<![CDATA[NBC New York - Local News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:23:22 -0500 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:23:22 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Rep. Grimm to Plead Guilty to Fraud: Official]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:19:31 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/michael+grimm1.jpg

New York Rep. Michael Grimm is expected to plead guilty to a single count of tax fraud Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court, a law enforcement official familiar with the case tells NBC 4 New York.

Grimm, a Republican who represents Staten Island, was elected to a third term in November.

In April, Grimm was arrested on federal charges, including tax fraud and mail fraud, for allegedly concealing more than $1 million in sales and wages at a Manhattan restaurant he owned before he was elected to Congress.

A 20-count indictment unsealed that month accused him of under-reporting the payroll and earnings of the Upper East Side restaurant, Healthalicious, which he ran from 2007 to 2010. He pleaded not guilty in federal court and was released on bond.

Grimm, a Republican, said at the time he was being wrongly accused and said he had no plans to step down. Nevertheless, Grimm asked House Speaker John Boehner to be taken off the House Financial Services Committee until his federal case was resolved.

Prosecutors alleged Grimm employed a number of immigrant workers who did not have legal status to work in the U.S., and paid them in cash -- wages that were not reported to the government. He also allegedly "substantially under-reported" the restaurant's gross receipts, lowering its taxes.

Grimm, a former FBI agent and U.S. Marine, sold his stake in the restaurant before running for office in 2010.

Grimm's lawyer, William McGinley, could not immediately be reached for comment on NBC 4 New York's report Monday, but suggested at the time of his client's arrest earlier this year that the charges were "politically driven." 

Photo Credit: Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA]]>
<![CDATA[Slain Officer's Son, 13, Decries Hate: Cops Are Ones Who Help Us]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:00:06 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/jaden+ramos+inset.jpg

Family and friends of officer Rafael Ramos, fatally shot with his partner in Brooklyn, thanked the public for its prayers and asked City Hall to mend its relationship with the NYPD as the officer's 13-year-old son decried the killer's apparent hatred for police.

"He was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer," Ramos' son, Jaden, posted on Facebook. "Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."

Moments earlier, Jaden Ramos posted, "This is the worst day of My life." 

Ramos' aunt, Lucy Ramos, thanked all who shared their sympathies "for our beloved member" and called for reflection "on this tragic loss."

John Rodriguez, president of the 75th Precinct Community Council, said that reflection should include how to repair relations between the city's administration and its police force.

"My mayor, you need to sit down, you need to get everything corrected," he said.

Rodriguez added that he felt the local Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president "was very upset at that moment" when he insinuated that the killings of Ramos and officer Wenjian Liu could be tied to the mayor's lack of support for the department.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said Saturday night that there was "blood on many hands," including those of the mayor. De Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks were "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric."

Photo Credit: AP/Facebook
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<![CDATA[Timeline: Officer Ambush Unfolds Over 9 Hours]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:46:19 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/460750486.jpg

An approximate timeline of the events surrounding the deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, as detailed by law enforcement and government officials:

5:50 a.m. - Shaneka Nicole Thompson, 29, is shot in the stomach by her ex-boyfriend in Owings Mills, Maryland, leaving her in critical but stable condition. She is expected to survive.

6:05 a.m. - Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, calls Thompson's mother and tells her he shot her daughter by accident and he hopes she lives.

10:50 a.m. - Brinsley arrives at Manhattan's Port Authority after a lengthy bus ride. He carries with him the cellphone he stole from Thompson and the 9mm handgun he used to shoot her.

12:20 p.m. - Brinsley uses Thompson's phone to post an ominous message on Instagram, saying "I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours....... Let's Take 2 of Theirs."

12:50 p.m. - After traveling to Brooklyn by subway, Brinsley ditches Thompson's cell phone near the Atlantic Yards complex.

1:30 p.m. - Thompson's mother calls Baltimore police to warn them about the Instagram posting. She says she believes Brinsley has ties to a church on Church Avenue in Brooklyn.

1:45 p.m. -- Baltimore police prepare a "wanted" flyer to distribute to law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD. 

2:10 p.m. - Baltimore police call the 70th precinct, near the Brooklyn church, to warn them. A Baltimore detective speaks with an NYPD officer for about half an hour to review the details. Police said the NYPD officer reviewed the Instagram posts and photos of Brinsley during the call and asked for the "wanted" flyer to be faxed to the 70th precinct.. 

