Tag Archives: Subway

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead by son, 2, in apparent murder-suicide

A man is believed to have shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself –leaving their two-year-old son to make the grisly discovery inside their bedroom, sources said. The apparent murder-suicide took place in the family’s South Jamaica home on Dillon Street yesterday. Roxanne Lambert, 41, and her partner, whose name has not been released, were found dead with gunshot wounds to the head at 11:30 p.m., sources said. Lambert’s 16-year-old son was also home when the tragedy unfolded. Relatives said the couple had a rocky relationship and were often heard arguing. Read More: New York Post

 

Brangelina to tie knot in France

They won’t be America’s sweethearts much longer. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie plan to tie the knot at their sprawling estate in France this summer — and then live in England for at least the next two years, according to published reports yesterday. The famed Tinseltown couple has spent the last six months quietly planning to hold a lavish wedding ceremony at their manse near the village of Correns, in the south of France, London’s Daily Star reported. They’ll reportedly exchange vows in a pre-Roman chapel on the grounds. Read More: New York Post

Accused subway plotter in court on terror charges

A New Yorker accused of helping plan one of the most chilling terror plots in the US since 9-11, is in court today to stand trial on a wide range of criminal charges. Adis Medunjanin and other former school classmates launched a scheme to carry out suicide bomb attacks in New York City’s subways, federal prosecutors plan to argue in Brooklyn federal court. In preparation for the strikes, Medunjanin – along with alleged fellow-plotters Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay – journeyed to Pakistan to undergo bomb-making instruction at an al Qaeda terror training camp in a tribal region abutting that nation’s frontier with Afghanistan, officials say. Read More: New York Post

Jury Selection Begins In Clemens Perjury Retrial

Jury selection begins today in Washington in the perjury retrial of former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens. His first trial ended in a mistrial last summer after only two days of testimony because the prosecution introduced inadmissible evidence. The seven-time Cy Young award winner is accused of of lying to Congress in 2008 while lawmakers were investigating steroid use in baseball. He faces three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. Read More: NY1

 

Coachella 2012: Tupac hologram joins Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre onstage at music festival

Late rapper Tupac Shakur resurrected onto the Coachella stage this past Sunday night to perform a few of his hit songs alongside music maven Snoop Dogg, to the shock and disbelief of the music festival’s 75,000 fans. “What up, Coachella?!” the bare-chested Tupac hologram greeted a roaring crowd, before joining Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on classic single “Hail Mary.” The faux Shakur wore acid-wash jeans and Timberland boots circa 1995, just around the time he was shot dead on September 13, 1996, at the young age of 25. Read More: Daily News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not want a high-profile role at 2012 Democratic National Convention

Despite having his eye on a 2016 presidential run, Gov. Cuomo wants no part of a high-profile role at this year’s Democratic National Convention, insiders say. While Cuomo will attend the convention in September in Charlotte, N.C., those close to him say he doesn’t want President Obama to consider him for a major speaking slot — though it’s not certain he would even be asked. Cuomo has learned from the example of his father, a former three-term New York governor. Mario Cuomo, like his son is now, was in his second year as governor when he was picked to deliver the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Three in elite NYPD anti-gun unit accused of treating black suspects like ‘animals’

Top supervisors of an elite NYPD anti-gun unit allegedly handled white suspects with kid gloves while treating blacks like “animals” deserving of a bullet to the head, the Daily News has learned. The explosive charges appear in sworn depositions from three members of the firearms suppression unit: two current NYPD detectives and a retired first-grade detective. Their testimony, part of a federal discrimination lawsuit, details how Capt. James Coan and Lt. Daniel Davin created a hostile environment for both their black detectives and suspected minority-group gun traffickers, said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Eric Sanders. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

City tries to squelch 911 disaster report

The Bloomberg administration is waging an all-out battle to suppress a scathing report aptly called “911 CPR’’ — which has determined that the city’s emergency-dispatch system is on life support, The Post has learned. The document, formally known as the 911 Call Processing Review, charges that despite more than $2 billion shoveled at the problems, response times to emergencies, in which every second counts, have actually slowed. Read More: New York Post

One dead as subway trains hit two men

Two men were hit by subway trains in separate incidents yesterday, leaving one dead, authorities said. A drunken 24-year-old man first stumbled onto the elevated tracks at the Broadway station at 31st Street in Astoria, Queens, at around 5:15 a.m. and was struck by a Manhattan-bound N train, cops said. He was crushed and pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not immediately released pending family notification. Read More: New York Post

Dolan Marks Start Of Holy Week With Palm Sunday Mass

Cardinal Timothy Dolan led the faithful in prayer Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as Christians around the city and world marked Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem when he was greeted by cheering crowds waving palm leaves. It’s believed to have taken place during a time when he was facing increasing opposition from authorities and local spiritual leaders, even as his preachings were gaining him more and more followers. Read More: NY1

 

 

