Tag Archives: NYPD

Two dead after boat capsizes in Jamaica Bay

| amatua@queenscourier.com

A fishing boat capsized on the waters of Jamaica Bay Friday night, killing two people and injuring three during a night of heavy wind and rain.

At about 7:46 p.m., two men who had been on the boat swam to shore and alerted an on-duty guard at the NYPD’s aviation base at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn that their boat had capsized and that three other friends were in the water.

Police and FDNY harbor boats found two men near the shore and had to rescue a third. Authorities transported them to local hospitals.

The two men who died, ages 42 and 50, were rushed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel after suffering from cardiac arrest. They were pronounced dead on Friday night, police said. According to authorities, both men are Brooklyn residents.

The two men who alerted authorities and a friend — ages 48, 33, and 37 — were taken to Coney Island Hospital with minor injuries, according to police. Their identities have not been released, pending family notification.

Though Hurricane Joaquin is not expected to hit Queens, the area has experienced heavy wind and rain as remnants of the storm pass through. A coastal flood advisory was in effect for New York City and a high surf advisory remains in place for southern Queens and the south shore of Long Island until Sunday.


Construction worker rescued on top of Kosciuszko Bridge pillar in Maspeth

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/FDNY

Firefighters rescued a construction worker who passed out atop a pillar for the new Kosciuszko Bridge in Maspeth on Tuesday afternoon, police reported.

At about 12:16 p.m., the NYPD and FDNY responded to a call alerting them to an unconscious man at 56th Road and Laurel Hill Boulevard.

The construction worker, whose identity has not been released, was working on the new $555 million project to replace the existing bridge when he fainted, according to FDNY officials.

He was found conscious and rushed to Elmhurst Hospital in serious but stable condition.


Driver slams into two street lamps, parked car in Maspeth: police

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A man who was driving with a suspended license was critically injured in an early morning car crash in Maspeth on Sunday, according to police.

Authorities said the 39-year-old male was speeding westbound on Flushing Avenue at 4 a.m. when he struck a lamppost at 54th Place. Upon the initial impact, his vehicle mounted the sidewalk and struck a second lamppost and a parked car before coming to a stop just before a street intersection.

Officers from the 104th Precinct found him unconscious and unresponsive, and he was extracted from his 2010 Nissan vehicle by FDNY at the scene.

Emergency service technicians transported the victim to Elmhurst Hospital Center with severe injuries. He was the only individual involved in the crash.

Although the incident is still under investigation by the NYPD, the 104th Precinct’s official Twitter account reported that the driver was found intoxicated at the time of the accident and speculated that he was “likely to die” because of the severity of the injuries sustained.

Police have not released the man’s identity.


Four men wanted for Richmond Hill barbershop robbery

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for four suspects wanted for the robbery of an employee in a Richmond Hill barbershop earlier this week.

The victim, a 27-year-old male, was working at a barbershop located at 132-03 Liberty Ave., when the four male suspects entered the establishment on Sept. 21 at 7:19 p.m., with two displaying black firearms.

The suspects then took the victim to the basement, where they removed his Samsung cellphone, iPad and approximately $52 in cash before fleeing the establishment.

Officers from the 106th Precinct responded to the scene. There were no reported injuries.

Surveillance video of the four suspects was taken at a neighboring store and recovered by the NYPD.

Police described the four suspects as black males. One was last seen wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt with a gray undershirt, a gray baseball cap, khaki pants and white sneakers; another was observed wearing a blue sweatshirt, light blue jeans and black sneakers.

The third perpetrator wore a white sweatshirt, dark blue jeans and black sneakers, while the fourth suspect was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, light jeans, blue and white baseball cap and white sneakers with black laces.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


‘Crime fighter’ honored by NYPD at street co-naming ceremony in Richmond Hill

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

New York’s Finest gathered outside of the childhood home of a beloved former deputy commissioner in Richmond Hill to honor his memory during a street co-naming ceremony Monday morning.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Assemblyman Mike Miller, the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, Community Board 9, the Richmond Hill Historical Society and members of the community were on hand at the corner of 108th Street and Park Lane South for the unveiling of Jack Maple Place.

During his time with the NYPD, Maple rose through the ranks to become the deputy commissioner for crime-fighting strategies, serving under Bratton during his first tenure in former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s first term.

