Tag Archives: St. Albans

Man run over by parked car in St. Albans: report


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

POLICE TAPE

An out-of-control vehicle smashed into a parked car in St. Albans Friday night, causing it to jump the curb and hit a man, according a published report.

A driver in a green Toyota Camry pulled out of a nearby restaurant parking lot on Linden Boulevard at about 7 p.m. and lost control of his car, the Daily News reported. It then struck a parked Buick, which vaulted the curb and ran the unidentified victim over.

The victim was was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was in critical condition.

The driver of the Toyota claimed his brakes failed, according to the Daily News. But when cops tested the brakes, they were able to stop the car.

Police are still investigating and charges haven’t been filed.

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Queens ‘Glamazons’ to release new single


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Tina Jensen (photo by Noxie Studio Photography) / Kenya Morris (photo by Julianna Rusakiewicz)

Two Queens women are trying to sing their way to the top, proving that pop stardom comes in all sizes.

Astoria resident Tina Jensen and Kenya Morris, of St. Albans, are members of The Glamazons, a group of four sexy and voluptuous songstresses.

Formed in 2001, The Glamazons started performing in New York City clubs, but found national fame in the second season of “America’s Got Talent” in 2007, when they made it to the top eight.

Now, the original members are no longer performing with the group. Current members Jensen, Morris, Emma Craig and Megan Allen have been together for about one and a half years and will be releasing their first original single “Movie Star” on Tuesday.

“It’s a feel-good celebratory song,” Jensen said.


The 29-year-old always knew she wanted to be a performer growing up, but imagined herself in musical theater rather than singing pop songs.

At 18, she left Minnesota for New York City, where she studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and moved to western Queens seven years ago.

Though professionally she pursued musical theater in New York, starring off-Broadway, at home she would always sing pop songs.

“Growing up it was theater because I felt accepted in the theater,” she said. “I never thought I could be a pop star because I wasn’t a size zero.”

Jensen would also sing pop songs at competitions in New York City clubs. Around two years ago, it was at one of those clubs that she heard about a competition to be in The Glamazons. After six weeks of vying for a spot, she made it into the group.

Morris, 20, was in the same competition as Jensen, though she didn’t win.

The New Jersey native discovered The Glamazons through Twitter, where she connected with Meryl Sherwood, the group’s founder. Sherwood, who still works with The Glamazons, saw a YouTube video of Morris singing and encouraged her to enter the competition.

Later, Morris filled in during a Glamazons show and was then added as a permanent member in May 2013. The timing was perfect, Morris said, since she had recently moved to Queens to be closer to her grandfather.

“This is what every boy and every girl dreams of,” she said about their single coming out.

Singing was the easy part for Morris, who has been showing off her vocal talent since she was a young child. But she never had any formal dance training before The Glamazons.

“I was slow picking up the pace of everything but now I’m on the ball,” she said.

Jensen grew up taking dance lessons. Her biggest hurdle was showcasing her body through The Glamazon’s sexy moves.

“I’m finally able to embrace who I am and celebrate it,” she said.

The Glamazons have always been about more than just the music. They are also about body positivity and self-acceptance.

Photo by Julianna Rusakiewicz

The Glamazons, from left to right: Emma Craig, Megan Allen, Kenya Morris and Tina Jensen (Photo by Julianna Rusakiewicz)

Growing up, Morris would look at popular singers and think, “Can I really do this because I don’t see as much of me in the limelight?”

“I want the audience to feel inspired,” said Morris, who works as a plus-size model. “I want them to know that you can be any shape or size.”

But their message goes beyond body issues.

“It’s not just about your size. It’s about anyone who has been told no before,” Jensen said.

The Glamazons’ new single “Movie Star” will be available on iTunes on Oct. 14. The group also expects to release a music video for the song on Nov. 1. It will be available on their website, on YouTube and potentially as a free release on iTunes.

Next, they have plans for an EP.

Jensen, who, in addition to her theater work, is also a plus-size model, hopes The Glamazons can be her full-time gig one day.

“We may be broke and have to live in the street in Queens,” she said. “But we are going to keep performing with the group and spreading our message until we can no longer do it.”