Coney Island Rides Soar As Fun-Filled Season Begins

Summer is still more than two months away, but Coney Island is getting a head start on the season. The neighborhood’s amusement parks officially opened Sunday with the annual blessing of the rides, and the traditional egg-cream christening of the Cyclone. The 85-year-old roller coaster was one of several rides to get a makeover. A small crowd waited for hours to be among the first 100 people to ride the famous attraction and got their thrills for free. Read More: NY1

 

Brooklyn baby drowns in tub

An 11-month-old Brooklyn boy drowned in a bathtub yesterday after his mother left him alone, law-enforcement sources said. Elijah Pardella and his 3-year-old sister were being given a bath inside their East New York apartment, the sources said. When the mom, Angelica Huertas, 24, left the bathroom, she left the drain unplugged. But Elijah sat on the drain and blocked it, according to the sources. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Woman disappears on Chinatown street

The NYPD is search for a 61-year-old woman from Chinatown who disappeared off the street Saturday night. Police say Vicky Vuong Ferrazza was walking along Mott and Grand streets at about 3 p.m. with her niece when she disappeared among the packed crowd. According to published reports, Ferrazza does not speak English and was not carrying identification. Read More: Fox News

 

NY Knicks hold off on Jeremy Lin injury announcement until after NBA playoff ticket deadline passes

The Knicks were eventually going to get around to revealing the troubling results of Jeremy Lin’s MRI but certainly not before last Wednesday. That was a crucial day inside the club’s executive offices at Two Penn Plaza because March 28 represented the deadline for season- ticket holders to purchase all four rounds of the playoffs. Read More: Daily News
 

Drunk teachers arrested after cops find cocaine, dagger in vehicle

A pair of drunken Bronx public schoolteachers were arrested after cops found cocaine and a dagger in their vehicle, police said. Diana Mancusco, 29, and Karen Aguilar, 26, were cuffed after cops spotted them pulling over and switching places on East Fordham Road in Belmont on Friday night. When officers stopped the vehicle, the driver said she had taken the wheel because her friend was wasted, a source said. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

‘Disabled’ FDNYer with $95K pension now a NASCAR rescuer

Cliff Stabner, a 55-year-old city firefighter who retired in 2003 with a three-quarter disability pension of $95,000 annually, has surfaced as a member of the fire rescue team responding to crashes at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.The Post has obtained photos of Stabner wearing an orange jumpsuit and a helmet and standing next to a rescue vehicle at Dover’s “Monster Mile’’ track. Stabner also is a fire captain in his quaint new hometown of Lewes, Del. Read More: New York Post

Police release photos of subway ‘slayer’

The hunt continues for a man who scuffled with a college student on a Brooklyn subway platform moments before he was crushed to death by a train pulling into the station. Joshua Basin was killed Friday night after he and a drunken passenger got off a train at the Bedford Avenue station and engaged in a fight that carried them both to the train tracks below. Cops and witnesses described the man as a 30-something with a thin build, light complexion, and dirty blond hair with pock marks on the right side of his face. Read More: New York Post

VIDEO: Cops wound ex-con in Harlem shootout

A rookie cop yesterday wounded a man during a shootout on a Harlem street, authorities said. When two officers approached a group standing in front of the Drew Hamilton Houses at about 6:30 p.m., Franklyn Nunez bolted up Frederick Douglass Boulevard, police said, The cop gave chase, and Nunez allegedly spun around and fired twice. No one was struck and the officer returned fire. Read More: New York Post

Man dead in early-morning Bronx shooting

A man was shot and killed in The Bronx early today, police said. The shooting happened at about 2:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Morrison Avenue, near Westchester Avenue in the 43rd Precinct. Police say a 29-year-old man was shot in the chest and buttocks. Emergency crews rushed the man to Jacobi Hospital, but it was too late. Read More: New York Post

Manhattan Churchgoers Wear Hoodies In Solidarity With Slain Florida Teen

Worshippers at the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village wore hooded sweatshirts on Sunday in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who wore a similar garment when he was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month. George Zimmerman, 28, says he shot the 17-year-old boy in self-defense and was not charged by police in Sanford, Fla. Martin, however, turned out to be unarmed and carrying a bag of Skittles candies. Red More: NY1

 

 

Man Allegedly Robs Livery Cab Driver At Knifepoint

Police were searching Sunday for a man they say robbed a livery cab driver at knifepoint last week in Manhattan. Authorities say the 26-year-old driver brought the robber from Queens to an address on East 36th street in Murray Hill last Tuesday night. They say the knife-wielding suspect then forced the driver out of the car and stole his money before running off. The driver was not injured. Read More: NY1

 

 

Terror on the tracks: More passengers struck by trains 

Straphangers were hit by subway trains a terrifying 147 times in 2011 — a sharp leap from the year before when 128 passengers were struck, MTA data reviewed by the Daily News shows. The deadly statistic — a 15% jump — means that every 2.5 days a rider is struck by a train, according to a report on customer safety that will be discussed at the MTA’s Transit Committee on Monday. Read More: Daily News

Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD officers save man from oncoming train after he faints on subway tracks

