Tag Archives: NYPD

Sen. Avella questions security at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

By Janae Hunter


After a second patient escaped Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in a six-month period, state Sen. Tony Avella will demand answers about security at the Queens Village facility in a press conference on Thursday.

The NYPD said Tuesday that Clifford Brown climbed over a chain-link fence at the center, located at 79-25 Winchester Blvd., and fled. Brown, 27, who was brought to Creedmoor from Riker’s Island for a psychiatric evaluation, escaped at approximately 2 p.m. during recreational time. Brown was found on Wednesday in good health, police said.

The Courier reported that Raymond Morillo, 33, escaped from Creedmoor on January 28 by swapping clothes with a visitor. Morillo was convicted of manslaughter in 1999 and was transferred to Creedmoor in December of 2013. Morillo was found two days later in Memphis, Tennessee and brought back to New York.

Avella and residents are concerned about Creedmoor’s security practices. Following, the first incident, Avella requested that the Office of Mental Health (OMH) investigate the events leading up to Morillo’s escape. In March, the OMH launched a full investigation of security policies not only in Creedmoor, but in all psychiatric centers throughout New York.

The press conference is at 10:15 a.m. in front of the facility.
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Avonte Oquendo’s mom files suit against city: reports


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Handout

The mother of Avonte Oquendo has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, charging various agencies and individuals with negligence leading to the death of the 14-year-old autistic teen, according to published reports.

Vanessa Fontaine reportedly filed the suit last week in Queens Supreme Court blaming the Department of Education, NYPD and members of Avonte’s Long Island City school for her son’s death.

Among the Center Boulevard School individuals are school safety agent Bernadette Perez and principal Susan McNulty, reports said.

The 14-year-old was last seen at the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City across the street from the East River last October. Surveillance footage caught the teen running through the halls unsupervised before leaving the building. Almost four months later his remains were found washed up in College Point.

The lawsuit does not have a dollar amount, according to reports, however family attorney David Perecman previously said the family would be seeking $25 million.

 

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Off-duty NYPD cop killed in Jamaica motorcycle crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

An off-duty Queens NYPD officer was killed while riding his motorcycle in Jamaica Monday, police said.

The accident happened at about 5 p.m. on Linden Boulevard at 158th street.

The cop, identified as 28-year-old Curtis Johnson, was riding his Harley Davidson eastbound down Linden Boulevard when it collided with a Chrysler Concorde as it was trying to make a left turn off of 158th street from the westbound side of Linden Boulevard, officials said.

After crashing into the Chrysler, Johnson was thrown from his seat and the motorcycle struck a second vehicle, a Nissan Altima, which was traveling westbound on Linden Boulevard at 158th Street, cops said.

Johnson, who, according to published reports, worked in Jamaica’s 103rd Precinct, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

 

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Suspects wanted in assault at Jackson Heights train station


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for two suspects wanted in connection with an assault at a Jackson Heights train station last weekend.

On Saturday, May 24 at about 9:46 a.m. a 22-year-old man got into a verbal dispute with two women while on the Manhattan bound No. 7 train platform at the 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue subway station. The two female suspects began to punch the victim on the head and body and then one of them slashed his arm and shoulder with an unknown object, cops said.

The victim was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital, treated and released.

One of the suspects, seen in a photo released by the NYPD, is described as a 35-year-old Hispanic woman with black hair in a ponytail.

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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23 Queens individuals arrested in NYC-area child porn bust


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of ICE


Twenty-three Queens residents, including an NYPD cop, registered nurse and paramedic, were arrested as part of a large-scale operation targeting the online distribution of child pornography.

The largest-ever enforcement operation in New York directed at predators who possess, produce or distribute sexually explicit images of children, resulted in the arrests of 71 individuals in the five boroughs, other areas of the state and New Jersey, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other officials announced Wednesday.

During Operation Caireen, which began April 4 and ran until May 15, HSI special agents, NYPD detectives and other law enforcement partners infiltrated peer-to-peer file sharing networks to identify users in the New York City metropolitan area who tried to acquire or distribute known or suspected images and videos of children engaging in sexually explicit activities, according to HSI.

