Tag Archives: hate crime

New Year’s fire bomber, Ray Lazier Lengend, charged with hate crime


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

An alleged arsonist arrested for a series of fires started on New Year’s Day is feeling the heat after being indicted on state and federal hate crime charges.

Ray Lazier Lengend, also known as Suraj Poonai, was taken into custody on January 3 – two days after police believe he threw glass bottles filled with gasoline at six occupied buildings in Queens and Long Island, two of which were places of worship.

The 40-year-old Queens Village resident was charged in a 36-count indictment, including arson as a hate crime, grand larceny, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison – with a minimum jail term of 20 years – if found guilty.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Lengend, who drove a silver Buick Regal that was stolen from a rental car facility at John F. Kennedy Airport, visited two separate gas stations in the vicinity of the Van Wyck Expressway on January 1 – purchasing glass coffee bottles at the first and filling the containers with gasoline at the second.

Lengend then proceeded to visit five sites in Queens – a deli on Hillside Avenue, a home on 107th Avenue, the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation mosque on the Van Wyck Expressway, a residence on 170th Street which is also used as a Hindu house of worship, and a dwelling on 43rd Avenue – and heave Molotov cocktails at the structures, according to the charges. Police say he also threw a fire bomb at one building in Long Island.

Lengend purportedly admitted to police that he planned to inflict as much damage and “take out” as many Muslims and Arabs as possible.

“Particularly troubling is the fact that the defendant is alleged to have been motivated by hate in at least two of the instances where he is alleged to have struck at a Muslim house of worship and attempted to strike at a second location which is a Hindu house of worship,” said Brown. “Hate crimes – whether they are motivated by religion, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender – will not be tolerated here in Queens, the country’s most diverse county. When they do regrettably occur, they will be condemned swiftly and those responsible will be brought to justice.”

Authorities say Lengend was recognized by a deli employee – who witnessed the suspect attempting to shoplift a bottle of Starbucks Frappacino and a small plastic bottle of milk on December 27 and expelled him from the store. Witnesses also spotted the stolen Buick Regal at several sites.

No injuries were reported in relation to the attacks, but one of the homes did sustain heavy fire damage in the living room. The damage on the mosque was minimal.

“We trust the court system to do the right thing, and we would like for justice to take its course,” said Syed Razvi, representative of the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation. “We don’t want to return back the hatred with which he came towards us. A person like this definitely has to be made an example of. I hope he serves his sentence, and that will serve as an example and deter people from performing similar crimes in the future, especially against houses of worship.”

Ex-Rutgers student Dharun Ravi found guilty in webcam spy case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

A former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate’s love life has been convicted of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim of the snooping committed suicide. Twenty-year-old Dharun Ravi could face 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced. He shook his head slightly after the verdicts were read. A jury found that he used a webcam to spy on roommate Tyler Clementi and that he did it — and told others about it — because of a bias against gays.

Read more on the verdict at NJ.com

Queens School Bus Accident Injures Six


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens School Bus Accident Injures Six

A mangled school bus across from a just as badly damaged car was the resulting wreckage from an accident in Queens Thursday, a testament to how close the collision came to being deadly. A driver of a Nissan Altima struck a bus on Glassboro Avenue and Liverpool Street in Jamaica. “It ran the stop sign right there and basically t-boned the school bus, and it was like a deflection,” said one witness. “Almost hit little children crossing the street,” said another. “It’s wild around here.” The Nissan driver missed the children, but the bus driver lost control and struck a 59-year-old woman, pinning her between the bus and the house. Read More: NY1

TSA agent busted in laptop ‘lift’

A federal TSA screener at La Guardia Airport was arrested for allegedly swiping a pricey laptop from a college student at a security gate. “He’s supposed to be protecting our country, but this shows his true intent,” fumed alleged victim Conley Averett, 21, who attends Parsons School of Design. Now-fired TSA screener Edwin Rosario, 27, was charged Tuesday with grand larceny and possession of stolen property for taking Averett’s $1,300 computer Dec. 19 as Averett hopped a Delta flight to Detroit and left it behind, authorities said. Read More: New York Post

