Tag Archives: Nassau County

Far Rockaway teen busted for anti-Semitic graffiti at LIRR station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA Long Island Rail Road

A Far Rockaway teen has been arrested for defacing the Cedarhurst Long Island Rail Road station with anti-Semitic graffiti on eight occasions, the MTA said.

Jonathan Schuster, 18, has been charged with felony criminal mischief in the third degree as a hate crime, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and making graffiti, according to MTA police.

A senior at Priority-1:Torah Academy of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, a yeshiva located in the town, Schuster allegedly committed the acts starting in December 2012. He is accused of using a black marker to write anti-Semitic statements, which usually contained expletives, on platform advertising billboards, police said.

His arrest comes after a year-long investigation that included uniformed patrols and surveillance by undercover detectives, according to the MTA. A wanted poster was also issued last month and a reward was offered for any information leading to the perpetrator’s arrest. Tips lead detectives to Schuster who allegedly confessed to the crime, police said.

Since December 2012, there have been 11 incidents in which anti-Semitic graffiti was scrawled on advertisements at three Long Island Rail Road stations in the Five Towns area of Nassau County, including the eight at Cedarhurst station, three at Lawrence station and one at Hewlett station, authorities said.

MTA Police are continuing to investigate the other incidents.

 

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Police: Long Island office shooting suspect shot himself


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Nassau County Police Department

The Long Island office shooting suspect whose body was found in the Hudson River earlier this week shot himself.

Sang Ho Kim, 63, a Fresh Meadows resident, died from drowning, according to Nassau County police. A self-inflicted gunshot wound to the mouth as well as a heart condition contributed to the drowning. A suicide note was not found.

His body was discovered Monday morning near the Bear Mountain Bridge several miles from Cold Springs, Putnam County, where the shooter’s getaway vehicle was found abandoned last week.

Kim walked into Savenergy, an energy efficiency company in East Garden City, on September 25 and shot two employees, killing one, officials said. He then fled in his vehicle.

Savenergy CEO John Choi was seriously injured in the shooting, and employee Zacharia Yong Jae Shin, a 25-year-old Whitestone resident was killed, according to reports.

Authorities said Kim, a vendor working with the business, may have shot the two men over a disgruntlement he had with the company.

 

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City Council candidate Austin Shafran gains second union endorsement


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Austin Shafran has gained the endorsement of UFCW Local 1500 in his bid for City Council.

“This is a high-priority council race for our members, and we know that Austin is the candidate who will fight the hardest to strengthen and expand the middle class,” said Bruce Both, president of the state’s grocery workers union.

Shafran, the 32-year-old former mainstay in the Cuomo administration, is in a four-way Democratic primary race to unseat incumbent Republican Dan Halloran in the 19th District. He was the vice president of public affairs for the governor’s Empire State Development until he resigned to run for office.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to have the endorsement of a union whose members and leader have done so much for working families,” Shafran said. “Retail is one of the fastest-growing sectors of our local economy, and I plan to work closely with Local 1500 to improve the quality and quantity of retail jobs that are the backbone of a strong middle-class-first economy.”

Shafran also recently gained the support of the Teamsters Joint Council 16.

He will take on Democratic State Committee Chair Matthew Silverstein, former Assemblymember John Duane and attorney Paul Vallone — the son of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and brother of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

The district extends from College Point to the borders of Nassau County.

 

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Man arrested for videotaping woman in bathroom


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of NCPD

A homeless man originally from Whitestone was arrested after he was allegedly caught filming a woman relieving herself in a supermarket bathroom stall in Manhasset, cops said.

Michael Seghposs, 25, was cuffed for second-degree unlawful surveillance on Sunday, November 11, when a 58-year-old woman said she found the perp videotaping her from an adjacent restroom stall in King Kullen on Northern Boulevard, according to Nassau County police.

Seghposs, detectives said, allegedly held up his phone under the stall divider to peep at and record the female victim at around 5:45 p.m. He attempted to flee on foot after being caught red-handed by the woman, said police, but was apprehended by store employees who held him until authorities arrived.

