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.

NY - PBA chief says no to cameras for catching speeding drivers

The PBA wants to slam the brakes on using cameras to catch speeders.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said Friday it’s urging lawmakers to reject the legislation pushed by the Bloomberg administration for the new devices.

“Speed cameras are no substitute for live policing,” PBA President Patrick Lynch told the the Daily News.

He said the cameras would allow drivers who are drunk, carrying weapons and fleeing crimes to “slip by.”

The cameras record the speed of passing vehicles. The Bloomberg administration wants to test using 20 of them in school zones. Tickets would be issued automatically.

Political momentum had been growing behind the proposal, which was included in an Assembly budget bill adopted this week.

But the PBA’s arguments have found a sympathetic ear in the more conservative state Senate. Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) predicted the upper chamber would not go along.

“What we need are the actual police officers on the street,” he said. “Cops on the street are what slows people down.”

Man Fatally Struck by Subway Train at Times Square

TIMES SQUARE — A man in his 40s was found dead inside the Times Square subway station after an oncoming N train struck him, police said.

The southbound N train at Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street hit the man, who was unidentified, at 8:17 a.m., police said.

According to witnesses, it appeared that the man jumped in the way of the oncoming train, cops said.

An investigation was ongoing.

Man Dead on LES Sidewalk After Leap from Manhattan Bridge, Cops Say

LOWER EAST SIDE — A 33-year-old man was found dead on Cherry Street after police responded to reports of a possible suicide near the Manhattan Bridge, cops said.

The victim, who had not been identified Saturday, was lying on the sidewalk, and discovered at 8:09 p.m. Friday, between Market and Pike streets, police said.

He was dead at the scene, police said.

While the cause of death had yet to be determined by a medical examiner, police said it appeared the man had jumped from the Manhattan Bridge.

An investigation was ongoing, police said.

By DNAinfo

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cops Attacked With Bottles in East Flatbush, NYPD Says

BROOKLYN — Police were pelted with bottles after what a city councilman described as a "peaceful vigil" turned violent in East Flatbush Monday evening.

The violence started about 8:30 p.m. when "a large, disorderly group [began] throwing bottles at police" at Church Avenue and East 48th Street, an NYPD source said.

The crowd also surged into the Rite Aid on Church Avenue near Albany Street and trashed it about 9:15 p.m., pulling items off the shelves and attacking the store manager, clerks and security guard, the FDNY said. The group stole some items from the store and cash from the register, sources said.

One man who had been assaulted and was bleeding from the head was rushed to Kings County Hospital in unknown condition, the FDNY said.

Some surrounding shop windows were smashed, sources said, as were the windows of a B35 bus, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said, adding that no one connected with the bus was hurt.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams raced to the scene to try to quell the violence, which his spokesman said was related to theNYPD's fatal shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray, who was allegedly armed. The shooting occurred Saturday night, just a few blocks away from where the violence began Monday evening.

"I'm in the middle of the riot action at Church and Snyder in my district," Williamstweeted. "Right now, things are tense. Young people have expressed anger."

Williams estimated the crowd at 60 to 100 people and said he was "trying to defuse the tension."

"Tonight was a peaceful vigil [for Gray] that devolved into a riot," Williams added. "The youth in this community have no outlets for their anger, no community center."

One person was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, an NYPD spokeswoman said. No police officers were injured, the spokeswoman added.

The violence had ended by 10:15 p.m., officials said.

Police Fatally Shoot Armed 16-Year-Old in Brooklyn, Cops Say

EAST FLATBUSH — Police shot and killed a 16-year-old boy late Saturday night after he pointed a gun at cops who had approached him as he was breaking away from a group of his friends, authorities said.

The teenager, Kimani Gray, 16, of Crown Heights, was spotted by anti-crime patrol officers working in an unmarked car as he stood with a group of friends outside an East 52nd Street building near Snyder Avenue, police said.

When the officers were noticed by the group of young men, they saw Kimani fidget with his waistband and then break away from the group and act suspiciously, police said.

