Saturday, August 22, 2009

1 Dead after Seaport Shooting

From the NY Post by John Doyle & Edmund Demarche:

A Brooklyn man was shot in the head and killed after a wild melee broke out on a dangerously overcrowded Lower Manhattan party boat early today at the South Street Seaport.

Omar Trent, 31, of Flatbush, was shot in a parking lot near the boat as the crowd spilled off the vessel in the predawn hours, sources said.

The 4 a.m. shooting was the culmination of a raucous night of drinking and partying that devolved into a nasty brawl by young crowd of several hundred people that swamped the vessel, which never left the dock, according to the crew.

The boat was supposed to set sail at 1 a.m. for a night of fun on the water, but the ship didn't go out because there were too many people on board, workers said.

The fighting was so bad that at one point boat worker Perry Rumnit, 40, locked himself, his co-workers and some passengers in the ships kitchen to escape the fighting.

"It was chaotic," he said.

15-year-old father-to-be shot to death after leaving Brooklyn party

From the Daily News by Sarah Armaghan and Larry Mcshane:
Hundreds of people gathered at the scene where a 15-year-old was shot to death on Euclid Avenue.
Family members are overcome with grief at the scene of the shooting. Nicastro for News

Family members are overcome with grief at the scene of the shooting.
Related News

* One man killed in South Street Seaport shootout
* Queens man beaten, robbed and murdered in Jackson Heights
* Victim of subway robbery wants to karate kick at-large bandit

Craig Shelton loved basketball, church and his pregnant girlfriend. Just 15, he couldn't wait to hold his new baby and talked about someday becoming a pastor.

The Brooklyn teen's dreams died early Saturday on an East New York, Brooklyn, street, where he was shot to death while walking home from a party in a nearby housing project, police said.

Shelton took a bullet to the head when gunfire erupted outside 560 Euclid Ave. at 12:12 a.m., leaving behind his heartbroken girlfriend, devastated grandmother and two younger siblings.

"He was so wonderful, respectful," said a sobbing Iris Gucman, 55, the grandmother who raised Shelton for the past seven years. "He didn't deserve this. He was too young for this."

Shelton was looking forward to September, when he would start his sophomore year at Metropolitan High School and discover the gender of his unborn child.

His girlfriend, 17-year-old Tania Moore, is four months pregnant. The couple had scheduled a Sept. 8 visit to her doctor.

"I don't know what I'll ever say when the time comes, when our baby asks where their daddy is," the anguished teen said. "I won't know what to say. I'm hurting so much right now."

Police made no arrests and offered no motive in the shooting. Shelton's friends said he wasn't feeling well, and they tried to persuade him to head home shortly before the shooting.

Shelton was gunned down across the street from the Cypress Hills Houses as he walked with an unidentified woman, his grandmother said.

"The girl ran off, nobody knows who she is," said Gucman. "He got shot, and he died right there."

His uncle Christian Pellot said the killer targeted Shelton for no apparent reason.

"I don't think the party had anything to do with it," he said. "Whoever it was didn't want to fight him. They chose just to shoot him."

Shelton, who leaves behind a 5-year-old brother and a 6-year-old sister, started dating Moore nearly two years ago. He was excited by the news of her pregnancy.

"He was the most caring boyfriend," Moore said Saturday. "He always made me laugh. Now, I'm really sad."

His grandmother recalled a "loving and caring boy" who escorted her back and forth from the local subway stop.

"He was my heart," said Gucman, crying in the arms of relatives. "Whoever did it took a piece of my heart."

11-year-old sister witness as Brooklyn college student dies from bullet wound to back

From the Daily News by Edgar Sandoval, Barry Paddock and Jonathan Lemire:

The murder of a Brooklyn college student just steps from his home has left his family haunted by his last moments and cops hunting for a motive.

Patrick Nicolas, a junior at Kingsborough Community College who also worked a part-time job to help provide for his sisters, was shot in the back Wednesday night and collapsed on the sidewalk.

"It broke my heart," said sister Eureka Ravilus, who ran outside, kneeled next to her 20-year-old brother and clutched his hand.

"Hang in there," Ravilus, 23, recalled saying as Nicolas' life slipped away.

"I told him, 'I love you,' and he heard me," she said. "I know he heard me."

As paramedics furiously worked on Nicolas, described by relatives as a "giant teddy bear," his 11-year-old sister tried to push through a crowd of cops to get one last look at her brother.

"He was just laying on the floor, [and] all I could see was his feet and him moving," said Sharina Clay. "I can't really imagine my brother gone."

Nicolas was taken to Kings County Hospital but died just minutes after the 9:50 p.m. shooting, police said.

His mother, Elaine Ravilus, collapsed in grief after learning of her son's death.

