Tag Archives: Richmond Hill

Video released in fatal Richmond Hill shooting


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police have released video footage in the hope of identifying two suspects in a deadly Richmond Hill shooting on Tuesday afternoon.

Derek Quattlebaum, of Brooklyn, was found at Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue at about 3 p.m. with gunshot wounds to his head, torso and limbs, cops said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, but did not survive.

Two men approached Quattlebaum at a BP gas station, located on the intersection where he was gunned down, according to police.

Video footage shows two people running into a car at the station. The two suspects were driving a 2003 blue Audi A6 with the Vermont license plate GHF-306.


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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Developmentally disabled Queens woman missing for more than a month


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A Richmond Hill woman who is developmentally disabled and needs daily medication has been missing since early December, according to one of the centers where she receives services.

Bibi Kadim, 37, was last seen on Dec. 5. That day, Kadim had gone for lunch in the Jamaica neighborhood where Queens Centers for Progress (QCP), a place she goes for services, is located.

After she did not return from lunch, the staff called her mother. She told them that her daughter was scheduled for a medical clinic appointment that afternoon, but that Kadim had canceled, according to QCP.

Her parents, who live with Kadim in their home, have not heard from their daughter since she went missing.

The Shield Institute in Bayside, where Kadim also receives services, has known her for nearly 18 years. The center describes her as a very friendly individual who can communicate her wants and needs verbally. But, according to her parents, she has a child-like mentality.

She is also diabetic and needs daily medication and therefore is “at great risk,” according to QCP.

“We are obviously very concerned that Bibi has been missing for this length of time,” said Charles Houston, CEO of QCP said in a statement. “QCP and The Shield Institute are working with the family and police to bring Bibi home.”

Kadim is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 194 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink hoodie, navy blue jacket, blue jeans and  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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Man shot in Richmond Hill robbery: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A robber shot a man in Richmond Hill earlier this week before jumping into a getaway car with his accomplice and taking off with the victim’s necklace, cops said.

Two men exited a silver-colored vehicle parked near 129th Street and Atlantic Avenue about 3:15 a.m. on Monday, came up to the victim and said, “Give it up,” according to police. One of the suspects then snatched a chain from the victim’s neck, took out a semiautomatic handgun and fired, striking the victim three times in the chest and leg.

The suspects then ran back to the waiting car, where a third man was in the driver’s seat, and they drove off southbound along 129th Street, police said.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Police have released video footage of the suspects and describe them as black men in their mid-20s, about 6 feet tall and 170 pounds.

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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Police investigating deadly Richmond Hill shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 28-year-old man died after he was shot several times in Richmond Hill Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Derek Quattlebaum, of Brooklyn, was found at the Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue about 3 p.m. with gunshot wounds to his head, torso and limbs, cops said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, but did not survive.

There have been no arrests.

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Pre-K to replace coin arcade game warehouse in Richmond Hill


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Kalmon Dolgin Associates

There will be no more games at this former warehouse, because class is almost in session.

The School Construction Authority signed a 10-year lease for a one-story Richmond Hill building, and it plans to create space for a pre-kindergarten at the site, which was formerly a warehouse for arcade vending machine supplier Bay Coin Distributors.

The arcade business is moving its operations blocks away to a smaller location, according to real estate firm Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, which handled the transaction.

The school will take up the entire warehouse building at 132-10 Jamaica Ave., which has 12,400 square feet of space, and will seat 100 students when completed.

The site had an asking price of $30 per square foot.

Construction has already begun to transform the building into the new school, a representative for the real estate firm said.

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Two arrested in deadly Christmas shooting in Richmond Hill


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Police have arrested two men in a Christmas Day shooting that killed a 20-year-old Jamaica man.

Abu Quick, 23, of the Bronx, and Jamar Alexander, 25, of Queens, have both been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of weapon in the death of James Bryant, cops said.

Bryant was found with a gunshot wound to the neck near 126th Street and 89th Avenue in Richmond Hill about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 25, police said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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20-year-old Jamaica man shot to death on Christmas


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Police are investigating the shooting death of a 20-year-old man in Richmond Hill on Christmas Day.

The victim James Bryant, of Jamaica, was found with a gunshot wound to the neck near 126th Street and 89th Avenue about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Bryant was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are looking for as many as three suspects involved in the shooting, according to published reports.