A Manhattan man felt the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day when a trio of NYPD’s finest saved him from an on-coming train after he fainted onto the tracks at Grand Central Station, police said. Surrounded by dozens of straphangers awaiting the next train, William Soto, 46, fell onto the southbound 6 tracks around 10:15 a.m. Saturday, police said. A good Samaritan who saw Soto collapse ran up the station stairs to summon help. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Identify Suspect In Fatal Staten Island Stabbing

Police have zeroed in on a suspect in connection with a deadly stabbing outside a Staten Island restaurant over the weekend. Sources say investigators have identified the man as Redinel Dervishaj, 35. Authorities say he has a prior record of violent crime. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. Investigators say he was celebrating his engagement to his high school sweetheart at the restaurant. Read More: NY1

 

Workers Prep City Ballfields For Opening Day

As New Yorkers mark the first day of spring, the city’s Parks Department is busy prepping its fields for the upcoming little league season. Before the plates are laid out in city parks, crews are making sure the diamonds, bleachers, fences and fields are all in good shape. Parks workers in Queens are preparing 174 fields for the upcoming season. Much of their work includes inspecting fields and fence lines, painting benches, removing leafs and leveling the dirt on the infield. Read More: NY1

 

Peyton, Broncos agree to five-year, $96 million deal

Peyton Manning agreed to a five-year, $96 million deal Tuesday with the Denver Broncos, the NFL Network reported. The four-time MVP will be introduced as the team’s new starting quarterback at a 3:00pm ET press conference. The sides are reportedly still finalizing the details of the contract, but the soon-to-be 36-year-old is likely to make an annual salary of about $19 million. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Marine busted at Empire State Building with gun makes plea deal, gets no jail

The ex-Marine busted for trying to check his Indiana-registered gun at the Empire State Building got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today. “I definitely did not know it was illegal to bring a gun into New York City,” Ryan Jerome, 29, of West Bend, said after pleading guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court. Read More: New York Post

 

Researchers mount new mission to solve Amelia Earhart mystery

Scientists on Tuesday announced a new phase in the search to resolve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, saying fresh evidence from a remote Pacific island may hold clues to the fate of the renowned U.S. pilot who vanished in 1937 while attempting to circle the globe. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined scientists and aviation archaeologists to unveil the expedition, which will set out from Honolulu in July to probe underwater areas around the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati where they believe Earhart may have crashed 75 years ago. Read More: New York Post

 

Reading, writing & Rikers! City Education Department staffers arrested 14 times in 2012

A disturbing number of city teachers has moved from the schoolhouse to the courthouse this year. City Education Department staffers have been arrested at least 14 times in 2012, alarming parents and leading to changes in policy. The bevy of teachers, substitutes and aides has been busted this year for crimes ranging from sex abuse and assault to stealing subway art and keying a car. And the year is just three months old. Read More: Daily News

Fundraiser For Comptroller Liu Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fundraiser For Comptroller Liu Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges

City Comptroller John Liu was dealt a major blow on Wednesday as a fundraiser for his campaign, Xing Wu Pan, was indicted on federal wire fraud charges just one day before the comptroller’s first major public policy speech. Pan, also known as Oliver Pan, was arrested in November for allegedly funneled $16,000 to Liu’s likely campaign for mayor in 2013. The U.S. attorney says Pan tried to circumvent the legal contribution limit to Liu by arranging for several people to divide up a large contribution and claim the donation was their own. Read More: NY1

 

Officials Release Recording Of 911 Call Made By Suspect In Subway Bombing Plot

A 911 call made by a man accused in a subway bombing plot has been released. Adis Medunjanin was speeding along the Whitestone Expressway when he made the call in January 2010. At the time, he was under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which had just served him with a search warrant. In the recording, Medunjanin can be heard saying, “We love death,” and “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” Read More: NY1

 

Whitney’s family thinks ex is reaching out to daughter due to fortune: report

Bobby Brown is trying to leech onto Whitney Houston’s fortune, the late singer’s mom and other family members believe, according to a new report. Brown is attempting to get close to his daughter Bobbi Kristina, who is sole heir to his ex-wife’s estimated $20 million fortune, in a bid to get his hands on the cash, family sources told TMZ. Her mother Cissy Houston is trying to stop Brown from getting close to the 18 year old because she fears the rapper is broke and just wants to line his own pockets, according to a source. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens Teacher Had Class Contact Inmate Who Previously Faced Child Porn Charges

Officials at the Department of Education say they are looking to fire a Queens teacher who had her fifth-grade students send Christmas cards to a prison inmate who was previously been charged with possessing child pornography. The city’s special commissioner of investigation, Richard Condon, says Melissa Dean, 31, had her class in P.S. 143 at Corona, Queens send cards to John Coccarelli, who appears to have had a relationship with her. The teacher did not ask permission from parents or the school and officials say many of the cards had the children’s names and addresses on them. Read More: NY1

 