Two officers exited their vehicle and attempted to speak with the young man around 11:25 p.m., according to police, when Kimani allegedly turned on them and pointed a .38 caliber pistol at the cops.

Police said both officers fired at the suspect, hitting Kimani in several places on his torso and legs, cops said. The boy was rushed toKings County Hospital but declared dead on arrival, police said. Both officers were treated at Methodist Hospital and treated for trauma and tinnitus.

Kimani's uncle, Cecil Nunes, 65, said the boy and his mother, Carol, an out-of-work chef, had lived with him in Crown Heights for a year until a week ago, when the two moved back to the neighborhood Kimani was raised in, East Flatbush.

"I don't what he was up to last night. I don't know what happened," said Nunes, his voice trembling. "He was respectful, but a typical teenager. I have to ask myself why this happened. Why, why, why," he said.

The boy's mother had to be hospitalized after she learned of her son's death, said Nunes, and she had just been released Sunday morning.

Police said an investigation was ongoing.

Sources said Kimani had had a criminal record, including charges for breaking into a car, possession of stolen property, grand larceny and rioting.

The shooting was the second police-involved shooting of the day, following a confrontation between police and a driver at 1:15 p.m. in Staten Island, cops said. 

Two gang squad detectives and a police officer attempted to stop a white 2012 Toyota Camry on Manor Road, after receiving a tip that the driver had a gun, police said.

Two plainclothes officers approached the car but the driver tried to flee in the car, pinning one detective against another vehicle with the car, police said, before appearing to reach for a weapon. That's when an officer shot him, police said.

The officers and suspect were transported to area hospitals, and all were in stable condition. Police recovered a .44 caliber revolver at the scene and later arrested Clinton James, 33, of Staten Island, for assaulting a police officer, criminal possession and use of a firearm, and reckless endangerment, among other charges.

19 Hospitalized After High-Rise Fire on Upper East Side

UPPER EAST SIDE — Ten residents and nine firefighters were injured in a two-alarm blaze that broke out in the wee hours on Saturday morning, fire officials said.

The fire broke out at 3:42 a.m. at 1763 Second Ave., near East 92nd Street, and took 110 firefighters nearly two hours to put the flames down at 5:34 a.m., officials said.

The fire came from the 12th floor of the 40-story tower, and an FDNY spokesman said it did not appear to be suspicious in nature, though an investigation was ongoing.

The majority of victims were in stable condition or had been released, according to the FDNY, though one individual was in serious condition, officials said.

Residents outside the building, which Buildings Department records show is part of Knickerbocker Plaza, said Saturday said that fires had been an increasingly common occurance, and some blamed the building's management.

"This is like the twelfth fire in the last two years," said Robin Davenport, 61, who has lived in the building, part of Knickerbocker Plaza,  for 38 years. "We have so many fires in this building. It just doesn't make sense. I think something is very wrong," she said. 

Another resident who did not want her last name used, named Vicky, said her dog Buddy Boy woke her up in the middle of the night by licking her face and barking.

"I was petrified. I just came out now to get some fresh air, and then I'm going back in to get my dog," she said.

Both residents said they were stuck walking up the stairs more than 20 flights to get home after the fire.

Representatives from Knickerbocker Plaza, LLC were not able to be reached by phone Saturday, and a message left for the management company was not returned.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Parents To-Be Die in Williamsburg Crash, Baby Delivered Alive

WILLIAMSBURG — A young, expecting couple was killed in a car accident early Sunday, which sent three to the hopsital and had two fleeing the scene of the 12:10 a.m. smashup on Kent Avenue. 

Raizy and Nathan Gluber, both 21, of Clymer Street, died when their Toyta Camry livery cab headed westbound on Wilson Street was struck by a BMW sedan headed northbound on Kent Avenue, police said.

The 32-year-old driver and the pregnant mother Raizy Gluber, were rushed to Bellevue Hospital following the crash, where medics delivered Gluber's premature baby boy, cops said, and where Gluber was declared dead on arrival. The male driver was listed in stable condition, police said.