2:46 p.m. - Baltimore police fax the "wanted" flyer, which contained the same photos seen in the Instagram posts, to the 70th precinct. The precinct receives it a short time later. 

2:48 p.m. - Brinsley approaches Ramos' and Liu's patrol car, takes a shooter's stance, and shoots four bullets through the passenger-side front window, striking both officers in the head. Under pursuit by police, he runs into a nearby subway station and fatally shoots himself in front of at least 10 witnesses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Cop Shooter: "He Was Emotionally Troubled"]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:13:10 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Brinsley-Mental-Health-History.jpg

The deadly shootings of two NYPD officers sitting in their patrol car Saturday in Brooklyn had "absolutely nothing to do with police retaliation," according to the gunman's sister, who says the shooter with a long rap record was emotionally troubled and "disturbed."

"The way he did this was horrifying," said Jalaa'i Brinsley, the sister of Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who fatally shot Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as they sat in their squad car in Bedford-Stuyvesant. 

But, she told reporters in Brooklyn, "He was emotionally troubled. It had nothing to do with police retaliation. Absolutely nothing to do with police retaliation."

Brinsley had posted anti-police messages on social media, invoking the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, hours before the shooting, according to police. He then told bystanders in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood "watch what I'm going to do" before fatally shooting officers Liu and Ramos, then running into a subway station and fatally shooting himself in the head.

Police officials say investigation so far has revealed that Brinsley had gone on anti-government, anti-police tirades on social media for months before the shootings. One video out of the thousands of images recovered from his cellphone in Maryland appeared to capture protests at Union Square Park on Dec. 1 from the perspective of a specatator, according to police Monday. 

Ismaaiyl Brinsley had been arrested nine times since 2004, according to court records cited by the Baltimore Sun. The charges ranged from carrying a concealed weapon to trespassing. He was convicted of disorderly conduct and shoplifting, according to records at the Fulton County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office. 

In a pleaded questionnaire, the 28-year-old answered "yes" to a question that asked "Have you ever been a patient in a mental institution or under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist?" the newspaper reports. No other information was provided on the care he received.

Brinsley violated probation for several years by failing to check in with his parole officer and failing to complete court-ordered screenings for drug and alcohol abuse, the Sun reported. 

Jalaa'i Brinsley told NBC 4 New York in Brooklyn Monday she believes the shootings stemmed from a mental health services issue. 

"If he got arrested this many times, that was a question," she said. "Why wouldn't they help him out, but they kept releasing him into the streets -- so isn't that a problem that the justice system should be asking?" 

"He should have been offered help in the system but he wasn't," she said. 

Jalaa'i Brinsley would not comment on reports that her brother made contact with his mother before killing the two officers.

"I'd rather not speak about that because it can go into some deep things," she said. 

But a family friend said he believes Brinsley called his mother before the shootings and that he sounded "distraught."

"We did speak and she told me she was worried about him. He sounded suicidal," said Tony Lindsay.  

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday that Brinsley's family told police that he tried to commit suicide a year ago. 

Brinsley is described as a nomad, given history in Georgia, Ohio and Baltimore. Law enforcement sources say his 11-month-old child lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant with the child's mother. Brinsley's mother is also thought to live in Crown Heights.

Brinsley shot and injured a former girlfriend in Baltimore early Saturday before fleeing to New York on a bus, but he had no criminal record in Maryland, authorities said. 

The Baltimore Sun also reported that Brinsley left high school in the 10th grade and exhibited a history of odd behavior and violent threats. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stabbed at Union Square Subway Station: NYPD]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:51:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nyc-subway-generic.jpg

A man was stabbed Sunday on a Manhattan subway platform after getting into an argument with a suspect on a train, police say.

The man was stabbed at the Union Square station after a fight that began aboard a lower Manhattan-bound No. 6 train, according to the NYPD.

Police say that when the train arrived in the station, both the man and suspect got off the train. The man was stabbed on the platform.

The man was taken to the hospital, where his condition was unknown Sunday afternoon.

No arrests have been made.

<![CDATA[Bill and Hillary Clinton Board “The Last Ship”]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:33:05 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/USA-SEPT11-MEMORIAL.jpg

The standing ovations at the new Sting musical “The Last Ship” started minutes before the curtain even rose on Saturday night.

That’s because walking down the aisle of the Neil Simon Theatre was former President Bill Clinton, who was out for a night at the theater with wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, daughter Chelsea, and son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky.