Among the Queens residents arrested was an NYPD officer from Ozone Park, Yong Wu, who has been charged with possession of child pornography, officials said. He was arrested on April 28 following the execution of a search warrant on his home.

An Astoria registered nurse, Kenneth Gardner, who works at Westchester County Medical Center, has been charged with promoting a sex performance of a child under age 17, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to HSI.

Aaron Young, a paramedic, was arrested at his Queens home on April 28 and charged with possession of child pornography, officials said.

“It must be remembered that the images involved in these cases are of real children being sexually abused and that each time an image is viewed, traded, printed or downloaded, the child in that image is being victimized again,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Others facing charges include an au pair, and a man who served as both a den master with the Boy Scouts of America and a little league baseball coach.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy. High 68. Winds ENE at 15 to 25 mph. Tuesday night: Some clouds. Low 54. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Taste of Bayside 2014

The Bayside Business Association invites you to this year’s 11th Annual Taste of Bayside to be held on Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Food connoisseurs will enjoy sampling the diverse culinary culture of our finest neighborhood restaurants. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYPD launches crackdown on drivers using cell phones

It’s time to put the cell phone away, as the NYPD is cracking down on distracted drivers. Read more: ABC New York

Moody’s issues warning for de Blasio budget

The bond-rating agency Moody’s warned Monday that Mayor de Blasio’s new $73.9 billion budget would increase the city’s deficits in future years. Read more: New York Post

NYPD to stop seizing sex work suspects’ condoms

The NYPD will no longer confiscate unused condoms from suspected sex workers to be used as evidence of prostitution, ending a longstanding practice that had been criticized by civil rights groups for undermining efforts to combat AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Read more: NBC New York

‘Modern Family’ pays for NYC marriage license

With the wedding of Mitchell and Cam approaching on the sitcom “Modern Family,” ABC picked up the tab on all marriage licenses in New York City on Monday. Read more: CBS New York

MTA cops will carry heroin overdose antidotes

The New York Attorney General’s Office is providing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with funds for its police officers to carry antidotes to treat heroin overdoses in emergencies. Read more: AP

Suspect wanted in hammer attack robberies charged


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Updated Tuesday, May 13 7:05 a.m.

The hammer-wielding robber wanted in three attacks, including an assault on a woman in Queens, has been charged in connection to the two of the incidents, police said.

Anthony Coward, 28, who police identified as the suspect in the robberies over the weekend, allegedly approached a 23-year-old man and struck him in the head with a hammer on May 4, at about 11:00 a.m., at the Rockaway Avenue A/C subway station at Fulton Street in Brooklyn. He then continued to beat the rest of his body with the hammer before he fled with the victim’s wallet, police said. The victim was taken to Brookdale Hospital and released.

He then approached a 32-year-old man, who was trying to buy a MetroCard at the same Rockaway Avenue subway station in Brooklyn at about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, and struck him on the head with a hammer and demanded money, cops said. Once the victim handed over the money, Coward fled. The victim was taken to Brookdale Hospital and released.

Coward has been charged with robbery in both of the Brooklyn attacks, according to police.

In another attack that is believed to be connected to the other incidents, a 26-year-old reportedly pregnant woman was robbed and assaulted on the morning of March 5 on Pershing Crescent in Briarwood, cops said. The suspect came up to her from behind and struck her on the head with a silver hammer and fled with her handbag. The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition. The investigation is still ongoing into that robbery, officials said.

 

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Police identify suspect in hammer attack robberies


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the NYPD

The NYPD has identified the suspect they say robbed and attacked his victims with a hammer in Queens and Brooklyn.

Anthony Coward, 28, approached his first victim, a 26-year-old reportedly pregnant woman, on March 5 at about 7 a.m. in front of 138-49 Pershing Crescent in Briarwood, cops said. Coward allegedly came up to her from behind and struck her on the head with a silver hammer and fled with her handbag. The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition, according to police.

On May 4, at about 11:00 a.m., at the Rockaway Avenue A/C subway station at Fulton Street in Brooklyn, Coward approached a 23-year-old man and struck him in the head with a hammer and then went on to strike the man’s body, before he fled with the victim’s wallet, police said. The man was taken to Brookdale Hospital and released.

