<![CDATA[NBC New York - Crime and Courts]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/feature/crime-and-courts http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:40:33 -0400 Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:40:33 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Former Cop Charged in Fatal Shooting of Wife in Queens]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:15:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/kevin+canty.jpg

A former police officer is facing charges after authorities say he shot and killed his wife in front of their two young children in Queens Saturday morning.

Retired NYPD officer Kevin Canty was taken into police custody following the shooting inside the home on 101st Avenue and 104th Street in Ozone Park.

Law enforcement sources said the shooting was believed to be tied to a domestic dispute.

One neighbor said she saw the children run into a nearby deli screaming for help and saying their father had just shot their mother.

"The kids were hysterical," said Heidi Gamble.

Canty's wife, 40-year-old Jessica Canty, was found inside the home shot several times.

Authorities charged Canty Sunday with murder in the second degree and criminal use of a firearm.

Canty retired from the NYPD about a year ago due to a disability from an accident. Just two years ago, he was honored as a hero for helping save a subway rider who had a heart attack.

 

Michael George and Jonathan Dienst contributed reporting.


 

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<![CDATA[Man Exposes Himself to Girl Throwing Out Trash: NYPD]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:47:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/public+lewdness+suspect+bronx.jpg

Police are looking for a man who allegedly approached a girl throwing out trash in her Bronx apartment building and exposed himself to her. 

The 12-year-old girl was throwing out the garbage on the sixth floor of a residential building in the Bronx the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 28 when the man exposed himself to her from the steps leading to the sixth floor.

The man then asked the girl her name, and the girl ran away. 

The man is wanted for public lewdness and child endangerment.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

Police said Friday they were also looking for a man in Brooklyn who allegedly groped a girl walking her dog. 

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<![CDATA[Napping Burglary Suspect Arrested on Long Island: Police]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:10:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs12.jpg

A suspected burglar was arrested on Long Island Thursday after he was found napping in his car with stolen lottery tickets, police say.

Officers got a call about a man sleeping in his car on Wantagh Avenue in Levittown at about 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the Nassau County Police Department. When they arrived, officers found the lottery tickets, a dispensing case and marijuana in the man’s car.

Officers later learned that the lottery tickets had been stolen in a burglary at a business in Massapequa earlier that day.

The man is charged with third-degree burglary, possession of stolen property and drug possession.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[4 New Jersey Men Arrested in Child Porn Sting]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:45:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/computer-keyboard-generic-0.jpg
Four New Jersey men face a range of child pornography charges after they were arrested in what prosecutors called a "drag net" aimed at snaring suspects who use and share the images online. 

One 39-year-old Lakewood man arrested last month is accused of using his neighbors' unsecured wireless points to acess and download graphic movie files of children being sexually assaulted. Detectives found additional digital evidence at a storage unit he had been renting. 

On April 2, a 32-year-old Brick man was arrested after a forensic preview of his computer allegedly revealed several hundred graphic movies of children engaging in sexual acts.

Another search warrant resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old Toms River man on possession charges. 

Last week, a SWAT team executed a search warrant at the home of a 25-year-old suspect in Manchester and, in addition to pornography, they allegedly found two AR-15 Bush master rifles, high capacity magazines, ammunition, steroids, syringes and narcotics. They also recovered a canister of tear gas.

The year-long investigation was led by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s High Tech Crime Unit (HTCU) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with help from local law enforcement partners.  
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<![CDATA[Sketch of Suspect in Midtown Jewelry Heist Released]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:42:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/margo-manhattan-jewelry-store-robbery-inset.jpg

Police have released a composite sketch of the man who they say robbed an upscale midtown Manhattan jewelry store last week, tying up a worker and stealing more than $54,000 worth of merchandise.

The man walked into Margo Manhattan jewelry store at 1202 Madison Ave. just before 2 p.m. and asked to see some pieces, according to police.

When the 53-year-old worker began to help him, the suspect grabbed her by the neck and forced her into the back room where he tied her up, police said. 

He took a key from the worker to open a display case and took several items; he then returned to the back room and swiped more jewelry before running away.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

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<![CDATA[Robbers Hit 4 Brooklyn Banks in 2-Hour Spree: NYPD]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:33:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Bank-Robbery-Spree-NY.jpg

Two men robbed two banks and tried to hit two others over a two-hour period in Brooklyn Monday afternoon, police say.

The men robbed two banks between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday, stealing about $6,300, according to the NYPD. The suspects tried to hit two other banks in that span, but left the businesses before they could take any cash.

