Tag Archives: laurelton

Springfield Gardens community rallies to keep local bank open

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of state Senator Leroy Comrie

Updated Sept. 29, 9:50 a.m.


Springfield Gardens residents rallied with state Senator Leroy Comrie and other advocates Friday outside a Chase Bank slated to close, calling for the financial giant to reverse its decision.

Comrie was joined by Councilman I. Daneek Miller, Democratic Assembly nominee Alicia Hyndman, NAACP Jamaica branch president Leroy Gadsden, and a large number of residents and community members fighting to keep the branch located at 134-40 Springfield Blvd. open.

The Chase Bank branch is centrally located in the outdoor Pathmark Shopping Center at the intersection of Springfield and Merrick boulevards. It is adjacent to a walk-in medical clinic, a Pathmark supermarket and the community’s Municipal Credit Union (MCU).

During Friday’s rally, Comrie called upon Chase to reverse its decision given the groundswell of community support as well as the need for the financial institution.

“As not only the representative of this community but a loyal customer of Chase Bank, I see the vital function it plays every day in keeping commerce flowing,” Comrie said in a statement. “Evidence points to the great financial potential of this community. Instead of pulling out, Chase should recognize its very real possibility to be the fiscal and commercial hub of southeast Queens.”

Comrie’s fellow civic and community leaders voiced similar concerns during the rally regarding the effects the bank’s closure may have on the neighborhood.

“A closure of this Chase branch is a net negative for both our community and the bank,” Miller said. “In a community like ours, comprised of homeowners, middle to upper income families, and a growing commercial district in downtown Jamaica, it’s puzzling from a business perspective that Chase would want to reduce their presence in southeast Queens. It is my hope that the bank will realize this branch’s significance to local residents, as well as our community’s contribution to the institution, and that the business will remain open.”

Both Hyndman and Gadsden echoed the need for responsible banking and financial institutions like Chase Bank in underserved communities.

“Chase not long ago made a promise to this state to work with the feedback communities provide to improve business relations and help local economies,” Hyndman said. “This is the exact antithesis of that. Before Chase closes this branch, they need to seriously reconsider the community’s need and their own responsibility to act in good faith to minority communities.”

“One of the main things that stabilize the community are their banks,” Gadsen added. “If Chase bank wants our business across America and all the benefits that come with being federally recognized, they should be sharing services with the minority community. Not doing so is a form of economic discrimination. We expect the same type of service in the black community as everywhere else.”

The impending closing of the Chase Bank branch is not the only change coming to this community hub. The neighboring Pathmark supermarket will soon be replaced by a Stop and Shop super store after Pathmark’s parent company, Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), filed for bankruptcy in July.

“We hope that Chase will not abandon this community and remain a fixture for all who rely on it,” Comrie concluded.

Chase has three other branches located within a mile of the Springfield Gardens branch. A Chase representative declined to comment to The Courier on the matter.


Ex-Assemblyman William Scarborough gets 13 months in prison for corruption

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Another former state lawmaker from Queens convicted of corruption is off to jail.

Former Assemblyman William Scarborough was sentenced on Monday to serve 13 months behind bars and two years’ probation for pleading guilty earlier this year to federal wire fraud and theft charges, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced.

Scarborough, who previously represented the 29th Assembly District covering all or parts of Cambria Heights, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Rosedale and St. Albans, was also ordered to pay a combined $108,710 in restitution to both the federal and state governments.

“Today’s sentencing of Assemblymember Scarborough on public corruption charges sends a clear message that those who abuse the public trust will be held accountable,” Schneiderman said. “[His] jail sentence resolves one unfortunate chapter in New York State government, but crystallizes the need for comprehensive reform to clean up corruption in our state.”

In May, Scarborough admitted in federal court that he used false information to apply for and receive per diem payments for purported business travel expenses related to his service in the state capital. The payments varied from daily allowances for overnight stays in Albany to reimbursements for traveling between Albany and his Queens home.

Between January 2009 and December 2012, authorities said, Scarborough submitted 174 falsified travel vouchers to the state government and received $54,355.

