Tag Archives: Murder

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

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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

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Bust in 1980 Queens slay

An NYPD detective cracked a really cold case this week when fingerprints from an inmate were linked to the death of a Queens man in a home-invasion burglary 32 years ago. Ernest Mattison, 49, formerly of Flushing, was charged with murder in the Sept. 10, 1980, strangulation of Cecil Schiff, 73. Schiff, who fled Poland to escape the Holocaust, was found dead in his Franklin Avenue home, sitting in a chair and bleeding from the head. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Justice for Trayvon’

The parents of a Florida teen shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain vowed at a Union Square rally last night to seek justice for their son. “Trayvon Martin did matter . . . We are not going to stop until we get justice for Trayvon,” the teen’s father, Tracy Martin, told a crowd of 1,200. He described his 17-year-old son as “your typical teenager . . . Trayvon was not, and I repeat, was not a bad person.” He lashed out at George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old aspiring law officer who claims he killed Trayvon in self defense while patrolling his gated community. Read More: New York Post

 

Commissioner Kelly sees parents of slain teen

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly yesterday met for the first time with the parents of an unarmed teenage drug suspect who was fatally shot by a cop in the family’s Bronx apartment, The Post has learned. Franclot Graham, Constance Malcolm and their attorneys huddled with Kelly at One Police Plaza for about an hour, and then exited without comment. The sitdown came about seven weeks after their 18-year-old son, Ramarley Graham, was killed on Feb. 2 by Officer Richard Haste, who was assigned to a Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit. Read More: New York Post

 

No rest for this defense as Mike Woodson’s resurgent NY Knicks impress Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers missed their first 14 shots, mainly because they had a hard time spotting the basket through the purposeful torsos and hands. These new Knicks frightened Doug Collins on Wednesday night with their sheer dynamism on defense, which is something he saw only from his own team earlier in the season. The Knicks trap now at halfcourt. They front the ball. They block shots and force turnovers. Read More: Daily News

 

Doctors-in-training stage mutiny at Peninsula Hospital 

Peninsula Hospital’s doctors-in-training are staging a mutiny as the troubled hospital’s vital signs continue to look grim following a state-mandated shutdown of its lab, the Daily News has learned. A coalition of furious medical residents are pushing their governing body, the American Osteopathic Association, to revoke Peninsula’s credentials as a teaching facility before the court-appointed overseer gives them all the axe, sources said Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Man Charged With Molesting Girl In Manhattan Donut Shop

A man accused of touching an 11-year-old girl inside a Manhattan donut shop is now under arrest. Kerry Abrams, 54, is facing sex abuse charges. Surveillance video caught Abrams after the alleged incident on March 7 at the Dunkin Donuts on First Avenue at 21st Street. Read More: NY1

Panel For Educational Policy Approves 19 School Co-Locations

When it comes to sharing school buildings, and the space squeeze that often results, it is common for parents and teachers to be angry. But Wednesday night at a meeting in Chelsea, Manhattan, some parents were so upset they began to cry. Parents from P.S. 53 in East New York, Brooklyn begged the the Panel for Educational Policy not to vote to move their school to a new building. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Bank Robber Attacks Five Banks In Two Months

Authorities were searching Wednesday for a robber in Queens accused of stealing cash from three out of five banks he has attacked since last month. In the most recent incident last Thursday, police say the man in the above surveillance photo walked into a Chase Bank at 66-02 Grand Avenue in Maspeth and handed a note to the teller demanding cash. He took off with an undisclosed amount of money. Read More: NY1

Afternoon Roundup


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

A teen who allegedly shot a man dead in southeast Queens was busted early Friday after cops spotted him standing over the body and holding a gun, police said. Read more:Daily News

A Mexican man pleaded guilty in Brooklyn to working for the family business — an international sex trafficking ring that goes back generations. Read more: Daily News

President Obama will speak at Barnard College’s graduation, the elite women’s college announced Saturday. Obama will receive the school’s medal of distinction and deliver the keynote address on May 14. Read more: Daily News

