Tag Archives: NYPD

Cops seek suspects in Forest Hills, Rego Park business burglaries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have released a photo of a man wanted for questioning in a burglary pattern at businesses in Rego Park and Forest Hills dating back to January.

The most recent burglary occurred on March 4 at the Key Food supermarket at 92-02 63rd Dr. in Rego Park after breaking into the market’s side door, police said.

Authorities said the crooks also visited that day the Da Mikelle II Restaurant, located at 102-53 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, broke through a rear door and removed an undetermined amount of money.

The person of interest is pictured in a security camera image taken at a nearby 7-Eleven shortly after the March 4 burglaries, authorities said.

Police described the six other incidents in the burglary pattern as follows:

  • On Jan. 24, the burglars broke through the rear wall of the Knish Nosh restaurant at 100-30 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills and removed kitchen utensils and cash.
  • The following day, Jan. 25, burglars broke through the rear door of the Midorinatsu Hibachi restaurant at 111-16 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills and stole cash, an ASIS laptop computer and two safe boxes.
  • On Feb. 18, the suspects entered through a skylight at the Rainbow store at 63-22 Austin St. in Rego Park and removed assorted drugs.
  • On Feb. 26, the burglars unsuccessfully attempted to break through the rear door of Colony Drugs and Surgical at 103-19 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills.
  • The next day, Feb. 27, the crooks also failed in attempts to break into two Rego Park restaurants: Vstrecha at 98-98 Queens Blvd. and Nasicha at 98-92 63rd Dr.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Pair wanted for slashing man’s throat in Ridgewood hate crime


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police released the video of two suspects wanted for slicing a 24-year-old man’s throat on a Ridgewood street early Thursday morning in an attack authorities are calling a bias crime.

The assault occurred at 2:20 a.m. in the vicinity of Seneca and Gates avenues.

According to law enforcement sources, the victim and a female acquaintance were walking through the area when a suspect — described as a Hispanic male between 25 and 30 years old and 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build  — ran up to the victim.

The male suspect allegedly said in Spanish, “I’m going to kill you white boy,” then slashed the man’s throat with an unidentified object.


The perpetrator and his companion — described as a Hispanic female between 25 and 30 years old and 5 feet 4 inches tall — then fled.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he received numerous stitches.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Pair wanted for stealing from Richmond Hill RadioShack


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Kicking RadioShack while it’s already down, a pair of suspects shoplifted from its Richmond Hill location, taking merchandise right off store shelves before fleeing, police said.

The duo, a woman and man, entered the electronics store, located at 113-20 Liberty Ave., on Feb. 18 at about 5 p.m., according to authorities. While the woman distracted the store employee, her partner removed merchandise from the shelves and placed them into a bag. They then fled.

Police describe the two suspects as a black woman with long hair wearing a brown jacket, and a black man wearing a black ski hat and black jacket.

Though numerous RadioShack locations in Queens and throughout the U.S. are slated to close by the end of the month, the Richmond Hill store is not one of them.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Suspect nabbed in Ridgewood bank holdup could be linked to other robberies: police


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Detectives continue to investigate whether a suspected bank robber picked up in Ridgewood Tuesday is linked to a recent heist pattern within the 104th Precinct.

Reuben McLaughlin, 24, of Brooklyn, reportedly held up the Capital One branch at 70-01 Forest Ave. just before 11:40 a.m. Tuesday morning.

According to law enforcement sources, McLaughlin approached a teller and passed a note demanding cash. He also threatened to shoot the worker if his demands were not met.

Police said McLaughlin received $1,070 in cash, then fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 104th Precinct were alerted to the robbery and, during a search of the surrounding area, located McLaughlin, authorities said.

In recent weeks, police have been looking for a man responsible for five bank robberies at three locations in Ridgewood and Middle Village dating back to last November, including the Capital One on Forest Avenue; the Capital One at 74-11 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village; and the Astoria Bank at 75-25 Metropolitan Ave.

Additional charges against McLaughlin are pending the results of the ongoing investigation, police said.

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Cabbie hangs on as carjacker steals ride in Ridgewood


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Police continue to search for a carjacker who allegedly led a livery cab driver on a wild ride through Ridgewood early Saturday morning.

