Tag Archives: NYPD

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.


Brooklyn men charged in Queens theft ring of luxury cars, motorcycles, narcotics

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Eight Brooklyn men who allegedly specialized in selling everything from stolen vehicles to narcotics have been charged for their participation in a Queens theft ring, according to the Queens district attorney.

The men, ranging from 21 to 27 years of age, were indicted after a 16-month investigation that began last April and concluded this June.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, in April 2014 police officers assigned to the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division Theft Squad started a joint investigation with the District Attorney’s Rackets Bureau into a theft ring that was offering temporary paper license plates for sale on Craigslist.

An unnamed individual allegedly contacted the number listed on the Craigslist post and later met with one of the eight men, 22-year-old Ariel Santiago, in Queens. During this encounter, the individual purchased fraudulent temporary license plates packaged with accompanying documents including blank bills of sale templates, blank 30-day temporary insurance coverage conformation forms and four blank Florida temporary registration receipts each stamped with the name of an actual auto sale business.

During their meeting, the unnamed person mentioned he shipped stolen vehicles to Africa and used paper plates to transport the cars to the port. At this point Santiago allegedly said he knew people who sold high-end stolen vehicles with keys, according to authorities.

Later that month at a second meeting, the person met with Santiago again to purchase five more forged temporary plates and spoke with 21-year-old Brian Hernandez and 22-year-old Luvere Gantt about buying stolen vehicles.

Over the next month, the person bought several stolen motorcycles during a series of buys, including two Kawaski Ninjas, from Santiago, Hernandez and Gantt, and in one instance from 21-year-old Gerardo Torres.

According to the district attorney, Torres, Gantt, 27-year-old Joseph Santiago and 21-year-old Matthew Moses later variously sold narcotics, cocaine and heroin to other individuals.

It is also alleged that in addition to the other defendants, 25-year-old Sean Vargas and 21-year-old Kevin Primo were also a part of selling stolen vehicles, firearms and/or counterfeit cash.

The majority of the stolen vehicles were obtained through fraudulent means from rental car companies such as Zipcar, Hertz, Enterprise, Dollar and Budget, according to the district attorney.

“This small, loosely organized theft ring is accused of offering a cornucopia of stolen and illegal items for sale on the black market — including stolen motorcycles and such luxury vehicles as Cadillacs, Mercedes Benzes, Audis and BMWs, as well as forged license plates, narcotics, counterfeit cash and various firearms — including an assault rifle, shotgun and a defaced pistol,” Brown said.

Currently Gantt, Hernandez and Torres are being sought, while the other five suspects have been arrested.

The charges the men variously face include criminal possession of stolen property, criminal sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy, unauthorized use of a vehicle, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, and criminal possession of a forged instrument.


PHOTOS: Queens residents enjoy a fun ‘Night Out’ with New York’s Finest

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Promoting greater harmony between police and the people they serve, Tuesday’s National Night Out Against Crime brought thousands of Queens residents out to venues across the “World’s Borough” for family-friendly activities.

From Astoria to the Rockaway Peninsula, each Night Out event included free games and activities for children of all ages as well as refreshments, live music and other entertainment. Residents also had the opportunity to meet with the officers who serve their community and learn more about the NYPD’s various crime prevention programs.

Local elected officials, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, attended each gathering and presented proclamations to the precinct commanders. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who made the rounds at Night Out events across the city, stopped by the 113th Precinct’s Night Out in Springfield Gardens.

The National Night Out Against Crime, founded by the National Association of Town Watch, aims to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities. Millions of people across the U.S. and Canada were estimated to have participated in Night Out events Tuesday evening.


Glendale man who allegedly voiced threats against cops sentenced for weapons charge

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Image via Google Maps

A Glendale man arrested after voicing threats against police officers in the wake of two cop killings last December will spend the next three years behind bars after pleading guilty to a weapons possession charge, prosecutors announced on Monday.

Elvin Payamps, 38, of Edsall Avenue was originally arrested on Dec. 24, 2014, after allegedly being overheard making the threat while talking on a phone at the TD Bank located at 79-55 Metropolitan Ave. The comment came four days after two officers — Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu — were shot to death by a lone gunman on a Brooklyn street.

Reportedly, Payamps told an unidentified caller that the killer “should have killed two white cops, instead of a Hispanic and an Asian, if the guy really wanted to send a message.” Detectives indicated that the murderer shot Ramos and Liu to avenge recent high-profile, police-involved deaths.

During the state of heightened alert following the double homicide, a bank employee who heard Payamps’ remark notified police after the suspect left the location. After obtaining a description of Payamps and his vehicle, they located him a short time later at the Metro Mall parking lot at 66-26 Metropolitan Ave.

Ironically, the mall — located in a building housing the New York Corrections Department Academy — was evacuated the day before after someone phoned in a bomb threat.

Payamps was taken into custody at the mall after police found a plastic bag containing marijuana and a lead pipe inside the vehicle. After obtaining a search warrant for his home, police recovered a loaded black Jimenez Arms JA 9-mm pistol, a black Mossberg Maverick model 88 12-gauge shotgun with a defaced serial number, ammunition, brass knuckles and two bulletproof vests.


Cops save dog left inside hot car in Forest Hills

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD112Pct

Two police officers came to the rescue of a small dog this weekend in Forest Hills after its owner left it inside a hot car for over an hour, according to the NYPD.

Police officers Timothy Geary and Joseph Reagan of the 112th Precinct were reportedly patrolling the area on Sunday when at about 3:45 p.m. they responded to a call from someone who spotted the dog in the car on the corner of Yellowstone and Queens boulevards.

According to published reports, police were able to unlock the car through one of the door windows which was left somewhat open. Once they got the dog out of the car, the police officers gave it some water.

The pooch’s owner reportedly returned to her car shortly after and was issued a summons for leaving the dog in the car during extreme weather.

After tweeting about the rescue on Sunday, the 112th Precinct also reminded people to be sure to take care of your loved ones — including pets.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


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.