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Five humongous Queens homes listing under $1M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Multiple Listing Service and PropertyShark

While new apartments in Queens are getting smaller so developers can maximize profits, the borough still has a treasure trove of spacious gems in older homes that offer prospective owners the best bang for their buck.

For many, size does matter, so here are five single-family homes with enough space for parents, the kids, grandma and maybe even a crazy uncle or two, and each are under $1 million.

59-35 Menahan St., Ridgewood

This property has seven bedrooms and three bathrooms and was originally built in 1920, according to its listing. It sits on a lot of 5,137 square feet, which has a two-car garage and a private driveway. There is a finished basement and a laundry room as well. The broker is Peter Caruso of Caruso & Boughton Realty, and the asking price is $945,000.

 

105-42 133rd St., Richmond Hill

If you thought that last price was low, this Richmond Hill seven-bedroom home is listed for $649,999. This three-story detached colonial home has three bathrooms and a recreational room in the basement, according to the listing. The residence uses about half of its 5,084-square-foot lot space. Raias Khan of Century 21 is the broker of record.

 

168-04 35th Ave., Flushing

Just in case seven bedrooms wasn’t enough, this three-story colonial-style single-family Flushing home offers eight bedrooms and three full bathrooms, according to the listing. Blocks away from the Auburndale LIRR station, the house is located on a corner property and has 3,087 square feet of space. The residence features a finished basement, which includes a laundry room. It also has a one-car garage. The asking price is $958,000. En Ja Chung of Promise Realty is the broker.

 

88-52 195th Pl., Hollis

Those looking for style with a bargain price may have found it with this large single-family home. The three-story Hollis residence features a formal dining room and living room with French pocket doors, according to its listing. It has seven bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms in 3,400 square feet of space. There is a two-car garage on the property as well. Emmanuel Babayev of Charles Rutenberg Realty is the broker.

 

11-43 Beach 9th St., Far Rockaway

Access to transportation, a huge house, spacious lot and a bargain price — this home may have it all. This three-story residence sits on a nearly 8,000-square-foot lot and has about 3,500 square feet of living space, according to its listing. The asking price is $879,000. It has seven bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private driveway. The broker is Ann Bienstock of Five Towns Miller Realty.

Rockaway property

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New pastor coming to St. Helen’s in Howard Beach


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

St. Helen’s Catholic Parish is getting ready to welcome a new pastor to their church.

Father Francis Colamaria will be coming to the Howard Beach parish on Jan. 31, taking over for its current pastor, Msgr. LoPinto. Colamaria is currently the administrative director and priest at Holy Child Jesus Parish in Richmond Hill and is excited about the change.

“Though I will miss Holy Child Jesus, I am really looking forward to serving the people of Howard Beach,” he said. “Msgr. LoPinto did a tremendous job of making new renovations to the church and school, which is great because now I can focus more on the spiritual portion.”

Colamaria, 39, has been a priest since 2001. He started at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ozone Park and remained there until 2007. After that, he moved on to St. Ephrem’s in Brooklyn for a year and was also the chaplain at Xaverian High School. He is now the deputy chief chaplain of the MTA and has been at Holy Child Jesus since 2008.

One thing Colamaria is looking forward to is being able to work with the school more closely as he feels Catholic education is very important for children to learn.

“Catholic education provides morals, responsibility and creates love of family and life, which is sometimes lacking in this world,” he said. “It creates a good environment for our children and is one of the best products we have as a church.”

During his time at his current parish, Colamaria has run annual Oktoberfests and huge block parties and made a connection between the parish and school. He is looking forward to bringing some of his new ideas to St. Helen’s and learning from the retired Msgr. Pfeiffer, who he says is “a seasoned veteran.”

LoPinto will be moving on to become the head of Catholic Charities once Colamaria takes over. He said the people of Howard Beach have been through a lot, especially when dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, but he knows that their spirits have been unchanged.

“The people of Howard Beach are good people,” Colamaria noted. “It is a great environment and I look forward to learning more about it.”

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Four busted for drifting at Flushing Meadows Corona Park


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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They may have been “Fast and Furious,” but four daredevil drivers ripping through a Queens park weren’t fast enough to escape from the police.

Four men were arrested for what officials describe as “movie-style stunt” performances in a parking lot at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, according to the district attorney’s office.

“Cars are not toys. Driving at high speeds and intentionally skidding a roughly 3,000-pound vehicle, especially where spectators are gathered, is dangerous and can result in tragedy,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Following a number of noise complaints from neighborhood residents, the police responded and shut down this illegal and potentially deadly activity. The vehicles have been seized and the drivers have been charged.”

