Tag Archives: rosedale

Seven alleged southeast Queens gang members busted for murder plots


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


Counting themselves among “killas,” seven street gang members based in southeast Queens were indicted for allegedly plotting two murders, prosecutors said.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the suspects are part of the EBK (Everybody Killas) gang, which allegedly carried out plots in January 2013 to shoot two individuals whom they believed were members of a rival gang. One of the murder attempts took place in a busy shopping district during the evening rush hour, while the other occurred a few hours later at a grocery store, according to Brown.

“In both instances, the defendants’ alleged actions threatened the lives and safety of innocent bystanders as the victims were fired upon,” said Brown on Friday. “Today’s indictment is another example of police and prosecutors working together to reduce gang-based violence that too often plagues our neighborhoods.”

Brown identified the seven suspects as Jeffrey Bien-Aime, 19, of St. Albans; Anthony Biggs, 18, of St. Albans; Jonathan Jean-Pierre, 20, of Rosedale; Dayjah Knowles, 18, of Jamaica; Jerald Lowe, 22, of St. Albans; Kenneth Stokes, 20, of St. Albans; and Rasheed Watson, 22, of Jamaica.

All were variously charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy.

If convicted, each suspect faces up to 25 years behind bars.

Law enforcement sources said the first shooting occurred at 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2013, when Lowe, Bien-Aime, Watson, Jean-Pierre, Knowles and Stokes, along with unidentified EBK members, allegedly confronted rival gang members near Jamaica Avenue and Parsons Boulevard.

Following a verbal exchange, one of the EBK members pulled out a pistol and shot a rival in the right foot. The group then fled the scene, police said.

More than four hours later, Biggs, Stokes and two unidentified EBK members allegedly confronted another suspected rival at a deli located at 116-02 Merrick Blvd., according to prosecutors. Moments after arriving, an EBK member reportedly walked into the store, drew a .380-caliber pistol and shot the suspected rival in the left abdomen.

After the wounded rival fell to the ground, the EBK member attempted to fire again, but the gun jammed, authorities said.

Both of the gang’s targets were treated for their injuries at a local hospital. Detectives determined from shell casings recovered from both crime scenes that the same gun was used in each incident.

“I want to thank the members of the 113th Precinct who worked closely together with the Queens District Attorney’s office to build this case against these alleged EBK gang members,” Bratton said. “The NYPD remains committed to eliminating gang activity and improving the quality of life for the residents of the southern Queens communities.”

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Man dead after losing control of car on Belt Parkway


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


A Rosedale man is dead after losing control of his car while traveling on the Belt Parkway early Sunday morning, according to police.

The NYPD responded to a call at about 3:10 a.m. of an accident near the Belt Parkway and Rockaway Boulevard. Upon arriving to the scene, police determined that 29-year-old Robert Walker was driving his car westbound on the Belt Parkway when he lost control of it and struck a roadway barrier, authorities said.

Walker was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died a short time later.

The NYPD Collision Investigation Squad was investigating the accident.

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Unlicensed Queens driver charged after hitting 6-year-old boy coming off school bus: DA


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A Rosedale man has been charged with assault, driving without a license and other charges after he struck a 6-year-old boy as the child was exiting his school bus last year and then fled the scene in his vehicle, the district attorney’s office said.

“There is no place in the world that a person needs to rush to when one is confronted with a stopped school bus filled with young children,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “In this case a precious few minutes could have prevented a young child from being seriously injured. The defendant now faces felony assault and other charges.”

The boy was walking off a stopped school bus at 227th Street and 119th Avenue in Cambria Heights on the afternoon of Dec. 3, 2014, when he was struck, according to Brown. The boy’s mother said she saw a Toyota Avalon go around the stopped school bus and hit her son on the right side of his body. The bus’ stop sign was out and its lights were flashing at the time.

Garfield A. Myrie, 47, the Toyota’s driver, then got out of his car, picked up the boy, scooped him up in his arms and said, “He looks OK but I can bring him to my doctor,” according to the district attorney. After the boy’s mother told him to put her son down, Myrie returned to his car and fled the scene without reporting the incident.