As the former first family took their seats in the orchestra, they were met with thunderous applause from the rest of the audience — many of whom approached to shake their hands and pose for photos.

“You’re a grandmother now,” one audience member enthusiastically pointed out, before the show began. “I know can you believe it?” Hillary responded, accepting her congratulations.

The Clintons were undoubtedly there to see Sting, who boarded the cast of the musical he wrote on Dec. 9, for a limited run that will remain through Jan. 24.

Sting’s wife of 22 years, Trudie Styler, was also sitting the same row. 

So was Australian film director Baz Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge!”), with wife Catherine Martin. The two are in town celebrating the unveiling of the “Baz Dazzled” holiday windows they designed for Barneys.

Also in attendence? “Phantom of the Opera” and “Cats” composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who was sitting alongside “Downton Abbey” scribe Julian Fellowes. The two are collaborating on “School of Rock — The Musical,” a stage version of the hit 2003 comedy set to hit Broadway next season.

Webber may have also swung by to support actress Rachel Tucker, who plays the lead Meg in “The Last Ship.” Tucker was a contestant on the Webber-judged BBC reality singing competition “I’d Do Anything” back in 2008.

At the extra-long intermission, the Clintons headed backstage to greet Sting and the cast — photos of which can be seen exclusively at Broadway.com.

“Hillary 2016” shouted one audience member when they returned to their sets. The former Secretary of State then turned in her seat and laughed, waving at fans.

Former President Clinton seemed to enjoy himself throughout, clapping along to Sting’s rousing score. He and his family even gave the actors their own standing ovation at the end of the evening.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Killed 2 NYPD Officers Had Violent Past: Report]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:12:25 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Brinsley-Mental-Health-History.jpg

Court records show that the gunman who killed two NYPD officers sitting in their patrol car Saturday in Brooklyn had a history of violence and that he at least once referenced receiving mental health treatment, the Baltimore Sun reports.

As NYPD investigators assembled a timeline for the fatal shooting of the officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the Maryland newspaper reported that Brinsley left high school in the 10th grade and exhibited a history of odd behavior and violent threats. 

Brinsley shot and injured a former girlfriend in Baltimore early Saturday before fleeing to New York on a bus, but he had no criminal record in Maryland, authorities said. He posted anti-police messages on social media, then told bystanders in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood "watch what I'm going to do" before fatally shooting officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as they sat in their squad car in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He then ran into a subway station and took his own life.

Brinsley allegedly wrote that he was "putting wings on pigs today" in an Instagram post shortly before killing Ramos and Liu, officials said. Then, moments before the shootings, investigators say he told bystanders "watch what I'm about to do."

Brinsley had been arrested nine times since 2004 in Atlanta, according to court records cited by the Baltimore Sun. The charges ranged from carrying a concealed weapon to trespassing. He was convicted of disorderly conduct and shoplifting, according to records at the Fulton County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office.

In a pleaded questionnaire, the 28-year-old answered "yes" to a question that asked "Have you ever been a patient in a mental institution or under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist?", the newspaper reports. No other information was provided on the care he received.

Brinsley violated probation for several years by failing to check in with his parole officer and failing to complete court-ordered screenings for drug and alcohol abuse, the Sun reported. 

Brinsley is described as a nomad, given history in Georgia, Ohio and Baltimore. Law enforcement sources say his 11-month-old child lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant with the child's mother. Brinsley's mother is also thought to live in Crown Heights.

Brinsley's mother and sister both told investigators they were afraid of the man.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Subway Ads Ask Commuters to Stop "Manspreading"]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:14:26 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/223*120/manspreading.png

The MTA is taking a stand against manspreading.

The subject of angry blog posts and tweets, "manspreading" is just what it sounds like: The act of a man spreading his legs wide on the subway, often taking up more than one prized seat in the process.

The MTA will release new public service ads next month asking men to keep their legs in a more modest position on crowded subway cars.  

The "Courtesy Counts, Manners Make a Better Ride" campaign will also give gentle reminders about proper subway etiquette.

Signs will be placed in subway cars in January, and buses and commuter railroads in February, bearing statements such as, “Poles are for your safety, not your latest routine," and "It's a subway car, not a dining car." 

The manspreading ads will read, "Dude... Stop the spread, please."