In each incident, the suspects came into the bank and gave tellers a note demanding money. The banks where there were robberies or attempts include:

  • A Capital One at 2102 Ralph Ave. in Bergen Beach. The suspect stole $1,800 cash in that robbery.
  • A Santander Bank at 301 Avenue U in Gravesend. The suspect stole $4,500 cash in that robbery.
  • A Chase Bank at 1987 Flatbush Ave. in Flatlands. Nothing was stolen in that attempt.
  • A Northfield Bank at 1123 Kings Highway in Sheepshead Bay. Nothing was stolen in that attempt.

If you have any information on the robberies, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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<![CDATA[Man Charged With Menacing, Spitting on Girl: NYPD]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:22:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Queens-Anti-Muslim-Statement.jpg

A 50-year-old man has been charged with harassing and spitting on a 15-year-old girl on a crowded city bus in Queens last week, according to the NYPD.

Perrry Germano, of Queens, was charged with attempted assault, aggravated harassment and menacing after the girl was berated and threatened while riding a Q88 bus at Horace Harding Expressway and Kissena Boulevard on April 7.

According to the New York Post, the suspect hurled profanities at the girl, calling her a “terrorist.” The man shoved the girl and spit on her repeatedly.

When the girl spoke up, the man raised his fist and threatened to kill her, the Post reports.
The suspect got off the bus at a stop on Kissena Boulevard.

It's not clear if Germano has an attorney.

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<![CDATA[Bratton Issues New Guidelines for Jaywalking Stops]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:18:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bratton+jaywalk.jpg

Less than four months after officers started cracking down on jaywalkers in New York City, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is telling officers to use more discretion when stopping people who cross the street illegally, according to law enforcement sources.

The memo, first obtained by the Daily News and confirmed by NBC 4 New York, tells officers to “use discretion when issuing a summons,” and asks that elderly and special-needs jaywalkers be warned instead of ticketed if there is no safety risk. The memo also tells officers to only make arrests as a last resort.

Jaywalking summonses have exploded this year as the city tries to lower the number of traffic deaths. Already, more than 900 people have been ticketed for the offense, compared with 532 in 2012, according to the Daily News.

One of those collared, 84-year-old Kang Wong, is suing the NYPD and the city for $5 million for the way his arrest was handled. Wong alleges that officers pushed him against the wall, beat him and threw him to the ground after he crossed an Upper West Side street Jan. 19. Wong said he lost consciousness and was hospitalized after the arrest.

Earlier this month, prosecutors opted not to prosecute Wong’s case.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Girl Attacked, Robbed of $1 in Subway Stairwell]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:47:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/girl-robbed-1-dollar.jpg

Police are looking for a man who approached a teen girl in an Upper West Side subway stairwell and tried to rob her before assaulting her and fleeing with $1.

The 15-year-old girl was entering the B and C subway station on 96th Street and Central Park West at about 10 a.m. Saturday, police said.

The suspect approached her and demanded her valuables.

He then assaulted her and took $1 from her jacket before fleeing.

Police released surveillance images of the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

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<![CDATA[Teens Who Shared Explicit Photos Arrested for Child Porn]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:32:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/texting-sexting.jpg

Two New Jersey teens are facing criminal charges after allegedly sharing nude photos of other teens, some of whom were engaging in sex acts, police said.

The Little Falls Police Department said Wednesday that a 16-year-old West Orange boy was arrested after he texted eight naked photos of a 17-year-old girl to a 16-year-old girlfriend from Little Falls.

That friend is then accused of showing the photos to others, and may have posted them on social media, police say. 

The girl is also believed to have sent other videos and photos of underage teens engaging in sex acts to other juveniles.

The teens are charged with endangering the welfare of a child by possessing child pornography. Both teens were released to the custody of their parents.

Police are urging parents to explain to their children that sending, taking and sharing of naked photos of juveniles is a crime. 

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[$12M in Heroin, Meth Seized From Manhattan Stash Houses]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:55:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs12.jpg
Authorities arrested three people in connection with an investigation into two suspected stash houses in Washington Heights from which authorities seized 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth, believed to have a street value of more than $12 million. 

Officials allege the suspects are members of a sophisticated drug trafficking ring based in two apartments in a building on Wadsworth Avenue that they used to house copious amounts of drugs for distribution in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other states.

They say the suspects chose the location because access to the George Washington Bridge, Interstate 95 and the RFK Triborough Bridge facilitated drug transit.

