Tag Archives: Kidnapping

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Overcast. High 51. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph. Tuesday night: Considerable cloudiness. Occasional rain showers after midnight. Low around 45. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Mookie Wilson book signing

Join Barnes and Noble Fresh Meadows as it welcomes New York Mets World Series legend Mookie Wilson for the signing of his new book “Mookie- Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets.” Wristband distribution begins at 9:00 am. Book signing starts at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Suspect tried to kidnap teen off College Point street: cops

A man tried to grab an 18-year-old girl off a College Point street Sunday and force her into his car, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

State Assembly advances bill for more speed cameras in NYC, Long Island

The New York State Assembly voted Monday to authorize hundreds of new speed cameras for school zones in New York City and Long Island. Read more: CBS New York

City Council members set to reform discretionary funds

City Council members are set to introduce legislation Tuesday that would make the distribution of discretionary funds more equitable, sources told The Post. Read more: New York Post

New York graduation rate slightly below national average

A new report on high school graduation rates shows that 77 percent of New York state’s Class of 2012 graduated on time, slightly below the national average. Read more: AP

Users bemoan NYC e-cigarette ban

A law in New York City making “electronic cigarettes” subject to the same regulations as tobacco is taking effect Tuesday, and their sellers and users are steadfast in their opposition. Read more: NBC New York

 

Suspect tried to kidnap teen off College Point street: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A man tried to grab an 18-year-old girl off a College Point street Sunday and force her into his car, police said.

The victim was walking down 25th Avenue toward 126th Street around 12:15 a.m. when the suspect drove up to the teen and asked her if she wanted a ride, cops said.

She refused and continued walking down the block. The suspect then parked his vehicle at the corner of 25th Avenue and 124th Street, grabbed the victim around the waist, put his hand over her mouth and tried to drag her back to his car, police said.

The girl fought off her would-be kidnapper and he ran back to his vehicle, then drove off northbound on 124th Street, according to officials.

Police have released a sketch of the suspect and describe him as a Hispanic man, approximately 30 to 35 years old and 5 feet six inches tall, with a slim build, light beard and mustache, and short, dark spiked hair. He was wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt.

A photo of the four-door sedan he was driving has also been released. The vehicle has damage to the passenger side area.

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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Man charged after abducting children’s mother in Whitestone


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A man was arrested after he abducted the mother of his two children in Whitestone early Friday morning, police said.

The victim, a 37-year-old woman, was taken about 5:45 a.m. near 16th Road and 150th Street, cops said. According to published reports, she was dragged from her home while her children were inside the residence. The father, identified by police as 37-year-old Jose Lopez, then took off with the victim in a gray Mercedes, witnesses told cops.

Responding officers located the car at Colden Street and Geranium Avenue, with Lopez and the victim still in it.

Lopez was arrested and charged with attempted rape, kidnapping, burglary, assault, criminal mischief and harassment, cops said.

The victim sustained minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

 

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Two Queens men indicted on sex trafficking charges


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Two Queens men have been indicted in separate sex trafficking cases for allegedly forcing teen girls to work as prostitutes, District Attorney Richard Brown announced Tuesday.

Peter Gerardi, 28, of Forest Hills, and Christopher Stephensbush, 20, of Richmond Hill, have both been arraigned on kidnapping, prostitution, rape, sex trafficking and other charges, according to the district attorney.

“The defendants are both accused of enslaving three young girls, raping them and forcing them to work as prostitutes. They allegedly forced the girls to turn all of their money over to them,” said Brown.

Gerardi is accused of threatening his 13-year-old victim when she wanted to stop prostituting herself for him. He also allegedly had a 16-year-old work for him as a prostitute through threats of physical violence, according to Brown. Gerardi allegedly had sex with both his victims.

Stephensbush allegedly met his 15-year-old victim while she was taking the bus to school one morning. He is accused of bringing her back to his apartment and not letting her leave until she agreed to work as a prostitute, said Brown. He allegedly raped her several times before temporarily letting her go. He then allegedly made her earn money for him again as a prostitute on multiple occasions.