In a related case, Scarborough also admitted in state court to allegedly misusing $40,000 in campaign contributions for personal expenses. He is expected to serve up to one year in state prison for that guilty plea.


Motorcyclist dies in Springfield Gardens crash

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Image via Google Maps

A 22-year-old motorcyclist was killed Saturday afternoon after he was struck by an SUV in Springfield Gardens, according to authorities.

Stephen-John Salmon of Laurelton was riding his motorcycle west on 140th Avenue when he was struck by a Toyota Highlander traveling southbound on Bedell Street at about 5:50 p.m., police said.

The driver, a 45-year-old woman, was making a left turn onto 140th Avenue when she hit Salmon, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

EMS transported Salmon to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are still investigating and no arrests have been made.


Man shot while sitting in car on Laurelton street

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos and video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a Los Angeles Dodgers fan who they say shot a man in broad daylight while he was sitting in a car on a Laurelton street Monday.

The 43-year-old victim was in the front passenger seat of a 2011 Honda Accord that was on 231st Street near Merrick Boulevard just after 4 p.m. when the gunman shot him in the right thigh, authorities said. The suspect then fled in unknown direction.

There was no one else in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, according to police, who were still investigating a motive.

The victim was transported to Jamaica Hospital where he remains in stable condition.

Authorities describe the suspect as an adult male, black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 175 pounds with a goatee, gray baseball hat, black sunglasses , white L.A. Dodgers jersey (with the name Puig and number 66 on the back), and black and white Nike sneakers.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Laurelton man killed in Jamaica collision

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image via Google Maps

A 21-year-old man lost his life early Saturday morning when the car he was riding in crashed into another vehicle, according to police.

At about 2:15 a.m. police from the 105th Precinct responded to a call of a vehicle accident at the intersection of South Conduit Avenue and 177th Street in Jamaica, authorities said.

The officers found four injured people at the collision site.

According to police, a Land Rover was traveling eastbound on South Conduit Avenue when it collided with the driver side of a Nissan Rouge that was stopped at 177th Street. The first car then slid into a third vehicle which was parked and unoccupied; both cars sustained severe damage.

All victims were taken to Jamaica Hospital, according to cops. The driver of the Land Rover, a 20-year-old man, is listed in stable condition while his passenger, 21-year-old Lamont Smart Jr. of Laurelton, sustained severe injuries to his torso and was pronounced dead.

The driver of the second car, a 46-year-old man, and his 50-year-old female passenger are both listed in stable condition with minor injuries.

There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.


Urinating man caught with handgun, pot in Laurelton

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 113th Precinct

A man caught urinating in public by officers from the 113th Precinct was arrested for more than just releasing his bladder.

Police found the suspect urinating between two parked cars on 231st Street in Laurelton on Saturday at 1:45 a.m. The suspect was ordered not to move and, as he turned around, officers from the Anti-Crime team noticed a bulge in the suspect’s upper right waistband area.

Police recovered a loaded 9-mm handgun from his waistband and approximately 5 ounces of marijuana.

Marvin Robbins, 23, of Laurelton was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of marijuana, public urination and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Previously, officers from the Anti-Crime team stopped a black 2010 Mercedes E250 for driving recklessly on Rockaway Boulevard but the vehicle sped away. They were canvassing for the vehicle when they discovered Robbins relieving himself.


Cops seek pair for failed bank robbery attempt in Laurelton

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps/Inset courtesy of NYPD

Two would-be robbers walked out of a Laurelton bank Thursday morning the same way they came in — empty-handed.

Police released security camera images of the duo behind the failed heist at the Chase bank located at 231-02 Merrick Blvd., which took place at 8:42 a.m.

According to authorities, the crooks — both described as black males — walked into the branch, approached a teller and handed over a demand note. When the teller refused to comply with their request, police said, the suspects fled on foot in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 105th Precinct responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.

