<![CDATA[NBC New York - Local News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:57:49 -0400 Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:57:49 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cop Driving in Deadly Crash Had .24 BAC: Sources]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:14:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Pedro-Abad-Wreck-Inset.jpg

The New Jersey police officer who hit a tractor-trailer head-on on a Staten Island highway last month, killing a fellow officer and a friend and critically injuring a third cop, had a blood alcohol content of .24 percent, three times the legal limit, law enforcement sources say. 

Authorities had obtained a warrant to test Pedro Abad Jr.'s blood-alcohol content following the March 20 wrong-way crash on the West Shore Expressway. 

The NYPD, who's investigating the crash, had no comment on the toxicology results. A message was left with the Linden police officers' union, and Abad's lawyer had no comment, saying only his client was in the process of hiring a new attorney. 

Abad, 27, was driving his fellow officers and friend on the wrong side of the expressway on the way back from a strip club when his vehicle slammed into the tractor-trailer, authorities said. 

Hours before the crash, Abad had posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with what he identified as "Jack Daniels Fire on the house." Authorities said at the time it was "too premature" to speculate on what caused the accident. 

Public records show Abad has been involved in eight accidents since 2005 and has two arrests for drunken driving in the last four years.

Abad was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, which killed fellow Linden officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joseph Rodriguez.

Patrik Kudlac, another Linden cop riding in Abad's Honda, was also hospitalized in critical condition after the crash. 

The Union County prosecutor's office has said it would hand off the probe into the driving record and employment history of Abad to avoid the perception of any conflicts of interest. The state attorney general's office said the investigation will be handled by the Middlesex County prosecutor's office.

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<![CDATA[Freeze Potential Overnight, Sunny Saturday]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:31:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cold-Weather-NYC-Generic-213.jpg

A freeze warning has been issued for parts of the area as temperatures plummet into the 30s overnight, and while it will warm up slightly with the sunshine Saturday, the weekend will remain mainly brisk, Storm Team 4 says. 

It starts with a clear but breezy Friday evening. Spectators attending the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium should bring jackets: when the first pitch is thrown, it will be 49 degrees with a real feel of 41 degrees. By the time the late innings roll around, it will be 45 degrees but feel like 36 with the winds. 

Then temperatures plummet overnight into the 30s across the tri-state, including in New York City. Freeze warnings have been issued for the interior parts of New Jersey west and south of the city, while suburbs north and northeast of the city, like Fairfield, are under a freeze watch. Suffolk is also under a freeze watch. Sensitive plants should be covered, Storm Team 4 says. 

Track freeze warnings and other severe weather alerts here

Saturday morning starts out chilly in the 30s and 40s, and any outdoor activity will require a heavier jacket. But strong late-April sunshine will send afternoon temperatures into the lower 60s, and while a few clouds will mix in with the sun from time to time and it will be breezy, Saturday will be nice overall. 

A storm system will track south of the tri-state Saturday night into Sunday morning, spreading a shield of clouds into Sunday. Most of the showers should stay south, but the skies may never turn as nice as Saturday's. Another disturbance will drop down from the north, touching off a few sprinkles later in the day. 

The wait will be worth it, Storm Team 4 says: some superb spring weather is in store beginning Tuesday afternoon, with temperatures in the 60s and plenty of sunshine. Wednesday could even reach close to 70. 

Long-term computer models are hinting that this persistent chilly pattern will finally break by mid-May, according to Storm Team 4. 



Photo Credit: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Driver Charged in NJ Crash That Killed Passenger]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:32:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/emerson+crash+nj.jpg

The 17-year-old driver whose SUV crashed and flipped over multiple times into a yard in New Jersey, killing a passenger, has been charged in the deadly crash, prosecutors announced Friday. 

The driver, who prosecutors are not naming because the driver is being charged as a juvenile, was going at a "reckless" high rate of speed on Hasbrouck Avenue in Emerson late Wednesday night when the driver lost control at Chestnut Street, Bergen County prosecutors say. 

The 2008 Nissan Pathfinder flipped several times, leaving the street and coming to a rest on the driver's side in someone's yard, prosecutors said. As the vehicle was flipping, front seat passenger Stephanie Morgan, 18, was ejected from the vehicle. 