<![CDATA[Ray Rice Focusing on Family, Community Before Football]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:52:39 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP898675035270.jpg


The room is filled with kids hovering around neatly arranged boxes of toys. Near the center is Ray Rice, at ease and surrounded by familiar faces. He shakes every hand, bumps every fist, and nods back across the room to anyone who calls out his name.

He sees the boys from New Rochelle's newly crowned national champion Pop Warner football team.

"The champs are in the house!"

Who looks more hyped for the holidays on the weekend before Christmas? You'd think it would be any of the dozens of boys and girls who have packed into the room at Steiner Sports headquarters in New Rochelle. But it could be Rice, in his red Santa hat. His wife, Janay, made sure he wore the hat – laughing at the sight of it perched on top of his head.

The couple quietly held similar toy drives back in Baltimore earlier in the month. At this point, they much prefer to keep things under-the-radar.

"The holidays will be very good this year," says Rice, after acknowledging what has otherwise been a year he wishes he could forget.

“Everything that I’ve been through, my trials and tribulations, and to see smiles on their faces – to see I can still make the kids smile -- it makes me feel good.”

But this is about much more than simply what makes Ray Rice feel good. This is about how the man who was once beloved in his hometown now works to rebuild the trust that has melted away in the aftermath of what Rice calls his one bad decision. Eleven months have passed since the moment that he would take back in a heartbeat; the argument with Janay, the swing inside the Atlantic City elevator, the loss of his dream job as running back for the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s a mistake he says he deeply regrets, but also one he quickly owns when asked.

On more occasions than he can count, Rice had warned the kids he spoke to at local schools and community events, or simply in passing, to make good decisions. And now he was face-to-face with a 10-year-old in a football jersey who listened closely as Ray spoke, pointing with both index fingers to his temples to emphasize his point.

“I’m focusing on bettering my life and my family, and making sure that these kids – when they’re old enough to understand – never go out and make the mistake that I made,” Rice said.

“In the drop of a dime I was at the top of the world and all of a sudden, it crumbled in front of me.”

Rebuilding Trust

Charity appearances have always dotted the Rice calendar. Even while living in Baltimore, Ray Rice remains a fixture in New Rochelle. And on Saturday, this toy drive event felt like any other that he has backed over the years.

Still, there were some in the room who admitted they were a little apprehensive about coming to this event. They wanted to support someone whom they considered a neighbor, but they’ve also watched and read and wondered, like the rest of the nation.

Rice said he did something horrible. And he now must convince the already-convinced that he is not a horrible person. He believes spending time interacting with people will help temper the judgments people have made.

“We get more prayers than people throwing shade at us,” he said. “It felt good to go out there into our community where we’re from and to see people who really embrace us and say, ‘We’ll forgive you.’ You really look forward to the second chance. You have to work towards it, and that’s what we’re doing now.”

He said he wanted to do more, too. He envisions becoming an advocate for those affected by domestic violence, believing that he can help anyone dealing with the kind of issues that he and Janay are still working through.

All of this is still raw and complex, but he said he understands why much of the public holds strong convictions about him.

“To become an advocate, people have to trust you. I think in due time, when people see that I’m willing to go out there and do the right thing and help out, then they’ll give me a second chance.”

Football is Secondary

Nearly an hour into the event, there is a question going around the room -- not to mention almost everywhere outside of it. When will Ray Rice return to football?

He is now a free agent, after winning his appeal against the NFL for reinstatement last month. He’s not coming back for what’s left of this season but says he won’t consider his football career “technically” over. He looks solid, like the running back who rushed for more yards as a Baltimore Raven than only Jamal Lewis. He smiles when someone notices.

“Football has to be secondary right now, my first priority is my wife and my kid and helping other people right now,” says Rice. “I really say that genuinely.”

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<![CDATA[Real-Life "Sopranos" Club Robbed]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:01:11 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_fotoactorjamesgandolfini.jpg

Authorities say the northern New Jersey strip club that was used for filming of "The Sopranos" has been robbed of $30,000.

Lodi, New Jersey, police say that two men with shotguns robbed Satin Dolls early Sunday. The men fled after the robbery.

The club stood in as Bada Bing on the HBO show.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police department's detective division at 973-473-7600.

<![CDATA[Crime and Courts]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 10:40:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gavel.jpg

Photo Credit: Martin Poole /Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Same Old Story For Jets, Pats]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:00:49 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/122114jets.jpg

On a day when Tom Brady’s biggest play was a run and the future Hall of Famer was outplayed by Geno Smith -- no Jets fans, you weren’t dreaming, this all really happened -- you would’ve thought Gang Green would get the W yesterday at MetLife Stadium.