Then on May 7 at about 9:20 a.m. Coward approached a 32-year-old man, who was trying to buy a MetroCard at the same Rockaway Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, and struck him on the head with a hammer and demanded money, cops said. Once the victim handed over the money, Coward fled. The victim was taken to Brookdale Hospital and released.

Police describe Coward as black, 6 feet 1 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes, and 160 pounds.

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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Man wanted in non-fatal LIC shooting


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a 33-year-old man they say shot three people in March at the NYCHA Queensbridge South Houses in Long Island City.

On Sunday, March 23 Shalarmel Nieves left a party he was attending near 41-16 12th St. at 1:35 a.m. and a short time later came back and began shooting at a group of people standing in front of 41-16 12th St., according to cops.

Nieves shot three victims and then fled the scene. A 50-year-old woman, was shot in the leg and taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, a 25-year-old man, was shot in the foot and taken to Cornell Hospital, and a 23-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken to Lenox Hill Hospital. All three were listed in stable condition, police said.

The NYPD describe Nieves as 5 feet 8 inches tall, Hispanic and 175 pounds.

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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109th Precinct donates $500 to elderly victims of robbery in Flushing


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy NYPD

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Being an NYPD officer goes further than just catching bad guys- it’s about helping the victims.

Cops from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reached into their pockets to help out 71-year-old twin sisters who were robbed of their monthly income, the NYPD said on its Facebook page.

The women were on their way home from a bank in Flushing on April 5 when they were followed into an elevator in their apartment building by Salvador Morales, who knocked them to the floor and stole the $1,100 in Social Security aid they just received, the NYPD said.

One of the sisters suffered a fractured bone in her leg, and both were transported to New York Hospital Queens.

After word of the crime spread through the precinct, Officer Anthony Lo Verme and Detective Kevin O’Donnell collected about $500 from their colleagues and donated the money in person to the victims, the police said.

“When we heard that they had just lost their entire monthly income we all knew we had to help,” O’Donnell said.

Morales, a 58-year-old man from Manhattan, was arrested in Brooklyn and has been charged with burglary, robbery and assault. Police were able to identify him from similar burglaries he pulled off in Coney Island in Brooklyn wearing the same “mask-and-hat get-up,” police said.

Morales has at least 11 prior arrests for burglaries dating back to 1989, authorities said.

The cops visited the women, who are still recovering, and handed the money to them at their bedsides.

“Cops in New York City do things like this each and every day,” said Inspector Brian Maguire of the 109th Precinct.”I love the fact that my officers took it upon themselves and they rose to the occasion.” 

 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Partly cloudy. High 68. Winds WSW at 15 to 25 mph. Friday night: A few passing clouds, otherwise generally clear. Low 49. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Art Gallery Opening and Reception at the Douglaston/Little Neck Library 

Meet artist-in-residence Dawn Steinberg, view her six gorgeous photographs that will be on display from May 1 to July 31 at the library’s art gallery, and enjoy stories, refreshments and conversation. Starts at 4 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two teens arrested in attempted abductions of girls in Queens

Two suspects wanted in connection to the attempted abductions of several young girls off the streets of Queens have been arrested, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Evidence points to different shooter in 1992 Queens murder

An Eyewitness News exclusive investigation has uncovered evidence that a man who has served more than 21 years for a murder in Queens may not have committed the crime. Read more: ABC New York

Bratton vows to crack down on drunken cops

A red-faced Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday he is furious with drunken cops who are humiliating the NYPD — and laid out a plan to keep his officers sober and “fire” the worst offenders, The Post has learned. Read more: New York Post

NYC teachers union, City Hall announce $4B labor agreement

City Hall and the teachers union have reached an agreement on a new contract that provides retroactive raises plus a 10 percent raise over seven years, with health care cost reductions promised by the union. Read more: NBC New York

Attorney: Teen was coerced into confession in fatal Coney Island fire

There was a change of tune Thursday for the Coney Island, Brooklyn teen accused of setting a fire that killed an NYPD officer. Read more: CBS New York/AP

‘Dangerous’ Elmhurst intersection to get crossing guard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Pedestrians and school children will soon be able to safely cross a busy Elmhurst intersection.