The child was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for a broken femur. The injury required surgical plates and screws.

According to the district attorney’s office, a review of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles records showed that “Myrie’s license to operate a motor vehicle was suspended on three or more occasions, the last date being Jan. 27, 2014.”

Myrie was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of assault, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/serious injury, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and obedience to and required traffic-control devices, prosecutors said. Myrie, who faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, was ordered held on $25,000 bail.

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Renovated library opens in Rosedale


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Donovan Richards

BY ROSS BELSKY

After an eight-month renovation, the Rosedale branch of the Queens Library has reopened on schedule and under budget.

The renovation project’s highlights include modern rooftop heating, ventilated and air-conditioned temperature control, and energy-efficient lighting. The new comfort is accentuated by general interior improvements and spring cleaning.

Initially, Councilman Donovan Richards allocated $1 million for the project, but only $575,000 was used. Queens Library Interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey said of Richards, “He has made a great investment in the community.” Richards thanked the Department of Design and Construction for working in such a timely manner.

“Public libraries are a vital part of the cultural fabric of our city,” Richards said. “The recent renovation of Rosedale Library gave me an opportunity to fulfill a promise to expand the capacity of our libraries so that they can serve an even wider portion of the public. I would like to thank Queens Library and DDC for working to bring these upgrades to the library patrons in such a timely and professional manner.”

Since April 30, a mobile library bus provided service in Rosendale every Wednesday. Finally, on Dec. 22, a ribbon cutting marked the official re-opening of the building.

“Adding a new HVAC system, brand-new acoustic ceiling panels and lighting fixtures will ensure a building that is more than 50 years old can operate more efficiently and continue to be a valuable resource for the Rosedale community for decades to come,” Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Pena-Mora said.

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Man struck in hit-and-run at McDonald’s drive-thru


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Google Maps

Updated Monday, Nov. 24, 11:00 a.m.

A man, who was apparently intoxicated, was struck at a McDonald’s in Rosedale early Saturday morning, police said.

At about 4 a.m., a white Nissan Maxima hit the man, who was drunk and fell on the roadway of the drive-thru of the fast food restaurant on Merrick Boulevard near 244th Street, cops said. The vehicle then fled the scene.

The 48-year-old victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is currently in stable condition.

Police are still looking for the Nissan’s driver.

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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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Queens residents accused of stealing money orders from mail at JFK Airport


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

MailPileHC1408_X_300_C_R

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Five Queens residents, including two baggage handlers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, are accused of participating in a scheme that involved stealing money orders from internationally-bound mail.

One of the baggage handlers, Kenroy C. Mitchell of St. Albans allegedly deposited 33 stolen money orders into his bank account between November 2013 and January 2014, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. The money orders had been sent via U.S. mail to Japan, Korea and Greece.

Amanda Mackie, 20, of Rosedale, is accused of acting in concert with one of the other suspects, but was employed by Ground Services International as a baggage handler, Brown said. She allegedly deposited a money order meant for Japan into her own bank account this January.

Mitchell was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday, on charges of grand larceny criminal possession of stolen property. He is also charged with acting in concert with one of the other suspects and is accused of stealing more than $25,000, prosecutors said.

Mackie was arraigned Wednesday night and also charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. She is also charged with participating in a scheme to steal and criminally possessing $2,800 in U.S. Postal money orders.

Mitchell and Mackie were released on their own recognizance.

The three other individuals are still being sought, according to the district attorney’s office.

The suspects were identified and caught as the result of a joint investigation that the United States Postal Office and Port Authority Police Department carried out after receiving numerous complaints of money orders not reaching their intended destinations, Brown said. Specifically, the mail was allegedly being handled by Ground Services International and Swissport USA baggage handlers at JFK Airport.

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Motorcyclist killed after van strikes group of people in Rosedale


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

ambulance

A motorcyclist was killed and several people were injured when a van struck a group of people as they were loading the man’s bike into a pickup truck in Rosedale Friday night, police said.