Style icon in front-row death

Beloved club and fashion maven Zelda Kaplan died after collapsing in the front row at Fashion Week yesterday at age 95. Kaplan, New York’s oldest and most beloved night owl and the woman who could famously “out-party even Paris Hilton,” collapsed at the Joanna Mastroianni show at The Studio at Lincoln Center. Witnesses said the socialite “slumped forward” as the second model came out on the runway, and she was carried out and given CPR by paramedics. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital, but she couldn’t be revived. Read More: New York Post

Queens  granny kin sue in blizzard death

The family of a Queens grandmother who died of a heart attack during the December 2010 blizzard is suing the city for failing to clear the streets, which they say delayed emergency responders. Faith Radvin and Robin Martucci claim in a suit filed yesterday that a day after the storm, their mother, Gail Radvin, 73, had a fatal heart attack. Read More: New York Post

Detective who killed thug in shootout says it was ‘just instinct’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Detective who killed thug in shootout says it was ‘just instinct’

The NYPD detective who shot and killed a thug in a Harlem subway station yesterday, despite being shot in the arm, said today that he simply reacted. “It was just instinct more than anything,” Queens Detective Kevin Herlihy told The Post. Herlihy said “it’s very fortunate, [I'm] very lucky” to have survived the shootout. Read More: New York Post

Subway-push victim relives horror at trial

First, the stranger on the platform met her eyes with “a crazy stare.” Then, as the uptown train barreled into the Broadway and 28th Street station, fashion exec Ute Linhart felt two hands push her hard from behind — a New York City nightmare come to life — so forcefully, she flew off her feet. “I felt the hard push from behind,” Linhart told a Manhattan Supreme Court jury yesterday, testifying against José Rojas, 26, who is fighting attempted-murder charges by insisting he’d merely had too much to drink that day and bumped the woman by accident. Read More: New York Post

Queens teacher allegedly sent students’ info to felon boyfriend in holiday pen-pal assignment

A bone-headed Queens elementary school teacher had her students write holiday cards with their names and addresses on them to her beau — a locked-up felon, investigators charged. The Office of Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon today recommended that PS 143 fifth-grade teacher Melissa Dean get canned for acting as though the “pen” in pen-pals stood for penitentiary. Read More: New York Post

 

Gelman gets addt’l 25 years for slashing Manhattan subway rider at end of crime spree

A man already sentenced to 200 years in prison for killing four people in a stabbing and carjacking rampage in New York City has received an additional 25 years. Maksim Gelman was sentenced Wednesday for slashing a Manhattan subway passenger at the end of the bloody crime spree. In court, Gelman interrupted and taunted the victim. Joseph Lozito told Gelman he has “hell to look forward to.” Read More: New York Post

 

Hit-and-run driver slams into taxi, injures 2: cops

A reckless hit-and-run driver slammed into a taxi early this morning, seriously injuring the cabbie and a passenger inside, police said. The accident occurred while BMW driver Gilberto Morales, 20, was allegedly speeding up Third Avenue in the East Village with his buddy Brandon Evans, 21, in the passenger seat, cops said. Morales blew through a red light near East 13th Street and plowed into the taxi at 3:36 a.m., cops said. The cowardly motorist stopped the BMW, and after seeing the damage, fled the scene on foot with Evans, cops said. Read More: New York Post

Ex-Marine rips NY’s ‘illogical’ gun law

Getting prosecuted under New York’s gun laws is a nonsensical crapshoot, where gangsters get their cases expunged and thugs can turn in illegal weapons for $200 — but a weapon that’s legally registered elsewhere can brand a citizen as a criminal for life. That’s the view of a retired Marine who is facing criminal charges after unwittingly trying to check his Indiana-registered handgun at the Empire State building, according to the latest court filings in the case. Read More: New York Post

 

Hit-run kills Brooklyn man

An elderly man was killed last night in a horrific hit-and-run accident in Brooklyn, police said. Jean Jeanniot, 71, was crossing the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and East 26th Street in Flatbush when a car hit him at about 6:10 p.m., authorities said. Another car then hit and dragged Jeanniot, but that driver stayed on the scene, cops said. “Someone hit him one way, then another guy drove over him and he was dragged out,” said Robert Sapp, of nearby Lindell’s Beauty and Barber Supplies. “It’s a horrible intersection, it’s very dangerous.” Jeanniot was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he died. Read More: New York Post

Survey sees ‘good,’ ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ of subways


| brennison@queenscourier.com

For those heading into the subway, a can of paint and a light bulb may be of more use than a MetroCard.

In its inaugural “State of the Station Platforms” survey, the Straphangers Campaign found subway stations with peeling paint, graffiti and cracked floors — but the findings were not all negative.

“We found the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphanger Campaign organizer who oversaw the survey.

The non-profit surveyed 12 platform conditions, including the presence of garbage cans (the good); rats (the bad); and broken light fixtures (the ugly).

Among the good were garbage cans at every station and none were found to be overflowing. Only six percent of platforms contained large garbage bags.

Many seasoned straphangers may be more familiar with the bad and ugly, however.

Rats have long been associated with entering the depths of the subways, and the rodents were found during the survey, but at just 11 percent of stations. This still landed it in the bad category, which was any condition found at between 10 and 50 percent of stations. More bad included graffiti at 20 percent of stations, exposed wiring at 28 percent and cracked floors on a third of platforms.