A Chelsea man was found slain in his apartment last night with his arms and feet bound and duct tape over his mouth, law enforcement sources said. Officers found the 57-year-old man dead at 7:53 p.m. in his home at 212 West 22nd Street, police said. It wasn’t immediately clear how the man was killed but his hands were bound with duct tape and tied to a bedpost with an electrical cord, sources said. The man’s feet were also bound and his face was covered. Read more: NYPost

Criticism is already being hurled at an emerging deal to reform the once-a-decade process of redrawing the boundaries of state legislative and congressional districts. Critics charge that a constitutional amendment being negotiated to make the partisan-influenced process more independent includes a “poison pill” that would still leave the ultimate decision in the hands of legislators. Read more: Daily News

Shot cop slays gun fiend


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane
Shot cop slays gun fiend

An NYPD detective was shot in the arm during a wild gun battle in a Harlem subway station yesterday — but he was amazingly able to return fire and kill the suspect, officials said. Career criminal Michael McBride and Queens Detective Kevin Herlihy exchanged 19 shots during the 4:20 p.m. violence — sending terrified straphangers running for cover in the crowded station at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 145th Street. McBride, 52 — who was wanted for shooting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter in the head Monday — died at the scene with a bullet to the chest. Read More: New York Post

Husband back in Queens after wife-slay bust

A Queens man accused of stabbing and beating his wife to death with a baseball bat before fleeing to Connecticut was hauled back yesterday to face a murder rap. Jordan Hawes, 32, killed Tara Hawes — a special-education teacher in Williamsburg — in their Astoria home earlier this month and then tried to pawn a wedding band, authorities charged. Cops said he tried to cover up the crime by sending texts to relatives from the victim’s phone saying she wasn’t going to work because of a family emergency. Hawes was found sleeping in his wife’s Jeep on Feb. 4 in a Fairfield parking lot. He surrendered to Connecticut cops, telling them, “I did something wrong,” sources told The Post. Read More: New York Post

 

Man gets 24 years in prison for killing ex-girlfriend in Queens
A jealous ex-boyfriend who “stole” a vibrant young woman from a loving Queens family was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for the horrendous murder. Segundo Penafiel, 28, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, was sentenced to 24 years in prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter for repeatedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Ebony Garcia, as her 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, stood nearby. “You stole Ebony from us! You should rot in hell you bastard!” Garcia’s heartbroken mother, Julie Perez, shouted at the killer as tears flowed down her face. Read More: New York Post

 

Never a doubt guard’s legend would grow with game-winner

Around the arena, inevitability ruled the moment. Among 20,092 people inside Air Canada Centre, all of them on their feet. Among the Toronto Raptors, who could sense they were being set up as patsies. Among the Knicks, of course, who have come to believe that there is nothing their point guard can’t do. And, yes: Watching Jeremy Lin, you could see it in him, too. “My teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game,” Lin would say. Trust him? It takes everything they’ve got not to stand up and applaud him at the end of these games now. Read More: New York Post

 

Governor Cuomo gets high approval rating in Quinnipiac poll; voters support casinos in New York

Gov. Cuomo got some strong pre-Valentine’s Day love from New Yorkers, while casinos and a mammoth gambling-convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack received a peck on the cheek, according to a new poll. The Quinnipiac University survey released today also found President Obama with 50 percent approval and re-election ratings in the Empire State, while U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dipped below the magic mark. But despite the love for Cuomo, voters by 58-42 said they were dissatisfied with the way things are going in New York. Read More: New York Post
Whitney Houston’s Newark funeral to be invitation-only

Fans wishing to pay their last respects to pop icon Whitney Houston will have to be on the VIP list. Attendance at Houston’s Saturday afternoon sendoff is by invitation only after Houston’s mom, Cissy, insisted the ceremony be held in her home church in Newark instead of the nearby Prudential Center. Instead of mourners being accommodated at the 19,000-seat arena, friends and family will have to squeeze into one of New Hope Baptist Church’s 1,500 spots. Read More: New York Post

Giants ticker tape set to fly downtown


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Giants ticker tape set to fly downtown