If convicted, both face up to 25 years to life in prison.

 

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Neighbors knew nothing of Springfield Gardens kidnapping


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

People living on 181st Street in Springfield Gardens said the residents of the home where a man was held hostage in a garage last week kept to themselves and never really raised any eyebrows.

Hakeem Clark, 30, and Jason Hutson, 27, were arrested on Friday, July 27 at the home of NYPD veteran Ondre Johnson and charged with kidnapping and weapons possession after holding the 25-year-old victim in the garage next to the house. The two called the hostage’s family, it was reported, and demanded $75,000 for his release.

Clark, Johnson’s cousin, lived in an apartment in the house. Johnson, a 17-year NYPD veteran, is currently suspended from duty as the investigation is ongoing, police said.

One man, who declined to give his name, said he noticed a lot of activity outside of the house on Friday and was curious why police lines were set up, but chose not to ask questions.

“I don’t really get involved,” the man said as he was leaving his home.

The neighbor said there was never anything out of the ordinary in the home, where Johnson is listed as having lived since 2004 — and something like the kidnapping was rare in what he said was a relatively quiet neighborhood.

No one answered at Johnson’s home on Tuesday, July 31, but a maroon SUV was parked in the driveway, though it could not be confirmed who the car belonged to.

Two arraigned for kidnapping at NYPD detective’s home


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Two men were arraigned in connection to a kidnapping that involved the home of an NYPD officer in Springfield Gardens.

Hakeem Clark and Jason Hutson were charged Saturday with kidnapping Brian Karikari and holding him for ransom. Karikari was walking to his car in front of 119-45 234 Street early in the morning of July 27 when he was held at gunpoint, forced into a vehicle and driven to a garage located at 141-37 181st Street, according to court records.

Calls demanding a $75,000 ransom for the victim were traced to the same 181st Street address where Detective Ondre Johnson, a 17-year member of the NYPD, lives, said media reports. He has not been charged, but has been suspended without pay pending further investigation.

Clark also lives at the same address. Johnson denies any involvement in the kidnapping, and doesn’t use the garage, reports said.

The two suspects have also been charged with criminal possession of forgery devices and unlawful possession of personal identification information. They are being held without bail.

Police search for man who attempted to kidnap 7-year-old in Corona


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are on the lookout for a suspect wanted for an alleged attempted kidnapping outside a Corona public school.

Mark Synclair, 33, attempted to grab a 7-year-old in front of P.S. 192, police said. The boy was able to escape the suspect and run away from the scene without any injuries.

Police described the suspect as 33 years old, standing 5-feet-9-inches tall and weighing 200 pounds.

Anyone with information in regards to the incident 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 at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Afternoon Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup2

Passenger plane crashes in Nigeria’s largest city

A passenger plane crashed into a two-story building in Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos on Sunday, officials said. Read more: USA Today

Man Wanted For Attempted Child Kidnapping In Queens

Police are searching for a man they say tried to kidnap a young boy last week in St. Albans. Authorities say Mark Synclair, 33, tried to grab the seven-year-old child outside P.S. 192 on Tuesday morning. Read more: NY1

Cuomo’s $4 Billion Plan for Project in Queens Falls Apart

A $4 billion plan announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to create the country’s largest convention center and a casino in Queens has fallen apart, the governor acknowledged on Friday. Read more: NY Times

Die-hard Mets fan arrested after running onto field following Santana’s no-hitter

A front-row seat at Citi Field: $315. Getting arrested for storming the pitcher’s mound: a possible $1,000 fine and a year in jail. Being a part of Mets history: priceless. Rafael Diaz, 32, lived the dream of every fanatic Friday night when he bolted past security to join the joyous huddle of Amazin’s congratulating pitcher Johan Santana moments after he succeeded in putting in the books the team’s first-ever no-hitter. Read more: NY Post

