Tag Archives: St. Albans

Driver pleads not guilty in crash that killed St. Albans family


| amatua@queenscourier.com

File photo

A Rockville Centre man who was arrested last month for driving drunk and fleeing the scene of a car crash that left a St. Albans father and his two children dead, pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular manslaughter and 39 other charges, according to officials.

Oniel Sharpe Jr. rear-ended the car of Ancio Ostane on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore on July 12. Ostane and his two children, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4, were pronounced dead, while his wife Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane was treated and released at South Side Hospital.

Sharpe, who fled the scene with the help of a friend, was originally charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of the accident. At his arraignment on Thursday, he was also charged with vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated, tampering with physical evidence, following too closely, reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain lane, failing to signal and failing to stay in his designated lane. If convicted of the top charge he will face up to 25 years in state prison, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Sharpe was also given 23 charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree after police found 23 fraudulent credit cards concealed in a pocket at the base of the steering wheel column of his BMW X-5 Sharpe.

“This is the textbook example of a drunk driver who tries to evade responsibility for his actions and sober up before encountering the police. This driver didn’t resurface until four hours after he rear-ended this car and destroyed an innocent family,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Ballone. “A driver convicted of that kind of behavior should face 15 years in prison upon conviction — eight more years behind bars than what today’s law provides.”

Three others were also arraigned in connection to the crash and credit card fraud.

Demetri Stewart, 23, of Cambria Heights drove Sharpe away from the scene and was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, hindering prosecution, criminal facilitation, making a sworn false statement and possession of marijuana.

Sharpe’s cousin Courtney Sharpe, 24, of Springfield Gardens pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of attempted identity theft in connection to the 23 fraudulent credit cards found in Oniel Sharpe’s car.

Sheon Richards, 23, of St. Albans who attended a barbecue with Sharpe and was driving a BMW 328 sedan on the parkway recklessly, was charged with speeding, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and failure to maintain lane.

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Man shot to death at St. Albans intersection


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Detectives are looking for the gunman who shot a Cambria Heights resident at a St. Albans street corner early Sunday morning.

Russell McKee, 30, was shot multiple times while standing at Camden and Liberty avenues about 4:53 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

Officers from the 103rd Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Paramedics brought McKee to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the New York Post, the unidentified gunman got out of a car, approached McKee and fired numerous shots at him, striking the victim in the arm, leg, abdomen and back. Reportedly, the shooter then returned to the vehicle and drove away.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Borough president secures millions for south Queens library renovations


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Library

Three public libraries in southern Queens will receive much-needed improvements through $9.5 million in funding that Queens Borough President Melinda Katz secured, it was announced on Monday morning.

Katz agreed to allocate $3.8 million to expand the Arverne branch in the Rockaways as well as another $3.5 million toward interior renovations at the Baisley Park location. The borough president will also provide $2.2 million for facade and multipurpose renovations at the St. Albans branch.

Each project, however, is in the design phase, and the start of actual work remains many months away, according to a Queens Library spokesperson. The expansion at Arverne “will begin in approximately 2.5 years” and construction will be completed “approximately four years from now.”

Queens Library will add more than 2,000 square feet at the Arverne location (312 Beach 54th St.) to create an expanded teen area and computer center as well as providing additional program space. The extension will be erected in a side yard on the site of a modular building the library has used since the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The project at Baisley Park (117-11 Sutphin Blvd. in Jamaica) will be “a total interior renovation,” including revamped adult and children’s areas, a new teen and computer center and a new public space in the library’s interior atrium, according to the library. Construction is scheduled to take place “in approximately 18 months” and wrap up “2.5 years from now,” with the branch closed to the public for much of that period.

At St. Albans (191-05 Linden Blvd.), Queens Library will repair the exterior masonry and create a new entrance while also reconfiguring the circulation area, installing self checkout equipment, renovating the multipurpose room and upgrading technology. Construction will start “in about 18 months to two years,” depending on the completion of designs, and renovations will end “approximately three months from now.”