Authorities had been conducting surveillance for several days outside the Wadsworth Avenue apartment building and noticed the suspects repeatedly coming in and leaving with bags. On Monday, investigators trailed two of the suspects as they left the building and took them into custody several blocks away. A third suspect was arrested later.

Later that afternoon, investigators executed a search warrant at one of the suspected stash apartments and say they found $120,000 cash in a bedroom safe and 17 pounds of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment behind the wall of the bathroom. They found hollowed out shoes, which are often used to conceal narcotics.

Authorities also seized 100 grams of heroin from the pocket of a jacket inside a closet, multiple cellphones, drug ledgers and an electrical bill for another apartment in the same building.

Officials got a search warrant for the other apartment, to which two of the suspects had keys, and found a sophisticated counter-surveillance system inside. Two pinhole cameras recorded activity in the public hallway from end to end and fed the video to a monitor mounted above the door inside the apartment and to a DVR, authorities said.  

Officials say they found more than three dozen pounds of heroin in the second apartment -- 24 pounds in a hidden kitchen compartment, 11 pounds tucked between a mattress and box spring in the bedroom, 2 pounds in a TV storage tower and 5 pounds behind a bathroom wall. 

The three suspects were arraigned Tuesday night on multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Two were held without bail. 


Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Spit on Girl, Made Anti-Muslim Statements: NYPD]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:57:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Queens-Anti-Muslim-Statement.jpg

Police are looking for a man who they say harassed a 15-year-old girl on a crowded city bus in Queens last week, spitting on her, making anti-Muslim statements and threatening to punch her.

The girl was riding a Q88 bus at Horace Harding Expressway and Kissena Boulevard on April 7 when the suspect began berating her, the NYPD says.

According to the New York Post, the suspect hurled profanities at the girl, calling her a “terrorist.” The man shoved the girl and spit on her repeatedly.

When the girl spoke up, the man raised his fist and threatened to kill her, the Post reports.
The suspect got off the bus at a stop on Kissena Boulevard.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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<![CDATA[Man Tried to Rape Woman in Her Bedroom: NYPD]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:57:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/east+village+attempted+rape+copy.jpg

Police are searching for a home intruder who allegedly tried to rape a woman in her Manhattan bedroom early on Saturday. 

The 32-year-old victim told police she forgot to lock the door to her East Village apartment near Avenue B and Sixth Street before going to bed, according to sources. 

The woman awoke at about 3 a.m. to find the man standing on her bed, police said. He sexually assaulted her, then ran away after she struggled, according to police. 

Investigators believe the suspect had been trying to open other doors in the building before he arrived at the victim's apartment, sources said. 

Women in the neighborhood say the attack has prompted them to be extra careful about keeping their doors locked.

"I didn't expect things like that to happen, but that really rang my alarm, and I think I should pay more attention to that," said Candy Huang.

Police released a sketch of the suspect (above). Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

-- Checkey Beckford contributed to this report. 

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<![CDATA[NYPD Disbands Unit That Spied on Muslims]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 01:55:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nypd-Surveillance-Muslims.jpg

The New York Police Department says it has disbanded a special unit whose efforts to try to detect terror threats in Muslim communities through secret surveillance sparked outrage.

The NYPD confirmed the decision on Tuesday.

The surveillance program by the NYPD Intelligence Division had come under fire by community activists who accused the department of abusing civil rights.

The program relied on plainclothes officers to eavesdrop on people in bookstores, restaurants and mosques. The tactic was detailed in a series of stories by The Associated Press and became the subject of two federal lawsuits.

The NYPD's decision to disband the unit was first reported in The New York Times.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Driving Bus Full of Drunk Teens: Cops]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:32:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Luis-A-Guevara-Henriquz.jpg

A Long Island man is accused of endangering the welfare of a child after officers found 42 drunk teens, beer and booze on the bus he was driving Monday night, police said. 

State police received a 911 call at 9:30 p.m. Monday reporting screaming at the Sunrise Highway rest area in Southampton. Police arrived to find 42 teens, ages 16 and 17, in "various stages of intoxication," and more than 100 cans of beer and "several gallons of various opened and empty whiskey and rum bottles" on the bus, state police said.  

The bus driver, Luis A. Guevara-Henriquz, 26, of Hempstead, was arrested. The teens, all students from the Sewanhaka Central High School District in western Nassau County, were turned over to relatives.

The bus, a Coachman limousine from Farmingdale, left Garden City earlier that evening and was bound for Montauk, police said. 

The teens were on the bus that night because a parent of one of the students had rented it for the junior prom in March but the bus had a mechanical issue at the time, said Trooper Frank Bandiero, a spokesman for the state police. The bus company offered the students this trip to make good on that junior prom booking, Bandiero said.  

