Tag Archives: hit and run

Suspect charged with hate crime in Ozone Park hit-and-run of Sikh man


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Title

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 20 11:52 p.m.

A 55-year-old Long Island man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly called another man “Osama” before intentionally running him over and dragging him several feet before fleeing, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Joseph Caleca has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and leaving the scene without reporting. 

“The defendant is accused of an unprovoked attack that allegedly began with the defendant driving by the victim and his friends and yelling out a vile anti-Muslim insult,” Brown said. “After an exchange of words, the defendant allegedly struck the victim intentionally with his vehicle and dragged his body along the street.”

On July 30, the victim, 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, was standing at the intersection of 101st Avenue and 99th Street in Ozone Park with three friends just after midnight when a light-colored pickup truck driven by Caleca approached the group. Caleca then went on to say, “in sum and substance,” according to Brown, “Move your [expletive] ass. You’re [expletive] slow, you [expletive] Osama. Go back to your country.”

Afterwards, Caleca allegedly parked his truck, got out and confronted Singh and his friends. After a verbal dispute, Caleca then returned to his truck and drove head-on into Singh, catching his body on the vehicle’s undercarriage and then dragging Singh several feet until his body got out from under the vehicle, according to the district attorney. Caleca then fled the scene. 

Singh was taken to Jamaica Hospital with abdominal and back injuries, and several abrasions.

A week after Singh was struck outside of his business, a rally was held urging authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime, according to DNAinfo.

Caleca was ordered held without bail and to return to court on Sept. 10. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

 

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Police looking for driver in fatal Maspeth hit-and-run


| editorial@queenscourier.com

PoliceCarHC0312_L_300_C_R

A 32-year-old Ridgewood man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident early Monday morning, police said.

Police responded to a call at about 2:52 a.m. on Fresh Pond Road between 60th Drive and Elliot Avenue where they found Karoll Grzegorczyk unconscious with trauma on his body, lying on the road. Grzegorczyk was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, according to the NYPD.

Further investigation showed that Grzegorczyk was walking on Fresh Pond Road when mid-block he entered the street between parked cars, police said. The Ridgewood resident was then struck by a dark-colored sedan, which fled the scene.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

 

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Cops: Bicyclist killed in Laurelton hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A 50-year-old-man riding his bicycle in Laurelton early Saturday morning was killed in a hit-and-run crash, police said.

The accident happened about 5 a.m. on North Conduit Avenue near 225th Street, cops said.

After striking the bicyclist, identified as Wayne White of Laurelton, the vehicle fled the scene, according to officials.

White was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Generally cloudy. High 72. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday Night: Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. Low 57. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Big Apple Circus

The Big Apple Circus will be at Cunningham Park through June 15. Times vary. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Police release video of driver wanted in Astoria hit-and-run


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD


Cops are looking for the driver involved in an Astoria hit-and-run on Saturday that left a 21-year-old man injured.

The driver of a white sedan struck the pedestrian on 45th Street at about 4:05 a.m. when the vehicle mounted the sidewalk as it headed westbound on 30th Avenue, police said. The driver then fled the scene.

The victim was taken to the hospital and suffered a broken femur, concussion and dislocated shoulder, according to officials.

Police have released a video of the accident that shows the car as it hits the man.

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.

 

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Van fatally strikes bicyclist in Ozone Park hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash Sunday night after a van knocked him to the ground, then ran him over as he was riding on Rockaway Boulevard, police said.

The victim, a man in his 40s who has yet to be identified by police, was traveling along the roadway near 90th Street in Ozone Park about 9:35 p.m. when the accident occurred, officials said.

The van, a black Mercedes Benz, was driving in the same direction on Rockaway Boulevard as the victim when it sideswiped him, and the bicyclist fell and was run over.

After the van’s driver briefly stopped and got out of his vehicle, he allegedly returned to the van, and fled westbound on Rockaway Boulevard.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.

There are no arrests and the investigation is still ongoing.

 

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Driver charged in Brooklyn crash that killed 9-year-old St. Albans girl


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

A man suspected in a Brooklyn hit-and-run smashed into two vehicles, killing a young Queens girl Sunday after he fled a traffic stop, police and reports said.

Kenneth Palache, 62, of Huntington, Long Island, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, leaving the scene of an accident-failure to show license and aggravated unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle in connection with the deadly crash, police said.