The 24 year-old victim was riding along Rockaway Boulevard near Brookville Boulevard that evening when his motorcycle became disabled. A pickup truck and several people met the motorcyclist to help him out at about 8:20 p.m., and, as they were loading the bike into the parked vehicle, a Chevy van hit the rear of the pickup truck and them, cops said.

Another vehicle driving behind the van then struck the rear of the van.

The motorcyclist, who has yet to be identified by police, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities.

Four of the other people standing on the road and the van’s driver were taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Rosedale author pens YA book on bullying


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Delicia B. Davis

JANAE HUNTER

Stories of children driven to suicide from bullying drove a Queens woman to write a young adult book to teach kids to deal with the trauma, learn how to love and come to peace with themselves.

Delicia Davis, from Rosedale, recently published her first book through Precise Production Group, a company she founded back in 2012. The book, geared at a teen audience, tackles issues such as bullying, drugs, relationships and abuse.

Dear Diary: The Bullying Won’t Stop” follows 14-year-old Patricia Thomas, who has lived a life filled with emotional and physical trauma. Although she is well-off due to an inheritance from her grandparents, she lives with an abusive mother, doesn’t know who her father is, and endures bullying from the kids at her high school. Written in the form of diary entries, readers follow Patricia over the span of a year as she struggles to find her identity and find peace.

“I see news stories every day about kids getting bullied and it makes me sad,” said Davis. “Bullying has become so much more prevalent because of the Internet and social media, and I started thinking, ‘How can we help? How can we stop this?’”

Stories of kids being bullied to the point that they commit suicide are where Davis got the inspiration to write this story. She also said that some of the incidents in the book are loosely based on her own life, but that there are big differences between her and the main character, such as the fact that she, unlike Patricia in the book, has a father figure in her life.

Being a mother of two young boys, Davis said that she always has a listening ear for her sons when they need it, as well as for others who seek her advice.

“I will always give advice and listen to those who need me to. Bullying happens, but people need to know you can’t always overcome things by yourself,” said Davis. “Talk to someone — a parent, a friend, a school counselor — anyone. Or write poetry or your thoughts down in a notebook. Some things you can’t handle on your own. Know that you are not alone.”

 

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New Queens golf group hopes to grow sport in black community


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the UBGA

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

They’re not specifically looking for the next Tiger Woods, but two golf-loving Queens residents are hoping their new nonprofit can help foster the sport in the black community. 

Vernel Bennett, of Laurelton, and Jacques Leandre, of Rosedale, started the United Black Golfers Association (UBGA) — the first of its kind in Queens, they said — and the group will begin hosting meet-ups on golf courses shortly.

Both Bennett, the president of the nonprofit, and his vice president, Leandre, were convinced to play the sport by others and know there is interest, but the sport isn’t as readily available. The nonprofit seeks to provide opportunities for people to play the game.

“If we were exposed to it, we would love it,” Bennett said about the black community. “But our community is exposed to the typical stuff: a basketball court, a baseball field, a football field …”

Bennett, a retired accountant, started playing golf after his son’s recommendation and a lesson on a cruise about seven years ago. He fell in love with the sport and after competing in tournaments and joining the Roosevelt Golf Association, and he realized the benefits of golfing, including the networking side.

He believes through golf, members of the organization will be able to connect even if there is a generational gap.
The UBGA is co-ed, and accepts anyone over the age of 18. There is a monthly membership fee of $20, after a one-time $100 fee. The UBGA will make group trips to golf courses around the city, Long Island and even New Jersey several times each month. And for beginners there are private lessons available from certified trainers, with group and individual packages.

Since announcing the creation of the association, Leandre said they have gotten a positive response from the community on social media.

“The interest is there, but the engine isn’t. Right now UBGA is going to serve as the vehicle to take people to the golf course,” Leandre said. “It’s about exposing and creating an outlet for people to have a game that will last a lifetime.”

Click here or call 917-300-8310 to apply for membership and more information.