The men used modified vehicles for drifting, a style of driving made popular by the “The Fast and the Furious” movies that combines high speeds and dangerous turns.

Spectators would watch these stunts, where the cars would sometimes allegedly strike other vehicles and stationary objects in the park’s parking lot, the district attorney said.

The four were busted after area residents called 311 to complain about the excessive noise. In total, 66 calls were received, and none have been logged in the neighborhood in the more than five weeks since the men were arrested.

Kareem Ali, 26, and Michael Mahabir, 27, both of Richmond Hill, Joel Santiago, 36, of Maspeth, and Darren Tang, 24, of Manhattan, were arraigned on Oct. 26 on charges of reckless endangerment, reckless driving, speed contests and races and failure to comply with directions, prosecutors said. Ali is also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The men, who face up to a year in jail if convicted, were released on their own recognizance.

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Clean streets initiative extended in southeast Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilman Ruben Wills

A successful street-cleaning program in southeast Queens has been extended through May of 2015, officials said.

Commercial corridors in the neighborhoods have long been eyesores due to the accumulation of litter and trash.

But since the Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods, Strong Communities (CSS) initiative started in April, this has changed.

“The restoration and revitalization of our community depends on our collective efforts to keep our streets clean and promote safe neighborhoods by having a sense of pride and respect for our area,” state Sen. James Sanders Jr. said. “Through the Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods, Strong Communities initiative, we have an opportunity to improve our community and ensure our children grow up in a safe and clean environment.”

The CSS program is a citywide initiative to hammer down on illegal dumpers. It increased fines for those people who illegally dump their garbage and others who use the city garbage cans for residential and commercial trash.

Along with these initiatives, commercial corridors throughout Richmond Hill and other neighborhoods in Queens had periodic clean-ups from the nonprofit organization Wildcat.

The clean-up by Wildcat, in connection with the DNSY, became a popular component of the initiative, according to Councilman Ruben Wills, and the city has expanded the organization’s role and extended its contract.

With the expansion, Wildcat will now clean commercial corridors on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The organization will also help with snow and leaf removal, as well as removing garbage and other debris from vacant lots and abandoned homes.

Wildcat is a nonprofit organization that provides jobs for underemployed or formerly incarcerated residents of the city.

Wills commended them for the work they have done throughout his district and is looking forward to the continued partnership, but said it is not only on the organization to keep the streets of the neighborhood clean.

“[Wildcat] alone cannot shoulder the load of preserving the cleanliness of our neighborhoods,” Wills noted. “That responsibility also lies with us as citizens, and we all must do our share.”

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MTA bus driver charged after allegedly stabbing wife’s lover in Rockaways


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Updated Wednesday, Nov. 5, 4:45 p.m. 

A city bus driver from Richmond Hill has been arrested after he allegedly stabbed his romantic rival in Arverne Tuesday afternoon, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

Ephraim Henry, 30, had completed his route and was driving the empty bus to the depot when he spotted the victim, Oscar Williams.

Williams, 48, was driving a Honda near Beach 67th St. and Beach Channel Drive, when Henry allegedly stopped the bus and began to argue with Williams, who is reportedly involved romantically with Henry’s wife. The two began to fight and Henry stabbed Williams in the arm, Brown said.

Williams survived the incident but had to undergo surgery at a nearby hospital.

Henry was arraigned on Wednesday on charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

The stabbing was within blocks of where several stray bullets hit an MTA bus on Monday night. No one aboard the bus was injured, but a 21-year-old man was hit in the leg. He was taken to the hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

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Suspect charged in deadly 2013 Richmond Hill shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have arrested a Florida man for the murder of a 23-year-old in Richmond Hill last December.

Gerrard Edwards was near Liberty Avenue and 112th Street at about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 22 when he was shot, cops said. He was killed after he got into a dispute with a group of men while out with some friends and was then jumped and shot several times in the chest, according to published reports.

Edwards, a Richmond Hill resident, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

This October, police released information on a suspect wanted in the shooting, 31-year-old David Haridat.

The NYPD said on Tuesday that Haridat, a Miami resident, had been arrested and charged with Edwards’ murder.

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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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Ridgewood woman recounts childhood abduction to Egypt, escape in YouTube video


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos © Moral Courage Project 2014

She found the courage to escape. She then found the courage to share her story.

