Tag Archives: Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill teen fatally stabs stepfather over dirty dishes: DA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

PoliceCarLightsHC0708_L_300_C_Y-624x414

Updated 5:44 p.m.

A 19-year-old college student has been arrested after stabbing his stepfather at their Richmond Hill apartment Sunday afternoon following an argument over washing the dishes, prosecutors said.

Nickel McLean allegedly told police that he had just returned home from playing soccer that afternoon when he got into the dispute with his stepfather, 50-year-old David Hightower. During the confrontation, he said Hightower threatened and struck him, according to the district attorney’s office.

Cops found Hightower inside his home on 114th Street near Myrtle Avenue at about 2:30 p.m., authorities said. He had been stabbed several times in the chest, abdomen and arm.

Hightower was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

McLean was taken into custody at the scene and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, officials said. He was held on $500,000 bail following his arraignment Monday morning.

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Former Knicks help plant new trees and shrubs at Alley Pond Park


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Their most recent campaign wasn’t too successful, but the New York Knicks scored a win for the environment this week at Alley Pond Park.

Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier and former Knick Jerome Williams joined the Parks Department, the Knicks City Dancers, students from P.S. 161 in Richmond Hill and volunteers to announce the planting of 3,500 trees and 1,050 shrubs across the 655-acre northeast Queens green space.

The planting was made possible through the Trees for Threes program launched by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which donated one tree for every three-pointer the Knicks made during their 41 home games at Madison Square Garden this season.

At season’s end, the Knicks had accumulated more than 500 three-point buckets at MSG, and PwC decided to triple its donation to city parks.

“The Knicks and PwC understand the importance of adding trees to New York City’s ecosystem and how valuable care and stewardship are to the health of young trees on the streets and in our parks,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

The second-largest green space in Queens, Alley Pond Park features many wetlands, tidal flats, meadows and thick forests. It also has the city’s first high ropes adventure course and is part of the Urban Park Rangers’ Alley Pond Park adventure.

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Woman found on Richmond Hill sidewalk identified


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Updated Wednesday, April 8, 6:56 a.m.

Police have identified a woman who was found in Richmond Hill on Saturday after a man captured on video apparently dumping her on the sidewalk said he was helping the ailing teenager, according to authorities.

After releasing a photo of the woman, now identified as 18-year-old Safiya McLean, earlier on Tuesday, police later released video footage of a man who can be seen dragging her from a vehicle parked near where EMS found her and appears to leave McLean before driving away.


But cops later learned that the man, who knows McLean, was on the scene when EMS picked her up at about 12:50 a.m. at 131st Street and Jamaica Avenue. According to authorities, the man said he went to find help for the girl, who is believed to be homeless and was suffering from double pneumonia which led to sepsis, and directed EMS to where she was located.

The man did not identify himself or reveal the woman’s name to police until after the video of him leaving the woman at the scene was released to the public on Tuesday. No charges will be filed at this time and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

McLean was incoherent and unresponsive when she was found by EMS, and was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she remains in critical, but stable condition.

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Forest Hills men charged with illegally evicting Richmond Hill homeowner


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


Two Forest Hills men have been charged with burglary for illegally evicting a Richmond Hill homeowner from his home after the two had won the house in a foreclosure auction, according to authorities.

Semyon (aka Sam) Muratov, 34, and Yuriy (aka Erick) Munarov, 31, were each arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Monday night on charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal trespass and unlawful eviction, according to the Queens district attorney,

“More and more we are seeing individuals who are dealing with distressed properties unscrupulously taking advantage of the situation to benefit themselves,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The defendants in this case are accused of taking the law into their own hands and bullying a homeowner into vacating his residence so that they would not have to deal with a housing court eviction proceeding.”

According to the charges, Muratov placed a $25,000 down payment on a home located on 111th Street in Richmond Hill during a foreclosure sale on Jan. 9 but the sale had not yet gone to closing.

On the same day, Muratov and Munarov reportedly went to the property and told the 59-year-old homeowner that he had to vacate the home because they had bought the house at an auction.

When the homeowner asked for a proof of sale, according to Brown, the men refused to supply evidence and instead told the homeowner he had to hand over the keys and that they would be back in a couple of days to make sure he had left.

