Tag Archives: Police

Woman fatally struck by MTA bus in Jackson Heights


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 4, 4:40 p.m.

A woman was struck and killed by an MTA bus in Jackson Heights Monday evening.

The victim, identified as 25-year-old Martha Tibillin-Guamug, of the Bronx, was struck by the city bus at about 5:55 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and 74th Street, said police. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the scene and her identity has not yet been released.

The NYPD is investigating the accident.

 

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Senator Charles Schumer introduces ‘Avonte’s Law’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Senator Charles Schumer's Office

A day after autistic teen Avonte Oquendo was laid to rest, one politician announced legislation that could help prevent a similar tragedy from happening.

Avonte, 14, was last seen at the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City on October 4 when he ran out of the school. Almost four months later his remains were found washed up in College Point.

There have been conflicting reports on how the Rego Park teen, who cannot verbally communicate and is supposed to be supervised at all times, managed to leave the school.

Senator Charles Schumer announced Sunday he will be introducing a bill called “Avonte’s Law” which will create and fund a program providing voluntary tracking devices and increase support services for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or any other developmental conditions in which bolting is common. The program would only include children whose parents choose to use the devices.

“The tragic end to the search for Avonte Oquendo clearly demonstrated that we need to do more to protect children with autism who are at risk of running away,” said Schumer. “Thousands of families face the awful reality each and every day that their child with autism may run away. Making voluntary tracking devices available will help put parents at ease, and most importantly, help prevent future tragedies like Avonte’s.”

The bill would create a new grant program within the Department of Justice allowing the agency to award funds to local law enforcement agencies or organizations wanting to provide tracking devices for children with Autism. The funds would also help provide training and other resources to schools allowing them to be prepared to react to a situation like Avonte’s.

The new program would be modeled from the federal program already being used to help track seniors with Alzheimer’s.

“Avonte’s Law” will authorize $10 million in federal money to purchase the voluntary tracking devices and training for parents, schools and local law enforcement. The program would be run by the police department or other local law enforcement and would provide training on how to use and maintain the devices. 

The tracking devices could be worn as non-tampering wristwatches, anklets or be clipped onto belt loops or shoelaces. The devices could also be woven into specially designed clothing.

“The tragic fate of Avonte Oquendo hit home with parents in New York and across the country,” said Liz Feld, president of autism advocacy organization Autism Speaks. “We need to raise awareness and increase education so that tragedies like this never happen again.”

 

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Rego Park man has heart attack after complaint about neighbor’s dog


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Police, who were initially called to for a noise complaint in Rego Park, sprang into action to save the complainant from a heart attack.

Cops responded to Felix Royzman’s complaint about a neighbor’s dog at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, when Royzman started to have chest pains and collapsed to the ground in cardiac arrest.

Officers responding to the complaint started chest compression on Royzman, and called for EMS.

EMS transported the man to North Shore Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital, where is in stable condition.

The man was lodging a complaint about his  upstairs neighbor’s dog, according to reports, which allegedly makes loud noises as the pet walks through the house.

 

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Cops looking for South Richmond Hill attempted burglary suspect


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Video surveillance

Police are looking for a suspect in connection with an attempted burglary of a South Richmond Hill home.

A male perpetrator walked through the yard of a residence near 132nd Street and 101st Avenue, and tried to open the garage on January 17 at about 2 a.m., cops said.

But the home alarm activated and the man fled, authorities said.

Video surveillance that the NYPD released shows the man walking near the side of the house.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

 

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Nearly $7,000 in cash stolen from Maspeth church


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

A perpetrator stole nearly $7,000 in cash from Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Maspeth, cops said.

The money was taken from a car in front the church near 56th Road. The suspect took $6,900 in cash and $1,300 in checks, according to police.

The vehicle was being fixed at the time of the crime, and upon further investigation police learned that the money inside belonged to the church, authorities said.

If you have any information relating to the above incident please contact the 104th Precinct Detective Squad (718) 386-3004.

The church declined to comment.

 

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Attorney postpones $25M lawsuit as Avonte Oquendo’s family awaits test results


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Updated 2:52

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA, TERENCE CULLEN, ANGY ALTAMIRANO AND MAGGIE HAYES

As tests are underway to determine if the human remains and clothing found in College Point belong to missing teen Avonte Oquendo, the family’s lawyer has decided to hold back on the lawsuit until the results are known.

The search began when a passerby found an arm and legs Thursday near Powell Cove Boulevard and Endeavor Place about 7:15 p.m.

Police also found jaw, shoulder, collar and pelvic bones, ribs and several vertebrae, the NYPD said. Another arm and a skull were additionally found over the weekend. As of Monday, the search is continuing at the scene in College Point. 

Police said most of the body has been recovered.

A pair of size 16 jeans and size 5 ½ Air Jordan sneakers were found with the remains, matching those belonging to Avonte, said David Perecman, the family’s lawyer.

Authorities also recovered a white shirt with gray stripes similar to what Avonte was wearing when he went missing, according to police.

