Tag Archives: queens village

Pedestrian critically injured in chain-reaction crash at Queens Village fruit stand


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Anthony Giudice

One person was seriously injured after a wild accident in Queens Village Friday morning involving a school bus, truck and fruit stand, according to authorities.

The incident occurred at about 11:45 a.m. at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Hollis Court Boulevard, near the southern end of the Clearview Expressway.

Police said a school bus with nearly 30 children on board suddenly lost control and struck a Penske truck parked outside the New Giant Farm fruit store at 211-14 Hillside Ave.

The impact caused the truck to mount the sidewalk and strike the fruit stand, causing structural damage to the building and an awning to collapse onto a pedestrian.

Paramedics brought the injured pedestrian to a local hospital in critical condition.

The children on board the bus were removed to Long Island Jewish Medical Center for observation, police said.

An investigation is ongoing.

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Man gets 25 years in deadly 2012 Hollis shooting


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Gavel 2

A Hollis man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting and killing a Queens Village resident in broad daylight three years ago, prosecutors announced Monday.

Paul Boatwright, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter earlier this month in the shooting death of Jerry Lodvill before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, who imposed the determinate sentence of 25 years in prison.

According to court records and published reports, Boatwright fatally shot 30-year-old Lodvill in the head and torso in February 2012 on Hollis Avenue near 205th Street across from a playground in Hollis as the victim was walking home.

“The defendant has admitted to gunning down a man in broad daylight and will now serve a lengthy sentence in prison for this senseless shooting. Gun violence in our neighborhoods will not be tolerated,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

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Philadelphia man arrested for killing aunt at her Queens Village home


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

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Updated Sunday, March 15, 11:21 a.m. 

The NYPD charged a Philadelphia man with stabbing his aunt to death with an ice pick inside her Queens Village home last October, authorities said.

Richie Desauguste, 27, was booked on second-degree murder and weapons possession charges for the Oct. 24, 2014, murder of Rose Ragsdale, 66, of 105th Avenue, police announced early Saturday.

Ragsdale was asleep in her bedroom just before 3:20 a.m. that morning when she awoke and spotted a masked intruder, according to police.

When Ragsdale screamed, Desauguste allegedly pulled out an ice pick and stabbed her in the chest and arm. He fled the home but dropped the ice pick at the scene.

Ragsdale, a school bus matron, was pronounced dead at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Detectives located Desauguste inside an Applebee’s restaurant at 1710 Hempstead Tpke. in Elmont on Thursday, police sources said. He was subsequently charged with Ragsdale’s murder following questioning.

Police said a family dispute over money may have been the motive in Ragsdale’s killing.

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Man busted for robbing four Queens businesses


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have arrested an alleged thief for holding up four Queens businesses this month — including three in the same day.

Jose Escobar, a 48-year-old Queens Village resident, has been charged with five counts of robbery in the crime spree that began on March 2, authorities said.

According to police, that afternoon Escobar held up the Baile Deli and Grocery at 222-15 Braddock Ave. in Bellerose, taking off with $1,000.

On Sunday, he allegedly pulled off three more armed robberies.

Escobar is accused of holding up a Bellerose Gulf Gas station, located at 239-15 Jamaica Ave., at about 10:35 a.m., getting away with about $75 in cash.

The same day, at about 1:15 p.m., he robbed a Bellerose convenience store, located at 236-11 Braddock Ave., police said. He took a drink and $1,500 in cash before fleeing.

Just 15 minutes later, he robbed Mogul Hardware in nearby Queens Village, authorities said. After entering the 212-44 91st Ave. store, Escobar allegedly took out his gun and demanded cash. He then grabbed $30 and fled on foot.

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Man holds up three Queens businesses in one day: police


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A thirsty thief held up four Queens businesses this month, targeting three in one day and stealing more than $2,500 in cash — and a drink, police said.

The suspect first hit the Baile Deli and Grocery at 222-15 Braddock Ave. in Bellerose at about 12:30 p.m. on March 2, according to authorities. After pulling out a gun and demanding money, the suspect took $1,000 before fleeing on foot.

On Sunday, at about 10:35 a.m., the same suspect allegedly robbed a Bellerose Gulf Gas station, located at 239-15 Jamaica Ave., at gunpoint, getting away with about $75 in cash.

The same day, at about 1:15 p.m., he robbed another Bellerose convenience store, located at 236-11 Braddock Ave. After entering the store, the suspect played a lotto game then went to the refrigerator, took a beverage, and put it onto the counter, police said. He then displayed a gun and demanded the drink and cash. The suspect took the drink and $1,500 in cash before fleeing.

