Subscribe for FREE with:

Author Archive

An example of Diwali decorations. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Alternate side parking regulations will be suspended Thursday, October 23, for Diwali. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

You can check out the rest of the 2014 parking calendar here.

Diwali is a Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. The five-day event culminates with the new moon. In the days leading up to it, the approximately 80,000 Hindus in the New York metropolitan area will clean and decorate their homes, light lamps and candles, before gorging on a family feast and exchanging gifts.

It sounds like fun, and this editor is accepting invitations.

coney-island-summit

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson will be in Coney Island tomorrow night to hear residents’ concerns about safety and the justice system.

The summit is open to any and all Brooklyn residents, and will be a town-hall style, allowing attendees to ask questions of the borough’s top prosecutor and share their concerns. It’s the second such event Thompson has done, following one in Brownsville over the summer.

The meeting will take place at Liberation Diploma Plus High School, 2865 West 19th Street. It begins at 6:30pm and lasts until 9pm.

grimm

The trial of Congressman Michael Grimm, facing tax fraud allegations and other charges, has been postponed until February 2. At a hearing on the postponement, prosecutors hinted that some of the charges could be split from the indictment and prosecuted in a separate trial.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Grimm’s defense landed a minor victory, winning the postponement from an early December date until February 2 so that they can review materials. Prosecutors turned over approximately 100 hours of recorded conversations, including 10 hours conducted in a foreign language. The defense team said they’d need extra time to review them because, “I’d be sitting at my desk for two full working weeks,” said defense lawyer Jeffrey Neiman, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The judge also denied Grimm’s legal team’s request earlier this month for information from the prosecution that they thought would prove the investigation was the result of a political witch hunt and professional vendettas. That included knowing the involvement of particular FBI investigators and the role played by a prosecutor now running as a Democratic candidate for State Assembly.

The judge found the claims without merit, calling it “unsupported and random speculation.” The New York Times reports:

Prosecutors pointed out that there were 10 other cases involving cash payrolls to avoid taxes from 2012 to 2014, making it hard for Mr. Grimm to argue that he alone was selected. Mr. Kaminsky, they said, never acted with improper motive and was only one of several prosecutors involved in the investigation. As for the idea that the office chose Mr. Grimm for his politics, the other elected officials the office prosecuted in the last four years were Democrats, prosecutors said.

The judge is still mulling a motion to dismiss three perjury-related charges on the basis of jurisdictional issues. Because it pertained to his Manhattan-based restaurant, the defense argues that charges should have been filed in the Southern District of New York, not the Eastern District, which is where he’s being prosecuted.

The Advance notes:

Prosecutors conceded the jurisdictional issue, but Judge Pamela Chen stopped short of dismissing those three counts without prejudice Tuesday, as Grimm’s defense team is still seeking to dismiss the entire case, perjury charges and all, arguing “selective and vindictive prosecution.”

“In effect, the venue motion is really a separation motion of the perjury and obstruction counts, effectively resulting in two trials for the price of one,” Gatta said. “We’re happy to oblige the defendant if he wants two trials.”

Source: Senator Golden's offices

Source: Senator Golden’s offices

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, today is announcing that he has introduced legislation that will allow the email of a person who has passed away to be accessed by the executor of their estate.

The bill, S. 6176, has been introduced in the wake of growing concerns as more and more New Yorkers decide to handle their bills and finances electronically. As a result, individuals designated to settle an estate upon a person’s passing, require the information contained in new e-mail messages, and documents stored in email folders.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “As we continue to encourage people to go green and pay their bills on line, we must be cognizant of the fact that when a person passes away, many of their records are stored and managed through their email account. I look forward to working with my colleagues to create this important law in New York State. I believe this will assist in the difficult work of getting an estate’s affairs in order for we all realize that the despite one’s passing, e-mails of bills and statements do continue.”

Ten states already have similar laws including Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Connecticut. Nine states are working towards creating such a law in their states including New York and New Jersey.

The arsenal of ID theft equipment recovered in the bust.

The arsenal of ID theft equipment recovered in the bust.

Sergeant Christopher Dixon and Officers Joseph Lavelle were making their usual rounds in the 62nd Precinct when they saw two men fidgeting with an ATM machine at TD Bank. What would have been a minor criminal mischief charge turned into a huge bust with hundreds of phony banking cards and identity theft technology seized.

Dixon and Lavelle were passing by the bank at 1630 Shore Parkway at 1:30am on October 15. They spotted Elvin Pineda, 25, and Luis Fernandez, 28, in the ATM using tools to remove parts of the machine.

They immediately cuffed the duo. On Fernandez, they found three counterfeit credit cards when he was searched.

The two were brought back to the precinct, where the command’s Field Intelligence Officer, Sergeant Jeremy Berson, and Sergeant Dennis Chan of the Financial Crimes Task Force began grilling the suspects.

cops

They spilled the beans, telling cops they were removing parts of the machine to ship them to China to be duplicated with skimmer devices attached. Skimmer devices record an ATM or credit card’s data when it’s swiped through, and can be secretly installed over ATM machinery.

Pineda then spilled some more, saying he had more equipment at his Bay 47th Street home.

When officers searched the house they found an arsenal of identity theft and bank fraud equipment. The haul included:

  • two embossers
  • two re-encoders
  • a laminator
  • two color printers
  • a tipper machine
  • six laptops
  • 127 blank Capital One credit cards
  • 76 blank American Express credit cards
  • 338 blank Citibank cards
  • 200 blank credit cards
  • 41 forged New York and out-of-state driver’s licenses
  • A trove of computers, flash drives and other equipment

Blank credit cards can be encoded with the data obtained from skimmers, duplicating a credit or debit card, while items like the laminator could be used to create fake IDs.