Three-Car LIE Crash Kills Two In Queens

Two people are dead and a child is injured after a three-car crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens. Investigators say a yellow taxi cab was traveling westbound on the LIE near 66th Street in Maspeth when it slammed into the rear of a Porsche at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Read more: NY1

Queens jury clears former NYPD narcotics detective charged with planting drugs on bar patrons

A Queens jury has cleared a former NYPD narcotics detective charged with planting drugs on innocent victims. Adolph Osback was acquitted of multiple charges of falsifying police reports, perjury and official misconduct after jurors deliberated for only 90 minutes Wednesday, his attorney Damien Brown said. Read more: Daily News

[Update] Mother who allegedly snatched infant daughter charged with kidnapping


| brennison@queenscourier.com

305-12 107 Sqd 03-14-12

After an eight hour search, police found and arrested the woman who allegedly kidnapped her baby from a Queens hospital. The baby was found safe.

Police said Leila Rajnarie took her 8-month-old daughter, Nevita Jagdeo, from Queens General Hospital Pediatric Center at approximately noon on Wednesday, March 14 while the infant was there with her foster mother. Rajnarie had accompanied them on the visit. She took the child while the foster mother and doctor were speaking in another room, police said.

Officers in the Patrol Bureau Queens South Task Force saw a woman fitting the description of the suspect in a livery cab in South Richmond Hill and pulled the vehicle over at approximately 8:40 p.m., police said.

After positive identification of the suspect and infant, Rajnarie was taken into custody and the baby was taken to a local hospital.

Rajnarie has been charged with kidnapping, custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child.

 

House-squatter thugs held in kidnapping, rape of Long Island teen


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

House-squatter thugs held in kidnapping, rape of Long Island teen

A gang of sick squatters kidnapped, raped and pimped out a terrified 15-year-old Long Island runaway in a Queens house where they were illegally living, law-enforcement officials said yesterday. And in a bizarre twist, after the owner complained that people were living there illegally, cops went to the Ozone Park house the day before the girl was taken there against her will. Read More: New York Post

Multiple Armed Robberies Connected To “Snub-Nose” Bandit

The New York City Police Department and FBI are stepping up their search for an armed robber who has become increasingly violent. Investigators say the suspect, dubbed the “Snub-Nose Bandit” for his weapon of choice, is connected to at least six incidents in Brooklyn and Queens dating back to September. He mostly targets banks, but in his first robbery he held up a Dunkin Donuts in Greenpoint, firing one round into a tray of donuts as he demanded cash from the register. Read More: NY1

 

DA putting the screws to ‘brothel boss’ Anna Gristina

They pressed her over and over, pushed a list of 10 Big Apple power players at her — and demanded she spill the beans on the roster of real-estate moguls and investment bankers. “Some I knew, some I didn’t,” accused Upper East Side brothel boss Anna Gristina told The Post yesterday about an hours-long grilling she received from Manhattan prosecutors. But they kept pressing, bringing in more and more investigators to intimidate her. Read More: New York Post

FDNY minority  retort – Hit with a $128M ‘bias’ bill

The city could get socked with a bill of up to $128 million to compensate minority applicants who were rejected because of discriminatory hiring practices, a federal judge said yesterday. Judge Nicholas Garaufis first set the compensation pool at $65 million three weeks ago but revised the figure to factor in the “total gross amount of lost wages” for applicants who took the FDNY exam in 1999 or 2002 but were not hired. Read More: New York Post

Six people indicted on charges related to kidnapping and sex trafficking of 15-year-old girl


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Six people indicted on charges related to kidnapping and sex trafficking of 15-year-old girl

Five men and one woman have been indicted in New York City on charges relating to the kidnapping and sex trafficking of a 15-year-old runaway. Prosecutors say the girl was picked up in Brooklyn on Feb. 6, taken to a house in Ozone Park, Queens and told she could not leave. Read More: New York Post

