAY: Paper Bag players

Starting at 10:30 a.m., the Paper Bag players will perform a set of short plays at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center, located at 222-05 56th Avenue in Bayside. In a show put on for kids, the story and musical numbers explore the Old West and The Life of a Bowling Pin and in the rousing finale set at a Country Fair two neighbors who can’t get along become the best of friends with the audiences help. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

School bus involved in accident on Grand Central Parkway

Authorities are investigating an accident involving a school bus and a car in Queens. Read more: NBC New York

Four off-duty NYPD busted amid St. Patrick’s Day weekend hijinks

Four off-duty NYPD employees have been arrested since Friday, including an officer accused of driving drunk and leaving the scene of an accident, officials said. Read more: New York Daily News

Teen charged with DUI in fatal accident on Grand Central Parkway

Authorities arrested a teen for DUI after he struck and killed a taxi driver on the Grand Central Parkway early Sunday morning, said police. Read more: The Queens Courier

Irish prime minister attends St. Patrick’s Day mass in Breezy Point

It’s a special day for Irish residents of Breezy Point, not just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, or that they’re meeting the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland. Read more: NY1

Twitter co-founder eyes NYC mayor’s job

There may be another billionaire interested in New York City’s top job. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Top court to hear arguments over generic drugmaker liability

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case that could decide whether generic drugmakers can be held liable for alleged flaws in the designs of their medications, even though federal law requires generic manufacturers to copy the brand drugmaker’s design. Read more: Reuters

 

Teen charged with DUI in fatal accident on Grand Central Parkway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

gcp-construct3w

Authorities arrested a teen for DUI after he struck and killed a taxi driver on the Grand Central Parkway early Sunday morning, said police.

Around 3:20 a.m., 38-year-old Ansumana Dukuly, of the Bronx, was driving his cab westbound on the Grand Central Parkway near 180th Street when a Honda sedan struck him, causing the taxi to hit the median. Dukuly was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Honda driver fled the accident, but was later apprehended and taken into custody.

Roberto Depena, 19, of Queens, has been charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, criminally negligent homicide, speed violation, driving under the influence and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol while under the age of 21.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES