Saturday, July 25, 2009

Corpse Found after months of Complaints of Foul Order in Brooklyn


Authorities have discovered the body of a man in his Brooklyn apartment on Saturday.

Neighbors say they have been complaining about a 'rotting stench' for months. The corpse was found at the Breukelen public housing complex.

Police are investigating how the man died, but say it appears the man died of natural causes.

Howard Marder, spokesman for the NYC Housing Authority, says an investigation has begun to find out how the man died.

Neighbors mentioned they last saw the man in January and noticed a 'horrible' stench in February.

Solomon Dwek: From bogus mogul to FBI's busiest rat

From the Daily News by Samuel Goldsmith:
For Solomon Dwek, being an FBI informant was a full-time job.

His life as a high rolling real estate king crashed in 2006 when he bounced a $25 million check.

From that day forward, he was the FBI’s newest stoolie.

Telling them he could infiltrate a ring of prominent rabbis laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, he worked overtime becoming their friends and partner in crime.

Sometimes he had as many as three meetings a day while taking international phone calls and exchanging faxes.

On any given day, he found himself passing dirty money to rabbis in their Brooklyn homes and synagogues, dealing with corrupt officials in greasy spoon diners or greasing development wheels at Atlantic City confabs.

The probe eventually included a black market kidney broker and a rogues’ gallery of bribe-taking dirty politcians in New Jersey. In all, five rabbis and three Jersey mayors — from Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield — were charged.

The probe continued to grow on Friday with Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy confirming he is a target of the ongoing corruption probe.

He denied wrongdoing, but his deputy mayor, Leona Beldini, was among the 44 charged in Thursday’s sweep.

The Associated Press reported that authorities say Dwek passed $10,000 to a man raising money for Healy. If true, it would only reinforce just how busy Dwek was.

Things grew really bizarre when he started meeting with Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, who offered to sell him a kidney. When all was said and done, 44 people were caught up in the federal sting that was announced Thursday.

And while the schemes were different, the motivation was the same: good old greed.

“We’re going to be friends for a good long time,” accused bribe-taking Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, 32,told Dwek at a June 23 meeting this year after being offered $10,000 in cash, court documents indicate.

“I promise you,” he’s recorded saying. “You’re going to be, you’re going to be treated like a friend.”

“How could one guy bring down so many people?” asked Charles Stanziale, a Newark-based trustee liquidating Dwek’s property in a personal bankruptcy case.

“Well, if you stay with it and you’re working full time, one guy gets to meet another guy and it’s like a chain.”

And it probably didn’t hurt that he was offered an unknown deal tied to the bank fraud charges he’s still facing — and a monthly stipend from the FBI to flip.

His chain of deceit started when Dwek, the son of a rabbi, went to defendant Eliahu Ben Haim, rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob in Deal, N.J., where Dwek lives. In June 2007 at Ben Haim’s house, he gave him $50,000 to launder through his charitable group, to be repaid at a later day minus a 10% fee.

“Okay, give me a couple days,” Ben Haim said.

In August 2007 Dwek met with Rabbi Edmond Nahum at his office in Jersey to discuss the best way to launder $45,000, court papers say. Nahum recommended he turn to Rabbi Mordchai Fish of Brooklyn, because he “can do millions of dollars under the ground. Fish is good.”

Fish was good for Dwek. The next month, they started laundering more than a million dollars together.

In January, 2008, Dwek met Fish in his car. which was parked outside his house on Hooper St. in Brooklyn, to trade cash and talk about deals.

A day later, Dwek met with defendant Schmulik Cohen outside his home in Brooklyn to collect a canvas bag containing $300,000 in cash. Two days later, he met defendant Arye Weiss in his Brooklyn home and left with with a black plastic bag containing $50,000 cash.

Dwek began to shift from money laundering with members of the Syrian Jewish community to public corruption in Jersey in 2007, and worked with dirty pols all the way up to the weeks before the indictments came down.

May was particularly busy. On more than one occasion he met accused crooks in three different cities to talk turkey.

On May 7, Dwek had dinner with Jersey City Health Department official Joseph Castagna, who funneled five grand to another city official, Michael Manzo, for help with a zoning change.

