Tag Archives: Murder

Bayside man charged with murdering parents 15 months apart


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A Bayside man faces murder charges for allegedly suffocating his father a little more than a year after drowning his mother, according to the district attorney.

Gregory Cucchiara, 36, has been named in an indictment charging him with two counts of second-degree murder for beating his mother over the head before submerging her in water and smothering his father to death, District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Giusepina “Josephine” Cucchiara’s homicide took place May 24, 2011, the district attorney said, and father Carmelo Cucchiara was killed 15 months in August 2012.

“This is a horrifying case of a young man throwing his life away and betraying the trust of his family,” Brown said. “The defendant’s actions, if true, are incomprehensible in a civilized society and must be severely punished.”

Neighbors described the Cucchiaras as “the nicest people” but said they had their own troubles with the deceased couple’s “problematic” son.

“The parents were sweethearts, but the son was a little weird. Unfortunately, he had problems,” said neighbor Rossana F., who did not want to give her last name.

Rossana said her family has a two-year restraining order filed against Gregory Cucchiara after they provided video proof to police that the neighbor was vandalizing her family’s cars and home.

She said the community was not shocked when news broke of Cucchiara’s alleged connection to his parents’ murders.

“We knew immediately when it happened to Josephine. We all said we thought it was the son,” Rossana said. “We knew someday something would happen to the father. We knew it, and he knew it.”

Neighbor Craig Guzzone said Cucchiara was “definitely a significant danger to everybody here,” but Guzzone said he did not think his longtime neighbor had murder in his heart.

“I really didn’t know he was capable of that,” he said.

Cucchiara is charged in a separate indictment, with various degrees of assault and obstructing governmental administration, for allegedly attacking two police officers last month, when they questioned him about the murders.

He is expected to be arraigned on both indictments on December 12 in Queens Supreme Court and faces up to 50 years to life in prison if convicted, the district attorney said.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 71. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. East wind 5 to 7 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Halloween Haunted House

Visit for some thrills and chills! Stay for hayrides, treats, mulled cider and pumpkins on sale. Recommended for ages 4–12. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens police officer arrested in plot to kidnap, cook 100 women

A cannibalistic city cop from Forest Hills has been arrested by the FBI after the agency foiled an alleged plan he cooked up to kidnap and eat at least 100 women, according to a criminal complaint. Gilberto Valle, 28, a six-year NYPD veteran who works in Manhattan, had plotted to “kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and eat body parts of a number of women,” said the FBI, which seized the cop’s home computer containing e-mails and instant messages to a fellow conspirator. Read more: Queens Courier

Deranged nanny allegedly kills two children of CNBC media executive Kevin Krim and wife Marina

A deranged nanny stabbed to death a media executive’s two young kids inside a posh upper West Side apartment Thursday— and then slit her throat in a botched suicide attempt, police said. The children’s mother, Marina Krim, walked into her W. 75th St. apartment about 5:25 p.m. and found a scene of unimaginable horror: her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son lying motionless in a blood-soaked bathtub. Each had multiple stab wounds.Read more: Daily News

City, Nassau police arrest second suspect in Cross Island Parkway shooting

Police arrested and charged a man Thursday with lending weapons to the suspect who allegedly killed a Nassau County police officer and another bystander on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens Tuesday. Authorities say Gerald Williams, 27, loaned a car containing a TEC 9 semi-automatic firearm and a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol to Darrell Fuller on Tuesday. Read more: NY1

Music school administrator on life-support after brutal beatdown

A beloved music school administrator was brutally beaten by a stick-wielding thug while out for his usual midnight stroll, authorities said today. Lou Rispoli, 62, a longtime Sunnyside resident who worked in the West Village, is on life support in hospice care after an unknown brute pummeled him early Saturday. Read more: NY Post

Queens D.A. announces indictments in nationwide sports betting ring

25 people have been indicted in the nationwide sports betting ring that had tentacles in several Las Vegas casinos, where NYPD Inspector Brian O’Neil says operatives influenced legal betting to increase payouts. Read more: CBS New York

Black, Hispanic LGBTs more fearful than straights in stop & frisks

Black and Hispanic gays and lesbians in Jackson Heights are more likely to be harassed by cops than their straight peers — especially during stop and frisks, a new report claims. The Make the Road New York report, released Tuesday, also alleges that transgender women are particularly vulnerable to being arrested and charged with prostitution — often without cause. Read more: Daily News

 

 

 

Suspect accused of killing cop, driver in custody at hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/NBCNewYork

Police captured the suspected killer of two people, including a Nassau County police office, after a witness heard gunshots coming from a car in Queens.