“There is so much I could say about Jack, so many stories to tell, I think like all of you, I miss him every day,” Bratton said. “I miss the personality, the humor, the toughness, the character and it is safe to say when they made Jack, they broke the mold and there will never be another one. He was truly one of a kind.”

“If there’s two words that describe Jack Maple, the epitome of all he was, is those two words: crime fighter,” Bratton added. “That was the essence of Jack Maple. We had to be where the crime was, we had to be where the criminals were, because that’s what we as cops do.”

Maple worked hard to keep the community he grew up in safe.

“Let me first begin by saying thank you, thank you to the family of Jack Maple,” Councilman Ulrich said. “Thank you to all the men and women of the New York City Police Department who have made this community and this city a safer place to live, to work, to raise a family. And that is made possible because, in no small part, due to the good ideas and the due diligence to someone like Jack Maple.”

During his time as a transit officer, Maple is credited with the creation of CompStat, a crime strategy program that increased accountability within the NYPD that is still used today.

“Truly a revolutionary idea which transformed the way the police department did policing, turned the city, turned the other cities around. Other police departments are now using it across America,” Ulrich said of CompStat. “Hopefully his life, his legacy, which we honor today, will inspire others.”


Two men found dead in Whitestone home bathroom

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Two men were found dead in a Whitestone apartment on Thursday, according to police.

Cops would not release the identity of the men, but say they were found in an apartment building on the corner of 28th Road and the Whitestone Expressway at 12:14 p.m.

The medical examiner is still determining the cause of death and official identification is pending family notification.

According to the Daily News, the men were a couple and were identified by family as Carl Tannenbaum, 60, and John Janssen.

According to the report, investigators believe that Tannenbaum died of natural causes and Janssen had committed suicide after discovering his partner’s body in their shared bathroom.


PHOTOS: Queens remembers Sept. 11 attacks at anniversary vigils

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Robert Pozarycki

Through prayers and patriotic music, residents across Queens marked the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks through somber vigils over the last week.

Each ceremony paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and subsequent collapse of the buildings as well as the attacks on the Pentagon and the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.

As family members of the victims gathered at the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan on Friday morning, police precincts in Queens observed the citywide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. with memorial services of their own outside their respective stationhouses.

The officers honored the 37 NYPD members who perished in the World Trade Center attacks along with the scores of New York City firefighters, emergency service personnel and Port Authority Police Department members who also died on that day of infamy.

Local police officers and firefighters joined elected officials at vigils in Bayside Hills, Glendale, Middle Village and other communities to remember 9/11.

Clergy members at each ceremony offered prayers and words of comfort, names of local victims of the terrorist attacks were read and American flags were waved as patriotic music played.


Cops release security camera image of suspect in LIC caustic chemical assault

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Hoping to crack the case, the NYPD released on Thursday night a surveillance camera image of a man wanted in connection with last month’s assault on a Long Island City street that left a woman with chemical burns.

The picture shows the suspect from behind in the area of Skillman Avenue and 33rd Street on Aug. 19, when the assault took place.

According to authorities, the perpetrator — described as a black male believed to be 30 years old, standing 5 foot 8 inches tall with black hair and wearing a black T-shirt, black shorts and white sneakers — approached the 59-year-old woman as she entered her car at about 5:20 p.m.

The suspect asked her a question and when the woman turned around, he threw an unidentified, “acid-like” chemical in her face that had been contained within a coffee cup, police said. He then fled the scene.

The woman managed to enter her car and drive a few feet away before being overcome by the chemical. Paramedics rushed her to Cornell Medical Center for treatment of facial burns.

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


Four ATM skimming devices found in past two weeks in 109th Precinct

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Police are cautioning the public to be mindful of erroneous charges on their accounts after four ATM skimming devices were found in the past two weeks in the 109th Precinct.

Two of the devices were discovered in automated teller machines located inside a Flushing Duane Reade store at 136-02 Roosevelt Ave., according to a statement released over social media by Deputy Inspector Thomas J. Conforti. Two additional devices were found affixed to gas pumps at the gas stations located in Whitestone at 17-55 Francis Lewis Blvd. and on the Bayside border at 29-16 Francis Lewis Blvd.

Police said that the devices were respectively discovered by workers at Duane Reade and gas station owners, who then immediately called NYPD to investigate.

Deputy Inspector Conforti said police do not know how long the devices were in place.

The Inspector further stated that it is usually a couple of months after finding the device that victims may begin to notice suspicious charges on their bank accounts.