“Do I gotta seal this up [referring to the unsealed envelope containing the $5,000 in cash]?” Castagna asked over dinner.

“Do whatever you want with it – [just] give it to him,” Dwek said. “Just make sure when I do my Garfield Avenue zone change, I got [Manzo’s] vote.”

Castagna assured him: “Oh, we’ll be there for you.”

27 Year old Man Murdered in the Afternoon in Williamsburg

From the Village Voice:

On a warm day in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at about 1:05pm at 77 Varet Street shot rangs out leaving 27-year-old Tarreal McGee of 624 Park Avenue mortally wounded. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:09 p.m.

Police have made no arrests and are Still investigating.

Slain hooker found stabbed to death in Highland Park, East New York

Fromthe Daily News by by Katy Bolger, Alison Gendar and Wil Cruz:

A woman described as a drug-addicted prostitute was found stabbed to death in a popular Brooklyn park on Friday, police sources said.

Vivian Gonzalez, 54, was found just after 5:30 a.m. on a hill in Highland Park in East New York. She had been stabbed several times in the neck, police said.

"She was facedown," said Eric Settles, 23, a college student who spotted Gonzalez when he went out for a morning jog. "It's eerie, gruesome."

Gonzalez, whom sources said was a prostitute with a drug problem, had not been robbed. No one has been arrested, but detectives were focusing on ex-boyfriends and johns.

"There hasn't been a crime here for a long time," 40-year-old neighbor Rolinda Ramos said of the popular picnic destination. "People were just beginning to feel safe."

Cops corral Concord man as North Shore serial burglar

From the Staten Island Adance By Frank Donnelly:

A Concord man has admitted to committing a string of North Shore burglaries in which he swiped thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry, computers, cash, cameras and electronics, authorities allege.

Over the course of six weeks starting June 7, Paul Bray, 33, broke into seven homes in New Brighton, Tompkinsville and Stapleton. His last heists occurred Sunday, when Bray allegedly burglarized two homes on the 100 block of Prospect Avenue, New Brighton.

In each case, the defendant, who lives on the 900 block of Targee Street, entered through a window, a law-enforcement source said. Most of the incidents occurred at night or in the early morning.

The source said Bray does not appear to be linked to a series of high-profile break-ins that has plagued Todt Hill, Emerson Hill, Grymes Hill, Concord and Arrochar over the past year.

Bray was nabbed Tuesday when eagle-eyed officers spotted him on Brighton Avenue. At the time, he was wanted for a Bronx burglary and suspected of break-ins on Staten Island, the source said.

Bray fled when cops approached and officers pursued him a few blocks to Trumbull Place.

During a confrontation, the defendant shoved a detective to the ground, fracturing his elbow, before being subdued, court papers said.

He was charged in that incident with a felony count of second-degree assault along with misdemeanor counts of assault and resisting arrest, said a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan. He also was accused of harassment and disorderly conduct, both violations.

After his arrest, cops accused Bray of burglarizing a Tottenville home on July 9 and stealing a cell phone and watches. A palm print found on a window sill of the residence on the 100 block of Johnson Avenue allegedly matched the defendant's, said the source.

While in custody, Bray admitted to pulling off the North Shore break-ins, the source said, adding that his fingerprints were found at two of those homes.

Besides Prospect Avenue, Bray struck the 100 and 200 blocks of Brighton Avenue, New Brighton, on June 7 and 29, respectively, court papers said.

On July 12, he hit a home on Trumbull Place, New Brighton, then three days later, burglarized a residence on Tompkins Circle, Tompkinsville. On July 18, he allegedly broke into a house on Trossach Road, Stapleton.

The Stapleton heist was the biggest, netting Bray about $8,000 in jewelry, a laptop computer, camera and a cell phone, said the source.

The defendant also pinched iPods, a TV and cigarettes in the spree.

Bray was charged with eight counts of second-degree burglary, along with misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and petit larceny covering all the break-ins.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Brooklyn Rabbi Saul Kassin and 4 other Rabbis Arrested for Money Laundering

Police say a Brooklyn rabbi was part of a major international money laundering sweep which led to the arrests of dozens of New Jersey public officials Thursday, including three mayors.