After a multi-hour manhunt, Darrell Fuller, 33, was taken into custody by police in Queens and transferred to a local hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds.  Fuller was found at 111th Avenue and 173rd Street in Jamaica after a witness dialed 9-1-1 when they heard shots fired from within the car.

Authorities did not disclose Fuller’s condition.

Officer Arthur Lopez was shot and killed on the Cross Island Parkway after pulling over Fuller who had just left the scene of an accident on Northern Boulevard.  After abandoning his damaged car, the gunman allegedly attempted to car-jack a motorist, Raymond Facey, 52, of Jamaica, near Hempstead Avenue, fatally shooting the driver in the process.

Cops from Queens and Nassau County canvassed the area for Fuller who was considered armed and dangerous.

Fuller was convicted in 2004 of attempted murder, said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but released in 2009.  In 2010, Fuller was arrested for selling crack and served another nine months before being released on parole.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of both deceased,” Mangano said.

The investigation in ongoing.

— Additional reporting by Alexa Altman

 

Police search for alleged shooter in Ozone Park murder


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police released a photo of the alleged gunman who fatally shot a man outside an Ozone Park nightclub yesterday.

The incident took place early Monday morning near 80th Street and Rockaway Boulevard.  According to published reports, prior to the shooting there was an altercation inside Flirt that spilled outside.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Incredible Act


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

It is not easy to forgive.

Though every major religion, most educational institutions – and even our parents – teach us that “to err is human, to forgive, divine,” not many of us actually live by the adage.

Enter Doris Nowillo.

On Wednesday, June 13, she stood before a courtroom and forgave the man who murdered her father.

It is arguably one of the hardest things one might ever do, and Doris is obviously a bastion of strength and courage.

Eric Cherry, a 47-year-old homeless veteran with a lengthy rap sheet, was sentenced for first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault and faces almost two decades in prison for the 2008 beating death of 65-year-old Nicolas Nowillo outside his Astoria home — while his family watched, powerless.

But it seems Doris has taken back the power.

In her impact statement, she lamented Cherry’s choices and offered the hope that he finds his way back to society – a true act of forgiveness.

Her strength, she said, comes from her father.

“[He] led the path to who I am today,” said Doris. “I have a great foundation. I wanted to become my dad.”

We say she’s definitely on the right path, and are sure her father would be proud.

Long Island City comedy club to hold fundraiser for Aurora shooting victim


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Laughing Devil

On the day James Holmes was charged for the shooting at a Colorado movie theater, a Long Island City comedy club will hold a fundraiser for one of the shooting’s victims.

The charity event will take place tonight at the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in Long Island City for Caleb Medley, who was one of 70 moviegoers shot at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on Friday, July 20 in Aurora, Colorado.

Holmes was formally charged today with 24 counts of murder for the shooting. He was in Colorado courtroom on Monday afternoon where he was also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder. Twelve people were killed and 58 injured in the shooting.

Medley is an aspiring comic who was shot while protecting his pregnant wife, the Laughing Devils’ website says. His wife has since given birth.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and costs $15. All money from the cover will go to Medley, with 50 percent of the drink sales also being donated to cover his hospital bills.

 

Astoria man indicted for first degree murder of girlfriend


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Astoria-murder

Jason Bohn, the 33-year-old Astoria man allegedly responsible for the murder of his live-in girlfriend Danielle Thomas, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder.

Thomas, a 27-year-old Weight Watchers executive, was found dead inside the couple’s 33rd Street apartment last month, beaten, strangled and left in a bathtub filled with ice. Her death followed several documented incidents of harassment by Bohn. Thomas had also obtained a restraining order against him in June.