Muratov and Munarov then allegedly returned to the property on Jan. 12 and when they couldn’t get into the home, they broke the doorframe and deadbolt lock, and pushed in the front door. They then told the homeowner he could take a few things and when the homeowner said he had nowhere to go, the men gave him $200 in cash to find a place to stay.

The homeowner left the property with some important documents and when he later returned he found all the first-floor doors and windows had been boarded up and chains were on the door lock areas of the front door.

“We are not going to stand for anyone circumventing the law. Our office is working diligently to protect homeowners and tenants who may fall victim to the various unscrupulous and predatory behavior in real estate transactions,” said New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito. “People have the right to live undisturbed in their homes and these two individuals are accused of violating the due process rights of the tenant at the address.”

An investigation by the district attorney and sheriff’s offices revealed that on May 6, 2014, there was a judgment of foreclosure and sale on the 111th Street property, even though the homeowner said he was not aware of the foreclosure proceeding. Documents later allegedly showed that the homeowner’s estranged son was served the notice in 2012.

Although the mortgage lender had auctioned off the property on Jan. 9, Muratov would not assume ownership until there was a closing with full payment for the property and transfer of the deed, according to the district attorney. Even after the closing, there would have had to been a lawful eviction proceeding of the homeowner.

Both Muratov and Munarov face up to 15 years in prison if convicted and were ordered held on $5,000 bond or $2,500 bail. They are scheduled to return to court on May 5.

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Richmond Hill liquor store owner busted for tax fraud


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A Glen Oaks man was busted for failing to pay more than $500,000 in sales taxes owed to the state by his Richmond Hill liquor store, prosecutors said.

Gurcharan Singh, 33, along with his business, Raj American Liquor Inc., located at 102-25 Atlantic Ave., are facing charges of criminal tax fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records and sales, and compensating use taxes/fraud returns, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Singh and his business are accused of underreporting more than $10 million in sales on tax returns filed between March 1, 2007, and May 31, 2010. According to prosecutors, the liquor store collected $11,327,548 in revenue, but only reported sales of $387,724.

Singh, who is listed as the chairman or chief executive officer of Raj American Liquor, allegedly failed to pay $501,730 in sales taxes that should have gone to the state.

“This is the type of crime that makes every New Yorker a victim because the government and the public are cheated out of money to fund programs, services and infrastructure,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

If convicted, Singh faces up to 15 years in prison. His business is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or double the amount of the illegal gain.

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Man found dead in Richmond Hill house following fire


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

An unidentified man was discovered dead in a vacant Richmond Hill house early Wednesday morning after a fire broke out in the home, authorities said.

The blaze started at about 1:15 a.m. in the attic of the three-story residence on Lefferts Boulevard, near 95th Avenue, according to the FDNY.

Firefighters were able to control the flames by 1:50 a.m., and EMS soon found an unconscious man inside the home, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Suspect wanted in shooting outside Richmond Hill club


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for the clubgoer who they say shot a man in front of a Richmond Hill night spot early Monday morning.

The incident took place outside the Underground Lounge, at 104-09 123 St. , near Liberty Avenue, at about 4:20 a.m.

According to police, the suspect shot the 25-year-old victim in the foot following an argument. The victim was taken to an area hospital in stable condition.


Authorities have released a video of the suspect from inside the club and describe him as an adult male with word tattoos on both arms.

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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Two charged in deadly shooting at Richmond Hill gas station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

Two Brooklyn men have been arrested for the fatal January shooting of a man at a gas station near the Van Wyck Expressway, police said.

Charles Williams, 26, and Moeleek Harrell, 25, have both been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the Jan. 20 incident, according to authorities.

The two allegedly approached Derek Quattlebaum, a 28-year-old Brooklyn resident, at about 3 p.m. that day at a BP gas station in Richmond Hill at the intersection of Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue, and then fired at him.

Video footage released by police shows two suspects running into a blue Audi at the station and driving away.

Quattlebaum was shot in the head, torso and limbs, and taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.