Morgan was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The driver and a 15-year-old back seat passenger were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries, prosecutors said. 

The driver is being charged with a complaint of juvenile delinquency that, if committed by an adult, would constitute second-degree vehicular homicide, prosecutors said. 

The driver also faces various traffic violations. 

Morgan, of Emerson, was just about to graduate from Emerson Junior Senior High School.



Photo Credit: Marko Georgiev/NorthJersey.com]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Today in New York]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:29:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NBC-4-NewYork-Watch-NOW.jpg

NBC 4 New York streams live every Saturday.

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<![CDATA[NJ Jewelry Store Owner Fights Violent Robber]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:23:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/jewelry+store+owner+fights+back.jpg

A New Jersey jewelry store owner didn't back down when a robber brutally punched and beat him Tuesday night, instead fighting back in a fierce showdown captured on surveillance video.

Police said the suspect, Edgardo Cuevas, walked into Tony's Jewelers in Clifton pretending to be a customer and then when the 65-year-old owner, Tony Markar, turned his back, pounced. 

Cuevas is seen on surveillance video lunging over the counter to snatch expensive jewelry, and then repeatedly punching Markar. 

"He was intent on getting that jewelry one way or another at any expense," said Clifton Police Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken. 

"Obviously from the video, it's very graphic, violent, startling," he said. 

But Markar didn't back down, and he gave back as good as got, the video shows.

"I think it was just a reaction," said Bracken. "He wasn't about to let anybody take anything from his store." 

The face-off was so violent the two shattered the counter's glass. As a last-ditch effort, the alleged robber jumped on top of the counter and appeared to put the owner into a headlock as he grabbed for more jewelry. 

The owner's wife, who had been Skyping with him, watched the terrifying scene play out from a computer screen in the back. 

"He was in the middle of speaking with her, she was in another store in another town and she watched the whole incident occur," said Bracken. 

The ordeal finally ended when the suspect ran from the store. Police were able to get a good enough look at the suspect and recognized an old mugshot of Cuevas from 2009. Cuevas was arrested in Clifton Thursday night. 

Attorney information for Cuevas wasn't immediately available. 

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<![CDATA[Statue of Liberty Reopens After Bomb Scare]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:56:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Suspicious-Package-Liberty-Island-Statue.jpg

The Statue of Liberty reopened Saturday after a security scare forced thousands of tourists off Liberty Island on Friday.

The island was deemed safe Friday afternoon, about 90 minutes after the attraction was evacuated over a phoned-in bomb threat and reports of a suspicious package, authorities said.

Tourists were ferried off of the island after parks police patrolling with dogs near a locker area picked up the scent of a suspicious package shortly before 1 p.m., sources say. Around that same time, sources say, someone phoned in a bomb threat to the statue. 

The NYPD's bomb squad was called to the scene and authorities conducted a security sweep of the area. An all-clear was issued at about 2:30 p.m.

The scare set off a massive evacuation effort, and Statue Cruises said it transported 2,700 people from the island. Some had to leave behind their belongings during the evacuation; Statue Cruises said it will work with the National Park Service to return them to their owners. 

Several passengers who were ferried to Battery Park told NBC 4 New York they weren't told why they had to leave. Others had to stay on ferries during the investigation.

"We were all sitting in the boat, no one would tell us anything," one passenger said.

Visitors tweeted photos of long lines at a pier on Liberty Island. Many said the evacuation from Liberty Island was orderly but nerve-racking.

"It was past frustration -- it was nerve-wracking because you never know," said one visitor. "Did somebody decide to do something to the Statue of Liberty?" 

Liberty Island will reopen to the public Saturday. Ferry ticket holders who were held back can contact Statue Cruises to rebook or receive a refund. 



Photo Credit: @flyingtigers/Twitter
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Arrested After Putting Officer in Choke Hold]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:08:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/officer+headlock+video.jpg

A 17-year-old high school student is facing a string of charges after a confrontation during which he put a police officer in a choke hold that, according to police, nearly caused the officer to lose consciousness.

The struggle, recorded on video by several witnesses, occurred Tuesday night at a Burger King on Main Street, which police say is a known hangout – and trouble spot – for teens who have brawled there before. The incident began inside the restaurant and moved outside.