Bohn faces a ten-count indictment – one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree strangulation, one count of aggravated criminal contempt, one count of tampering with physical evidence, one count of first-degree criminal contempt, one count of third-degree assault and  three  counts of second-degree aggravated harassment.

If convicted, Bohn could serve up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 23.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Stabbed MTA officer leaves hospital, eager to return to the job

A wounded Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officer was released from the hospital and headed home Thursday, one day after he was stabbed in the eye during a confrontation in Jamaica, Queens. Dozens of MTA and city police officers were on hand to applaud at Jamaica Hospital as Officer John Barnett was brought out in a wheelchair, with a hat pulled down over his eyes. Read more: [NY1] 

Four-alarm fire sweeps through Queens residential street 

More than a dozen firefighters sustained minor injuries battling a four-alarm fire in South Richmond Hill, Queens on Thursday. It started in a house on 112th Street on Thursday afternoon and spread to the surrounding houses. Authorities say about 175 firefighters worked for an hour and 20 minutes to extinguish the flames. Read more: [NY1]

Queens lifeguard Emily Harms hailed as hero after rescuing 11-year-old from drowning

She is 21 years old, looks more like a teenager and is hardly your typical vision of the heroic lifeguard. But Emily Harms from Bellerose, Queens is all that and more. An 11-year-old boy might not be alive if not for her heroism. CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport spoke with her Thursday and heard the remarkable story. Read more: [1010wins] 

‘Transfer’ schools offer at-risk students a chance to graduate 

For some Queens high school graduates this year, the commencement ceremony represents achieving the previously impossible. But the special schools that made it happen often are tarred with bad marks due to federal standards that overlook their value, school administrators and education experts say. Ryan Rodriguez, 19, of Corona, attributes his success to North Queens Community High School — what is known as a “transfer” school, which takes students who are at risk of aging out of regular high schools. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Danielle Thomas Update: Ky. wake for Qns. executive 

Hundreds of mourners packed a Kentucky church yesterday to mourn a “small-town girl’’ who came to New York with big dreams, only to be murdered — allegedly by her lawyer boyfriend in Queens. Some 800 friends and family members wept as they filed into Centenary Methodist Church and surrounded the closed casket holding Weight Watchers executive Danielle Thomas. Read more: [New York Post] 

Scaffolding that malfunctioned in Queens wasn’t sanctioned 

The scaffolding that malfunctioned on Monday in Sunnyside leaving a worker dangling for dear life was not sanctioned, the Daily News has learned. The incident underscores a dark underbelly within the construction trade, a Queens lawmaker said Thursday. The city Department of Buildings issued a partial stop-work order at the 45th St. construction site and is investigating what caused the scaffolding to collapse, officials said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

 

Apparent murder-suicide attempt in Bayside arson


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Law enforcement officials stand in front of the Bayside home that was the location of a murder suicide on Wednesday, May 23.

A Bayside woman died after an argument with a man in their shared home on Wednesday, May 23 during what appears to be a murder suicide.

Firefighters responded to a call around 7:30 p.m. at 39-20 214th Place after neighbors saw smoke and smelled gasoline. Both victims were found in the basement by responding law enforcement officials. According to sources, the woman was found unconscious with trauma to her chest. The man was found nearby and had reportedly hung himself.

Sources alleged the man doused the home with gasoline and started a fire before attempting to take his own life.

Both victims were taken to different hospitals. Published reports state the woman died at Flushing Hospital while the man is in critical condition at New York Hospital Queens.

The couple, said to be in their 50s, argued frequently, according to neighbor George Gomez. He also said the woman frequently gambled – a catalyst for many of their fights.

It is not certain if the two were married. The couple has reportedly lived in the home for a time of between several months to a year.

Carol M., the couple’s next-door neighbor said the couple always seemed kind and never showed any signs of discord.

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

6 months for yeshiva perv

A yeshiva student admitted yesterday to inappropriately touching two 8-year-old girls to whom he was giving private religious instruction. Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter sentenced Hillel Selznicek, 25, to six months in prison, calling him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing’’ who “betrayed their trust in the most disgusting way.’’