A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

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Richmond Hill star student graduating college at 19


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

While most 19-year-olds are looking forward to finishing up their second year of college, Trivendra Persaud is gearing up for graduate school.

Persaud, who lives in Richmond Hill, has been a self-motivated student ever since he emigrated from Guyana to America at the age of 4 with his parents, his brother and his sister. He went to P.S. 54 in Richmond Hill until sixth grade, which is when he pursued an education in the York Early College Academy. In the 10th grade, he enrolled in his first college credit classes, and by the time he was a senior, he had already earned 58 credits toward his higher education.

“I know that hard work pays off,” Persaud said. “I always have a major focus on school work but you always have to keep that balance and have some fun.”

But it is not so easy for him to keep that balance. Along with going to school up to six days a week and through the summer and winter semesters, Persaud works three days a week at a law office and volunteers his time at Jamaica Hospital two other days. He said organization is his key to getting everything done, but that along his path toward success he had to cut some ties with friends and naysayers who were holding him back.

“I had to cut a lot of friends because they were pulling me down,” he said. “You know, they tell you to stop taking so many credits, to go hang out more instead of studying, but I knew I couldn’t do that. It was work now, party later for me.”

Because of his determination, Persaud is set to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in psychology in the spring. He is then looking to go back to school for his master’s and become a practicing occupational therapist. He one day wants to open up his own practice and said he has always had the urge to help people, especially when they cannot help themselves.

“I always think to myself, what if I was in that position?” he said. “I want to help people. I do it because I feel it should be done.”

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Pair wanted for stealing from Richmond Hill RadioShack


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Kicking RadioShack while it’s already down, a pair of suspects shoplifted from its Richmond Hill location, taking merchandise right off store shelves before fleeing, police said.

The duo, a woman and man, entered the electronics store, located at 113-20 Liberty Ave., on Feb. 18 at about 5 p.m., according to authorities. While the woman distracted the store employee, her partner removed merchandise from the shelves and placed them into a bag. They then fled.

Police describe the two suspects as a black woman with long hair wearing a brown jacket, and a black man wearing a black ski hat and black jacket.

Though numerous RadioShack locations in Queens and throughout the U.S. are slated to close by the end of the month, the Richmond Hill store is not one of them.

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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Community Board 9 chooses Lisa Gomes as new district manager, angering BP Melinda Katz


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Members of Community Board 9 selected Lisa Gomes to fill the long-vacant post of district manager — a move that Borough President Melinda Katz blasted as an attempt by the board to “steamroll this important decision” before new members join the board.

“Over six months have lapsed since the former district manager tendered her resignation,” Katz said. “The length of time it has taken the board to move this forward demonstrates the ongoing governance issues which have been prevalent on Community Board 9.”

Katz was so upset about the move that she issued a press release several hours before the meeting on March 3.

“It’s perplexing at best as to why Community Board 9 feels it is absolutely necessary to steamroll this important decision upon a board that may or may not be the same in 28 days,” Katz said in the statement.

Community Board 9 covers Kew Gardens, Richmond Hills, Ozone Park and Woodhaven.

Queens’ longest-tenured district manager Mary Ann Carey resigned last year in October and since then Community Board 9 was without a leader. The board members made a decision on Tuesday night during a closed meeting that lasted for over an hour. But just as the board members were about to heed Katz’s urging to select a new district manager, the borough president sent a letter to the board asking them to postpone the decision until April, a request that baffled board members.

“I think it’s ironic that the borough president highlights how long the process has taken as a potential problem and then urges us to take even more time,” a community board member said. “That seems a little weird to me. Especially when one of her former staffers happens to be a finalist for the job.”

The board members went ahead with the voting process between three candidates and ultimately voted to appoint Lisa Gomes to the district manager’s post. The former Katz staffer was not selected.

“[Gomes’] familiarity with Community Board 9, with its members and with its neighborhoods, made her a strong candidate for the job,” the board member said. “With her at the helm we are preserving institutional memory and maintaining continuity even while she has pledged to improve the way the office is run.”

Lisa Gomes served as a temporary district manager since October and she served as a board staff member for over 20 years.

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102nd Precinct cops honored for apprehending suspected car thieves


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

For busting several suspected car thieves, three police officers were honored as Cops of the Month during the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday at the Richmond Hill library.

