Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lightning Strikes Home of L.I. Olympian

Lightning in Wednesday's storm struck the Long Island home of Olympian Maria Michta, who is days away from heading to London to compete in the race walk.

The lightning struck her house in Nesconset, hitting wires and setting fire to two cars, the family told NBC 4 New York. The athlete tweeted, "that fire was at my house and we lost two cars."

"Thank God family is safe, house still standing... lost two cars but was able to save our American flag!" she tweeted.

The American flag was a gift from a neighbor after she qualified for the Olympics, Smithtown Patch reported.

Michta was out training at a nearby high school when the lightning hit, she said. Her mother and two younger sisters were home when they heard what sounded like an explosion. They saw two power lines fall to the lawn and burst into flames, and fled the house.

No one was injured, but a van and a car belonging to the family were destroyed by the fire. Michta's family, which has been working hard to raise money to defray the cost of her trip to London, is now worried about the added expense of replacing two vehicles, they said.

Michta plans to head to London next week.

By: NBC 4 New York

NYPD Protects Jewish Temples, Neighborhoods Following Bulgarian Bus Attack

The New York City Police Department is stepping up its presence at synagogues and in Jewish neighborhoods the wake of yesterday's deadly bus bombing in Bulgaria.

NYPD officials say critical response vehicles have been re-deployed as a precaution.

Seven people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a bus full of Israeli tourists in Sarafovo, Bulgaria.

The death toll includes five Israelis, the Bulgarian bus driver and a suspected suicide bomber.

Bulgaria's interior minister says the suspect appeared on security camera tape near the bus for almost an hour before the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming Iran and Hezbollah for the bombing, but Iran's state TV broadcasts say the country wasn't involved.

Residents of the Upper East Side told NY1 this morning that increased police presence has become a routine sight.

"I think there's usually a very large police presence in this neighborhood anyway, so I didn't really notice that much of a difference. I mean, I do notice sometimes that they're more here than in others, there's more of a presence, but I think it's to be expected," said an Upper East Side local.

The NYPD says there are no specific threats against the city.

City police took similar precautions in March, after three children and a rabbi were gunned down in Toulouse, France.

By: NY1 News

Cyclist Killed By Hit-And-Run Driver In Queens

Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who mowed down and killed a cyclist in Sunnyside, Queens last night.

Authorities say just before 10 p.m. Wednesday on Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Place, the driver of an eastbound, dark-colored sedan hit a bicyclist heading in the same direction before speeding off.

"The car was going like crazy fast and the car didn't stop," said an eyewitness.

"I heard the noise, it was so hard, and saw the man lying down and I called 911 right away," said another.

The 37-year-old cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

By: NY1 News

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Queens Shooting Involving Off-Duty FBI Agent Under Investigation

Police are investigating a shooting involving an off-duty FBI agent in South Ozone Park, Queens.

The agent and his wife were awakened in their home in South Ozone Park 5:15 a.m. today, as suspected robbers attempted to break into their car to steal a radio, according to sources.

The officer fired his weapon, but sources say he was unsure whether he had actually shot anyone.

A short time later, a man with a gunshot wound to the back arrived at nearby Brookdale University Hospital.

The wounded man is being treated but so far has not been arrested. Sources say it appears he may have been connected to the attempted break-in.

Residents nearby were stunned to learn of the incident in what they describe as a usually safe neighborhood.

"Sometimes I work till eight, nine o'clock at night and I get off the bus and no fear. There is fear now, though," said one local.

The FBI is not commenting on the shooting.

By: NY1 News

Sent from my iPhone

Dozens Injured in Inferno Near Yankee Stadium

A six-alarm blaze erupted overnight in the Bronx, sending scores of families into the streets and injuring dozens of people, including 31 firefighters.

The fire at the six-story landmark building, which has 180 apartments and about 600 residents, broke out shortly after midnight at 975 Walton Ave. near Yankee Stadium. 

Three residents were injured along with the firefighters. The FDNY said most of the injuries were related to heat exposure or were scrapes and bruises, and all are believed to be minor. One captain experienced chest pain.

More than 200 firefighters battled the blaze during the hot and humid night. A fire chief said it began in a sixth-floor apartment in the back of the building and spread to three other units. One wall partially collapsed and flames could be seen leaping from the roof before firefighters contained it around 5 a.m.

Fire officials caution that though the blaze is controlled, it is still active due to several hot spots.

It wasn't immediately known how many people were inside the building when the fire started. Fire officials say everyone has been accounted for.  

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Office of Emergency Management says 66 units were damaged in the inferno.

The Red Cross is assisting residents who might need emergency shelter or food. Forty families have already registered with the organization.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Driver Fatally Strikes Worker On Grand Central Parkway

A driver was taken into custody Tuesday morning after police say he hit and killed a road worker in Queens.

According to the New York City Police Department, the 26-year-old driver was heading westbound on the Grand Central Parkway near Jewel Avenue around 11 a.m. when he hit a worker who was in the left lane.

Emergency responders pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

Police say the accident is being investigated by the NYPD's highway patrol.

By: NY1 News

Two Men Arrested, Charged With Shooting Of Brooklyn Boy

Police arrested and charged two men Monday with a recent shooting that wounded a Brooklyn toddler as he played in a sprinkler outside his Bedford-Stuyvesant home, and authorities are looking to speak with one other person of interest.

Investigators say Antonio McCloud, 22, seen above left, and Stanley Williams, 20, seen above middle, are facing attempted murder, assault, weapons possession and reckless endangerment charges.

Published reports say Williams has 11 prior arrests, including weapon and drug possession.

Police are also looking for another person of interest in the case, 20-year-old Jashid Chambers, 20, seen above right.

Chambers is 5-feet-7-inches tall and 170 pounds.

Investigators say three-year-old Isaiah Rivera was playing in the sprinkler outside 383 Pulaski Street at the Roosevelt Houses with his mother when shots rang out.

Sources say the gunfire was directed toward a group playing dice just outside the sprinkler area by another group from a rival housing complex.

A witness says there was more than one shooter and were aiming at an unarmed target who ran off.

The three-year-old was grazed in the leg.

"After the gunfire, everyone ran into the lobby. My next door neighbor had my son crouched down on the floor. He actually took it pretty well. He wasn't crying at all. He's a trooper. I have faith in God, everything is going to turn out well," said the boy's father, Jose Rivera.

"I'm upset these guys would open up when there is a bunch of kids inside a playground just trying to get away from the summer heat and they get shot at. This is ridiculous," said community activist Tony Herbert.

The wounded boy was taken to Kings County Hospital, where sources say Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with the victim's family.

Sunday's shooting capped off an unusually violent weekend around the city.

Eleven people were killed since early Friday and dozens more were injured.

A community rally to address gun violence in the wake of the Bedford-Stuyvesant shooting is planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going

By: Michael Herzenberg