Law enforcement officials say Saul Kassin was arrested and charged with money laundering after a raid.

The 87-year-old is the chief rabbi at Shaare Zion and operated several charitable tax-exempt organizations in conjunction with his synagogue.

Officials say Kassin was part of an international money laundering ring.

"I'm hoping he clears his name," said Shaare Zion Synagogue member Joe Falas "I think someone is setting him up. He doesn't seem like the type of person who would do something bad."

Kassin's arrest stemmed from an investigation into the sale of black market kidneys and fake Gucci handbags, but eventually turned into a sweeping probe of political corruption in New Jersey that ended in the arrests of 44 people.

Four other rabbis were arrested.

Another Brooklyn man, Levy Izkah Rosenbaum, is accused of conspiring to arrange the sale of an Israeli citizen's kidney for $160,000 after buying for $10,000. He then tried to sell it to a fictitious uncle of the FBI's informant.

Authorities say that informant, indicted real estate developer Solomon Dwek, then turned his attention to New Jersey politicians.

The Justice Department says Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, and Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt were among those arrested.

Van Pelt is accused of accepting $10,000 from a government witness posing as a developer.

"These complaints paint a disgraceful picture of religious leaders heading money laundering crews, acting as crime bosses," said Marra. "They used purported charities, entities supposedly set up to do good works as vehicles for laundering millions of dollars in illicit funds. The rings were international in scope connected to Deal, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York, Israel , and Switzerland."

According to the Associated Press, Governor Jon Corzine said in reaction, "The scale of corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated."

The undercover investigation into the money laundering ring went on for 10 years.

Jewel Thieves Pull Switcheroo in Grand Central

Three crafty thieves pulled off a slinky swap at Grand Central Terminal in June, getting away with $120,000 worth of jewelry, according to reports. Authorities have released images of one of the suspects, hoping it will prompt tips from the public.

MTA Police say two employees of My Oro USA Inc. were shepherding hundreds of pieces of jewelry in a black duffel through Grand Central on June 24 when the worker carrying the bag momentarily put it down to throw out some trash.

Then two thieves made their move. The suspects tossed a $10 bill on the ground, told the other jewelry employee that he had dropped the money, creating a diversion.

An accomplice then switched the jewelry bag with one very similar to it, and took off. The switched bag was weighted down to seem like it contained the jewels.

Few clues in Flatlands man’s death

From by Thomas Tracy:
Police are looking under every rock for clues that will lead them to the person who shot a 36-year-old Flatlands man dead in his Land Rover last week.

Louis Burch left his home on East 53rd Street near Avenue O on the night of July 21, telling his wife that he needed to run to the store.

At 6:22 a.m. the next morning, a pedestrian called 911. Burch was found slumped over the steering wheel. He had been shot in the back of the head. Investigators believe that his killer shot him through the driver’s side window, which had been rolled down. “Either [Burch] already had his window rolled down or someone walked up to the car and he had rolled the window down to talk to the person,” said one police source. “We’re still trying to figure out which.” Detectives have ruled out robbery, making it more probable that the killer could be someone Burch knows. But it’s still unclear as to who -- a nagging question that is causing police to take a closer look at Burch, his family, and known associates.

His wife actually heard the gunshot at around 9 p.m., police were told. She investigated the noise, but didn’t see her husband’s Land Rover. “She comes out of the side of the house, looks left and looks right, sees nothing and goes back inside,” the source said, disputing published reports that the woman never stepped outside. The vehicle, it turned out, was on the other side of the corner home.

Detectives were reportedly looking into Burch’s business dealings, among other possible motives.
While friends and family said that Burch, who had a criminal record, bought, improved and sold homes, sources said it was unclear just what he did. “He didn’t have a 9 to 5 job, let’s just put it that way,” the source said. “He would go out to all hours of the night and even his wife didn’t exactly know what he did.”

Police are asking anyone with information about Burch’s death to come forward. Cops are also looking for witnesses who may have seen or heard the shooting.