The attack occurred at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday in front of a location on Myrtle Avenue near Wyckoff Avenue in Ridgewood.

Earlier, according to police, the 36-year-old driver, while operating a white Toyota Camry with TLC plates, picked up the suspect — described as a bald-headed Hispanic man believed to be 34 years old, 6 feet 1 inches tall and 160 pounds — at the corner of Broadway and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

The passenger then told the suspect to drive to the Ridgewood location.

Upon pulling over in Ridgewood at about 4:30 a.m., authorities said, the passenger choked the driver and forced him out of the car. The driver allegedly hopped onto the hood of the car as the suspect got behind the wheel and began to drive away.

According to police, the victim hung onto the hood while the crook drove eastbound on Myrtle Avenue for several blocks. After he got off the hood at the corner of Putnam and Myrtle avenues, the suspect sped away inside the cab.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the scene. The victim was not injured.

Police said the victim’s wallet, along with two iPhones and more than $1,000 in cash, were taken along with the vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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NYPD’s first deputy commissioner honored at Black History Month celebration


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy the office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

Members of the NYPD, including First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, and local community leaders were honored for all their achievements during an annual Black History Month celebration in Long Island City.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted his fifth annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Night on Thursday night at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, located at 10-25 41st Ave. within the Queensbridge Houses.

During the event, attended by over 250 guests, Van Bramer presented a Distinguished Public Service Award to Tucker, who serves as the first deputy commissioner for the NYPD.

Other honorees of the night included Dolores Chauncey from Friends of Queensbridge Park; Captain Mark Simmons, commanding officer of PSA-9; Jacqueline Williams from the Ravenswood Senior Center; Judith Mitchell of NYCHA Family Services; Brian McMichael, owner of Miriam’s Restaurant in LIC; Vanessa Hayes; Daniel Taylor, treasurer of the Queensbridge Old Timers; and Dionne Jaggon, principal of P.S. 111 in LIC.

The celebration also featured performances by ELSCO Dance, the Queensbridge Senior Shakers and the Bryant High School Dance Company.

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Suspect wanted in burglary of Flushing auto repair shop


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted in connection to a burglary of a Flushing auto repair shop on Valentine’s Day.

The suspect, described as a man in his 20s, forced his way into 43 Auto Service, located at 133-28 32nd Ave., on Feb. 14 at about 1:22 a.m. by using a wooden pallet as a ladder and breaking into the side window, cops said. Once inside, he removed an undetermined amount of money and various New York State inspection stickers.

He was last seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt, baseball cap and gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Four men wanted in robbery of East Elmhurst luxury car service company


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Cops are looking for suspects wanted in connection with a robbery of a luxury car service company last week in East Elmhurst.

On Feb. 19 at about 10 p.m., three suspects entered Stride Limo Inc. at 23-57 83rd St. One of the suspects showed a firearm and demanded money from a 48-year-old victim, police said. The suspects then took the victim’s cellphone and wallet, which contained credit cards and miscellaneous items.

A fourth suspect acted as a lookout for the group, according to cops, and all four men later fled in a dark-colored minivan with unknown Florida license plates.

Police describe the first suspect as a black man who is between 20 to 30 years old, around 6 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a dark winter coat with light-colored lining on the hood, dark blue jeans and tan boots.

The three other suspects are described as black men, 20 to 30 years old and between 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 3 inches tall.

Rear view of the first suspect.

Rear view of the first suspect.

The NYPD has released photos of the first suspect and two of the other three men.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Pols continue push for law change after another Queens hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Local elected officials are hoping a change in the law will prevent unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and avoid yet another death.

In response to a fatal hit-and-run in Elmhurst on Sunday, which took the life of a 26-year-old woman, state Senator Michael Gianaris gathered with local officials and advocacy groups on Tuesday morning at the site of the crash to reintroduce legislation he put forth more than a year ago.

The change in law would make it a felony if drivers with suspended licenses either seriously injure or kill someone with their vehicle. The proposal, included in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda, would also include immediate impoundment of a vehicle involved in such accidents.