The ugly — conditions found at more than 50 percent of platforms — consisted of broken lights seen at half the stations assessed, substantial water damage at 53 percent of stations and the most frequently observed condition, substantial peeling paint at 79 percent of stations.

The MTA stated that improving the appearance and cleanliness of the system’s stations is among its top priorities.

“We have deployed more personnel and resources to remove trash from stations in a timely manner while we continue the station component program, which targets specific repairs and improvements at more stations around the system,” said an MTA spokesperson.

The non-profit’s survey was based on observations at 120 randomly-selected subway stations — including 17 in Queens — between July 11 and September 24, 2011.

 

Father Of Confessed Subway Bomb Plotter Awaits Sentencing


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Father Of Confessed Subway Bomb Plotter Awaits Sentencing

The father of confessed terror plotter Najibullah Zazi is set to be sentenced today in Brooklyn federal court. Mohammad Wali Zazi was accused of destroying evidence and lying to cover up his son’s plot to attack New York City’s subways in 2009. He was convicted last year of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The 55-year-old maintains his innocence as he faces up to 40 years in prison. Zazi’s son pleaded guilty to terror charges nearly two years ago. Read More: NY1

 

Knicks’ newest star getting used to ‘Linsanity’

Knicks new point guard sensation Jeremy Lin admitted he was still getting used to the new attention he has been getting and credited media and fans for all the “Lin puns’’ going around the city. “I didn’t know you can turn Lin into so many things,’’ Lin said at today’s morning shootaround in Westchester. “We’ve never done it before. Me and my family were laughing last night. We underestimated how creative everybody can be.’’ Read More: New York Post

 

‘Violent’ Madonna stalker escapes from LA psych hospital

A man convicted of stalking Madonna in 1996 and who has “very violent tendencies” has escaped from a psychiatric hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said. Robert Dewey Hoskins, 54, who once scaled a wall at the star’s Hollywood home and threatened to cut her throat from ear to ear, walked out of hospital last Friday, an LAPD spokesman said. “Hoskins is a very psychotic man when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies,” the LAPD statement, cited by the Los Angeles Times, said. Read More: New York Post

DA subpoenas Cashman financial records for extort clues

Manhattan prosecutors have subpoenaed Yankee general manger Brian Cashman’s bank records—which sources say include evidence that he coughed up as much as $20,000 to accused extortionist and purported mistress Louise Meanwell as far back as April, The Post has learned. Those alleged payments raise the question of whether Meanwell was shaking Cashman down for nearly 10 months — or whether the big bucks were legitimate gifts as part of an affair, as she claims. Read More: New York Post

 

$1M iBust in Chelsea

Police raided a Chelsea apartment yesterday and discovered an enormous cache of counterfeit Apple products and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones worth almost $1 million retail, cops said. Officers began staking out the building on West 28th Street near Seventh Avenue after an arrest last month when they saw a man leave the building with a fake iPhone that he later tried to sell on a Hell’s Kitchen street corner, cops said. The alleged swindler, Iaron Baskerville, was arrested and charged with possession of a forged instrument and fraudulent accounting. Read More: New York Post

Loony ’toon guilty

A Muslim extremist from Brooklyn pleaded guilty yesterday to making online threats against the creators of “South Park” because the TV show depicted the prophet Mohammed as a bear. Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, and another homegrown radical, Zachary Adam Chesser, 22, created revolutionmuslim.com to spread their messages of hate, officials said. They were outraged over an April 2010 “South Park” episode in which Tom Cruise and other celebrities previously lampooned by the Comedy Central show sue the town — but offer to drop the case if they can meet Mohammed and find out why he had so far been spared their ridicule. Read More: New York Post

 

Video clears man charged with trying to run down cop

A Brooklyn homeowner charged with racing his car toward a cop and making the officer jump out of the way to save his life was himself saved by a surveillance video that shows him calmly parking his car while the cop never budges. John Hockenjos, 55, was charged last Sunday with first-degree reckless endangerment after Officer Diego Palacios swore that the MTA engineer created a “grave risk of death” by driving his sedan “at high rate of speed into a driveway towards” the officer, according to the criminal complaint. Read More: New York Post

 

MTA worker scares off fiend raping woman in Bowery J train tunnel

An MTA worker walking along the tracks near a desolate lower Manhattan subway station scared off a violent sex attacker during a rape, police sources said. “That saved her life,” one of the sources said of the MTA worker’s light that caught the victim’s attention as she was being beaten and raped. The 36-year-old Asian woman saw the light and screamed, causing her attacker to flee. Police say Michael Torres, 29, targeted the 36-year-old Asian woman just after 1 a.m. Wednesday at the J train stop on the Bowery at Delancey St. Read More: Daily News

Long Island college student Kerry Fitzsimons, 21, among three killed in fire near Marist College


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Long Island college student Kerry Fitzsimons, 21, among three killed in fire near Marist College

