Tag Archives: Queens Courier

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jailed Queens man who says he didn’t commit murder wins retrial

A Queens man who spent eight of his 38 years in jail for a murder he says he didn’t commit won a retrial Wednesday. Tejpal Singh’s murder conviction was set aside by Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise after two key witnesses recanted their claim that he gunned down 19-year-old Kamaljit Singh in 1996. During five weeks of hearings Tejpal’s attorney, Stephen Murphy, grilled Ramjit “Rocky” Singh, who claimed at Tejpal’s trial that he was the drive-by shooter. Read More: New York Post

 

Former Yankees pitcher Pavano victim of extortion attempt, family says

Former Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano was the victim of an extortion attempt in which a former classmate tried to get money and an SUV from the right-hander by threatening to reveal information about his personal life, Pavano’s family claims. Read More: New York Post

 

300-pound hero flight passenger said he had no choice when he took down crazy captain

David Gonzalez boarded a plane to Las Vegas on Tuesday morning and managed to do something that very, very few people have ever done. Gonzalez put the pilot in a choke hold while the aircraft was in midair. But Gonzalez, of Henryville, Pa., said he had no other choice. The pilot was acting so erratically that the plane’s crew asked for passengers’ help to subdue him, the Pocono Record reported Thursday. Gonzalez, a former New York City corrections officer, reflected on his experience aboard JetBlue Flight 191. He said he was happy no one got hurt and that he was trying to deal as best he could with being thrust overnight into the national media spotlight. Read More: New York Post

 

Off-duty cop driving wrong way killed in fiery crash in Bronx

An off-duty Mount Vernon cop, driving the wrong way on the New England Thruway, was killed in a fiery crash when he slammed head-on into a tractor-trailer in the Bronx early this morning, authorities said. Reginald Velez, 29, was driving south in the northbound center lane in his Lexus sedan near exit 11 when he plowed into the rig at about 2:35 a.m., officials said. The Lexus immediately burst into flames. Read More: New York Post

 

Cop accidentally shoots woman during Brooklyn drug raid, sources say

A police officer accidentally discharged his weapon during a drug raid in Brooklyn and struck a woman – leaving her in critical condition, police sources said. Brooklyn South Narcotics officers were searching a third floor apartment in a building on Clarendon Road near Nostrand Avenue when an officer’s gun accidentally went off and shot through the floor, striking a 25-year-old woman in the residence below. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-club owner turns down no-jail plea for Manhattan bar brawl with Prince of Monaco

Royal jaw-buster Adam Hock turned down a no-jail plea in a Manhattan courtroom today — insisting he’ll go to trial to prove he was the victim of “international bar brawlers” in his flashy February fight with the Prince of Monaco. “We have information that these four individuals are known bar brawlers,” Hock’s new lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, insisted after a brief court appearance today, referring to Prince Pierre Casiraghi and the three royal pals Hock is charged with also decking. Read More: New York Post

 

Jamaica Dumping Ground Gets A Clean Sweep

The fence and graffiti are still there, but at least one problem is gone — the mounds of trash that filled this illegal dumping site along the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica, Queens. On Wednesday, sanitation workers spent nearly six hours cleaning the well-known dumping ground after NY1 called them about the problem. “It was sick to look at, you know,” said resident Mo Ali. “It’s like our place, you know. It’s getting back to normal.” Read More: NY1

 

Two Hospitalized Following Van Wyck Service Road Accident

Several people were injured Wednesday in a three car pile-up on the Van Wyck service road in South Jamaica, Queens. The accident happened near Linden Boulevard around noon Wednesday. Firefighters used the “jaws of life” to remove one of the passengers, as the rear of the car hung on a bent street sign. One witness said the driver was unresponsive with his foot still on the pedal, spinning the car’s wheels. Read More: NY1

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Carmelo’s inspiring game despite the pain leads Knicks to win

The pain in Reed’s hip was probably a little sharper than the ache in Carmelo Anthony’s groin, the needle a little longer in 1970, the stakes far higher. This wasn’t Game 7 of the Finals with a title on the table, merely Game 51 of a lockout-cleaved season with a chance to gaze the northern side of .500 for the first time since mid January 16. Read More: New York Post

Elevator man electrocuted

An elevator mechanic was electrocuted last night at a Midtown office building, authorities said. The 39-year-old victim was found dead at around 9:30 p.m. in the ninth-floor mechanical room at 1290 Sixth Avenue. “Two engineers found him,” said a building employee who didn’t want to give his name. “He was a very nice guy,” the employee said of the victim, who had worked at the building for five years. Read More: New York Post

Liu’s aide pulling strings

Comptroller John Liu has turned to his top political adviser, Chung Seto, for more than just campaign advice — he has actually let her run much of his office, even though she is not a city employee, The Post has learned. Seto, who orchestrated Liu’s political ascent, has been dealing with everything from redecorating to communications with the White House — and has even referred financial advisers to the city’s pension czar, according to e-mails between Seto and Comptroller’s Office staffers obtained by The Post through a freedom- of-information request. Read More: New York Post

Westchester Man Charged With Ill-Fated Assault In Subway Station

Police have arrested and charged Ryan Beauchamp, a Westchester resident, in connection with a fight last week at a Brooklyn subway station that left another man dead. Beauchamp, 33, is facing two misdemeanor charges of attempted assault and harassment. Investigators say Beauchamp was drunk and got into a fight with Joshua Basin, 20, on Friday night at the L train stop at Bedford Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