Cops kill armed Brooklyn man; girlfriend says victim was investigating break-in at his home

Police shot and killed an armed man whose girlfriend said had gone outside in his pajamas to check on a possible break-in at his Brooklyn home Thursday night. Dwayne Browne, 27, was shot once in the chest about 10:40 p.m. outside 943 Schenck Ave. in East New York and died at Brookdale Hospital at 11:46 p.m., police said. “The officers told me they had to shoot him,” said his girlfriend, who gave only her first name, Juanita. “They kept calling him the shooter. The officer said, ‘I’m sorry. It was one of us. But he wouldn’t put the gun down.’’ Read More: Daily News

Mayor Michael Bloomberg makes his State of the City speech

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his State of the City highlighting ambitious plans to continue his overhaul of the “broken system” he faced when he entered office. Before the mayor made his way to the podium a short video was played chronicling his “journey” to get to this year’s speech.  Along the way he poked fun at himself — he danced to Lady Gaga who helped him ring in the new year with a kiss — and issues he has fought for over the years, including bike lanes and taxis in the outer boroughs.  It also featured former Mayor Ed Koch welcoming motorists to “his” bridge, the former Queensboro Bridge. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Track Work To Halt 7 Train Service On Weekends

Beginning the weekend of January 21, 7 trains will not run between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square. Riders can rely on the N train and take a free shuttle bus to the stops not being serviced. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority maintains the shutdown is absolutely necessary to make long-needed infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Community leaders say any steps have to be taken as quickly as possible and argue the line is a crucial way through several neighborhoods that are not serviced by any other trains. Read More: NY1

 

Glock of the ‘walk’: Wrist slap for Tea Partier’s La Guardia gun

A Tea Party activist busted at La Guardia Airport trying to place his California-licensed handgun into checked baggage got off with a disorderly-conduct charge yesterday. Mark Meckler’s no-jail deal comes as city district attorneys are grappling with a growing number of otherwise law-abiding gun owners who accidentally run afoul of New York’s strict gun-control regulations. “Apparently, this happens to hundreds of people per year in New York City,” Meckler, co-founder of the influential Tea Party Patriots, fumed on his Web site after court today. Read More: New York Post

City Worker Pleads Not Guilty To Hate Crime Charges In Connection With Parks HQ Noose

A Parks Department worker pleaded not guilty Thursday after he was arrested on hate crime charges and accused of a hanging a doll by a noose in the department’s Bronx headquarters. Fariz Ahmemulic, 28, was arrested Wednesday after two fellow employees said he told them he had put it up. He was charged with multiple counts, including aggravated harassment as a hate crime. The arraignment came after the doll was found last month near the working space of an African American employee. Ahmemulic said he had nothing to do with the incident. Read More: NY1

Bronx Man Arraigned On Assault Charges In Connection With Fatal Parking Lot Fight

As Andre Muller walked out of State Supreme Court in the Bronx on Thursday, his predicament shows just how quickly a situation can get out of control, changing lives forever. In June, Muller was fighting with two attendants at a Bronx parking lot. His son, Isayah Muller, was stabbed to death when he jumped into the fight. At his latest court appearance, Andre Muller pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault and possession of a weapon, which was the shovel he used during the fight. “There’s is no doubt that Mr. Muller, my client, should have retreated from the location,” said defense lawyer Lawrence Fredella. “There is also no doubt that he was threatened before taking any physical action.” Read More: NY1

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case

Prosecutors and defense lawyers say they’re in plea negotiations in a rare state-level terror case against a New York City man. He’s charged with building a homemade bomb to try to attack soldiers, police and other government targets. The Manhattan district attorney’s office disclosed the plea talks during a court date Monday in Jose Pimentel’s case. Defense lawyer Lori Cohen says prosecutors haven’t made any firm offer yet. Pimentel didn’t have to appear for the brief session. He’s due back in court March 1. The 27-year-old is being held without bail on charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes. Read More: New York Post