One of the would-be thieves was last seen wearing a red Philadelphia Phillies baseball hat and a white T-shirt, while his partner wore a white and black baseball hat and a black T-shirt.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects’ whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Students enhance community room at Laurelton library

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donovan Richards

A fresh coat of yellow paint transformed the Laurelton library‘s community room, which was unveiled on July 10.

The project was completed by students enrolled in Publicolor, a nonprofit organization that uses design-based programs to help at-risk students prepare for college and careers.

Councilman Donovan Richards allocated $5,000 in his budget for the program, which couples college and career prep with community service. Students receive stipends for volunteering their time to paint community spaces like schools and libraries.

“Publicolor helps to lift up our youth in the city and allows them to learn new skills and find potential career paths they may have never been aware of, which is why I funded their organization again in this year’s budget,” Richards said. “Their contribution to the Laurelton library, which is one of the most frequently used libraries in Queens, has made the teen space a more welcoming and uplifting environment for our residents who take advantage of the great programs Queens Library has to offer.”

The community room at Laurelton library hosts different programs including Summer Meals, where children are provided with free lunches; English Literature at Laurelton for third- through eighth-graders; quilting and math clubs; and the Laurelton Homeowners Club, where homeowners gather to share ideas how to make Laurelton a better community.

David Wang, the manager of Laurelton library, said the community room is essential to library patrons and after several Saturdays of work, people were happy to see it completed.

“Our program room is used for all kinds of programs: cultural, educational and recreational ones,” Wang said. “Participants of programs were thrilled seeing the new face of the newly painted multipurpose room. You can tell that the multipurpose room is very important for Laurelton Library and the community it serves. It greatly enhanced the outlook of the library.”

Students enrolled in Publicolor are usually at risk of dropping out but 100 percent of the participants stay in school with 97 percent graduating on time and 94 percent going to college, according to Ruth Lande Shuman, president and founder of the organization.

“We were delighted to transform the community room at the Laurelton library and look forward to continuing our partnership with Councilman Richards to transform more spaces in the 31st district,” Lande Shuman said. “Through our long-term commitment and our continuum of programs, our students are realizing their potential, which is abundant.”


Watch Laurelton man on TV’s first body painting competition show

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of GSN

Fernello Nelson wants to become the “Bill Gates of body painting.”

The 31-year-old Laurelton resident may get his chance to do so on season two of “Skin Wars,” premiering Wednesday night on GSN.

Nelson is one of 12 contestants who will test their skills on TV’s first-ever body painting competition show and the network’s most watched original series.

Hosted by actress Rebecca Romijn and judged by entertainer RuPaul Charles and body painting icons Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina, “Skin Wars” hands the winner not only $100,000, but also an all-expense-paid trip for two to the World Body Painting Festival in Austria, and a nationally distributed Royal and Langnickel custom brush collection with their name on it.

Starting at age 5, Nelson knew that being an artist “was always something true” to who he was, but didn’t know where his creative desire would lead him.

He eventually studied graphic design, but only worked in the field for a few years before he began airbrushing, including on T-shirts. A photo shoot where the T-shirt was painted on the body changed Nelson’s career direction, and he started building his body painting resume.

“[Body painting] was more controversial because you can paint on a canvas and you can do your work and it moves people, but body painting moves people in a different way,” he said.

“It brings painting to life,” he added. “You feel like you are creating this living, breathing entity.”

At first working as EMT to supplement his body painting work, Nelson is now doing the art full time mostly for private parties and events. He decided to audition for the second season of “Skin Wars” because he wanted to show the world his abilities and style, which he describes as very sexy, tattoo-like and making women feel confident and comfortable.


“I wanted to be part of this pioneering adventure, this movement of body art and I felt ‘Skin Wars’ was giving this platform for body artists,” he said, explaining that the show is helping the art form as it’s becoming more acceptable.

“It’s not like you are having a stripper at your event. It’s art, it’s different,” he said.

The show is also giving Nelson, who describes himself as a newbie with a lot of experience within the time frame he’s worked, a chance to sharpen his skills.

“It’s like body paint boot camp,” he said. “You’re working and you are doing body painting that you thought you would never do before. But it’s worth it.”

