Tag Archives: James Secreto

Queens NYPD assistant chief to head Manhattan North command

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the Queens Borough President's Office

One head honcho Queens cop is moving out of the borough and heading up.

Assistant Chief James Secreto finished his three-and-a-half year post as commander of Patrol Borough Queens South on Wednesday. He now heads the Manhattan North command.

“I really love Queens,” Secreto said. “I had a good team. It’s bittersweet.”

Secreto, a former resident of Queens Village, took command of Patrol Borough Queens South in January 2010. He has previously headed the Queens narcotics unit and the NYPD’s School Safety Division.

Manhattan North is Secreto’s 18th command in his 34-year career in the police department, he said. He has come full circle, returning to the department he started in as a rookie.

“I’m coming back to where I started,” he said. “Manhattan is the mecca of the world. The police commissioner having confidence to put me here means a lot.”

Secreto said the high-profile post will come with a lot of responsibility. His command oversees Washington Heights, Harlem, East Harlem, Central Park, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side.

“There [are] some great communities up there and some great people,” he said. “The commander I replaced was telling me this is a special place. I think I’ll see that in time.”

Staten Island’s former command leader, Assistant Chief Kevin Ward, will take Secreto’s Queens post.





“Cops of the Month” Honored by Jamaica Rotary

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Police pride was in full force on October 26, as the Jamaica Rotary honored the boys in blue from Patrol Borough Queens South (PBQS).

Rotary President Joe Iaboni commenced the ceremony by making note of Veteran’s Day on November 11 and praising all who have served in the armed forces, as well as the NYPD.

“Without the veterans we wouldn’t have what we have right now – peace,” said Iaboni. “Also, let’s show respect to the police department for the great work they do in the community.”

Deputy Inspector Charles McEvoy, Commanding Officer of the 103rd Precinct, was the first to present the “Cop of the Month” award to Officer Matt Rehman and Sergeant Donald Kipp.

The officers earned the distinction for an arrest they made during the early hours of Saturday, August 13. Rahman and Kipp, dressed in plainclothes and stationed in an unmarked car, noticed a dispute in an area plagued by gang violence. When they confronted one of the individuals, they witnessed a .32 caliber revolver in his possession. After a short foot pursuit, the officers apprehended the suspect, a 22-year-old male, who has been indicted on criminal charges.

“It certainly was a good arrest in an area where we have some gang issues,” said McEvoy.

From the 113th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Miltiadis Marmara commended the teamwork of a pair of officers from the night anti-crime unit during two recent arrests. Officers Jason Zummo and James Zozzaro made the first arrest when they noticed a suspicious individual casing a local grocery store. When they pulled him over, the individual fled. The officers pursued and arrested him with a .9 mm handgun, a bulletproof vest and ammunition.

During the second incident, the officers witnessed an individual holding a gun and quickly apprehended him. In the suspect’s possession were a loaded .22 caliber revolver and 70 Ecstasy pills.

“Because of the tactics and teamwork they used, they were able to apprehend him without anyone getting injured and no shots fired,” said Marmara.

Officers Tommy Scalise and Vic Sadarangani were honored from the 106th Precinct for their work during a highly publicized grand larceny case. On Monday, October 3, a 31-year-old woman was robbed of her iPhone 4 on Liberty Avenue in the vicinity of 111th Street. Due to the help of iGotcha, an iPhone application which took a photograph of the suspect when he unsuccessfully tried to unlock the phone and then emailed it to the victim, Officers Scalise and Sadarangani were able to identify the perpetrator when they saw him walking down the street.

“It was just good work on the part of Officers Scalise and Sadarangani that helped us get the right guy,” said Captain Thomas Pascale, Commanding Officer of the 106th Precinct.

Captain Martin Briffa of the 102nd Precinct recognized Officers Carmine Semioli and Stephen David for their work in connection with the arrests of threesuspects, including two 14 year olds, on August 26.

“It is great to get [the young perpetrators] off the street early enough,” said Briffa. “Hopefully they can get some help.”