"I don't know why God took him away," said Elaine Ravilus, who was briefly hospitalized for shock.

Investigators were not certain what prompted the shooting on Lenox Road in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, but Nicolas' family insisted he stayed out of trouble.

"We did not even know where the bullet came from," said Eureka Ravilus, who said her brother's final act was to raise his hands in an attempt to prevent her from seeing him bleed to death.

"He did not want me to see him like that," she said quietly.

To help pay his family's bills, Nicolas worked part-time at a Gap store at the Kings Plaza mall and was coming home from a shift when he was shot, relatives said.

A business and accounting major, Nicolas was a standout football player at Lafayette High School who stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 250 pounds. He rapped under the stage name "Pulla Pat" but never dabbled in drugs or gangs, relatives said.

"He did not have any problems with anyone," said Elaine Ravilus, 56, as she caressed a photo of her slain son. "He looked like Shaquille O'Neal, my prince."

"He doesn't really have any enemies," Sharina said. "I thought it was a mistake because he's not really a person who would start trouble."

Nicolas did not appear to have a prior arrest record, police sources said.

The tight-knit Haitian family gathered to grieve at their Clarkson Ave. home late Thursday. No arrests have been made.

With Jamie Locher

NYPD Hunts Serial Rapist

The NYPD has released security camera video of a man they believe has been terrorizing women in Upper Manhattan in recent weeks. The man has raped at least three women.

Police describe the man as black, in his 30s, with a medium build, about 5'9" to 6'. During one of the attacks, he was wearing black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers with red stripes on the sole.

In each of the three incidents, he sexually assaulted and robbed the victim, police said.


Incident #1: Saturday, August 1, 2009, 2:45 a.m., in the vicinity of West 148 Street and Broadway, the suspect grabbed the victim, F/W/59, dragged her into an alleyway where he sexually assaulted her and robbed her at knifepoint.

Incident #2: Monday, August 10, 2009, 1:55 a.m., in the vicinity of West 144 Street and Convent Avenue, the suspect followed the victim, F/W/23, into an elevator where he sexually assaulted her and robbed her.

Incident #3: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 4 a.m., in the vicinity of West 158 Street and Riverside Drive, the suspect followed the victim, F/W/69, into an elevator of a residential building where he raped and robbed her.

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 Web site at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

Monday, August 17, 2009

NYPD Investigates East Village Shooting Sunday

From by Debra Garcia:
Police are investigating an early morning shooting in the East Village that sent a man to the hospital.

The victim left a deli on 12th Street and Avenue C around 5 a.m. Sunday after ordering a sandwich, and was shot in the chest outside.

Police did not release his identity. It is unclear if he was the intended target.

The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was listed in serious but stable condition.

No arrests had been made.

FBI Searches Brooklyn Home for Body

Authorities dug up the basement of a Brooklyn home in search of the body of a Russian-language translator who went missing two years ago. FBI spokeswoman Monica McLean said Monday that investigators excavated the basement after a tip led them to bring in a cadaver-finding dog and heavy equipment.

Agents did not find a body.

The home on Surf Avenue in Sea Gate, a gated community, belongs to a Russian couple who were arrested last month and accused of stealing the missing woman's identity.

Authorities say that Ukrainian-born Irina Malezhik was last seen on Oct. 15, 2007, when a security camera recorded her leaving her apartment building.

That day, authorities say the Russian couple cashed checks totaling nearly $6,500 from accounts belonging to Malezhik or that were made out to her.

Police: Man Masturbated, Stole Cell Phone on Subway

New York City police are asking the public for help in finding a man wanted for public lewdness and grand larceny.

On July 30, a man, believed to be in his late teens to early 20s, began masturbating on a southbound D train at the 36th Street subway station around 6 a.m. before fleeing at the 9th Avenue station, police say.

Around 12:40, the same man stole a cell phone from a commuter on a northbound F train and fled at the 18th Avenue subway station, police say.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Who Killed Sabrina? - Vicious murder still unsolved

From the Queens Chronicle by by AnnMarie Costella:
“I miss you Sabrina. I love you so much,” Sharida Matthews sobbed as she taped a reward poster to a pole near her home in Cambria Heights. She still retains hope that the person who murdered Sabrina, her youngest daughter, will be brought to justice.
“My daughter was so sweet,” Matthews said. “I never thought in my whole life that this could happen.”