Guevara-Henriquz was given a desk appearance ticket and is due in Southampton Town Court at a later date. The Suffolk County District Attorney's office did not have information on the suspect's lawyer. No one answered the door at Guevara-Henriquz's home, and the bus company had no comment. 

The Long Island Limousine Association says while Coachman is not a member of its organization, industry standards call for companies to sign contracts with parents in situations were teens are being transported, and the fine print always bans alcohol for underage riders. It is typically the driver's responsibility to enforce the rules. 

Marge Lee, whose son died in a drunk driving accident years ago and now teaches teens about the consequences of underage drinking through an organization called Dedicatedd, says the driver should have stepped up.

"If he knew these kids were drinking, then he should be responsible," she said. "He's culpable. He's the adult on the bus." 

But West Hempstead resident Cathy Farrell said the parents should be held responsible. 

Investigators are looking into who bought the alcohol and whether anyone else can be charged, police said. More charges are pending in the ongoing investigation.

"I feel anger, disappointment, fear for the children's safety," said Lee. "These kids get off that party buss and they're drunk out of their minds -- what's to stop them from stepping in the street and being killed?"

-- Greg Cergol and Brynn Gingras contributed to this report. 

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<![CDATA[Wanted Serial Manhattan Bank Robber Identified: Cops]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:20:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bank+robbery+suspect1.jpg
The NYPD has released a photo of a suspect wanted in connection with at least seven Manhattan bank robberies, including three in the last week.

They say the suspect, identified as James Walton, allegedly struck banks in Greenwich Village, the Flatiron district, midtown and the Upper East Side and Upper West Side.

In each case, police say he passes a note to the teller and demands cash. To date, the suspect has gotten away with about $3,400, authorities said.

The first bank robbery occurred on March 6. The most recent one was on Monday.

Anyone with information about Walton or the robberies is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800 577-TIPS.


Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[School Janitor Accused of Raping Teen in School]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:43:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/back+to+school+hallway.jpg

A janitor at a school in Brooklyn is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl inside the school where he worked, police say.

Hernan Zapata, 51, was arrested and charged with rape, assault and unlawful imprisonment after the alleged attack Friday.

Police say the girl was a former student and was at the school to meet someone. The janitor offered to let her inside and took her to an office where he allegedly assaulted her.
   
Police have not released the name of the school.

The Department of Education released a statement saying Zapata has been been terminated and had been hired by a custodian as a cleaner.

Zapata was not a DOE employee, according to the statement, and will not be able to work at a DOE facility again.

Information on an attorney for Zapata was not immediately available.

--Jonathan Dienst contributed to this story

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<![CDATA[NYC EMT Arrested for Alleged Weapons Cache]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:58:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/EMT+ARRESTED+2.jpg

A New York City EMT was arrested after officers responding to a domestic dispute at his Brooklyn home found incendiary devices and other weapons, police say. 

Authorities say 29-year-old Victor Cadicamo was arrested Thursday morning on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and harassment. 

It wasn't immediately clear if Cadicamo had an attorney. 

The suspect's wife, also an EMT with FDNY, had called 911 after 9 a.m. to report her husband was threatening her with a gun, police said. The couple's toddler child was in the Brighton Beach house with them. 

Responding officers found and confiscated two pipe bombs, five handguns and two rifles, authorities said. The building was evacuated as a precaution.

Neighbors who waited outside for seven hours while authorities went in were stunned by the allegations.

"We can't believe this. He's a nice guy," said Yasir Ullah.

Ullah said when his family first moved into the neighborhood, Cadicamo had told his father-in-law he had a gun. Ullah assumed Cadicamo was a police officer and says had no idea he had a cache containing so much firepower. 

"I'm really scared for everyone, it's unexpected," he said. 

-- Brynn Gingras contributed to this report. 



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[5 Accused in Drug Ring That Used Day Care as Cover]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:48:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Sweet+Home.JPG
Five alleged drug traffickers are under arrest and accused of stashing drugs, cash and guns in homes where day care businesses operated and children played.
 
Officials say traffickers sent packages of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York City, usually between 10 and 22 pounds per month. In one shipment, postal inspectors found more than 2 pounds of cocaine wrapped in SpongeBob SquarePants bedding.
 
The organization stashed its drugs and cash at a home in the Bronx that was also used as a day care called Fun World Childcare, authorities said.  
 