Read More: New York Post

 

Weiner a jerk before crotchgate, craved media attention: book

Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was behaving like a jerk long before the world got a glimpse of his crotch. A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime. Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.” Read More: New York Post

 

Rapper guilty in ’93 slay

Former Bad Boy rapper G. Dep was convicted yesterday of a decades-old murder — a cold-case East Harlem shooting that was solved only when he walked into a station house two years ago and turned himself in, to square himself with God. The 37-year-old father of three now faces the mandatory minimum sentence for murder — 15 years. “I told him to not regret his decision and that God won’t abandon him,” said his lawyer, Anthony Ricco. “Trevell Coleman is a very courageous person,” he added, using the rapper’s given name. Read More: New York Post


Delta Flight With Blown Tire Able To Land Safely At JFK

John F. Kennedy International Airport had a nerve-wracking scene Wednesday as a Delta flight from Paris with a blown tire tried to land. A Delta spokesman says Flight 185 to New York blew the tire while taking off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. The crew was not sure if the tire was blown when the plane was airborne. The spokesman said air traffic controllers with binoculars were able to see the deflated tire during a fly-by before the landing at JFK. Tire debris was also found on the runway. Read More: NY1

 

NYPD’s Transit Patrol Dogs Now Train In Long Island City

The NYPD’s Transit K9 Unit has moved to Long Island City, Queens from Downtown Brooklyn, and MTA officials say part of the reason is so the new facility can be in the center of the city’s mass transit system. Read More: NY1

 

Sudan diplomat’s wife is shot, wounded by stray bullet in Queens

The wife of a Sudanese diplomat was struck by a stray bullet in Queens while she was with two of her young children, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday. The tots miraculously escaped injury. The violence unfolded as Mawahad Elbahi, 31, was carrying her year-old son and her 3-year-old daughter at her side on 31st Drive in Astoria Tuesday afternoon. They were waiting for her 5-year-old son to be dropped off by his school bus when bullets started to fly. Read More: Daily News

 

Queens kindergarten waiting lists up at zoned schools

The number of incoming Queens kindergartners who were wait-listed to get into their zoned public schools rose this year, according to city data. About 950 of the borough’s prospective kindergartners were on waiting lists. The longest in the borough was at Public School 307 in Corona where 109 were on the list — making it the city’s third-largest wait. The number of new Queens kindergartners waiting for seats is up roughly 7% over last year. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead in apparent murder suicide

A man and woman were shot to death last night in their Queens home in what cops called an apparent murder-suicide — and one of the two children in the house at the time made the horrifying discovery, neighbors said. The victims, whose names were withheld, were found around 11: 30 p.m. in the home on Dillon Street in South Jamaica, cops said. In the house were the couple’s 2-year-old son and his 16-year-old stepsister. The teenager’s 18-year-old sister was out at the time. Read More: New York Post

 

GOP hopeful that Police Commissioner Kelly will run for mayor

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is being courted by a top state Republican to run for mayor next year — and the city’s top cop is open to the idea, sources told The Post. Kelly, who has come under fire for the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk and Muslim-surveillance policies, could use the City Hall post to continue driving down crime and fighting local terrorism “for another four or eight years,’’ said former state GOP Chairman William Powers, who heads the party’s newly created statewide “advisory committee.’’ Read More: New York Post

 

Fearless squirrels invade Queens co-op

They are marauding gangs of troublemakers who set fire to cars, cut electrical wires and cause power outages, evading capture by scaling walls and climbing trees. But while the Queens co-op residents being terrorized by the daredevil vandals say they know exactly who their tormentors are, they insist that they’re helpless in stopping the crime wave — because the suspects are sex-happy squirrels. Read More: New York Post

 

Residents Help Clean Rockaway Beach For The Summer Season

While it’s not summertime yet, the unseasonably warm temperatures this week got dozens of local residents to make sure Rockaway Beach is ready to make a positive first impression this season. Read More: NY1

 

Queens man arrested for breaking into Diddy’s East Hampton mansion, eating his food and wearing rapper’s clothes

A Queens resident’s unwelcome visit to Diddy’s East Hampton mansion on April 1 was no joke. Quamine T. Taylor was arrested at the rapper’s residence after cops say he entered through an unlocked basement door, and treated himself to a nearly day-long feast fit for a music mogul, according to the East Hampton Star. Read More: Daily News

