Tag Archives: south ozone park

Man wanted in two Queens rooftop break-ins


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man broke into two Queens businesses by cutting a hole in the roof and taking off with cash and other merchandise, police said.

The first burglary took place on Jan. 31 at 99 Cents Deal, located on Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill, cops said. After entering the business, the suspect stole cash.

On Feb. 5, the suspect took lottery tickets, calling cards and cash from the Super Pioneer Supermarket on 111th Avenue in South Ozone Park, police said.

The NYPD has released a photo of the suspect from the second break-in.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Man allegedly kills brother by hitting him in head with frying pan


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A feud between two brothers turned deadly after one allegedly struck the other with a frying pan Tuesday afternoon.

Jason Tolentino, 30, and his sibling were arguing inside of a South Ozone Park home on 122nd Street about 3:20 p.m. when his brother hit him in the head with the piece of kitchen equipment, police and sources said.

Tolentino was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

His brother was taken into custody, but has yet to be charged.

 

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South Ozone Park church catches fire overnight, injuring four firefighters


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Four firefighters were injured putting out a two-alarm blaze in South Ozone Park.

The Deliverance Tabernacle Church caught fire about 3 a.m. Monday. The FDNY crew was able to extinguish the flames after about an hour and had no problems with frozen fire hydrants, despite conflicting reports.

“Reports said [there were problems] but we just confirmed the hydrants [were functioning]”, said an FDNY spokesperson.

The four hurt firefighters sustained minor injuries and were taken to Jamaica Hospital.

Members of the congregation on Sutter Avenue could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

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Police seek pair who robbed livery cab driver in South Ozone Park


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man and a woman robbed a livery cab driver in South Ozone Park Sunday, taking off with the victim’s cash, police said.

The 25-year-old driver picked up the pair about 4:10 a.m. at the intersection of Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Fulton Street, and took them to 133rd Street and Linden Boulevard, as requested, cops said.

Once at their destination, the victim was making change for the suspects, when the male suspect reached into the victim’s pocket, stole his money and fled from the cab, police said.

The first suspect is described as light skinned black male and 20 to 25 years old. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and a black jacket. The female suspect is described as black, 20 to 25 years old, with a thin build.

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: Suspect shoots gun into South Ozone Park store


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man captured on video shooting into a South Ozone Park store before fleeing, the NYPD said.

The suspect can be seen on the surveillance footage, just after midnight Sunday, firing into Magical Signs, at 111-09 Rockaway Blvd., with a black handgun then escaping down the street on foot, police said. No one was injured in the shooting.

Authorities describe the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 20s, 5’5″-5’7″and 130 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, and black 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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ATM owner’s van robbed for $45K in South Ozone Park


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

A person in South Ozone Park made off with $45,000 after snatching it from a minivan, police said.

The owner of several ATM machines throughout the city stopped at a Rockaway Boulevard bodega on Friday to replenish the machine inside and left a bag of cash on his front seat.

A witness then saw somebody smash the front window and make off with the loot, according to a police source.

The man typically leaves his stash in a safe inside his van, but this time left the cash loose, said the source.

The ATM owner operates by himself and was making rounds refilling various machines. The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Green cabs could be coming to south Queens


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of TLC

Green cabs could now be driving down south in the borough.

A representative from the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) will be making a stop at the next Community Board (CB) 10 meeting on Thursday, December 5 to explain the new Boro Taxi procedures, rules, and the program’s presence in the region moving forward.

Betty Braton, CB 10 chair, said the outer-borough cabs coming to the community could either be a benefit or a disadvantage depending on “how it rolls out.”

“I would believe on the positive side, it provides a safer way in the outer boroughs for people to do street hails,” she said. “On the downside, we already have an existing problem with livery cabs parking. I would think it would become problematic if the green cabs decide to take up parking spaces or just cruise constantly in the transit hubs.”

Boro Taxis, similar to livery cabs, are affiliated with a base and may take dispatch, flat-fare calls. However, similar to city yellow cabs, they can also make metered, hailed pick-ups.

Currently licensed livery bases apply for an opportunity to affiliate the street-hail liveries, which is then processed and approved by the TLC. Two sites in South Ozone Park already got the green light for green cabs, according to the TLC.

Resident Jesus Garay made a request on the Boro Taxis’ website for a base at the cross section of Woodhaven Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard, so cabs could serve Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park.

 

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Two wanted in South Ozone Park hotel robbery


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a pair of men who allegedly robbed a hotel near the John F. Kennedy International Airport Saturday.

The suspects entered the La Quinta Inn & Suites at 111-26 Van Wyck Expressway around 9:30 p.m, said cops.