Family friends, who are members of the same Orthodox community as the parents, said the infant boy was in serious condition at Bellevue, and that the couple had been on their way to the hopsital when the crash occurred, according to NBC.

"Now we just pray with the child that all medical efforts keep him alive," Isaac Abraham, a neighbor of Raizy Glauber's parents, told NBC.

Nathan Gluber was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital following the crash, where he, too, was declared dead on arrival.

A funeral service will take place at the Satmar synagogue at 152 Rodney Street today at 2 p.m., according to Voz iz Neias, a Jewish community newspaper.

Police said the operator and a passenger in the grey 2010 BMW fled the scene, leaving the car there, after smashing into the driver's side portion of the livery cab. Neither of the passengers has been apprehended yet, police said.

An investigation is ongoing, police said.

By DNAinfo

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Police Officer Stabbed in Head Promoted to Detective

DOWNTOWN — The officer who was nearly killed last April when he was stabbed in the head by an emotionally disturbed man in East Harlem received a standing ovation while he was promoted to detective during a ceremony Friday at police headquarters.

Eder Loor, 29, and his partner Luckson Merisme responded to a call of a person behaving erratically at the Franklin Plaza complex on Third Avenue on April 17. They were met outside the building by a woman who said her son was bipolar and was "behaving erratically," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said during the ceremony.

The officers entered the building, where they ran into the man, 26-year-oldTerrance Hale.

Loor and his partner tried to get Hale to wait for medical attention, but he wouldn't listen and walked out of the building.

"Concerned that the man might pose a danger to the public the officers attempted to prevent him from leaving," Kelly said. "Without any warning, he plunged a three-and-a-half-inch knife into officer Loor's left temple, penetrating his skull."

Loor, who is also a trained medical technician, pulled the knife out himself and then flagged down an ambulance.

"He was brought to the hospital in critical condition and underwent extensive surgery," Kelly said. "Doctors determined that the blade had nicked Officer Loor's middle cerebral artery, which is severed would have been fatal. It also stopped within an inch of the temporal lobe that controls speech and a half-inch from an area that handles motor function. He was incredibly lucky."

He was out of the hospital just two weeks later and returned home to his wife and then 4-year-old daughter.

Loor walked slowly but unassisted across the stage to receive his promotion from Kelly, while more than 100 officers and family members clapped.

"Officer Loor continues to undergo rehabilitation for his injury," Kelly said. "His survival has been called a miracle. We know that it is due most of all to his remarkable strength and fortitude."

Hale is facing attempted murder charges and is due back in court on March 14.

By DNAinfo

Dad Doesn't Blame Crossing Guard For Accident That Killed His Son

EAST HARLEM — The father of 6-year-oldAmar Diarrassouba, who was killed by a tractor trailer on his way to school in East Harlem, said he doesn't blame the crossing guard who wasn't at her post when the horrific crash occurred Thursday.

"I don't blame her," Sidiki Diarrassouba said while choking back tears at the family's apartment. "She knew my kid. She loved my kid."

Devastated loved ones said Amar was a "very smart" boy who loved to read the Koran and "liked school."

"He was so smart. He loved everybody," his mother, Mehichata Diarressouba, said Thursday. "He was a wonderful boy."

Flavia Roman, 55, was suspended without pay Thursday evening after investigators found that she wasn't at East 117th and First Avenue earlier that day when a food truck slammed into Amar as he walked to school at P.S. 155 William Pacca with his older brother.

It's still unclear whether Roman was absent the entire morning or had only temporarily stepped away.

"She feels horrible. She's been crying nonstop," said Kevin Faga, Roman's lawyer. "She knew the child. She really liked the child."

Faga declined to say where Roman was when Amar was hit, citing the pending investigation.

Roman, who does not have a disciplinary history, called the local precinct to say she was at her post at 7:30 a.m., according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. But investigators learned that she wasn't there when she made the call or at the time the accident occurred. 