The NYPD is advising consumers who may have used charge cards on these ATM machines or gas pumps since Aug. 1 to call credit card or bank companies and inform them of cards which may have been compromised.

The case is being investigated by the Financial Crimes Task Force. Any suspicious activity or crime should be immediately reported to the 109th Precinct.


Queens cop charged with insurance fraud for car fire: DA

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photo

A Queens police officer has found himself on the other side of the law as he faces charges of insurance fraud — along with other crimes — in connection to his car which he initially reported stolen and was later found burning in New Jersey.

Former cop Madalin Niculae, 28, of Queens, who served in the NYPD since 2010 and was assigned to the 108th Precinct, is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with perjury, insurance fraud, making an apparently sworn false statement, making a punishable false written statement and falsely reporting an incident.

If convicted of the highest charge, Niculae, who was suspended from his position Thursday, faces up to two-and-one-third to seven years in prison.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, on Aug. 3, 2014, at about 11:23 p.m. the Jersey City Police and Fire Departments responded to a vehicle fire at Jersey Avenue and 15th Street. The incident was suspected as arson involving a 2010 Acura TL registered to Niculae.

Niculae then allegedly fraudulently told a Jersey City fire official that he had parked his car near his home at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2014, and that he first found the car missing the following day at 11 a.m. He notified police but said he did not file a police report until Aug. 4, 2014, because he had parked his car near a fire hydrant and thought it might have been towed.

In statements, reports and depositions filed with the NYPD and his insurance carrier GEICO, Niculae provided similar fraudulent information surrounding the disappearance of his car even after facing warnings on police forms which state that false statements were punishable as a misdemeanor.

Niculae also made statements under oath when filing a statement with an insurance investigator, who told him that she had issues about the case. He then allegedly said he would consider withdrawing his insurance claim, which he later did.

While investigating the alleged stolen car, police attained the license plate reader records for the city’s highway, bridge and tunnel crossings for Aug. 2 to 4, 2014. The readers allegedly recorded Niculae’s vehicle crossing the Williamsburg Bridge just after midnight on Aug. 3, 2014, and Port Authority license plate readers caught the same car traveling to New Jersey via the Holland Tunnel just minutes later.

Records and call details for Niculae’s cellphones showed the phone was in Jersey City, near the site of the vehicle fire, at the estimated time of the discovery of the car, authorities said.

The former NYPD officer then later said in a statement to the district attorney investigator that he had driven the car to New Jersey via the Holland Tunnel on Aug. 2, 2014, and left it there in hopes that it would be stolen or vandalized. The next day he returned with another person, who he allegedly told he was having money problems and could not keep up with payment on the car. The other individual then offered to burn the car for Niculae, who stayed blocks away while the person left and returned a short time later saying that the vehicle had blown up.

“As a member of the police department, the defendant was sworn to uphold the law. Instead he allegedly chose to commit insurance fraud for his own personal gain,” Brown said.

Niculae appeared in Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City Thursday and was arraigned on an arson charge in relation to the burning of his car. He faces up to five to 10 years if convicted and was ordered held on $25,000 bail.

Holding dual citizenship, he was also ordered to surrender both his United States and Romanian passports.


FDNY triumphs over NYPD at first annual Resorts World cook-off

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Resorts World Casino

Mouths watered and cooking skills were put to the test this weekend as the city’s Finest and Bravest battled it out over the grill.

Members of the FDNY and NYPD participated in the Battle of the Badges: FDNY vs. NYPD Cook-Off this Sunday at Resorts World Casino, located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd.

The contest, which was hosted by former FDNY firefighter and host of PBS’s “Firehouse Kitchen” Ray Cooney, featured dishes cooked by 10 members of each team.

After going head to head and putting all their hard work on their individual dishes, one firefighter came out the top dog in the competition.

Khalid Baylor of Ladder 14 in East Harlem won the Battle of the Badges Cook-Off alongside his son after grilling up Tennessee apple smoked ribs, served with apple coleslaw and roasted sweet potato.

Celebrity judges for the event included Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Robert Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio; Chef Bruno Egea, executive chef for Resorts World Casino; Cedric Dew, executive director of the Jamaica YMCA; entertainer George Lamond; and Deputy Inspector Matthew Galvin French, a Culinary Institute graduate who has appeared on shows with Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray.

The contest was part of Resorts World Casino’s Community Fun Day filled with family-friendly activities.