A video of the incident obtained by NBC Connecticut begins with the altercation between Officer Roberto Maldonado and the teen. It's unclear what happened in advance, but the officer can be seen yanking the teen out of the restaurant. Then, when the two are next visible, the teen appears to have the officer in a headlock.

Once Maldonado is free of the choke hold, he orders the teen to the ground, hits him with a baton and further subdues him with pepper spray, according to the video.

Police said the teen has been charged with assaulting an officer and inciting a riot.

Maldonado, a 16-year veteran of the police force, has not returned to work as a result of his injuries, according to Hartford police.

Although police said no complaints have been filed against Maldonado, the department has launched an internal investigation into the incident and are asking witnesses to come forward.

Both the suspect and the officer are Hispanic.

Burger King declined to comment Thursday evening.



Photo Credit: Submitted]]>
<![CDATA[Worker Killed in Midtown Crane Accident: FDNY]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:30:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Midtown-Crane-Accident.jpg

A construction worker was killed in a crane accident at a work site in midtown Manhattan, fire officials said Friday

A hydraulic system on a crane failed and pinned the worker between the crane's boom and a truck shortly before noon at  a hotel construction site on 219 E. 44th Street between Second and Third avenues, the FDNY said.

City officials said the worker had difficulty transporting materials with the crane. When he went to check out the problem, he became pinned by the truck's boom, and the weight of the machinery crushed him. 

Authorities did not name the worker pending family notification. 

Fernando Bajanadiaz, who works nearby, said the worker was a familiar face in the neighborhood.

"He's one of the main guys at the construction site next door, good man," he said. 

A 35-story, mixed-use building including a hotel and 240 dwelling units was being constructed on the site, according to Department of Buildings records. Officials say the problem appeared to be with the truck, not the building. 

-- Sheldon Dutes contributed to this report 

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<![CDATA[Classmates Turn in Teen Wanted in Rape Attempt: NYPD]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:41:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

Police say the teenage suspect wanted in a rape attempt of a 15-year-old girl in an apartment stairwell in the Bronx has been arrested after his classmates identified him to safety officers at school Thursday morning. 

The 17-year-old boy followed the girl into an apartment building on Hoffman Street in Belmont on Wednesday afternoon, according to police. When they reached the fifth floor, he allegedly grabbed the victim from behind, brought her to the ground and tried to rape her.

The girl fought the assailant off, but the suspect took her iPhone before leaving the scene.

After his picture was released to media, his classmates at The Eagle Academy in the Bronx identified him when he arrived at school, police said. NYPD school safety agents took the teen into custody and notified detectives.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at a news briefing Friday, "His classmates surrounded him and pointed him out for us, saying 'that's him, that's him.'"

Darrien Warren was interviewed by police and charged with attempted rape in Wednesday's incident. Police additionally linked him to a forcible touching incident on May 9, 2014, in which he allegedly grabbed an 11-year-old girl's buttocks as she was exiting the elevator of her building. 

Boyce said the teen admitted to the May 2014 groping. 

It wasn't immediately clear if the teen had an attorney. He was expected to face a judge Friday evening. 

The Eagle Academy said in a statement: "We are very proud that our young men have shown through their actions that they will not tolerate alleged criminal behavior. These young men are committed to building safe streets and safe communities. This is what we teach, promote and stand for at The Eagle Academy for Young Men Schools."

-- Marc Santia contributed to this report 

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<![CDATA[Bison Herd Shot After Stampeding Through Upstate NY Towns]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:29:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/buffalobuffalobuffalo.jpg

A herd of bison that stampeded through a string of upstate New York towns on Friday after it somehow got loose from a farm near Albany, has been shot.

The 15 creatures, two calves among them, traipsed through several backyards, trampled a fence and even crossed the New York State Thruway as they headed south, local NBC affiliate WNYT reported.

The animals had escaped from Gem Farms in Schodack, and authorities said all had been shot at Schodock Island State Park — a last resort, authorities told WNYT, since they would rather corral the beasts.

The bison were shot by people working for the family that owns the herd, according to WNYT. The son of the bison's owner told the station his family has been trying to corral loose bison for years, with little success.

Authorities were warning locals not to approach the animals, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

"Stay away. Just stay away from them," Bethlehem Police Lt. Thomas Heffernan said. "They’re large, unpredictable animals."