A Long Island college student was one of three people killed in a fire that ripped through an off-campus home near Marist College in upstate Poughkeepsie. The family of Kerry Fitzsimons, 21, of Commack, L.I., is struggling to comprehend the tragedy that took her life. Fitzsimons died early Saturday, trapped in an off-campus house she shared with other Marist students. “It’s unimaginable, the devastation,” a grieving aunt, who declined to give her name, said on Sunday. “She was an awesome, gorgeous , beautiful person.” Also killed were honor-roll fashion student Eva Block, 21, of Woodbridge, Conn., and aspiring blogger Kevin Johnson, 21, of New Canaan, Conn., a communications major at Dutchess Community College. Read More:  Daily News

 

Men killed in Manhattan subway tunnel and at station staircase in Queens

Four people were killed — two on the L train in Manhattan — in four separate accidents in the city transit system on Saturday. At about 10 p.m., straphangers were greeted by the gruesome scene of a man’s head wedged between the train car and the platform when they stepped off the L train at the Sixth Ave. subway station. Cops could not say how the man became pinned by the train. Read More: Daily News

Man admits killing Brooklyn dancer after meeting her at Manhattan club

A convicted sex offender who picked up an aspiring dancer from Texas at a Manhattan nightclub three years ago admitted Monday that he killed her in his upstate apartment because she became upset that he had a girlfriend. Michael Mele, wearing a dark suit, unexpectedly pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and evidence tampering in the killing of 25-year-old Laura Garza. The plea came just before the start of his murder trial in Orange County court. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Firecracker blast kills Queens man

A firecracker blast killed a Queens man inside his home this morning, cops said. The 50-year-old man was holding a firecracker in his hand when it went off at 9:28 a.m. inside his hallway in Ozone Park, police said. Other relatives were home at the time of the explosion, but no major damage was caused to the single family house on 111th Avenue. Read More: New York Post

 

Man convicted of $100M mortgage scam pleads guilty to plotting hit on ‘rat’

The convicted mastermind of a $100 million mortgage scam pleaded guilty today to plotting to take out a contract on the life of the “rat” who helped put him behind bars. Aaron Hand, who is already serving 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for mortgage fraud, will have an 8- to 16-year sentence slapped on top of his existing prison term when he is sentenced Feb. 6 before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward. He could have faced up to 25 years in prison if he’d gone to trial and been convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Read More: New York Post

 

Godmother bilked daughter of 9/11 victim out of $1M: judge

Shanhellen Jimenez was in seventh grade when her mother was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. That year, the 12-year-old was awarded nearly $1 million by the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The money — the lion’s share to become available to her when she turned 18 — was more than the middle-schooler could comprehend. Her divorced mom, Elena Ledesma, had worked as a maintenance supervisor for Marsh & McLennan on the 93rd floor of the north tower, taking home $400 a week. On that paltry paycheck, she supported Shanhellen and Angelina, her 17-year-old daughter, as well as her ailing mother, Candida Hernandez. Read More: New York Post

Shock cop suicide


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Shock cop suicide

An NYPD cop fatally shot himself last night while on-duty and interviewing the victim of a Queens car break-in, sources told The Post. The officer, whose name was withheld pending family notification, got into a heated argument on his cellphone with his girlfriend and fired one bullet into his face after the conversation ended at around 11 p.m., the sources said. The cop, a five-year veteran assigned to the 111th Precinct, went with his partner to a house on 211th Street near 85th Avenue in Hollis Hills to talk to a man whose car had been broken into Wednesday. Read More: New York Post

 

Bus teen shot on ‘slay’ line

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg yesterday while riding a bus on the Queens line that saw a fatal shooting last month, authorities said. The shooting took place at 3:20 p.m. on the southbound Q111 bus near Seagirt Avenue and Beach 20th Street in Far Rockaway, said an MTA spokesman. Police said the teen has been uncooperative and no arrests have been made. He was treated at Long Island Jewish Hospital After he was shot, the teen approached the driver to report that he had been shot in the leg, according to the MTA spokesman. On Dec 2, Damel Burton, 34, allegedly killed one innocent passenger and wounded another on a crowded Q111 bus in Jamaica. Read More: New York Post

 

Police Shoot Suspect In Attempted Carjacking

Police on Thursday shot a man accused of trying to carjack an elderly driver in Queens. Investigators say the suspect approached his 89-year-old victim while he was parked on Christie Avenue in Corona. The suspect allegedly struck the victim with a gun and then fled the scene. Police gave chase and the suspect later ran into a driveway on 46th Avenue. An officer fired one round at the suspect when he turned to police holding a gun. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun. Read More: NY1

 

Super outlook for Manning

This is when you separate the Mann from the boys. Win one game. Win this game. The hope and dreams of a storied franchise, of a city thirsting for another championship, heaped on one Mann’s shoulders. The Right Mann. The Only Mann Giants fans want for the job. Everyone can see the focus in his eyes, now and forever. He sees 49ers directly in front of him, and that Lombardi Trophy he craves to hoist again in the not-so-distant future. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Qaeda’ subway plotter No. 4