The location was raided in September 2013, and agents say they found more than 2 pounds of cocaine, 1,000 oxycodone pills and $15,250 in cash. Some of the cocaine was hidden in a child's "Hot Wheels" lunch bag, prosecutors said.
 
A handgun, cash and a drug scale were found at a stash house across the street, authorities said. 
 
The Bronx couple who lived in the home were arrested in September.
 
New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said the alleged ringleader of the operation was arrested Thursday at a home in the Bronx, where a second day care center operated under the name Sweet Home. Authorities also found $7,500 in cash in a bedroom there.
 
"Day care centers are considered safe houses not stash houses, which is what these drug dealers used to traffic and store illegal narcotics," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement. "Thanks to the efforts of the investigators in this case, the leaders of this sophisticated drug-smuggling operation have been brought to justice.”
 
Two other defendants were arrested Thursday.
 
Those in custody face a range of charges, including conspiracy, money laundering and endangering the welfare of a child. 

 

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<![CDATA[Body Found Behind Long Island Grocery Store: Police]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:33:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/supermarket+body+2.jpg

Homicide detectives are investigating after a body was found behind a grocery store on Long Island late Wednesday, police say.

Officers discovered the body after getting a call to a Waldbaums supermarket in Huntington around 11 p.m., according to Suffolk County police. An arson squad truck was at the scene. 

It’s not immediately clear how the person died.

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<![CDATA[Worker Finds Child Porn on Laptop Brought for Repair]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:39:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/generic+laptop.jpg

A 61-year-old man was arrested after he brought his laptop to a Best Buy and a technician found "very disturbing" sexually explicit photographs of young girls on the computer, authorities said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Wednesday that the Queens man brought the computer to the Best Buy in Long Island City on March 26, and a technician began working on it April 1.

When the tech booted up the computer, he saw a slideshow of young girls in sexual poses and engaging in sex acts with adult men, the DA said.

Brown said detectives went to the man's home and he admitted he had been exchanging child pornography for about five years.

He is charged with 15 counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Raid NYC Drug Ring Accused in Murders]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:02:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gang+drug+takedown.jpg

Dozens of suspects were arrested Tuesday in a multi-agency raid of an alleged drug ring in the Bronx believed to be responsible for trafficking narcotics that reached a SUNY campus upstate and had members accused in several gang-related murders.

Law enforcement officers were seen entering buildings in the Webster and Gouverneur Morris houses in the early morning hours Tuesday amid pouring rain. Investigators said one goal of the raids was to crack down on crimes in and around city public housing units.

Some of the more than 40 suspects arrested are expected to face charges in five different slayings, according to law enforcement officials. Nearly two dozen others expected to be charged this week are already behind bars.

Some members of the alleged drug ring are believed to be gang members belonging to a breakaway Bloods crew that calls itself the "Macballas," notorious for at least two high-profile killings, including that of an innocent high school student in 2006. The victim, 18-year-old Samantha Guzman, was hit by a stray bullet, and her death became a segment for "America's Most Wanted."

Crew members are also accused of sending 14-year-old Shalliver Douse to carry out a hit on a rival. In exchange, gang leaders allegedly promised the boy he could join the Macballas. Douse was later killed that night in a shootout with police.

Other suspects arrested Tuesday are accused of running a cocaine trafficking ring. Law enforcement officials said the investigation shows some of the drugs went through intermediaries and then were sold on the SUNY Binghamton campus.

Yet other suspects are linked to a June 2012 kidnapping where a victim was found alive inside the trunk of a car in Yonkers.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson’s office was expected to detail the arrests Wednesday morning.

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<![CDATA[Girl, 13, Groped on Subway, Then Followed Out of Station: Cops]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 06:57:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Subway-Groping-Suspect.jpg

Police are looking for a man who groped a 13-year-old girl on a Bronx-bound subway train late last month.

The girl got on a 4 train at the 125th Street Station in Harlem on March 26, and was approached by a man wearing a black coat, according to the NYPD. As the train continued into the Bronx, the man forcibly touched the girl.

The girl and suspect both got off of the train at 161st Street in the Concourse Village neighborhood, according to police, and went separate ways.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stole Long Island Girlfriend's Cash, Jewelry: Police]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 06:57:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs12.jpg

Police arrested a Manhattan man who they say stole more than $20,000 in jewelry and $15,000 cash from his girlfriend's safe while she was away from her Long Island home.

Jason Batista, 27, is charged with second-degree burglary after the money and jewelry were taken from a safe in his 30-year-old girlfriend’s home in Oceanside on Monday, according to Nassau County police.