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<![CDATA[World War II Bomb Detonated at New Jersey Military Base]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:45:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/WWII-aa.jpg

The ground shook as an explosives team detonated a World War II bomb near a military base in Wrightstown, New Jersey. 

The unexploded ordnance was taken to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst after it was discovered on a college campus on Thursday. It was found at a construction site at Middlesex County College.

At the former Raritan Arsenal, the construction crew was warned in advance to be on the lookout for old ordnance. The search for ordnance has been an ongoing operation at this site and comes as no surprise to its residents.

The base says the 87th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team determined this ordnance was too dangerous. The 500-pound bomb had no fuse, but appeared to be packed with deterioriated explosives, according to the Air Force. 

The team safely blew it up at 11 p.m.

-- Brian Thompson contributed to this report



Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[NYPD Commissioner Bratton Thanks Swedish Cops]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:17:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/swedish+cops+bratton.jpg Police Commissioner Bill Bratton thanks four Swedish police officers vacationing in New York City for breaking up a fight on the subway.]]> <![CDATA[Fetus at NJ Recycling Center Not Able to Breathe: ME]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:36:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/ReCommunity+Recycling+Center+Camden+Fetus+Found.JPG

A female fetus found at a South Jersey recycling center was too immature to breathe.

On Friday, the Camden County Medical Examiner's office released its autopsy findings on the fetus found the previous afternoon at ReCommunity Camden on Mt. Ephraim Avenue in Camden.

"A medical examiner determined the fetus was not capable of breathing and died to extreme immaturity," said a release from the Camden County Prosecutors Office. "The age was determined to be approximately 19 weeks and the gender was female."

An employee found the fetus on a conveyor belt around 3 p.m. Thursday.

It wasn't clear where the fetus came from but the plant said that the truck that dropped it off likely did so earlier Thursday afternoon.

The fetus was mixed in with standard curbside recyclables including plastic bottles, cardboard and paper, said ReCommunity.

The recycling facility processes waste from across the region but most of the waste -- likely including the load where the fetus was found -- comes from South Jersey.

Anyone with information on the fetus should call Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Det. Edwin Berwick at (856) 225-8694 or Camden County Police Det. Randy Smith at (856) 757-7420.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Storm Team 4]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:04:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/StormTeam4_1B.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Crime and Courts]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:40:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gavel.jpg

Photo Credit: Martin Poole /Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Terrorized by "Wolf Man" Robber at Hair Salon]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:54:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/wolf+mask+robbery.jpg

A robber wearing a wolf mask pulled a knife on a woman and her child inside a Rockland County hair salon, and the mother says she's been so terrorized by the incident that she still has nightmares about the "wolf man." 

Emilia Moncayo and her 4-year-old daughter were inside the Kelly's Unisex Salon in Spring Valley last Tuesday when a man walked in wearing a wolf mask and gloves. Moncayo at first thought it was a prank but quickly realized the man was serious when he pulled out a knife and demanded money. 

Surveillance video shows the suspect pulling out a large kitchen knife from the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt as he hands Moncayo a backpack. Moncayo said she put $200 from her cash register inside the bag, and he left the store. 

Since the robbery, coming to work hasn't been easy for Moncayo.

"I'm scared that maybe he'll come back," she said, adding that she wakes up in the middle of the night because of "nightmares with the wolf man."

Anyone with information is asked to call Spring Valley Police at 845-356-7400. 

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<![CDATA[The Death of Eric Garner]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:48:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/eric+garner+death+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NY Couple Charged After Police Find Drugs, Baby in Car]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:14:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Heroin-Arrest-NY-Long-Island.jpg

A Long Island couple was arrested Thursday evening after police stopping them after an alleged drug deal say they found drugs in their car along with their 7-month-old daughter.

William Grover Campanaro, 28, and Koralynn M. Ingraham, 23, were cuffed after officers spotted them during what they think was a drug transaction on Church Lane in Middle Island, Suffolk County police say.

Officers pulled over the couple’s 2008 Volkswagen Jetta after the alleged buy and found that the couple had drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle along with their daughter, police say.

After they were arrested, Campanaro and Ingraham were taken to a precinct, where police say they discovered that Ingraham had allegedly falsely identified herself as her younger sister to avoid being arrested on an outstanding warrant.

