Tag Archives: Police

Queens precinct ramps up speeding enforcement to meet ‘Vision Zero’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Lead-footed drivers in the 111th Precinct will have to ease up on the gas soon or get a ticket.

The precinct plans to ramp up speeding enforcement and make sure motorists yield to pedestrians, Deputy Inspector Jason Huerta said.

The push is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero within the next 10 years. De Blasio’s plan also calls for a reduction in the citywide speed limit from 30 to 25 mph and stiffer penalties on reckless taxi and livery drivers.

Speeding and failing to yield make up 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities in the city, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

Officers will be closely eyeing major area intersections like Northern and Bell Blvds. and Springfield Blvd. and Horace Harding Expwy., Huerta said.

The 111th Precinct  covers Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Hollis Hills and Fresh Meadows. It is one of many citywide precincts to beef up traffic enforcement in order to reach the mayor’s goals.

There have been no pedestrian deaths within the precinct this year, Huerta said.

However, a 2-year-old boy was hit by a car Monday afternoon in Auburndale after he darted onto 196th St. near Northern Blvd., police said, though he is expected to recover.

“They think the child is going to pull through,” Huerta said. “Obviously, it’s a tragedy.”

 

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Honda Accords, Nissan Maximas targets of tire and rim thefts: 102nd Precinct


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

In the past two to three months, police from the 102nd Precinct, representing Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and north Ozone Park,  have seen an increase in rims and tires being stolen from late model Honda Accords and Nissan Maximas.

In high-theft areas, cops said to etch the Vehicle Identification Number on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lids to make it difficult for thieves to market any stolen car parts.

Cops advise drivers to always roll up windows and lock the car, no matter where it is parked, and also remove valuables and GPS mounts. They also recommend parking in front of houses that have cameras.

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Officer Quwella Brown, quwella.brown@nypd.org or 718-805-3217.

 

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South Queens precinct sees increase in green dot scam


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The 102nd Precinct has seen a rise in a new green dot scam that is costing people thousands of dollars.

Scammers are calling up potential victims, pretending to be from a government agency such as the IRS, INS or a utility company and are telling residents they owe a certain amount of money, police said.

The victim is then told if they don’t pay the money within a certain amount of time, they will be arrested or deported. The scammer instructs the victim to purchase a reloadable debit card, such as a Green Dot MoneyPak, and provide him or her with the transaction numbers located on the back of the card.

Police said true utility companies and government agencies would not contact you demanding immediate payment via the Green Dot MoneyPak.

For more information, please contact 102nd Precinct Crime Prevention Officer Quwella Brown at quwella.brown@nypd.org or 718-805-3217.

 

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Police: Three suspected armed robbers tied to two other Queens crimes


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

The three suspects wanted for robbing a Queens Village hair salon at gunpoint last week have been tied to two other store robberies in the borough, police said.

Last Saturday, the trio, each wielding a gun, forced clerks at a 22-06 Hempstead Ave. salon to the back of the store about 7:25 p.m., authorities said. They stole money, cell phones and hair products before fleeing.

Police said the suspects are also responsible for robbing two St. Albans delis, located two blocks from each other.

The first incident took place last Wednesday at 113-27 Farmers Blvd., while the second happened Sunday at 114-25 Farmers Blvd.

Both times, the suspects left with an undetermined amount of money, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). 

 

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Cops seek suspect in armed Jamaica store robbery


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man who robbed a Jamaica store at gunpoint last Wednesday.

The suspect, wearing a ski mask, whipped out a gun and forced a Mario’s 99 Cent Store employee to the ground, before taking $500 from his wallet and $50 from the counter, police said.

He entered the 108-10 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. store Jan. 29 about 5:30 a.m., emerging from a dark-colored SUV, according to authorities.

No other injuries were reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).

 

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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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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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