Tag Archives: NYPD

Crook steals bags from sleeping woman in Queens Plaza station


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who swiped valuables from a 61-year-old woman who fell asleep on a bench inside the Queens Plaza subway station earlier this month.

The theft occurred at 6:15 a.m. on July 7 in on the mezzanine level above the E train tracks at the station located below Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Long Island City.

According to authorities, the perpetrator — described as a black man between 30 and 35 years of age, standing 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds — walked up to the victim after she nodded off and removed her bags, which contained her cellphone, jewelry and papers.

The crook was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a navy V-neck sweater and light-colored pants.

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 will be kept confidential.

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Cops looking for assailant who struck man in the head on Astoria street


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD released on Saturday night video footage of a man wanted for smacking a pedestrian in the head with a blunt object on an Astoria street last month.

According to police, the attack occurred at 2:45 p.m. on June 17 in front of a location on 34th Street near 37th Avenue.

Reportedly, the perpetrator walked up to the 34-year-old man and hit him in the head with an unknown object, then fled the scene.

Officers from the 114th Precinct and EMS units responded to the incident. The victim was treated at Elmhurst Hospital for a laceration to the head.

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 will be kept confidential.

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Cops seek man who slashed woman at Queensbridge Houses


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police released on Thursday morning images of a man wanted for slashing a 19-year-old woman during a dispute inside the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City earlier this month.

Authorities said the assault occurred at 8:20 p.m. on July 7 inside an apartment house on 10th Street, south of 41st Avenue.

According to police, the victim and suspect — both of whom are known to each other — became embroiled in an argument, during which the suspect displayed a knife and slashed the victim in the ankle. He fled the scene following the attack.

Officers from the 114th Precinct and EMS units responded to the location. Paramedics transported the victim to Mount Sinai Hospital Queens, where she was treated and released.

Police describe the suspect as a white man believed to be 20 years of age, standing 6 feet tall and weighing 230 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair in a long pony tail. He has a scar on his right cheek and tattoos on his forearms; the left tattoo features the word “Brooklyn” and the right has the word “Karlene.”

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

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Burglar grabs euros from Woodside business: NYPD


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police continue to search for a man wanted in connection with a burglary at a Woodside business earlier this month in which foreign currency was stolen.

According to authorities, the break-in occurred at 7:45 a.m. on July 2 on Roosevelt Avenue near 53rd Street.

Reportedly, the suspect — described as a black male between 30 and 40 years of age who was wearing blue jeans — entered through an unlocked rear door and removed an unknown quantity of euros. The theft was later reported to the 108th Precinct.

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

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Cops seek pair for failed bank robbery attempt in Laurelton


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps/Inset courtesy of NYPD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Police looking for suspect in attempted daytime mugging at Queens Plaza


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police released a sketch Thursday morning of a suspect wanted in connection with an attempted daytime mugging of a teenager at Queens Plaza in Long Island City last month.

According to authorities, the incident occurred at 5:45 p.m. on June 22 in front of a location on Queens Plaza South near 28th Street.

Reportedly, the suspect and four unidentified males approached the 19-year-old male victim as he walked through the area. Police said the group attempted to remove the victim’s property, then struck him repeatedly about the face and body with a metal object.

The incident was reported to the 108th Precinct; the victim was treated for minor injuries.

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

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Suspect sought in forcible touching of teen in Flushing


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo/video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted for forcibly touching a 14-year-old girl in Flushing last month.

On June 29 at about 1 p.m. the victim was walking near 41st Avenue and Main Street when the suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks several times, according to cops.

The man then fled the scene; there were no reported injuries.

Police describe the suspect as a black man in his early 30s, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds.

Authorities have released surveillance video and photos of the suspect.

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


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Over 1,200 new police recruits sworn in at Queens College


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

New York City will have a fresh crop of police officers come December.

More than 1,200 new police recruits were sworn in on Wednesday during a ceremony at Queens College led by Police Commissioner William Bratton.

“I so wish I were sitting where you are today,” Bratton said. “I am coming to the end of my career, and you are just at the beginning — a beginning that coincides with a time of great change for this profession. The public safety we help provide is the foundation of our democracy, and this country’s promise. You have answered a noble calling.”

The class, which is about 80 percent male and 20 percent female, comes from a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds.

A significant portion of the new hires — about 40 percent — have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. That percentage includes 23 master’s degrees and one juris doctor, which is a professional doctorate in law.