Still, there’s a reason the Jets are the Jets and the Patriots are the Patriots, and it’s this: the latter make plays when they need to, and the former makes mistakes. In a game where Brady looked as bad as he ever has against constant pressure from the Jets defensive front, the aging QB came up with an 11-yard scramble from that put the Pats within a few feet of a go-ahead score they’d get two plays later, and, then, to close out the game, a 17-yard run from Brandon Bolden, who makes Jonas Gray look like a Pro Bowler and Shane Vereen look like Barry Sanders. Conversely, the home team got a bone-headed interception from Smith that but a huge blemish on the best day he’s had as a pro QB, and, a bit later, a blocked field goal courtesy of New England’s Vince Wilfork, a man who can’t leave the ground without the aid of a crane.

Despite losing 17-16, the Jets played their best game of a 2014 season we’d all love to forget. The much-maligned Smith looked like a different guy than he had for most of the year amid excellent protection from his much-maligned offensive line, while the great Darelle Revis had a tough time keeping up with Percy Harvin—one of the few Jets that hasn’t been much maligned, unless you count what his ex-teammates in Seattle had to say about him.

Meanwhile, the Jets putrid past defense was far better than it had been over the course of the season, largely as a result of Gang Green’s defensive line and linebackers basically setting up house in the Pats backfield. Brady rarely had much time to throw, and deep pass plays were rendered obsolete. New England’s longest completion of the day went for a mere 14 yards. The Jets did have a difficult time, though, with New England’s Danny Amendola, who on Sunday finally became what Bill Belichick envisioned when he signed the receiver to a free agent deal two years ago: a younger Wes Welker. Amendola was all over the field, racking up key catches and doing damage as punt returner.

While Belichick and Brady have been the constants of the Pats’ remarkable decade-plus ride, players like Amendola and Bolden seemingly arise from slumber any time their team needs them. With the notable exception of DB Jaiquawn Jarrett turning superhuman against the Steelers last month, though, when the Jets need someone from their supporting cast to step up, they always appear to just hit the snooze button.

<![CDATA[Some Officers Turn Their Backs to Mayor at Hospital]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:39:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/460732874.jpg

In the wake of tensions between City Hall and the NYPD, some officers turned their backs on the mayor as he walked through the halls of Woodhull Medical Center following the ambush killing of two officers.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch mourned the slain officers outside the hospital and linked the killings to violence against the NYPD during recent protest demonstrations and to what he said was the mayor's lack of support for the department.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said. He added: "That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

Mayor de Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks amounted to "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

"This is a nightmare of the highest magnitude for everyone," Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said in a statement. "The elected leaders, on both sides of City Hall, need to dig down deep in their souls and understand that campaigning to be a leader is easier than being a leader."

Palladino warned detectives to remain vigilant, wear bullet-resistant vests and work in teams of three when possible "until we better assess the threat that exists against us."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[College to Pay Tuition for Son of Slain NYPD Officer]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:31:39 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP216453913023.jpg

Bowdoin College says it will pick up the tuition for a student whose father was killed in Saturday's shooting of two NYPD officers.

College President Barry Mills sent an email to the college community on Sunday saying that the school learned on Saturday night that Rafael Ramos, one of the two officers killed in Brooklyn, is the father of Bowdoin sophomore Justin Ramos, who is now with his family in New York. Rafael Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu were shot at point blank range as they sat in their squad car. The gunman, who investigators say had posted threatening messages to social media ahead of the attack, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"This is an unspeakable tragedy, and our hearts go out to Justin and his family," Mills wrote. "We are a close community, and we share in Justin's pain and anguish. I know you join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Justin and the entire Ramos family, and I am sure you will respect their privacy as they and we support one another in the days and weeks ahead."

The college posted a statement on its website Monday saying that it is eager to welcome Justin back to campus for the start of the second semester in January, "or whenever he is ready to return."

At Mills' direction, the college informed Justin on Sunday that it will provide full financial aid to enable him to complete his Bowdoin education.

The New York Yankees, through their Silver Shield Foundation, had offered to cover college education costs for both of Rafael Ramos' children. Ramos also had a 13-year-old son.

"We are grateful for the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation's offer to assist, but Bowdoin has it covered," the college said in its statement, saying it keeps with the school's practice of meeting the full financial need of each of its students for all four years.

Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine, has about 1,800 students.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[The Death of Eric Garner]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:46:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/eric+garner+death+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NYPD Officer Suspended in Teen Punch Caught on Cam]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 23:10:12 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nypd+badge+generic.jpg

The NYPD says it has suspended a police officer after a video was posted online that appeared to show him repeatedly punching a 16-year-old suspect as other officers tried to arrest the teen.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows several officers trying to cuff the 16-year-old suspect when a plainclothes officer in a camouflage jacket runs up and punches the suspect several times in the torso. The woman who posted the video said that that the teen was punched on Monday on the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

The video shows the teen pushed up against a car, surrounded by three officers. The plain clothes officer rushes into the frame and appears to quickly jab the teen in the three times.

As the boy is hit, a woman nearby can be heard yelling “Hey, hey hey! Stop it! Get off him!” Another witness then identifies herself as a lawyer and says “I can’t believe he just did that after everything that’s happened.”

Police said the teen and another suspect were being arrested after allegedly attacking a person with a cane. The charges the teen faces aren't clear.

The grand jury decision earlier this month to not indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner has highlighted the tense relationship between police and minority communities in New York City, and tens of thousands of people have protested in recent weeks. 

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Choking, Attempted Rape of Teen: NYPD]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:23:12 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

A man has been arrested in connection with the choking and attempted rape of a 15-year-old girl earlier this year in Queens, police said Saturday.

A 35-year-old Queens resident was arrested on charges of attempted rape, assault and strangulation, according to the NYPD. The development came days after investigators released surveillance footage of a suspect making a purchase at a bodega.

According to police, the teenager was talking with her attacker on July 12 near 109th Road and Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans when the man began choking her. The girl passed out, and the man tried to rape her before running away, police said.

It's not clear if the girl was seriously injured.

<![CDATA[School Bus Carrying Children Crashes into Building: FDNY]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 10:57:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bus+building+queens.jpg

Fifteen children were on a New York City school bus when it collided with a yellow cab and a livery cab in Queens, sending it crashing into a building, police said. 

The bus struck the building on 59th Street in Woodside just before 5 p.m. It appears the bus just missed striking the entrance to a pizzeria on the building's ground floor.

The children on the bus refused medical attention on the scene and were released to their parents, the FDNY said. 

Four adults were hurt in the crash: the school bus driver, both taxi drivers and a pizzeria worker who was injured by a buckling wall were all taken to Elmhurst Hospital, according to the FDNY.

Video of the scene just moments after the crash shows the firefighters helping the children to safety,

"The cops and firemen did a great job, pushed everyone away until all the kids were accounted for, off the bus and OK," said witness Kenneth Coyne, who was just seconds from getting into his parked car at Roosevelt Avenue when the bus plowed into it. 

Coyne said he wasn't worried about his car and is just glad the children were safe. 

<![CDATA[Firefighter Critically Hurt in Long Island House Fire]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:15:02 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/injured+ff1.jpg

A firefighter was critically injured while battling a house fire on Long Island early Friday morning, officials said.

According to police, 200 firefighters from 13 departments responded to the blaze in Woodmere, which was reported around 4 a.m. Fire officials believe the fire started on the first floor of the unoccupied house.

Joseph Sanford Jr., a 17-year veteran of the Inwood Fire Department, suffered cardiac arrest after officials believe the first floor of the house collapsed, causing him to fall to the basement.

"The large amount of smoke, it was very possible he got disoriented and very possibly gotten separated from his partner," said Woodmere Fire Chief Leonard Cherson. 

Sanford was found after an alert device signaled to his fellow firefighters that he was down. The alert, known as a PASS alarm, is activated when a firefighter has been motionless for too long. 

"I really don't think he was there a long a time," said Rivelli. "They did hear his Vibra alert going off his pack." 

He was resuscitated with CPR and rushed to a nearby hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Officials said he remains unconscious and on a ventilator.

"When one of your people go down, it's a tough thing," said Inwood Fire Chief Anthony Rivelli. "It's the holidays, it's Christmastime. Nobody wants to see this." 

Two other firefighters suffered minor injuries, but did not require medical attention, police said.

The fire has not been deemed suspicious, though authorities are continuing to investigate.

"He really is a hero, and my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family," said neighbor Sara Fruchter. "I am hoping for a holiday miracle." 

-- Greg Cergol contributed to this report. 