Rabid Big Blue fans will flood the Canyon of Heroes today to watch Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champion Giants march up Broadway — and a lucky 500 will get to attend an exclusive City Hall ceremony afterward. Officials doled out 250 pairs of tickets after holding an online lottery for New York residents. More than 50,000 people had entered. The winners were notified at 2 p.m. and had six hours to rush to Midtown to claim their prize. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Man In Custody Following Wife’s Death

A Queens man whose wife was found dead last week is now in police custody. Sources tell NY1 Jordan Hawes, 32, was picked up by police in Connecticut for driving a stolen car. Sources say he is being held in a psychiatric ward in a Connecticut hospital and has not yet been charged with any crime. His wife, Tara Hawes, 33, was found dead in the couple’s Astoria apartment Thursday night. Investigators say she died of blunt force trauma to the head. Read More: NY1

 

 Former EMS Chief Passes Away After Battling Brain Tumor

The city Fire Department is mourning a longtime Emergency Medical Services chief. John McFarland passed away Monday from complications related to a brain tumor. McFarland began as an EMT in 1983 and served in many positions, including chief of the academy and Queens Borough commander. The father of five is remembered as an advocate for patients who embraced technological advances in the field. Read More: NY1

 

Cemetery workers plunge into open grave

They wound up 6 feet under — and lived to tell about it. Four workers at a Queens cemetery plunged yesterday into a deep grave — on top of a freshly laid casket — leaving one of them injured. Raimundo Rodriguez, 49, had been working in a crew of four on the Harper family plot at the Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village when the freak accident occurred, workers said. The men had been removing the apparatus used to lower caskets into the ground at around 12:50 p.m. when suddenly, all of them “vanished.” Read More: New York Post

 

Dopey rob victim busted

Always tidy up before calling the cops — it’s a lesson that Michael Cokley learned the hard way. Late last year, he called 911 to report a gunpoint home-invasion robbery. As he described the ordeal to them at his Far Rockaway, Queens, apartment, cops smelled the distinctive aroma of marijuana and saw heroin out in the open, police say. After getting a search warrant, the cops allegedly discovered 34 grams of heroin, 91 glassine envelopes, four marijuana grinders and an electronic scale. Read More: New York Post

Bettor days for Aqueduct

Horse betting is up at Aqueduct following the opening of the new racino next door. The total handle on races is up 6.6 last month, compared with January 2011, according to figures compiled by the New York Racing Association. That includes bets made off premises. Wagering increased to $117,842,942 last month from $110,556,714 the prior period — or an increase of more than $7 million. Most of that increase was from off-track betting. The total on-track handle was up 1 percent — to $23,428,941 last month compared to $23,190,785 in the prior period. “We’re pleased with the increase in handle on and off the track,” said NYRA spokesman Dan Silver. Read More: New York Post

3 men murdered this weekend in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Three men were shot down within 12 hours of each other this weekend in Queens during separate incidents, according to police.

The violence started Saturday evening when police responded to a 9-1-1 call of a male shot in East Elmhurst.  George Portillo, 31, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach where he was pronounced dead.

The second incident occurred early Sunday morning in Jamaica.  Police responded to 123rd Road at approximately 1:15 a.m. to find Cody Kahn, 20, with a gunshot wound to the chest.  EMS pronounced him dead at the scene.

The third deadly assault occurred at approximately 5:45 a.m. in Queens Village.  Police found two men shot at the corner of 209th Place and 111th Road — a 28-year-old behind the wheel of a car and a 31-year-old slumped on the sidewalk.  Both had gunshot wounds to the chest and were taken to Jamaica Hospital.  The 28-year-old was pronounced dead, while the other victim is in stable condition, according to police.

No arrests have been made in the cases and the investigations are ongoing.

