Tag Archives: Police

Queens husband beats wife with hammer to end her suffering: prosecutors


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

An 87-year-old man was charged with assault after hitting his 83-year-old wife on the head with a hammer because he didn’t want to see her suffer as she went into surgery at Elmhurst Hospital, officials said.

On March 7, at about 4:40 p.m. Manuel Besteiro went into Elmhurst Hospital to visit his wife Remedious Besteiro as she was being treated and expected to go in to surgery, according to court records.

A nurse at the hospital then witnessed the husband strike his wife over the head with a hammer numerous times, and she quickly took the hammer out of his hand.

According to the criminal complaint, the 87-year-old told investigators that he went to see his wife in the hospital, where staff told him she was going to have surgery, and because he didn’t “want to see her suffer” he hit her in the head with a hammer.

There is no prior history of violence between the couple, police said.

The victim suffered contusions and lacerations to the head and received 15 to 20 staples on the right side of her head.

Besteiro was arraigned on March 8 and has been charged with attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He was released on his own recognizance and is expected to appear again in court on April 7.

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Brooklyn man collared in deadly Ridgewood shooting


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

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A Brooklyn man has been charged with fatally shooting a 21-year-old man outside a Ridgewood pool hall last weekend, police announced Friday night.

Ricardo Delgado, 20, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, faces second-degree murder and weapons possession charges for the March 14 incident that claimed the life of 21-year-old Bushwick resident Eric Santiago.

Santiago was shot in the torso while standing along Palmetto Street between Cypress and St. Nicholas avenues, adjacent to the Arena pool hall, just before 1:15 a.m.

He was brought by private means to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he later died of his injuries.

According to the 104th Precinct Detective Squad, Delgado was taken into custody Thursday and is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court.

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Suspect arrested in string of LIC, Astoria restaurant break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

One man’s burglary spree has come to an end, as officers of the 114th and 108th precincts worked together to arrest him for allegedly breaking into businesses overnight in Long Island City and Astoria dating back to last June.

According to court records, each time 40-year-old Shameek Dunbar would break into the establishments through either a door or window, and once inside would take money, ranging from $20 to $1,000, from cash registers.

Dunbar was arrested on Feb. 25 at his home in Queensbridge when forensics evidence linked him to one of four burglaries in the confines of the 114th Precinct, a police source said.

Subsequent investigation linked him to seven more burglaries, these in the confines of the 108th Precinct.

“This was fantastic detective work,” said Capt. John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct. “It was good working together from both precincts.”

Criminal complaints detailed nine of the 11 incidents:

  • Between June 10, 2014, at 9 p.m. and June 11 at 9:30 a.m., Dunbar broke into Andres Pizza located at 25-19 40th Ave. through a glass door. He is observed through surveillance footage cutting wires on a cash register, worth about $450. The store owner alleges that $20 was taken from the register.
  • On Oct. 24, 2014, Dunbar broke into Tequila Sunrise located at 40-01 Northern Blvd. through a side window. The owner alleged $350 was taken from a cash register.
  • Between Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3:12 a.m., the suspect entered Barista at 11-11 44th Rd. through a front glass door. Surveillance footage shows Dunbar throwing a rock at the door. He later took money.
  • On Jan. 2 between 3:04 and 4:18 a.m. Dunbar entered Hu Department Store located at 47-09 Northern Blvd. through the front door. Although the store owner alleged $1,000 was missing from the register, Dunbar said he tried to open the register but couldn’t and then left.
  • Between Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 4 a.m. Dunbar entered a business at 47-29 Vernon Blvd. through a window and surveillance shows him trying to pry open a register.
  • On Jan. 24 between 3:35 a.m. and 4:05 a.m. Dunbar broke into Pachanga Patterson located at 33-17 31st Ave. The store owner alleges $200 was missing from a cash register.
  • Between Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. and Feb. 1 at 3:17 a.m. the suspect broke into Petey’s Burger at 46-46 Vernon Blvd. through a side window. Surveillance footage shows him prying open a register and taking money.
  • Between Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m. and Feb. 13 at 11:45 a.m., the suspect entered Breadbox Café at 47-11 11th St. through a door. He the used a screwdriver to pry open a register and took $300.
  • Between Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 22 at 3:45 a.m. the suspect entered Mix Nail Salon at 44-68 21st St. through the glass front door. Surveillance video shows the suspect entering the location, prying open a register and taking money.