 

Man killed in Bx. shooting previously injured in August shootout

A gun-toting thug fatally shot a man in the Bronx yesterday, police said. The victim, Ricky Rodriguez-Recio, 20, was believed to be the intended target of a shooting in August that left a 2-year-old critically injured, sources said. The victim was outside of his home on East 181st Street in Bronx Park South at 6:17 p.m. when an unknown gunman opened fire striking him in the chest and hitting another man in the hand, cops said. Rodriguez-Recio was previously shot in the lower back on August 29 when Luis More, 23, opened fire at him, striking two children playing outside. Read More: New York Post

 

Report: Aqueduct Racino Pulled In $90M During Year’s Final Stretch

The money is reportedly flowing at the new Aqueduct racetrack casino in Queens. The Daily News says the racino brought in close to $90 million in revenue in November and December — more than five other gambling operations in New York made all last year. Only locations in Yonkers, Saratoga, and the Finger Lakes took in more money in 2011, but those are open year-round. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pinned Aqueduct’s success on the number of video slots, table games, and its proximity to the city. Read More: NY1

 

Trial on tap in Giants Stadium escalator accident

Opening arguments are under way in a trial brought by eight people who were injured when a Giants Stadium escalator malfunctioned four years. The trial started Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack in a lawsuit brought against the company that maintained the escalator and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operated Giants Stadium. The escalator malfunctioned as fans were leaving a New York Giants game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 29, 2007. An attorney for the plaintiffs says one person lost a leg and another has had more than a dozen operations on his foot. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Blue Ivy Carter an instant Twitter sensation: Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby garners celebrity attention

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby was trending on Twitter at birth. The social media site was aflutter Sunday with celebrity pals and relatives of the hip-hop royal couple posting messages of 140 characters or less. “The most beautiful girl in the world,” Beyoncé’s sis, Solange Knowles, tweeted of her newborn niece, Blue Ivy Carter. Within hours of entering the world at Lenox Hill Hospital on the upper East Side Saturday night, the infant boasting the lineage of the R&B princess and the rap impresario caused a stir in the Twittersphere. Read More: Daily News

 

No Pants Subway Ride hits New York City for 11th year 

It’s like commuting, but without the pants. Straphangers throughout New York City nonchalantly stripped to their underwear from the waist down Sunday afternoon as part of a global practical joke coordinated by prankster outfit Improv Everywhere. To participate in the 11th annual No Pants Subway Ride, the only requirements were people had to be “willing to take pants off on subway” and “able to keep a straight face about it,” organizers said in a post on their website. Read More: Daily News

 

Trial begins in murder of Laura Garza, young Brooklyn woman who went missing from a Manhattan nightclub  

A murder trial is getting under way for a registered sex offender accused of murdering an aspiring dancer from Texas whose body was found in Pennsylvania more than a year after she went missing in New York. Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Orange County Court in the murder trial of Michael Mele of Wallkill. The victim, Laura Garza, met Mele at a Manhattan nightclub in December 2008 and disappeared afterward. Her body was found in April 2010 near Scranton, Pa. Garza had moved to Brooklyn from McAllen, Texas, five months before her disappearance. Read More: Daily News

 

Long Island police investigate swastika drawn on garage door in Sea Cliff

Long Island cops are hunting the vandals who drew a swastika on a garage door in Sea Cliff. Nassau County police say the 63-year-old resident of the home discovered the Nazi symbol over the weekend. Police say it was drawn in black marker sometime between between 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The incident is being investigated as aggravated harassment. Police say a school, park and three homes were the targets of similar vandalism in Sea Cliff between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Release Photo Of Suspected Bronx Subway Groper

Police in the Bronx are looking for a man they say groped a woman on the subway. The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. on the evening of December 14 at the East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse station on the D line. Police say a 25-year-old woman was walking up the stairs when a man approached from behind, lifted her dress and touched her backside. Read More: NY1

 

Mosque firebomber faces life in prison for hate crimes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mosque firebomber faces life in prison for hate crimes