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Cops looking for diaper thief who punched 59-year-old in St. Albans


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A diaper thief punched an employee at a St. Albans deli last month as he was trying to get away, police said.

The suspect entered 205 Deli Grocery, located on Hollis Avenue near 205th Place, on Sept. 22 at about 9:50 a.m. and grabbed the diapers, authorities said.

A 59-year-old employee at the deli tried to stop the suspect, who then punched him in the head, police said. The suspect then fled.

The victim was treated at the scene.

Police describe the suspect, who was caught on surveillance video, as black, about 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes. The suspect also has a tattoo of a heart under his left eye.

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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LI man busted with loaded gun while drinking wine on Queens sidewalk


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A Long Island man with several prior arrests was busted again Sunday when he was caught on a St. Albans sidewalk with a loaded gun while sipping wine from an open container, police said.

Ronnie Woody, 31, was enjoying his drink at the corner of 205th Street and 116th Avenue at about 11:45 p.m. when plainclothes NYPD officers in an unmarked vehicle saw him take a sip from a clear plastic cup and rest it on top of a parked car, authorities said.

Woody, after noticing the vehicle, allegedly placed his hand on an object tucked into his waistband, moving it, exposing what was apparently a handle of a gun.

The cops found a .32 cal. Smith & Wesson revolver on him and also discovered he was carrying a small quantity of crack cocaine, police said.

Woody, who has an arrest history that includes narcotics-related offenses, rape and armed robbery, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and a violation for drinking alcohol from an open container in public, authorities said.

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Unattended candles caused St. Albans fire that killed two children: FDNY


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 7, 12:20 p.m.

Two young brothers were killed in a St. Albans fire Monday night after candles were left unattended in their home, according to authorities.

The fire, at a two-story residence at 188-15 Tioga Dr., broke out around 7:10 p.m. in the living room on the first floor, engulfing the home, the FDNY said. It took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

Fire officials found a candle melted on the floor near the sofa, where the flames ignited. Witnesses said the family used candles, which were found throughout the home, in prayer ceremonies, according to the FDNY. There were no smoke detectors on the first and second floors of the home. Smoke detectors in the basement failed to go off.

Two boys, Andrew Kavanagh, 6, and John Kavanagh, 11, were discovered on the second floor and taken to Queens Hospital Center, where they died, police said.

A third victim, a 33-year-old man, was transported to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition after he jumped from a window to escape, authorities said. He sustained injuries to his hands and feet. The man’s exact relationship to the children was not immediately clear, but police said it does not appear he is related to them.

Two firefighters also suffered minor injuries, according to the FDNY.

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Man run over by own vehicle at St. Albans gas station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 56-year-old man was seriously hurt Monday night when he was run over by his own vehicle at a St. Albans gas station, according to police.

The victim had neglected to put his Ford SUV into park as he was going to fill up his tank at the Gulf station at Merrick and Farmers boulevards around 6:30 p.m. and it started rolling forward, cops said. As he tried to stop the vehicle, it ran him over.

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition with severe head trauma, authorities said.

 

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Motorcycle rider dies in St. Albans collision


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

A man died Sunday when he lost control of his motorcycle in St. Albans, collided with a car and was hurled off the bike, according to police.

Pastor De La Cruz, 45, was traveling eastbound on Liberty Avenue around 12:30 a.m. near the intersection of Farmers Boulevard when he lost control of his Suzuki GSXR 750 motorcycle, cops said.

He hit a Jaguar, which was stopped at a red light, and slid on the pavement before stopping against a Nissan Frontier behind the Jaguar, police said.

De La Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police charged the driver of the Nissan Frontier, a 59-year-old woman, who remained at the accident scene, with DWI, according to authorities.

 

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Police arrest St. Albans teen for firing gun in Jamaica


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYPD


Cops arrested a fleeing 19-year-old shooter who fired two rounds at a group of people in Jamaica.

Michael Jones of St. Albans got into a verbal dispute with the group around 11:20 p.m. on Saturday near Merrick Boulevard and 119th Avenue, police said.

Jones pulled out a gun from his waist and started to shoot the people, cops said. No one was injured, according to officials.

Officers that were driving nearby jumped out of an unmarked car and chased Jones, who threw away his gun before he fled, authorities said.