Sabrina Matthews was found dead in her bedroom on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008 at approximately 12:30 pm. The 14-year-old was naked from the waist down and her throat had been slashed. The crime remains unsolved.
The Matthews family wants to rekindle interest in the case, so they gathered with friends and local officials on Friday to blanket their quiet neighborhood with posters advertising a new reward of $22,000, recently increased by the mayor, for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the crime.
“Any mother and father would love to have a child like her,” Matthews said of Sabrina. “Every day when I came home from work, she would ask me, ‘Mommy how was your day?’ Every day of her life, she would say ‘Mommy, I love you.’ She was caring and loving. She was a wonderful child.”
Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell, the Jamaica man slain by police officers in 2006, also attended to show her support, frequently hugging Matthews and holding her hand as the distraught mother broke down in tears.
“I am with her and for her in her time of need,” Bell said.
Matthews contends that police working on the case in the 105th Precinct, who are primarily Caucasian, are not being diligent in their pursuit of the killer because they are unsympathetic to Jamaican Americans.
“I’m not a racist,” Matthews said. “I love white people. I don’t hate anyone. But what other explanation could there be?”
Bell, whose son’s death at the hands of police outraged the black community in Queens and elsewhere, agreed that race is often a factor in murder investigations.
“I hate to say it, but in general, when a Caucasian person is killed they are working on it, you hear about it in the paper more than you hear about any Afro-American, and you should know it,” Bell said. “I don’t know what this society has come to.”
The NYPD disagrees.
“There is an exhaustive investigation underway involving scores of leads and interviews,” the deputy commissioner for public information, Paul Browne, said in an email. “Detailing investigative leads would jeopardize the progress of the case. The Matthews family can be assured that the Police Department is doing all it can in identifying and bringing to justice anyone responsible for Sabrina Matthews death.”
At first, the police suspected the girl’s father, Livingston Matthews, of committing the crime since he was the one who discovered her body upon his arrival home from work that day. But he was never charged and, according to the family, is no longer a suspect.
“It made me feel like a victim,” he said of the initial suspicion.
His wife, who has been married to her husband for nearly three decades and has known him since childhood, said he is a peaceful man and would never harm anyone.
“They should have focused more on finding the real killer instead of blaming my husband,” she said. “We told them to go around to the school and question the neighbors, but they never did.”
The devastated mother said that when she tells people that she is still searching for her daughter’s killer, they often are surprised because they assumed, based on the media coverage, that her husband was responsible.
“It was on TV that they suspected the dad but they never cleared it. They never said that he was no longer a suspect,” she explained. “That’s a disgrace.”
As Sharida Matthews handed out flyers to her fellow Cambria Heights residents, many offered their condolences.
“I really pray about it because I thought this was a gruesome murder,” Karen Pinnock said. “I have children, and I am really concerned and I hope this person will be brought to justice.”
“I can’t understand how after all of this time there is nothing being done,” Barbara Cunningham said. “They have all this forensics and all this equipment and they can’t find this person.”
City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) also met with Sharida Matthews at the end of the flyer distribution march, and made an announcement to shoppers at the Fambria Food Center on Linden Boulevard, asking them to report any information about the murder to the police.
“This type of crime affects the entire community,” Comrie said. “We can’t have unsolved crimes of this magnitude, where it’s a home invasion, and someone is murdered and no one is talking about it.”
The mayor’s office is providing $10,000 toward the reward, contingent on arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. The Police Department is providing the same amount on the same basis. The other $2,000 is offered by the Crime Stoppers unit; that portion only requires arrest and indictment.
Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted at or by text to 274637 (CRIMES), then TIP577. Information will be kept confidential.

Livery Driver Shot Dead in Baycehester section of the Bronx

From by Kathy Carvaja:

An investigation is underway into the shooting of a livery cab driver in the Baychester section of The Bronx.

Ndiaye Amadau, 46, was found dead inside his car on Wilson Avenue and Boston Road just before 1 a.m. on Monday. He was shot in the chest. He later died at Jacobi Medical Center.

Police say the vehicle collided with two parked cars before the shooting. Cops say a witness reported seeing a man run from the livery cab after the collision.

Investigators are looking into the possibillity that a passenger killed the driver during a robbery.

Fox 5 Reporter Katherine Creag says the 47-year-old driver had been living in the United States for twenty years. He left behind a wife and child in Senegal. He would regularly send them money.

It was unclear during the early hours of the investigation if the driver was licensed, but the President of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers says he was in fact working for a livery service as a licensed driver.

No arrests have been made.

Queen Latifah movie shoot in Chelsea delayed by shooting at housing project

From the Daily News by Edgar Sandoval and John Lauinger:

Workers prepping a Chelsea block for a movie shoot starring Queen Latifah got a shock Sunday when bullets started flying outside a nearby housing project, police and witnesses said.

Feliberto Rivera, 36, was hanging no-parking signs on W. 17th St. near 10th Ave. in advance of a shoot for the sports-themed romance "Just Wright" when he heard gunshots at the opposite end of the block.

Rivera said he turned around to see what happened and saw a man sprawled out on the street in front of the Fulton Houses.