The Queens pyromaniac who went on a New Year’s Day firebombing spree appeared for his Thursday arraignment looking like he could use a few swigs from the frappucino bottles he used during his hate-filled rampage. Ray Lazier Lengend looked groggy and dazed as he sat slumped in a chair at Bellevue Hospital for an arraignment piped by video feed into Queens Criminal Court. Lengend, 40, responded to Supreme Court Justice Lenora Gerald’s questions with one-word answers, occasionally closing his eyes. Read More: Daily News

Queens Business Owners Call For Litter Crackdown

 Queens residents are facing a big trash problem on Liberty Avenue. There are overflowing garbage cans, garbage bags on the sidewalks, and litter all over the street between the Van Wyck Expressway and Woodhaven Boulevard. “It’s a daily problem,” says one resident. The merchants are paying for it. The Department of Sanitation has ticketed many for not keeping their storefronts clean, but Paul Singh, owner of New Union Turnpike Auto Parts, says tidying up is next to impossible. Read More: NY1

Courier publisher to appear on Geraldo’s radio show on WABC 770AM at 10AM today

The publisher of The Queens Courier, Victoria Schneps-Yunis, will join Geraldo Rivera’s radio program on January 6 to discuss the 40th anniversary of his reports on the deplorable conditions for the children at the Willowbrook State School. It was in 1971 that Schneps, along with members of WORC, the Working Organization for Retarded Children, picketed the school to fight for the rights of Schneps’ daughter Lara and the 5,400 residents at Willowbrook, a Staten Island school for mentally disabled children. The story took off when Rivera, then a reporter for ABC television, reported on the neglect the children at Willowbrook faced. Read More: Queens Courier & Listen to the live stream at 10AM at WABC

Mets Fans Turn Out For Annual Winter Blood Drive

It may be January, but Mets fans headed back to Citi Field Thursday. It was mostly about blood, not baseball, as the team held its annual winter blood drive. Donors received a voucher for tickets to a Mets game in April, as well as a discount at the Mets team store. All of the donations will go to the New York Blood Center. “Particularly this blood drive being just after the first of the year, we are really replenishing diminished supply over the holidays from the past two weeks, holidays and schools being off. So this is a tremendous opportunity for community members to come out and save lives,” said Diana Zaferiou of the New York Blood Center. Read More: NY1

Archbishop Timothy Dolan one of 22 new cardinals named by Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals Friday, including prelates in such key posts as New York and Hong Kong and a large group of Italians holding major Vatican positions. The Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, and former Archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin O’Brien, were among those named by the pope. Dolan said in a statement today, “Over the Christmas holy days, I finished a new biography of President Kennedy and I recalled his reply to someone who sincerely congratulated him on the honor of the presidency. ‘Thank you,’ John Kennedy replied, ‘but I don’t look at it so much as an honor, but as a call to higher service.’ Read More:  New York Post

‘Jail farewell’ tour

A Queens landlord is a free man after being acquitted of murder yesterday — but his freedom train is making stops at both Rikers Island and an upstate prison. Jailed four years, three months and one week since his 2007 arrest, Michael McLennon, 41, was more than eligible to be sprung immediately on the weapons-possession charge on which he did get convicted. But correctional red tape required that he spend last night in Rikers, and then be bused to Downstate Correctional prison in Fishkill today so his release can be processed, said his lawyer, Tamara Harris. Read More: New York Post

‘Proof’ of robbery

This “brandy bandit” should have saved the celebrating until after the heist. A gun-toting thug was busted Tuesday after detectives traced his fingerprints off a bottle of cheap booze he left outside the T-Mobile store in Queens he allegedly robbed, cops say. Gregory Kennedy, 31, is now accused of pocketing $11,435 from stick-ups at 11 Dunkin’ Donuts, T-Mobile stores and other businesses between October 11 and December 30. On November 25, Kennedy drained a half-pint of Paul Masson Grand Amber while staking out a T-Mobile store on Jamaica Avenue from an unlicensed livery cab, law-enforcement sources said. Read More: New York Post