While searching Campanaro, police allegedly found heroin.

Both Campanaro and Ingraham face charges drug, loitering and child endangerment charges. Ingraham was also charged with criminal impersonation.

Attorney information for the couple wasn't immediately available.

Their daughter was released to a family member and police say they notified Child Protective Services.

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<![CDATA[Cuomo: MTA to Get $1 Billion Loan for Commuter Train Upgrades]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:26:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000006911441_1200x675_434079299835.jpg Governor Cuomo announced the MTA is on track to receive a nearly $1 billion dollar federal loan for safety improvements meant to avoid a repeat of the 2013 derailment that killed four people. That’s great news for commuters but another billion in debt for an agency that’s already $15 billion dollars in the hole. Melissa Russo reports.]]> <![CDATA[Mudslide Leaves Elderly Yonkers Residents With Nowhere To Go]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:24:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/yonkers+mudslide+seniors+move.jpg Some senior citizens have been living in hotels or with family and friends for six weeks, ever since a mudslide left their apartment building unsafe. Now more than 100 of them have learned they're never going back to the homes some of them have lived in for decades. Lori Bordonaro reports. ]]> <![CDATA[Statue of Liberty Evacuated After Report of Suspicious Package]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:41:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fitch94.jpg The Statue of Liberty was evacuated Friday afternoon after someone called in a bomb threat and parks police reported a suspicious package, law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York.

Photo Credit: @fitch94/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Stole Dying NYC Fashion Exec's Identity: Police]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:31:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/chase+bank+fraud+suspect.jpg

A woman stole a New York City fashion executive's identity, withdrawing thousands of dollars from her bank account and opening credit cards in her name as she was dying of cancer, state police and relatives say. 

State Police say the woman pictured in the bank surveillance images fraudulently withdrew $9,200 from Kate Sullivan's account from Chase branches at Commack and Freeport on Long Island, and then opened several store cards in New Haven, Connecticut, to make nearly $4,000 in merchandise purchases. 

A woman identifying herself as Sullivan's sister posted the suspect's photos on her Facebook page, detailing how she uncovered the alleged fraud a week before Sullivan died last September.  

"When Kate was in the ICU I answered her phone, it was the bank manager in Long Island," Sarah Sullivan wrote. "He said a woman came in with a fake ID as Kate, and when he questioned her, she ran out." 

Because the suspect had already withdrawn money at another branch, the family moved immediately to shut down all of Kate Sullivan's accounts. 

"A few weeks after the funeral, I got Kate's mail and there were all these new store credit cards and bills, they had already been maxed," wrote Sarah Sullivan. "Somehow she had her Social Security number, address, last four digits of bank # and copied signature from her license." 

"I've had to fax death certificates and affidavits to all of the creditors and fly in to meet with the police and lots of other stuff I didn't need to deal with while I'm mourning my sister's death," she said. 

Kate Sullivan, 50, was a marketing executive who had worked for fashions designers like Kimora Lee Simmons and Diane von Furstenerg before her death from lung cancer on Sept. 28, Newsday reports. She lived in the Financial District. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police Troop L at 631-756-3393. 

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<![CDATA[3 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Box of Mangoes]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:07:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/box+of+mangoes.JPG

A man faces several drug charges after police say they found almost 3 pounds of cocaine hidden in a box of mangoes in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Police tell the Connecticut Post that they received a tip that Enrique Pineiro, 61, had just received a large shipment of drugs.

When they went to his home Thursday, his girlfriend told the police that the only package he had gotten was a box of mangoes from Puerto Rico.

Police opened the box and found 2.8 pounds of prepackaged cocaine.

Pineiro is charged with possession of more than a kilogram of cocaine with intent to sell. He was freed after posting a $50,000 bond.

Attempts to reach him for comment Friday morning were not successful. A listed phone number was no longer in service.



Photo Credit: FILE-Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Look for Suspect in Possible Midtown Hate Crime]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:04:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/possible+bias+attack+mn.jpg

Police are looking for a man suspected of attacking two people in Manhattan in what investigators say is a possible hate crime.

The victims two victims, a 27-year-old and a 32-year-old, were walking near Broadway and West 48th Street on April 12 when the suspect approached them, started shouting out slurs regarding their sexual orientation and attacked them, according to police.

