Tag Archives: Richmond Hill

Queens man who went missing from Manhattan hospital found safe


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

A Richmond Hill man who wandered off from a Manhattan hospital earlier this week has been found safe, police said.

Israel Jardinez, 24, was left seen at Mount Sinai Hospital, on East 102 Street, just before 6 p.m. Monday, officials said.

According to WABC, Jardinez has the mental capacity of a child and went missing while at the hospital for a doctor’s appointment.

Police said he was found Saturday in good condition and has been reunited with his family.

 

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Cops looking for Queens man who went missing from Manhattan hospital


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a Queens man who went missing from a Manhattan hospital Monday.

Israel Jardinez, a 24-year-old Richmond Hill resident, was last seen at Mount Sinai Hospital, on East 102 Street, about 5:45 p.m. on April 7, the NYPD said.

He is developmentally disabled and has the mental capacity of a child, WABC and CBS New York reported. According to WABC, Jardinez wandered off from the hospital while at a doctor’s appointment.

Jardinez is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and 220 pounds, and has a partially closed left eye.  He was last seen wearing a black jacket with a “Mi-Raza” logo, tan pants, a black and white hoody 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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Honda Accords, Nissan Maximas targets of tire and rim thefts: 102nd Precinct


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

In the past two to three months, police from the 102nd Precinct, representing Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and north Ozone Park,  have seen an increase in rims and tires being stolen from late model Honda Accords and Nissan Maximas.

In high-theft areas, cops said to etch the Vehicle Identification Number on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lids to make it difficult for thieves to market any stolen car parts.

Cops advise drivers to always roll up windows and lock the car, no matter where it is parked, and also remove valuables and GPS mounts. They also recommend parking in front of houses that have cameras.

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Officer Quwella Brown, quwella.brown@nypd.org or 718-805-3217.

 

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Driver charged for deadly hit-and-run in Richmond Hill


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A man has been arrested after he struck a 73-year-old woman with his car in Richmond Hill before fleeing the scene, police said.

Kaneez Hussein was walking in the middle of Jamaica Avenue near 131st Street about 6:30 a.m. Thursday when she fell and was hit by a Nissan Altima, the NYPD said. She was just a couple of blocks from her home when the accident took place.

The driver, identified by police as 27-year-old Bladimer Alvarez Sorto, then fled in his car, cops said.

Hussein was taken to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Alvarez Sorto was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and unlicensed operator, according to police.

 

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Queens man charged in NYC’s first murder of 2014


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man has been arrested for the fatal Jamaica shooting that was the first homicide of the year, police said.

Cops found Julio Mora, 22, of Richmond Hill, inside of a 113th Avenue residence near Sutphin Boulevard about 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 with a gunshot wound to the chest, the NYPD said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheldon Smith, 26, who police had been searching for in connection to Mora’s murder since Jan. 2, has been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said.

 

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Local precincts hosting seminar to combat 53 percent increase in domestic violence crimes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Domestic violence crimes have increased over 50 percent in south Queens and cops are reaching out to bring awareness to the community.

“There are laws we obey. There is a population out there that you cannot prey upon, including your family,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding office of the 106th Precinct.

The precinct is teaming up with the neighboring 102nd Precinct to host a seminar on domestic violence awareness on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fair Field Pavilion, 131-10 101st Ave. in Richmond Hill.

The seminar is “open to anybody who wants to come,” Schiff said, and will feature guest speakers from the district attorney’s office, mayor’s office, social workers and psychologists.

The 2013 year-end statistics showed a 53 percent increase in domestic violence assaults in the 106th Precinct, Schiff said.

The NYPD expanded the definition of domestic violence to include all couples, spousal or not, as well as long-term roommates.

“The definition has expanded, so have the crimes,” Schiff said. “That contributes to the increase.”

During the seminar and also through efforts to curtail the crime, police will educate victims, mainly women and children, and detail how they respond to domestic violence reports, including the initial response and possible remedies for the situation.

Cops will also seek out aggressors and “educate them.”

“We want them to know this is what can happen to you should you lay hands on your family,” Schiff said.

 

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Nine arrested after massive cockfighting operation busted in Queens, Brooklyn


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

handcuffs-with-color-web-size

Thousands of roosters were recovered and dozens of people were taken into custody after officials busted “Operation Angry Birds” wide open.

Throughout the weekend, city and state officials busted a Richmond Hill cockfighting ring, a Brooklyn pet store housing 50 birds and a farm storing as many as 3,000 roosters for future fighting. Nine felony arrests were made.