There is also the chance to win $100,000, which Nelson hopes to reinvest in his business and one day run a company that creates jobs for other body paint artists. And this is where he looks toward Bill Gates as a model.

“I could do the same thing with body painting and grow a company and manage others,” he said, speaking of the Microsoft founder.

“Anytime you set out to do business you want to be number one.”

“Skin Wars” airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on GSN. 


Photos: Queens honors and remembers soldiers with Memorial Day parades

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino Photography/Gallery by Robert Pozarycki, Anthony Giudice, Liam La Guerre

Nearly a dozen Memorial Day parades were held in Queens over the weekend as the borough paid tribute to military men and women who protect the freedoms residents enjoy today.

Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which began at 2 p.m. on Northern Boulevard and Jayson Avenue, alongside U.S. Representative Grace Meng, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilmen Paul Vallone and Mark Weprin and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, served as the parade’s grand marshal. Sutton hailed Memorial Day as a sacred time.

“It is a day that we come together to commemorate and remember and to think about all that we share in this great country and to remind ourselves that the cost and price of freedom is never free,” Sutton said. “That we are so blessed to be in the land of the free because of the brave.”

Parades were held in Woodside/Sunnyside, Whitestone, Laurelton, Howard Beach, Glendale/Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Forest Hills, College Point and Woodhaven.

New military recruits, veterans in vintage cars, fire fighters, police officers, JROTC members, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and marching bands participated in the borough’s parades while parents and children donned red, white and blue and waved the stars and stripes from sidewalks.


Participatory budget results announced for District 31

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Donovan Richard's Office


Councilman Donovan Richards announced last week the winners of the participatory budget process for District 31.

More than 2,000 Rosedale, Laurelton and Springfield Gardens residents voted in this year’s budget process and found out exactly where their tax dollars would be going on Wednesday, May 13.

Richards, along with Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, tweaked the process by launching early voting, lowering the voting age to 14 and introducing the first electronic ballots in the history of participatory budgeting in New York City.

The most votes went to Springfield Gardens Education Complex (1,614 votes) to provide $525,000 for a sound and projection system to be installed in the auditorium.

Lilly Lucas, president of Excelsior Preparatory High school, which is housed inside the complex, said the upgrades are a blessing. Lucas, who graduated in the ’60s from the high school, previously named Springfield Gardens High School, said nothing in the auditorium had been upgraded since she was a student.

“I’ll put it to you this way: those curtains that are in the auditorium are the same curtains that I had when I was a student here,” Lucas said. “We have to do a lot of compromising when we have events, which are many since there are four schools here. It’s such a wonderful blessing.”

Lucas said the process of participatory budgeting was exciting this year because many children who attend one of the four schools were eligible to vote.

The students of I.S. 231 will hone their musical abilities with a new $300,000 music studio after 1,031 residents voted for the project.

The last project to be funded with 945 votes was the installation of reading and chess areas in Brookville Park in Rosedale and Springfield Park in Springfield Gardens.

“I want to thank everyone involved in making this year such a success, especially the students and faculty of our local schools,” Richards said. “I strongly believe that as we continue to bring this more direct form of democracy to our neighborhoods. It is crucial we engage our youth in the political process and prepare them to be the future leaders our city needs and deserves.”


Your guide to Memorial Day parades and vigils in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The sacrifices of American soldiers will be celebrated across Queens in the days to come at various Memorial Day parades and vigils.

Among the celebrations are the following events, scheduled to take place rain or shine:

Residents of Woodhaven will hold an early tribute to America’s fallen troops with a ceremony on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. The vigil, sponsored by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, will take place at Forest Parkway Plaza, located at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway.

The program includes patriotic music, a color guard, laying of wreaths and remarks from local elected officials and veterans.

College Point
The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day Inc. will begin their parade on at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, at the intersection of 28th Avenue and College Point Boulevard. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is set to appear along with other local officials, and veteran Louis A. DiAgostino will be honored as the grand marshal.