Break-in at home of Staten Island judge

From the Staten Island by Doug Auer

The Richmond home of a Staten Island judge was burglarized tonight.

The front door of Democratic Civil Court Judge Kim Dollard's home on St. George Road was discovered kicked in by an eagle-eyed neighbor who called 911 at about 6:15 p.m., police said.

A shadowy silhouette was also seen moving about the home, according to police. The suspect, clad in black, managed to escape. Mrs. Dollard and her husband, James, an attorney, were not home at the time of the break-in. The couple could not be reached for comment. It wasn't immediately released whether any items had been removed.

Within minutes, the NYPD responded with a K-9 unit to sniff the property's grounds and a helicopter to search the nearby wooded areas. Also, the front door of the home was dusted for fingerprints by an evidence collection team.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cops Search for Man Wanted in Brooklyn Woman's Death

Cops Search for Man Wanted in Brooklyn Woman's Death

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The NYPD has asked for the public's help in tracking down the man wanted in the fatal shooting of a Brooklyn woman.

Rodney Ragbirsingh, 26, shot Greyssel Gomez, 24, in the head and back last Tuesday following an argument and a scuffle on the street in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, police said.

Gomez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ragbirsingh fled and investigators were looking for information on his possible whereabouts, police said.

Cops Fatally Shoot Robbery Suspect In Washington Heights

Last night, police shot and killed a robbery suspect who they had been following on a wild chase that also left bystanders and police officers injured (video from A pedestrian told police that people in a car had just robbed him—of $1,200 cash—at West 177th near the West Side Highway. Police then chased the silver Cadillac throughout Washington Heights. According to WCBS 2, "The Cadillac struck a motorcycle rider, and the motorcycle got stuck under the car and was dragged. The Cadillac reversed, trying to dislodge the motorcycle, and hit a pedestrian." The cops came on the scene, identified themselves and then fired (one of the suspects may have had a gun). One of the suspects was shot dead while the three others were taken into custody. The Daily News reports, "Investigators said no weapon was found on the dead man, but noted that the weapon might have been tossed during the chase or hidden somewhere in the car. They were awaiting a search warrant Thursday morning."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2 Arrested in a String of Red light Camera thefts

From Eyewitness News by Sandra Bookman:

A pair of thieves are accused of an elaborate scheme to steal dozens of New York City's red-light cameras. The allegedly did it to pay for their heroin addiction.

At 86th Street and Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Wednesday, a crew was busy installing a new camera. The old one was stolen, the first in a string of thefts.

Over a nearly four-week period, 22 of the cameras were swiped from locations in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.

Last Sunday morning, a worker at a building supply company along Coney Island Avenue told police he saw two people in a pickup truck pull up and take something from a camera box.

The witness' description of the vehicle, with its own cherry picker for reaching the cameras, along with the discovery of several of the stolen cameras at a well-known local electronics store and security video of one of the suspects hocking the cameras, led police to 45-year-old Anthony Cintorrino and a 29-year-old Tara Laburt.

Investigators say Cintorrino previously worked as a subcontractor for Mulvihill ICS, the company that installs and maintains the cameras for the Department of Transportation.

"We've never seen this occur before," a company spokesperson said.

The police department wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We'll be talking to them to see ff they can make certain an event like this is more difficult to pull off," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The suspects have pleaded not guilty to grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. All of the cameras have been replaced.

Construction Worker Charged with Kidnapping and Rape from Club Marquee

From the Daily News by Melissa Grace and Rich Schapiro

A Queens construction worker was indicted Wednesday on charges he abducted a drunken woman from a posh Manhattan nightclub and raped her.

Prosecutors say Luis Zambrano, 39, started kissing and fondling the 23-year-old woman when he found her passed out on a couch inside Marquee in Chelsea last March.

Zambrano then dragged the woman, who couldn't stand or walk on her own, out of the club and drove her to his apartment in College Point, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.

Inside his home, Zambrano sexually assaulted the victim twice, Morgethau said.

Zambrano, who was convicted on harrassment charges last year, was busted for the rape after investigators linked him to DNA found on the victim, authorities said.

He was arraigned on a slew of charges, including kidnapping, rape and sexual abuse.