JetBlue Captain Charged With Interfering With Crew On NYC Flight To Vegas

A JetBlue captain who acted erratically and had to be restrained onboard a Las Vegas-bound flight from New York was charged Wednesday with interfering with the crew and has been suspended. The captain of Flight 191, 49-year-old Clayton Osbon, seen above, was caught on video yelling about a bomb. A newly released court document says Osbon was still in the cockpit when he rambled about religion, turned off radio controls and dimmed monitors. He allegedly told the co-pilot to take a leap of faith and then stormed out of the cockpit. Read More: NY1

 

 

Trayvon Martin case: Shooter George Zimmerman appears uninjured in police video on night of shooting

Explosive video reveals that George Zimmerman appeared uninjured when he arrived at a Florida police station the night he shot Trayvon Martin — his nose is not broken or bleeding and the back of his head is unmarked by grass or bruising. The Sanford, Fla., Police Department says it did not arrest the Hispanic neighborhood watchman who killed the unarmed black teenager because Trayvon was pounding his head into the ground and Zimmerman shot in self-defense. Read More: Daily News

Days after exposé, Gov. Cuomo bans ‘legal pot’ statewide

Synthetic marijuana — the dangerous designer drug sold as herbal incense — is being banned statewide. The order from the state Health Department will go out Thursday, a week after the Daily News revealed the fake weed is sending young New Yorkers to the emergency room. “We are banning the sale of synthetic marijuana because, no matter what you call it, it’s clear that this is an illegal drug which is putting the health of New Yorkers, especially young adults, at risk,” Gov. Cuomo told The News. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Crews Battle Lower East Side High-Rise Fire

Members of the New York City Fire Department at this hour are battling a high-rise fire on the Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Heavy smoke is pouring out of the top floors of 89 Columbia Street. So far, no injuries have been reported. A cause is not yet known. Read More: NY1

 

Queens couple busted after allegedly locking up and abusing disabled woman, taking her money for over a year

A Queens couple was arrested for locking a partially paralyzed woman in a room from hell for more than a year, denied her food and a took advantage of her financially, said prosecutors. Patrick Donovan, 42 and Mae Washington, 63, were charged for convincing Maureen Murray, 58, to move out of her assisted living facility to save her some money, but instead of giving her a safe place to live they abused her and out of fear, she gave them power of attorney over her finances. Read More: New York Post

Jury announces it is deadlocked on rape chargers against ex-cop Michael Pena

On its fifth day of deliberations, a Manhattan jury has deadlocked on the question of whether drunken, now-ex-cop Michael Pena actually raped a terrified schoolteacher during a random gunpoint attack in Inwood last summer. “It’s a deadlock note,” defense lawyer Ephraim Savitt told reporters shortly after noon. The trial judge, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers, has already repeatedly admonished the jury to keep trying, and is expected to release them due to their note. Read More: New York Post

Zimmerman ‘distraught’ over Trayvon shooting: report

The Florida man who blew away an unarmed black teen is “distraught” over the incident and has been praying non-stop for the victim, according to a close family friend. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been in hiding ever since he gunned down defenseless Trayvon Martin, 17, on the streets of a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. The killing has touched off a heated national dialogue on guns, Florida’s self-defense laws, race and hooded sweatshirts. Read More: New York Post

Knicks say Stoudemire won’t need surgery; out 2-4 weeks

The Knicks have given a timetable for Amar’e Stoudemire, and they expect their star forward to return in 2-4 weeks from the bulging disk in his back. After a second opinion agreed with the Knicks original diagnosis, Stoudemire will undergo non-surgical treatment that will include an epidural steroid injection for the injury he suffered in the win over the Pistons on Saturday. The Knicks also announced that Jeremy Lin would not play on Wednesday against the Magic because of soreness in his left knee. It is the second straight game the point guard will miss. Read More: New York Post

 

Knicks’ Lin meets ex-ESPN worker who wrote offensive headline

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin sat down to lunch with the ESPN employee who was fired last month for posting the infamous “Chink in the Armor” headline on the network’s website. According to Newsday, Lin ate with 28-year-old Anthony Federico Tuesday on the team’s off day. Though the Knicks said Wednesday Lin does not want to publicly discuss the meeting, Federico effusively praised the Asian-American star, calling him “a wonderful, humble person.” Read More: New York Post

Mega Millions soars to record $476M jackpot

The Mega Millions jackpot soared to a record $476 million ahead of Friday’s drawing after no one claimed the grand prize Tuesday night. No one has managed to match all six numbers in the multi-state lottery game since January 24, when a Georgia woman collected the $72 million prize. The near half-billion figure dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey. Read More: New York Post

Nike sues Reebok over ‘unauthorized’ Tebow gear

A trademark suit made public today charges Reebok with illegally cashing in on Tebowmania by peddling unauthorized Jets gear bearing the name of the team’s new celebrity quarterback. Nike, which signed Tim Tebow to an exclusive licensing deal in 2010, says Reebok did an end run around around that agreement to capitalize on the “vociferous demand for Tebow Jets products.” Reebok is allegedly “in the process of shipping large volumes of Tebow-identified apparel products” that are expected to hit stores this week. Read More: New York Post

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

JFK pilot rants: ‘Say your prayers . . . We’re all going down!’