 

 

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Rosedale library to close for nearly $1M renovation


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Queens Library

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

The Queens Library is shutting down its Rosedale branch for a $895,000 renovation, turning a page in its history.

The library branch will close on April 17 for the revitalization of the building, which includes a new heating and air conditioning system as well as new ceilings and lighting.

The building update was funded from money allocated by Councilman Donovan Richards.

Starting on April 30, a mobile library bus will provide library service in Rosedale every Wednesday.

 

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New Mediterranean and Caribbean fusion restaurant comes to Rosedale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Following three years of issues, a new fusion restaurant and entertainment venue in Rosedale is open for business.

Pa-Nash, an eatery that focuses on a fusion of Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine with Caribbean and soul food, had a soft opening earlier this year and will host its grand opening on Friday to formally introduce itself to the community.

The restaurant, which is on 243rd Street, dealt with setbacks such as building renovation issues and obtaining city permits. But earlier this year the restaurant was completed and held a soft opening to gain feedback before its owners officially introduced it to the neighborhood.

“I’m totally ecstatic — it’s like the birth of our child,” said Noel Runcie, a co-owner. “I have two sons and this is like my third child.”

The menu features dishes such as herb-crusted lump crab cakes with chive garlic aioli and toasted coconut, almond-crusted salmon, and pistachio crumbed lamb chops with rosemary syrup and couscous.

In addition to a sit-down area, Pa-Nash also features a 25-foot-long bar with two flat screen televisions and a lounge for live entertainment. Owners plan to have comedy shows, live bands and karaoke nights. So far, owners said, there has been positive feedback for the establishment.

“The community is excited about this kind of establishment being here,” Runcie said. “They don’t have to go in the city.”

 

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Rosedale Jets celebrate successful football season


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

The Rosedale Jets Football Organization celebrated a successful season, including three Super Bowl wins, at its annual awards dinner Sunday night.

The nine-year-old division, the “Nasty 9s,” was among the Super Bowl victors. This win, however, was not their first.

The 21-boy team won the 2012 Super Bowl game and kept the tradition alive this past 2013 season.

“Their intent was to come out here and learn, and follow through from day one to completion,” said head coach Malik Cherry. “The guys played together last year. They already had a bond, and it helped with the transition in moving up to the 9 year olds [division].”

Cherry attributes the team’s undefeated season to teamwork and enthusiasm amongst all of the players.

“When they came to practice, they understood why they were out there,” he said. “They came to practice. They were focused. They had a lot of enthusiasm. They were out there to learn.”

The Nasty 9s defeated the Hempstead Tigers in a 12-0 victory during November’s Super Bowl game which they played in “arctic” conditions. Cherry said the temperature reached 15 degrees that day.

Coaches wrapped the young kids in blankets while they were on the sidelines and utilized all players so others could have a chance to warm up.

Cherry, in his sixth year coaching, said the past season was “one of the best experiences.”

“My past experiences have been good also. The teams always play hard and put their best foot forward and give 100 percent regardless of any loss,” he said. “But to have a combination of the guys winning and playing their A game, this is definitely a good feeling.”

The Jets’ 10-year-old and 12-year-old divisions also celebrated Super Bowl victories. All three teams were given trophies and jackets at the awards dinner on Jan. 19.

“So often, we highlight when things go wrong, and I think we need to find a way to be enthusiastic when things go right,” said Jets President Jacques Leandre. “Being recognized reinforces they’re special, and can and will be successful.”

About 200 football players and cheerleaders, 45 coaches and team moms make up the Rosedale Jets organization. This year, it was recognized as the Nassau County Football League’s Organization of the Year. Officials said the 2013 season was the “best year Rosedale had in all its 52 years.”

 

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Community members share vision for Laurelton, Rosedale library upgrades


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens Library

More room is coming to the Laurelton and Rosedale library branches and officials’ visions for the project is growing.

Councilmember Donovan Richards allocated $3 million for the two Queens Library reading spots to begin expansion and upgrade projects.

The Laurelton branch, currently 8,000 square feet, will double to 16,000 with the addition of a second floor.