Ten MS-13 gang members from Flushing indicted for racketeering 

Ten members of the infamous MS-13 gang from Flushing were indicted Thursday on racketeering charges, including violent machete and baseball attacks against rivals, authorities said. “The only people who should be wielding baseball bats in Flushing are Mets, not MS-13,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Federal agents and NYPD detectives arrested eight of the thugs in early morning raids while two others were already incarcerated. The defendants were members of a powerful clique of Mara Salvatrucha 13 wreaking havoc in their Queens neighborhood since 2007, authorities said. Read More: New York Post

[UPDATE] Suspect charged with hate crime in fire bomb attacks


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Pearl Gabel

The man picked up by police in connection with a string of five fire bombings, four in Queens and one on Long Island, confessed to authorities and has been charged with a hate crime.

Ray Lazier Lengend, 40, was tracked through a stolen car eyewitnesses saw at the scene of at least two of the attacks. Authorities believe Lengend stole the car, a late-model Buick, from a rental lot at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was arrested on Tuesday, January 3 and charged with one count of arson as a hate crime, four counts of arson and five counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

According to police, hours before he was charged, Lengend implicated himself in each of the five attacks, stating that he had personal grievances with each of his targets.

Authorities believe Lengend was kicked out of a convenience store on December 27 for trying to steal a glass Starbucks Frappuccino bottle and milk. The owner of the convenience store said that as Lengend was leaving the store, he threatened retaliation.

That deli was later firebombed by a homemade Molotov cocktail, along with four other targets. Four of the five firebombs thrown at the various locations were made from glass Starbucks bottles, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The fifth likely was made from a beer bottle.

Before the suspect’s confession, Kelly, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other Queens elected officials, gathered at one of the targets, the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica, to condemn the attacks.

According to police, the incidents occurred between 8 and 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 1. No injuries were reported and damage to the mosque was minimal. On Monday, January 2, police released a sketch of the suspect and video showing the man hurling a flaming bottle at a home on 170th Street that doubles as a Hindu place of worship.

The other two targets were private homes, with one house sustaining heavy fire damage in the living room, though no injuries were reported.
After meeting with representatives of the mosque and elected officials, Bloomberg said that the city will not tolerate violence, whether it was a senseless act or a more targeted hate crime.

“In either case, one attack is too many,” he said. “We all know that we are in this together and discrimination against one is discrimination against many.”

Borough President Helen Marshall called it a “sad day” and said that she was extremely upset by the thought of attacks like these happening in a borough as diverse as Queens.

“This man must be punished by the fullest extent of the law,” she said. “To throw bombs without knowing who is inside – it’s just wrong, and it’s not Queens.”

‘Person of interest’ in custody for Molotov cocktail attacks


| smosco@queenscourier.com

DSC_0008w

A man is currently being held for questioning by authorities in connection with a string of five fire bombings, four in Queens and one on Long Island, being investigated as possible hate crimes.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other Queens elected officials, gathered at one of the targets, the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica, to condemn the attacks.

“We currently have a person of interest in custody,” said Kelly at the press conference on Tuesday, January 3. Police linked the unnamed suspect’s vehicle to a bodega on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica where he was thrown out on December 27 after the owner suspected him of shoplifting. As he was pushed out of the store, the man allegedly threatened the owner with retaliation.

That bodega was later firebombed, along with four other targets, with a Molotov cocktail made from a glass Starbucks bottle – one of the items the man in question was suspected of shoplifting.

According to police, the incidents occurred between 8 and 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 1. No injuries were reported and damage to the mosque was minimal. On Monday, January 2, police released a sketch of the suspect and video showing the man hurling a flaming bottle at a home on 170th Street that doubles as a Hindu place of worship.

The other two targets were private homes, with one house sustaining heavy fire damage in the living room, though no injuries were reported. But according to Kelly, three young children were in the residence at the time of the attack – a fact which could very well up the charges.

After meeting with representatives of the mosque and elected officials, Bloomberg said that the city will not tolerate violence, whether it was a senseless act or a more targeted hate crime.