Dunbar is facing charges of burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglar tools, petit larceny, and for one of the incidents a charge of grand larceny.

He is due back in Queens Criminal Court on April 9. 

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Seven arrested in Ridgewood, Maspeth massage parlor busts: police


| a.giudice@timesnewsweekly.com

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The NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division arrested seven people at four different massage parlors in Maspeth and Ridgewood for allegedly not being licensed to perform massages and for offering sexual acts to clients.

The arrests were made on March 5 at 66-47 Grand Ave., 66-49 Grand Ave., 65-50 Grand Ave. and 52-01 Metropolitan Ave., police reported. According to detectives, none of the locations had the proper state Department of Education licenses to perform massage therapy.

At the 66-47 Grand Ave. location, law enforcement officials said an undercover detective was offered a massage and sexual intercourse by the defendant Chin Fen Lee, 52, for a sum of $140.

Police identified Liu Jia-Jia, 33, Li Hai Fang, 33, and Carol Hong, 29, as the defendants at the 66-49 Grand Ave. location. Jia-Jia reportedly offered an undercover detective a massage for $60, followed by an offer to perform a sexual act on the detective for $80 extra. Fang reportedly offered to perform a massage on an undercover detective for the sum of $60, and offered and agreed to perform a sexual act on the detective in exchange for an additional $40.

Hong was reported to have offered the undercover detective a full-body massage for a sum of $60. While Hong did not offer to perform a sexual act on the detective, she admitted that she did not have a license to perform massages.

Police said one defendant — Ning Hao, 34, who worked at the 65-50 Grand Ave. location — reportedly agreed to perform a massage on an undercover detective for $60, then offered to perform a sexual act on the undercover detective for an additional $100. At the same location, Guo Lan, 24, reportedly offered to perform a full body massage on an undercover detective for $60. Lan admitted she lacked the proper license to perform massages, police said.

Meihua Piao, 51, from the 52-01 Metropolitan Ave. location, allegedly offered an undercover detective a massage and sexual act in exchange for a sum of $60, police reported.

Hong, Lee and Hao were brought into court on March 6 for a pre-arraignment and are expected back in court on April 14, authorities said.

Jia-Jia, Piao, Hao, Lee and Fang were charged with one count each of prostitution and unauthorized practice of profession. Hong and Lan were each charged with one count of unauthorized practice of profession.

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Man dead after losing control of car on Belt Parkway


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


A Rosedale man is dead after losing control of his car while traveling on the Belt Parkway early Sunday morning, according to police.

The NYPD responded to a call at about 3:10 a.m. of an accident near the Belt Parkway and Rockaway Boulevard. Upon arriving to the scene, police determined that 29-year-old Robert Walker was driving his car westbound on the Belt Parkway when he lost control of it and struck a roadway barrier, authorities said.

Walker was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died a short time later.

The NYPD Collision Investigation Squad was investigating the accident.

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Suspect wanted in burglary of Flushing auto repair shop


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

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

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

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

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

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


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

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

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

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

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

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

Rear view of the first suspect.

Rear view of the first suspect.

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

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

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


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

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

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

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

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

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

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

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

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

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

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

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More than 120 bank customers in Queens targeted in identity theft scam


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com


Police are investigating a spree of identity thefts in the Flushing area that has hit more than 120 customers of a local bank targeting ATM card personal identification numbers and using these to steal money from their accounts.

The thefts affecting Flushing Bank customers’ accounts began in October 2014 according to the president and CEO of the bank, John Buran, who said all the account holders were reimbursed.

Cops suspect thieves installed a skimming device on three Flushing Bank ATMs in the 109th and 111th precinct areas, which cover neighborhoods like Flushing and Bayside, respectively, but their investigation has yet to reveal if these suspicions are correct.