The safe was broken into after Batista returned the girlfriend’s car to the home, police say. The culprit likely got into the house using a duplicate key.

Batista will be arraigned Wednesday in Hempstead, police say. It is not clear if he has an attorney.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Upstate NY Robbery, Beating Suspect Arrested in NYC: Police]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 07:15:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs31.jpg

One of three upstate men who beat and stripped a victim during a robbery late last year was arrested early Monday in the Bronx, state police say.

Police tracked down Augustin Torres, 43, at an apartment on East 152nd Street after a months-long hunt in connection to the gang assault and robbery in Orange County, according to the New York State Police.

Torres is suspected in the robbery on Oct. 9 in Circleville, where three suspects severely beat and disrobed a victim while filming the attack. One of the suspects posted the videos to YouTube for a short time before removing it from the site.

The other two suspects, Naeem Akbar and Corrina Montalvo, were both arrested shortly after the attack, police say.

Torres is being held in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or a $75,000 bond. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.



Photo Credit: nbc10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Handcuffed Suspect Escapes Custody in Brooklyn: NYPD]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:57:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/prisoner+escapes.jpg

Police are searching for a handcuffed suspect who escaped from a police car that was parked in Brooklyn Monday evening.

Daniel Thomas, 26, escaped while the vehicle was parked on Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues in Prospect Heights, according to police.

He was in handcuffs when he ran away, police. 

He's described as being about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and was last seen wearing a white shirt, a jacket with gold zippers and two gold earrings in each ear. 

Police haven't released the charges on which Thomas had been arrested.

It wasn't clear where he was being taken when he escaped.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[NYPD Answering Calls for Help in Haiti]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:49:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nypd+haiti+2.jpg

Each day, Cleavens Dechatelier puts on the NYPD uniform, not to go to his usual precinct in Manhattan but to patrol the streets of Port-au-Prince in Haiti 1,500 miles away, along with five other officers.

"I feel like I'm home," said Dechatelier, recalling his childhood in Haiti.

The job is a homecoming of sorts for the officer, who lives in Harlem and works in Washington Heights. He watched from afar the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010 that killed nearly 300,000 people. He went to Haiti for a few days that year to check on relatives, and cried about what he saw.

Four years later, the NYPD gave him a chance to help train Haiti's police force.

The department rotates officers into Haiti for four months at a time to help grow and professionalize a national police force in a country plagued by violence, homelessness and corruption.

NYPD Lieutenant Yvan Pierre-Louis is leading one rotation of officers in the country which, like Dechatelier, he once called home.

“The key of this thing is the language. I’m Haitian. I speak Creole. I know the culture. They welcome me,” Pierre-Louis said.

At the rebuilt Haitian National Police academy, six NYPD officers lead classes, teaching Haitian officers policing strategies. Then the NYPD officers go out alongside the HNP officers, patrolling everything from street markets to mountain neighborhoods to the tent cities, where more than 140,000 Haitians are living four years after the earthquake. At its worst, the tents were housing more than a million people just after the earthquake.

“Each tent that you see, there are families that you see. Children, fathers, mothers, that’s what they call home,” said NYPD Officer Herve Francois.

The NYPD and HNP officers also try to get homeless children off the streets each day and into schools and community centers, where the kids can learn and be safe, at least for a few hours. The NYPD officers take turns going to the centers to help mentor the children.

“The kids want to learn but they don’t have the means,” said Detective Barthold Alexander, a 19-year NYPD veteran. “It’s painful to see the conditions they are under, and yet they are still motivated to learn.”

One day, officers found a teenager named Yasmine on the side of the road, selling bits of charcoal to try to help her mother after her father died. The community police officers shared Yasmine’s story with a nearby private school, and the school agreed to take her in.

“As a result of prayer, God sent the officers to me so my daughter can go to school," Yasmine's mother said.

The centers also offer a refuge for the disabled.

"In the States, we have social services. Here, they don't," said Detective Kethly Jean, whose parents immigrated from Haiti. "They don't have that social service. If we could do just one thing that can help them."

The program, which is funded by the State Department, was started by former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and is now being continued by current Commissioner Bill Bratton.

NYPD officers have also helped to set up anti-crime units, and the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti credits the NYPD training program for a major drop in kidnapping-for-ransom cases across the country. In another case, NYPD officers helped catch robbers who were killing motorcycle drivers in order to steal the bikes and sell them elsewhere. The case was particularly gruesome: police had found 14 bodies in a field.

And with help from the State Department, NYPD officers are also helping Haiti set up sex crime units to deal with cases of violence and rape, crimes that in the past often went unaddressed.