“In either case, one attack is too many,” he said. “We all know that we are in this together and discrimination against one is discrimination against many.”

Borough President Helen Marshall called it a “sad day” and said that she was extremely upset by the thought of attacks like these happening in a borough as diverse as Queens.

“This man must be punished by the fullest extent of the law,” she said. “To throw bombs without knowing who is inside – it’s just wrong, and it’s not Queens.”

Condemn Hate


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

We were shocked — and honestly very saddened — to learn of the string of Molotov cocktail attacks happening right in our own backyard.
Instead of beginning a new year with peace, it seems Queens ushered in 2012 with hate, especially since one of the targets of the attacks was the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica.

The other attacks occurred at a bodega and two private homes in the Jamaica area. And a fifth incident on Long Island is being investigated to see if it is related.

Though thankfully there were no reports of injuries — and the 80 or so people worshipping in the Center on New Year’s Day were able to evacuate, with just damage done to the building’s facade by the homemade explosives — the incidents, reportedly being investigated by the NYPD as hate crimes, frayed the nerves of many.

“We live in the U.S. This is our country,” said a man who attends the Center in published reports.

He’s right.

Not only is it 2012, but we live in the United States, a bastion of freedom and rights. And Queens is home to over 2 million people, 47.1 percent of whom are foreign born, 54.4 percent of whom speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2010 census.

So in this day and age, why did this happen?

Why are there still people who hate?

We applaud the NYPD for their increased vigilance, their handling of the situation and their sensitivity, each and every day, to the cultures of Queens.

And we urge whoever is responsible for these heinous crimes — or anyone with information — to come forward.

Please, the people of Queens deserve to live in peace, to live the American Dream.

Police release sketch of suspect who threw Molotov cocktails in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

RMA 3 -2011w

Police have released a sketch of the suspect they believe is responsible for throwing Molotov cocktails at four locations in Queens on New Year’s Day.

Between 8-10:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 1, the suspect threw four lit Molotov cocktails at different locations throughout Queens, police said.  The homemade bombs caused fire and property damage, though no injuries have been reported.

“No matter what the motivation was of the individual who threw Molotov cocktails in Queens, his actions stand in stark contrast to the New York City of today that we’ve built together,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The NYPD’s Hate Crime Unit is investigating the attack.

The mayor is scheduled to meet with religious leaders today at the Imam Al-Khoie Islamic Center, one of the locations the suspect struck.

The other locations were at 179-46 Hillside Avenue, 146-62 107th Avenue and 88-20 170th Street.

Police described the suspect as 5-feet-8-inches tall, weighing 200-pounds and between the ages of 25-30.  The suspect was seen driving a light-colored, four-door sedan.

A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for the crime.  Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/14/2011: Livery Cab Driver Shot Dead In Far Rockaway


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man Killed In Richmond Hill Car Crash

Police said a man was killed when his car slammed into a tree in front of a Queens hospital and burst into flames early Sunday morning. According to police, the unidentified man was speeding southbound down the Van Wyck Expressway about 2:15 a.m. when he tried to exit at Atlantic Avenue and lost control of his BMW. Read More: Fox News

Police Continue Search For Hit-And-Run Suspect

The family of hit-and-run victim George Gibbons joined Council Member Eliazbeth Crowley (D-Queens) to assist the NYPD in the efforts to apprehend suspect Peter Rodriguez. The 37-year-old Gibbons was a passenger of a livery cab when he was killed after the Lincoln Town Car he was in was slammed by a Chrysler Sebring that was driving in the wrong direction. Read More: Fox News

Livery Cab Driver Shot Dead In Far Rockaway; Reward Offered For Capture of Killer

Sunday of a livery cab driver found slumped over the wheel of his car with a bullet in his head and clutching a wad of cash. Relatives of Patrick Hall, a 30-year-old father of three, called the shooting “senseless,” and cops said the killer walked away from the 7:30 a.m. bloodshed in Far Rockaway without a cent. Read More: Daily News