 

Rookie police officer arrested after assaulting fiancee in his Queens home

A rookie NYPD cop was arrested in Queens Saturday for assaulting his fiancée, officials said. Off-duty Officer Alexandru Baiasu, 27, was arrested about 10:50 p.m. at his Rego Park home after attacking his 31-year-old fiancée during an argument, cops said. Baiasu, who was newly assigned to the Police Academy, was charged with assault and harassment, officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

NY Jets’ Tim Tebow attends Yankees-Angels game, sits with Dwyane Wade and gets booed by fans

Tim Tebow made the scene at the Stadium for Sunday night’s 11-5 win over the Angels. The newest Jet, who is due to attend workouts with the team on Monday, sat on the third-base side next to the Angels dugout with a Yankees cap on and, at one point, engaged in an animated conversation with Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. When the Stadium video board showed Tebow, he received equal parts boos and cheers. Read More: Daily News

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

WATCH: Queens ‘vigilante’ busted for beating down fellow tenant

A self-appointed vigilante at a Queens apartment building was arrested after he choked and beat into a concussion a fellow tenant he did not recognize him as a resident, The Post has learned. Yong Hung Wang, 36, of 35-06 Leavett St., in Flushing, mistook victim John Derounian, 37, for a burglar after Derounian returned to their building Wednesday morning to get his front door key and cell phone, which he had left behind. Read and Watch the Video: New York Post

Man charged with murdering girlfriend’s toddler accused in 2nd murder of another ex’s baby

A man charged with murdering his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son last month is now being accused by another girlfriend of killing her infant daughter in 2010. Tyree Wright, 19, was not charged in the 2010 death of 7-month-old Nyla Nickens. The infant’s mother, Nyemah Nickens, now 21, claims she was wrongly charged with killing her own child only after confessing under duress to shaking Nyla. Read More: Daily News

 

Plea deal in Queens deli slay

A Queens man pleaded guilty yesterday to a reduced charge for killing a hardworking deli owner who tried save his brother during a botched robbery. Shawn Forde, 29, admitted he gunned down 54-year-old Juan Torres, owner of the Lucky Grocery & Deli on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton, in October 2010 as the victim was trying to protect his brother, Felix. Forde had faced 25 years to life for the murder and robbery, but copped a plea to first-degree manslaughter and will be sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 1. Read More: New York Post

Three Rescued From Capsized Tugboat Near Liberty Island

Three people were rescued this morning after a boat capsized just off Liberty Island. The U.S. Coast Guard says the small tugboat overturned and sent three people into the water around 9:45 a.m. All three were rescued by police but officials have not released their conditions. At least one person was taken to a medical facility in New Jersey. The cause of the accident is still unclear. The Coast Guard says a salvage operation will be done commercially once it approves a plan. Read More: NY1

 

Mets call up Nieuwenhuis to replace injured Torres

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has gotten the call to replace injured Andres Torres as the Mets’ center fielder. The team placed Torres on the disabled list Friday, a day after he aggravated his left calf muscle in the Mets’ season opener. Torres originally strained the calf during a March 20 exhibition game. Read More: New York Post

 

Rig Faults Uncovered At Deadly Crane Collapse Site

Days after a deadly crane collapse on Manhattan’s West Side, officials say poor maintenance or improper handling may have led up to the tragedy. Engineers have found defects in the hoisting system of a crane that crashed down Tuesday at the construction site for the 7 line extension. The Buildings Department on Thursday said poor maintenance or improper handling of the rig may have contributed to the deadly accident. Read More: NY1

Family lauds ‘Justice for Jerry’


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

CIMG2463w

Another suspect in the tragic murder of beloved Ozone Park son Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello has been found guilty.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on Monday, April 2 that Francis LaCorte has been found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree attempted burglary, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy in conjunction with the 2009 murder of 29-year-old Antoniello.