A veteran JetBlue pilot terrorized a flight from JFK to Las Vegas yesterday and had to be subdued by passengers who tied him up with their own belts as he ranted about al Qaeda and bombs. “Say your prayers . . . We’re all going down!” wild-eyed Capt. Clayton Osbon screamed to frightened travelers, who couldn’t believe the man who had been flying their Airbus A320 had suddenly turned into a raving lunatic. Read More: New York Post

 

Cop sex fiend found guilty

The drunken, off-duty cop who pulled his service weapon on a school teacher in a horrific, random sex attack in upper Manhattan is facing life in prison after a jury found him guilty yesterday of three counts of predatory sexual assault.Michael Pena also was convicted of sexually violating the young woman — a stranger who had been en route to her first day working as a second-grade teacher when the boozed-up cop pulled her into an Inwood back yard and told her he’d shoot her in the face if she screamed or opened her eyes. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Being a dad’ doesn’t have to be so risky

Joba Chamberlain knows there is a lesson to be learned here, but it’s not about changing and trying to play it safe and be something you are not as a person, a pitcher or most importantly, a father. Asked last night the lesson learned from his terrible trampoline accident Thursday, which produced a grotesque right ankle/foot injury as Chamberlain was on an outing with his 5-year-old son Karter, the Yankees right-hander answered: “I will never question being a father.” Read More: New York Post

 

Slain teen’s parents tell Congress: Trayvon was your son, too
The grieving parents of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin took their emotional pleas for justice to Capitol Hill yesterday, earning a dignified round of applause from lawmakers and hundreds of spectators. “Trayvon was our son, but Trayvon was your son,” Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, told a congressional panel, organized by the House Judiciary Committee, on racial profiling and controversial “stand your ground” laws. Read More: New York Post

 

Hit on cop shocked killer

A coldblooded killer told in chilling detail yesterday how he and another mob hit man calmly walked up to an NYPD officer — marked for death because he’d married a Mafia bigwig’s ex-wife — and gunned him down outside his Brooklyn house nearly 15 years ago. “What’s up?” housing cop Ralph Dols asked the two men as they approached him on Aug. 25, 1997, one of the killers, mob rat Dino “Big Dino” Calabro, told rapt jurors in Brooklyn federal court yesterday. Read More: New York Post

‘Window’ mom put up a fight

The brave Queens mother who was thrown out of her apartment window by a pair of thugs valiantly tried to fight off the perps in a bid to protect her children, one of her daughters revealed yesterday. Amalia Vargas was sweeping the steps outside her Hollis home Monday when the two bandits, claiming to be plumbers, pushed her inside her 202nd Street home and pulled her by her hair to her second-floor apartment. Read More: New York Post

Liu’s crapshoot

Embattled Comptroller John Liu told key supporters that he definitely won’t seek re-election next year to remain the city’s chief financial officer, sources said. But Liu kept the door ajar for a long-shot mayoral run, despite a federal probe of his campaign fund-raising operation, which has damaged his political standing. “I’m going big — or I’m going home,” Liu told top allies, according to sources privy to the conversations. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Queens super guilty on terror rap

A former Queens building super faces 75 years in jail after being convicted yesterday of plotting to sell weapons to Hezbollah terrorists. Patrick Nayyar, 48, showed no emotion as jurors found him guilty on all counts after about two hours of deliberations in Manhattan federal court. Court-appointed defense lawyer Sam Talkin said he was “disappointed” with the verdict and said Nayyar would appeal. Read More: New York Post

Person In Police Custody In Connection With Fatal Subway Brawl

Police said Tuesday they have someone in custody in connection with a fight last week at a Brooklyn subway station that left another man dead. By late Tuesday, no arrests had been made, and police had not released the name of the suspect. Joshua Basin, 20, got into a fight with a drunken man on Friday night. The two fought at the L train stop at Bedford Avenue and both men wound up falling on the tracks. Read More: NY1

 

Priest sits beside Tommy Gioeli’s wife Maureen during racketeering and murder trial of Colombo gangsters

The Colombo boss’s family priest appears to have taken a vow of silence. Meet “Father Peter,” possibly the only man of the cloth who clams up when asked his name. Over the past week, he has made on-and-off appearances at the racketeering and murder trial of gangsters Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli and Dino (Little Dino) Saracino. When he attends, Father Peter sits in the front row next to Gioeli’s wife, Maureen, giving jurors a clear view of his black suit and priest collar. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-NAACP big rips Al & Jesse for handling of Trayvon Martin shooting

The furor over the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin is being “exploited” by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to “racially divide the country,” a civil-rights leader charged yesterday. Martin’s “family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions,” the Rev. C.L. Bryant, a former NAACP leader, said of the 17-year-old hoodie-wearing black youth who was shot dead by a mixed white-Latino neighborhood-watch volunteer. Read More: New York Post

Shooter’s claim to police: Trayvon Martin pounced on me

Trayvon Martin was the real aggressor in his deadly encounter with George Zimmerman — punching the neighborhood-watch volunteer, slamming his head on the sidewalk and grabbing for his gun, according to Zimmerman’s account to detectives. The 28-year-old cop wannabe painted himself as the victim in the fatal brawl, telling investigators he was returning to his SUV and trying to call 911 when the unarmed 17-year-old approached him from behind and threw the first punch, according to published reports. Read More: New York Post

Bell cop duo out — but get to keep pensions

Two veteran cops ousted from the NYPD for their roles in the Sean Bell killing turned in their retirement papers yesterday. Detectives Marc Cooper and Michael Oliver walked into One Police Plaza to sign their paperwork. They left without comment — but with their lucrative pensions still in place. The forced retirements came after an internal NYPD trial determined the detectives acted improperly when they and fellow officers gunned down the unarmed Bell in a 50-bullet fusillade the night before his wedding in 2006. Read More: New York Post

 

Intruders shoot man in UWS apartment

An Upper West Side man was shot yesterday during an attempted robbery in his apartment, cops said. The 20-year-old victim said in a 911 call that he let two men into his building on West 100th Street near Riverside Drive believing they were deliverymen, and they attempted to rob him in his fifth-floor, blasting him in the leg, according to an FDNY spokesperson and police sources. Police are investigating his claims. Read More: New York Post

DOE Releases List Of Schools With PCB Leaks, Critics Want Better Clean-Up Efforts

