Tag Archives: Peter Figoski

Urge Turner to support gun control


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

It seems to me that Congressmember Bob Turner’s standing with others to raise thousands of dollars for the family of slain Police Officer Peter Figoski might soften his views against gun control. 

I implore him to stand with Congressmember Carolyn McCarthy to ban the sale of extended capacity ammunition magazines.  Extending background checks on purchases made at gun shows and other sensible laws may prevent the deaths and maiming of countless innocent citizens like Arizona’s Congressmember Gabrielle Giffords and the young girl and five others attending her rally a year ago.

Turner, stand up to your responsibly as our representative in Congress.

Vote for strong gun control laws. Tell the NRA that no one hunts with AK-47s.

B K Brumberg,

Howard Beach

Fairway collects for Figoski Fund


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Fairway Market recently raised some “green” for a good cause.

The supermarket held a fundraiser on January 5, during which it collected thousands of dollars for the Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund, a charity benefiting the four daughters of the slain, 22-year NYPD veteran.

Fairway donated 10 percent of the proceeds from all sales made between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. at its locations in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Plainview, Long Island, and Douglaston, Queens – amounting to $20,000.

“We have had a longstanding history of supporting those in service, so when we saw the opportunity to help out with this cause, it was a natural fit for us,” said Dan Glickberg, vice president of Fairway. “[Our motivation] was a combination of the community and the tragedy. [Figoski] was involved in two communities that are around our stores, and those are communities we help out.”

The scholarship fund, launched by the New York City Police Foundation, was formed to assist in paying for Figoski’s daughters to attend college. It has reportedly already topped $2 million in total contributions.

Figoski, 47, of West Babylon, Long Island, was shot and killed on December 12 while responding to a home invasion robbery in Brooklyn. His partner captured the gunman, Lamont Pride, who has been charged with first-degree murder. Figoski was posthumously promoted to detective.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund can visit www.nycpolicefoundation.org or mail checks to:

 

New York City Police Foundation

Attention Peter Figoski Fund

555 5th Avenue, 15th Floor

New York, NY 10017

Figoski’s ‘murderer’ says he never set out to ‘kill a cop’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Figoski’s ‘murderer’ says he never set out to ‘kill a cop’

The thug accused of gunning down Officer Peter Figoski last month during a botched Brooklyn robbery told detectives after his arrest he was “sorry” and never set out to “kill a cop.” “I’m sorry for what I did,” Lamont Pride blurted out as the detectives drove him to Central Booking, according to court papers made public at a brief hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday. “I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Pride whined. Read More: New York Post

NYC employee arrested for allegedly selling drugs in front of residential building in Queens

A New York City employee has been arrested on drug charges. Police say 47-year-old Donald Gibbs was arrested for allegedly selling drugs in front of a residential building in Queens Wednesday evening. Police say Gibbs was employed as a NYPD school safety agent. He was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer. Read More: New York Post

Mega Convention Center Planned for Queens

There were two major points in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech that everyone saw coming, both of which have a lot to do with Queens. During his speech on Wednesday, January 4, the governor formally introduced the idea of legalizing full table gaming in New York State, which would mean big news for Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park. He also revealed his plan to initiate the building of the country’s largest convention center on that ground, the former site of the Aqueduct Racino. Read More: Queens Courier

Life for pregnant-gal slay

A Queens man convicted of murdering his pregnant girlfriend was tossed into prison for 25 years to life yesterday. Derrick Redd, 39, of Far Rockaway, was found guilty of stabbing Naisha Delain about 30 times, killing her and their unborn son on the baby’s due date. Before Redd was sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, he slammed the judge for denying his lawyer’s motion to throw out the jury’s verdict. Delain’s mom, Towanda Wimms, and other family members left the court praising the judge with applause. Read More: New York Post

Judge rips man who set up ex-girlfriend as ‘diabolical” & sends him to jail for 32 years

A Queens judge sentenced a cunning private eye to 32 years in prison Wednesday, calling him a “diabolical conniver and sinister manipulator” who framed his ex-girlfriend for robbery after she accused him of rape. Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter tore into Jerry Ramrattan for trying to bolster his plea for mercy by bragging about the help he had given law enforcement agencies as a confidential informant. Read More: Daily News

Overview of Cuomo’s 2012 State of the State Address

 

In his second State of the State speech since taking office, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he plans to straighten out the state’s fiscal problems while expanding job growth and strengthening education. In front of hundreds of lawmakers, policy leaders and other New Yorkers, the governor delivered his vision for 2012 – a vision that seeks to spin stagnation into governmental action. Read More & Watch the Video: Queens Courier

State Liquor Authority postpones decision for controversial Long Island City strip club

Supporters and opponents of a proposed Long Island City strip club have two more weeks to make their case before the State Liquor Authority. Commissioners from the authority heard more than an hour of testimony Wednesday but delayed a decision until a January 18 meeting so they can pore through reports and other documents submitted by the Gypsy Rose’s operators, known as 21 Group Inc. Elected officials and community leaders have fought bitterly over the last few years to stop the club from opening at the 21st Street location, just at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge. Read More: Daily News