“We’re really excited about that,” said Dave Wang, the Laurelton manager. “The community has a very high expectation and standard for the library. A lot of our residents depend on it.”

Wang hopes the additional space will allow the branch to offer more classes to the neighborhood; something that he said has been in demand.

“In Laurelton, there’s no community center. Everyone depends on the library,” he said.

Richards met with community members and library officials last week to discuss the visions for their respective branches.

“He’s been so supportive from the get-go,” said Joanne King of the Queens Library. “It’s really a wonderful thing for us to see.”

Roughly $1.7 million of Richards’ funds will get the Laurelton expansion off the ground, but $9.8 million is still needed for completion, according to library officials.

Rosedale will receive $1 million, but will still need $6.3 million, King said. The branch’s square footage will expand from 6,000 to 9,400.

Branch officials were able to share their hopes for teen and children spaces at last week’s meeting.

“This is only the beginning, but it’s a very big help,” Wang said.

 

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Primary guide: City Council District 31


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

31

As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 31 primary candidates (Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, the Rockaways), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Ricardo Brown

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Accountant, CPA

Personal Info: Brown, a Costa Rican native, went to Hillcrest High School and SUNY Old Westbury. He is currently a member of the Springfield Gardens Rosedale Community Association.

Platform/Issues: Brown believes some of the most important issues to address in this race is modernizing the district’s educational system, rebuilding Sandy-affected areas and providing youth, senior and veteran services.

If elected, he hopes to enhance education amongst his constituents, create a greater collaboration between the community and police, start a civilian patrol team in various sections of the district, support the growing need for social services in Far Rockaway and increase the Department of Environmental Protection’s efforts to clean up drainage and reduce flooding.

Name: Michael R. Duncan

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Owner & manager of Jamaica Breeze Restaurant

Personal Information: Duncan was born in Kingston, Jamaica and immigrated to New York in 1978. Afterwards, he attended Baruch College, CUNY, graduating with a BBA in accounting. After moving to Rosedale, he saw the need to revitalize the Rosedale Soccer Club which had been allowed to fall apart. He got involved and eventually became the president.

As a result of his tireless commitment to the public school system, Duncan has been elected PTA president at P.S. 195, J.H.S. 231 and Springfield Gardens High School. Duncan was the one who led the fight against the construction of the “hot sheets” motel across the street from Springfield Gardens High School.

From 2007 to 2009, Michael Duncan was the Chief of staff of District 31. Currently, he owns and manages the Jamaica Breeze Restaurant on Merrick Boulevard whereby he created 12 new jobs in the community.

Duncan is a community activist and has always put the community first. This is why he has volunteered in the school system, revitalized the soccer club and was the force behind Christmas in the Rockaways to bring cheer to the Sandy victims.

Name: Donovan Richards

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: City Councilmember of the 31st District

Personal Information: From childhood, Richards has been committed to public service both at home and abroad. He served as a missionary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on behalf of his St. Albans Congregational Church highlighting this as turning point in his understanding of what it means to serve the community. Although he admits initially he had no interest in politics, a tragic series of events changed his mind. In March 2003 his childhood friend Darnell Patterson was fatally shot in front of his home. Richards decided he wouldn’t let Darnell die in vain. Councilmember James Sanders Jr. held a meeting regarding gun violence in the community. His testimony and outspokenness at this forum caught the attention of Sanders and he later joined his staff November 2003.

Platform/Issues: Richards was elected to his current seat through a March 2013 special election, and since has fought against the closure of daycares, after-school programs and firehouses. He additionally brought home nearly $10 million in capital and expense funding over six months, and allocated $3 million to expand district libraries. He also recently negotiated with the Bloomberg administration to bring a Workforce Center to the district and voted to overturn the mayor’s veto on stop and frisk and to create an inspector general to oversee the NYPD.

If elected again in September, Richards will continue to focus on education, jobs and affordable housing. He was endorsed by the UFT, SEIU 1199, DC 37, Communication Workers of America and 32BJ.

 

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