Over 100 members of the class have served in the U.S. military; another 100 have had experience in civilian roles such as traffic enforcement or school safety agents, for which 42 cadets were recognized and promoted.

Additionally, the class reflects the city’s diversity, with 46 percent of the class being white, 18 percent black, 26 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Asian. Sixty percent of the recruits live in New York City; more than 200 are foreign born and represent 50 different countries, from Albania to Yemen. Additionally, 392 candidates speak 43 different languages.

The new recruits will begin six months of rigorous training on July 10 at the new police academy in College Point. In December, they will be the largest graduating class since July 2013.

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Reputed Rockaway street gang members cuffed for murder, assault plots


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Thirteen alleged members of a Far Rockaway-based street gang found themselves in handcuffs Wednesday for an indictment charging them with various violent crimes including conspiring to murder and assault rival groups, prosecutors announced.

Authorities said the suspects, reputed members of the “70Gs/G-Boyz” gang, operated in an 11 block area of Arverne between Beach 62nd and Beach 73rd streets. According to police, the gang members — some of whom were as young as 16 — obtained weapons and ordered beatings and shootings of rival gang members in an effort to expand their territory and control.

The arrests and indictments were the culmination of a lengthy investigation by the NYPD’s Queens South Violence Reduction Task Force and the Queens District Attorney’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau. Detectives monitored phone conversations and social media accounts of the suspects — in which the reputed gang members openly planned and bragged about their criminal activities — to build their case.

In one instance, alleged gang member Joshua Simon, 21, took to social media to apologize to an individual whom he accidentally hit with gunfire while shooting at rival gang members on April 13, 2014.

Detectives also learned from Simon, through phone conversations he made from Rikers Island, that he was involved in other shootings with fellow gang members Michael Motta, 23, and Matthew Robinson, 19. Motta was charged in a separate indictment for firing shots at rival gang members outside P.S. 42, then pointing a gun at an officer before eventually dropping it, on March 13 of this year.

“These indictments are another example of police and prosecutors working together to eliminate gang violence that too often plagues our neighborhoods and strikes at the heart of a unified and criminally active group of young people who threaten the lives and safety of innocent bystanders,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

“The defendants are variously accused of turning the streets of Rockaway into the Wild West by acting in concert with one or more of their co-defendants to shoot and wound five individuals and firing weapons at no less than four others,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton added. “Their alleged criminal and violent acts have no place in a civilized society.”

According to the 86-count indictment, the gang members allegedly obtained firearms and carried out violent acts against rival gang members at neighboring housing developments. In many instances, prosecutors said, the adult gang members recruited juveniles as young as 14 years of age to carry out deeds ranging from weapons smuggling to shootings and beatings.

Police also determined that the gang members used coded language in communicating with one another to avoid detection from investigators.

The other suspects named in the 86-count indictment were identified as Taedwon Lyons, 17; Dwayne Lyons, 16; Kane Motta, 16; Ashanti Brown, 18; Isaiah Boyd, 21; Brandon Fuentes, 22; Diequan Underwood, 20; Jordane Maurice Gayle, 16; and Tamar Horton, 16.

Each of the 13 reputed gang members could face up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.

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Cops arrest Middle Village, Ridgewood residents in fireworks bust


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD104Pct

They won’t be having a blast this Fourth of July.

Two Middle Village residents and a Ridgewood man were arrested Thursday for illegally possessing fireworks as part of the NYPD’s ongoing crackdown on unlawful pyrotechnics leading up to Independence Day.

The 104th Precinct stopped Middle Village’s Jason Rodriguez, 28, and Tina Foley, 29, at 9:50 p.m. Thursday night at the intersection of 65th Place and Admiral Avenue in Middle Village. Reportedly, they were found in possession of $2,000 in illegal fireworks, some of which were left unattended with a 3-year-old child in their car.

Additionally, the precinct also took into custody Wilfredo Maisonave, 32, of Ridgewood after he was caught possessing fireworks in front of a location on Woodward Avenue between Flushing Avenue and Troutman Street at about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy professionally-operated and permitted fireworks displays such as the Macy’s 4th of July spectacular on the East River, but it is illegal for residents to set off their own fireworks.

“The 104th Precinct will have extra patrols out all day and night to deal with illegal fireworks,” Det. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit said in an email. “If you get caught, you can be subject to arrest.”