"I was waiting for him to get up, but he did not," Rivera said. "He yelled, 'Help! Help!'"

"The neighbors kept saying, 'Get up!' Then the ambulance came."

The shooting took place shortly after the unidentified victim parked his car in front of the Fulton Houses around 6 p.m., witnesses said.

After getting out of the car, the victim got into an argument on the street with two guys. When the argument escalated, someone started shooting, hitting the victim twice in the torso and once in the leg, police and witnesses said.

"He was conscious the whole time, just in pain," Rivera said.

The victim was in stable condition at St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan Sunday, a police source said, adding that no arrests have been made.

The car the victim had been driving was registered to Prince Harris, 29, of East Harlem, records show, but it was unclear if Harris was the victim.

The "Just Wright" shoot was expected to take place Monday, Rivera said. Latifah stars opposite rapper-turned-actor Common, according to published reports.

The flick, due out next year, is about a sports trainer who falls in love with a professional basketball player while helping him rehab from an injury.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two Shootings on One Brooklyn Block Leave 1 Dead, 4 Injured

From by Billy Parker:
One man was killed and several injured in two separate shootings that occurred on the same block in East New York yesterday. 21-year-old Donovan Glen died after being shot in the head when some unwanted guests crashed a Friday night party on Atkins Avenue. Glen had an 18-month old daughter and was described by friends as someone who spent most of his time "at home, not on the street." 21-year-old Kendall Jones was also injured in the shooting at 2 a.m. Saturday. Ray Kelly told reporters, "It was a birthday party and going back to college party, and people tried to crash the party and that's where the trouble started." Then yesterday afternoon just down the block on Atkins, three more men were shot. All were injured with non-life threatening injuries and treated at Brookdale Hospital. A neighbor told the Daily News, "I think it was retaliation, but I don't know. It's like gunshot avenue over here."

Boy shot in foot while going to grocery

From the Daily News by Tanyanika Samuels and John Lauinger:

A 10-year-old boy sent by his father to pick up Chinese food was shot in the foot when he got caught in a drive-by in the Bronx Saturday, police said.

The boy, who was not identified, was approaching the Hop Wong Restaurant on Monroe Ave. and W. 175th St. in Mount Hope about 12:30 a.m. when a gunman in a passing car opened fire on an unrelated group hanging outside.

"My son would have to be in the house before the sun goes down," said Vanessa Tucker, 23, who heard the gunfire.

A group of people comforted the boy until an ambulance arrived. He was in stable condition at St. Barnabas Hospital. Police haven't made an arrest.

Top cop Raymond Kelly says Harlem Blue Flame Co. owner "Shotgun Gus" shot in self-defense

From the Daily News by Tanyanika Samuels and Corky Siemaszko:

New York's top cop on Saturday defended the shotgun-toting Harlem businessman who became a reluctant hero by blasting the bandits terrorizing his store.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Charles (Gus) Augusto "acted in self-defense" when he killed two thugs and wounded two more on Thursday.

"He certainly had the right to defend himself and his co-workers," he said. "I know he took no pleasure in this thing. It was the toughest day of his life."

Kelly spoke as officials prepared to arraign the two tough guys who survived being shot by Augusto on Thursday.

"No one could take pleasure in taking a life, but all indications are he acted pursuant to New York penal law," Kelly said of Augusto.

A 72-year-old businessman who has operated the Blue Flame restaurant supply store for decades, Augusto grabbed his gun after the invaders burst into his store and began beating up his store clerk.

Augusto said he told the alleged ringleader, 29-year-old James Morgan of Manhattan, they had no money and pleaded with him to let them go. But Morgan wouldn't listen and resumed pistol-whipping Toxie (JB) Hall.

So Augusto fired three times, killing Morgan and 21-year-old Raylin Footmon. Shamel McCloud and Bernard Witherspoon, both 21, staggered bleeding out of the store and were quickly caught by cops.

"I would have been happy if they'd all run out of the door," Augusto told The Daily News on Friday when he reopened his store on West 125th St. "I'm sick to my stomach over it."

Augusto also bristled at being called a hero.

"I would have felt like a hero if I could have talked that kid into going home," he said.

Asked if he had another weapon in case somebody else tried to rob him, Augusto said, "I'm not going to tell you that."

It was later discovered that Augusto did not have a permit for the shotgun, which he had purchased more than 20 years earlier - and had hoped he would never have to fire.

Police officials said Saturday that shotgun owners are required to register their weapons with the city - unlike permits needed for handguns. Augusto's shotgun was registered.

Augusto stayed home Saturday and the store was closed.

The front door was still pitted from the shotgun blasts. And on the sidewalk, specks of blood were still visible.

With Jamie Locher