“Unfortunately we’re here for something that should have been done a while ago but has yet to be done,” Gianaris said. “We’re now for the third time in little over a year in western Queens alone dealing with an incident where someone who did not have a proper license to drive has hit and killed someone.”

According to the NYPD, the victim was struck at about 10:40 p.m. on Sunday at the intersection of 76th Street and Woodside Avenue as she attempted to cross the intersection.

A Mitsubishi box truck was traveling southbound on 76th Street and was making a left turn onto Woodside Avenue when it hit the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The driver fled after striking the woman, but an eyewitness reportedly chased down the truck. The driver, 27-year-old Valentine Gonzalez, was nabbed just blocks away, at 73rd Street and 41st Avenue, and taken into custody, cops said.

Under the current law, Gonzalez has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death and driving without a license.

“After yet another hit-and-run by an unlicensed driver, it’s time that New Yorkers stood up and said that enough is enough,” Assemblyman Francisco Moya said. “Current laws are not tough enough if reckless drivers, like Valentine Gonzalez, are still able to drive on our streets. How many more fatalities will there be before we say the laws must be changed?”

The proposed bill, which is co-sponsored by state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, was initially introduced following the 2013 fatal accident in Woodside where 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was struck on his way to school at P.S. 152.

“It’s time for the punishment to fit the crime. If you get behind the wheel when you’re not authorized to do so and you kill somebody or you injure somebody you should go to jail. That way we will keep it from happening again in the future,” Gianaris said.

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Police Commissioner Bill Bratton talks community relations in southeast Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called for stronger ties between police and the community during a speech in Jamaica on Tuesday, when he outlined plans for greater collaboration and   alternatives to making arrests for first-time minor crimes while also recognizing law enforcement’s role in “many of the worst parts of black history.”

At a Black History Month event at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, he said that the NYPD has made tremendous strides with regards to crime prevention but that there is always room for improvement. He said that new programs started by himself and Mayor de Blasio will help to do so and will have a “dynamic effect on the level and quality of policing.”

“Despite our accomplishments we’ve made in the past years, police actions can still be a flashpoint,” said Bratton. “The NYPD needs to face the hard truth [that] in our most vulnerable neighborhoods we have a problem with citizen satisfaction.”

Bratton mentioned some of these “hard truths” that the police have to realize and deal with. He said that “many of the worst parts of black history would not have been possible without police,” citing law enforcement’s role dating back to the days of slavery.

Bratton said that not recognizing this as an issue would not only be naive but reckless and irresponsible.

But he also mentioned that “far more often than not, many of the best parts of America’s history wouldn’t have been possible without police,” saying they are the protectors of such freedoms like those of speech and religion.

When asked about going back to community policing, a method that was scrutinized in the early ’90s for not being effective against historically high crime rates, Bratton simply replied that he doesn’t think the NYPD has ever gotten away from the strategy. He described the policing method using three “P’s” that he said the NYPD still practice today: partnership, problem solving and prevention.

The commissioner finished by saying that ultimately, policing is a shared responsibility: having the police and community work together will ultimately lead to a better and safer New York City.

“We cannot change the past but working together we can change our future,” Bratton said. “We all need to work together. All of us.”

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Astoria man with signs of Alzheimer’s missing for over a week


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police and family members are searching for a 63-year-old man who suffers from various mental disorders after he went missing from near his Astoria home last week without shoes or a jacket.

Philip Arabadjis, who is about 5 feet 11 inches tall, 290 pounds, and has brown and grey hair, was last seen near his home on 20th Avenue and 20th Street on Feb. 12 wearing a blue flannel shirt with black sweatpants, according to police. He has a medical history of schizophrenia, diabetes and signs of Alzheimer’s.

According to a missing poster, Arabadjis, who has no identification on him, is not aware of where he lives or his name and may be unresponsive to questions and look lost.

People are asked to check buildings, alleyways, or other possible places that can serve as hiding spots. He also enjoys walking in Astoria Park. 

Arabadjis’ daughter, Heather, has set up a Facebook page for her father called “Findphil” where she posts updates on the search for her dad. 

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

On Thursday, she posted that she has checked homeless shelters and hospitals. She also added that if her father is not found by Friday, she plans to organize a search for him on Saturday.