Giants upset Patriots again for fourth Super Bowl title


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Giants upset Patriots again for fourth Super Bowl title

At the end, Tom Coughlin did not need to push and prod his Giants, did not need to preach “All In” any longer, did not need to insist and demand and plea for his players to please, please, just “Finish.” All he needed to do was watch the confetti fall after his quarterback, Eli Manning, did it again and Justin Tuck and his defense did it again, did it to the Patriots, to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady again, incredibly, impossibly and, in some strange way, naturally. “This is the finish line for this year, yes it is!’’ Coughlin exclaimed. Photos, Videos, and More @ New York Post

 

3 slain in 12 hours

Three people were murdered in separate incidents during a 12-hour spate of violence in Queens over the weekend, police said. The bloodshed first erupted at around 5:45 p.m. Saturday, when career criminal George Portillo, 31, got in a fight with an unknown gunman on 95th Street and 31st Avenue in East Corona. Portillo was shot in the chest and died at Elmhurst Hospital. Police said his rap sheet included arrests for rape, assault, DWI and drugs. Another slaying occurred at 1:16 a.m. yesterday in South Jamaica, when 20-year-old Cody Kahn was fatally shot in the chest. Cops did not know what sparked the killing. Read More: New York Post

 

Seizure horror at Howard Beach school show

An elementary-school talent show turned tragic in Queens after a parent suffering a violent seizure accidently punched a man who was trying to help him — and the good Samaritan later died, cops said. Students had been performing at Ave Maria Catholic School in Howard Beach Thursday evening when strobe lights fired and a man was stricken by a seizure, a witness told The Post. The man, who later identified himself to The Post only as Mario, “was biting his tongue, foaming from the mouth,” the witness said. A grandparent, identified as Paul Trinchese, 61, of Howard Beach, tried to help Mario, who has a history of seizures, the witness said. Read More: New York Post

 

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman traps alleged stalker Louise Neathway with volley of text messages

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman helped net his accused stalker with a final blistering volley of text messages that lured her out of her Tribeca apartment and into the hands of waiting investigators. The crafty Cashman and authorities set the trap for Louise Neathway in the hours before she was arrested on Feb. 1. “What will it take to make this go away, I can’t believe you’ve done this,” Cashman, 44, wrote in a text sent to his alleged mistress at 4:25 p.m. under the direction of cops. “We have to talk,” Neathway, 36, replied, “where is up to you.” Read More: Daily News

 

Dream come true for slain cop’s girls

Two of slain hero cop Peter Figoski’s daughters lived it up and rubbed elbows with A-listers during the trip of a lifetime yesterday as the Giants’ guests of honor at Super Bowl XLVI. Corrine, 14, and Caroline, 16, made the journey with mom Paulette courtesy of Giants co-owner Steven Tisch and movie honcho Harvey Weinstein. The girls, huge fans of Big Blue, would watch games with their dad before he was killed in December. Read More: New York Post
Watch this year’s Super Bowl ads – and read expert reviews

Sunday’s spots included a Clint Eastwood pitch for Detroit, Volkswagen revisiting its successful ‘Star Wars’ theme, a car duel between Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, and a look at Ferris Bueller, a quarter-century after Matthew Broderick popularized the character on the silver screen. Companies paid an average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot for this year’s Super Bowl. Some of those commercials were worth the cost. Others … not so much. Read More: New York Post

Woman murdered in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman murdered in Queens

A 33-year-old woman was found murdered last night in a Queens apartment building, police said. The victim, whose identity was withheld, was slashed across the throat and found at 8:30 p.m. by her in-laws in a second-floor apartment at 26-80 30th St. in Astoria. It was unclear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy. Detectives are looking to speak with the woman’s husband, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

East Side ‘rape’ bust

A maintenance worker has been busted for allegedly raping a woman after breaking into her Manhattan apartment while she slept. Alberto Delgado, 37, of Queens, was arrested Tuesday on rape charges for allegedly assaulting the 24-year-old woman in her apartment on East 30th Street near Third Avenue, police sources said. The attack occurred in the early-morning hours on Dec. 16 after the victim attended a party at another apartment in the building, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

CUNY Law shielding bad grads from bar

Anxious CUNY Law School administrators are urging struggling students not to take this summer’s bar exam in an apparent bid to boost the school’s sagging pass rates, irate students charged. The administrators even offered a handful of students a grant in the fall that’s normally reserved for those taking the July exam if they would agree to postpone sitting for the test until February 2013. Students say an associate dean has pulled at least six classmates in for a one-on-one sales pitch advocating for the delay — even though the February exam is reputedly more difficult. Read More: New York Post