Just 15 minutes later, the same man is accused of robbing a hardware store in nearby Queens Village, authorities said. The suspect entered Mogul Hardware, located at 212-44 91 Ave., flashed his gun and demanded cash again. He then grabbed $30 and fled on foot.

Police describe the suspect as a white Hispanic man who is about 40 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light blue “Adidas” hooded sweatshirt during the robbery at the hardware store.

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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NYPD cop accused of choking child’s mother


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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An NYPD officer was arrested on Sunday for choking the mother of his 10-month-old girl in front of the child in Queens Village, according to police and court records.

Jerry Sukhnandan, 33, was arraigned on Nov. 2 and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, harassment and endangering the welfare of the child, the criminal complaint said.

He is accused of placing his hands around the woman’s neck and preventing her from breathing while the two were in front of 220-14 97th Ave. sometime between the night of Oct. 25 and the following morning.

Sukhnandan, who was off duty at the time, tried to hurt the woman in front of their baby, according to the complaint.

It was not immediately clear what led to the incident or what the status of Sukhnandan’s relationship with the woman was at the time, although the two do share the same last name.

Following his arraignment, Sukhnandan was released on his own recognizance.

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


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

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

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

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

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

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

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66-year-old woman stabbed to death in Queens Village home


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Police are investigating the death of a 66-year-old woman who was found stabbed several times in her Queens Village home early Friday morning.

Officers discovered the victim, Rose Ragsdale, inside her 105th Avenue residence at about 3:20 a.m. with stab wounds to her chest and arm, authorities said.

Ragsdale was taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing.

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Queens Village man arrested for pot, gun stash after leaving son home alone: cops


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

A 30-year-old Queens Village man was arrested on drug and gun possession charges after he left his 8-year-old son sleeping alone at their home, police said.

Nuquan Stewart was busted on Oct. 14, at 10:45 p.m. after police officers saw that the Volkswagen he was driving had a broken brake light, according to authorities. When they approached Stewart about it, they allegedly noticed a strong odor of marijuana.

The cops asked Stewart to step out of the vehicle. They then spotted six plastic bags of the drug sticking out of the open front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt and a gravity knife jutting from a upholder in the vehicle’s center console, police said. When the cops handcuffed him, Stewart told them about his son, who he had left alone at home while he ran his errands.

At Stewart’s request, the cops went to his 222nd Street apartment to check on the young boy. When they reached it, they allegedly smelled pot. They entered the residence with the keys Stewart had given them and found the boy safely asleep in his bedroom. They also found numerous bags of marijuana and large stacks of money.

The cops handed the child over to the city’s Administration for Children’s Services who then transferred his care to another family member.

The next day, the police executed a search warrant at the apartment and seized several items including 30 pounds of marijuana, approximately $17,500 in cash, a .40-cal Smith & Wesson semiautomatic firearm loaded with 11 rounds, and a fully-automatic Ruger AR-15 assault rifle, along with two high-capacity magazines loaded with 20 live rounds, according to authorities.

Stewart is currently being held in Rikers Island as he awaits a court date to face charges of criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a machine gun, criminal possession of a loaded firearm, and failure to exercise control of a minor, police said. He has previously been arrested for the sale and possession of marijuana and crack cocaine, burglary, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.

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Queens Village shopping mall selling for nearly $11M  


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal 

The Village Plaza Shopping Center is selling for $10.9 million, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services, which is marketing the sale.

The center, located at 218-24 Hempstead Ave. in Queens Village not far from Belmont Park, was built in 2006 and is owned by Village Plaza LLC, according to city records.

It has nearly 39,000 square feet in six attached two-story buildings. The plaza also has 26 retail and office units and is currently 75 percent filled with tenants such as a 99-cents store and a Little Caesars pizza chain shop.

There are 25 parking spaces directly in front of the shopping center as well.

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24-year-old motorcyclist dies in Belt Parkway crash


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

ambulance

A Queens Village man was killed Wednesday in a motorcycle collision on the Belt Parkway, cops said.

Officers discovered 24-year-old Julian Smith lying on the ground in the center lane of the Belt Parkway near the Van Wyck Expressway at about 3:50 a.m., according to police.

He was found unconscious and unresponsive next to his bike, and was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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FBI, NYPD seek ‘violent’ Queens bank robber  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FBI

Authorities are looking for a suspect they are calling armed and dangerous after he threatened to shoot a bank teller during a robbery.

The man is wanted for holding up a Capital One Bank at 216-19 Jamaica Ave. on Friday, according to the FBI.