After pleading not guilty, Zambrano left the courthouse after posting $30,000 bail.

NYPD Criminalist Murder Trial Adjourned until September 22

By APRIL DREW , Irish Voice Reporter

The case against the Co. Tyrone man who is accused of murdering his on again/off again girlfriend in Queens in April was adjourned on Monday, July 20 at the Queens Criminal Court until September.

Gary McGurk, 23 who moved to the U.S. when he was 10 with his parents and sister, has been charged with murdering his NYPD criminologist girlfriend, Michelle Lee, in April in her Sunnyside apartment.

Police said Lee's nude body was found inside her bedroom on April 27. She had been stabbed in the throat and head, bound with a cell phone charger cord and seared on the chest with a steam iron.

McGurk, who told police he once considered joining the priesthood, was arrested on Thursday, May 21. He was charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

McGurk, who said in a statement to the police that he finds crime scene photos and cadavers disturbing, was in his final year of forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

McGurk met Lee, 24, in 2004 on the John Jay campus. Lee was also a student at the college at the time. They had been dating on and off until her death.

McGurk, whose father Aiden once had links with the IRA in Northern Ireland, told police very few people knew about their relationship.

McGurk, a soccer star at his college, once borrowed money from Lee because he was out of work. He told police he paid her back. He admitted telling Lee he had cancer and needed treatment so she would loan him money.

McGurk said the last time he was inside Lee’s apartment was Wednesday, April 22 at 2 a.m. in the morning. When police asked McGurk if he went to his girlfriend’s apartment the night she was murdered he said he walked to her block and on it, but he did not go into her apartment.

In a later statement he admitted to meeting Lee on the corner of her block for a few minutes that night. She owed him money but was unable to pay him it back that night. She stayed a few minutes and left to go home.

According to McGurk he then left the area. He said Lee called him on his cell phone at 3.56 a.m.

McGurk, who is being held without bail, pleaded not guilty and will return to court on September 22. If found guilty McGurk faces life in prison.

Manhunt Widens In Astoria FIT Student Slaying

From the Queens Gazette by LIZ GOFF:

Police last week said they have interviewed and cleared several men who accompanied an Astoria coed to a party in Long Island City just hours before her brutal murder.

Sources said investigators believe that someone followed Carmen Saldana-Mundo to her home on 47th Street after the party. Investigators believe Saldana-Mundo partially opened the door to her apartment and the killer pushed his way in, breaking a chain on the door.

Saldana’s mother discovered her daughter’s body at about 10 p.m. on July 12 after returning from a weekend job cleaning houses in the Hamptons. The mother told police she tried calling her daughter before she arrived at their apartment at 47-17 30th Ave. but got no answer. When she arrived at the apartment, Saldana noticed the door was ajar, police sources said.When the mother walked into the apartment, she found the security chain lying on the floor, apparently torn from the wall by the killer. The mother called out to her daughter, and when the young woman failed to respond Susana Saldana went to her daughter’s bedroom, where she made the grisly discovery. “She touched her daughter’s feet and they were cold,” said an uncle, Juan Guerra.

Police sources said it does not appear that robbery was a motive for the killing. While the chain was broken from the door, indicating the killer pushed the door in, there were no signs that it was a robbery gone wrong since nothing was missing, the sources said.

Footage from a surveillance camera at the building where the party was held shows Saldana leaving alone at about 1:30 a.m., Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Investigators believe that a person followed her home to Astoria, and have questioned several partygoers and the host. Police are tracking down everyone who attended the party in their search for the killer, Kelly said.

Police widened the search for the killer after finding a message posted on Saldana’s computer just days before her death that hinted she had a stalker. Sources said Saldana wrote on July 10, “Ain’t that a shame. The guy that does like me I don’t like but won’t leave me alone and the guy that I do like has no clue that I like him. I think I’ll survive.” Sources said she followed up that message three days before she was found dead with another, bizarre message: “OMG am being pimped out by my boss LOL crazy noche.” Sources said it is unclear if she was referring to her waitress job or her internship at Complex Magazine.