Anyone who witnesses fireworks being illegally used or sold in New York City is urged to call 911.

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Queens-based counterfeiting ring busted, loaded weapon and marijuana discovered


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy NYPD

Authorities charged 17 people connected to a major credit and debit card fraud ring based in Queens following a yearlong investigation, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, the suspects used the stolen credit and debit card account information to make purchases at department stores and other establishments in New York City, Long Island and Rockland County between December 2014 and May 2015. Police allege that several of the suspects were active gang members.

During its investigation and ensuring court-authorized searches, police reportedly recovered card readers, embossers and other equipment used for credit and debit card forgery along with more than $11,000 in cash, three vehicles, a loaded .40-caliber Glock firearm, 41 marijuana plants, two 5-gallon containers full of marijuana and high-intensity lights known to be used for growing pot indoors.

The joint operation was conducted by the NYPD Financial Crimes Task Force, Intelligence Bureau, 105th Precinct, Organized Crime Control Bureau-Asset Forfeiture, Detective Bureau-Warrant Squad and Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Photo courtesy NYPD

The counterfeiting crew has been variously charged in six indictments with the crimes of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, fourth-degree grand larceny, petit larceny, attempted petit larceny and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification information, Brown said. The defendants each face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

“The indictments are the result of a yearlong investigation by my Economic Crimes Bureau and the New York City Police Department’s Financial Crimes Task Force and included seven months of court-authorized wiretaps, physical and video surveillance and thousands of intercepted telephone calls,” Brown said. “It is alleged that this fraud ring was basically made up of a loose affiliation of friends — all between 20 and 28 in age — who helped each other out with manufacturing and using forged cards to make purchases at Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Target and even Pathmark and Waldbaums supermarkets. Their alleged crimes victimized not just the businesses — costing them thousands of dollars in losses — but the consumers whose personal identification information was used to carry out the scheme.”

Fourteen of the 17 defendants were arraigned on Wednesday in Queens County Supreme Court, while 15 remain in police custody. Two of the individuals are currently being sought.

The defendants are Alexis Arrellano, 23, of Baldwin, Long Island; Deemy Balbuena, 20, of Freeport, Long Island; Jasmine Blair, 27, of Jamaica, Queens, who is presently being sought; Dashawn Coggins (aka Dayday), 27, of Jamaica, Queens, who is presently being sought; Rashem Davis (aka Sheimy), 25, of Jamaica, Queens; Brian Gwenden, 23, of Jamaica, Queens; Peter John (aka Peter Jean Gilles John), 21, of St. Albans, Queens; Omar Majeed, 27, of Jamaica, Queens; Emendjer Mathurni (aka Manny), 24, of Jamaica, Queens; Antoine J. Miller (aka Fatboy), 21, of Flushing, Queens; Amir Mohamed (aka Chop), 24, of Jamaica, Queens; Isijola Olesegun (aka Shea Black), 24, of Jamaica, Queens; Nicholas Pollard, 22, of St. Albans, Queens; Andrew Pottinger (aka Drip), 24, of Queens Village, Queens; Avion Smith (aka Abby), 26, of Hempstead, Long Island; Fendi Vance, 24, of Flushing, Queens; and Vegelia Waters (aka Vegillia O’Conner), 28, of Jamaica, Queens.

An 18th individual, Geovaunni Faucher, 21, of Elmont, Long Island, was arrested and charged with 32 counts of possession of a forged instrument, 32 counts of unlawful possession of personal ID and criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.

According to the indictments, members of the fraud ring purchased the stolen credit and debit card account information from online black market websites. They proceeded to encode the stolen information onto blank cards and physically press the raised numbers and names on the cards. Then they allegedly hired “shoppers” to purchase items from several retailers using the fraudulent cards and proceeded to sell off the stolen goods.

Some of the establishments targeted by the ring include Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s stores in Flushing, Douglaston and the Queens Center mall, W&H Liquors in Hollis, Target stores in Nanuet and Long Island, a Pathmark supermarket in New Hyde Park, and Waldbaums supermarket in College Point.

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EXCLUSIVE: City’s first lady talks with The Courier about education, mental health


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Calling Queens “a model” of what New York City can be, the city’s first lady Chirlane McCray outlined her efforts to expand education and mental health programs in an exclusive interview with The Courier.