“I can’t say this enough, but I feel warm inside because of all the help and support I am getting from my friends and new people I have been meeting,” she wrote on Facebook. 

A $10,000 reward is been offered for any information that leads to finding Arabadjis. 

If you have any information call 911 or the 114th Precinct at 718-626-9335 with case #2015-349 or complaint report #2015-114-01280.

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Woodhaven man arrested for dealing drugs below parents’ day care: police sources


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

A Woodhaven man was busted Thursday for dealing drugs out of his home located below a day care center run by his parents, police sources said.

Officers from the NYPD Queens Narcotics Squad executed a search warrant at about 5:15 a.m. at the My Precious Moments day care facility at 85-09 88th Ave.

The raid was part of a two-month investigation into drug sales that 24-year-old Michael Gomez allegedly conducted out of his basement apartment at the location. In one instance, police said, Gomez sold unspecified drugs to an undercover officer as parents picked up their children from the facility.

Gomez and a friend — 23-year-old Selestino Rodriguez of Bleecker Street in Ridgewood — were in the basement apartment when police arrived Thursday morning.

In searching the apartment, officers recovered 7 ounces of Molly, 4 ounces of marijuana and more than $2,400 in cash.

Detectives took Gomez and Rodriguez into custody at the scene. Both were charged with felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of criminal sale of marijuana. Gomez was additionally charged with child endangerment, criminal sale of marijuana and criminal sale of a controlled substance.

According to sources, My Precious Moments opened in May 2009 and cares for 16 children—12 of whom are between 6 weeks and 12 years old. No one at the daycare responded to calls for comment.

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Long Island man indicted on hate crime charges in Ozone Park hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Gavel 2

A Long Island man has been indicted on hate crime charges for calling a Sikh man “Osama” in Ozone Park last July and then intentionally running him over and dragging him several feet before fleeing, according to the district attorney’s office.

Joseph Caleca, 55, of Setauket, N.Y., was arraigned on Wednesday on a nine-count indictment that included charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon and leaving the scene without reporting, District Attorney Richard Brown said. Caleca, who was initially arrested in August, was remanded on continuing bail.

The victim, 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, was standing at the intersection of 101st Avenue and 99th Street in Ozone Park with three friends just after midnight on July 30 when a pickup truck driven by Caleca drove up to the group. Caleca then said to them, according to Brown, “Move your [expletive] ass. You’re [expletive] slow, you [expletive] Osama. Go back to your country.”

Caleca then allegedly parked his truck, got out and confronted Singh and his friends. After an argument, Caleca then returned to his truck and drove head-on into Singh, catching his body underneath the truck and then dragging Singh several feet until his body got out from under the vehicle, according to the district attorney. Caleca then fled the scene.

Singh was taken to Jamaica Hospital with several abrasions, back and abdominal injuries that required surgery and several staples to his stomach.

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City accepting proposals to develop NYPD parking garage in downtown Jamaica


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/PropertyShark 

Even more development is coming to Jamaica—this time on the site of a police department parking garage.

Not long after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pledge to focus on creating more housing with his State of the City address, the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) officially announced a request for proposals to develop hundreds of market rate and affordable units out of an NYPD parking garage in downtown Jamaica.

The 59,500-square-foot site at 93rd Avenue and 169th Street could also include ground-floor retail, according to the EDC, which set an April 30 deadline for developers to submit plans for the lot. Of course the project is consistent with de Blasio’s goal to build and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units in 10 years.

The two-story garage is currently used by cops, and will have to be entirely demolished to construct the new project, according to the EDC. But it’s a price the city is willing to pay for more housing.

“The 168th Street garage site holds powerful potential to serve the Jamaica neighborhood with affordable housing and other amenities, while building upon the area’s strengths as a commercial, cultural and transit hub,” said EDC President Kyle Kimball.

Police vehicles will have to be “accommodated” in order to redevelop the site, the EDC said.

Photo courtesy of NYCEDC

Photo courtesy of NYCEDC

The development could create 400 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs, the EDC said, and would add another project to the dizzying amount of construction coming to Jamaica near the downtown spurred by under-utilized lots, cheap land prices, high traffic and access to a massive transportation hub.