The city medical examiner ruled Saldana’s death was caused by asphyxiation. Police sources said it appears that the killer strangled Saldana with one hand around her throat, while clamping his other hand over her mouth.
Saldana grew up in the Astoria neighborhood and recently returned to live with her mother after breaking up with her boyfriend, family members said. Neighbors described Saldana, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, as a “sweet, really nice girl”.

Saldana’s parents, both Mexican immigrants, are divorced. Both were planning to return to live in Mexico, family members said.

Saldana’s body was flown home to her native Mexico on July 17 for burial.

Arrest Made in Murder of Long Island Motivational Speaker

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- There has been an arrest in the case of the Long Island motivational speaker who was found dead last week.

Kenneth Minor, 36, of East Harlem, who had been caught on surveillance camera using Jeff Locker's ATM card, was charged with second degree murder.

Minor has been arrested several times in the past for offenses including drug sales and attempted robbery, police said. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. The 52-year-old North Woodmere resident was found near the Wagner Houses in East Harlem with his hands bound behind his back with an electrical cord. He died from multiple stab wounds to the chest, with injuries to the heart, lung, liver and aorta, according to the medical examiner's office.

Investigators were still looking for a second man and a woman seen on the ATM surveillance.

Locker's Web site described him as dedicated to ``bringing spirituality into the business world.'' He offered workshops on dealing with stress, frustration and anxiety in the workplace. Major companies around the country have hired him to speak, according to the site. The site also said that he co-authored a spiritual self-help novel called "Teachings for a New World'' and was a radio talk show host. "Jeff finds balance in his life by being an avid golfer and a devoted, participating father to his two sons and his little princess,'' according to the site.

But Locker also apparently had serious legal troubles. A federal bankruptcy court trustee in Florida sued Locker in April, identifying him as one of the investors who profited from a giant Ponzi scheme run by Louis Pearlman, the impresario who created boy bands 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. The trustee demanded that Locker give back at least $121,200 of about $373,000 in bogus profits. Locker said in a response filed in May that he categorically denied "all aspects'' of the suit, and said he had no way of repaying the money. The case was pending. "I would be forced to declare bankruptcy. I am severely in credit card debt and my business is just paying my family's bills.'' He added that he was "mortified'' to have been accused of knowingly participating in a Ponzi scheme.

"I trust that the court will honor this answer to the complaint based on the facts presented herein so that I can get on with my life.''

SUV Stolen with Baby inside in Woodhaven

From Jamie Roth Eyewitness News:
WOODHAVEN (WABC) -- An infant took the ride of his young life when carjacker stole his father's SUV, left idling outside a store in the Jamaica section of Queens. (Video from My Fox New York)

Police say the boy's father left his 1995 Chevy Blazer running when he went into a store at 92nd Street and Jamaica Avenue just before midnight. He left his son, an 18-month-old named Micholas, in the back seat. As he entered the store, the father said he turned around and spotted someone in his car. He yelled, "Bro, my son is in the car! My son is in the car!" But the suspect took off. The father called police, who quickly responded and searched the area.

The carjacker, apparently spotting the boy in the back, dropped off the child in front of a nearby house on 104th Street. The boy, left with a bottle, was reportedly found by residents. They called police, who reunited the child with his father. The boy appeared unharmed. Both were taken to Jamaica Medical Center for evaluation.

The suspect fled in the SUV. No arrests were immediately made.

Bicyclist Murdered in Hamilton Heights

By Scott Curkin; Eyewitness News

A bicyclist was discovered with head injuries in a Harlem street, and detectives believe he may have been the victim of a fatal assault. Video Report from

Twenty-one-year-old Juan Espinoza-Navarrete was found at the intersection of West 133rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue just after 5 a.m.on Friday.

His orange and black Razor bicycle was lying next to his body.

Espinoza-Navarrete was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police initially believed he was a bicyclist struck by a car.

But when detectives reviewed nearby surveillance cameras (photos of Suspect and Suspect shirt to the right), they found grainy video of two men chasing the victim.

The video apparently shows one of the men ripping off his shirt as he runs after Espinoza-Navarrete. A suspect is then seen fleeing on foot, and returning to pick up a dropped cell phone.