Alleged Queens firebomber wanted to massacre Muslims in mosque, prosecutors say

The unhinged Queens pyromaniac who unleashed a scary New Year’s Day firebombing spree had planned to take out “as many Muslims and Arabs as possible” by lobbing Molotov cocktails at worshipers inside a mosque, prosecutors said. Ray Lazier Lengend, 40, allegedly told cops he had planned to inflict “as much damage as possible” by hurling all five of his firebombs from the balcony of Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center onto the crowd below.
The hateful bomb-hurler, who is under psychiatric observation at Bellevue Hospital center, flat-out told detectives he did not like Muslims or Arabs, prosecutors said. “This is a message to anyone who does this in the future,” said Imam Maan Al-Sahlani, leader of Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, where Lengend planned to inflict major casualties. “It’s a good message that justice will come for you, the police will come for you.” Read More: Daily News

Teen’s Alleged Assaulter Pretended To Be A Police Officer


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Teen’s Alleged Assaulter Pretended To Be A Police Officer

Police were searching late Tuesday for a man who allegedly pretended to be a police officer and sexually assaulted a teenage boy he met in a subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn last week. Investigators say the man approached a 15-year-old boy at the 53rd Street and Fourth Avenue station around 9:30 a.m. Friday, after the teen threw an empty bag of potato chips on the ground. Authorities said the teen claimed the man displayed what looked like a police shield and told the boy to get into his white van. They say the suspect drove to 92nd Street and Dahlgren Place in Bay Ridge, where he sexually assaulted the boy. Read More: NY1

The mistakes that took 5 lives

Two fatal mistakes may have cost the lives of the three little girls and their grandparents who died Christmas morning when a century-old Victorian mansion went up in flames and turned into a death trap. Fire marshals in Stamford, Connecticut, said the owner’s boyfriend, contractor Michael Borcino, put still-smoldering embers from a yule log into some kind of a bag — and then left it leaning against an outside rear wall of the $1.7 million house. The marshals said the embers had not been doused with water. On the other side of the wall was a mud room. Read More: New York Post

Flushing neighborhood mourns closing of Palace Diner, a local mainstay since 1976

The Palace Diner, a Flushing mainstay that served as a cozy gathering place for local residents and politicians alike, is shutting its doors for good on Friday. “I’ve had a good run, it’s time,” said owner George Mantzikos. “I’ve been fortunate to have good customers and good employees.” The diner, known for its Greek specialties, fresh fish and chops, will be replaced by an “upscale Chinese restaurant,” he said. Read More: Daily News

Ozone Park unites for fallen officer Peter Figoski

In light of the fact that four of the five men nabbed as suspects in the tragic, shooting death of fallen officer Peter Figoski are from Ozone Park, elected officials and residents of the community banded together to raise money and spirits for Figoski’s family. “We wanted to do something in this community to show that those criminals are not a reflection of the people in this neighborhood. There are good, solid people in this community,” said Matt Turner of the Make a Difference Christmas Effort. The Make a Difference Christmas Effort — which hosted a benefit on December 22 at St. Mary Gate of Heaven School — raised $5,000 for the wife and four daughters Figoski leaves behind. Read More: Queens Courier

Rent-stabilized Jamaica tenants sue landlord;  they say he boosted rents to force  them out  

More than 40 longtime Jamaica tenants are suing their landlord for charging them large lump sums for building improvements they claim were never adequately made, in an effort to force them out of their homes. Residents of 90-36 149th Street, which is owned by Zara Realty Holding Corp., said their rent shot up thousands of dollars this year after the state approved a hike for rent-stabilized tenants. It was granted because Zara claimed to have installed a new roof and repaired the building’s brick exterior. But landlords are only allowed to raise rents 6 percent annually for rent-stabilized tenants, according to the tenants’ lawyers — not ask for one bulk payment. Read More: Daily News

Group wants to preserve ‘historic’ Elmhurst library

Over 106 years, some structures become staples of their communities. This is the sentiment one Elmhurst civic association has expressed regarding the neighborhood’s historic library, which is set to be torn down and replaced with a larger, more modern facility. Members of the Newtown Civic Association are puzzled by Queens Library’s decision to destroy the community “landmark,” which opened in 1906 and is one of the last remaining libraries built with funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Read More: Queens Courier

Ozone Park unites for fallen officer Peter Figoski


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

In light of the fact that four of the five men nabbed as suspects in the tragic, shooting death of fallen officer Peter Figoski are from Ozone Park, elected officials and residents of the community banded together to raise money and spirits for Figoski’s family.

“We wanted to do something in this community to show that those criminals are not a reflection of the people in this neighborhood. There are good, solid people in this community,” said Matt Turner of the Make a Difference Christmas Effort.

The Make a Difference Christmas Effort — which hosted a benefit on December 22 at St. Mary Gate of Heaven School — raised $5,000 for the wife and four daughters Figoski leaves behind.

Figoski, 47, of West Babylon, LI, was shot and killed on December 12 while responding to a robbery in Brooklyn, according to published reports. His partner pursued and captured the gunman, Lamont Pride, who has been charged with first-degree murder. Figoski was posthumously promoted to detective.

“This tragedy created such a profound loss, not only for the family but for the whole city,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich, who attended the event. “There are lots of people who want to make a difference, who want to help the family, but they just don’t know how. This is a way for them to come out and show their support.”

The Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund — set up by The New York Post to help put the four girls through college — collected over $1 million in just one week, according to published reports.

