Thursday, March 21, 2013

Police Shoot, Injure Man in Brownsville Gunfight, NYPD Says

BROOKLYN — Police shot and injured a man in a gunfight in Brownsville Thursday evening, officials said.

The undercover detective and officer were sitting in an unmarked car at 298 Grafton St., near Livonia Avenue, just after 6 p.m. when they saw a 20-year-old man pull out a gun, the NYPD said.

The officers, from Brooklyn South Narcotics, got out of the car and headed toward the man, who began firing at them, police said. The officers returned fire, striking the man in his left hand and buttocks. 

The suspect was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where he was in stable condition Thursday evening, officials said. 

The two officers, who were working on a buy-and-bust drug operation at the time of the shooting, were taken to Kings County Hospital for tinnitus.

The owner of a garage on Grafton Street near the shooting said he heard 10 to 15 gunshots and raced outside.

"I saw everyone running," said the man, who did not give his name.

Police recovered the suspect's weapon, a Colt .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, officials said.

The NYPD still investigating the incident Thursday evening and said charges against the suspect were pending.

Michael Dunkin, 22, who lives near the scene of the shooting, said he was friends with the man who was shot and was surprised to hear he was involved in violence.

"I don't know him to be that kind of guy," Dunkin said of the man, who Dunkin said was taking GED classes. "He seemed like he was trying to get his life together."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Second Avenue Subway Accident Leaves Worker Stuck in Mud for Five Hours

UPPER EAST SIDE — A construction worker was seriously hurt after getting trapped in chest-high mud for about five hours on the Upper East Side, an FDNYspokesman said.

The worker, whom sources identified as Joseph Barone of E.E. Cruz Heavy Construction, sank into the mire about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday while working approximately 75 feet underground on the extension of the Second Avenue subway line at 94th Street, the spokesman said.

Thirty-six units, or 155 firefighters, raced to the scene about 8:38 p.m. to begin a major rescue operation, the fire spokesman said.Con Edison sent large vacuum trucks, usually used to clear clogged manholes, to help suck the muck from around the man, a spokesman for the utility said.

Neighbor Fred Hernandez, 53, said he was unsettled by the severity of the incident but not the noise of the response given the usual din the construction site produces,which has long irritated locals.

"I was shocked," Hernandez said. "But the way construction is, it's just a mess. It's a total mess."

Another neighbor Maria Gregorio, 66, said she rushed outside when she saw the mass of fire trucks surround the site.

"We thought there was a fire downstairs because of the subway construction," Gregorio said.

Rescue workers pulled Barone free about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and raised him to the surface wrapped in blankets within a yellow cage before taking him to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition, the FDNY spokesman said.

"He's so lucky," Gregorio added.

The extrication took as long as it did partly because rescue workers had to remove by hand a host of additional debris around the trapped worker. Rescue workers were also cautious to avoid a cave-in, the fire spokesman said.

It was unclear how Barone got into the mud. A construction worker at the site Wednesday morning said he had worked for E.E. Cruz for seven years and often worked waist deep in mud, but never had a safety issue.

Work at the site was suspended to allow for an investigation into the incident, said anMTA spokesman at the scene.

''We're still trying to figure out exactly what he was doing at the time, in essence, how the ground became overly saturated where it became a dangerous condition with the mud there,'' said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

"We will not commence any work until we complete a thorough and full investigation and get an idea of exactly what happened, why it happened and how we can prevent it from happening in the future," Ortiz added.

Ortiz said the investigation isn't expected to delay the line's 2016 completion dated.

Three firefighters were also taken to Cornell after the long rescue, one with serious injuries and the other two with minor ones, the fire spokesman said.

By DNAinfo

Monday, March 18, 2013

1 Hurt in Queens School Bus Crash

One person was hurt in an accident involving a school bus and a car in Queens Monday morning, authorities said.

The school bus and car collided on the westbound side of the Grand Central Parkway near Astoria Boulevard shortly before 6:30 a.m. 

The victim's injuries were considered non-life threatening, the FDNY said. 

It wasn't clear if there were children aboard the yellow school bus.

Chopper 4 captured an extensive emergency presence at the scene as smoke wafted up around the bus and firefighters directed traffic past the accident.

Photo Credit: NBCNewYork

Second Fire in Two Days Breaks Out in Fulton Street Building

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A huge fire broke out in a mixed-used building on Fulton Street early Monday morning, just a day after another blaze burned at the same building, an FDNY spokesman said.

Fire officials received the call for the second blaze in 140 Fulton St., at 1:55 a.m. It grew into a three-alarm fire, but was under control by 5:20 a.m., FDNY said.

One firefighter sustained minor injuries, officials said.