“We are dealing with a culture that has for a long time ignored the fact that rape and incest is a crime. Now we have come a long way,” said Venancia Colon, who serves as the gender-based adviser for the HNP.

Resources remain a constant concern, as there are no rape kits or DNA testing, but police are now treating the reports seriously. In one recent afternoon, three alleged rape victims came to one police station to file complaints.

One HNP Commissioner said NYPD officers are helping local police gain public trust after years where military officers were seen as uncaring and abusive.

“It was a kind of fear, a kind of distance between the police and the population,” said Commissioner Michel-Ange Gedeon. “Now we are trying to build that relation thanks to these guys, thanks to this program.”

U.S. Ambassador Pamela White says Haiti has come a long way since 2010: a lot of rubble has been removed, roads and schools are being rebuilt, many parts of Port-au-Prince are bustling again. She credits the work of the NYPD for help making the city safer.

“They are miracle workers," she said.

“They really know what they are doing... It is, ‘We are going to make this police force better,’ and they have,” said White.

The volunteer NYPD officers live in secure housing, but they work the streets where roads are still not paved, where there is no running water or electricity, and where injury and illness are a concern. They're away from their families in New York for months at a time. But they're driven by a need to help in a country to which many of them have personal connections.

“It was my dream after the earthquake to come back and try to give back to the country, to try to help out," said Dechatelier.

The officers know Haiti continues to improve. But they they also know there is so much more work to be done.

"We know we are not going to solve all their problems tomorrow but sometimes that little thing -- just stop and say 'hi' and ask, 'How is your day going? How was your night? How did you do on the streets? How did you eat?'" said Dechatelier.

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<![CDATA[Convicted Sex Offender on Run for Decades Caught in Pa.]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:58:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/barclay+mug.jpg
The New Jersey State Police say they've arrested a convicted sex offender on the state's "most wanted" list who has been on the run for more than two decades.  

The agency's fugitive unit arrested James Wade Barclay in Pennsylvania on Saturday after a multi-agency investigation.  

Police say Barclay has been at large since his 1989 arrest in Cinnaminson Township on charges he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old multiple times over two years.  

Barclay pleaded guilty to the charges but failed to appear for sentencing in September 1991, according to police.  

Police learned in recent weeks that Barclay had allegedly been using the alias James C. Toryone and been working as a tractor-trailer driver.  

He's been held in a Somerset County jail on $5 million bail, awaiting extradition to New Jersey.  

It's not clear if he has an attorney.


Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Bites FiDi Subway Sex Attack Suspect: NYPD ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:58:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Sex-Assault-Suspect-Fulton-Street.jpg

Detectives are looking for the man who tried to rape a 21-year-old woman in a Financial District subway station last week, dragging her toward an elevator and saying, “I just want to love you baby” before she was able to escape by biting him, the NYPD says.

The woman told police the man approached her as she walked up to the turnstile at the Fulton Street station around 11 p.m. March 31, authorities say.

The suspect came up from behind, grabbed her by her neck and covered her mouth.

The woman started screaming and bit the man's hand as he tried to drag her toward the elevator; she also managed to kick an emergency intercom button by the elevator door. The suspect let her go and ran off.

The woman wasn’t injured during the assault, police say.

Authorities released surveillance video (above) of the suspect fleeing after the attack.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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<![CDATA[Boy Who Started Fire That Hurt Cops Was "Bored": NYPD]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:42:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/coney+teen+blur.jpg

A 16-year-old boy arrested in connection with a Coney Island fire that critically injured two NYPD officers and hurt several others allegedly said he started the fire because he was bored, police say.

The boy, Marcell Dockery, was arrested Monday on assault, reckless endangerment and arson charges following the Sunday fire on the 13th floor of an apartment building on Surf Avenue. He was awaiting arraignment Tuesday, and information on an attorney for him wasn't immediately available.

The blaze originated from a mattress in the building, firefighters say. Police say the teenager told detectives he tried to put out the fire and warn residents as the flames spread.

Officers Dennis Guerra, 38, and Rosa Rodriguez, 36, were responding to the fire shortly after noon when the elevator they were in got stuck and filled with smoke, police say. 

The officers were found unconscious and were taken to area hospitals in critical condition. Both officers, who are members of the force's housing bureau, remained in critical condition early Tuesday and are being treated for smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Five other people suffered minor injuries, including two firefighters, authorities said.

NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster said while there is no uniform protocol for officers responding to fires, "The NYPD's primary objective when responding to any emergency is to protect life and property. In situations involving a fire, officers will warn and assist occupants in the evacuation of the building and take other actions if necessary to preserve life." 