The officers responded to a robbery on Atlantic Avenue, where they found two wounded victims. After an extensive search of the neighborhood, two of the three suspects were apprehended. The officers witnessed the third suspect running across the Van Wyck Expressway. They gave his description, and he was quickly arrested by the 103rd Precinct.

Assistant Chief James Secreto of PBQS expressed his pride in the performances of the officers in attendance.

“I want to thank the men and women being honored here,” said Secreto. “You are doing a great job.”

Police arrest 15 year old for sex assaults

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com


Police believe they have seized the sexual deviant that has terrorized southeast Queens for the past month – and he is not even out of high school.

The NYPD arrested a 15-year-old black male on October 23 who they consider to be responsible for the recent pattern of sexual attacks in the area.

“We’re confident that he is the person we’ve been looking for,” said Chief James Secreto, commanding officer of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Queens South.

The Queens Special Victims Unit identified the perpetrator in a surveillance video they received from a store, during which the teenager was recognized wearing his distinct Polo jacket with a tiger on the back.

The suspect, who is a resident of Springfield Gardens, has already been identified by two victims whom he allegedly assaulted earlier this month in Laurelton.

The first incident occurred at approximately 1:18 a.m. on October 9, when the pervert approached a 40-year-old female, pushed her to the ground, repeatedly punched her in the face and attempted to rape her. The victim suffered a myriad of injuries, including severe bruising to her eyes, lacerations to the inside of her mouth, a nasal fracture requiring surgery, a laceration to her cheek requiring stitches, severe abrasions to both of her knees requiring debridement and contusions and swelling to the rear of her head.

According to the charges, the suspect also attacked a 24-year-old female on the evening of October 16, approaching her from behind and placing her in a headlock before repeatedly striking her in the back of the head and face. The victim reportedly suffered a lacerated lip, lacerations to the inside of her mouth, bruising, swelling and pain to her face and bruising and contusions to the rear of her head.

“The defendant is accused of prowling the streets and preying on vulnerable women,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “The offenses that the defendant is accused of committing are crimes of violence that posed a serious threat to public safety and which warrant vigorous prosecution.”

The perpetrator has been charged with two counts of attempted rape, one count of attempted sexual abuse, one count of sexual abuse, two counts of sexually motivated assault, one count of assault with intent to cause physical injury and one count of sexually motivated assault with a weapon.

He was arraigned on October 24, and his bail was set at $150,000. The suspect’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 28.

Due to his age, the teenager faces two and two-thirds to eight years in prison if convicted as a juvenile offender.

The suspect is also being placed in numerous other lineups to investigate his connection to the string of incidents in the area.

There have been five sexual attacks in southeast Queens this month, the first occurring on September 22, when a 44-year-old female was sexually assaulted while she entered her home in Queens Village. Three of the five incidents were against women getting off the Q85 bus at 225th Street.

On October 13, a 20-year-old woman was raped in the vicinity of 108th Drive and Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica. The suspect has been described as a black male between the ages of 20 and 23, approximately 180 pounds, sporting a Caesar-style haircut, a black bandana, a black, waist-length, leather jacket and dark jeans.

The attacks have caused widespread public outrage and fear, and community leaders are emphasizing the importance of remaining safe by being aware.

“It is starting to get darker earlier and it is important that people know how to keep safe when walking home,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie. “There have been five reported sexual assault cases this month alone, and we want to put a stop to this rising trend.”

A town hall meeting addressing the incidents was held on October 24 at the Robert Johnson Family Life Center in Jamaica.

During the meeting, NYPD Community Affairs and Special Victims Units of the 103rd, 105th and 113th Precincts answered questions and informed residents of safety awareness techniques.

Officials also referenced the closure of the Baisley Park Houses Community Center in Jamaica, which left kids with one less place to congregate safely.

“We need to respond as a community to try to take our children back,” said Comrie. “We can’t rely on our government.”

John Chiam of Crime Prevention urged people not to openly display cell phones or any technological devices while walking home and emphasized the importance of community involvement in assisting the police.

Dennis Chambers, the owner of Zen Masters Dojo on Linden Boulevard, led a group of children and women in a demonstration of self defense, and Safe Horizons, a victim assistance agency, provided people with whistles.

Additional reporting by Alexa Altman.