Avonte’s family is still remaining hopeful, even though the developing investigation have been “weakening” for them, said Perecman.

“They’re a strong group so they’re doing the best they can,” said Perecman. “A small window has opened up of recognition of the grim reality. But they are still holding on hope.”

Perecman said they hope to have the test results by Wednesday.

He initially said on Friday that he would be filing a lawsuit Monday, focused against the Department of Education and school safety, seeking $25 million. Yet now he said he will be holding off with the lawsuit until the test results come in because the “nature of the lawsuit could change.”

The autistic teen was last seen at the Center Boulevard School at 1-50 51st Ave. in Long Island City around 12:38 p.m. on Oct. 4. The school is just across from the East River.

His mother, Vanessa Fontaine, said her 14-year-old son is afraid of the water and thought he “wouldn’t go near it.”

There have been conflicting reports on how the Rego Park teen, who cannot verbally communicate and is supposed to be supervised at all times, managed to leave the school.

 

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Cops release sketch of Jamaica shooting suspect


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A dispute between two men in Jamaica Sunday ended with one man shot and the other fleeing from the scene, police said.

The argument occurred about 6 a.m. on Guy Brewer Boulevard near 109th Avenue, according to the NYPD.

Following the verbal dispute, the suspect shot the 25-year-old victim in the left shoulder, then fled in an unknown direction in a black Q35 Infiniti, police said.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the NYPD said.

Police describe the suspect as a male black in his twenties, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and 175 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a black jacket, black and white baseball cap with the letter A on it, black pants, white T-shirt and white sneakers.

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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Graffiti duo busted in Richmond Hill


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police busted two vandals in Richmond Hill on Saturday.

Sergeant Jimmy Conwall, Detective Christopher Diaz and P.O. Anthony D’Ascanio, dressed in plain clothes, spotted two people sitting on a subway bench at the Jamaica Avenue and 111th Street station around 1 a.m. on Jan. 11.

The pair, Tommy Martinez and Jeremy Cautin, was sitting near “fresh graffiti vandalism” on a J-train car, police said.

Diaz saw a knapsack stuffed with spray paint cans next to Martinez, 19, of Brooklyn. He tried to close the bag as the officers approached, according to police.

Diaz then saw Cautin, 21, of Richmond Hill, wearing one green latex glove and a spray paint can sticking out of his jacket pocket.

Later, cops determined the fresh graffiti belonged to the two. Cautin acted as a lookout while Martinez tagged “FEAL” on the subway car, 10 feet wide and over three feet high.

They were both arrested and charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti, 15 counts of possession of graffiti instrument and criminal trespassing.

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Cops: Armed robbery suspects tie up Sunnyside cell phone store workers


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Two suspects tied up the employees of a Sunnyside cell phone store during an armed robbery last month before taking off with cash and electronics, police said.

The incident occurred about 9 p.m. on Dec. 19 at a T-Mobile store on Queens Boulevard near 46th Street, according to the NYPD.

The two male suspects entered the business after it was closed, displayed guns and ordered employees to the rear of the store where they were zip-tied, police said. They then removed cash and electronics, and fled the store.

No injuries were reported, the NYPD 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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Retired correction officer fatally shot in Queens Village


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

corrections 002

Updated Monday, Jan. 13, 4:55 p.m. 

A 50-year-old retired correction officer is dead after he was shot in Queens Village Friday morning following a domestic dispute with two other correction officers, according to published reports and police.

The shooting occurred about 4:30 a.m. at 108th Avenue near 227th Street, the NYPD said.

The victim, identified by police as Jeffrey Ragland, of Jamaica, was taken to Long Island Jewish Hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest and pronounced dead, cops said.

Ragland, who formerly worked for the Department of Correction, was killed following an argument with two current correction officers, according to published reports.

Sources told the New York Post the dispute involved a “love triangle” between Ragland, his estranged girlfriend and her new boyfriend, and it was the boyfriend who pulled the trigger.

Police said Friday a man and a woman were currently in custody.

As of the Monday afternoon, police said no charges had been brought in the homicide, but the investigation is still ongoing.

According to the New York Daily News, the boyfriend told police that he shot Ragland in self defense, only after Ragland pulled a gun on him.

 

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Cops bust deli burglars trying to hide on roof


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD apprehended five burglary suspects during a Kew Garden Hills deli heist, who almost got away with thousands in cash.

Police, responding to a report of a burglary at JK Deli, at the corner of 71st Avenue and Kissena Boulevard, about 3 a.m. Friday, noticed the ceiling of the deli and a damaged ATM machine, the NYPD said.

One of the officers immediately went up to the roof of the deli through a hole in the ceiling, while he called for backup from the Emergency Service Unit to secure the perimeter of the store, police said.

Once on the roof, the officer saw four men trying to hide on one of the roof’s side walls, the NYPD said.

The suspects then ran in separate directions. One suspect was apprehended in an elevator of an adjoining building, police said. Two suspects were apprehended by the Emergency Service Unit from trees adjacent to the building, and the fourth suspect was apprehended by the officer after a brief struggle.

