Browsing articles in "Bronx News"
Jun 18, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Disney World trip given to kin of fallen FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo

The family of slain FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo was gifted Saturday an all-expenses-paid, week-long trip to Disney World compliments of a New Jersey charity.

Three of Arroyo’s five sons were on hand at her old stationhouse in the Bronx for a ceremony organized by the Bianca’s Kids foundation.

“When I heard the story of Yadira’s children, basically I related with them more than most,” said the organization’s president Debbie Savigliano.

Arroyo, 44, was killed in the Bronx on March 16 after a deranged man commandeered her ambulance and ran her over.

The 14-year FDNY veteran was working an overtime shift at the time.

Savigliano’s charity — named after her niece Bianca Yodice, who was killed by a speeding car while crossing a Garden State road in Aug. 2010 — grants wishes to children and families struck by tragedies.

Savigliano said she immediately went to her board of directors after hearing about Arroyo’s tragic death.

“I said, ‘This is a wish, not only do we want to do it, but I think it should be the biggest wish that we’ve ever granted,’” Savigliano recalled.

Jose Montes, Arroyo’s oldest son, said his mother’s passing has brought the brothers together in ways they never imagined.

“We’ve been communicating more than we ever have in our entire lives,” said Montes, 24.

Arroyo’s mother and sister-in-law were also present at the ceremony at FDNY EMS Station 26 in Morrisania.

The fallen first responder’s son Kenny said he graduated from his EMT training program and has spent the past two weeks working at Citywide Mobile Response, a private ambulance company.

“I just got my first paycheck last night,” the 19-year-old said proudly.

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Jun 17, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Crook who slashed NYC woman, 64, for her purse on the loose

Cops are hunting for a mugger who slashed an East Harlem woman and stole her bag.

The crook grabbed 64-year-old Daisy Garcia from behind near E. 135th St. and Fifth Ave. around 8 a.m. Wednesday and held a blade to her neck, cops said.

“I do not feel safe when I’m walking anymore,” said Garcia. “I feel like I should not walk alone.”

The brute slashed her across the chin, cut the strap on her bag and bolted away with it across the Madison Ave. Bridge towards the Bronx, cops said. He also cut her left arm.

Cops nab suspect in Harlem mugging, sex assault of tourist

The bag held her cellphone, cash, ID cards and some food. She needed four stitches for her wounds at Harlem Hospital, she said.

“I hope they catch him,” she fumed. “He is a piece of s–t.”

Meanwhile, cops are searching for muggers in two unrelated incidents.

One crook put a 42-year-old man in a headlock and held a knife to his throat on Cruger Ave. near Sagamore St. in the Bronx around 12:30 a.m. May 24. Two accomplices took a cellphone and cash from his pockets, cops said. The victim suffered a bruise to the face.

Two men pose as cops in mugging of three people in Brooklyn

And in Brooklyn Thursday, a 48-year-old woman was punched in the face by a man trying to snatch her purse, cops said.

The thief followed her into her building on Underhill Ave. in Prospect Heights around 11 p.m. but left empty handed, cops said.

Robberies are down 11% citywide this year compared to the same period last year.

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Jun 17, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Poet who stabbed pregnant woman on train says sorry from Rikers

An apologetic street poet who stabbed a pregnant woman on the subway wants to turn the page.

Derrick Wilson, the author of “Don’t Beat Your Children Or They’ll Turn Out Like Me,” told the Daily News that he wouldn’t have plunged his knife into the woman’s neck had he known about her condition.

“If I had known she was pregnant I would have offered her my seat,” Wilson said during a Thursday sit down on Rikers Island.

Wilson, 50, snapped on an uptown No. 2 train in the Bronx on June 8 — stabbing two women after one of them bumped his leg.

The wordsmith, who often hawks his books to straphangers during their commutes, said he wishes his victims speedy recoveries.

“I didn’t want to hurt them … I just wanted to scare them,” he said.