Hundreds of city schools in the five boroughs are contaminated with PCB, a toxic material that can cause serious health problems, and hundreds more school may also have the substance. Department of Education officials say they are working as hard as it can to fix the problem but critics say it’s not hard enough. NY1′s Education reporter Lindsey Christ filed the following exclusive report. Read More: NY1

 

State Health Department To Shut Down Queens’ Peninsula Hospital

Peninsula Hospital Center will close for good, following months of efforts to keep the failing hospital in Queens open. The State Department of Health said Monday that Peninsula Hospital officials will be required to submit a closure plan. According to the Queens borough president, up to 1,000 jobs are on the way out. Its closure will leave the 100,000 residents of the Rockaways with only one hospital. Health officials shut down Peninsula’s laboratory last month after it failed an inspection. The hospital in Edgemere was also barred from admitting new patients until issues were resolved. Without revenue from patients, the hospital is unable to run daily operations. Read More: NY1

 

 

Dawa Lama, mom who dumped newborn in trash, pleads guilty to manslaughter

A Queens mom who dumped her newborn daughter in a hospital trash can out of fear her mother would learn of her pregnancy pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge Monday. Dawa Lama, 23, faces 10 years in prison as part of a plea deal worked out with Queens prosecutors. During a court appearance, Queens Supreme Court Justice Lenora Gerald told Lama that she’ll be deported to her native Nepal once she finishes her sentence. Read More: Daily News

 

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man dies from gunshot wounds after jumping into stranger’s car

A mortally wounded man who was shot multiple times in Queens, turned to a random stranger parking nearby for help, but after the horrified woman dashed away, the bleeding victim briefly hopped into her car only to crash after succumbing to his injuries, police sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Teen Charged In Fatal Shooting At Queens Housing Complex

Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of a Queens man over the weekend. Lacorey Johnson, 19, is charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Officers answering a call about an assault at the Astoria Houses Sunday afternoon found Tysheen Davis, 23, in a building lobby with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. “I was coming out to the store and then I seen what happened. But like I said, we’ve got to do more loving and caring for each other and stop all of this shooting gang-banging,” said one Astoria Houses resident. Read More: NY1

 

Ex-DA’s hubby Al Pirro threatens workers in ‘restaurant rage’

Al Pirro — the estranged hubby of former Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro — went berserk at a tony Scarsdale restaurant over the weekend, throwing a punch at a waiter and drunkenly threatening to bump off the entire staff, sources told The Post. “You don’t know who the f–k we are! I’m going to have you all killed!’’ Al Pirro allegedly screamed during the Saturday-night fracas, the sources said yesterday. Read More: New York Post

 

Mob turncoat admits to 8 murders during testimony against 2 Colombo thugs

A mob turncoat copped to killing eight people, in a bloody prelude to his explosive testimony today against two former Colombo hoodlums. Made man-turned-cooperating witness Dino “Big Dino” Calabro nonchalantly admitted to those slayings during the federal murder and racketeering trials of Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, 59, and Dino “Little Dino” Saracino, 39. Read More: New York Post

 

Brooklyn child seriously injured by city bus

A child is in serious condition after being struck by a city bus in Williamsburg today, authorities said. The young girl was struck on the corner of Lorimer Street and Marcy Avenue by a B48 bus at 9:37 a.m., said a spokeswoman for the MTA. Read More: New York Post

 

Obama Healthcare Challenge Begins In Supreme Court

As the U.S. Supreme Court wades into the constitutional challenge to President Barack Obama’s controversial health care overhaul, demonstrators are making some noise outside the court. Many of the protesters this morning carried signs calling on the court to uphold the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” passed by Congress in 2010. It aims to provide health insurance to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Read More: NY1

 

Jets’ New Backup QB Tebow Addresses Media

Tebowmania reached new heights today as the New York Jets introduced their new quarterback at a press conference in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets traded draft picks to the Broncos for Tebow, who led Denver to the playoffs last year but lost his job when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. Read More: NY1

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

‘Disabled’ FDNYer with $95K pension now a NASCAR rescuer

Cliff Stabner, a 55-year-old city firefighter who retired in 2003 with a three-quarter disability pension of $95,000 annually, has surfaced as a member of the fire rescue team responding to crashes at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.The Post has obtained photos of Stabner wearing an orange jumpsuit and a helmet and standing next to a rescue vehicle at Dover’s “Monster Mile’’ track. Stabner also is a fire captain in his quaint new hometown of Lewes, Del. Read More: New York Post

Police release photos of subway ‘slayer’

The hunt continues for a man who scuffled with a college student on a Brooklyn subway platform moments before he was crushed to death by a train pulling into the station. Joshua Basin was killed Friday night after he and a drunken passenger got off a train at the Bedford Avenue station and engaged in a fight that carried them both to the train tracks below. Cops and witnesses described the man as a 30-something with a thin build, light complexion, and dirty blond hair with pock marks on the right side of his face. Read More: New York Post

VIDEO: Cops wound ex-con in Harlem shootout

A rookie cop yesterday wounded a man during a shootout on a Harlem street, authorities said. When two officers approached a group standing in front of the Drew Hamilton Houses at about 6:30 p.m., Franklyn Nunez bolted up Frederick Douglass Boulevard, police said, The cop gave chase, and Nunez allegedly spun around and fired twice. No one was struck and the officer returned fire. Read More: New York Post

Man dead in early-morning Bronx shooting

A man was shot and killed in The Bronx early today, police said. The shooting happened at about 2:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Morrison Avenue, near Westchester Avenue in the 43rd Precinct. Police say a 29-year-old man was shot in the chest and buttocks. Emergency crews rushed the man to Jacobi Hospital, but it was too late. Read More: New York Post