“Occupy” Protester Interrupts Congressman Turner’s Local Swearing-In Ceremony

Occupy Wall Street protestors made an unexpected appearance at Congressman Bob Turner’s ceremonial swearing-in on Sunday in his district Queens. Months after he took office, the Republican took an oath before a large crowd at Queens Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills. Read More: NY1

Woodhaven Man Charged With Killing Neighbor

A Queens man was arraigned on murder and weapons charges in connection with the death of his neighbor in Woodhaven. Police say Mustafa Omran, 53, lived upstairs from Yasmen Rabban on 91st Avenue. Authorities were called to Rabban’s apartment last month after she had not been heard from in a while. When they got to the apartment, they found Rabban dead, with puncture wounds to her neck. Read More: NY1

Queens Swastika Graffiti Suspect Arraigned On Four Counts Of Criminal Mischief

A 40-year-old man was arraigned on hate crime charges in Queens Saturday. Franco Rodriguez is being held on $5,000 bail for allegedly painting swastikas on several buildings. He did not enter a plea during his court appearance. Rodriguez has been charged with four counts of malicious mischief, all as hate crimes. Police sources say he was identified on video surveillance. Read More: NY1

State Ban On Smoking At Outdoor Commuter Rail Platforms Takes Effect

A new state law that bans smoking on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s outdoor commuter rail platforms, including Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road stations, took effect Sunday. Smokers now face a $50 fine for breaking the rule. MTA police officers will give out warnings before they start writing tickets. The agency said the ban promotes a healthier, cleaner environment and reduces the chance of a track fire. Read More: NY1

Plans pitched to turn landmark New York State Pavilion into multi-million-dollar air museum   
Author Jeannette Remak wants to re-fashion the New York State Pavilion — built for the 1964 World’s Fair but left vacant for decades — into a tourist hotspot where vintage airplanes hang from the ceiling. Remak has support from the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in East Elmhurst, which has offered interns to help run the museum. Read More: Daily News

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/04/2011: Queens Officials To Stand Against Swastika Graffiti


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Queens Officials To Stand Against Swastika Graffiti

Four swastikas showed up on the walls of the Jackson Heights branch of the Queens Library Thursday. At least one more was painted on the library branch in East Elmhurst, and another was etched on the door of a synagogue on 88th Street. Police believe the incidents in three separate locations are related. They are being investigated by the hate crimes taskforce. Local leaders plan to hold a news conference Friday to denounce this kind of hateful vandalism. Read More: NY1

 

‘Fresh Meadows Rules’ Facebook group unites former residents from around the world in Queens

More than 150 former Fresh Meadows residents reunited last week to celebrate the planned neighborhood many remember as a small utopia tucked away in Queens. The gathering, organized through a Facebook group called Fresh Meadows Rules, brought residents from all over the country and even overseas back to Queens to meet up with childhood pals and revisit local landmarks. Read More: Daily News

 

Melanie Webb, Long Island City woman, pleads guilty to shooting slay of her sister,Tara, on victim’s birthday

A Long Island City woman pleaded guilty Thursday to fatally shooting her sister on the victim’s 27th birthday.Melanie Webb, 25, also shot Tara Webb’s boyfriend, Terrell Carmichael, on March 26 in the Long Island City apartment they all shared, she admitted. A source close to the case said Webb shot her sister Tara in her bed and turned her gun on Carmichael, hitting him twice in the torso in the shower. Read More: Daily News

 

Queens high school students to help upstate NY rebuild after Hurricane Irene ravaged homes and businesses

Students at a Bellerose high school will soon get a lesson in what it means to build stronger communities — one nail at a time. The Habitat for Humanity club at the Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences is raising money and supplies for a trip to upstate New York to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Irene. The group plans to partner with a yet to-be-determined Binghamton high school by the end of the year. It also plans to donate cleaning and school supplies. Read More: Daily News

 

FEMA extends deadline for Hurricane Irene victims

There’s a ray of hope for those affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in August. On Oct. 31, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a deadline extension for individuals seeking disaster assistance. The new FEMA registration deadline is Dec. 15. Read More: Staten Island Live