After entering the Queens Village branch, the suspect passed a demand note, threatened to shoot the teller and displayed a black handgun in his waistband, officials said. He then received an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot westbound on Jamaica Avenue.

The FBI describes the suspect as a black man in his late 40s to early 50s, with an average height and medium build. He was last seen wearing a black Kangol hat, dark glasses, a blue and white striped short-sleeved button-down shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

 

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Longtime Jamaica community garden volunteer sees role trimmed back


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Benjamin Fang

BY BENJAMIN FANG

Alberta Crowley was a star in her community, but now she says the city’s Parks Department is trying to restrict her glowing service.

The 71-year-old Queens Village resident has been volunteering at the Bricktown Community Garden on 106th Avenue and 173rd Street in Jamaica for six years. But she claims park officials have restricted her activity to a space next to the garden, called Tree of Life.

“The area here is unleveled, unsafe,” Crowley said. “They locked me out of the garden.” She said workers from the City Parks Foundation (CPF), a nonprofit that works with the Parks Department, took over about a year ago.

In the past, Crowley worked with disabled children and seniors, helping them grow fig trees, cherry trees, blueberries and grapevines. Now she said she’s not allowed to continue because she’s not certified.

“They said I can’t work here with special needs people,” Crowley said. She pointed out that she was previously given permission as a member of GreenThumb, a city community gardening education program funded by the Parks Department.

The Parks Department responded in an email that Crowley was allowed to temporarily use a portion of the City Park Foundation’s original garden, called the Learning Garden, for her workshops with adults with disabilities.

“In order to accommodate the growing demand for CPF’s educational programs, this section of CPF’s garden has been reintegrated with the rest of their garden,” a Parks Department spokesman said. “Ms. Crowley continues to be welcome to help with these workshops.”
Vanessa Smith, who advocates on Crowley’s behalf, said officials from the Parks Department want to close her off.

“They said she wasn’t allowed to go in there because she’s a volunteer and they are paid,” Smith said. “She’s doing this out of love, so why would you lock her out?”

In addition, Smith said officials from the Parks Department are not providing the support Crowley needs to maintain the smaller area she was relegated to.

“They’re not giving her the funding to upgrade it here,” Smith said. “What I think they’re trying to do is eventually take over the whole area.”

Park officials say they are providing the equipment necessary for improvements. “GreenThumb is currently purchasing lumber and soil to allow raised planting beds to be constructed,” a Parks Department spokesman said. Thirty pieces of lumber currently rest inside the Tree of Life garden.

Despite the dispute over certification and land usage, Crowley said she wants to continue what she’s been doing in the last six years.

“I want access to the area and raised beds for seniors,” she said. She hopes to continue working with people with disabilities and seniors who need wheelchair accessibility into the garden.

Crowley and Parks Department representatives are slated to meet in August, where they will discuss use of the space and possibly building a direct entrance to Tree of Life.

The City Parks Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

 

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Woman killed in Queens Village motorcycle crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A 31-year-old woman was killed Sunday night after she was struck by a car while riding her motorcycle in Queens Village, police said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was traveling eastbound on Jamaica Avenue around 10:20 p.m. when the accident occurred, according to officials.

A Nissan Maxima driving westbound on Jamaica Avenue struck the motorcyclist as the car was attempting to make a left onto Springfield Boulevard, cops said.

The motorcyclist was taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

The 22-year-old driver, who was not injured in the crash, remained on the scene of the accident and investigation is ongoing, police said.

 

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Sen. Avella questions security at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

By Janae Hunter


After a second patient escaped Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in a six-month period, state Sen. Tony Avella will demand answers about security at the Queens Village facility in a press conference on Thursday.

The NYPD said Tuesday that Clifford Brown climbed over a chain-link fence at the center, located at 79-25 Winchester Blvd., and fled. Brown, 27, who was brought to Creedmoor from Riker’s Island for a psychiatric evaluation, escaped at approximately 2 p.m. during recreational time. Brown was found on Wednesday in good health, police said.

The Courier reported that Raymond Morillo, 33, escaped from Creedmoor on January 28 by swapping clothes with a visitor. Morillo was convicted of manslaughter in 1999 and was transferred to Creedmoor in December of 2013. Morillo was found two days later in Memphis, Tennessee and brought back to New York.

Avella and residents are concerned about Creedmoor’s security practices. Following, the first incident, Avella requested that the Office of Mental Health (OMH) investigate the events leading up to Morillo’s escape. In March, the OMH launched a full investigation of security policies not only in Creedmoor, but in all psychiatric centers throughout New York.

The press conference is at 10:15 a.m. in front of the facility.
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