But mom-to-be Shaday Tripp, said the poet attacked without warning.

“I want this man to die,” the 24-year-old said from her bed at Lincoln Hospital after the attack. “That’s what I feel like. He almost killed me … There’s a hole in my neck.”

Tripp and pal Zakia Lewis, 21, were headed to a Bronx homeless shelter from an OB-GYN appointment on Staten Island.

Tripp was sitting on her girlfriend’s lap aboard the crowded car when her leg accidentally brushed against Wilson, she said.

The writer pulled a blade from his coat and began slashing at the two women.

Wilson, charged with attempted murder, assault, menacing and weapons possession, said he thought the pair were part of a much larger group of young women who had gotten on at the same stop and were being loud.

He felt threatened by the crowd and said when Tripp first bumped into him he asked her to stop and “they started sassing me.”

Wilson, the author of four books, said he usually just turns the other cheek, but just snapped when Tripp hit his leg.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “They wouldn’t stop kicking me.”

As the train pulled into the Prospect Ave. station Wilson tossed the knife from the elevated platform to a nearby rooftop, where cops found the weapon.

Good Samaritans grabbed him as he tried to flee.

Wilson, who has a rap sheet with 15 prior arrests, sported two small wounds, one on the side and one of the back of his neck, that were stitched up.

The published poet lamented the fact that he’s never received as much attention for his writing as he has for his stabbing rampage.

He also asked Tripp to have compassion for him.

“I wasn’t trying to kill her. I wish her a speedy recovery. I wish there was something I could do for her,” he told The News.

“I’m sorry for her and I’m sorry for me.”

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Jun 17, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Bronx tot, 2, survives five-story fall with nothing but a bruise

A lucky little girl miraculously survived a five story fall from her bedroom window on Friday when she landed on an awning outside her Bronx building.

Two-year-old Audrianna Dzyuba often sits safely on the window sill of her sixth floor bedroom, where she likes to play with her tablet, her mother told the Daily News.

The window, overlooking Mosholu Ave. in Riverdale, is never open and Audrianna is too small to work the latch, added mom Kelley Dzyuba, 31.

But on Friday, around 6:30 p.m., the tyke’s cousin, Isabelle Goff, 17, wanted to listen to the rain — so she opened the window. The pair share the small bedroom, where Audrianna’s name is stenciled in rainbow colors on the wall.

Toddler survives two-story fall with minor injuries in Queens

Isabelle left the room for a moment to get a slice of pizza from a dining table just outside the door, leaving her cousin alone. Instantly, she heard a thundering sound and the cries of her younger cousin coming from five floors below.

“I looked out the window and there she was on the awning down below,” Isabelle told The News. “I screamed.”

Audrianna, amazingly, landed atop the green canvas canopy outside the front door of the co-op building.

The 20-foot-long metal-ribbed overhang stretches only eight feet across.

Arkansas girl, 4, tumbles out of the back of a moving school bus

Audrianna’s mom said hearing her daughter’s screams from a room away and five flights up was the stuff of nightmares.

“My heart sank and it hasn’t come back up yet,” the stunned mother said. “It’s an absolute miracle.”

The toddler’s father rushed down to the sidewalk but couldn’t reach his crying daughter.

A neighbor whose second floor window opens next to the covering was able to reach out and pull her inside.

Skydiving instructor makes on-ground save after child falls

“It was pretty shocking, she only has a bruise on her right arm,” Dzyuba. “No broken bones, no injuries, nothing.

“The cops said let her play the lottery because she’s the luckiest kid in the world,” she added.

The family moved to the Bronx recently and said they were unaware they had to notify their landlord that they needed window guards to protect Audrianna and her 4-year-old brother Vinny.

Isabelle showed The News a notice from the building about the safety bars she said they received only hours before the near-tragedy.

Audrianna, who goes by the nickname Angel, was taken to Jacobi Medical Center for observation after the harrowing ordeal.