"If you have to leave you should call back in and say that you're are leaving," Kelly said at an NYPD event Friday afternoon. "It was appropriate to suspend her, in my judgment."

Roman may face internal disciplinary action, but likely won't be brought up on any criminal charges, Kelly said.

The driver of the truck also won't face criminal charges, but has been issued a summons for failing to yield.

Amar's father said he appreciated Roman's service and doesn't hold her accountable for his son's death, echoing a sentiment among the community.

"She has a very good history. She has been on the job for 10 years and she worked on that post, in essence, for 10 years," Kelly said. "She was very well received by the community."

A friend of hers and former crossing guard herself, 65-year-old Felicita Gaston, said Roman was "a good Christian woman."

"She's an awesome person," Gaston said. "I can't say nothing negative about Flavia."

"I know she liked her job," Gaston added. "She took it seriously."

Amar regularly attended weekend classes at the al-Aqsa mosque on Eighth Avenue, near West 116th Street, and loved to read the Koran, according to the imam there, Konate Souleimane.

"He was a regular boy like any boy born in America. He liked school," Souleimane said. "He liked American food — French fries, fried chicken, pizza."

The boy's funeral will be held at the mosque 9 a.m. Sunday morning, Souleimane said.

In the meantime, he said he's doing what he can to help Amar's family.

Friday morning, family and friends flocked to the Diarrassouba household to grieve with the family. Some cooked meals. But little could console Amar's parents.

"Every time I talk about it, I start to cry," Amar's father said. "Allah gave him to me. He's taking him back."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Missing Cop Radio Used to Transmit Fake Officer Down Calls

BUSHWICK — A person using a police radio sent cops rushing to the Bushwick Houses several times recently with a series of emergency 10-13 calls — the most urgent transmissions made when officers are hurt or under attack, cops said.

Each message sent cops scrambling to the housing complex near Bushwick Avenue and Moore Street, according to the NYPD. It's unclear how many calls have been made.

All transmissions were made from a radio that's known to be missing and responding officers found nobody hurt or needing help, police said.

Last year, NYPD officer Kevin Brennansurvived after being shot in the head in the Bushwick Houses.

Man struck, killed by NYPD cruiser in Queens accident

A man was struck and killed by an NYPD cruiser in an early-morning Queens crash, police said.

The accident happened at about 12:45 a.m., at the intersection of 10th Street and 40th Avenue.

The two officers inside the cruiser were responding to a 911 call and the man was trying to cross the street at the time of the accident, police said.

The vehicle remained at the scene hours after the crash, the windshield cracked as the victim’s body lay nearby.

There’s no word on the victim’s identity – or if the officers or man could have done anything to avoid the crash. The officers were not seriously injured, and police are continuing to investigate.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Man Killed After Being Struck by Car on Woodhaven Boulevard

WOODHAVEN — A 67-year-old man was killed Wednesday night after being struck by a car on Woodhaven Boulevard, police said.

Cops said the man had just stepped off an island on Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue when he was hit by a 2002 Honda Accord about 9 p.m.

He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where he died, the NYPD said.

The driver remained on scene, and no criminality was suspected, police said. 

Four-Alarm Fire Tears Through Brooklyn Bodega, FDNY Says

CYPRESS HILLS — A fourth-alarm fire ripped through a Ridgewood Avenue bodega early Thursday morning forcing fire crews to battle it for 3 hours before it bringing it under control, FDNY said.

The blaze started about 1:30 a.m. in the basement of a first-floor bodega at 349 Ridgewood Ave., near Chestnut Street, a fire spokesman said.

Firefighters battled the inferno for hours until 4:30 a.m when it was brought under control, but still not extinguished, the spokesman said.

The fire was elevated to a fourth alarm because it had gone on for so long and the first responders requested relief, the spokesman said.

No one was injured in the blaze.

A separate fire broke out on the third floor of the same building in March of last year. A mother and daughter were injured.