Buran said the bank began working with the NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force in October shortly after the first few incidents came to light.

“This is more than just a Flushing Bank problem. It’s a national problem,” Buran said. “The police informed us that there is a ring going around hitting many banks. The authorities have been unable to find who’s involved in this ring.”

The NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force is investigating the case but police said they have no leads.

“Right now the only thing we can put out there is ATM tips. We don’t know if it’s a rogue employee, someone hacking the system or whatever else. We just don’t know,” a police source said.

“We will continue to work with the NYPD and other law-enforcement agencies to enhance security for all of our customers,” Buran said.

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One dead after car crashes into support pillar for A train in Far Rockaway


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A 28-year-old man died after his car struck the support pillar for the elevated A subway line in Far Rockaway Saturday night, police said.

Cops found the driver, Jeffery McDonald of Far Rockaway, about 8 p.m. unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his body at Rockaway Freeway and Beach 25th Street, according to police. He was taken to Saint John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

McDonald had been driving westbound on Rockaway Freeway in a white Lexus when he collided into the support pillar of the elevated train, cops said.

Police were investigating the crash.

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Man arrested for shooting friend from Italy in Astoria Park: DA


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Updated Tuesday, Feb. 3, 9:34 a.m. 

An Astoria man killed a friend who was visiting from Italy during an argument in a neighborhood park Saturday afternoon, shooting him in the back of the head, officials said.

“The defendant is accused of taking the life of a friend who was seeking his help in starting a new life in this country,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

William Klinger, 42, of Rome, Italy, and his friend Alexander Bonich, 50, were inside Astoria Park, located at 19th Street and 23rd Road on Saturday afternoon when they began to argue, Brown said.

Klinger tried to walk away when Bonich allegedly told him to stop, but Klinger ignored him. That’s when Bonich shot him in the back in the head, the district attorney’s office said. Klinger fell to the ground and his pal shot him once more in the head.

According to published reports, Bonich killed Klinger, a Communist historian and fellow Croatian national, over a failed real estate deal in Italy.

Bonich then allegedly ditched the clothing he been wearing along with his weapon, ammunition and spent shells. He got rid of the antique revolver he used to kill his friend by tossing it in the East River, reports said.

Cops found Klinger’s body about 2:30 p.m. that day near the park’s pool, police said. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Bonich, an Astoria resident, is currently being held pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence, according to the district attorney’s office. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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Police officers honored for saving man’s life in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's office

Two local police officers were honored Thursday for their heroic actions that saved a life in Long Island City last month.

Police Officers William Caldarera and Corey Sarro of the 108th Precinct were given a proclamation on behalf of the City Council for saving the life of a 66-year-old man who was found motionless in front of LaGuardia Community College in December.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, presented the honor to Caldarera and Sarro.

On Dec. 16, the officers saw a crowd of people gathering around a man lying motionless on the sidewalk in front of the college. Caldarera approached the elderly man and discovered he did not have a heartbeat and was not breathing.

Sarro then began to conduct chest compressions, while an ambulance was requested. Using a defibrillator provided by a public safety officer, Caldarera and Sarro attached the machine to the man’s chest, according to police. After a second shock, the man’s heartbeat returned and he began breathing again.

The man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition.

Although both Caldarera and Sarro had experience with CPR while off duty, this incident was their first time having to use a defibrillator.

Both officers said it felt great once they were able to revive the man and get him to breathe again.

“There is really no feeling to describe it,” Sarro said at the time. “It was a relief to be able to save him.”

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Police save pup struck by car on Grand Central Parkway


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 21 12:35 p.m.

One pit bull mix puppy, who found himself on the Grand Central Parkway Monday morning, proved that cats are not the only ones with extra lives thanks to help from local police.

Police Officers Melissa Mezzoiuso and George Morinia-Blocker of the 110th Precinct responded to a call at 8:21 a.m. of a “vicious dog” wandering in the westbound lane of the Grand Central Parkway, near the Long Island Expressway, according to police.