On an annual basis, the Make a Difference Christmas Effort adopts families in need — within the five boroughs and beyond — and provides them with winter gear, essential clothing and items on their holiday wish list.

This year, they dedicated one benefit to specifically help Figoski’s family.

“When we heard about the tragedy, we thought it was appropriate to have it here in Ozone Park,” said Thomas Flood, the effort’s co-coordinator. “We wanted to try and express our concern and support for this family in need and bring smiles to people’s faces when things are most difficult during what should be a joyous time.”

According to Flood, the family does not yet know about the money raised. The Make a Difference Christmas Effort will approach the family sometime after New Year’s.

“I want the NYPD and the family to know that they have the support, the prayers, the love and respect of this community,” said Congressmember Bob Turner, who also attended the event. “It’s sad what happened and that most of the perpetrators are residents here, but it does not reflect on the character and good will of this neighborhood.”

To join the cause, Flood said check donations can be mailed to the Make a Difference Christmas Effort through St. Mary Gate of Heaven Parish, located at 101-25 104th Street, Ozone Park, N.Y. 11416.

Thugs out for Blue blood


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Thugs out for Blue blood

Two sharp-eyed Brooklyn cops yesterday thwarted a drug-and-cash heist by nine heavily armed robbers dead-set on blowing away any cops who showed up — just as in the drug-related home invasion that killed Officer Peter Figoski, The Post has learned. The robbery crew was targeting a heroin dealer in East New York — the same neighborhood that Figoski spent his career protecting. A thief shot him after robbing a pot dealer Dec. 12. “They had the heavy firepower in case the cops were called,” said a law-enforcement source. Read More: New York Post

 

Bodega worker slain

Masked thieves followed a Bronx bodega worker home and shot him dead — within earshot of his son — in what cops believe was a botched robbery attempt. Investigators said Anselmo Porras, 51, left his store at 2840 Briggs Ave. just before midnight Tuesday, and was shadowed by three would-be robbers. As Porras opened the door to his apartment on Marion Avenue in Bedford Park, a short distance from his store, one of the men pulled a gun and tried to force his way inside. Porras, who had 12 children, struggled and ran into the apartment, screaming to his son inside, according to law-enforcement sources. Read More: New York Post

 

Burned body in Pennsylvania identified as Brooklyn business owner

A 30-year-old Brooklyn cafe owner who mysteriously vanished on Halloween was identified by authorities yesterday as the man found shot to death and burned in the woods of eastern Pennsylvania on Nov. 1, the following morning. Joshua Rubin — whose body was only recently identified through DNA and dental tests — opened the Whisk Bakery Cafe on Newkirk Avenue a month before disappearing. A day or two after his body was found near Allentown, his credit card was used at the Woodbury Commons retail outlets in Orange County, NY, sources told The Post. Read More: New York Post

 

Wave of bombings across Iraqi capital kills 69

A wave of 16 bombings ripped across Baghdad Thursday, killing at least 69 people in the worst violence in Iraq for months. The apparently coordinated attacks struck days after the last American forces left the country and in the midst of a major government crisis between Shiite and Sunni politicians that has sent sectarian tensions soaring. The bombings may be linked more to the U.S. withdrawal than the political crisis, but all together, the developments heighten fears of a new round of Shiite-Sunni sectarian bloodshed like the one a few years back that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war. Read More: New York Post

 

Teacher’s exposure lesson

Former Bronx teacher Melissa Petro, who was forced to give up her teaching job after revealing she worked as a hooker and stripper, will pose for Penthouse’s February issue for a story charmingly titled, “Unrepentant Whore.” The ex-educator, who now makes a living writing about her sexy past, has mixed feelings about the pictures, in which she appears partly nude. The shoot, at New York S&M dungeon Pandora’s Box, involved Petro posing in the clichéd role of a sexy teacher. In a column for xoJane.com, she writes that the photographer’s “vision, as he explained it that day, was for the ‘hooker’ teacher to reclaim her power — to take the butt of the joke and turn it around. When the shoot was over, amidst my signing of releases galore — including a creepy moment when they made me take a picture holding up my ID — I felt a momentary panic. Read More: New York Post

Slay-suicide horror in Maspeth


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Slay-suicide horror in Maspeth

A woman died yesterday after her boyfriend slashed her throat in their Maspeth apartment, stabbed her stepson, then jumped in front of an LIRR train, authorities said. Maureen Biermann, 43, died at Wyckoff Heights Hospital. Her attacker, James Peck, 33, died on the tracks. Biermann’s stepson, 22, was in stable condition. Read More: Daily News

No deals for cop ‘killers

Brooklyn’s top prosecutor yesterday said he won’t even think about cutting plea deals with the five thugs accused of murdering cop Peter Figoski. “There will be a trial,” District Attorney Charles Hynes vowed. “We want the public to understand that the murder of a police officer is as serious as any crime we’ve ever had. In cases like this, there’s no indication of a plea deal — ever.” Read More: New York Post

Queens pair sentenced in Virginia for bank fraud

Two New York residents have been sentenced in Virginia for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently tap into home equity lines of credit and credit card accounts. U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride says 41-year old Joan Marsh of Queens was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison. Thirty-year-old Ayodele Adewale Onasanya of Queens was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison. A federal jury convicted Marsh in September on a dozen conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering counts. Onasanya pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  Read More: Wall Street Journal