Federal prosecutors have revealed that there was a fourth man in the United States connected to a 2009 al Qaeda-sanctioned plot to blow up subway lines in New York City. Officials last week quietly revised the indictment against one of the conspirators, Adis Medunjanin, alleging that he — along with former high school classmates Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay — tried to recruit someone identified only as “John Doe” to travel to Pakistan “to wage violent jihad.” It’s the first time prosecutors indicated there was a fourth person in the United States linked to what may have been the most legitimate terror plot since 9/11. Now Medunjanin’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, wants Brooklyn federal prosecutors to unveil the identity of the mystery man before he turns up as a possible witness at a trial set for March. Read More: New York Post

 

Parody video ‘S—t New Yorkers Say’ by blogger Eliot Glazer goes viral — and he doesn’t go to Queens

 

Out of left field

Pieces of Citi Field history — all three years of it — are on sale to the highest bidder. In a decidedly odd online auction, the cash-strapped Mets are hawking seven separate chunks of the padded barrier, that’s been guarded by such “old-time” Amazin’s legends as Daniel Murphy and Jason Bay. Flushing faithful with a few thousand bucks in their pockets can get their hands on markers celebrating their favorite corporate sponsors and championship teams. Mets VP Jay Horwitz insisted the sale isn’t a cash grab, just a routine auction prompted by the team’s left-field redesign. Read More: New York Post

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case

Prosecutors and defense lawyers say they’re in plea negotiations in a rare state-level terror case against a New York City man. He’s charged with building a homemade bomb to try to attack soldiers, police and other government targets. The Manhattan district attorney’s office disclosed the plea talks during a court date Monday in Jose Pimentel’s case. Defense lawyer Lori Cohen says prosecutors haven’t made any firm offer yet. Pimentel didn’t have to appear for the brief session. He’s due back in court March 1. The 27-year-old is being held without bail on charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes. Read More: New York Post

 

Man killed in Bx. shooting previously injured in August shootout

A gun-toting thug fatally shot a man in the Bronx yesterday, police said. The victim, Ricky Rodriguez-Recio, 20, was believed to be the intended target of a shooting in August that left a 2-year-old critically injured, sources said. The victim was outside of his home on East 181st Street in Bronx Park South at 6:17 p.m. when an unknown gunman opened fire striking him in the chest and hitting another man in the hand, cops said. Rodriguez-Recio was previously shot in the lower back on August 29 when Luis More, 23, opened fire at him, striking two children playing outside. Read More: New York Post

 

Report: Aqueduct Racino Pulled In $90M During Year’s Final Stretch

The money is reportedly flowing at the new Aqueduct racetrack casino in Queens. The Daily News says the racino brought in close to $90 million in revenue in November and December — more than five other gambling operations in New York made all last year. Only locations in Yonkers, Saratoga, and the Finger Lakes took in more money in 2011, but those are open year-round. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pinned Aqueduct’s success on the number of video slots, table games, and its proximity to the city. Read More: NY1

 

Trial on tap in Giants Stadium escalator accident

Opening arguments are under way in a trial brought by eight people who were injured when a Giants Stadium escalator malfunctioned four years. The trial started Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack in a lawsuit brought against the company that maintained the escalator and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operated Giants Stadium. The escalator malfunctioned as fans were leaving a New York Giants game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 29, 2007. An attorney for the plaintiffs says one person lost a leg and another has had more than a dozen operations on his foot. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Blue Ivy Carter an instant Twitter sensation: Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby garners celebrity attention

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby was trending on Twitter at birth. The social media site was aflutter Sunday with celebrity pals and relatives of the hip-hop royal couple posting messages of 140 characters or less. “The most beautiful girl in the world,” Beyoncé’s sis, Solange Knowles, tweeted of her newborn niece, Blue Ivy Carter. Within hours of entering the world at Lenox Hill Hospital on the upper East Side Saturday night, the infant boasting the lineage of the R&B princess and the rap impresario caused a stir in the Twittersphere. Read More: Daily News

 

No Pants Subway Ride hits New York City for 11th year 

It’s like commuting, but without the pants. Straphangers throughout New York City nonchalantly stripped to their underwear from the waist down Sunday afternoon as part of a global practical joke coordinated by prankster outfit Improv Everywhere. To participate in the 11th annual No Pants Subway Ride, the only requirements were people had to be “willing to take pants off on subway” and “able to keep a straight face about it,” organizers said in a post on their website. Read More: Daily News

 

Trial begins in murder of Laura Garza, young Brooklyn woman who went missing from a Manhattan nightclub  

A murder trial is getting under way for a registered sex offender accused of murdering an aspiring dancer from Texas whose body was found in Pennsylvania more than a year after she went missing in New York. Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Orange County Court in the murder trial of Michael Mele of Wallkill. The victim, Laura Garza, met Mele at a Manhattan nightclub in December 2008 and disappeared afterward. Her body was found in April 2010 near Scranton, Pa. Garza had moved to Brooklyn from McAllen, Texas, five months before her disappearance. Read More: Daily News