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Queens

It won’t be just Giants and Patriots fans hitting the bars to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 — more than 110 million people watched last year’s game.  Bars and restaurants throughout Queens feature food and drink specials for Giants fans and anyone else that wants to take in the Super Bowl 42 rematch.  Here are a few places to watch the games in Queens… Read More: Queens Courier

 

Mike $laps Komen

Mayor Bloomberg rode to the rescue of Planned Parenthood yesterday, pledging up to $250,000 for the organization after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation yanked funding for screenings. “Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Breast-cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care,” he said. “We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way,” he added. But Bloomberg refused to say whether he would cut his own ties with Komen. Read More: New York Post

 

Service disruptions on 7-line could put damper on Flushing Lunar New Year parade 

Queens’ massive Year of the Dragon celebration may be hindered by MTA subway disruptions, several elected officials and business owners fear. Saturday’s Flushing Lunar New Year Parade — one of the city’s largest celebrations — coincides with the ongoing 7-train rehabilitation that cuts service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza. The lack of a direct link from Manhattan to Flushing could stifle the flow of attendees, which usually tops more than 100,000 people, said parade organizer Peter Tu. Read More: Daily News

 

Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona gears up for Black History Month

Louis Armstrong was already an international jazz icon when he stepped out of a taxi in front of a Corona house in 1942 that his fourth wife, Lucille, had just picked out. After growing up in poverty in New Orleans, owning even a modest home in a middle-class Queens neighborhood was almost inconceivable. “He couldn’t believe he owned this house,” said Al Pomerantz, a volunteer at Satchmo’s Corona home that is now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. “It wasn’t until Lucille actually answered the door that he let [the cabbie\] drive away.” Read More: Daily News

Daytime Burglaries Rattle Queens Community

Some Indian New Yorkers think their Queens community is being targeted by thieves. “I turned the lock, and I was like, ‘wait a second, I locked the door when we left that morning,’” said Lea Balgobin, a burglary victim. She did, but someone had broken into her home after she left with her husband Rohan to run errands. The burglar only took cash and gold. “Every piece of jewelry we had, they took,” said Rohan Balgobin. Those items were worth over $50,000 according to the police report . The Balgobins say it’s common for Indians from Asia and the West Indies to keep large amounts of jewelry in their homes because people often give gold as gifts and the jewelry is passed for generations. Read More: NY1

Queens fire kills grandmother as helpless kin look on


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens fire kills grandmother as helpless kin look on

A fast-moving house fire killed a Queens grandmother early today as her family managed to escape the blaze in South Jamaica. “The family was screaming for their grandmother,” said neighbor Lola Reid. “She never came out of the house.” Elaine Spencer, 69, died at the scene, officials said. “She was a sweet woman. Everyone on this block loved her,” said Jessica Banks, 25, a relative of the victim. Rickey Anderson was walking home on 120th Avenue near Sutphin Boulevard at around midnight when he saw flames shooting from the two-family home. Read More: New York Post

 

Catwoman is caged

The catwoman has been declawed. A Queens woman who robbed an Astor Place boutique while wearing a cat mask was ordered caged for 10 years — and she went out hissing all the way. “I am not the catwoman!” Shana Spalding shouted after being sentenced yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court. “No! No! No!” The 29-year-old Queens crook cried out for her mom and raged at court officers and photographers as she was led out in handcuffs. The death-metal singer known as “Purgatory” was convicted in December of armed stick-ups at Arche Shoes on Astor Place and Cotélac, a SoHo sportswear shop . Read More: New York Post

Brooklyn Man Charged With Murdering Brother In Queens Home

A Brooklyn man is accused of attacking two members of his own family, killing one of them. Sources say Gideon Forde, 33, is charged with murdering his 29-year-old brother, Clinton, inside a home on 148th Street in Queens. Police responded to the scene at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Sources say the victim’s wife was yelling from an upstairs window while downstairs, Forde was holding his younger brother at knifepoint. Forde also allegedly slashed his 1-year-old niece in the neck. Clinton Forde died at the hospital. The young girl was rushed to the hospital in stable condition. Read More: NY1

 