A mission born from a cause

Fifteen-year-old Carly Rose Nieves is turning ordinary people into heroes, one pint of blood at a time. For the second year in a row, the Middle Village teen — and her team of family members and friends — organized a blood drive and bone marrow registry at Christ the King (CTK) Regional High School. The December 17 event brought in 75 pints of blood and 10 new bone marrow donors for the New York Blood Center. Read More: Queens Courier

After Resigning, Tearful Senator Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes

In the annals of municipal corruption in New York City, the themes of graft, greed and betrayal have been familiar running mates from one century to the next, accompanying the fall of the Tammany boss William Tweed in the 1870s, the resignation of the popular mayor James J. Walker in 1932, and the bribes, appetites and suicide of Donald R. Manes, a former Queens borough president, in 1986. But the denouement of the political career of State Senator Carl Kruger, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges on Tuesday, goes beyond that story line, encompassing tales of romance and perhaps even sacrifice, and laying bare one of the more bizarre domestic tableaux — even by New York standards — ever uncovered by F.B.I. wiretaps. Read More: New York Times

Aqueduct racino construction workers exposed to hazards including lead, feds say

Construction workers toiled virtually around the clock to get Queens’ glitzy gaming hub operational, but federal officials are now charging that contractors cut corners when it came to safety. Five companies skirted regulations during construction of the Aqueduct racino this summer and exposed employees to hazardous conditions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday. Read More: Daily News

Five Remaining MLB Free Agents Who Can Help the New York Mets: Fan’s Take

The New York Mets need all the help they can get. Unfortunately, they aren’t willing to pay much to get it. All indications are that the financially-challenged Mets will stay away from free agent solutions for 2012 as they look to cut payroll. However, these five overlooked free agents may come at a discount, tempting Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to give them a call. It may be worth it. Read More: Yahoo Sports

Deal Struck to Broaden Taxi Service in the City

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo struck a deal with the Bloomberg administration on Tuesday that would expand taxi service in New York by allowing livery cabs to be hailed on the street in parts of the city traditionally underserved by yellow cabs. The agreement, which Cuomo is poised to sign into law on Wednesday and which ends months of fractious negotiations, would also create 2,000 more wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs. The auction of those medallions is expected to raise at least $1 billion for the city. Read More: New York Times

Arrest made in attempted shooting of officers


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the arrest of Antonio Olmeda, age 53 of  Manhattan, in the attempted shooting of two New York City police officers on December 2nd in Jackson Heights, Queens.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the arrest of Antonio Olmeda, age 53 of  Manhattan, in the attempted shooting of two New York City police officers on December 2nd in Jackson Heights, Queens.

“Our officers miraculously escaped injury when their assailant fired at extremely close range, narrowly missing them,” Commissioner Kelly said. “Olmeda’s arrest was bittersweet in that it came this morning as the family of Police Officer Peter Figoski prepared for his funeral.”

On Friday, December 2 at 3:55 p.m., two 115th precinct uniformed officers were patrolling on foot in the vicinity of 76th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights when they were alerted by a passerby of a male acting suspiciously at the corner of 37th Road and 76th Street.

The officers walked to the location and observed the male wearing a  black trench coat with a fake beard, a hat and dark glasses.

When the officers approached the individual, they asked him for identification at which time the male produced a revolver and fired twice at the officers, before fleeing southbound on 77th Street.

The officers pursued the man, but they were unable to apprehend him.  The fake beard, hat and glasses were recovered during the foot pursuit. No injuries were sustained by either officer.

NYPD detectives were able to link DNA found on the suspects glasses recovered at the crime scene to Olmeda. Police also identified a 2001 Blue Chevy Venture van registered to Antonio Olmeda.  A license plate check of the vehicle revealed a summons was  issued to Olmeda’s Chevy Venture this past August in the 25th Precinct.

Earlier this morning Inspector Stephen Hughes, the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Warrant Section, was canvassing in the 25 Precinct near the location of where a summons was issued to Olmeda’s vehicle in August.

At 4 a.m. today, Inspector Hughes observed a van located in front of 323 East 116th Street matching the plates and description of Olmeda’s van.

An NYPD apprehension team established surveillance near the van and at approximately 8 a.m. observed Olmeda walking up and down 116th Street.  The apprehension team waited until Olmeda attempted to enter the vehicle. At that point NYPD detectives grabbed Olmeda and took him into custody.

Olmeda had on his person a gun belt with a loaded, 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and two magazines each containing seven rounds.

A second gun, a snub-nosed .38 caliber revolver, with three expended shell casings in its cylinder, was found in a bag on the back seat of the vehicle.

ESU and the Bomb Squad were summoned to the scene after a suspicious package with wires protruding was observed. The Bomb Squad determined that the wires were attached to a police light package and siren under the vehicle’s dashboard.

A counterfeit NYPD parking plaque was also found in the van, along with a plastic bin filled with approximately two dozen bottles of what appeared to be cleaning chemicals.

Olmeda was taken into Federal custody in 2002 after allegedly carrying bomb-making materials and asking about security at Fort Bragg.