The suspect fled and the victims refused medical attention on the scene.

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



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Dramatic Helmet Cam Video Shows Mansion Go Up in Flames]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:10:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/helmet+cam+video.jpg

Dramatic video from a firefighter's helmet cam captures a spectacular blaze in New Jersey as a mansion built in the 1880s goes up in flames.

The four-alarm fire Monday at the Rumson estate known as Blithewald illuminated the sky, with giant flames leaping from the structure as sparks flickered in front of the faces of firefighters battling the blaze inside. The helmet video shows the dangers they faced as they fought through thick smoke, flames and water for nearly six hours to get the blaze under control. 

Brett Murphy, a Sea Bright volunteer deputy fire chief, told NBC 4 New York, "It's what we signed up for." Murphy's brother was wearing the helmet cam that captured the dramatic video.

No injuries were reported and the blaze at the 22-room mansion built in 1883 has been ruled accidental, though prosecutors have yet to identify an exact cause. Firefighters from 10 departments responded.

Former Sea Bright fire chief Joe Eskridge says the helmet cam is "probably one of the best tools you can have besides water" when it comes to coordinating fire response and investigations.

Before it went up in flames, the mansion was being decorated by more than 40 interior designers and landscapers for a month-long home tour fundraiser on behalf of the Visiting Nurse Association of New Jersey.

A spokesman said the nonprofit is reviewing alternatives to meet its budget. According to the group's website, the mansion was referred to locally as the "Gatsby House" because F. Scott Fitzgerald was a friend of the owner in the late 1880s and visited frequently.

The house, which has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and sprawls across 4.3 acres of land, is currently owned by Thomas Widener, a Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. executive.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnant Woman Carjacked in Upscale NJ Neighborhood: Cops]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:37:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/millburn+scene+carjacking.jpg

A pregnant woman was carjacked on a commercial stretch of an upscale neighborhood in New Jersey Thursday, authorities said. 

A man in a hooded sweatshirt walked up to the woman, whom witnesses described as "very pregnant," in a lot on Millburn Avenue in Millburn, grabbed her keys and phone out of her hands and stole her car, a 2015 Mercedes Benz GL450, police said.

He then drove off, fleeing west on 124, leaving the woman in the lot.

A law enforcement source told NBC 4 New York no weapon was involved and the woman was not hurt. A real estate office and a nail salon are both in the area where she was carjacked. 

Authorities later found the carjacked vehicle in South Orange, a few towns away. The suspect, 21-year-old Jasil Jackson, of Springfield, was taken into custody and charged with carjacking and robbery. 

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



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 30 Percent of Express Buses Run Behind Schedule: Study]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 05:59:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/mta+generic.jpg

Hopping onto one of the city’s express buses may actually set you behind schedule, says a new study.

More than 30 percent of MTA express buses missed their scheduled departure times, according to an audit released by the New York City comptroller’s office.

The audit, which examined bus timelines, wheelchair functionality and customer satisfaction, found that commuters waited for buses anywhere between 6 to 28 minutes after the scheduled departure time.

Buses in Brooklyn and Staten Island ranked lowest in performance, according to the audit, which found that nearly 40 percent of complaints came from those boroughs. The worst offenders are Staten Island’s X1 and X17 buses, and Brooklyn’s BM1, X27 and X28 buses.

The MTA says it is working to correct issues brought to their attention by the study.

“Our goal with ALL of our buses is to achieve faster travel times, more evenly spaced arrivals, and overall better service for our customers,” said the agency in a statement.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Subway Attacker Left Man With Fractured Eye Socket: Police]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 05:03:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/alleged+a+train+assault.jpg

Police are looking for a man who they say attacked another man onboard a northbound A train in Brooklyn and left him with a fractured eye socket.

The suspect attacked the 28-year-old victim on the train as it entered the Utica Avenue subway station in Stuyvesant Heights Feb. 2 at about 1:30 a.m., according to police.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injury.

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



Photo Credit: NYPD ]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Recycling Center Employee Finds Fetus]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:36:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/ReCommunity+Recycling+Center+Camden+Fetus+Found.JPG

UPDATE: The medical examiner's office released its findings


An employee of a South Jersey recycling center found a fetus Thursday afternoon.