Detectives suspect the actual assault occurred out of the surveillance camera's range.

Espinoza-Navarrete had bruises on the back of his head, but the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

The victim lives near the spot where he was discovered dead, about a half block from CUNY's campus.

Suspect In Queens Sexual Assault Caught On Tape

Police are continuing their search for a man wanted in connection with a sexual assault last month in Queens.

Police say the man, pictured above, sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman on July 3rd around midnight near 185th Street and the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

They say he approached the victim from behind and took her by force to an isolated area.

He later took off with some of the victim's belongings.

The man was last seen wearing a multicolored striped shirt with a matching hat and dark colored jeans.

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 to

The Widow of Omar Edwards Talks about Life after his death

Updated: Tuesday, 21 Jul 2009, 10:35 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 21 Jul 2009, 10:35 PM EDT

MYFOXNY.COM - The widow of an NYPD officer who was accidentally killed by a fellow officer sat down for an exclusive interview with Fox 5 News.

Officer omar Edwards was shot in a case of mistaken identity almost two months ago. The 25-year-old was shot by officer Andrew Dunton. Edwards was off-duty and chasing a suspect. Police say Edwards was running with his gun drawn and Dunton thought he was an armed gunman. Edwards was shot three times.

Danille Ewards says, "I just can't see a future know how you plan your next day...I just can't do that."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bank Robber Strikes HSBC Two Times in Two Days


An unarmed man robbed the HSBC branch at 5 Penn Plaza at 9:16 a.m (On Tuesday, 07/14/09).

According to the NYPD, the man struck again on Thursday, 07/16/09, at approximately 1500 hours, the suspect at HSBC Bank located at 550 7th Avenue.

In both cases the suspect passed the teller anote demanding cash and fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

Monday, July 20, 2009

3 Wanted for Knife Point Robbery in the Claremont section of the Bronx

Police are asking for the public's assistance in locating three (3) men wanted in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at approx. 1005 pm on 07-18-09 inside of 1460 Washington Ave. in the confines of the 42Pct. The three suspects grabbed the victim a Male Hispanic age 39 in the stairwell of the location, displayed a knife and a screwdriver, removed personal property from the victim, and fled on foot (see video below). No serious injuries. See attached video (suspects fleeing from the location). Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' website at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.



A church-going Bronx man died trying to protect his beloved brother from an armed mugger who followed him home Sunday night, police and neighbors said.

Eric Baxter parked his car in front of the Williamsbridge home he shared with his brother at 11:15 p.m. and was ambushed by a gun-toting robber demanding money, witnesses told police.

Baxter pounded on the door of the three-story building screaming for help, witnesses said.

"He was shouting to his brother, 'Call the police!'" said tenant and longtime friend Jacob Adams, 71, who was awakened by the panicked shouts.

Sydney Michael Baxter, 50, burst through the front door, pushed his brother aside, and confronted the gunman, witnesses said.

The robber started firing, striking Sydney Baxter three times in the chest. He died minutes later at Jacobi Medical Center, police said.

Eric Baxter collapsed in grief when he returned home from the hospital after saying a final goodbye to his slain brother, neighbors said.

"He just almost fainted," said one friend. "I tried to comfort him."

The two brothers were born in Jamaica but grew up in London before finally settling in the Bronx, friends said.

Sydney, a successful accountant and car salesman, and Eric, a computer specialist, pooled their money to buy their building on Laconia Ave., and their good fortune may have made them a target, friends suggested.

"[They were] very aggressive financially," said Adams. "Maybe that's why they came hunting for his money."

Sydney Baxter, a Baruch College graduate, worshipped regularly at the First Ghana Seventh Day Adventist Church and was known as friendly figure throughout the neighborhood, friends said.

"He always worked for what he had and was very kind, very kind," Adams said. "It's a tragic death. You couldn't find a harder working person."

The brothers' parents still live in London and were expected to travel to the Bronx for a funeral in the coming days, friends said.

The gunman fled the scene and has not yet been found, police said.

Woman Killed in Hit-And-Run on Amstredam Ave


A beloved Harlem woman was mowed down early Monday by a hit-and-run driver who hit her so hard he knocked her out of her shoes, police said.