 

Long Island police investigate swastika drawn on garage door in Sea Cliff

Long Island cops are hunting the vandals who drew a swastika on a garage door in Sea Cliff. Nassau County police say the 63-year-old resident of the home discovered the Nazi symbol over the weekend. Police say it was drawn in black marker sometime between between 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The incident is being investigated as aggravated harassment. Police say a school, park and three homes were the targets of similar vandalism in Sea Cliff between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Release Photo Of Suspected Bronx Subway Groper

Police in the Bronx are looking for a man they say groped a woman on the subway. The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. on the evening of December 14 at the East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse station on the D line. Police say a 25-year-old woman was walking up the stairs when a man approached from behind, lifted her dress and touched her backside. Read More: NY1

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/08/2011: Boxing legend Joe Frazier dies, 67


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Severed Foot Found On Front Lawn In Rosedale; Turns Out To Be Bear’s

There’s relief in Rosedale this morning after a gruesome discovery rattled nerves. A man taking out the garbage Sunday night found what appeared to be a severed child’s foot on his front lawn. Police responded to the scene to investigate. On Monday morning, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the foot was that of a bear. Read More: CBS News

 

 

Man Arrested For Alleged Groping Of Shayne DeJesus On Train

Police in Queens say they’ve arrested the man who allegedly groped Shayne DeJesus at the Union Square subway station. Froylan Andrade, 39, is charged with sex abuse after cops were able to identify him from a photo DeJesus snapped on the train. Read More: WPIX

 

 

Feds forced to return nearly $1 million to Gallagher’s 2000, a Long Island City strip club 

The feds have been ordered to return nearly $1 million seized from a Queens strip club after a judge cleared the owner of civil charges of financial improprieties. Robert Potenza, the pistol-packing owner of Gallagher’s 2000 in Long Island City, ran afoul of government agents who suspected the strip club king had made more than 100 bank deposits in amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal reporting requirements. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Graffiti legend was also an NYPD cop

Police have discovered the identity of one of New York City’s most prolific graffiti vandals — and he’s one of their own. Steven Weinberg, 43, of Flushing, a patrolman who retired from the NYPD in 2001 after hurting his leg, is the notorious “Neo” — one of the peskiest subway taggers of the 1980s. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Boxing legend Joe Frazier dies, 67

In another era, Joe Frazier—”Smokin’ Joe” to anybody who cared about boxing—might have perched serenely atop the heavyweight boxing division for a decade, his powerful punches and stolid visage epitomizing pugilistic grace. Mr. Frazier, who died Monday at age 67 after a brief bout with liver cancer, was small by heavyweight standards. But he was a warrior who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights early. Read More: Wall Street Journal

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/25/2011: 8 Officers Charged With Gun Trafficking in U.S. Corruption Case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Egypt to release Queens native

The Prime Minister of Israel announced that Ilan Grapel, the Queens native and law student arrested during the Egyptian uprisings in June, will be released in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners, according to Congressmember Gary Ackerman’s office. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Barbara Sheehan released from prison

According to published reports, the 50-year-old mother of two was released from Rikers Island earlier today, roughly two weeks after she was taken into custody. Barbara was in prison awaiting sentencing for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree for the shooting death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

15-year-old held in rape attempts in Queens

A 15-year-old Queens youth has been arrested on charges that he tried to rape two women this month, part of what the authorities say is a pattern of five attacks in the borough’s southeastern section that began in late September. Read More: New York Times

 

 

Queens suspect forcibly grabs woman’s breast in subway station

A suspect is being sought in connection with yet another sex crime in Queens. Police said that last Thursday a suspect approached 22-year-old woman at the Seneca Avenue M Line subway station and grabbed her breast and private area.  The suspect then fled the station for the street. Read More: CBS News

 

 

8 Officers Charged With Gun Trafficking in U.S. Corruption Case

Eight current and former New York Police Department officers were arrested early Tuesday on federal charges including gun trafficking and conspiracy to smuggle cigarettes, according to people briefed on the case. Read More: New York Times

 

 

Train derailment causing delays on 4,5 and 6 lines


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

A train derailment on the northbound No. 6 line early this morning caused delays and service changes on the 4, 5 and 6 trains.

Normal service has returned following the derailment though there are still residual delays.

If possible riders should use an alternate route to avoid delays.

No injuries were reported from the derailment and the cause is under investigation.

MTA reduces subway service for “minor holidays”


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

New York City subway riders may notice they are waiting a little longer for the train today.

Columbus Day marks the first time the MTA has implemented its “minor holiday” schedule.

After studying minor holidays, the agency discovered ridership levels are often less than 75 percent of peak ridership. The reduction in service on these days will be smaller than the reduction in ridership, according to the MTA. This is a pilot program that will see expansion if successful.

The changes affect the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines. The agency estimates it will save $200,000 annually.

The “minor holidays” that will see service reduced are: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Good Friday, Columbus Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (when it falls on a Monday through Thursday), three weekdays following Christmas and New Years Eve (when it falls on a Monday through Thursday).