As with the Baisley Park branch, the St. Albans location will also be closed for a period during construction. Queens Library will create “interim service plans” to accommodate customers affected by the closures at each location.

Funding for the three projects make up more than two-thirds of the combined $14 million that Katz allocated to Queens Library for capital improvements. Other projects that the borough president is financially supporting include the installation of a second elevator at the Flushing library ($2.75 million), roof replacement at the Ozone Park branch ($800,000) and new security cameras at the Bay Terrace, Douglaston/Little Neck, East Flushing, Rosedale, South Ozone Park, Steinway and Woodhaven locations (a combined $618,000).

“The millions of families who rely on the Queens Library services deserve nothing less than a world-class system,” Katz said in a press release on Monday. “This capital allocation will help ensure the Queens Library branches remain up-to-date and better able to serve its educational purpose as a community hub of learning, literacy and culture.”

In thanking Katz for the allocation, Queens Library board of trustees Chairman Carl S. Koerner said the funding “will allow the library to substantially upgrade its infrastructure, providing a better environment for library customers.”

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Hit-and-run driver’s fib backfires in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A bad lie got a Long Island man into big trouble with the law in St. Albans this week.

Officers from the 113th Precinct arrested Gary Joseph, 31, who allegedly struck several parked cars and then ditched his vehicle in the area of 198th Street and 122nd Avenue in St. Albans at about 3:45 a.m. on Monday.

Nearly four hours later, police said, Joseph called 911 and met Police Officers Jose Suriel and Angel Ramos in front of a home on Nashville Boulevard between 120th and 121st avenues. Hours earlier, Joseph told the officers, he left his vehicle idling in front of that location unattended and that it had been purportedly stolen.

Using their department-issued smartphones, authorities said, the officers checked the vehicle license plate that Joseph provided them. Within moments, the officers determined that a vehicle with the same plates had been involved in the St. Albans hit-and-run accident that morning.

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Suriel and Ramos transported Joseph to the 113th Precinct’s station house for questioning, during which the suspect admitted to causing the accident. Reportedly, Joseph swerved his vehicle in an attempt to avoid striking a cat on the street.

Joseph was charged with falsely reporting an incident and leaving the scene of an accident.

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Pair wanted for robbing teen on St. Albans street corner


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Detectives are looking for two men — one of whom claimed to be armed — who robbed a teenager at a St. Albans intersection last month.

The NYPD released security camera images of one of the suspects wanted for the June 15 robbery that occurred at the intersection of 110th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard near the Brinkherhoff Mall.

At about 2:45 p.m. that day, authorities said, the two men approached the 17-year-old male victim and demanded his cellphone. When the victim refused to comply, one of the perpetrators told him he had a firearm.

The suspects then grabbed the victim’s cellphone and backpack, then fled on foot. The robbery was reported to the 113th Precinct. The victim was not injured.

Both perpetrators are described as black men between 20 and 25 years of age.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects’ whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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St. Albans dad, two children killed in fiery accident on Long Island


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Updated July 14, 12:35 p.m.

A St. Albans family was shattered early on Sunday morning after a father and two children were killed in a two-car crash involving an alleged drunk driver on a Long Island roadway, authorities reported.

The New York State Police said that Ancio Ostane along with his two children, Andy and Sephora Ostane, died in the fiery accident on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore on July 12. Wife and mother Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane managed to escape from the wreckage with minor injuries.

According to the New York State Police, the accident occurred on the westbound lanes of the parkway near Exit 41 (Bay Shore Road) at about 1:30 a.m. Reportedly, the Ostane family was riding in a 2005 Toyota heading home from a family party in Central Islip.

A short distance after the exit, police said, a 2008 BMW operated by O’Neil Sharpe of Rockville Centre slammed into the rear of the Toyota, causing the Toyota to burst into flames. Bouaz-Ostane, who was riding in the front passenger seat, was able to get out, but Ancio Ostane and their children were reportedly trapped in their seats.