Manhattan Churchgoers Wear Hoodies In Solidarity With Slain Florida Teen

Worshippers at the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village wore hooded sweatshirts on Sunday in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who wore a similar garment when he was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month. George Zimmerman, 28, says he shot the 17-year-old boy in self-defense and was not charged by police in Sanford, Fla. Martin, however, turned out to be unarmed and carrying a bag of Skittles candies. Red More: NY1

 

 

Man Allegedly Robs Livery Cab Driver At Knifepoint

Police were searching Sunday for a man they say robbed a livery cab driver at knifepoint last week in Manhattan. Authorities say the 26-year-old driver brought the robber from Queens to an address on East 36th street in Murray Hill last Tuesday night. They say the knife-wielding suspect then forced the driver out of the car and stole his money before running off. The driver was not injured. Read More: NY1

 

 

Terror on the tracks: More passengers struck by trains 

Straphangers were hit by subway trains a terrifying 147 times in 2011 — a sharp leap from the year before when 128 passengers were struck, MTA data reviewed by the Daily News shows. The deadly statistic — a 15% jump — means that every 2.5 days a rider is struck by a train, according to a report on customer safety that will be discussed at the MTA’s Transit Committee on Monday. Read More: Daily News

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Yankees’ Joba could be out for year after injury: report

Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain will be out indefinitely after suffering a “very significant,” possibly season-ending injury to his right ankle Thursday after jumping on a “trampoline of sorts” at a play center. GM Brian Cashman said Friday that Chamberlain fell while playing with his son and has an open dislocation of the ankle, meaning the bone broke through the skin. Chamberlain’s son, Karter, was uninjured. Read More: New York Post

‘The Hunger Games’ earns $19.74M at midnight screenings

“The Hunger Games” has already raked in $19.74 million from midnight screenings, according to Lionsgate. The movie now has the biggest non-sequel midnight opening of all time, according to reports. The highly-anticipated film adaptation of the best-selling novel earned more at midnight than “The Dark Knight” did in the summer of 2008. That film opened with $18.5 million at midnight before earning $158 million for the second-highest opening weekend of all time. Read More: New York Post

Burned firefighter heads home

A Brooklyn firefighter who suffered severe burns on the job is heading home after spending three months in the burn center at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Robert Wiedmann suffered burns to 54 percent of his body, including his head, face and back in a December 19 fire in Crown Heights. Wiedmann left the hospital Friday morning in a limo with a police escort. Read More: New York Post

 

Staten Island stabbing suspect arraigned on murder charges, remanded into custody

The man suspected of fatally stabbing a Staten Island groom-to-be at his engagement party was charged today with second-degree murder and remanded into custody. Redinel Dervishaj, 35, allegedly plunged a butcher’s knife into the chest of bricklayer Anthony Lacertosa, 27, during an early-morning melee last Saturday in front of the Espana Restaurant. Dervishaj was nabbed Tuesday hiding out at his aunt’s home in Illinois, police said. He waived extradition and was returned to Staten Island. Read More: New York Post
Police Identify So-Called “Vaseline Bandit”

Investigators with the New York City Police Department have identified the so-called “Vaseline Bandit”. Investigators want to speak with Luis Gonzalez in connection with 14 burglaries in upper Manhattan dating back to September. Police say he covers the peephole on doors with petroleum jelly to obstruct the view, giving himself time to get away if someone encounters him at the door. Police say he’s stolen jewelry, money and electronics. Read More: NY1

 

Police: Man Sexually Abused Two Girls In Brooklyn Laundromat

Police are looking for a man who sexually abused two teenage girls and exposed himself to a third in Brooklyn over the weekend. Investigators say the suspect went into a laundromat located at 481 Knickerbocker Avenue Sunday night and abused two girls, ages 13 and 15. The man then went to another laundromat where authorities say he exposed himself to another 13-year-old girl. Read More: NY1

 

Cops shoot, injure disturbed woman in Bronx after she throws knives at them

A suicidal woman was shot and wounded by police in the Bronx on Friday after she started tossing knives at the officers, sources told the Daily News. The 42-year-old chucked the blades at the cops after they walked into her Lasalle Ave. apartment in Middletown and found her stabbing herself in the stomach shortly before 10 a.m., the sources said. One officer fired at least two times in response, striking the woman in her leg, a source said. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Whitney Houston’s death was ‘complicated by chronic cocaine use and heart disease,’ coroner’s office says

Whitney Houston was a chronic cocaine user who had the drug in her system when she drowned in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub, confirming that her long battle with drug addiction caused her demise, officials said Thursday. An autopsy report on the superstar singer released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said she had mixed illegal and prescription drugs before she was found lifeless in the tub. The official cause of death was accidental drowning “and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use,” the coroner’s office said. Read More: Daily News

Cheating Manhattan corporate lawyer exposed after ‘assault’ on gal pal

A married Manhattan corporate lawyer’s double life came crashing down after he was arrested for smacking his mistress in the face and threatening to kill her, according to court papers. Steven Guynn, who has handled billion-dollar deals involving big-bucks clients around the world, allegedly punched gal pal Jeannette Schaefer after flying into a rage over breakfast last week in the tony New Canaan, Conn., home he shares with his wife. Read More: New York Post

 

Despite differences, devout Tebow and X-rated Ryan share passion for winning

There has never been a pairing of head coach and quarterback like this, not even Weeb Ewbank and Broadway Joe Namath, not even Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, not even Walt Michaels and Doug Flutie with the USFL Generals. Read More: New York Post

 

Kim Kardashian flour-bombed at LA promo event for perfume line

Kim Kardashian was flour-bombed in Los Angeles on Thursday night as she attended a promotion for her new perfume — with alarmed staff calling in the fire department to investigate. The reality starlet was walking the red carpet at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, promoting the scent True Reflection, when she was showered in a white powder. Read More: New York Post