FDNY, NYPD to face off at Resorts World cooking competition

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Resorts World Casino

The city’s Finest and Bravest are putting on their aprons, turning on the stoves and going head-to-head this weekend to see who has what it takes to be crowned a top chef.

Members of the FDNY and NYPD will show off their cooking skills this Sunday at Resorts World Casino, located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., for the Battle of the Badges: FDNY vs. NYPD Cook-off.

The contest, which will take place from noon to 5 p.m. and is free to the public, will be hosted by Ray Cooney, a former FDNY firefighter and host of PBS’s “Firehouse Kitchen” and will feature dishes prepared by 10 members of each team.

Celebrity judges for the event include Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Robert Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio; Chef Bruno Egea, executive chef for Resorts World Casino; Cedric Dew, executive director of the Jamaica YMCA; entertainer George Lamond; and Deputy Inspector Matthew Galvin French, a Culinary Institute graduate who has appeared on shows with Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray.

The winner of the cook-off will receive a Weber grill and a trip to Resorts World Casino Bimini in the Bahamas.

The contest is part of Resorts World Casino’s Community Fun Day on Sunday which features family-friendly activities, food trucks, musical entertainment, face painting, pony rides and games for all ages.


Cops save jet skiers caught in current off Rockaway Beach

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Two NYPD officers came to the rescue of a pair of jet skiers after they were swept up in a strong current near the Rockaways last weekend, according to police.

The trouble started when the male jet skiers, ages 21 and 28, ran out of gas Saturday night in the water off of Beach Ninth Street and Seagirt Boulevard, authorities said. They then got caught in the current.

Police Officer Matthew Carson of the 101st Precinct, who was assigned to a nearby foot post, heard the 911 call at about 8:45 p.m. to help the stranded men.

By the time the officer arrived, the current had carried the two men and their jet skis several blocks down the beach, according to police. One man was holding onto the jet ski while the other, who was adrift in the current, wore a loose life vest that was unable to properly keep him afloat.

“His hands were going up in the air as he was going under the water,” said Police Officer Christopher Carlino, who by that time had arrived at the scene with additional cops.

Carson decided he was going to enter the water to save the jet skiers and Carlino volunteered to go with him.

“I came to the conclusion that this one guy wasn’t going to make it to the shore. It was my gut instinct to go into the water and make sure this guy wasn’t going to drown,” Carson said.

Carson, guided by a flashlight held by officers standing on land, made his way out to the man who was floating alone, and pulled him close to the shoreline where Carlino grabbed him and brought him to safety, authorities said. Carson then went back in the water and retrieved the other man and the jet ski.

The jet skiers were “exhausted” but uninjured, according to police.


Man dies in two-alarm inferno at Glen Oaks home

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Updated Monday, Aug. 17, 12:30 p.m.

Firefighters found a 58-year-old man dead in the basement of a Glen Oaks home following a two-alarm fire Thursday morning, according to police.

More than 100 firefighters and the 105th Precinct responded to the blaze that broke out at 6:29 a.m. at the home on 265th Street near 79th Avenue.

According to the FDNY, efforts to extinguish the flames were complicated after firefighters encountered “Collyers’ mansion” conditions — piles of debris throughout the home.

Once the fire was brought under control nearly two hours later, firefighters found the man — whose identity was withheld pending family notification — in the basement and removed him from the home; paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

His body was transported to the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.

According to the Fire Department, the blaze was believed to have been sparked by electrical problems. Reportedly, the home did not have a working smoke detector.


Reward offered to help find suspect who killed rapper Chinx

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Detectives continue to look for leads three months after a drive-by shooting in Briarwood left an up-and-coming rap star dead — and now the NYPD is offering a reward to anyone who can help them find the killer.

Through its Crime Stoppers program, police are offering $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for the May 17 murder of Lionel Pickens, 31, of Ozone Park, who went by the stage name Chinx.

Pickens and a 27-year-old male passenger were in a 2014 Porsche stopped at a red light at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive at about 4:04 a.m. that morning when an unknown vehicle pulled up. Reportedly, an unidentified individual inside that vehicle then fired multiple shots at the Porsche before speeding away from the scene.

Officers from the 107th Precinct and EMS units found Pickens behind the wheel with multiple gunshot wounds about the body. Pickens was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The male passenger sustained a gunshot wound to his back but survived.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477), visit their website or text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.