After Olmeda’s arrest in the Bronx in 1994 for patronizing a prostitute, a search of his vehicle then uncovered 25 explosive devices, ammunition, and an Uzi submachine gun.

Charges in the December 2, 2011 shooting are pending.

55 gang members busted in $2M ID theft ring involving Jewish charity


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

55 gang members busted in $2M ID theft ring involving Jewish charity

Over 50 gang members have been busted for running an identity theft ring that targeted people who’d given to charity, prosecutors announced today. The Manhattan DA’s office said 55 members of the Bloods, Crips and Outlaws were arraigned after taking part in a check scam. Prosecutors said a worker at the United Jewish Appeal, which is based in Midtown, would photocopy checks the charity received from donors. The employee, Tracy Nelson, allegedly sold the checks to the gang members, who then assumed the identities of those who had donated money. As part of the same ID theft ring, prosecutors said they had also arrested three JP Morgan Chase tellers, a worker at TD Bank and a US postal worker. Read More: New York Post

 

In stunner, Stanford yanks tech-campus bid

After months of pressing its case to open a tech campus in the city, Stanford University abruptly pulled out of the competition Friday. In a statement, Stanford President John Hennessy said, “after several weeks of negotiations with New York City, university leaders and the Stanford Board of Trustees have determined that it would not be in the best interests of the university to continue to pursue the opportunity.” Read More: Crain’s New York

 

The Courier plays Santa for South Queens Boys & Girls Club

The Queens Courier got a sneak peek of what Christmas morning would be like for the youngsters of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club (SQBGC). On Thursday, December 15, Courier reporters — playing Santa and his Christmas elves — distributed hundreds of toys to the club’s underprivileged kids. Read More: Queens Courier

 

DOB Investigates Chelsea Scaffold Collapse

An investigation has been launched after a construction scaffold collapsed onto a busy Manhattan sidewalk during Friday’s morning rush. It happened around 8 a.m. on 14th Street near Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. No one was hurt. “The doorman called up and said we need to evacuate. He didn’t say why. We just looked outside and saw all of the fire trucks and ambulances, so I came down and saw the scaffolding had collapsed,” said one building resident. Read More: NY1

 

Two Missing NJ Girls Found Safe Upstate

Police have tracked down two young New Jersey girls who were the subject of an AMBER Alert earlier this morning. Investigators say Emma Trapp, 5, and her 20-month-old sister Sophia were found unharmed at a motel near Bear Mountain in Orange County. The kids are in the custody right now of the New York State police. Old Bridge police officers and officers, investigators from the Middlesex County prosecutors office are up there right now as well as I understand the FBI,” said Captain Robert Weiss of the Old Bridge Police Department. The girls’ father, Anthony Trapp, 39, was found dead of an apparent suicide inside one of the motel’s rooms. Read More: NY1

 

Bloomberg invites DC lawmakers to attend slain cop’s funeral to highlight illegal gun sales

 

If it were up to him, members of Congress would be attending the funeral of police Officer Peter Figoski to see for themselves the havoc wreaked when an illegal gun falls into the hands of a career criminal. Bloomberg got to discussing illegal weapons in a response to a Tweet on his radio show this morning from a listener asking why the city was wasting so much time pushing for stricter federal gun controls. Read More: Daily News

District Attorney says Queens teacher had sex with student, 13


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

District Attorney says Queens teacher had sex with student, 13

Prosecutors say a New York City public school teacher is being charged with rape for a sexual relationship with a student that began when she was just 13. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says 44-year-old Charles Oross engaged in a sexual relationship with the teen from January 2009 to April 2010. The district attorney said the encounters happened at the school, Intermediate School 238 in Queens, and in Oross’ car. Oross, of East Islip, N.Y., was awaiting arraignment Thursday. No information about an attorney was immediately available. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Tea Party big Mark Meckler pinched for gun possession at LaGuardia Airport Thursday 

A co-founder of an influential Tea Party group was arrested at LaGuardia Airport Thursday for illegally trying to bring a pistol and ammunition aboard a plane, authorities said. Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots had a Glock 27 pistol and 19 bullets in a locked gun box — but he didn’t have a New York State permit for the firepower, which he told authorities he needs because he gets threats. Meckler, 49, handed the gun box to a Delta Airlines ticket agent around 5 a.m. Thursday, Queens prosecutors said. It was discovered during a pre-flight check. Read More: Daily News

 

NYPD cadet arrested for allegedly stealing this mother’s credit card in a $13 million ID theft ring in Queens 

An NYPD cadet was arrested Wednesday for stealing his mother’s credit card as part of a $13 million identity theft ring, authorities said. Raymond Gumti, 23, is accused of taking his mom’s TD Bank card and PIN numbers and using them to create a counterfeit credit card. He put the phony card in the name of another defendant who was indicted as a shopper in the scheme and racked up nearly $13,000 in unauthorized charges at stores like Apple, Louis Vuitton and Bloomingdales, a spokesman for the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office said. Read More: Daily News

 

Santa was really a Rotarian

Santa Claus rang his sleigh bells loudly as he combed the halls of the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) Children’s Center. Followed closely by Frosty the Snowman, the pair peeked inside various rooms, searching for children. Toys in hand, they entered one at the end of the hallway — to an eruption of delighted squeals. Read More: Queens Courier

 