By DNAinfo

Monday, February 11, 2013

Facebook gangbanger turns himself in after threatening Brooklyn's cyber crime-fighting captain

A teen suspected of using Facebook to order a hit on a Brooklyn police commander turned himself in to cops Sunday night.

Jonathan Thompson, 19, made an online death threat against Deputy Inspector Joseph Gulotta following an exclusive Daily News report on the 73rd Precinct’s innovative crimefighting tactics, police sources said.

The precinct uses social media to track down guns and gangbangers in Brownsville, sources said.

Thompson’s menacing message, posted on the precinct’s Facebook page, even described Gulotta’s vehicle and his work schedule, sources said.

While cops feared the post might prompt a brazen criminal to try to murder Gulotta, it did not appear to generate much of an online stir, sources said.

Still, law enforcement officials didn’t leave anything to chance.

“A threat against a police officer is a threat against all of us,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

Thompson turned himself in at the 73rd Precinct about 6:50 p.m. and was charged with making a terroristic threat and aggravated harassment.

While the teenage tough has 13 prior arrests, including menacing and disorderly conduct, Thompson’s lawyer, Phillip Lights, insisted that he placed no hit against Gulotta.

“He never made any threats against the Police Department,” said Lights. “He is innocent.”

Urban Community Council head Tony Herbert, who accompanied Thompson to the precinct, said that police traced the threat back to his Internet connection.
It was not immediately clear if he is a member of OccFam, an offshoot of the Crips street gang highlighted in The News’ exclusive, which revealed how cops under Gulotta’s command are confiscating more guns than officers in any other city precinct.

Cops assigned to the 73rd Precinct spend hours each week scouring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites looking for pictures of weapons, threats against rivals and hints about gang activity.

Police snatched 199 guns off the streets in Brownsville last year — up from 156 in 2011, records show. It was the highest number of guns recovered in any precinct last year.

They had already grabbed 25 guns this year, according to crime data through Feb. 4 — more than double the count from the first six weeks of last year.

3-Year-Old Girl Dies After Fall From Bathroom Window in Queens

QUEENS — The 3-year-old girl who fell from a fifth-floor bathroom window inWoodside Sunday has died, the NYPDsaid.

Rusroshi Barua fell from the window at 53-01 32nd Ave., where she lived, just after 2:30 p.m. She was taken to Elmhurst Hospital and was pronounced dead a few hours later, police said. 

Rusroshi and her sibling apparently locked themselves inside of a bathroom in their apartment, officials and witnesses said. After discovering the children were trapped, the children's parents frantically called the building's superintendent.

By the time they opened the door, however, Rusroshi had already fallen, authorities said.

The other child, whose identity has not been released, was in the bathroom and unharmed, police said.

Police believe the fall was accidental, but cops are still investigating.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

8-Year-Old Boy Found Dead in Flatbush Fire

FLATBUSH — An 8-year-old boy died in a blaze in Flatbush early Saturday morning as a massive snowstorm whipped through the area.

Firefighters rushed to 2773 Bedford Ave., near Farragut Road, just before 3 a.m., where they encountered heavy fire on the first floor of the two-story building, theFDNY and witnesses reported.

"When I came outside I saw the place engulfed and someone was screaming inside — a lady was screaming," recounted Carl Barnes, 53, who said he's lived in the neighborhood since 1979.

"The fire trucks came. They pulled the lady out.... When she got outside she was kneeling on the ground, no shoes on, crying."

Sunita Armogan, 47, who lives across the street from the family's home, described a similarly harrowing scene.

"Everybody was screaming and confused," described Armogan, who said she took in four people from the house to keep them warm.

"I can't imagine a mother not knowing if her kids are safe. She was hysterical. She was telling the cops 'You bring me back to the house to find [my] kids.'"

When firefighters extinguished the blaze about a half hour later, the boy's body was found.

It was not clear if the boy died as a result of the fire, and the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death, cops said.

A firefighter and another person suffered minor injuries and were taken to Long Island College Hospital.