Jones was caught and arrested around Merrick and Baisley boulevards. He was charged with weapon possession, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest, according to police.

The incident was the second shooting that occurred on Merrick Boulevard on Saturday. A 35-year-old man was shot dead on Saturday morning inside Edge Bar and Lounge on the boulevard, cops said.

Police did not reveal whether the incidents are connected.

 

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Queens residents create new children’s educational show


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshots via “Spell a Word” video

JANAE HUNTER

Two St. Albans men have created a new educational children’s show they hope will generate an interest in spelling.

Allan Pope and Isaac Brown of St. Albans recently shot promotional episodes for their new show, “Spell a Word,” aimed at elementary and middle school students. The show would feature students ages 8 to 12 competing to earn points and win prizes.

“The idea started with my granddaughter,” Pope said. “I asked her, ‘Do you really think you can spell?’ and she said ‘yes’ and she spelled a word for me.”

“Spell a Word” has a total of four rounds: a general word round, a category of words, a lightning round and a buzz round. At the end of all four rounds, the player with the most points wins and earns prizes such as scholarships, educational bonds and trips. For the promo episodes, Pope and Brown used students from the Queens area, but they plan to use students from all over the country if the show gets picked up.

“We think we have a good idea — this could help and motivate students all over,” Pope said.
Brown thinks that the idea could even turn into more than a TV show: “With social media so big, this could even be made in to an app one day, and teachers could integrate it into their classrooms,” he said.

The duo expresses that this show could eventually go international because children and language will always exist, and because without communication, it’s difficult for people to progress in the world. Pope said anyone can become a great mathematician or scientist, but not without spelling and communication.

The challenge is generating funding and exposure for the show. Pope and Brown estimate that getting the show up and running on their own could cost millions, but with help from sponsors, they hope to get the show on a network soon.

 

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Douglaston Eagle Scout prospect collects donations for St. Alban’s Veterans Hospital


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

This scout has honor.

Douglaston teen Michael Tuffey is collecting personal care items for the Veterans Affairs Community Living Center at St. Alban’s to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank for members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Tuffey, a Life Scout in Troop 153 with 31 badges, has already collected hundreds of personal products, including body wash, shaving cream, deodorant and shampoo, for the nearly 140 male veterans living at the home. He plans to continue the drive until June 20.

“Sometimes for projects it’s refurbishing a park or a playground or a community center,” Tuffey said. “But I wanted to give back to people. I thought this was a really worthy cause because these guys have obviously done a lot and they definitely deserve to have something given back to them.”

Tuffey, 16, is a junior at Xavier High School in Manhattan and is a member of the track team and the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). He was inspired to help the veterans because of his affiliation with the reserve training group. He initially approached the hospital to ask for their needs and received a list of personal care items.

To collect the donations, Tuffey set up two drop-off stations, one at Douglaston French Cleaners on Northern Boulevard at Douglaston Parkway, and another at HOME NY Real Estate at 40-60 Douglaston Parkway. He has also contacted and received donations from various organizations, including local churches, and handed out flyers on Memorial Day to spread the word about his campaign.

The project is the final step for Tuffey, who has been with the BSA since the Cub Scout level in second grade, to complete his longtime dream to become an Eagle Scout.

“It would mean a lot,” he said of the honor. “It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of years of being involved.”

Anyone willing to donate can drop off items at the stations in Douglaston or contact Tuffey at mtuffeyeaglescoutproject@aol.com.

 

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Driver charged in Brooklyn crash that killed 9-year-old St. Albans girl


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

A man suspected in a Brooklyn hit-and-run smashed into two vehicles, killing a young Queens girl Sunday after he fled a traffic stop, police and reports said.

Kenneth Palache, 62, of Huntington, Long Island, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, leaving the scene of an accident-failure to show license and aggravated unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle in connection with the deadly crash, police said.

Palache was traveling south on Remsen Avenue in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn at about 5 p.m. when his Honda minivan struck a Hyundai sedan and Toyota minivan, which were both traveling west on Avenue N, according to officials.

A passenger in the Hyundai, identified as 9-year-old Rebecca Ramnarine, of St. Albans, was taken to Brookdale Hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said. She was on her way back from church when she was killed, according to published reports.