 

Labor-loving Quinn will pass wage bill

A pro-union bill that would boost salaries for thousands of privately hired workers to minimum rates set by the city is slated to pass the City Council next week as Speaker Christine Quinn courts organized labor for her likely 2013 mayoral bid, The Post has learned. Quinn told her Democratic members in a closed-door meeting this week she plans to move the controversial “prevailing wage” legislation at the council meeting on Wednesday, sources said. Read More: New York Post

Early-morning fire damages Manhattan home; one firefighter injured

Dozens of city firefighters spent the early morning battling a Manhattan house fire. The fire started at about 3 a.m., along West 217th Street in Inwood. Police at the scene said the house was burning blue when they arrived — and it took firefighters nearly two hours to get the fire under control. One firefighter was injured from a fall, and his condition is unknown. But officials at the scene said no one in the house was injured. Read More: New York Post

 

2 bodies found on eastern Long Island, 1 in area where corpse discovered last month

Two bodies have been discovered within 24 hours on eastern Long Island, including a woman’s corpse found dumped in a wooded area where a body turned up last month. Suffolk County cops said they have no evidence linking the victims to the 10 bodies that have been found since December 2010 in Gilgo Beach, a suspected dumping ground of a serial killer. A jogger found a female corpse about 4 p.m. Wednesday in Manorville Hills County Park. Read More: Daily News
Staten Island stabbing suspect to be arraigned today on murder charges

The man suspected of fatally stabbing a Staten Island groom-to-be at his engagement party will be arraigned today on charges of murder and weapons possession, authorities said. Redinel Dervishaj, 35, allegedly plunged a butcher’s knife into the chest of bricklayer Anthony Lacertosa, 27, during an early-morning melee last Saturday in front of the Espana Restaurant. Dervishaj was nabbed Tuesday hiding out at his aunt’s home in Illinois, police said. He waived extradition and was returned to Staten Island yesterday. Read More: New York Post

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fianceé of accused ‘rape’ cop stands by her man during testimony

She knows what he’s charged with — and she still loves him. The petite and pretty brunette fianceé of accused ‘rape’ cop Michael Pena tried to humanize the alleged fiend in testimony at his predatory sex attack trial today — insisting he’s the kind of guy who enjoys family movies, cute cat videos and adorable nicknames. Read More: New York Post

Ex-senator John Edwards denies report he patronized hooker linked to accused Soccer Mom Madam Anna Gristina 

Former Sen. John Edwards is denying a report that he used the services of a call girl employed by accused Soccer Mom Madam Anna Gristina while he was running for President. The woman told investigators that Edwards paid her for sex during a 2007 visit to New York to raise money for his failed White House bid, DNAinfo reported Thursday. Read More: Daily News

 

One construction worker dead, 2 others injured in Harlem building collapse

A worker was crushed to death this morning and two others were injured after a building collapsed in Harlem, authorities said. The construction workers were demolishing the one-story building at 604-606 West 131 Street near Broadway at 7:51 a.m. when the accident occurred, police said. The building, which is owned by Columbia University, is part of a plan on the part of the Ivy League school to expand across a section of upper Manhattan. Read More: New York Post

 

72-year-old man charged with killing neighbor in Brooklyn

Police arrested a 72-year-old Brooklyn man and charged him with killing his neighbor in East Flatbush last night. Cops say Ronald Black shot and killed Cornell Heslop, 43, in the basement of the East 93rd Street home where the two men rented separate rooms, around 10:15 p.m., last night. Heslop was hit in the chest and pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital. Black walked into the 67th precinct around 12:30 a.m. to claim he had been the victim of a robbery, sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Appeals Court Upholds City’s Plan To Expand Taxi Service

A federal appeals court has given the city a green light to roll ahead with it’s taxi reform plan despite objections from advocates for the disabled. They’re upset 2,000 new taxi medallions are about to be given out to a fleet that is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Taxi and Limousine Commission was ordered to produce a detailed plan on how to remedy the problem. Read More: NY1

 

Rev. Sharpton To Lead Rally In Florida Over Teen’s Shooting

The Reverend Al Sharpton is scheduled to lead a rally in Sanford, Florida today calling for an arrest in the killing of an unarmed teen. He’s traveling with former Governor David Paterson. After the rally, Sharpton will head to Alabama, where his mother passed away this morning. Hundreds gathered yesterday for a rally in Union Square in memory of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was shot and killed in an Orlando suburb last month by a neighborhood watch captain. George Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self defense after a confrontation. Read More: NY1

 

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jets get Tebow from Broncos for two late draft picks

The Post has confirmed the Jets will send a fourth-round and sixth-round pick to Denver in exchange for the quarterback and a seventh-round pick. The move comes a day after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year deal, making Tebow expendable in Denver. And it comes over a week after the Jets signed starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to a three-year contract extension, and signed Drew Stanton to backup Sanchez. Read More: New York Post

 

Two bandits hold up Brooklyn bodega at gunpoint

Two bandits held up a Brooklyn grocery store during a terrifying gunpoint robbery this morning. The crooks stormed into Monumental Grocery store on Flatbush Avenue at 8:30 a.m. shocking a group of customers stuck inside, according to the owner Erasmos Perez, 55, who spoke to an employee manning the register when the mayhem unfolded. Read More: New York Post

 

Republican Holds Lead In Brooklyn State Senate Race

A special election for a State Senate seat in Brooklyn remains too close to call. Democratic City Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican lawyer David Storobin are vying for the seat in the 27th State Senate District. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Storobin leads by 120 votes. Nearly 2,100 absentee ballots were issued and have yet to be counted. The seat used to be held by Carl Kruger, who resigned in December after pleading guilty to corruption charges in connection with a bribery scheme. Read More: NY1