Sharpe allegedly did not stop and fled from the location following the crash, police said.

State police and paramedics rushed to the scene. Ancio Ostane along with Andy and Sephora, ages 8 and 4, respectively, were pronounced dead. Bouaz-Ostane was treated and released at South Side Hospital.

Detectives picked up Sharpe at his Rockville Centre residence later on Sunday and charged him with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.

Reportedly, a second individual — identified as Demetri Stewart, 23, of Cambria Heights — was also arrested for allegedly assisting Sharpe in fleeing after the accident.

The investigation is ongoing.

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St. Albans participates in Family Skate Day


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman I. Daneek Miller's office.

BY ANGELA MATUA

Families in St. Albans rolled their way around St. Albans Park on Saturday during Family Skate Day, which was sponsored by Councilman I. Daneek Miller.

NYC Skate Mobile, a mobile recreation van run by the NYC Parks Department that provides helmets, safety equipment and basic instruction in skating, catered to the 200 children and family members at the park.

“We’re having an awesome time meeting our neighbors and getting some much-needed exercise,”  Miller said. “The weather is providing a perfect backdrop to help get our residents out to the park today, many of whom tried skating for the first time. I’m happy to have been a part of this effort to promote healthy habits for people of all ages.”

In addition to skating, families were treated to free snacks, carnival games, a bouncy house, face painting and a DJ.

Candace Prince-Modeste, a spokesperson for Miller, said that she has not seen an event of this magnitude at St. Albans Park in several years. The event was held not only to bond community members, but also to promote health and wellness, she said.

“We haven’t seen an event like this in a few years so people really took advantage of it,” Prince-Modeste said.

Kevin Livingston, founder and president of local nonprofit 100 Suits for 100 Men said he sponsored the event to create opportunities for families to bond.

“As a leader in the community we need to bring back the festive, fun, family entertainment,” Livingston said. “I’m glad we were able to facilitate that and I think that one of the prized moments for me was to see a father and a son bond by the father helping him learn how to skate. It was priceless the way they were bonding and I was glad that I was able to create that opportunity to skate.”

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Rosedale businessman shot to death in car in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@jerwainegorman

Detectives are searching for the killer of a Rosedale businessman and civic activist who was gunned down inside a car on a St. Albans block Wednesday afternoon.

Jerwaine Gorman, 34, was shot in the chest while sitting inside a Mercedes-Benz in front of a home on 167th Street between Linden Boulevard and 115th Avenue at about 12:30 p.m. A woman sitting in the driver’s seat at the time was not injured, cops said.

According to police, an unidentified gunman walked up to the vehicle and fired a single shot at Gorman before fleeing the scene.

Paramedics rushed Gorman to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gorman was an active member of the Southeast Queens Young Democrats and a successful entrepreneur in the area. According to his biography on the club’s website, Gorman started out as a real estate investor in 2003 at the age of 21. Within three years, he had acquired seven properties.

In 2006, Gorman opened up his own barbershop and community center and launched a Cold Stone Creamery franchise in Huntington, Long Island. He later opened his own ice cream parlor, Gorman’s Creamery, on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton.

In the community, Gorman reportedly coached a youth football team and advocated in previous years to have a stop sign installed in front of his daughter’s school.

Gorman leaves behind a wife and three children.

Anyone with information regarding the murder 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 nurse charged with murder in disabled toddler’s scalding death: DA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Updated Thursday, April 30, 12:33 p.m.

A St. Albans nurse could face life in prison after she allegedly burned a severely developmentally disabled 1-year-old girl in scalding bath water, prosecutors said.

Oluyemisi Adebayo, 54, was arrested Wednesday morning as she was about to board a flight to Africa via London, according to the district attorney’s office. She was arraigned Thursday in Queens Criminal Court on a second-degree murder charge in the death of the 23-month-old girl from Rosedale.