Palache was traveling south on Remsen Avenue in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn at about 5 p.m. when his Honda minivan struck a Hyundai sedan and Toyota minivan, which were both traveling west on Avenue N, according to officials.

A passenger in the Hyundai, identified as 9-year-old Rebecca Ramnarine, of St. Albans, was taken to Brookdale Hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said. She was on her way back from church when she was killed, according to published reports.

Rebecca’s mother, who was reportedly close by when the crash happened, described her daughter as “rambunctious” to the New York Post, saying “she loved to dance” and “wanted to be a pediatrician.”

Two other occupants of the Hyundai and three occupants of the Toyota were taken to Brookdale Hospital in stable condition.

Shortly before plowing into the vehicles, Palache had been involved in a hit-and-run accident around Foster Avenue and East 87th Street, according to published reports. Police attempted to pull him over near Remsen Avenue near Avenue L, but he fled, reports said.  Cops were not in pursuit when the collision occurred.

 

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Astoria resident victim of alleged livery cab hit-and-run


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Rich Feloni

Even playing it safe couldn’t keep Rich Feloni from becoming another hit-and-run victim.

Feloni was walking down Ditmars Boulevard toward the Q69 bus stop on his way to work Tuesday at about 8:50 a.m. when he was allegedly struck by a black livery cab on the corner of 45th Street.

The Astoria resident said that although he had the right of way, he still leaned forward to check on any incoming traffic. The cab, which Feloni believes was speeding and driving close to the parked cars on the street, then struck him as he was looking to the right and threw him off his feet.

“Even if I had the right of way I still leaned forward as precautionary measure. Next thing I know I’m getting whipped to my left and I see this car just making contact with me,” Feloni said. “It was just very reckless driving. This guy was going much faster than any car is driving in the morning.”

While on the floor, Feloni said the traffic light remained red and he noticed the cab slowed down. However, once he stood up, with help from nearby concerned pedestrians, the cab allegedly sped away from the scene.

A man who helped Feloni to his feet was able to jot down four numbers of the driver’s license plate and shared it with police.

Feloni was then taken to Mount Sinai Queens with a fractured ankle and abrasions on his face.

“I tried to be more precautionary, with all these crazy stories you hear,” Feloni said. “I’m glad I even paused.”

Police information was pending as of Wednesday afternoon.

Although The Courier cannot confirm that the cab driver was speeding when Feloni was allegedly struck, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announced it is currently exploring anti-speeding technology as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero’s goal of zero traffic fatalities.

The TLC is looking at speed governors, also known as mandatory or intervention systems, and other advisory systems that alert drivers when they are going over the speed limit, driving while fatigued or driving recklessly.

A Vision Zero Town Hall meeting has also been scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, in Long Island City at LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave.

 

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Local leaders, advocates call for public’s help to find fatal LIC hit-and-run driver


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Kumar Ragunath was on his way to start the second day at his new job at the Holiday Inn in Long Island City, but never made it.

The 64-year-old grandfather was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run on March 7 after being struck on Northern Boulevard and 40th Road. Police found Ragunath at 10:25 p.m. unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma and a broken leg. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he died the following day from his injuries.

Now, the Long Island City community is asking for the public’s help in finding the driver, who fled the scene in a dark colored Chevy Blazer.

“Kumar was a grandfather, he was a father, he left a family broken and grieving and that happens every 30 hours in this city,” said Juan Martinez, general counsel and legislative director of Transportation Alternatives.

Street safety advocates, elected officials and local leaders gathered Friday morning to call on the public to help track down the driver of the hit-and-run and also to emphasize the need of more speed and red light cameras on borough streets.

“We are here as a community to say never again and as we have pledged, every single time there is a serious injury and fatality to a pedestrian or cyclists we are going to speak out,” Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said. “We are determined people, determined to make every single street safe”

Last month, four people were hit by a driver while they were waiting for a bus on Northern Boulevard and 48th Street. In December, 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was fatally struck on his way to school at a Northern Boulevard intersection in Woodside.

“We need to change the laws,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris, who introduced a bill in the Senate, which would charge drivers who continue to drive without a valid license and are in an accident that causes serious injury or death with vehicular assault. “We’re going to keep up the fight in the state legislature to make sure that New York City gets the attention it deserves, the safety it deserves.”