Boy, 12, in Harlem ‘cart-shove’ gets 6 months in group home

A troubled 12-year-old who sent a shopping cart hurtling onto a woman from a fourth-floor mall walkway was sentenced Thursday to at least six months in a therapeutic group home, with a judge calling his problems grave but not insurmountable. Biting his lip and hugging an uncle before being led out of court, the boy headed for up to 16 months in the residential program, closing a case that spurred soul-searching about out-of-control children. Read More: New York Post

 

Morgan Stanley puts broker allegedly tied to UES ‘madam’ on leave, source says

The Morgan Stanley broker who has been identified as the possible financial backer of an online prostitution business with the accused Upper East Side madam has been placed on administrative leave, a source told FOX Business Thursday. David Walker, who works in the firm’s wealth management unit, will remain on leave until an investigation is concluded, the source said. The firm will wait until the investigation is finished before taking any further action. Read More: New York Post

Attorney General Holder Finds Reports On NYPD Muslim Surveillance Programs “Disturbing”

Speaking at a Senate hearing today, Attorney General Eric Holder said he found some reports about the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of Muslim communities throughout the Northeast to be “disturbing.” Holder said he empathized with Governor Chris Christie after it was revealed the NYPD was keeping track of mosques and Muslim student groups in New Jersey. The NYPD has come under fire for the practice and now the Justice Department says it is reviewing the matter. Read More: NY1

 

Teen Smoking Rates Drop But Surgeon General Wants More Efforts To Combat Youth Tobacco Use

Fewer teens in the United States are smoking, but the U.S. Surgeon General wants more done to combat the addiction among young people. Government data shows the country’s rate of high school smokers has dropped to 19.5 percent. This is the surgeon general’s first report on youth smoking since 1994, when over 27 percent of high school-aged teens were smoking, but the rate of decline has slowed. The city Department of Health notes that teen smoking rates have dropped even more dramatically in the five boroughs, from 17.6 percent in 2001 to only 7.2 percent in 2010. Read More: NY1

Abducted children found, claim city abuse


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

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The search for eight children taken from a foster care facility in Forest Hills on September 19 ended at around 10:30 p.m. Monday evening in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Police officials say that Shanel Nadal, 28, of Manhattan, and her husband Nephra Payne are awaiting extradition back to New York City after being found with their eight children – seven boys named Nephra and one 11-month-old girl – preparing to spend the night in a van with no license plates. The Daily News has reported that a joint police effort between NYPD, South Carolina State Police and the FBI were able to track the family through their cell phone and swipes on their welfare benefits card.

While the eight-child escape from a supervised visit with foster parents and Forestdale officials was dramatic enough, Norman Steiner – the parent’s attorney – claims that while in the city’s custody the children were abused. He states that the planned abduction was in the best interest of the children.

“The children were sexually molested while in the care of the city,” said Steiner to The Daily News. “You can’t blame the parents for acting in the children’s best interest. It’s a shame the city failed them.”

Steiner did not release any details regarding the alleged abuse but says he fully expects his clients to be exonerated from any crime.

An attempt to visit and interview Riverdale officials was refuted by workers at the agency who said the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) would speak on their behalf. They issued two statements regarding the apprehension of the family and the allegation of abuse on the city’s behalf:

“It is wonderful that the Payne children have been located and are now safe. Specially-trained staff from ACS will bring the children home to New York City. . . An investigation by ACS is already underway into how the children could have been abducted from the foster care agency during a supervised visit. ACS is reviewing with the foster care agency the protocols it has in place for supervised visits and its campus security system. We will share the results of that investigation once it is completed . . . We are aware of the allegations currently being made by the parents and we take all allegations of abuse seriously. Our immediate concerns are for the well being of the children. We have appropriate mental health professionals working with the children, including experts in trauma and a range of other disciplines.”

The parents will be charged with kidnapping, custodial interference and child endangerment, according to Associated Press reports. Nadal was arraigned and bail was set at $200,000.