Adebayo, a licensed practical nurse who was hired to take care of the child at her home, said the toddler was burned when she was giving her a bath on April 21, prosecutors said.

According to District Attorney Richard Brown, Adebayo stated that she had tested the water before placing the girl in a baby tub. When she removed the child, she noticed that her skin was falling off her legs.

On Friday, doctors at Nassau University Medical Center performed surgery on the child to treat second- and third-degree immersion scald burns that covered about 50 percent of her body, the district attorney said. The girl died three days later. Preliminary autopsy findings found that her cause of death was consistent with complications from thermal injury.

Medical personnel said that Adebayo’s story of how the child was burned was inconsistent with her injuries.

Tests performed by the NYPD found that the maximum water temperature of the faucet used to fill the tub was 130 degrees, and that it took about 120 seconds for the water to reach that level, prosecutors said. The severity of her injuries was consistent with her having been submerged up to her waist in 130 degree water for about 30 seconds.

Adebayo, who was ordered held without bail, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Adebayo as a licensed nurse practitioner. 

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Three St. Albans residents arrested in gun and drug bust


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police found guns, drugs and a bundle of cash while executing a search warrant at a St. Albans home Thursday morning that led to three arrests, authorities said.

The discovery was made while officers from the 113th Precinct were conducting a raid about 7:15 a.m. at a three-story home on Marsden Street near 165th Street.

During the operation, according to police, officers found a Taser stun gun and three loaded firearms, which included two Jennings 9 mm revolvers and a Rohm RG10 .22-caliber revolver. Twenty 9 mm rounds and a 9 mm magazine were also recovered.

Officers also discovered 23 codeine pills, more than $25,000 in cash, a fraudulent credit card and assorted drug paraphernalia, including a large quantity of glassine envelopes, a scale, seven crack pipes and a marijuana cigarette.

Police also spotted what they believed to be cocaine inside two vehicles— a Ford Expedition and a Nissan Maxima — parked in the home’s driveway, authorities said. The NYPD obtained warrants to search both vehicles and, hours later, found within them 545 grams of crack, 221 grams of cocaine and two scales.

The residents taken into custody at the scene were identified as Brian Tindley, 34, Alicia Davis, 35, and Shanique Casey, 18, according to police. Each was booked on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Tindley was additionally charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, while Davis was also booked for possession of a forged instrument. Casey faces an additional count of unlawful marijuana possession.

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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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Girlfriend charged with deadly botched robbery of boyfriend in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


Updated at 4:15 p.m.

The girlfriend of a 33-year-old Jamaica man shot to death in St. Albans Thursday afternoon was locked up Friday for her role in the homicide, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said Natasha Mohabeer, 30, of 126th Street in South Ozone Park collaborated with two unidentified males to rob the victim, Michael Jonathan, at the corner of Fonda Avenue and Mayville Street just before 2:47 p.m. Thursday.

But all did not go according to plan, as Jonathan engaged the robbers in a physical struggle after they confronted him, police said. Moments later, one of the crooks reportedly shot Jonathan in the torso.

Authorities said both unidentified suspects remain at large.

Officers from the 113th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call regarding the incident, found Jonathan wounded at the intersection. Paramedics brought him to a local hospital, where he died a short time later.

In questioning Mohabeer, detectives learned that she worked with the two at-large suspects in concocting the planned robbery, according to prosecutors. Mohabeer was subsequently charged with second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

“This is yet another example of the senseless gun violence in our community that must end,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “[Mohabeer] now faces being locked behind bars for the rest of her life.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the two suspects 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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12-building St. Albans portfolio near LIRR station listed for sale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of GFI Realty Services

An assemblage of 12 multifamily buildings in St. Albans has been listed for sale, according to GFI Realty Services, which is handling the transaction.

The asking price is $5.3 million, according to GFI Realty’s Max Koshkerman, who is handling the marketing of the properties.