 

Occupy Wall Street protesters rush back in when Union Square Park reopens in morning

Occupy Wall Street protesters reclaimed a space in Union Square at dawn Wednesday, minutes after police reopened the park to the public for the day. Cops erected temporary barriers around the plaza near the south entrance to the park at nightfall, pushing the demonstrators out of the area to prevent them setting up camp. Read More: Daily News

 

Student busted for assaulting dean at Brooklyn high school

A student was arrested after assaulting a faculty member at a Brooklyn high school this morning, school officials said. The 17-year-old boy got into a heated dispute with Edmund Ludde, the dean at William H. Maxwell High School, as he was getting scanned at the school’s security checkpoint at 9:20 a.m., officials said. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD and FBI tussle over turf, with consequences for terror cases as police expand role: report 

In the fall of 2010, the FBI and New York Police Department were working together on a terrorism investigation on Long Island. The cyber case had been open for more than a year at the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn. So, the Justice Department was surprised when, without notice, the NYPD went to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and asked them to approve a search warrant in the case. Read More: Daily News

 

The Situation realized alcohol intake out of control while filming ‘Jersey Shore’: report

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino hit rock bottom while filming the most recent season of reality hit “Jersey Shore,” reports say. With Sorrentino reported to have checked into rehab, sources tell TMZ that the hard-partying star’s substance abuse issues were progressively “getting worse” throughout the filming of season five of the series, which recently aired on MTV. Read More: New York Post

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Cops roust Occupy crowd from Union Square

Cops shut down Union Square and kicked out a large crowd of Occupy Wall Street protesters last night, arresting one demonstrator just days after larger clashes at the group’s former encampment downtown. Police surrounded the historic park with metal barricades just after midnight, citing a longstanding — but apparently often unenforced — rule that the park be closed in the overnight hours, as a crowd of more than 100 taunted officers. Read More: New York Post

 

Feds say Queens super wanted to sell guns to terror group Hezbollah

A Queens super attempted to sell guns to the terror group Hezbollah because he “long dreamed of making big money” as an arms dealer, a Manhattan federal prosecutors charged Monday. Patrick Nayyar was thwarted only because the man he arranged the deal with was an FBI informant, prosecutor Stephen Ritchin told jurors. Read More: Daily News
 

Two die in bloody day of violence in Brooklyn

Two people were killed and three others wounded during a wave of violence in Brooklyn yesterday. A gunman shot a 21-year-old man several times at the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene at about 8:20 p.m. — possibly for retribution for a shooting in the housing development two years ago. About an hour earlier, an 18-year-old woman was shot in East New York, authorities said. She was in stable condition. Read More: New York Post

 

Bullets fly in chase

A suspected car thief led cops on a wild, Hollywood-style chase through the streets of Brooklyn yesterday, dodging roadblocks and gunfire before he was finally cornered. Officials said patrol officers from the 75th Precinct stopped a black Mercedes-Benz on Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York shortly before 9:30 a.m. because they suspected the car was stolen. Read More: New York Post

 

Police Arrest Suspect In Fatal Staten Island Stabbing

A suspect wanted in the deadly stabbing of a Staten Island groom-to-be over the weekend was in police custody on Tuesday. Redinel Dervishaj, a 35-year-old waiter, was picked up by U.S. Marshals at his aunt’s house in a suburb of Chicago, according to sources. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. Investigators say Lacertosa was celebrating his engagement to his high school sweetheart at the restaurant. Read More: NY1

 

Liu backs $$ gal

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu sprang to the defense of his indicted campaign treasurer and defiantly insisted his staff did everything it could to make sure donations were legal, despite federal charges against the treasurer and a key fund-raiser. “I don’t believe it’s our campaign’s responsibility or any campaign’s responsibility to verify the home address, to verify the work address, to essentially run a credit check on any donor,” Liu said in response to allegations that his campaign made use of straw donors who funneled illegal contributions from wealthy individuals into the campaign. “Do we operate differently than other campaigns? Absolutely not.” Read More: New York Post

 

Cop rips punk in hero brother’s gun death

The police-officer brother of a Queens man fatally shot defending his father from a crew of housebreakers stared down the thug who set up the robbery yesterday, calling him a “drug addict, coward, savage.” Geraldo Antoniello was shot in the head Sept. 9, 2009, by one of four punks savagely beating his dad, the owner of a popular pizzeria in Howard Beach. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Brooklyn Gym Teacher Charged With Groping Student

A Brooklyn physical education teacher was arrested and awaiting arraignment Tuesday on charges he inappropriately touched one of his teenage students. Police say Esran Boothe, 49, is charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree. The city Department of Education says Boothe was re-assigned from his position at the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment on Classon Avenue in Crown Heights and is now on administrative leave. Read More: NY1

 

Far Rockaway Playground Under Construction Receives Major Damage

Looking at the broken plastic, mangled metal and bent iron at the Beach 29th street playground in Far Rockaway, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said the facility’s June opening might be delayed and the damage will cost the city tens of thousands of dollars. “We know that we lost a number of the slides, the platforms, some of the fencing, the climbing apparatuses have been damaged,” said Lewandowski. Parks Department officials said an excavator did the damage. The contractor says someone cut through a nearby chain link fence to get onto the property. Read More: NY1

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens man indicted for New Year’s Day fire-bomb spree