Pineda was charged with criminal possession of a forgery device, possession of a forged instrument and possession of a skimmer device. Fernandez was charged with grand larceny, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument.

They both were also slapped with a criminal mischief charge for tinkering with the TD Bank ATM machine.

homeless

Police have arrested Elliot Baez, a homeless man they say is responsible for vandalizing the September 11 Wall of Remembrance in Coney Island on Friday.

A surveillance camera caught a person authorities believe is Baez, 58, smearing white paint over the memorial and encircling the image of Police Officer Moira Smith at approximately 2:38am Friday.

After video was released, a tipster led authorities to Baez on Saturday afternoon even though initial descriptions suggested the vandal was a woman. Baez was charged with criminal mischief after making self-incriminating statements to police, according to reports.

The Wall of Remembrance, located at MCU Park, honors first responders killed on September 11, and has an image of each of the fallen heroes. Smith’s image appears to have been targeted, but cops told her husband Baez was “deranged” and had no apparent motive or agenda against Smith or her surviving family, according to the Daily News.

Smith was the only female first responder who perished during the terrorist attack. A survivor who worked at the World Trade Center was one of the last people to see her alive, and he has built a website detailing her courage as she helped conduct the evacuation, and has called for a public statue in her honor.

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries praised the NYPD’s quick apprehension of the vandal.

“The heroes who laid down their lives to save others on September 11 deserve our reverence and respect for the sacrifice they made that day,” said  Jeffries. “The Memorial at MCU Park in Coney Island stands as an important reminder of the courage and valor displayed by American patriots in the face of unspeakable terror. The officers from the 60th precinct who tracked down this suspect should be commended for their thorough work, and the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Source: MTAPhotos/Flickr

D LINE

From 9:45am to 3pm, Monday to Wednesday, Manhattan-bound D trains are rerouted via the N from Stillwell Av to 36 St, Brooklyn.

  • Trains stop at 62 St-New Utrecht Av.
  • To Bay 50 St, 25 Av, Bay Pkwy, 20 Av, 18 Av, 79 St, and 71 St, take the 205 St-bound D to 62 St-New Utrecht Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D.
  • To 55 St, 50 St, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, and 9 Av, take the 205 St-bound D to 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound-bound D.
  • From these stations, take a Coney Island-bound D to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or Stillwell Av and transfer to a 205 St-bound D.

From 10:45pm to 5am, Mondau to Friday, 205 St-bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.

N LINE

From 9:45am to 3pm, Thursday and Friday, Coney Island-bound N trains run express via the D from 36 St, Brooklyn to Stillwell Av.

  • Trains stop at 9 Av, 62 St-New Utrecht Av, and Bay Pkwy.
  • To 59 St, take the R.
  • To 8 Av and Fort Hamilton Pkwy, take the Coney Island-bound N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av and transfer to a Ditmars Blvd-bound N.
  • To 18 Av, 20 Av, Bay Pkwy, Kings Hwy, Avenue U, and 86 St, take the Coney Island-bound N to Stillwell Av and transfer to a Ditmars Blvd-bound N.
  • From these stations, take a Ditmars Blvd-bound N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D or N.

R LINE

From 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, there are no R trains in Brooklyn between 59 St and 36 St – take the N. R trains run between Bay Ridge-95 St and 59 St, Brooklyn.

From 9:45pm to 11pm, Tuesday to Thursday, 95 St-bound R trains run express from 71 Av to Roosevelt Av.

F LINE

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Avenue X-bound F trains skip Avenue U.

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, F service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 179 St and Avenue X.
  2. Between Avenue X and Coney Island.

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, F trains run every 20 minutes between Avenue X and Coney Island.

From 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, Manhattan-bound F trains skip Smith-9 Sts, Carroll St, and Bergen St.

From 9:45pm to 5am, Tuesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains skip Sutphin Blvd, Van Wyck Blvd, and 75 Av.

From 12:30am to 5am, Wednesday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av.

Avenue U's N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Avenue U’s N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Early morning straphangers made a gruesome find Saturday after a man hanged himself at Avenue U’s N line subway station in Gravesend.

The man was found hanging by a “thick rope” at about 3:35am, police told the Daily News. The rope was tied to the staircase on the Manhattan-bound side of the platform, Gothamist adds. Conflicting reports indicate he was either 22 or 25 years old.

His identity was not released, but police believe it was a suicide and are still investigating, though no criminality is suspected.

The scene was cleaned up quickly. Neighbors who rode the train at the station just hours after said they were unaware of the incident until reports surfaced later in the day.

Source: freeside510/Flickr

D LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains are rerouted via the N from 36 St to Stillwell Av.

From 11pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains run local from DeKalb Av to 59 St. Manhattan-bound D trains run local from 36 St to DeKalb Av.

From 10:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, 205 St-bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.

N LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Manhattan-bound N trains are rerouted via the D from Stillwell Av to 36 St.

From 11pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound N trains run local from DeKalb Av to 59 St. Manhattan-bound N trains run local from 36 St to DeKalb Av.

R LINE

There are no service adjustments scheduled at this time.

F LINE

From 11:15pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts.

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Manhattan-bound F trains run express from Church Av to Jay St-MetroTech.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We publish the week’s statistics for the 62nd Precinct reports every Friday. The 62nd Precinct is the police command responsible for Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

Next »