Tag Archives: Richmond Hill

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.



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.  


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.


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.”



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.


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.


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.


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.

404-15 102 PCT CIS Photo

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.



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

| slicata@queenscourier.com

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.


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.



Councilman Wills once again indicted on corruption charges

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

File photo

Councilman Ruben Wills is racking up quite a rap sheet.

The city councilman, who had already been indicted, was indicted again on Tuesday for charges alleging that he filed false financial disclosure reports. He pleaded not guilty.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli charged Wills with allegedly filing false documents about his finances to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board. Elected officials in New York City must file these documents for public scrutiny and to guard against any potential conflicts between their personal and city business.

“Submitting false documents to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board is a serious crime,” Schneiderman said.  “My office’s partnership with the comptroller is designed to combat corruption in the public sector, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the public trust is not undercut by public servants who are not truthful in their disclosures.”

Schneiderman and DiNapoli charged Wills with five counts of the class E felony of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. Schneiderman and DiNapoli claim that from 2011 to 2013 Wills purposely omitted certain financial dealings. If convicted, Wills faces up to four years in prison.

And the history between the state attorney and Wills goes back to 2014.

Back in May 2014, Wills, who represents the 28th District, which includes Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale and South Ozone Park, was indicted on charges by Schneiderman for allegedly stealing public campaign funds and using the cash for a Louis Vuitton handbag and shopping sprees at Nordstrom, Century 21 and other locales. He’s also accused of taking a $33,000 member item from since-convicted former state Sen. Shirley Huntley for his fake charity but pocketing most of it. Those charges are pending.


Developmentally disabled Queens woman who went missing in early December returns home

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A developmentally disabled Richmond Hill woman who went missing in Jamaica last year has returned home seven weeks after she disappeared, according to one of the centers where she receives services.

Bibi Kadim, 37, was last seen on Dec. 5 when she went out for lunch while she was at the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP). She was scheduled for a medical clinic appointment that afternoon, but had canceled the appointment, according to QCP.

Her worried parents, who say Kadim has a childlike mentality and needs daily medication, had not heard from her for weeks. But on Sunday their daughter came home to them. Further details on where she was during the time she was missing were not disclosed.

Staff of QCP and The Shield Institute in Bayside, where she also receives services, said she is looking forward to resuming her usual activities at their centers.


City council funds new roof for library in Richmond Hill

| slicata@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Libraries have often been considered temples of knowledge. But for the last several years, a public library in Richmond Hill was looking a bit more like an ancient ruin.

But thanks to the efforts of Councilmen Ruben Wills and Eric Ulrich, a renovation project will help to keep the Richmond Hill Library open by replacing its crumbling roof.

“I am a true believer in education and know how important it is to have a place for our children and adults to come and learn,” said Wills, who has allocated over $1 million to libraries in his district since he took office.

The Richmond Hill branch of the Queens Library, located at 103-34 Lefferts Blvd., was the recipient of an $885,000 roof makeover as cracks and leaks have plagued the location for quite some time. The city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) did the construction.

The library hosts all types of activates for children and adults that would not be possible without a roof.

“Getting the roof was just so important to us,” said David Booker, the community library manager. “This isn’t only a place for education but a place for people to come and feel safe when learning.”


Booker said the library branch hosts homework help sessions, computer classes, science projects and arts and crafts, among its many other amenities. It has a separate computer kiosk section and back room closed off from the rest of the library for classes.

Assemblyman David Weprin, who is also a staunch advocate of the Queens Library system, said he was happy to see the city’s money go toward such a crucial project. He described the diversity that he saw in the room and said it showed the true strength of Queens.

“I’ve been very involved with funding in what I think is the best library system in the country, if not the world,” Weprin said. “The diversity of Richmond Hill is present in here and our strength is in that diversity.”


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.



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.