About 7 a.m. on Sunday, a four alarm fire broke out at the five-story building near Nassau Street, the FDNY spokesman said. It was brought under control by 9:38 a.m. and three firefighters received minor injuries, officials said. 

The FDNY used 168 firefighters to tackle the first blaze.

Fire officials said that the rood of the building had collapsed in the rear because of Sunday morning's fire.

The collapse has made it unsafe to enter the building, said Battalion Chief Mark Rosenbaum.

"We've basically been trying to extinguish it from the outside," said Rosenbaum. "So it's just a long, tedious process of pouring water from different angles."

Hundreds of firefighters have responded to the two blazes over 30 hours, he added.

"We had it under control yesterday at about 12 o'clock [p.m.]. It's not going anywhere. We just can't get final extinguishment of it," he said.

Both fires are under investigation, the spokesman said.

By DNAinfo

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bronx Fire Kills Girl, 7, Girl, 3, in Critical Condition

A 7-year-old girl was killed and a 3-year-old girl is in critical condition after a fire ripped through an apartment in the Bronx early Sunday morning.
Authorities responded to the fire on Grant Avenue in Fleetwood-Concourse Village at about 3 a.m. Police say the children were pulled from the smoldering fire unconscious and transported to Lincoln Medical Center.
The 7-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital. The 3-year-old child remains in critical condition.
The identities of the children were not released.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Protesters Dwindle as Police Presence Grows at Vigil for Kimani Gray

BROOKLYN — A small crowd of demonstrators gathered at a candlelight vigil on the corner of East 55th Street and Church Avenue in East Flatbush on Saturday, in an ongoing protest over the death of Kimani Gray, the 16-year-old boy fatally shot by police officers one week earlier, after he allegedly pointed a gun at them.

Following five nights of vigils for Gray,some of them drawing more than three times as many people, the crowd of nearly 50 demonstrators marched to the 67th Precinct after nearly two hours at the nightly protest.

Hundreds of police officers, however, filled the streets surrounding Saturday's evening demonstration, which began at 7 p.m.

"People were chanting," demonstrator Lisa Knauer, a 56-year-old professor of anthropology at UMass Dartmouth, said of the scene at the precinct. "The corner was barricaded off. We were across the street from the precinct. People were giving impromptu speeches."

On the way to the police station, the demonstrators stopped at the East 52nd Street house in front of which Gray was shot, and paused again at the intersection where 23-year-old Shantel Davis was allegedly shot and killed by police after crashing a stolen car in June of 2012.

Cops on horses, motorcycles and even posted on top of a building across the street, surrounded the protesters at the vigil, and gates built for a much larger crowd penned in the protesters for several blocks.

"As I biked over here from East 16th Street, I counted at least one police car per block — 40 police cars," Knauer said.

"I don't know if it means they're afraid of the community. It certainly makes me feel criminalized."

An NYPD spokesman said on Sunday he could not say how many officers had been assigned to the vigil site for Saturday's protest.

There have been several attacks on police officers following the Gray shooting.

On Wednesday night, a protestor smashed an officer's face with a brick, according to the New York Post and New York Times. Monday night, some demonstrators allegedly threw bottles at cops, after vandalizing and robbing a Rite Aid.

Activist Fatimah Shakur, 29, feels the police response to the violence at the vigils has been unjustly harsh.

"They're not playing fair," Shakur said. "They're not respecting our constitutional right to protest. That's not cool."

Among the crowd of demonstrators at Saturday's vigil was 14-year-old friend of Gray's, Nia Denerville, who remembers him as "a good boy."

"It's so sad he had to go like that for no reason," Denerville said.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Police Hunt for Suspects as Man Shot in Head Clings to Life

PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — A 60-year-old man was shot in the head early Friday after leaving a deli, and police are hunting for four men who were seen just moments beforehand standing in line behind him, cops said.

The victim, who was in critical condition at Kings County Hospital on Saturday, had left the deli at Lincoln Road and Flatbush Avenue at 2:40 p.m. and was followed by four young men who showed up moments afterwards, police said.

One of the men, described as 25 to 30 years of age with a beard and mustache, shot the victim in the head and fled the location, police said.

The suspect was last seen wearing a black-and-grey striped hoodie, black jeans, and black-and-white sneakers, cops said.

The other men shown in a video released by police are also wanted in the incident, police said. A second man was described as in his 20s, and was seen wearing a white Adidas shirt, and black-and-white sneakers, police said.

The third man was wearing a black-and-red plaid jacket with white sneakers, police said, and the fourth man wore a grey hooded sweatshirt with white-and-black sneakers, police said. 

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting information to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.