This includes Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) giving its twin parking lots near 90th Avenue and 168th Street to Blumenfeld Development Group for a jumbo mixed-use residential and commercial project, with more than 265,000 square feet of space.

The GJDC is also working on a $225 million, 29-story residential and commercial tower across from the AirTrain and LIRR station on Sutphin Boulevard.

Not far away on Sutphin Boulevard, Able Management Group is constructing a 210-key hotel, and nearby York College has 3.5 acres of on-campus land that could be home to new companies that want to move into the area to partner with the institution through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s START-UP NY tax-break program.

TCX Development’s seven-story luxury rental building on Hillside Avenue is nearing completion, and some major properties have also hit the market or were recently sold, including a $22 million sale of a huge garage and commercial strip at 163-05 and 163-25 Archer Ave. There are already plans to develop the property into a housing and retail mix, according to a published report.

Also, the Jamaica Colosseum Mall, which was formerly a Macy’s department store, also hit the market for an astounding $45 million.

And finally, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development recently announced that it is accepting plans from developers for 17 vacant city-owned sites in Jamaica to create more affordable housing.

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Community Board 5 nixes Ridgewood street fair’s permit


| info@timesnewsweekly.com

festival-file-photo

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO AND ROBERT POZARYCKI

After hearing complaints from Ridgewood residents, Community Board 5 recommended Wednesday night that the city deny a street fair application for this summer’s Fresh Pond Road Street Festival.

Twenty-two of 34 members voted against the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens’ application for the feast that shuts a five-block section of Fresh Pond Road, from Woodbine to Menahan streets, on four consecutive evenings.

At previous meetings, area residents complained the festival brought quality-of-life problems including increased traffic, fewer available parking spaces and some rowdy behavior.

The board narrowly recommended last year’s street fair permit, 18-15. Wednesday’s vote marked the first time since 1996 that the board recommended the permit’s denial.

During Wednesday’s meeting at Middle Village Christ the King Regional High School, Board 5 chairman Vincent Arcuri said the board’s Executive Committee was deadlocked on making a decision about this year’s festival.

“We had the most information we’ve ever received from an applicant for any event,” he said, “but the committee came up with no consensus.”

Board 5 member John Maier, who sits on the Executive Committee, proposed the motion to vote against the street festival permit: “Since I was unable to be there [last month] due to travel issues, I would have been the deciding vote and there would have been a vote on the table to deny the festival.”

Lifelong Ridgewood resident Margaret Chance reiterated previously voiced concerns over the festival during the board’s public forum.

“For the past 20 years, we’ve had negative impact from the Italian festival,” Chance said. “It’s way too long. Every year, it’s increased for longer days and longer hours.”

Chance also cited the relocation of bus stops and an excess of traffic and illegally parked cars on streets as major concerns surrounding the festival.

“Fresh Pond Road is way too narrow,” she said. “The vendors set up too early and the trucks and rides are way too wide to fit comfortably on Fresh Pond Road to allow two-way traffic to go along while the feast is not happening.”

Board 5 member Lucy Dolce, who is also a member of the Federazione, made an impassioned plea to the board to approve the festival permit.

“We have complied with everything this board wanted and more. We’ve done it all,” Dolce said. “This is a festival for families. These are four days for a working class community to be able to take their children and enjoy something at a very cheap cost.”

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Ridgewood-based nonprofit that provides free services to local senior citizens. According to Dolce, the organization no longer receives city and state funding and uses the proceeds from the festival to offset operating costs.

Dolce refuted the charges of police complaints and crime at prior festivals. “There have been no complaints. The police department would not allow us to continue if there were complaints,” she said.

Dolce abstained from the vote due to her membership with the nonprofit organization.

The 22nd Fresh Pond Street Festival is tentatively scheduled to begin on Thursday, Sept. 3, and run until Sunday, Sept. 6. The Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office will have the final say on the matter.

The board did, however, recommend approval for several other local street festivals scheduled to take place this year on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village and Grand Avenue in Maspeth.

Editor’s note: A previous version incorrectly stated the vote was the first time Board 5 voted against the Fresh Pond Road street festival.

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