<![CDATA[Alleged Drunk Drivers Collide, Spark Fire: Police]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:13:44 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/head+on+collision+westchester.jpg

Two alleged drunk drivers crashed in a violent head-on collision that injured five people in Westchester, authorities say. 

It happened shortly before midnight Thursday in Yorktown, when 19-year-old Adam Kaczor made an improper left turn near Route 35 and Broad Street and hit 35-year-old Dennis Marralheiro's vehicle, police said. 

The impact of the head-on crash was so forceful that one of the cars caught fire. 

There were three passengers in Kaczor's car, police said. Both drivers and the passengers were taken to Westchester Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries. 

While being treated for their injuries, Kaczor and Marralheiro were issued tickets to appear in court Jan. 23. Kaczor faces a misdemeanor DWI charge, but Marralheiro's charge was upgraded to a felony because of a prior DWI conviction, police said. 

No one answered the door at either of their homes Friday.

-- Sheldon Dutes contributed to this report. 

<![CDATA[Arrest Made in Staten Island Stabbing Death: Police]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:29:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_generic_police.jpg

A 26-year-old Staten Island man was charged Sunday with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a man in Port Richmond, police said.

Sergio Carreto faces the murder charge and a charge of criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

Police responded to a 911 call just after 5 a.m. Sunday and found an unconscious Durrell Finley, 26, of Staten Island, at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Faber Street, investigators said.

Finley had stab wounds in his torso and was taken to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

<![CDATA[Black Market Kidney Broker Is Released From Prison]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:36:45 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Levy+Izhak+Rosenbaum.jpg

A man who prosecutors said styled himself as "the Robin Hood of kidneys" is out of prison after being the first person convicted in federal court of profiting from the illegal sale of human organs.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, an Israeli citizen, won't be deported because federal immigration officials found that his crime was not one of "moral turpitude" that would have subjected him to being kicked out of the U.S., lawyer Edward Schulman said.

"It illustrates the intersection between legality and morality," Shulman said.

Rosenbaum, now 63, was arrested in 2009 in what became the biggest corruption case ever in New Jersey. He had been living legally in the U.S.

He pleaded guilty to illegally selling human organs in 2011 and served more than two years in prison.

He was released this week from the federal correctional facility at New Jersey's Fort Dix, and Shulman said he has returned to his home in Brooklyn.

Shulman said immigration officials decided not to send the case to a court to sort out because it was clear Rosenbaum's offense was not a deportable crime.

Rosenbaum pleaded guilty to brokering the sale of three kidneys — buying them from people in Israel for as little as $10,000, then selling them to U.S. patients who did not qualify for transplants or did not want to wait. The cost of the sale was over $100,000, and the operations were performed at top U.S. hospitals.

While he pleaded guilty to three counts, authorities said he brokered many more kidney transplants and made millions from the deals.

"If he was drugging the people or knocking them out" to get their kidneys, Shulman said, that would have been a deportable offense. But, he said, that was not the case. "Both participants were willing."

Shulman said his client's deals saved lives.

"One could contend that letting somebody die," Shulman said, "is also immoral."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rockland Lawmaker Receives ISIS-Style Threat]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:33:40 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WiederCMS.jpg

A Rockland County sheriff says he has contacted federal authorities to investigate a threatening photo of a beheading sent to an Orthodox Jewish lawmaker.

Sheriff Louis Falco says county legislator Aron Wieder received a crudely altered photo showing Wieder's head on top of the body of a victim of a recent beheading by Islamic State extremists.

The photo is labeled with some Arabic writing and Wieder's name, although his first name was misspelled as Aaron.

Wieder says he opened the envelope Monday during a legislative session in New City and took it directly to Falco, who was there.

The envelope had a return address in Monsey, New York.

Falco says the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, is investigating.

In a statement Wieder called the threat "despicable and disconcerting."

"The message of violence and intimidation that was sent has been met with a sentiment of resolve to apprehend the individual or group responsible for the threat, and a sense of purpose to continue to serve my constituents in office as I have for years.

Photo Credit: Rockland County Legislature]]>
<![CDATA[Santa, FDNY Visit Children at Hospital in Queens]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:42:25 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/santa+fdny.jpg Santa Claus paid an early visit to children at Saint Mary's Hospital in Bayside, Queens Friday, arriving not down a chimney but with the help of a ladder from the FDNY. New York's Bravest then helped Santa give out toys, collected by the firefighters over the past few months.]]>