"They're quiet people," said a longtime next-door neighbor, who gave only her first name, Natalie. "This is the quietest block. Nothing happens here. It's so surprising."

Police said the fire did not appear suspicious. The cause was under investigation, the FDNY said.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2 Teens Fall Through Icy Central Park Pond

Two teenage boys were rescued after falling through the ice on the Central Park Pond Tuesday afternoon, and two emergency rescuers who went into the water after them also had to be pulled out, officials said.

The boys, 16 and 17, were taking pictures on the snow-covered pond, authorities and witnesses said.

The teens and one firefighter who went into the water were all taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as not life-threatening.

An NYPD officer also went into the water but was not taken to the hospital.

The pond is located at the park's southern border near 59th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Elderly Woman Fatally Struck in Hit-and-Run Near Port Authority, NYPD Says

TIMES SQUARE & THEATER DISTRICT — A 69-year-old woman was struck and killed in an apparent hit-and-run near Ninth Avenue Tuesday morning, according to theNYPD.

The unidentified victim was crossing West 41st Street about 10 a.m. when a vehicle turning off Ninth Avenue slammed into her before speeding away, police said.

"I saw her on the ground," said Mohammad Hossai, 39, who works at a pizza place on the corner where the accident occurred. "She was on her right side. Her eyes were closed. She was bleeding from the left side of her face."

The woman was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in cardiac arrest, an FDNY spokesman said.

The victim, whose identity wasn't immediately released, died at the hospital, police said.

It's unclear what type of vehicle struck her, but cops are investigating the incident.

By DNAinfo

Woman Killed, Another Hurt in Brooklyn Shooting

EAST FLATBUSH — A woman was killed and another hurt after being shot in the basement of an East Flatbush home Tuesday morning, police said.

The women — ages 63 and 37 — were shot inside 359 E. 25th St., near Clarendon Road, just before 10 a.m., fire officials said.

The older woman was struck in the chest while the other victim was grazed in the head, police said.

"She was talking, she was crying," said neighbor Roslyn Hunter, 64, of the 37-year-old victim. "It's horrible."

Both victims were rushed to Kings County Hospital, where the 63-year-old victim died. The other victim was stable, police said.

Detectives and emergency service unit cops swarmed the home to investigate the shooting, which sources said was preceded by an argument.

A man, 70, has been arrested, police said. A firearm was also seized.

"He looked normal to me, a nice old man," said Lloyd, a neighbor who asked that his last name not be used.

iPhone Thief Repeatedly Punches Girl, 17, in Face

Police are looking for a suspect who dragged a 17-year-old girl down a flight of stairs and punched her repeatedly in the face before running off with her iPhone in the Bronx last month.

Authorities say the suspect followed the teen into her apartment building on East 187th Street in the early afternoon Jan. 24, pushed her against the wall and dragged her down a flight of stairs.

When the struggling girl and her attacker reached the bottom of the stairs, the suspect began punching her repeatedly in the face and stole her iPhone before running off.

The victim's face was bruised and cut after the attack, but she was expected to be OK.

Police released surveillance video of the attack in progress (above).

The suspect is described as being in his early 20s, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and 160 pounds. He had black hair that he wore in braids and was wearing a burgundy coat with a fur-trimmed hood at the time of the attack.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800)-577-TIPS. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Elderly Woman Dies in Williamsburg Blaze

WILLIAMSBURG — An elderly woman was severely burned in a late-night fire on Saturday in a Brooklyn high-rise, officials said.

Firefighters responded to a residential fire at the Taylor-Wythe Houses, a NYCHA building, on Ross Street at 11:10 p.m., and extinguished a fire inside a 12th floor apartment, police said. 

Upon putting out the fire, rescuers discovered Nelly Bermudez, 78, who had suffered from severe burns in the blaze, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Fire Marshall will determine the cause of the fire, but no criminality was suspected, police said, and no other apartments were impacted by the fire, police said.

An investigation is ongoing, police said.