Seghposs was arraigned on Monday, November 12 at a Hempstead district court.

King Kullen did not immediately comment on the incident.

Ex-con kills decorated cop, motorist


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony DelMundo

BY ALEXA ALTMAN AND MAGGIE HAYES

A Nassau County police officer and a motorist were fatally shot on the Cross Island Parkway in the wake of a cold-blooded ex-con’s rampage.

Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez

Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23, a tan sedan was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Northern Boulevard in Bayside before taking off down the Cross Island Parkway. Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, was driving an ESU vehicle towards the scene and saw the sedan’s damaged fender. He signaled for the driver to pull over outside a Mobil station at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue. After a quick exchange of words, the driver shot Lopez several times and fled down the Cross Island Parkway. Officer Clarence Hudson, Lopez’s partner, administered CPR and attempted to revive his partner at the scene.

Lopez, a decorated eight-year veteran, was taken to North Shore LIJ Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

After abandoning his damaged car, the gunman, now identified as Darrell Fuller, 33, allegedly attempted to carjack Raymond Facey, 52, near Hempstead Avenue, fatally shooting the driver in the process. Fuller then took off on foot. Helicopters circled the area and officers canvassed homes in Queens Village, searching for the perpetrator.

According to published reports, Facey, was speaking on the phone with his daughter at the time of the incident. She allegedly heard her father say “someone’s chasing me.”

A nearby store owner described the scene as “absolutely crazy.”

“When we’re here alone, the store is locked,” said the business owner. “You just don’t know who’s going to come in.”

Ellis Cathey, who lives on the corner of 112th Avenue and Colfax Street in Queens Village, left his house to take out the trash and saw helicopters circling the block and officers with automatic rifles searching the area for Fuller.

“The helicopter got real low, I figured they were looking for somebody,” said Cathey. “I was searching the news channels looking for something that happened, and I saw this guy shot a cop.”

Darrell Fuller

Cathey said that he saw police discover a gray hooded sweatshirt, covered in blood. It was later reported that this sweatshirt belonged to the gunman.

“I’ve lived here since 1996, I’ve never seen anything like this happen. It really can happen anywhere though, I can’t think my neighborhood is immune to this.”

After a multi-hour manhunt, authorities found Fuller at 111th Avenue and 173rd Street in Jamaica and arrested him. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was in “stable but guarded” condition.

In 2004, Fuller was convicted of attempted murder, according to 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.

At a press conference earlier in the afternoon, Mangano spoke of Lopez’s bravery and dedication to helping others.

“He was a true hero, a very dedicated police officer of eight years,” said Mangano. “He lost his life to a cold blooded murderer.”

Lopez, who was also a volunteer firefighter in Dix Hills, Long Island, is the second Nassau County officer to be killed in the line of duty in less than a week. On Thursday, October 18, Officer Joseph Olivieri was killed when a vehicle struck him while he was responding to an accident on the Long Island Expressway.

“We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Officer Arthur Lopez, an active member of the Dix Hills Fire Department from 2003 to 2005,” said Chief of Department Richard Granahan. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, friends and fellow Nassau County police officers.”

Nassau County officer shot and killed on Cross Island Parkway


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman / Inset photo NBC New York

A Nassau County police officer and a motorist were fatally shot on the Cross Island Parkway.

Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23, a tan sedan was involved in a hit-and-run accident at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue, right on the border of Queens and Long Island. An officer, 29-year-old Arthur Lopez, who was driving an ESU vehicle towards the scene, saw the SUV’s damaged fender and stopped the car. The driver shot Lopez several times and fled down the Cross Island Parkway. Lopez was taken to North Shore LIJ Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

After abandoning his damaged car, the gunman allegedly attempted to car-jack a motorist near Hempstead Avenue, fatally shooting the driver in the process. The shooter then took off on foot. Helicopters circled the area and officers canvassed homes in Queens Village, searching for the perpetrator.