The employee made the grisly discovery at ReCommunity Camden on Mt. Ephraim Avenue in Camden, according to the Camden County Prosecutors Office.

The prosecutor's office and Camden County Police investigated the incident. Investigators couldn't determine the gender of the fetus.

It wasn't clear where the fetus came from but the plant said that the truck that dropped it off likely did so earlier Thursday afternoon.

The fetus was mixed in with standard curbside recyclables including plastic bottles, cardboard and paper, said ReCommunity.

The recycling facility processes waste from across the region but most of the waste -- likely including the load where the fetus was found -- comes from South Jersey.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Man Slapped Women's Buttocks While Riding Bike: Police]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:23:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bike+butt+slap.jpg

Police are looking for a man they say has been grabbing women’s buttocks while riding his bike in Queens.

The man allegedly slapped or grabbed three women in the rear end between 34th and 36th avenues in Long Island City earlier this month, police said.

The first incident happened April 2 at about 11 a.m. when the suspect approached the 33-year-old female victim while riding his bike and grabbed her buttocks in the area of 34-12 34th Avenue, according to police.

The second incident happened April 15 at about 8 p.m. Police say this time the suspect approached a 29-year-old female victim while riding his bike in the area of 35th Avenue and 41st Street and struck her in the buttocks with his hand.

The last incident happened at about 11 a.m. on April 16 when police say the suspect approached a 30-year-old female victim near 33-15 36th Avenue while riding his bike and struck her in the buttocks.

Police say the suspect was seen wearing a light blue rain jacket and a light blue and white baseball hat. They released a video of the suspect and ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Candy From China Makes Students Sick at Conn. School]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:42:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/weston+china+candy.jpg

Nine students and two school staff members in Weston, Connecticut, went to the hospital Thursday after eating candy brought back from a high school trip to China and reporting "a tingling in the mouth," according to the superintendent.

Supt. Colleen Palmer said the candy was shared Thursday among middle school students and staff. She explained in an email to parents that "some of the individuals experienced some discomfort" after eating the candy.

Palmer said the school nurse informed her of the illnesses around 1 p.m. Thursday. 

"It was reported to me as a tingling in the mouth initially," she explained in an interview.

All 11 students and staff were taken to the hospital as a precaution. Palmer said in an update email Thursday evening that everyone had been sent home and was feeling better.

"We are all relieved that our students and staff are safe and sound this evening. However, the events of today remind us that in our global society it is important to understand that the trustworthiness of every product we encounter may differ from that which we buy around the corner at our local stores," Palmer wrote in the follow-up email.

She said police will analyze the candy "as the very final safety check."

"I think it was shared with good will and innocence and unfortunately, it had a negative aftermath," Palmer told NBC Connecticut on Thursday night.

School officials are urging parents whose children have obtained the candy to contact the school and Weston Police Department.



Photo Credit: Weston Public Schools]]>
<![CDATA[SUV Flips Repeatedly After Teen Driver Loses Control, Kills Passenger: Cops]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:24:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/emerson+crash+nj.jpg

An 18-year-old New Jersey woman died after being ejected from an SUV that flipped over multiple times after the driver lost control and ended up in someone's yard, authorities said. 

Stephanie Morgan, of Emerson, died early Thursday, less than five hours after the Wednesday night accident near Hasbrouck Avenue and Chestnut Street in her hometown. 

Authorities say the 17-year-old driver lost control of the car as she was going north on Hasbrouck Avenue and the vehicle continued along the road, moving sideways, before it went off the street, flipped over, and kept flipping over until stopping in the yard.

Morgan was riding in the front passenger seat at the time of the accident; she was thrown out of the car the first time it flipped, when it left the roadway.

Neighbor Dorothy Macaluso, an ICU nurse, raced to help after she heard a "screeching sound and a large crash," but said she could tell Morgan would not make it. 

"My wish is for the family to know that she was not alone, she was comforted the best I could do," she said. "We tried to stabilize her to give her some time for her family to be notified, to at least see her alive." 

The 17-year-old driver and a 15-year-old boy who had been in the back seat of the Nissan Pathfinder managed to pull themselves out of the vehicle, which came to rest in someone's yard. They were both taken to hospitals to be evaluated and are expected to be OK.