Nashwa El-Sayed was abducted to Egypt from Queens at the age of 2 by her father. After suffering from abuse, years of separation from her mother and an impending arranged marriage at the age of 17, she was finally able to leave the country and return to America.

El-Sayed, now 24, and living in Ridgewood, has since graduated from Queens College with a degree in international relations and recounted her tale, hoping others in her situation will do the same.

“Hopefully they see it as something that can change lives,” she said.

Though El-Sayed has shared her story before, she is telling it in a new medium: video.

The Moral Courage Project, an educational nonprofit started in 2008, posted a video of El-Sayed’s story, “Forced marriage in Egypt: How I escaped,” on its YouTube channel last month.

The nonprofit mentors, teaches and provides role models for people who want to build up moral courage, or do “the right thing in the face of your fears,” according to Adam Grannick, multimedia producer with the Moral Courage Project.

It showcases its role models through videos it creates for its YouTube channel, Moral Courage TV. They are “everyday people” from a middle-schooler facing a bully to corporate whistleblowers and everyone in between.

Launched in April 2012, the videos are accompanied by related social media posts to bring awareness to whatever issue they highlight and can each have their own look, depending on the story.

Since filmmakers didn’t have footage from El-Sayed’s childhood, her video featured animation.
“Animation usually takes away from the seriousness of a story, but this one was not the case,” El-Sayed said.

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El-Sayed’s story begins on Father’s Day 1993 — the day she was taken. She was living in Richmond Hill at the time, and her Egyptian father and American mother were in the process of filing for divorce.

“[My mother] knew deep down that she wasn’t going to see me again,” El-Sayed said in the video.

A couple of years after landing in Egypt, El-Sayed was living in Alexandria with her father and a stepmother who physically and emotionally abused her. She also had to be “a pious Muslim girl who should not be seen in public, who should not speak in public.”

At around age 9, she found some relief when her father divorced the woman. He soon married another woman who also tried to abuse El-Sayed, but she retaliated and the woman never tried it again.

Also at 9 years old, she saw her mother for the first time since she was abducted. That moment was when she knew there was another place she belonged to and that she could study what she wanted.

Her mother from then on would send her items from the U.S. — media, such as music from the Backstreet Boys; toys, such as Barbies; new gadgets, such as CD players; and school supplies, such as glitter.

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El-Sayed’s father promised she could go to college in America as long as she got good grades. But during her final year of high school, her father told her that he found her a husband and that she was going to meet him on her wedding day in four months.

“All of a sudden there is a major change in plans and that is when I decided it was time to go,” El-Sayed said.

She called her mother in April 2008, who contacted the appropriate authorities, and within a few months El-Sayed was touch with the FBI and American embassy to plan a way out of the country.

But after her father found out about a visit she made to the embassy, she was put on lockdown and became suicidal.

As she recounts in the video, El-Sayed, through luck and bravery, managed to escape while she was at a friend’s house in Cairo.

But El-Sayed’s story and her ups and downs didn’t end with her escape.

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Most of the Moral Courage Project videos are two to three minutes long, but El-Sayed’s is 10 minutes.

“I tried cutting it down but it just felt wrong to leave out a lot of it,” said Grannick, who wanted the video to discuss El-Sayed’s life after she returned to America.

Back living in Richmond Hill with her mother, El-Sayed went through a major depression the first year as she tried to figure out her purpose and why she went through what she did.

Her relationship with her mother, good for the first two years, became fractured when differences began to show between them, and they disagreed over El-Sayed’s publicly sharing her story, including a June 2013 Daily News article.

But she considers herself one of the lucky ones. Children around the world are abducted by parents every year, she said, and she is not only one of the few who has survived and is functional, but is one of the few who has also come out with her story and become an activist.

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After graduating from Queens College in the summer of 2013, El-Sayed now works with the school’s Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Program as the assistant manager. The program gives college students from a variety of religious backgrounds the opportunity to travel to the Middle East to interact with government officials, entrepreneurs, students, educators and philanthropists, create a dialogue and experience what the region is really like.

El-Sayed also works, through the Epic Theatre Ensemble, with a women’s group regarding issues in the Arab American community, and continues to work with the FBI to bring awareness to the issue of childhood abduction by parents.

“It is possible for you to survive,” she says to end the video. “It is possible for you to leave behind the stigmas and actually carry on and make something of yourself.”

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