Her father, Alex Dzyuba, 31, who runs his own IT firm, joked that he was using the hospital bed while his little girl was up playing and exploring the room.

“She’s probably going to be a gymnast,” he said. “I’m just glad that she’s alive and alright.”

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Jun 16, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Cops halt Bronx suicide attempt after woman shows gun on Facebook

Cops foiled a woman’s suicide attempt Thursday in the Bronx after she streamed herself on Facebook Live waving a gun, sources said.

The drama started just after 3:30 p.m. in a six-story building on E. 209th St. near Parkside Place in Norwood, sources said.

As she streamed her suicide threats at about 3:45 p.m., the woman’s family called police.

Cops came and took her into custody.

The woman — who has not been identified — was taken to Montefiore Medical Center for observation.

Cops found a .38-caliber revolver inside the apartment, the sources said.

A report released last year found that suicide rates in the city — especially among women — are on the rise.

The city’s Health Department reported 565 deaths as a result of suicide in 2014 — an increase of about 26% from the 448 in 2000.

The rate of increase was higher than those of homicides and motor vehicle deaths, the report found.


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Jun 16, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Cops bust second suspect who threw avocados at Bronx deli worker

A second ex-college baseball player has been busted for beaning avocados at a Bronx deli clerk over a bungled order, officials said.

Jestyfer Henriquez, a former shortstop at Onondaga Community College, was arrested Friday and charged with assault, according to police.

The slugger, who goes by the nickname Jay, has 11 previous arrests, according police officials.

His pal, Brad Gomez, 28, was arrested a day earlier for his role in the May 29 attack at Stadium Gourmet Deli on E. 161st St. and Walton Ave.

Man charged in avocado attack at NYC deli that broke worker’s jaw

Gomez, who played hardball at Monroe College, was arraigned Friday morning. He was later released on ,000 bail later in the day.

Video footage of the melee went viral after it appeared to show Gomez grabbing a handful of avocados and hurling them one by one at the deli clerk, 21-year-old Amir Alzabibi.

One pitch fractured Alzabibi’s eye socket and jaw.

The video also appears to show Henriquez, 25, hurling two avocados and knocking over a shelf of potato chips.

Enraged NYC deli patrons hurl avocados after cook botched orders

Authorities say the two men started lobbing avocados at Alzabibi over a bungled food order.

But Henriquez’s sister, Franchesca Henriquez, said that Alzabibi provoked the food fight.

In an interview with the Daily News, she said that Alzabibi threw an egg at Gomez’s face. She said another deli clerk also raised a machete at her brother’s face.

The sister said the video footage that has been released is an edited account of what happened.

“They have to put out the whole video,” she said. “The police should have put out the whole video from the beginning.”

Jestyfer Henriquez lives in a Grand Concourse apartment with his family and his girlfriend, who is pregnant. Gomez, who lives next door, and Henriquez work together as electrical technicians, the sister said.

Henriquez’s mother, Francisca Felix, said “being a baseball player was his dream.” She also said that her son and Gomez were provoked.

“They are not violent men,” Felix said. “They are hardworking men.”

As of late Friday afternoon, Henriquez had not been arraigned.

Prosecutors said at Gomez’s arraignment earlier in the day that Gomez tried to hide from police once he was identified in the shocking video footage.

He faces seven years in jail for assault.

“Given the severity of the victim’s case and the failure to turn himself over I am recommending jail time,” a prosecutor said at his arraignment while asking for ,000 bail.

Gomez’s attorney said that his client did not hide from the police.

“He wasn’t trying to avoid anything, he was in his home,” his defense lawyer said.

A hard-throwing left-hander whose given name is Vladimir, Gomez played baseball at Monroe College in 2012 and 2013 and at South Bronx Preparatory High School, his mother said Thursday.

He once had high hopes of becoming a professional baseball player and then a cop, family members said.

The judge also signed off on an order of protection for Alzabibi, ordering Gomez to stay away from the deli clerk for the foreseeable future. 