“Cockfighting is a cruel, abusive and barbaric practice that tortures animals, endangers the health and safety of the public and is known to facilitate other crimes,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) spearheaded the raids.

After 10 p.m. Saturday, city and state officials raided a Richmond Hill cockfighting event on Jamaica Avenue, according to a police source.

Birds were bred, trained, plied with performance-enhancing drugs, had razor-sharp gaffs attached in place of their natural spurs and were locked in a small pen where they would fight to the death.

“No animal should be forced to fight to the death for human entertainment and profit,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matthew Bershadker.

The ring had operated bi-monthly since at least May, according to Schneiderman. Wagers of up to $10,000 were made on various fights.

At that same time, investigators discovered 50 roosters, in poor condition and showing physical signs of having been altered for fighting, underneath the Brooklyn pet shop. The owner, Jeremias Nieves, 74, was arrested and charged with a felony.

The three-county-wide raid ended north of the city in Plattekill, where officials raided a 90-acre farm, and the ASPCA recovered as many as 3,000 fighting birds.

The farm had been unregistered since 2010 but operated under the guise of a live poultry farm. Thousands of makeshift cages were hid in the center of the property.

Manager Manuel Cruz, 60, and farm hand Jesus Cruz, 37, were arrested and arraigned. The farm allegedly charged rent to board, feed and care for the roosters that were bred and ultimately trained for fighting all around the tri-state area and up to Massachusetts.

The multi-faceted bust is the largest cockfighting takedown in New York State history and is among the largest in national history. The ASPCA established a temporary, undisclosed location to care for the recovered birds.

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Cops: Video catches suspects stealing tools from Richmond Hill garage


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for three suspects who burglarized a Richmond Hill garage last month, according to the NYPD.

On Jan. 22, at about 3 a.m., the burglars broke the lock of a garage door of a private home and once inside, took drills and electric saws, then fled, 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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Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Ambulance Corp slaps neighbor with $13M lawsuit


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter / @FDNY

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corp recently filed a lawsuit against the collapsed building next door’s owners to the tune of $13 million in damages and lost rent.

Owned by 78-19 Jamaica Avenue LLC, the deteriorating building, which was an abandoned furniture store, crumbled on April 12 last year, leaving a hole in the roof and damaging the adjoining ambulance corp structure.

“That building next door, because of the negligence of that corporation and others, is a danger to society,” said Angelo A. DiGiangi, general counsel of Community Advocacy Center, which is representing the volunteer ambulance organization pro bono in collaboration with CUNY Law School. “The building looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If this building continues the way that it is, my client will lose its building.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center rented space from the volunteer ambulance group, but had to move to a temporary location—American Legion Post 118—after the structure was determined unsafe by the city’s Buildings Department.

Nearly a year later, the collapsed building still has a gaping hole and mold, elected officials said.

After much pushing by local politicians, 78-19 Jamaica Avenue LLC recently paid off $3,200 in fines it owed to the Department of Buildings and hired an architect, according to the agency. However, the building still has eight open ECB violations and a total of $33,000 in fines, $20,000 due in Department of Buildings civil penalties for work without a permit and $7,500 due in  civil penalties for failure to correct hazardous violations, according to the Buildings Department.

“It’s disgusting that it took so long to get to this point,” Assemblymember Mike Miller said. “Seniors have been suffering and they want to be back in the ambulance corp. This is their home.”

The owner of the property could not be reached for comment.

Despite the recent positive movement, elected officials are still unsure of when the owner will actually repair the building.

“I need for work to be done on the building. That would be positive. Paying the fines does nothing for seniors or the Woodhaven – Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corp,” State Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “With that gaping hole in the roof, with the snow and ice, that building is only going to get worse.”

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DNA links man to two 1997 Richmond Hill rapes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 55-year-old man already serving a prison sentence for a burglary charge was tied through DNA evidence to two separate Richmond Hill rapes dating back to 1997, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Johnny Dupree was indicted Monday and charged with two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sodomy, according to the district attorney. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Dupree is currently serving a sentence of 16 years to life for pleading guilty to second-degree burglary in 2000.

A DNA sample collected after Dupree’s conviction was positively matched to DNA evidence gathered from the rape victims and crime scenes, Brown said. Though the evidence had been previously tested, more sophisticated techniques, that were not available at the time of the crimes, conclusively matched the DNA to Dupree.