Van Bramer also added that Northern Boulevard is one of the deadliest roadways in Queens and he hopes it will be included as part of the first 50 thoroughfares to be focused on in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative.

“Northern Boulevard screams for inclusion in Vision Zero,” he said.

Earlier this week Borough President Melinda Katz announced that the Borough Board had approved a package of expense and capital budget priorities that it wants included in the city’s budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

One of the priorities is improving traffic and pedestrian safety in Queens through increasing the number of Slow Zones, installing more pedestrian countdown signals and speed cameras, and increasing police presence.

 

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64-year-old man killed in LIC hit-and-run


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Updated 9:49 p.m.

A 64-year-old man has died from injuries after a hit-and-run in Long Island City Friday night.

The NYPD responded to a 9-1-1 call at 10:25 p.m. Friday of a pedestrian struck on Northern Boulevard and 40th Road. There officers found Kumar Ragunath,64, unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma and a broken leg. He was then transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The victim was allegedly struck by a black or dark colored Chevy Blazer which was traveling in the right lane going westbound on Northern Boulevard, according to police. The car then struck the victim as he was trying to cross Northern Boulevard outside of any marked crosswalk.

The vehicle then fled the scene westbound on Northern Boulevard, said police. There are no arrests at this time and the case is being investigated by the NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad.

 

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Driver charged for deadly hit-and-run in Richmond Hill


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A man has been arrested after he struck a 73-year-old woman with his car in Richmond Hill before fleeing the scene, police said.

Kaneez Hussein was walking in the middle of Jamaica Avenue near 131st Street about 6:30 a.m. Thursday when she fell and was hit by a Nissan Altima, the NYPD said. She was just a couple of blocks from her home when the accident took place.

The driver, identified by police as 27-year-old Bladimer Alvarez Sorto, then fled in his car, cops said.

Hussein was taken to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Alvarez Sorto was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and unlicensed operator, according to police.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Periods of snow. Snow will be heavy at times especially this morning. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Snow accumulating 5 to 8 inches. Monday night: Scattered snow flurries and snow showers possible this evening. Becoming mostly clear later. Low 24. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Bring your friends, bring a scarf and gloves and remember to lace up tight! Ice skating season has begun at World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park! Admission is $5 for all ages on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays. To rent skates be sure to bring socks and an additional $5. Monday through Friday the rink is open from 9 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. On weekends it is open: 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday nights; noon. until 4:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. until 9:50 p.m. Saturdays and noon  until 4:45 on Sundays. Information is subject to change, to inquire about any changes call 718-760-9001. World Ice Arena is located at Avery Avenue and 131st Street Flushing. Submit an event of your own

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32-year-old man arrested in Sunnyside hit-and-run of four pedestrians


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Updated 10:15 p.m.

A 32-year-old Jackson Heights man was arrested Sunday in connection to a hit-and-run in Sunnyside Saturday night that left five people in the hospital.

The NYPD arrested Luis Andrade on Sunday at about 3:55 p.m. and he is facing two charges of leaving the scene of an accident with serious injury. 

Andrade’s white Mazda sedan allegedly struck four pedestrians at about 7:40 p.m. Saturday as they waited at a bus stop on Northern Boulevard and 48th Street, police said.

The driver then fled the scene in the car and ditched the car a few blocks away.

The victims, who ranged from a seven-year-old girl to a 56-year-old man, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and all are in non-critical condition. A fifth person, who was at the scene of the time of the accident but was not struck, was also taken to the hospital with high blood pressure, according to police.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Cloudy with a chance of snow flurries. High of 40. Winds N at 3 mph. Thursday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low of 30.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Holiday Open House at the Queens County Farm Museum

Tour the historic Adriance Farmhouse, learn about the county’s agricultural and colonial history, and enjoy holiday crafts and mulled cider. Free. Thursday, December 26-Saturday, December 28, from 12 to 4 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Elmhurst man killed in Christmas morning hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A man died early Wednesday morning after a car struck him in East Elmhurst before fleeing, police said.

Enrique Clemente-Ovando, 29, of Elmhurst, was crossing Astoria Boulevard, near 103rd Street, about 4:30 a.m., when the vehicle hit him, according to the NYPD.

Clemente-Ovando was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The car, which did not remain at the accident scene, may be a beige Toyota Camry with a Pennsylvania registration, police said.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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