The portfolio consists of contiguous two-story apartment buildings located at 187-05 through 187-21 Baisley Blvd. and 187-22 Foch Blvd., not far from retail and dining on Linden and Farmers boulevards. Each building has two one-bedroom units.

The properties are near the St. Albans LIRR station, providing access to Manhattan for tenants. There are also 50 parking spaces on the entire portfolio.

Based on location and the relatively low asking price, it could be a bargain for local investors.

“Located near Linden and Farmers boulevards, these units are all within walking distance of the dining and other conveniences that the nearby retail corridors provide,” Koshkerman said. “With its ideal location and relatively low rents, the buildings provide an enviable asset with significant upsides to investors.”

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Police looking for mugger who robbed two women in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Two women were robbed on the streets of Queens in separate incidents earlier this month when a mugger jumped out of a car, pushed them to the ground and stole their purses before fleeing, police said.

The first victim, a 27-year-old woman, was attacked as she walking near 195th Street and 110th Avenue in St. Albans at about 2:10 p.m. on March 6.

A 56-year-old woman was cleaning snow from the top of her car at an unspecified time in the vicinity of 64th Avenue and 228th Street in Oakland Gardens when she was mugged on March 7, according to authorities.

Police have released a photo of the suspect and of the vehicle — a white sedan.

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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Addisleigh Park, a thriving tribute to black history in Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Addisleigh Park, a small portion of St. Albans in southeast Queens, was home to many people who were influential to black history. Athletes and musicians such as Jackie Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Louis and Miles Davis once called the small town home.

But their acceptance there did not come easy, as it took years to break racial barriers that once kept the neighborhood exclusively white.

“I heard of the problems that used to be associated with my neighborhood,” said Phillip Douglas, 74, who moved to Addisleigh Park in 1952 and currently lives there. “But when I moved in, most of the racial problems had passed and more and more black people started to move in.”

In the 1940s, Addisleigh Park was mostly owned by white families. Black families started to move into the area but were not allowed to live there due to deed restrictions on houses that prohibited the sale of the property to blacks.

These restrictions were later thrown out by the United States Supreme Court, which said that these rules violated the equal protection of all citizens. Upon this case ruling, black families moved into the area at a fast pace and by 1952, Douglas said that the neighborhood was predominately black.

Famous people who paved the way for many blacks took up residence there, including Roy Campanella, W.E.B Du Bois, Eugene Earl Bostic, James Brown and Count Basie, among others.

House of Eugene Earl Bostic

House of Eugene Earl Bostic

Douglas said he remembers playing outside of his house when he was young and seeing Campanella and Robinson drive by and stop to talk to the children in the neighborhood. He said even though some people and celebrities put themselves on a pedestal, it was the exact opposite for the ones he knew in the neighborhood.

“Looking back, I would take conversations with people like Roy [Campanella] for granted,” said Douglas. “You’d be surprised how normal they actually were even though they were looked upon as so important in society.”

He talked about how tight-knit the neighborhood was and still is, a sentiment that Olivia C. Banks, another longtime Addisleigh Park resident, couldn’t agree with more.

“Living here with your neighbors is like living with family,” said Banks, 77, who moved to the neighborhood in 1958. “I liked what we had when I was younger but the neighborhood has made some great improvements since.”

Andrea Scarborough, president of the Addisleigh Park Civic Association, said holding her position for the past 13 years has been very rewarding.

“There’s a mix of professionals, seniors and municipal workers that make the community great,” she said. “The community comes together and the people that live here really care about the neighborhood.”

The neighborhood got recognition for being so important to history in 2011, when the city Landmarks Preservation Commission designated it a historic district. In Addisleigh Park, 442 homes became part of the historic district protecting the area from redevelopment.

Douglas said he was proud that he was able to see all of this history firsthand.

“I grew up around some of the greatest talent, even though they didn’t get the recognition they deserved back then,” he said. “It was nice to live here, these were good times in my life. I have great memories.”

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