Debbie Evans, 48, was struck by a speeding SUV at 3:10 a.m. as she tried to cross Amsterdam Ave. near W. 145th St., police said.

The impact - which knocked Evans out of her shoes - instantly killed the mother of two, police said.

"She was my daughter and I loved her very much," said her heartbroken mother Ethel Carter. "Debbie was the oldest. I had four children, now I have three."

Witnesses said the SUV, which was either grey or silver, never hesitated after it fatally struck Evans.

"I saw an SUV hit her, a little old lady walking across the street," said Steve, a trucker from Georgia who would only give his first name.

"The car was going faster than it should be; she never saw him coming," said the trucker. "It's a travesty."

A side mirror was found near the accident scene. Investigators believe it fell off the SUV that hit Evans. Cops were searching the area for surveillance video that may have captured an image of the speeding vehicle.

"How can you just not stop?," screamed Evans' anguished friend Stacey Diggs, who had eaten dinner with the dead woman moments before the accident. "Accidents happen [but] you help people out."

Evans, who had recently been staying at a SRO downtown, was a well-liked presence in the Harlem neighborhood where she died, friends said.

She had battled a crack addiction since the 1980s and had two children. She was trying to clean up and straighten out her life, her mother said.

"All the time, I would worry about her," said Carter, 61. "I forgive her for everything she did."

"I want the person who hit her to come forward. Someone help me find the person who hit my daughter."

Funeral set for Staten Island boy who drowned in pool

From the Staten Island Advance:
yan Pisapia, 3, drowned in a pool at 58 Alysia Court in Rossville last night.

Funeral arrangements have been set for the 3-year-old boy who died last night after he was found floating in the family swimming pool in Staten Island's Rossville section.

Visiting hours for Ryan Pisapia will be Wednesday, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals in Eltingville.

The funeral will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle R.C. Church in Pleasant Plains. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery, Pleasant Plains.

Police say Ryan somehow got into his family's pool at the rear of 58 Alysia Court about 8 p.m. last night.

The party was winding down, and family members were putting together treats for the children in attendance when they realized no one had seen Ryan in a while, an NYPD spokesman said late last night. A search disclosed the tragedy, and the child's lifeless body was scooped from the water.

An off-duty firefighter who lives nearby tried in vain to resuscitate Ryan, who was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Staten Island University Hospital, Prince's Bay.

NYC police find man's body

From Newsday:

New York City police officers on patrol made a grisly discovery: a dead body.
Officers patrolling the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens early Monday came upon the body on the street. Police say the unidentified man had several punctures to his torso and neck that may have been gunshot wounds. Emergency Medical Services technicians pronounced the man dead at the scene. The medical examiner's office will determine how the man died. The Daily News is reporting the body of Dillion Veira (was found) on 144th Avenue near 180th Street. He had been shot several times in the chest and neck, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prospect Heights: 2 Men Found Shot Dead In Car

From Gothamist:
On Saturday night, two men were shot to death while sitting in a car parked at Washington Avenue and St. John's Place in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, just two blocks from the Brooklyn Museum. According to police, Vance Rock, 23, was shot in the head and Darrian Delk, 19, was shot in the torso; both were pronounced dead the hospital. WPIX reports the gunmen may have been on motorcycles.

Rock and Delk had attended a block party earlier in the evening. The Daily News reports, "Witnesses told cops that a fight erupted earlier in the evening that may have involved the two men... Detectives suspect the shooting was in retaliation for that fracas, though the nature of the altercation was not immediately known." The NY Times set the scene, "Food and drinks were served, and people danced to salsa, reggae and Michael Jackson songs. Mothers brought children in strollers. Then, about 10 p.m., the music was turned off, and suddenly the sound of three or four gunshots rang out, according to some witnesses."

One neighbor told the Times, "I have heard it is about a woman. I heard it was about bikers," while a relative of the victims said the shooters wanted the car. Police said there were no shell casings at the scene, raising the possibility a revolver was used; a detective told the News, "The shooters are getting smarter. [It] could be a more professional job."