More Liu Donors Said to Be Examined in Fund-Raising Inquiry

The federal inquiry into the campaign finances of New York City’s comptroller, John C. Liu, a possible mayoral candidate in 2013, appears to be widening, with people knowledgeable about the matter saying Thursday that there has been an increased focus on seeking information from his supporters in the Chinese-American business community. In recent weeks, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation have delivered subpoenas seeking a broad range of records and other information to a growing circle of Mr. Liu’s more generous donors, said the people knowledgeable about the matter, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Read More: New York Times

 

Councilman Van Bramer Volunteers At LIC Food Pantry

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and his constituents reached out to help the St. Raphael’s Parish food pantry Thursday. Read More: NY1

 

Cop-slay judge bails

The Brooklyn judge who unleashed a violent ex-con weeks before he allegedly killed a cop was a no-show at work yesterday — the day after Mayor Bloomberg ripped into her for a bail bungle. Judge Evelyn Laporte was nowhere to be seen in Brooklyn Criminal Court as several City Council members denounced her ill-fated decision to spring Lamont Pride without bail after his arrest last month on drug charges. There was a warrant for his arrest in North Carolina for an August shooting when he was busted on Nov.3 in New York for crack and pot possession — but Laporte ignored prosecutors’ pleas for $2,500 bail. Pride, 27, is accused of gunning down Officer Peter Figoski during a Brooklyn home invasion on Monday. Read More: New York Post

 

Kid shoots off finger

The 11-year-old son of a Staten Island school teacher shot off a portion of his finger yesterday while playing with his father’s illegal gun, police said. The West Brighton youth was home alone with his 8-year-old brother in the basement of their single- family home when the gun went off at 2:40 p.m., according to law-enforcement sources. Michael Bilotto, a Department of Environmental Protection construction worker, was taken into custody for possession of an unlicensed handgun, police said. Read More: New York Post

 

Cop slay getaway driver’s lame defense: I drove thugs in exchange for gas money

The getaway driver charged with four others in the slaying of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski admits he knew the accused triggerman was carrying a gun before the botched robbery that led to the Brooklyn cop’s murder. In an exclusive jailhouse interview with the Daily News, Michael Velez, 21, said he looked over to Lamont Pride, who was sitting in the passenger seat and saw the weapon. Velez said he was stunned — and even more so when Pride, 27, put his finger on the trigger of 9-mm. Ruger. Read More: Daily News

 

Hiram Monserrate’s 2009 assault conviction upheld on appeal 

A state appeals court on Thursday upheld disgraced lawmaker Hiram Monserrate’s 2009 assault conviction for roughing up his girlfriend in the lobby of his Queens apartment building three years ago. The four-judge panel dismissed the former Queens pol’s claim that prosecutors failed to prove a key element of the assault charge — that girlfriend Karla Giraldo endured “substantial pain” from a physical attack. Read More: Daily News

War in Iraq officially over


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

War in Iraq officially over

After nearly nine years, 4,500 American dead, 32,000 wounded and more than $800 billion, U.S. officials formally shut down the war in Iraq — a conflict that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said was worth the price in blood and money, as it set Iraq on a path to democracy. Panetta stepped off his military plane in Baghdad Thursday as the leader of America’s war in Iraq, but will leave as one of many top U.S. and global officials who hope to work with the struggling nation as it tries to find its new place in the Middle East and the broader world. Read More: Daily News

Figoski helped Brooklyn teen turn life around

Slain cop Peter Figoski had four daughters of his own and could not stand to see a young woman about their age take the wrong path. That woman, now 21, credits him with turning her life around. Velina Chaunce met Figoski when her mother, in desperation, called the 75th Precinct in gritty East New York to report her then-teenage daughter was acting out. Read More: New York Post

Scandals taking poll toll on Liu

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu is turning into a real Liu-ser with voters. A poll out today shows that Liu’s popularity has plummeted — following a torrent of negative publicity centering on a federal probe of his fund-raising operations and other shenanigans. Only 38 percent of voters now approve of the job Liu is doing, with 35 percent disapproving, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. His approval rating is down drastically from a Quinnipiac poll in May, when 57 percent approved of his job performance and 14 percent disapproved. Read More: New York Post

Uniting to help Woodside fire victims

The Woodside community has united to extinguish the needs of the 24 people whose lives were recently devastated by a fatal fire. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined Pastor Daniel Gilland, representatives from the American Red Cross and members of the families displaced by the two-alarm blaze — which spawned in and destroyed the two-story house located at 40-38 61st Street before spreading and causing severe damage to two neighboring homes — to announce a benefit drive organized in support of the victims. Read More: Queens Courier

On Queens Block, Losing a Link to Louis Armstrong

Selma Heraldo lived the entirety of her 88 years in a white, two-story house on 107th Street in Corona, Queens, and her life may have been very different had she not gained new next-door neighbors in 1943 — Louis Armstrong and his wife, Lucille. Heraldo quickly became known as Louis Armstrong’s next-door neighbor, a good friend to the jazz great. After Armstrong died in 1971 and Lucille Armstrong died in 1983, and their house was transformed into the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Heraldo became the main local living link to the couple. But now that link is gone. Heraldo died on December 2 in her house, where she had lived alone for many years. Read More: New York Times