The crash scene turned into a memorial Thursday for Morgan, who was just about to graduate from Emerson Junior Senior High School. Teddy bears and flowers lined a stretch of Hasbrouck Avenue. 

No charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.

-- Checkey Beckford contributed to this report 



Photo Credit: Marko Georgiev/NorthJersey.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed in Police Shooting Served in Military, Had 14 Arrests: NYPD]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:14:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Jamaica-Queens-Shooting-Inset.jpg

The 30-year-old man shot and killed by police officers during a foot chase in the Jamaica section of Queens Wednesday night has been identified as a Staten Island native who'd served in the military and had a lengthy arrest record, police say. 

Jonathan Efraim died when he was shot by police officers at 168th Street and Hillside Avenue, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. 

Boyce said Thursday the shooting appeared to be justified and called the officers' actions "courageous."

In a Thursday news conference detailing the shooting and the suspect's past, Boyce said Efraim was visiting his girlfriend Wednesday night and went to a nearby bar at 164th Street and Hillside Avenue, telling her he was going to get some food.

He spent two hours drinking in the bar when he got into an argument with another customer, according to Boyce. The bartender tried to escort Efraim outside, and that's when Efraim pulled out a gun and fired once into the ceiling.

The crowd inside the bar fled, and police officers from the 103rd and 107th precincts responded.

Efraim ran out of the bar with the gun in his hand, and responding officers shouted, "Police! Don't move!" and chased him when he allegedly didn't comply with commands, authorities said. 

As police chased the suspect, he fired twice at the officers, Boyce said. They continued to chase him, and when he turned a corner, he turned around and allegedly pointed his gun again at them. That's when two officers in uniform fired five shots at the man.

Two of the shots hit him in the armpit and in the torso, according to Boyce. Witnesses told NBC 4 New York they saw officers administering CPR on the suspect before he was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Boyce said Efraim had a Glock on him at the time, and investigators have recovered shell casings from the scene. Police also have two pieces of video: one shows Efraim on the street with the gun in his hand and officers chasing after him, and the other from inside the bar shows suspect firing the round into the ceiling with patrons running from the bar. 

Police are continuing to look for other video as part of their ongoing investigation. 

No officers were injured but the two who fired their weapons were taken to the hospital for treatment of ringing in their ears.

Efraim had 14 previous arrests in New York and in New Jersey. He was in the military, though his details of his service weren't immediately clear, and his family told police he had psychological problems.

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<![CDATA[Fugitive in Wife's Dunkin' Donuts Beating Death May Be in NYC Area: FBI]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:17:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fugitive+wife+slay.jpg

A nationwide manhunt is underway for a fugitive charged with beating his wife to death in a Maryland Dunkin' Donuts where they worked, and authorities say he might be in the New York City metropolitan area.

Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel, 24, has been on the run since his 21-year-old wife's body was discovered in a back room of the store April 12 after a customer called police to report no staff was in the store.

Patel was spotted at Newark Penn Station in New Jersey the next day. He has been charged with murder, assault and a weapons offense, and is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Patel was born in India, and was in the United States legally, but his VISA expired in March, authorities said.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to his arrest.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[NYPD Horse Wounded in Chest, Leg After Dog Attack]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:15:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/pompey+2.jpg

An NYPD horse was attacked by a pit bull in Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon and is being treated for bite wounds and abrasions, police say.

The stallion, named Pompey II, was with mounted officer Luis Ramos on Essex Street in Brownsville at around 1 p.m. when the dog charged the horse, bitting it in the chest and inner left leg, police said.

Ramos was able to control Pompey II during the attack, and a second mounted officer, Laurene Bove, came to their assistance with her horse, Limerick.

Bove and Limerick managed to get the dog to retreat into a yard and police located the owner, who secured the pit bull safely, according to the NYPD.

The dog was taken to the Center for Animal Care and Control on Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn while police investigate.

Ramos said Pompey II normally gets along very well with dogs.

"We've actually encountered many dogs throughout our 7-year career together," Ramos told NBC 4 New York Thursday. "And he's very friendly with dogs, he's a big lover. Unfortunately this was just an isolated incident with this one dog."

Pompey II was returned to the Troop E stable on Brighton Third Street, where he'll be treated by a veterinarian. The horse is expected to fully recover after a few days rest and "he will also receive a few extra apples and carrots," the NYPD said.


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