Marching bands, drill teams and dance groups will all be performing at the event, and military servicemen and women will march in the festivities. The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day are accepting donations to offset parade costs. For more information contact parade chairman Rev. Adam Crabtree at 718-640-8840.

Forest Hills
The Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade hosted by the American Legion and the Forest Hills Kiwanis Club will take place on Sunday at noon. The parade starts from Metropolitan and Ascan avenues and will head westward down Metropolitan Avenue to Trotting Course Lane. From there, the parade will turn right and stop at the landmarked Remsen Cemetery between Trotting Course Lane and Alderton Street.

This year’s grand marshal will be Roland Meier, president of the West Side Tennis Club. Members of ROTC, band, and local civic and children’s organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will march in the parade. Organizers of the parade will hold a ceremony at Remsen Cemetery to honor veterans.

The United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth will honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice during their 31st Memorial Day Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Grand marshals James Desio, retired US Army WWII veteran, and William Aronowicz, retired U.S. Marine Corp. WWII veteran, will lead the procession, beginning at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park, located at 72nd Street and Grand Avenue. At 2 p.m., there will be a memorial service for the deceased veterans of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Middle Village
The St. Margaret Catholic War Veterans Post 1172 will honor those who died for the nation on Monday, May 25, with a special Mass at 9:30 a.m. at St. Margaret Church, located at the corner of Juniper Valley Road and 80th Street.

Then, at 11 a.m., post members and residents will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Middle Village Veterans Triangle, located at the corner of Gray and 77th streets near 66th Road. The ceremony will include prayers, a military salute and the playing of taps.

The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale, a committee made up of delegates from six veteran organizations, will honor the more than 1.14 million men and women of the U.S. armed forces who died in defense of the country during the 77th Memorial Day parade Monday.

At 11 a.m., the parade will begin at the Glendale War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues, with a short memorial service to honor the war dead of Glendale. They will then march down Myrtle Avenue westbound to the Ridgewood War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cypress Avenues, where there will be another short memorial service to honor the war dead of Ridgewood.

Howard Beach
The Howard Beach Memorial Day Parade will honor Vietnam War veterans, including the Howard Beach residents lost at war since the neighborhood’s founding.

There will be a memorial day Mass before the parade at Our Lady of Grace at 101st Street on Monday at 9:30 a.m. At 10:15 a.m., there will be a brief ceremony on top of Hawtree-Ramblersville Bridge and the parade will officially commence at Coleman’s Square at 11 a.m. The parade will stop at the Vietnam War Memorial, located at 99th Street and 157th Avenue and then head to the World War II Memorial at Assembly of God Church at 158-31 99th St. They will then march to St. Barnabas Church at 159-19 58th St. before marching back to Coleman Square.

The Laurelton Lions Club will present the 26th Annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade, featuring The Queens Area Pathfinders Marching Band and The Black and Gold Marching Elite Band, on Monday starting at 9 a.m. The parade begins at Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards, and will end at the Veterans Memorial Triangle at 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue.

Sponsors for this year’s parade include the Laurelton Lions Club, American Legion Benjamin Moore Post 1946, Garden Club of Laurelton, Federated Blocks of Laurelton and Concerned Citizens of Laurelton in Conjunction with Col. Edward O. Gourdin VFW POST 5298.

The Whitestone Memorial Day Parade will honor veterans and public servants from the community on Monday, May 25. The event will begin at noon at Whitestone Memorial Park at 149th Street and 15th Drive with a ceremony. Following the ceremony, the parade will commence and follow a rectangular route around the neighborhood back to Whitestone Memorial Park. Jim Dunn, a veteran from The American Legion in Whitestone, will serve as the grand marshal.

The parade will feature classic cars, elected officials, children from local sports leagues, and it will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Whitestone’s Engine 295/Ladder 144 of the FDNY. For additional, information or to volunteer call Devon O’Connor, parade chairman, at 718-757-8546.