“The defendant in this case has been found guilty following a jury trial of having orchestrated, planned and carried out three separate home robberies, one of which culminated in the untimely death of a young man who bravely went to the aid of his father during one of the robberies,” said Brown. “Under the circumstances, the defendant has forfeited his future and can expect to spend most, if not all, of the rest of his life behind bars.”

Three other individuals were previously arrested in connection with this case, including Vincent Mineo, who was sentenced on March 20 to 20 years for first-degree burglary.

Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello was killed on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, during a push-in robbery at his family’s home on 95th Street and North Conduit Avenue in Ozone Park. Two men, now known to be Vincent Mineo and Francis LaCorte, attempted to gain entry to the Antoniello home as well as take cash from Romeo Antoniello, who had just finished closing the family’s pizzeria, Romeo’s, on Cross Bay Boulevard.

The perpetrators hit Romeo, who was suffering from cancer, in the head, before pushing their way into the residence. Gerardo was attempting to defend his family when he was struck in the head with a single gunshot. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, where he died early Thursday morning, September 10.

“I’m happy that the jury made the right decision,” said Jerry’s brother, Carmine Antoniello. “Hopefully he’s put away for a long time.”

LaCorte faces 75 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on April 16.

“It doesn’t bring Jerry back but hopefully they put him away for a long time so he doesn’t hurt anyone else,” said Carmine. “It’s one less piece of garbage on the street.”

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jailed Queens man who says he didn’t commit murder wins retrial

A Queens man who spent eight of his 38 years in jail for a murder he says he didn’t commit won a retrial Wednesday. Tejpal Singh’s murder conviction was set aside by Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise after two key witnesses recanted their claim that he gunned down 19-year-old Kamaljit Singh in 1996. During five weeks of hearings Tejpal’s attorney, Stephen Murphy, grilled Ramjit “Rocky” Singh, who claimed at Tejpal’s trial that he was the drive-by shooter. Read More: New York Post

 

Former Yankees pitcher Pavano victim of extortion attempt, family says

Former Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano was the victim of an extortion attempt in which a former classmate tried to get money and an SUV from the right-hander by threatening to reveal information about his personal life, Pavano’s family claims. Read More: New York Post

 

300-pound hero flight passenger said he had no choice when he took down crazy captain

David Gonzalez boarded a plane to Las Vegas on Tuesday morning and managed to do something that very, very few people have ever done. Gonzalez put the pilot in a choke hold while the aircraft was in midair. But Gonzalez, of Henryville, Pa., said he had no other choice. The pilot was acting so erratically that the plane’s crew asked for passengers’ help to subdue him, the Pocono Record reported Thursday. Gonzalez, a former New York City corrections officer, reflected on his experience aboard JetBlue Flight 191. He said he was happy no one got hurt and that he was trying to deal as best he could with being thrust overnight into the national media spotlight. Read More: New York Post

 

Off-duty cop driving wrong way killed in fiery crash in Bronx

An off-duty Mount Vernon cop, driving the wrong way on the New England Thruway, was killed in a fiery crash when he slammed head-on into a tractor-trailer in the Bronx early this morning, authorities said. Reginald Velez, 29, was driving south in the northbound center lane in his Lexus sedan near exit 11 when he plowed into the rig at about 2:35 a.m., officials said. The Lexus immediately burst into flames. Read More: New York Post

 

Cop accidentally shoots woman during Brooklyn drug raid, sources say

A police officer accidentally discharged his weapon during a drug raid in Brooklyn and struck a woman – leaving her in critical condition, police sources said. Brooklyn South Narcotics officers were searching a third floor apartment in a building on Clarendon Road near Nostrand Avenue when an officer’s gun accidentally went off and shot through the floor, striking a 25-year-old woman in the residence below. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-club owner turns down no-jail plea for Manhattan bar brawl with Prince of Monaco

Royal jaw-buster Adam Hock turned down a no-jail plea in a Manhattan courtroom today — insisting he’ll go to trial to prove he was the victim of “international bar brawlers” in his flashy February fight with the Prince of Monaco. “We have information that these four individuals are known bar brawlers,” Hock’s new lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, insisted after a brief court appearance today, referring to Prince Pierre Casiraghi and the three royal pals Hock is charged with also decking. Read More: New York Post

 

