Category Archives: Crime

104th Pct. Pens 23 Summonses in One Saturday

It took just one day for the Ridgewood-based 104th Precinct to issue more than 20 summonses, thanks to help from various city agencies. The MARCH – multi-agency response to community hotspots – went down Saturday, April 5 at various nightlife locations at the root of residents’ complaints, a spokesman for the 104th said. Officers marched through the precinct alongside the state liquor authority, Buildings Department, Mental Health and Hygiene Department, Fire Department, Environmental Protection Department, Police Department and legal bureau. … Continue reading

Crowley Helps Cops Put Graffiti Vandal in Cuffs

This graffiti enthusiast messed with the wrong group. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) saw her district office vandalized back in January with graffiti scrawled along one of the walls. But both she and her office remained persistent in pursuing those responsible, and the 104th Precinct announced the arrest of 30-year-old Michael Mestric on Friday and charged him with 30 acts of vandalism. “We said we would get to the bottom of this recent vandalism in Middle Village, and we … Continue reading

Ridgewood double murder victim had rap sheet: NYPD

Police were still trying to piece together why a Ridgewood couple was found shot to death inside their new apartment last week, officials said. Cops identified the victims as 22-year-old Louis Oscar Padilla-Lopez and 21-year-old Natalie Mejia-Tavares, who died of gunshot wounds to their head and torso, respectively, around 6:45 p.m. inside their Summerfield Street apartment Thursday night, police said. No gun was recovered at the scene near Seneca Avenue and no arrests have been made so far, the NYPD … Continue reading

Phone Scams Plague 112th Pct.

The 112th Precinct has been inundated with complaints about phone scammers seeking residents’ personal information, officials said. Heidi Chain, president of the 112th Precinct Community Council, said telephone scams have become one of the most pressing issues in the Queens precinct with new complaints coming in almost every day. In each instance, she said, the supposed thieves drum up a scenario in which money must be transferred quickly in order to evade some sort of emergency. “These calls are frightening … Continue reading

DA: Kew Gardens Attorney Stole Thousands After Suspension

A suspended attorney from Kew Gardens was accused of stealing more than $206,000 in cash from clients who hired him in various home purchases and sales, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Percy Randall, 58, practiced law on 82nd Avenue in Kew Gardens until being suspended in December 2011 based on his conviction in a previous crime, Brown said. Since then, he took on five clients to represent them in various home purchases, sales, and one divorce and … Continue reading

DA: Ridgewood, Woodhaven men charged with stealing unemployment benefits

Two men from Ridgewood and Woodhaven were among the 18 individuals Queens District Attorney Richard Brown pegged for allegedly stealing more than $340,000 in unemployment benefits, authorities said. Steven Colon, 38, and Alfonso Vaca, 33, were two of those who allegedly received the largest amounts of overpayments in the scheme, which Brown said came as the result of a state Department of Labor investigation involving falsified documents for fast cash. “The defendants are accused of trying to scam the system … Continue reading

Police investigate double murder in Ridgewood: 104th Pct.

A Ridgewood couple was found shot dead in their Summerfield Street apartment near the corner of Seneca Avenue Thursday night, launching a full-on police investigation, the NYPD said. Cops identified the victims as 22-year-old Louis Oscar Padilla-Lopez and 21-year-old Natalie Mejia-Tavares, who died of gunshot wounds to their head and torso, respectively, around 6:45 p.m. Thursday night, police said. No gun was recovered at the scene and no arrests have been made so far, the NYPD said. A Ridgewood resident who … Continue reading

NYPD: Maspeth teacher accused of having sex with student

A Maspeth teaching assistant was charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy who attended the school, the Police Department said. Clara Somodi, 39, was arrested last Thursday around 1 a.m. after the student pegged her as his alleged girlfriend in a conversation with a speech therapist at the Walter Reed School, PS 9, at 58-74 57th Ave., police said. She has since been suspended without pay and the student was enrolled to receive counseling, a spokeswoman for the Education … Continue reading

Stolen Cars Spike in 104th Pct.

Crime rose a little more than 1 percent in the 104th Precinct, with car thefts driving the numbers, police said this week. Capt. Christopher Manson, commanding officer of the 104th, spoke at the precinct community council’s monthly meeting Tuesday night, outlining the latest crime statistics and answering questions on topics like graffiti and knifepoint robberies in Ridgewood. Because last year’s numbers were so low, the precinct commander said it was nearly inevitable to see a slight uptick in crime this … Continue reading

Assistant Queens Police Chief Honored at Women’s History Fete

An assistant police chief from Queens served as the keynote speaker at a Women’s History Month celebration in the Bronx this week and was recognized as one of the city’s female leaders. Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, who serves as the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, spoke at the Women’s History Month celebration hosted by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) before being honored alongside several other community leaders. The group gathered at the New York Botanical Garden’s Stone … Continue reading

Corona Man Arraigned in Child Porn Bust: DA

A Corona man was arraigned on charges that he forced young girls to perform sex acts as part of an online game, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Monday. Jorel Fowler, 23, of Corona, allegedly would engage young girls over the Internet and lure them into participating in what he called “The Game,” in which the children were awarded points for performing various activities, including sexual acts, according to the DA. “This defendant is alleged … Continue reading

Law Grad Convicted of Torturing, Murdering Girlfriend

A University of Florida law school graduate was convicted of strangling and beating to death his former girlfriend inside their Astoria apartment, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Following a seven-week jury trial, Jason Bohn, 35, of Astoria, was found guilty of first-degree murder after killing Danielle Thomas, a 27-year-old who had reportedly moved to New York City to pursue her dream job in business. “The jury bravely listened to harrowing evidence – including a recording of the … Continue reading

Queens Special Ed Provider Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge

A Flushing-based special education provider pleaded guilty in federal court March 7 to charges he stole millions of dollars in federal, state and city aid meant for children with disabilities. Cheon Park, 46, of Long Island, admitted to using his company, Bilingual SEIT & Preschool Inc., to overbill for tutoring and therapy services, and he received more than $94 million by various government organizations between 2005 and 2012, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. During that time period, Bilingual … Continue reading

104th Pct. puts dent in graffiti, robbery patterns

The 104th Precinct put an end to a Brooklyn man’s alleged string of robberies throughout Ridgewood and also announced a series of graffiti-related arrests, authorities said. Bryant Aguilar, 21, was arrested Monday in connection with four robberies throughout the month of February and was charged with four counts of robbery, a precinct spokesman said. The arrest came after 104th officers reported that several women had been targeted in a string of knifepoint robberies throughout Ridgewood. In each instance, police said … Continue reading

JFK Baggage Handlers Charged with Stealing Credit Cards, Checks and Money: Queens DA

Five JFK International Airport baggage handlers whose jobs included unloading U.S. mail onto outbound international flights allegedly stole thousands of dollars worth of money orders and checks bound for Japan, China, Korea, and elsewhere, and deposited them into their own bank accounts, according to law officials. The defendants – who are from South Ozone Park, Hollis, and Brooklyn – are also charged with stealing credit cards and using them to purchase iPad minis and other items from Best Buy kiosks … Continue reading