New York Community Trust grant helps find jobs for Far Rockaway residents

At least 60 Far Rockaway residents will land jobs throughout the city in 2012 thanks to a new grant aimed at giving a boost to the isolated neighborhood in southeast Queens. The New York Community Trust awarded a $40,000 grant this month to Ocean Bay Community Development Corp., a local group that partners with public housing residents in Far Rockaway with job initiatives. Read More: Daily News

Jet ‘drug’ rage

The cowardly thug busted for sucker-punching Jet fan James Mohr outside MetLife Stadium Sunday is a drug-dealing ex-con with a lengthy rap sheet, public records show. Merle Lee, 35, of Newton, NJ, was charged with aggravated assault for the attack outside the New Jersey Meadowlands stadium after the Jets’ 37-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. The brute allegedly sucker-punched Mohr, 23, after the Queens schoolteacher objected to a woman screaming, “F–k New York!” and, “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!” Read More: New York Post

Malcolm X’s daughter locked up after she fails to pay Queens woman she swindled 

Malcolm X’s youngest daughter has been jailed for failing to make good on a promise to pay back the $55,000 she swindled from an elderly Queens woman. A Queens judge ordered Malikah Shabazz held Tuesday night after probation officials said she’d failed to make any of the monthly $1,229 restitution payments she agreed to as part of a plea deal. Shabazz ignored a judge’s order requiring her to live in New York while she serves out a five-year probation, court officials say. They say she’s apparently been living in St. Albans, Vt., above a bar that she’s looking to buy. She had $800 in her pocket when she was busted for the probation violation, a court official said. Read More: Daily News

Bloomberg lashes out at judge who freed ‘cop killer’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Mayor Bloomberg lashed out today at the Brooklyn judge who freed accused cop killer Lamont Pride, saying she could have made one phone call that could have taken him off the streets.

“The reason he was not behind bars the last time is that a judge here in New York not only didn’t put him behind bars, she didn’t even think it was appropriate for bail. And he had a long history of not showing up. He had a long criminal record,” the mayor said, visibly upset. Read More: New York Post

Suspects Held Without Bail In Alleged Murder Of NYPD Officer


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Suspects Held Without Bail In Alleged Murder Of NYPD Officer

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Lamont Pride didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on NYPD Officer Peter Figoski. “He was targeted for homicide because he wore the uniform of the NYPD,” said Ken Taub, chief of homicide at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. Prosecutors say Pride and four accomplices went to a basement apartment on Pine Street in Cypress Hills early Monday to rob a drug dealer, but when police arrived, the alleged robbers were cornered. Pride allegedly shot Figoski once in the face, killing him. Read More: NY1

Cop-slayer suspect’s gun came from same Virigina store as 1990 killing

Twenty-one years separate the fatal shooting of Officer Peter Figoski from the senseless murder of 9-month-old Rayvon Jamison, but they are linked by a terrible history. The guns that killed them both came from the same Virginia store. And that store is still owned by the same man, Marlon Dance. In August 1990, little Rayvon became the poster boy for victims of senseless gun violence when he was felled in his Bronx apartment by stray shots that pierced a metal door and cut him down in his walker. Now, Figoski — a 47-year-old father of four — has become the face of New York’s futile fight to stop the flow of deadly guns from Virginia’s gun dealers up the so-called Iron Pipeline to the city. Read More: Daily News

Five charged in killing of Officer Peter Figoski: Lamont Pride, Kevin Santos, Nelson Moralez, Ariel Tejada and Michael Velez

The five men who took the life of decorated NYPD Officer Peter Figoski in a botched robbery have spent much of their lives pulling the kinds of crimes Figoski dedicated his life to stamping out. The five petty crooks in their have lengthy rap sheets stretching back a dozen years. “Even though they’re relatively young people, they still have significant experience in crime,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Their criminal resumes are littered with larcenies, muggings, drug possession and trespassing raps. Read More: Daily News

Two sanitation workers make life-saving catch in Rockaways

Two sanitation workers made life-saving grabs as they caught five children who leapt from a burning house in the Rockaways. Joseph Maneggio and Semi Nkozi saw a house ablaze on McBride Street while on their route at approximately 6:15 a.m. this morning.  The sanitation workers raced over and caught the children as they jumped from the roof.  A woman, also on the roof, suffered a broken foot from the jump. Read More: Queens Courier

Jet fan’s vicious ‘chief’ beatdown

A diehard Jet fan was savagely beaten on his own turf by a drunken gang of Kansas City Chiefs fans after their team was trounced on Sunday — with one of the assailants barking “F–k New York” and “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!” the victim’s distraught family told The Post. James Mohr, 23, a physical-education teacher at the Bronx Guild vocational high school, was wearing his Jets gear after the team’s 37-10 victory as he walked through Parking Lot J at MetLife Stadium when a woman standing with a pack of thugs screamed the vile taunts. Mohr took offense and told the rowdies their 9/11 insult was “disrespectful,” said his sister, Anna Mohr, 28. Read More: New York Post

Jury slams cage door on SoHo’s ‘Cat Woman Burglar’

The “Cat Woman” burglar — whose cat-masked wanted poster became an Internet sensation last year — was convicted today of armed robbery charges from heists at two high-end SoHo boutiques. It took a Manhattan Supreme Court jury just 30 minutes to reach their verdict against Shana Spalding, 29, of Astoria, Queens. She is to be sentenced Jan. 18, and faces a maximum of 15 years on the top armed robbery charge against her. Read More: New York Post