Jamaica Dumping Ground Gets A Clean Sweep

The fence and graffiti are still there, but at least one problem is gone — the mounds of trash that filled this illegal dumping site along the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica, Queens. On Wednesday, sanitation workers spent nearly six hours cleaning the well-known dumping ground after NY1 called them about the problem. “It was sick to look at, you know,” said resident Mo Ali. “It’s like our place, you know. It’s getting back to normal.” Read More: NY1

 

Two Hospitalized Following Van Wyck Service Road Accident

Several people were injured Wednesday in a three car pile-up on the Van Wyck service road in South Jamaica, Queens. The accident happened near Linden Boulevard around noon Wednesday. Firefighters used the “jaws of life” to remove one of the passengers, as the rear of the car hung on a bent street sign. One witness said the driver was unresponsive with his foot still on the pedal, spinning the car’s wheels. Read More: NY1

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Carmelo’s inspiring game despite the pain leads Knicks to win

The pain in Reed’s hip was probably a little sharper than the ache in Carmelo Anthony’s groin, the needle a little longer in 1970, the stakes far higher. This wasn’t Game 7 of the Finals with a title on the table, merely Game 51 of a lockout-cleaved season with a chance to gaze the northern side of .500 for the first time since mid January 16. Read More: New York Post

Elevator man electrocuted

An elevator mechanic was electrocuted last night at a Midtown office building, authorities said. The 39-year-old victim was found dead at around 9:30 p.m. in the ninth-floor mechanical room at 1290 Sixth Avenue. “Two engineers found him,” said a building employee who didn’t want to give his name. “He was a very nice guy,” the employee said of the victim, who had worked at the building for five years. Read More: New York Post

Liu’s aide pulling strings

Comptroller John Liu has turned to his top political adviser, Chung Seto, for more than just campaign advice — he has actually let her run much of his office, even though she is not a city employee, The Post has learned. Seto, who orchestrated Liu’s political ascent, has been dealing with everything from redecorating to communications with the White House — and has even referred financial advisers to the city’s pension czar, according to e-mails between Seto and Comptroller’s Office staffers obtained by The Post through a freedom- of-information request. Read More: New York Post

Westchester Man Charged With Ill-Fated Assault In Subway Station

Police have arrested and charged Ryan Beauchamp, a Westchester resident, in connection with a fight last week at a Brooklyn subway station that left another man dead. Beauchamp, 33, is facing two misdemeanor charges of attempted assault and harassment. Investigators say Beauchamp was drunk and got into a fight with Joshua Basin, 20, on Friday night at the L train stop at Bedford Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

JetBlue Captain Charged With Interfering With Crew On NYC Flight To Vegas

A JetBlue captain who acted erratically and had to be restrained onboard a Las Vegas-bound flight from New York was charged Wednesday with interfering with the crew and has been suspended. The captain of Flight 191, 49-year-old Clayton Osbon, seen above, was caught on video yelling about a bomb. A newly released court document says Osbon was still in the cockpit when he rambled about religion, turned off radio controls and dimmed monitors. He allegedly told the co-pilot to take a leap of faith and then stormed out of the cockpit. Read More: NY1

 

 

Trayvon Martin case: Shooter George Zimmerman appears uninjured in police video on night of shooting

Explosive video reveals that George Zimmerman appeared uninjured when he arrived at a Florida police station the night he shot Trayvon Martin — his nose is not broken or bleeding and the back of his head is unmarked by grass or bruising. The Sanford, Fla., Police Department says it did not arrest the Hispanic neighborhood watchman who killed the unarmed black teenager because Trayvon was pounding his head into the ground and Zimmerman shot in self-defense. Read More: Daily News

Days after exposé, Gov. Cuomo bans ‘legal pot’ statewide

Synthetic marijuana — the dangerous designer drug sold as herbal incense — is being banned statewide. The order from the state Health Department will go out Thursday, a week after the Daily News revealed the fake weed is sending young New Yorkers to the emergency room. “We are banning the sale of synthetic marijuana because, no matter what you call it, it’s clear that this is an illegal drug which is putting the health of New Yorkers, especially young adults, at risk,” Gov. Cuomo told The News. Read More: Daily News