McCray sat down with Courier Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis following an open forum in Kew Gardens on mental health issues affecting Queens residents on Monday. She and her husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio, have made a concerted effort toward focusing on mental health issues and breaking down barriers preventing New Yorkers in need from obtaining access to appropriate care.

Providing residents with proper access to mental health services and other basic needs is essential to a healthy city both in mind and body, yet many New Yorkers have been deprived of them in recent years, according to McCray.

“Having the resources to have a roof over your head, access to food, clean air, arts, physical education, so many other things we consider common sense and basic, yet we take them away,” she said. “When you strip them away from a community, what do you expect to happen?”

McCray stressed the importance of the city not only providing basic services to its residents but also using programs to develop role models for the city’s youth.

“There are so many” mentoring programs “but we need more,” she said. “Through the Mayor’s Fund, we have instituted a youth employment center” powered through donations from local businesses which provide “jobs for young people.”

“But it’s not just jobs,” McCray added. “It’s internships and mentoring young people year-round. We’ve doubled the number of jobs since last year, and we want to do even more in the coming months.”

The city is also expanding its mental health resources through special clinics aimed at helping 62,000 students in need. The universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) also plays a critical role in a child’s mental health and long-term education, she noted.

“One of the reasons why pre-K is so important is to reach the children early,” McCray said. “We want children to be assessed, evaluated early because if they have challenges in the classroom, they’re not going to get the kind of education they need.”

The first lady also noted that the NYPD is receiving additional resources not just to tackle crime, but also to address the mental health needs of crime victims.

“We’ve actually put money into making sure that in every precinct, there will be someone trained in” handling domestic violence cases “and working with victims,” McCray said. “We’ve never had that before.”

This effort, she remarked, will help develop “a different kind of relationship” between the NYPD and the communities it serves.

The full interview can be viewed below.

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Detectives collar suspect in Ridgewood rape attempt


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police charged a Brooklyn man on Tuesday with the attempted rape of a woman whom he followed into a Ridgewood apartment building last week.

Larry Williams, 24, of Bedford-Stuyvesant is accused of trying to sexually assault a 28-year-old woman on the 1900 block of Palmetto Street at about 9:15 a.m. on June 25. Reportedly, he was not known to the victim.

According to authorities, Williams followed the victim into the building, then confronted her as she attempted to enter her apartment. Reportedly, the suspect tried to pull the victim’s pants down.

Police said the victim engaged in a physical struggle with Williams, then managed to enter her apartment and lock the door behind her. Williams reportedly attempted to push the door open, but his efforts failed and he fled the scene.

The incident was reported to the 104th Precinct; the woman was not injured.

Members of the NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad tracked down Williams and arrested him Tuesday following questioning at the 112th Precinct’s Forest Hills stationhouse, where the squad is based. Williams is charged with attempted rape, burglary, sex abuse and forcible touching.

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Cop convicted of patronizing a prostitute while on duty in Astoria


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

rosedale police station4

An NYPD officer could face up to a year in jail after he was caught while on duty in Astoria soliciting sex for money from a woman who was actually an undercover detective, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Luis Gutierrez, 39, of Queens, was convicted on Monday by a jury of official misconduct, patronizing a prostitute and conspiracy after being caught in an undercover sting operation in February 2013, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

“The defendant was a trusted member of the New York City Police Department. He was supposed to uphold the law, but instead was caught — while on duty — offering money to a woman for sexual favors,” Brown said.

On Feb. 27, 2013, while on duty, Gutierrez allegedly approached a dancer, an undercover cop, at Astoria Boulevard and 8th Street and offered her cash in exchange for sex. According to prosecutors, the following day, Gutierrez offered money over the phone for sex with another undercover detective, who posing as a 16-year-old girl.

Gutierrez’s sentencing is set for September 21.

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Cops save choking toddler in Jamaica


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A family was saved from tragedy in Jamaica Sunday when two police officers from the 103rd Precinct rushed to the aid of a choking toddler.

Police Officers Scott Nieri and Gobin Raghunath were reportedly flagged down near 148th Street and Liberty Avenue by a panicked father holding his 18-month-old son, who was not breathing because he had a piece of an apple lodged down his throat.

The two officers then turned the baby face down and began performing the Heimlich maneuver, while requesting EMS to come to their location, police said.

After various efforts to clear the baby’s airway, the officers began performing CPR and after a few minutes of chest compressions the apple was cleared from the child’s throat and he started to cry, according to the NYPD.

The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and later released with no signs of any injuries.

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