Last year, state Sen. Jose Peralta called on the Department of Transportation to study the intersection of Junction Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway and restore a school crossing guard to ensure the safety of pedestrians, especially school children, who cross the “dangerous” thoroughfare.

P.S. 206, located at 61-02 98th St., is near the heavily trafficked area. Students cross the intersection on their way between home and school every day.

“The children and the parents are in great danger each time they navigate this intersection because the drivers do not drive with care or follow traffic regulations,” P.S. 206 Principal Joan Thomas wrote in February, requesting to bring back a school crossing guard. “In addition, we have had some instances in which some of our walkers have been harassed on their way to school in the morning and there is no adult present who can assist them.”

The 110th and 112th Precincts had previously told Peralta that a crossing guard was that assigned to the area because  guards are stationed at other nearby intersections.

Now, after Peralta renewed the call for a crossing guard once Vision Zero was implemented, he has learned that the 112th Precinct will assign a crossing guard to P.S. 206 in the upcoming months.

“This is a very dangerous intersection for children and there’s simply no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard provides to kids,” Peralta said. ”Thankfully, a crossing guard will finally be reinstated there.”

 

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Queens cop arrested on child pornography charges


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated Wednesday, April 30, 9:55 a.m.

A Queens cop was slapped with child pornography charges after videos of underage girls engaging in sexual acts were allegedly found on his computer.

Yong Wu, 38, was busted through an investigation of people who were sharing files of child pornography over peer-to-peer networks, court records said.

An IP address being used by Wu allegedly downloaded two video files that each showed a girl about 11 to 13 years in age engaging in lewd acts. In one, the girl was having sex with an adult male, according to a criminal complaint. He was allegedly found to sharing at least 60 files of interest to investigators.

A warrant was executed Monday morning at the Wu”s south Queens home, where a desktop computer was recovered on which five videos of young girls were allegedly found.

The videos included the girls, between the ages of 8 and 12,  engaging in various  sex acts with adult men, court documents said.

Wu, who works as an NYPD officer in Brooklyn, was arraigned Monday on seven counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by child, according to officials.

 

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Bayside police cadet who died on 9/11 honored with street co-naming


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

When 23-year-old Muslim American Salman Hamdani, who was an NYPD cadet and EMT, heard about the 9/11 attacks, instead of going to work, he headed straight for the World Trade Center.

He lost his life trying to help people and for his sacrifice, Community Board 11 and Councilman Paul Vallone honored him by co-naming 204th Street in Bayside, where he grew up, as “Salman Hamdani Way” on Monday.

But his mother, Talat, believes it’s just the first step toward getting the recognition her son deserves after the injustice he received.

Hamdani, who was born in Pakistan and immigrated to America as a toddler, was initially thought to be involved in the attacks, and still hasn’t been honored as a first responder on the 9/11 memorial.

“The City of New York needs to recognize him officially as a cadet when 9/11 happened, when he gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Talat said. “And the national 9/11 memorial cannot deny him his due place in history.”

Photo courtesy Talat Hamdani 

Instead of being listed as a first responder, Hamdani’s name is on the memorial as a civilian killed in the attacks. His family believes this bias stems from his faith, but they insist he was an American in every way.

As a child, Hamdani watched cartoons on the Disney Channel, loved the Yankees, played football for Bayside High School, and was a truly dedicated Star Wars fan— so much so that “his licenses plate read, ‘young Jedi,’” Talat said.

“I asked him one day, what is Star Wars?” she recalled, and he replied, “Momma, you don’t know what Star Wars is, you’re not an American!”

Hamdani’s  family is calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio to put his name on the first responders list to honor his memory.

“The fact is that he was a cadet,” Talat said. “He should be properly acknowledged.”

Photo courtesy Luigi Novi/Wikipedia Commons

 

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Man found dead in Flushing karaoke bar: police


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

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Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A 49-year-old man was discovered dead in a Flushing karaoke bar on Saturday, cops said.

Police responded to a 9-11- call at 11:20 p.m. and found Flushing resident Jimmy Yu unconscious and unresponsive inside Alibarbar on College Point Boulevard. Yu was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the cause of Yu’s death.

 

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