Con Ed crew foils robbery

A routine gas inspection turned into a harrowing chase as four Con Edison employees rushed to the aid of the victim of a violent purse snatching in Bayside on the night of January 25. The Con Edison crew — John Kane, John McDonnell, Michael Santeramo and Anthony Farmighetti — were working on a gas line just off Northern Boulevard when they heard the screams of a young woman on 201st Street and 42nd Avenue. When they rushed to the scene, they saw the victim on the ground, bleeding from the mouth. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Mormon holy war

They’re throwing the book at Mormons. Queens civic leaders are mounting a campaign to block the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from building a new house of worship in Flushing to serve a growing Mormon congregation. The planned two-story structure, proposed for 145-15 33rd Ave., would include an underground parking garage and a steeple. It would replace a cramped church about a dozen blocks away. The church acquired the three lots in 2008, with eyes on building a new facility. But since then, the city has approved stricter zoning that bars larger structures in the residential area. Read More: New York Post

 

Giants hoping for repeat performance vs. Patriots

Eli Manning wakes up Sunday morning and it’s the Super Bowl, against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Tom Coughlin wakes up Sunday morning and it’s the Super Bowl, against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Brady wakes up Sunday morning and starts worrying about Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Today is Groundhog Day. For the Giants, Sunday is Super Groundhog Day. “I wasn’t a part of that ’07 team,” Steve Weatherford said, “but just watching those guys and seeing them just crush people through the playoffs and get in, and nobody gave ’em a chance to win once you get into the Super Bowl, which is the only game that really matters, and they pulled it out when it mattered most so I mean. . . Read More: New York Post

 

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada officially announced his retirement from the game today at Yankee Stadium. During an at-times tearful press conference, the 40-year-old catcher said he is leaving the game after 17 seasons, all with the team that drafted him. He said the decision was completely his, and that he made his choice shortly after last season. “I was able to live my dream, to play baseball for the best sports franchise in the world, the New York Yankees,” said Posada. Read More: NY1

 

Family of slain designer Sylvie Cachay wants ‘every penny’ Nick Brooks has

The family of slain swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay is going after “every penny” that may come the way of her accused killer – the son of creepy “You Light Up My Life” tunesmith Joseph Brooks. “We will take all steps to find any penny that he has, and every royalty that he has,” Susan Karten, a civil lawyer for the Cachay family, said after a brief appearance by Nicholas Brooks in Manhattan Criminal Court. The 25-year-old Manhattan man is charged with killing his stunning 33-year-old girlfriend inside a tub at the sleek Soho House in December 2010 – then going to a party. Read More: New York Post

 

Online video captures moment cops shoot, kill man outside Carl’s Jr. in California [Warning: Graphic Video Inside]

Graphic video posted online captured the shocking moment cops shot and killed a man outside a fast food joint in California Monday morning. Police were called to the Carl’s Jr. in Monterey Park around 9:30 a.m. after receiving a report that the unidentified man was breaking windows at the restaurant, according to KTLA 5 News. When he emerged from the fast food place, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release they ordered him to drop what they described as a three-foot metal bar. Read More & See the Video: Daily News

 

Bloomberg Calls For “Sensible” Pension Reforms At Albany Hearing

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Albany today testifying on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget and Reform plan. In his prepared remarks before the State Senate Finance Committee and the State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee, the mayor gave his support to several points of the plan, including pension and teacher evaluation reforms. The governor’s $132.5 billion budget calls for the creation of a new Tier VI pension, which would offer new hires a 401k-type, market-based retirement plan. However, they would also have the choice of taking a reduced benefit pension plan that raises the retirement age from 62 to 65. Read More: NY1

 

Veteran NYPD detective admits robbing cigarette smugglers

A crooked, second-generation cop pleaded guilty this morning to brazenly ripping off cigarette smugglers while wearing his NYPD “raid” jacket and armed with his service weapon. Shame-faced Kyron Collins, 39, then capped off his court appearance by running away from a photographer and leaving his lawyer in the dust. Collins, a 16-year police veteran who most recently was a detective in the 52nd Precinct, was busted last year in a 10-month string of robberies of bootleg cigarette dealers in Manhattan and The Bronx. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD officer pleads guilty to false arrest