A nearby store owner described the scene as “absolutely crazy.”

“When we’re here alone, the store is locked,” said the business owner. “You just don’t know who’s going to come in.”

This is the second Nassau County officer to be killed in the line of duty in less than a week. On Thursday, October 18, Officer Joseph Olivieri was killed when a vehicle struck him while he was responding to an accident on the Long Island Expressway.

— Additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 72. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 52. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Taste of Sunnyside 

At the third annual Taste of Sunnyside, for $25 you can sample Japanese, Mexican, French, Italian, Thai, Filipino, Irish, American Eclectic and other cuisine from local restaurants. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Parents petrified by Skyway Shelter housing homeless men who are convicted sex offenders in South Ozone Park 

Parents are fuming over the presence of homeless men from a nearby shelter, which also houses sex offenders, hanging out near their children’s isolated South Ozone Park school. Read more: New York Daily News

NYPD: Woman killed by Nassau County bus in Queens

A woman is dead after being hit by a Nassau County bus on Saturday night. Read more: CBS New York

MTA to unveil proposals for upcoming fare hike

The MTA is releasing new details Monday about the next fare hike coming down the rails. If the hike is approved as expected, it would be the fourth increase in five years. Read more: ABC New York

Politicians caught collecting Albany per diems when they’re not there

In Albany, politicians can make money in their sleep. Claiming she spent a marathon 12 consecutive days in Albany on “legislative business,” Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook pocketed $171 for each reported overnight stay — a total $2,197 in taxpayer money from March 21 to April 1, 2010. Read more: New York Post

Parents concerned that school records could be used to make money

Some city parents have expressed concern that their children’s school records could be used to make money. Read more: CBS New York

Moon rocks, chunks of Mars auctioned in New York

Meteorites from Mars and the biggest piece of the Moon ever offered for sale went on the block on Sunday in New York in what organizers billed as history’s largest meteorite auction, which brought in over $1 million. Read more: Reuters

Sept. 11 Trial rules under scrutiny at Guantanamo

A U.S. military judge is considering broad security rules for the war crimes tribunal of five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks, including measures to prevent the accused from publicly revealing what happened to them in the CIA’s secret network of overseas prisons. Read more: AP

Up in smoke: Year-long investigation busts cigarette ring


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Five Queens residents busted last Friday in the illegal trafficking of untaxed cigarettes allegedly evaded paying $3 million in taxes, the Nassau County District Attorney said.

Duan Jun Zhang, 38, of Elmhurst; Fei Yin, 24, of Bayside; and Flushing residents Maerong Gao, 57; Wai Ming Lui, 46; and Sauha Candy Lam, 35, were arrested July 18 and charged with evading the cigarette and tobacco product tax — a Class E felony — for buying thousands of cigarette cases from an undercover cop for half the properly taxed price, authorities said.

They face up to four years in prison if convicted.

“We caught these defendants red-handed, trafficking untaxed cigarettes and cheating taxpayers out of millions in lost revenue for health care, education, job training and other essential services,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

According to Rice, an undercover cop sold the five defendants about 1,200 cases of untaxed cigarettes worth more than $6.4 million for only $2.3 million. A majority of the sales during the year-long probe took place from a storage unit on Stewart Avenue in Garden City, Rice said.

The defendants then allegedly transported the cigarettes to residences in Queens and Brooklyn and sold them to local retailers or to buyers on the street.

The multi-agency investigation, which began last July, also resulted in the seizure of more than 100 cases of cigarettes and $958,000 in cash, Rice said.

“Cigarette smuggling to evade state and local taxes is a multimillion dollar industry. It is a highly profitable tax-free cash business for those involved in it,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “However, it cheats taxpayers who must dip into their pockets to pay higher taxes, and it cheats the government as well by fueling an underground economy which does not pay much needed state and city taxes.”

The five defendants pleaded not guilty at arraignments. They will return to court separately from August 2 to September 24.