One of the suspects went to the front desk, pointed a shotgun at the manager and demanded money. The second suspect held open a bag as the manager placed $560.00 dollars in the bag, said police. They then fled the hotel, heading north on the Van Wyck Expressway.

There were no injuries reported during the robbery.

Cops describe both suspects as black males and 6’0″. The first suspect was wearing a black ski cap, blue jeans and a blue waist length jacket. The second suspect was wearing a white waist length jacket.

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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‘Safe Routes’ coming to four Queens schools


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Safer streets are coming soon to four Queens middle and elementary schools.

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) confirmed it has selected a construction company to make adjustments around the schools to increase safety, as a part of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Safe Routes to Schools program.

The safe routes program is a city-wide initiative that seeks to improve safety to city schools with the highest accident rates.

A DDC representative said the $3.3 million improvements will begin by the spring of 2014 around I.S. 77 in Ridgewood, St. Stanislaus Kostka School in Maspeth, St. Joan of Arc School in Jackson Heights and P.S. 108 in South Ozone Park.

The work around the schools will include adding speed bumps, adjustment of streetlights and traffic signals, ramps to the sidewalks, work to improve the curbs for pedestrians, placement of bus pads in the streets and infrastructure and utility work.

These four schools are on DOT’s list of 135 priority schools for traffic safety improvements, which was originally created in 2003 by the city agency. Overall, there are 33 priority Queens schools on the list that are slated to see the improvements.

The work on the four schools is expected to be completed by the spring of 2015.

 

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Board shuts down South Ozone Park hotel proposal


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Developers foresee a luxury hotel, but South Ozone Park residents fear a future homeless shelter.

Community Board (CB) 12 shot down a proposal at its November meeting that would rezone a part of 135th Avenue to allow for a 13-story hotel to be built right near a residential neighborhood.

The proposal is reminiscent of a previous hotel-turned-shelter in the area. The owner of a 337-room hotel went to the Department of Homeless Services, unbeknownst to the community, and turned the site into “one of the largest shelters in the state of New York,” but has since been shut down, said Yvonne Reddick, CB 12 District Manager.

“It’s a lot for the community to swallow and it’s not easily forgotten,” she said. “I don’t think anyone can convince them, and rightfully so, that this wouldn’t happen again.”

The new proposal, which the board unanimously rejected, puts the new high rise on 135th Avenue between 140th and 142nd Streets. CB 12 additionally said there are already a number of hotels in the area, and another one is simply unnecessary.

“When it comes to so many hotels in one area, the residents in that area become leery,” Reddick said. “You have all of these hotels, what happens if they become under-utilized?”
The planned hotel has over 300 rooms, a rooftop pool, restaurant and health club. Developers Tserpes Holdings did not return a request for comment.

 

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Man found murdered inside South Ozone Park basement


| editorial@queenscourier.com

A man was discovered brutally killed in the basement of a South Ozone Park house early Tuesday morning.

Around 5 a.m., police, responding to a 9-1-1 call of cries for help inside of 120-46 131st Street, found the victim in the home’s basement with trauma to the head and multiple stab wounds to his body, said cops. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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

 

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Sewage project could impact South Ozone Park traffic


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the DEP

Jamaica Bay is getting a clean-up, but it will require years of work.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed to spread a citywide project to South Ozone Park next August to prevent untreated sewage from ultimately making its way into the bay.

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) result from the combination of this domestic sewage and industrial wastewaters with storm water. The project, once completed, will monitor this, and consists of adding higher level sewer separation, wet weather stabilization, drainage basins and more in the event of a future storm.

Currently, plans are in preliminary stages. There will be period for public comment, and the DEP is working with the DOT on road closure potentials.

According to proposal plans, once construction begins, 126th Street between South Conduit Avenue and 150th Avenue will be closed for one year, as will the 150th Avenue westbound lane.

Additionally, the Belt Parkway’s on-ramp near 150th Avenue will be closed for 22 months, and one eastbound lane will be closed for one year during nighttime DOT work hours.

North Conduit Avenue near 150th Avenue will also experience various lane closures for up to two years. A traffic analysis concluded that the left lane can be closed for two months, and the second lane closed at night for two, one-month periods.

The green space between the Belt Parkway and North Conduit Avenue will be closed for two years.

There are also additional flagging areas for trucks, and temporary, short-term closures for truck unloading.

“You do not make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” said Betty Braton, Community Board 10 Chair. “There are roadway concerns, there will be traffic issues. It’s a lengthy project and they’re trying to do it within a compressed time frame.”