Upon getting to the scene, the officers saw the dog sitting motionless on the highway. Morinia-Blocker then maneuvered the car to keep Mezzoiuso safe as she got out of the car and went toward the puppy, who was not “vicious,” but instead scared and injured.

Photo courtesy of ASPCA

Mezzoiuso then picked up the dog, who could not move on his own, and carried him to the side of the road. The officers then placed the dog in their squad car and took him to the ASPCA office in Queens. It was then decided to take the dog to Animal Care & Control of NYC in Manhattan.

The 110th Precinct later tweeted that the almost 6-month-old dog, dubbed “Rocky” by Mezzoiuso and Morina-Blocker, had been struck by a car and had broken its leg.

The puppy has since been transferred to the ASPCA Animal Hospital in Manhattan.

According to the ASPCA, “Rocky” is resting comfortably at the hospital where he underwent surgery for the broken leg Tuesday. His fracture has since been fixed and he will continue to receive “around-the-clock care” and is expected to make a full recovery.

“We urge anyone with information about Rocky to please come forward,” an ASPCA spokeswoman said. “Thank you to the officers of the 110th Precinct who rescued a dog in need and brought him to safety at the ASPCA.”

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New Year’s Eve cooking accident caused deadly fire at LeFrak City: officials


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via YouTube/Orest Petrychyn

Updated Friday, Jan. 2, 10:38 a.m.

An unattended pot of soup cooking on a stove sparked a horrific New Year’s Eve fire that left three dead in their LeFrak City apartment and sent flames shooting from the ninth-floor balcony, officials said.

The blaze was reported by a call to 911 at 11:46 p.m. on Wednesday and quickly went to a second alarm.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the fire at the 16-story apartment tower at 96-02 57th Ave. in Corona. After firefighters battled their way through a smoke-filled hallway, they found two women and a man unconscious and unresponsive in Apt. 9C.

All three were pronounced dead at area hospitals.

Police identified the victims, all residents of the apartment, as Nadia Donnay, 37, Louise Jean-Charles, 59, and Napolean Michel, 69.

Donnay and Jean-Charles were taken to Elmhurst Hospital. Michel was taken to Forest Hills Hospital.

The family was preparing a traditional Haitian New Year’s Eve soup on the stove that night when it was left unattended, causing the fire, according to officials. The FDNY determined the blaze was accidental and no working smoke alarms were found in the home.

“Right away, we took our jackets and we started knocking on the doors letting people know there’s a fire,” one resident told WCBS TV. “There was smoke all over the place.”

Seven firefighters suffered minor injuries.

According to a LeFrak City Organization spokesman, the building has no fire violations and the apartment was outfitted with smoke detectors as required by law.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the families of those affected,” the spokesman said. “A smoke detector rider attesting to the presence of this life safety equipment was signed and initialed by the tenant in 2012.”


A YouTube video posted of the fire shows flames shooting from the ninth floor balcony.

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Professional boxer arrested for brutal killing of Jamaica woman


| slicata@queenscourier.com

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A professional boxer and former Golden Gloves champ was arrested Wednesday night and charged with stabbing and beating his ex-girlfriend to death near her Jamaica home two days earlier, police said.

Trevis Hall, 28, was charged with murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the brutal slaying of Margarita Rivera, 31, a mother of two, police said.

Rivera was found fatally injured on Monday at about 2:30 p.m. in front of 107-22 Watson Place, just down the street from her residence, authorities said.

She had been stabbed several times in the head and chest, police said, and had also been beaten in the head, according to a witness, who told cops someone had struck Rivera with a pipe. Both weapons were recovered by police at the scene.

Rivera was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Hall, a native of Guyana, was a 2009 Golden Gloves champ. He’s boxed in eight pro matches since 2010 and as recently as Sept. 20 of this year.

According to published reports, Hall, who had recently split with Rivera, was found by cops behind a dumpster, unconscious and intoxicated about 10 miles away from the murder scene. He was also taken to Jamiaca Hospital, where he was questioned by detectives.

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