Tag Archives: Police

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 cell phone 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, and 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

HANDCUFFS 2

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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Man struck in hit-and-run at McDonald’s drive-thru


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Google Maps

Updated Monday, Nov. 24, 11:00 a.m.

A man, who was apparently intoxicated, was struck at a McDonald’s in Rosedale early Saturday morning, police said.

At about 4 a.m., a white Nissan Maxima hit the man, who was drunk and fell on the roadway of the drive-thru of the fast food restaurant on Merrick Boulevard near 244th Street, cops said. The vehicle then fled the scene.

The 48-year-old victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is currently in stable condition.

Police are still looking for the Nissan’s driver.

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Three men in serious condition after car gets wedged under truck in East Elmhurst


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TrafficAdvisory

Three men were seriously injured early Friday morning when their car crashed and became wedged underneath the rear of a tractor trailer in East Elmhurst, according to police.

The black Volkswagen, holding a 19-year-old driver and his two passengers, was heading eastbound on Astoria Boulevard about 4:30 a.m. when it rear-ended a truck near 111th Street and got stuck under the back end of the trailer, cops said.

The driver and passengers were removed from the vehicle by emergency personnel. The driver and a 19-year-old passenger were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, and a 31-year-old passenger was taken to New York Hospital Queens, police said. All three men are still listed in serious condition.

The truck driver was not injured and the cause of the crash is still under investigation, according to police.

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Police push for residents in Whitestone and other areas to lock up their cars


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the 109th Precinct

A group of people walked through Whitestone at midnight, checking for unlocked car doors as they went through the area. They found 62 open vehicles. In them were electronic devices, designer glasses and $3,000 in cash. But the group wasn’t there to steal anything. They were cops urging people to lock their cars.

“We did what the bad guys are doing,” Detective Kevin O’Donnell said.

The 109th Precinct is undertaking a midnight prowl to check for unlocked cars to raise community awareness about leaving their cars unlocked and leaving valuables inside. And they began with Whitestone on Oct. 24. The initiative started after police received calls from victims who had their belongings stolen from unlocked cars, according to O’Donnell. Police plan on doing the same thing in other neighborhoods in the precinct.

“There are people coming to neighborhoods like Whitestone just to check for unlocked cars and steal whatever they can,” O’Donnell said recently during a Queensborough Hill Civic Association meeting. He urged residents to lock their doors even if their neighborhood – like Whitestone – is generally safe.

Cops say they are careful not to touch anything inside the cars. If a car is unlocked, the police will lock it up and then put a piece of paper that looks like a ticket under a windshield wiper. The leaflet instructs people to make sure their doors are locked.

“There have been many arrests all over the [109th Precinct] for this stuff,” O’Donnell said, noting that police have arrested two suspects so far. “Hopefully we prevented people getting their stuff stolen.”

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Real estate roundup: Property Markets Group receives $130M for planned LIC rental tower


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Markets Group 

Property Markets Group gets $130M financing for LIC tower

“Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group has locked down more than $130 million in construction financing for its planned 44-story rental tower in Long Island City, property records filed with the city today show.” Read more [The Real Deal]

New sushi restaurant to open on Vernon

“A new sushi restaurant is opening on Vernon Blvd. The restaurant will be located at 46-44 Vernon Blvd between Alobar and  Petey’s Burger.” Read more [LIC Post]

Homeless shelter sparks heated debate at Police Precinct meeting

“The Westway Motor Inn, which was converted into a full-time homeless shelter in July, was at the center of some heated discussion at this month’s 114th Police Precinct meeting on Tuesday. Several residents claimed that there had been an uptick in crime near the 71-11 Astoria Blvd. shelter and that the quality of life for nearby residents is on the decline.” Read more [Astoria Post] 

Suspect wanted in connection to 21 Queens, Bronx commercial break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted in connection with a string of citywide commercial burglaries.

In a total of 21 incidents, starting in June in Rosedale and most recently occurring on Oct. 20 in the Bronx, at least one suspect broke into commercial establishments via the roof, side or rear doors, or ventilation ducts while the business were closed, according authorities. Money from the cash register and broken-into ATMs, as well as miscellaneous items, such as cigarettes, were taken during the thefts.

In Queens, the burglaries have occurred in Laurelton, Broad Channel, Jamaica, Astoria, Queens Village, Bayside, Hollis, Glen Oaks, College Point, Richmond Hill and Flushing. The other break-ins all happened in the Bronx.

The NYPD has released surveillance photos of the male suspect wanted in an incident on Sept. 12 in Richmond Hill. During this burglary, at about 8 p.m. the suspect entered 88-24 Van Wyck Expressway via the roof, damaged the security system but did not remove any property, police said.

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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Fake home health service rep steals from elderly woman in LIC: cops


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect they say posed as a home health service representative and stole from a 75-year-old woman’s home in Long Island City.

On Oct. 13 the suspect, described as a 50-year-old woman, was allowed into the victim’s apartment, located inside the Queensbridge Houses at 40-09 12th St., at about 8:20 a.m. after posing as a representative from the victim’s home health service company, authorities said.

Once inside the apartment the suspect took the victim’s pocketbook and fled, according to police.

The NYPD has released a surveillance photo of the suspect.

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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