“My office’s DNA Prosecutions Unit has been systematically reviewing every unsolved sexual assault in Queens County dating back to 1996 – which is as far as the statute of limitations permits,” Brown said.

Dupree is accused of entering both of the women’s apartments, ages 23 and 24, in the middle of the night while they were asleep and raping them at knifepoint, according to the district attorney.

 

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Star of Queens: Martin Colberg, president, Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Martin Colberg is the president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA), a civic association that addresses problems in the community of Woodhaven.

BACKGROUND: Colberg grew up in the Woodhaven and Richmond Hill areas, and has been in Woodhaven for the past 10 years.  Four years ago, Colberg attended his first WRBA meeting, and found the ideas of the association very interesting, saying “I was excited to put some more time and effort into my community.”

GOALS: Colberg has recently been named the new president of the WRBA, and is also the first Latino president, since the start of the association, 42 years ago. Colberg believes this to be a great representation of the growth and diversity in the neighborhood.

According to Colberg, his goal in the coming year will be to continue to get others involved in helping their community.

“I definitely want to concentrate on outreach, among other things in the coming year, just to get more numbers in our membership,” he said.

Colberg wants to concentrate on getting the younger generation involved in their community, hoping he can partner with schools or create a program, so that younger people can realize that they are needed.

BEST MEMORY:  One of Colberg’s best memories was watching his community come together to help those in need after Superstorm Sandy.

“It was such an eye-opening experience to watch so many members of the community put so much money, time and effort into helping those in need,” he said. Colberg recalled keeping the office open for a full week, as a drop-off station, and watching people come multiple times to give their time or make donations of clothes, food or money.

“I remember people getting to their last quarter tank of gas and still making one more trip to the Rockaways to help out.”

INSPIRATION: Colberg’s drive is just seeing others in his neighborhood get involved, saying, “in the fast-paced world that we are in, not a lot of people have that extra time to put into helping their community, but when they do show up, I feel like I have to help out as well.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: As the new president of the WRBA, his biggest challenge is yet to come.  Looking forward, he feels his challenge would just be to gain more exposure and get more people involved, which he believes he can accomplish by the end of the year.

 

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Graffiti duo busted in Richmond Hill


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police busted two vandals in Richmond Hill on Saturday.

Sergeant Jimmy Conwall, Detective Christopher Diaz and P.O. Anthony D’Ascanio, dressed in plain clothes, spotted two people sitting on a subway bench at the Jamaica Avenue and 111th Street station around 1 a.m. on Jan. 11.

The pair, Tommy Martinez and Jeremy Cautin, was sitting near “fresh graffiti vandalism” on a J-train car, police said.

Diaz saw a knapsack stuffed with spray paint cans next to Martinez, 19, of Brooklyn. He tried to close the bag as the officers approached, according to police.

Diaz then saw Cautin, 21, of Richmond Hill, wearing one green latex glove and a spray paint can sticking out of his jacket pocket.

Later, cops determined the fresh graffiti belonged to the two. Cautin acted as a lookout while Martinez tagged “FEAL” on the subway car, 10 feet wide and over three feet high.

They were both arrested and charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti, 15 counts of possession of graffiti instrument and criminal trespassing.

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Taxi driver dies in Richmond Hill accident


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Kew Gardens man was killed Friday afternoon after crashing his yellow taxi into two parked cars, police said.

Ved Wadhwa, 56, was driving down 118th Street near 95th Avenue about 3:40 p.m. when he veered to the left striking a parked vehicle, and then to the right, into another parked vehicle, according to the NYPD.

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

There were no passengers in the taxi at the time of the accident, police said.

There investigation is ongoing.

 

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Man sought in connection to NYC’s first murder of 2014


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have identified a man wanted in connection to a fatal Jamaica shooting that was the first homicide of the year.

Cops found Julio Mora, 22, of Richmond Hill, inside of a 113th Avenue residence near Sutphin Boulevard about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday with what initially appeared to be stab wounds to the chest, according police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner later determined Mora had died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

The NYPD is seeking Sheldon Smith in connection to Mora’s murder.

Police described Smith as a 26-year old man, 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

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: Queens shooting is city’s first murder of 2014


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A man shot to death in Jamaica Wednesday is the first homicide of the year, police said.

Cops found Julio Mora, 22, of Richmond Hill, inside of a 113th Avenue residence near Sutphin Boulevard about 1:15 a.m. with what initially appeared to be stab wounds to the chest, according to the NYPD. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner later determined Mora had died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

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

 

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