This year the St. Sebastian’s War Veterans will host the Woodside Memorial Day Parade to honor fellow veterans on Monday starting at 11 a.m. Parade participants will get together at the St. Sebastian’s School yard located at the corner of Woodside Avenue and 57th Street.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and John V. Daniels Jr. Post No 2813 in Sunnyside will host a Memorial Day event to honor veterans on Monday at 11 a.m. The event will be held at John Vincent Daniels Square, located on Roosevelt Avenue and 52nd Street. During the ceremony, a wreath will be placed at the flagpole in the middle of the park.

Little Neck/Douglaston
This year’s Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Monday, pays special tribute to Vietnam War veterans. Dr. Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, will serve as grand marshal of the march sponsored by the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Association.

The march begins in Great Neck from the corner of Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, then proceeds west on the boulevard to the yard of St. Anastasia’s Church, located near Northern Boulevard and 245th Street.

Rosedale businessman shot to death in car in St. Albans

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@jerwainegorman

Detectives are searching for the killer of a Rosedale businessman and civic activist who was gunned down inside a car on a St. Albans block Wednesday afternoon.

Jerwaine Gorman, 34, was shot in the chest while sitting inside a Mercedes-Benz in front of a home on 167th Street between Linden Boulevard and 115th Avenue at about 12:30 p.m. A woman sitting in the driver’s seat at the time was not injured, cops said.

According to police, an unidentified gunman walked up to the vehicle and fired a single shot at Gorman before fleeing the scene.

Paramedics rushed Gorman to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gorman was an active member of the Southeast Queens Young Democrats and a successful entrepreneur in the area. According to his biography on the club’s website, Gorman started out as a real estate investor in 2003 at the age of 21. Within three years, he had acquired seven properties.

In 2006, Gorman opened up his own barbershop and community center and launched a Cold Stone Creamery franchise in Huntington, Long Island. He later opened his own ice cream parlor, Gorman’s Creamery, on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton.

In the community, Gorman reportedly coached a youth football team and advocated in previous years to have a stop sign installed in front of his daughter’s school.

Gorman leaves behind a wife and three children.

Anyone with information regarding the murder 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.


Cop fires at driver who tries to run over undercover officers in Laurelton: NYPD

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Update Monday, March 30

An undercover NYPD narcotics cop fired at a suspect in Laurelton Wednesday night after the driver tried to flee and almost struck two officers, according to police.

The cops attempted to stop the vehicle at Merrick Boulevard and 220th Street at about 8:10 p.m. as they were conducting a drug transaction, authorities said. That’s when the car tried to flee and nearly hit the undercover officers. One of the cops then shot at the car, but it got away, police said.

The passenger, a 36-year-old man, was later apprehended and charges were pending. The driver is still at large.

No one was reported injured.


Man faces murder charge after plowing car into crowd

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via ABC New York

Updated Monday, Nov. 10, 4:44 p.m. 

A man intentionally plowed his car into a crowd outside a baby shower in Laurelton Saturday night, killing one man and critically injuring two others, police said.

Kevin Weekes, 21, is facing murder, assault and other charges after a wild fight spilled out onto the sidewalk at the corner of Merrick Boulevard and 225th Street about 8:30 p.m.

Moments earlier, Weekes had fought with partygoers at the baby shower, police said. He left the shower, jumped into his Nissan Altima, made a U-turn, accelerated and drove it into the crowd that was gathered outside.

A 20-year-old man, Kevin Lewis, was pinned underneath the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. A 19-year-old woman with back and neck injuries and a 21-year-old woman with head and leg injuries were taken to Jamaica Hospital. They were both listed in critical condition.

Witnesses and family members said the three victims were not involved in the original dispute at the baby shower, according to published reports.

After running the three over, Weekes jumped out of his car and fled on foot, according to police.

At some point in the evening, Weekes was stabbed, but police did not know if he was stabbed during the fight or in the aftermath of the car crash.

He was later arrested at his home and taken to the hospital.

Weekes, who is still hospitalized, was waiting to be arraigned Monday afternoon on charges of second-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an incident where a death occurred.

It was not immediately clear if the man who stabbed him would also be charged.