City fined owner of  building where cop was shot for illegal apartments

The rundown Brooklyn house where a police officer was shot to death Monday has long been on the city’s radar screen as a trouble spot. The city has spent $6,500 in taxpayer money on emergency repairs at 25 Pine St. in Cypress Hills and has repeatedly cited the owner for running an illegal single-room occupancy hotel in what is supposed to be a two-family home. Neighbors believed it was a drug den. Read More: Daily News

Cuomo To Seek Deal On Livery Cab Bill

Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking to reach a deal on the controversial livery cab bill Wednesday. He will be holding a summit with the stakeholders involved in the legislation negotiations. The proposed bill would allow the city to issue 30,000 livery cab medallions so drivers can pick up street hails in Upper Manhattan and the other four boroughs. Cuomo said he will veto the bill unless it includes a provision to make more cabs wheelchair-accessible. Read More: NY1

City eyes site in Jamaica for new Animal Care and Control receiving center in Queens 

A plan to convert a veterinarian’s office into the new Queens drop-off point for stray animals has raised the hackles of some animal lovers. Community Board 8 is set to review the proposal Wednesday night as part of a promised city effort to expand animal control services in Queens and the Bronx. The city wants to move its animal receiving center, operated by NYC Animal Care and Control, from its current spot in Rego Park to the veterinarian’s office at 185-17 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica. Read More: Daily News

Ex-NBA player Kenny Anderson charged with leaving scene of Miramar crash

Retired NBA point guard Kenny Anderson was charged with leaving the scene of an accident Sunday after Miramar police say his Cadillac Escalade failed to negotiate a curve and crashed into two trees along a swale.
No one was injured, Miramar police said, and Anderson, 41, was charged with the misdemeanor offense after the early evening crash. The Queens, N.Y.-born Anderson, who played for nine NBA teams, left the scene on foot, according to a Miramar police complaint affidavit. Read More: Sun Sentinel

Post Offices To Remain Open Until May Under New Deal

The United States Postal Service is holding off on plans to close 3,500 facilities across the country, including 34 in New York City. The moratorium was announced Tuesday as part of a deal with the Senate. No post offices or mail sorting facilities will be closed until at least May 15, giving Congress more time to come up with a cost-cutting plan. “When it’s all said and done, this is a challenge to Congress: put up or shut up. If you don’t like what the postal service has put forward, in terms of closing processing facilities and post offices and eliminating jobs, come up with a better approach,” said Illinois Senator Richard Durbin. Read More: NY1

 

4 more suspects collared in slaying of NYPD cop Peter Figoski


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

4 more suspects collared in slaying of NYPD cop Peter Figoski

The accomplice who fled from cops after his low-life pal shot and killed Officer Peter Figoski has been caught, police said Tuesday. Three other suspects were also taken into custody overnight — two neighbors who live across the street and the alleged getaway driver. The accomplice was arrested at 2 a.m. and will be charged with murder in the slaying of Figoski, a decorated 22-year NYPD veteran and father of four daughters, officials said. Read More: Daily News

Violent ex-con arrested for shooting NYPD cop dead was wanted for shooting in North Carolina in August

The violent ex-con accused of gunning down a hero cop in Brooklyn Monday should have been locked up weeks ago for shooting a man in North Carolina, the Daily News has learned. Despite being arrested twice in New York since September, a series of legal snafus allowed Lamont Pride to roam the streets of the city free to kill. Read More: Daily News

Aqueduct racino set to open exclusive, luxury gaming floor 

The final touches are being put on another floor of gaming at the Aqueduct racino — but you’ll need be a high roller to wager and enjoy the amenities. The media got a sneak peek on Monday at the second floor — set to open Friday — which racino officials hope will lure out-of-state gamblers to the South Ozone Park attraction. Read More: Daily News

Woodside Residents Reach Out To Fire Victims

NY1′s Lisa McDivitt looks into how a Woodside community is helping those affected by a fire that occurred in their neighborhood one month ago. Watch the video: NY1

New Initiative Aids Small Businesses In Flushing

NY1′s Angela Chen looks at some small businesses in Flushing that are getting a helping hand from a new initiative. Watch the video: NY1

Queens graveyard worker sues over alleged abuse  in workplace at Cypress Hills Cemetery

A Queens graveyard worker says he was driven to drink and despair by cruel bosses at the Cypress Hills Cemetery and that his union did nothing to help him. Jozef Klaper, a 63-year-old Polish immigrant, claims in a lawsuit that foreman John Nicastro got into his head by calling him “Eddie Mouser” — the name of a dead cemetery worker. Read more: Daily News

Cops search for person of interest in murder of Police Officer Peter Figoski


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Police captured the guman who shot and killed Police Officer Peter Figoski in Brooklyn earlier this morning, but are still on the lookout for a second person of interest in connection with the murder.

Police described the second suspect as a Hispanic between 24-30 years of age with black hair and a light complexion.

The suspect fled the scene when Officer Glenn Estrada pursued and caught Lamont Pride who fired the shot that killed Figoski, according to police.

Anyone with information in regards to the whereabouts of this individual is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crimes Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.