Capt. Danielle Raia, the precinct’s executive officer, commended Police Officers Keith Doumas, Neil Conde and Joseph Cortright for making arrests of individuals operating stolen vehicles on Jan. 26 and 27.

“These gentlemen … have continuously worked over these years, from 2005 to this very moment, they’re still working tirelessly without anything but a ‘thank you’ sometimes, so they really deserve this award,” Raia said of her officers.

At about 12:22 p.m. on Jan. 26, the three officers observed a blue Nissan Maxima ignoring a stop sign. As they went to pull the car over, the driver did not stop and a pursuit ensued.

When they did stop the vehicle, they discovered it was stolen back in December 2014 and made the arrest.

On the following afternoon, Jan. 27, at 3:45 p.m., the officers made another arrest for a stolen car. This vehicle was reported taken from the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 108th Street in Richmond Hill.

Reportedly, the perp stole the Dodge Ram for the snow-blower that was in the trunk. The car was tracked down using an iPhone that was left in the vehicle.

The plaques given to the officers were donated by the Times Newsweekly.

Raia also announced that the 102nd Precinct will be increasing its focus on traffic violations such as failing to yield to pedestrians, speeding, and texting and calling while driving in an effort to lower driving fatalities in accordance with the mayor’s Vision Zero plan.

In addition, Raia said that officers will now have the authority to give out summonses when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, and can make arrests when there is injury caused to the pedestrian during a crash. This is part of the Right of Way Law.

“Before, we didn’t have the authority to make that arrest unless it was observed,” Raia said. “Now if you hit a pedestrian and they are seriously injured, you will be arrested. If they are just injured, there will be a summons issued.”

“We want to make sure that people are safe on the street, that we’re not getting hit,” Raia also said.

So far in 2015, the 102nd Precinct has had no pedestrian fatalities due to driving accidents.

The next 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting will take place at a new location. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, at the Woodhaven library, located at 85-41 Forest Pkwy.

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Police release video of Richmond Hill hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police have released video footage of a Richmond Hill hit-and-run that left a 63-year-old woman seriously injured.

An SUV was traveling eastbound on 89th Avenue near Lefferts Boulevard about 8:45 a.m. on Sunday when the car hit the woman, police said.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in serious condition, but is likely to survive.

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Authorities said the driver fled the scene eastbound on 89th Avenue. They are still searching for the vehicle, a 2013-15 dark gray Nissan Pathfinder SUV.

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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Hit-and-run in Richmond Hill leaves 63-year-old woman in critical condition


| slicata@queenscourier.com

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Police are looking for the driver of an SUV who struck a 63-year-old woman in Richmond Hill Sunday morning before fleeing.

The incident happened on 89th Avenue near Lefferts Boulevard about 9 a.m., police said. The driver was traveling eastbound on 89th Avenue when the car hit the woman.

The victim was transported to an area hospital where she is listed in critical condition and is likely to survive.

Police said the driver fled the scene and they are still searching for the green or gray SUV.

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Fumes from chemistry lab in Richmond Hill school send 21 students to area hospitals


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

A science experiment that went wrong sent 21 students from Holy Child Jesus Catholic Academy in Richmond Hill to area hospitals earlier Thursday morning after fumes filled a chemistry lab, officials said.

The students at the pre-K to 8 school were sent for medical treatment at area hospitals as a precaution and any injuries were reported as minor, according to the FDNY.

The emergency call came in from the school, located at 111-02 86th Ave., to the FDNY at about 9:40 a.m. Fire dispatchers immediately deployed a hazmat unit and emergency medical services to the school.

According to a statement on the school’s website posted by a school official this afternoon: “During class 6-1’s science class, smoke and fumes resulted from an experiment. As a precaution, 21 students were taken to two local hospitals.” The students were currently being released to their parents from those hospitals.

The statement also said that “the teacher immediately evacuated the room and, as a precaution, all students in the old school were relocated to the gymnasium.”

School officials noted that the FDNY and EMS later cleared the room and the building was declared safe. The school continued with its regular dismissal time and after-school activities were not affected.

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