No officers or suspects were injured.

A fifth man involved in the burglary who was waiting in a nearby parked vehicle was also arrested, police said.

Following the arrests, officers recovered over $12,000 in cash the suspects allegedly removed from the ATM, 3,518 lottery scratch-off tickets, 162 packs of cigarettes and 49 boxes of cigars, cops said. They also recovered hammers, a pry bar, drill, flashlight and a propane torch in connection to the burglary.

Robert Martin, 27, Jose Rosario, 25, Christopher Aulet, 21, Sean Martin, 19, and an unidentified 15-year-old suspect have all been charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglar’s tools, the NYPD said. Sean Martin has also been charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Anyone with information in regards to similar incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

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De Blasio swears in Bill Bratton as NYPD Commissioner


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYC Mayor's Office Flickr

The city’s Police Department has officially changed hands.

Mayor Bill de Blasio publicly administered the oath of office to Bratton, 66, at Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon after he was officially sworn in as NYPD Commissioner during a private ceremony at Police Headquarters just after midnight on Jan 1.

Speaking before administrating the oath, de Blasio declared that the City of New York was in good hands with Bratton, dubbing him “the greatest police leader anywhere in the land.”

“Bill Bratton at his essence is a progressive crime fighter,” the mayor said.

This is Bratton’s second time as the city’s top cop. He previously led the NYPD from 1994 to 1996 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Bratton replaces Raymond Kelly, who had been commissioner since 2002.

Bratton was also the Los Angeles Police Department’s chief from 2002 to 2009, and served as the Boston police commissioner before first coming to New York.

During his time with the NYPD, Bratton created tactics that are credited with cutting the steep crime rate in half, including COMPSTAT and real-time crime analysis.

“Who says you can’t come home again? And it is home and it’s great to be back,” Bratton said after taking Thursday’s oath.

Bratton promised under his watch policing in the city would be done constitutionally, respectively and with more collaboration.

He also vowed to bring more trust between New Yorkers and the NYPD, asking why in a city where the police have done so much to keep their citizens safe, “people don’t feel good about a [police] department.”

Bratton, who was long-rumored to be de Blasio’s pick along with NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro, was appointed by de Blasio on Dec. 5.

De Blasio ran for mayor on the promise to reform the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice, and again pledged to “reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy” in his inauguration speech Wednesday.

Though Bratton promised to “heal the wounds” caused by stop-and-frisk at his appointment announcement, critics are concerned over de Blasio’s selection of a commissioner who they call the “widely-credited ‘architect’ of stop-and-frisk.”

New Yorkers Against Bratton, who made the statement, planned a protest Thursday outside of Police Headquarters, following de Blasio’s swearing-in of Bratton.

“We are committed to opposing Bratton’s return as NYPD Commissioner. We ask that the mayor remove Bratton immediately and work with the community in selecting a commissioner that will signify a break from the past-not a continuation of it,” the group said in an email announcing the protest.

-With additional reporting by Maggie Hayes

 

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7-year-old boy dies in East Elmhurst fire


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News

A New Year’s Day fire in East Elmhurst left a 7-year-old boy dead and a 13-year-old with second-degree burns, police said.

The blaze broke out about 9 a.m. Wednesday at a home on 90th Street near 31st Avenue, when sparks from a fireplace ignited nearby blankets and pillows, then spread to the furniture, according to the Fire Department. It was under control about an hour later.

The FDNY said the fireplace didn’t have a spark screen and there were no working smoke detectors in the house.

The 7-year-old, identified by police as Christopher Miller, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 13-year-old, who, according to published reports, is his older brother, was taken to Cornell Hospital with second-degree burns, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police said an adult family member suffered smoke inhalation in the fire.

Three firefighters also sustained minor injuries, according to the FDNY.

 

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NYPD to hold free public document shredding event at Queens Center Mall


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Courtesy of NYPD

Looking to help start the New Year on the right foot? The NYPD is holding a free document shredding public event to make sure personal information does not get into the wrong hands.

The NYPD’s Crime Prevention Section will be holding the event at Queens Center Mall on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the intersection of 59th Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst under the JCPenney sign. Police will help the public shred documents containing any personal or sensitive information for free.

Participants will also be able to bring their old hard drives to the event and have them destroyed. During the event you could also have your electronic devices registered with the NYPD Operation ID Program.

 

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Police: Suspects wanted for Flushing bank robbery


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

Police are looking for two suspects who allegedly robbed a bank at gunpoint Friday night.

About 7:10 p.m., the pair entered a TD Bank on Main Street in Flushing. The first suspect took out a firearm, announced a robbery and ordered a bank employee to the ground, police said. The second jumped over a counter, took $142 and both suspects fled.

One robber is male, around 6 feet tall, and was wearing a blue-hooded wind breaker with an “NY” logo, black jeans and black gloves. His face was covered by a scarf. The second suspect is also male, around 5 feet 10 inches tall with a dark complexion and medium build, police said. He was wearing a hat, sunglasses, a dark jacket, black gloves and dark jeans with dark-colored boots.

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.