Rebecca’s mother, who was reportedly close by when the crash happened, described her daughter as “rambunctious” to the New York Post, saying “she loved to dance” and “wanted to be a pediatrician.”

Two other occupants of the Hyundai and three occupants of the Toyota were taken to Brookdale Hospital in stable condition.

Shortly before plowing into the vehicles, Palache had been involved in a hit-and-run accident around Foster Avenue and East 87th Street, according to published reports. Police attempted to pull him over near Remsen Avenue near Avenue L, but he fled, reports said.  Cops were not in pursuit when the collision occurred.

 

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Two teens arrested in attempted abductions of girls in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Two suspects wanted in connection to the attempted abductions of several young girls off the streets of Queens have been arrested, police said.

Joshua Wright, 17, and Andrew Ghulam, 16, both of Queens, have been charged with two counts each of attempted unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment, officials said.

The first victim, an 11 year-old girl, was approached about 4 p.m. Wednesday as she was heading home from school near 111th Avenue and 208 Street in Queens Village.

After she noticed a dark-green SUV, with two men inside of it, slowly following her, the passenger, who was wearing a black mask, exited from the vehicle, and tried to talk to the girl, cops said. She then ran away and the suspects fled in the car.

A short time later, around 113th Avenue and 196th Street, in St. Albans, three girls, a 10-year-old and two 11-year-olds, noticed they were being followed by a green Jeep Cherokee. The driver handed a gun to the passenger then pulled a mask over his face before getting out of the SUV, according to police. The girls then hid behind a parked vehicle as the two men drove by them. The suspects circled back and passed the victims again before leaving the area in their car.

 

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Drag racers busted in Maspeth


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

SOPHIA ROSENBAUM

Cops slammed the brakes on illegal drag racing after an early-morning bust Sunday in Maspeth led to six men facing possible jail time, authorities said.

Dozens of spectators crowded the streets at about 1:15 a.m. to watch the men drag race down Laurel Hill Boulevard between 48th and 58th streets, eventually leading to police blocking off the area.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is hoping that these arrests will discourage other drag-racing enthusiasts from taking to the streets.

“These arrests send a clear message that disregarding the safety and welfare of Queens residents will not be tolerated,” Bratton said in a statement.

The defendants — Michael Rivera, 21, of Manhattan; Shawn Marr, 19, of Uniondale; Michael James, 25, of Brooklyn; Antonio Nolesco, 23, of Manhattan; Edgar Lozano, 26, of Jamaica; and Edward Henry, 21, of St. Albans — were currently awaiting arraignment in Queens County Court, as of late Monday, on charges of second-degree reckless endangerment, vehicle and traffic violations and reckless driving.

“Drag racing poses a serious threat to public safety,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Such illegal speed contests have no place on the streets of our city.”

Brown said defendants Rivera, Marr, James and Nolesco were allegedly drivers in the drag races while Lozano and Henry were allegedly starters for several of the races. The drivers’ cars and smartphones were seized as part of the ongoing investigation.

 

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Arrest made in 2012 murder of Queens man


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Authorities apprehended a man in Georgia and charged him with murder two years after he allegedly killed a 24-year-old in St. Albans, cops said.

Tracy Johnson, 28, is accused of shooting 24-year-old Shakey Foster-Bay on May 19, 2012 on Galway Avenue, according to officials.

Police said he shot Foster-Bay several times, wounding him in the arm, leg and torso.

The shooting may have resulted from a dispute over a woman, according to the New York Daily News.

Johnson has been charged with second-degree murder, criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said.

 

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Police seek suspect who followed, exposed himself to women in St. Albans


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Cops have released a photo of a suspect’s vehicle after he was allegedly caught pantless by two women inside his parked vehicle after following them.

The victims, two women in their 20s, were walking down 120th Avenue near 198th Street in St. Albans about 5 p.m. on March 20 when they noticed the suspect inside his car with his legs and feet on the dashboard, police said.

After they passed by the man, he followed them in his vehicle and parked in a place to make sure the women passed by him again, according to officials. When the women walked by the suspect, he was naked from the waist down with his legs on the dashboard.

The victims then fled the scene, cops said.

Police describe the suspect’s car as a grey and green 2003 Subaru Legacy.

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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