Construction is projected to end by February 2017, and will reduce the volume of CSOs to Jamaica Bay basins by 24 percent.

Despite a busy construction scene, Braton said the benefit in the long-term will be a clean Jamaica Bay after any future storm.

 

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City Council District 32 candidates Ulrich, Simon look ahead to Election Day


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photos

The heated race for City Council District 32 is coming to a close.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, the incumbent, has represented District 32 in the City Council since 2009. He stood with Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven through natural disasters and hard-pressed community issues.

“I am proud of my campaign and my work in the City Council over the past four-and-a-half years. I am running on my record of accomplishments and my ability to deliver real results for my constituents,” Ulrich said.

However, Lew Simon has not been far behind. He said he worked tirelessly through Sandy to ensure the safety of the district.

“The support we’re getting on our calls and door to door campaigning is phenomenal – people want change and they don’t feel like they’re being represented in City Hall on issues from schools to street lights to Sandy rebuilding,” Simon said.

Simon suffered a setback earlier this month when he received a stent due to partial heart blockage. He now said he’s spending every day “making sure every voter turns out” on Election Day.

 

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Brooklyn man charged in 11 Queens burglaries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Brooklyn man has been charged with breaking into 11 homes in the Forest Hills, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Howard Beach neighborhoods of Queens and stealing thousands of dollars worth of property.

Mario Girau, 28, was initially arrested in connection to a September burglary of a Tahoe Street residence in Ozone Park in September, according to District Attorney Richard Brown, but was later tied to the other 10 incidents after police recovered stolen items from his home.

According to the criminal complaint, said Brown, officers assigned to the Burglary Larceny Apprehension Surveillance Team were investigating a pattern of residential burglaries last month when they arrested Girau for the Tahoe Street break-in.

Following that arrest, a search warrant was obtained for his home where police found items which were later identified as the property of 10 victims whose homes had been burglarized. Those burglaries all took place in 2013, with the exception of one which occurred in 2011.

Some of the items recovered included jewelry, cameras and computer equipment. According to Brown, investigators located the owner of one of the cameras by finding the bride who appeared in wedding photos take with that camera and discovering that some of her guests were burglary victims.

“People’s homes are their sanctuaries and this defendant is alleged to have crossed a very serious line in entering those homes and stealing personal and valuable items,” said Brown.

Girau was charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and possession of burglar’s tools for the Tahoe Street break-in.

As of Wednesday afternoon, he was awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on multiple counts of burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon in connection to the 10 other burglaries. He faces 150 years in prison if convicted.

 

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Op-Ed: Where are we one year later?


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY STATE SENATOR JOSEPH ADDABBO JR.

On any particular day, whether I’m working, getting a cup of coffee, shopping or having dinner in the district, people detail their experiences involving Superstorm Sandy in many different ways. A year later, many still get tears in their eyes, others remain frustrated about the lack of progress, while some see it as a chance to make improvements and some are optimistic about community improvements. One storm, a year later, still causes many emotions.

While we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to control the level of our preparedness and what direction our government takes in addressing the next storm. We’ve learned a lot from Sandy, and I would urge my constituents to think ahead and make sure they have detailed emergency plans in place: know how to contact one another in case of an emergency; have adequate supplies of canned goods, medicines, batteries, flashlights and water on hand; know what to do to help secure your homes and properties to minimize risks during a storm. Useful hurricane preparedness information may be found at this NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/hurricane-safety.cfm.

I, along with other elected officials, have been advocating for adequate funding and needed legislation to help the district address the many serious human, economic and other consequences resulting from Sandy. As a member of the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, I look forward to continuing the effort of our state in responding to Sandy’s devastation and obtaining assistance for those in need.  Currently, our city’s and state’s portion of the federal funding of $61 billion to help Sandy victims is being distributed through NYC Build It Back program, and the state’s utilization of community leaders in its NY Rising Community Reconstruction program aimed at improving our infrastructure.

A range of bills aimed at addressing various aspects of Sandy’s impact were passed by the state legislature and have been recently signed into law by the governor. Some topics include rebates of real property taxes, assisting Breezy Point residents with street frontage issues unique to Breezy Point, exemptions to filing fees related to federal Small Business Administration Disaster Loans, and the implementation of improved tornado warning systems.

This year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season is not yet over. We have learned a lot from Sandy and a year later are still dealing with its aftermath. It’s OK to share our emotions, feelings and sentiments about Sandy, knowing also that by working together we can rebuild and be prepared better than ever.

Senator Joseph Addabbo represents the 15th Senatorial District encompassing the communities – in whole or in part – of Broad Channel, Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Woodside and the Rockaways.

 

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