The department is reviewing its response protocols to fires, Royster said. 

"Today is another sobering reminder of the dangers that face all our first responders," Mayor de Blasio, who appeared at a press conference with Bratton, said Sunday.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Disciplined in Deadly Shooting of Guardsman]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 06:57:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/noel+polanco+inset+copy.jpg

An NYPD detective who shot and killed a National Guardsman during a traffic stop in Queens in October 2012 was hit Thursday with departmental charges for the young man's death, according to police officials.

The NYPD charged Detective Hassan Hamdy with "failure to employ proper tactics that caused a civilian's death."  In February, a grand jury cleared Hamdy of any wrongdoing in the death of 22-year-old Noel Polanco, who was shot after being pulled over on the Grand Central Parkway. 

Sgt. Thomas Glaudino, who supervised Hamdy's Emergency Service Unit team, was charged with  "failure to supervise his team" by the NYPD. 

Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster says the department will initiate an "internal disciplinary process, which may result in adjudication by the Department Advocate's office."

"The final decision regarding penalties will rest solely with the Police Commissioner," said Royster.

Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association called the NYPD decision to charge the detective and sergeant in the case "Monday morning quarterbacking."

Law enforcement sources say the reason for the disciplinary charges now is that the NYPD has only 18 months by law to pursue such charges. Friday marks 18 months since the incident. 

Detectives Endowment Association president Michael Palladino said he hoped to meet with Commissioner Bratton to clarify the charges. 

When she learned the NYPD was pursuing departmental charges against Hamdy, Polanco's mother Cecilia Reyes said, "I feel he's dangerous, and I don't want anyone to deal with the pain we had to endure."

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my son. And I miss my son so much," she said. 

Mullins said, "I feel sorry for the family, but just because this occurred doesn't mean the officer did anything wrong." 

Reyes recently won a $2.5 million settlement from the city. 

Polanco was on his way home to Corona from his job at the Ice Lounge in Astoria on Oct. 4, and had offered a ride to a colleague, bartender Diana D'Ferrari, and another woman, who was an off-duty police officer, according to law enforcement sources.

As they headed home on the Grand Central Parkway, Polanco, who had aspirations of becoming a cop, was pulled over after cutting off what turned out to be an unmarked police van.

When Polanco stopped the car, Hamdy, then a 12-year veteran assigned to the Emergency Services Unit, approached the vehicle and asked him to show his hands, according to police. 

The detective fired a single shot through the passenger-side window and hit Polanco in the stomach. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

It's not clear what prompted the detective to fire the shot. Sources said Hamdy may have thought Polanco was reaching for a gun under his seat. But D'Ferrari, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, said his hands were on the steering wheel "at all times" and that the officers were angry when they pulled him over. 

No gun was recovered from the car.

The off-duty police officer in the car, who was in the back seat, told investigators she was asleep at the time.

 

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<![CDATA[Woman, 70, Attacked at Park Slope Subway Station: NYPD]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 06:58:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/park-slope-attack.jpg

Police are looking for the man who punched a 70-year-old woman in the head at a Park Slope subway station Sunday morning.

The woman was waiting for an R train at the Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street station around 10:45 a.m. when she was attacked, police say. The man left the station after the assault.

It’s not clear if the woman was seriously injured in the attack.

Police released surveillance images of the suspect (above).

Anyone with information about the attack should contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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<![CDATA[NY Parents Put Tens of Thousands of Heroin Bags on Street: DA]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:34:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/holstville.JPG

A Long Island couple are being accused of dealing vast amounts of heroin from their home with as many as 10 children in the house at a given time, Suffolk County's district attorney says. 

Kelly Mullen, 29, and her husband, Aaron Smith, 57, are accused of drug trafficking, conspiracy and other charges. According to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, the couple's Holtsville home served as the main distribution point for heroin pickups by drug dealers in at least seven Long Island neighborhoods and was the source from which tens of thousands of bags of heroin ended up on the street. 

The bags were often overflowing to encourage customer loyalty, Spota said, and business was constant.

"As many as five dealers a day came to this house, where five to 10 children live at any given time, to pick up their heroin," Spota said in a statement. 

Spota said that when authorities executed a search warrant at the couple's Holtsville home, they found bags of heroin scattered about, including some left near the crib where their daughter slept.

Details of the charges against Mullen, Smith and the other defendants are expected to be outlined Thursday.

Information on an attorney for Mullen or Smith wasn't immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>