A Queens man has been indicted on state and federal charges for a fire-bombing spree that targeted an Islamic mosque, a Hindu temple, a convenience store and three homes over several hours on New Year’s Day, authorities announced today. Accused fire-bug, Ray Lazier Lengend, also known as Suraj Poonai, already was in jail after being arrested within days for all but one of those incidents, which spanned Queens and Long Island. Read More: New York Post

 

Federal Judges Approve State’s New Congressional Districts

A three-judge panel in Brooklyn federal court has approved a map for New York’s new congressional districts that was proposed by a federal magistrate earlier this month. Due to population changes around the country, New York is set to lose two members of Congress this year, going from 29 seats in the House of Representatives to 27. The map drawn by federal magistrate Roanne Mann keeps most of the current districts, but one change is a new Queens district that is almost 40 percent Asian-American. Read More: NY1

 

Peyton near deal with Broncos

Peyton Manning wants to play for the Denver Broncos in Act II of his outstanding career. A person briefed on negotiations said the NFL’s only four-time MVP called Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams and told him that he had picked the Broncos. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter. Read More: New York Post

 

Shopping cart victim says she wishes boys who hurt her ‘well’

A Manhattan charity worker who was nearly killed by a shopping cart pushed over a garage railing by teenage punks in October spoke publicly for the first time today — expressing compassion for the pranksters who dropped the cart on her head. Marion Hedges, during a walk outside her Upper East Side apartment, said she hasn’t received an apology from the evil-doers. Read More: New York Post

 

12 injured in Brooklyn bus accident

Twelve people were injured in a bus accident in Brooklyn today, fire officials said. The collision occurred shortly after 10 a.m. after a car blew through a red light on Avenue J and rammed into a B11 bus, said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. At least three of the dozen people injured were passengers on the bus, Ortiz said. The victims were taken to Lutheran Medical Center and Kings County Hospital. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Shakedown’ rabbi loses appeal

A Manhattan appeals court today upheld the conviction of a crooked Brooklyn rabbi for trying to shake down billionaire Steve Cohen’s hedge fund with phony allegations of inside trading. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Rabbi Milton Balkany’s claim that jurors should have been allowed to consider if he was entrapped, saying “Balkany failed to present any evidence that the government ‘induced’ him to commit the crimes charged.” Read More: New York Post

 

Tennessee woman gets no-jail deal after trying to check gun at 9/11 Memorial

A registered nurse and fourth-year med student got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today for the Tennessee-registered gun she tried to check at the 9/11 Memorial in December. Manhattan prosecutors this morning dropped the felony gun possession charges Meredith Graves had originally been slammed with — charges carrying a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years prison. Read More: New York Post

12 residents trapped, 2 injured in Far Rockaway house collapse


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

12 residents trapped, 2 injured in Far Rockaway house collapse

A St. Patrick’s Day house party with as many as a 100 revelers at a Queens home came to an abrupt end after the massive number of guests caused the building’s third floor to collapse, authorities said.

The three-story home on Beach 72nd Street in Arverne suffered the damage around 10:45 p.m. and briefly trapped 12 party-goers, the FDNY said. Read more: New York Post

 

Drunk Queens man slays cat: cops

A Queens man allegedly beat a stray cat to death after getting tossed from a bar for drunkeness, authorities said yesterday. Read more: New York Post


Racing brass try to explain Aqueduct horse deaths

Eighteen horses have broken down at Aqueduct since Nov. 30 as racing brass struggles to explain why. Of the 18 fatalities, 13 came in races where horses were running for a claiming price of $15,000 or less. Read more: Daily News


Dozens Of Occupy Protesters Arrested Following Late-Night Struggle In Zuccotti Park

At least 50 arrests were made late Saturday night after Occupy Wall Street protesters clashed with police in the place where the movement began six months ago, in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. Read more: NY1

Queens woman ‘married’ to multiple men in immigration scams


| mchan@queenscourier.com

roundup

Queens woman ‘married’ to multiple men in immigration scams

Anna Vargas thought she was happily married — she just didn’t know she was “married” to four guys.

The 37-year-old Queens mom has been the victim of an identity-theft nightmare, in which a parade of mysterious creeps arranged fake marriages by using her birth certificate which she lost some 16 years ago. Read more: New York Post

 

Police nab Queens barbershop shoot suspect using hi-tech face-detector

A violent thug was busted for shooting a man in a Queens barbershop after cops tracked him down by using cutting-edge facial recognition technology, police said.

Jordan Rodriguez, 37, stepped into Da Barbershop on Seneca Ave. in Fresh Pond to confront a man over a beef about 9:10 p.m. last Saturday, cops said. Rodriguez, toting a sawed-off shotgun, and his brother walked up to a man getting a haircut and said, “What are you going to do now?” Read more: Daily News

 

Coke’s not it: 16 workers sue, call giant ‘cesspool’ of racial discrimination 

Sixteen black and Hispanic production workers are suing Coca-Cola, claiming they have been forced to work in a “ cesspool of racial discrimination.”

The suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, accuses the company of relegating minorities to less favorable assignments, unfair disciplinary action and retaliation for complaining. Read more: Daily News

 

Queens Democrats Begin To Eye Congressman Ackerman’s Seat

Gary Ackerman’s announcement Thursday he would end his 30-year career in Congress perhaps caught no one quite as off-guard as Rory Lancman. Just hours earlier, the Queens state assemblyman announced he would no longer challenge Ackerman in a primary. Read more: NY1

 

 

Kony man goes wild

The creator of a viral Web video about African child soldiers was detained by San Diego police yesterday after he got naked and masturbated near a busy intersection.

After his run-in with cops Jason Russell, 33, was hospitalized for exhaustion, said Ben Keesey, the CEO of Invisible Children, the humanitarian group that made the “Kony 2012” video, which was released about two weeks ago. Read more: New York Post