A NYPD officer admitted today that he falsified charges to arrest a black Staten Island man after the two exchanged angry words during a street encounter while he was on plainclothes patrol. Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to misusing his authority as a police officer to intentionally violate the man’s civil rights. As part of a plea agreement with Brooklyn federal prosecutors, the 32-year-old officer will resign from the NYPD after his sentencing and never seek another job in law enforcement, his attorney told Judge William Kuntz II. Read More: New York Post

Queens Man Indicted On Charges From December Shootings


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Man Indicted On Charges From December Shootings

A Queens man was indicted Wednesday on charges he killed two people and injured a third in a shooting rampage last month. Damel Burton, 34, seen above, has been indicted on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder. The Queens district attorney said Burton shot to death 18-year old Keith Murrell, apparently in retaliation for a fight. He then boarded a Q111 bus and allegedly opened fire again, killing Marvin Gilkes and wounding another man. Read More: NY1

Man charged in NY Fed Reserve software theft

U.S. prosecutors arrested a Chinese computer programmer on charges he stole software code valued at nearly $10 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bo Zhang, 32, of Queens, worked as a contract programmer at the bank. He was accused of illegally copying software to an external hard drive, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court in Manhattan. Authorities said the software, owned by the U.S. Treasury Department, cost about $9.5 million to develop. A New York Fed spokesman said in a statement that the bank immediately investigated the suspected breach when it was uncovered and promptly referred the matter to authorities. Read More: MSNBC

Queens aims for Apple core 

Queens might be on the verge of getting a bite of the Apple. A real estate developer is in preliminary talks with Apple about opening one of the brand’s iconic stores on bustling Austin St. in Forest Hills. Heskel Group Chairman Yeheskel Elias said if a deal is reached, the sleek store could open in as little as a year. It would be only the second Apple location in the city outside Manhattan. A Staten Island store opened in 2005. “I will do anything I can to bring Apple in,” Elias said. “Queens has to have an Apple store.” Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said the company has “made no announcements” on new stores outside Manhattan. But Elias said a broker for Apple reached out to him several months ago to discuss potential store locations in Forest Hills. Read More: Daily News

Brooklyn and Queens see home prices tumble in 4Q

It wasn’t such a merry end to 2011 for Brooklyn and Queens homeowners. Fourth-quarter prices fell in both boroughs and sales activity slumped in Queens, as worries over the economy had buyers hitting the pause button. “The market in Queens and Brooklyn is stable, but fragile,” said Michael Guerra, managing director of Brooklyn for Prudential Douglas Elliman. The median price of a Brooklyn home dropped 4.3% from last year to $454,383. The number of transactions increased 6.1% to 1,558. Read More: Daily News

Mark Wahlberg apologizes for ‘insensitive’ 9/11 remarks

Box-office badass Mark Wahlberg created the perfect storm of controversy yesterday, saying in a new interview that “it wouldn’t have went down like it did” if he had been on one of the airplanes hijacked on 9/11. But the Tinseltown tough guy quickly backed down, using a second take to “deeply apologize to the families of the victims” for his “insensitive” remarks, which read as if they came straight out of a lousy action-movie screenplay. Read More: New York Post

JFK, La Guardia and Newark terminals among worst in world

Three area airport terminals were cited as among the worst in the world yesterday — with Kennedy’s Terminal 3 earning the dubious distinction as the most miserable layover location on the planet. The former Pan Am terminal — which now houses Delta Air Lines — took home the dubious dishonor for its “endless immigration lines,” crummy food and shopping options, and dank environment, according to the travel Web site Frommer’s.  Read More: New York Post

President Obama In Manhattan Today For Fundraisers

As his re-election campaign ramps into full gear, President Barack Obama is heading to the city today for a series of fundraisers. He’s expected to arrive at John F. Kennedy airport around 4 p.m. As usual, his visit will mean street closures and frozen zones whenever his motorcade is on the move. The president’s first stop will be a fundraiser at Daniel restaurant on the Upper East Side, followed by an event at Spike Lee’s home then a visit to the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Read More: NY1