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Jun 16, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Bronx woman, 38, burned by homemade explosive tossed by teens

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Jun 16, 2017

BRONX NEWS: De Blasio reveals plan offering 100,000 new jobs over 10 years

Mayor de Blasio rolled out his long-awaited jobs plan Thursday, promising 100,000 new jobs in industries like technology, life sciences, manufacturing and creative sectors over the next 10 years.

“We have an opportunity to shape our own destiny through this plan,” de Blasio said of his “New York Works” document, which he announced at the offices of SecurityScorecard, a cybersecurity company midtown.

The plan — rolled out during an election year — promises jobs paying at least ,000 (or close to it, with a pathway there) and comes with a price tag of least .35 billion, not including 0 million in tax breaks the city has previously said it’s willing to offer life sciences businesses or other tax incentives it may offer as part of the initiative.

But the math to get to 100,000 isn’t quite laid out in the document. It promises 30,000 tech jobs, 15,000 life sciences jobs, 20,000 industrial and manufacturing jobs, 10,000 creative and cultural jobs, and 25,000 jobs from creating “space for jobs of the future” — but the individual initiatives in each section add up to fewer jobs than that.

NYC’s public hospital boss mulls health care job cuts

The city later put out another document that did add up to 100,000, which combined the initiatives in the 109-page plan, jobs created through smaller city initiatives and projections of jobs to come from future investments not yet in the plan.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said the plan requires “a degree of nimbleness” to change as the world does.

“It’s not your old-school sort of five-year Soviet plan where we say, ‘this town is going to make this widget and this worker is going to be in that seat,’” she said, “but it is a real attempt to be thoughtful about the sectors where what we do really matters”

Only jobs created by direct city investments or action will be counted, officials said, and the tally will not include already expected job growth, construction jobs or jobs that spring up nearby city-created jobs — like a new coffee shop opening near a new office.

City jobs program has placed hundreds of New Yorkers in tech gigs

Those city investments and actions will run the gamut from that 0 million in tax breaks, meant to make building life science labs more affordable, to an overhaul of the city’s shipping and freight system that would see containers moved from New Jersey ports to the new South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and beyond by barges, rather than trucks that run through Staten Island.

The mayor will also pump money into the cybersecurity industry — noting the success of his host, SecurityScorecard, which began with two people three-and-a-half years ago and now employs 110. The industry’s clients often include financial services company, many of which are headquartered in New York.

“We have such natural advantages. We have to maximize the growth of the cyberseucrity sector right now, right here, and not let it slip away,” de Blasio said. “Because those jobs are going to be developed somewhere.”

The city will invest million in the industry to fund training, expanding cybersecurity college programs supporting research and development labs and the creation of a cybersecurity accelerator. That will “directly add” 3,500 jobs, the city said.

Bo Dietl wants those who pee in public to target Gracie Mansion

Other aspects of the plan are much more nebulous — like the promise of 25,000 jobs by creating “space for the jobs of the future,” through rezonings and the lease of city-owned land to create more office space.

It remains to be seen how the city will lure some of these industries to New York — with the tech and life-science sectors already booming in places like Boston and Seattle, where de Blasio recently met with members of the life sciences industry. And many life sciences companies are located not far away in New Jersey, where there’s more room for labs.

“It was space, space, space and more space that was the central concern,” de Blasio acknowledged of the concerns he heard in Seattle.

But he said plans to build a life sciences campus along either the east side of Manhattan or the western side of Queens — close to hospitals and university campuses — had swayed many of those he met with.

De Blasio promises jobs for inmates if they complete time in NYC

“How many places in the world can you find this concentration of talent?” de Blasio asked.

The city may also have to overcome a belief that its government hasn’t exactly been hip to tech companies, given City Hall’s past battles with Uber and Airbnb.

“I think it’s there in people’s minds, I think there’s obviously some who philosophically are going to be concerned about that, but it was not central to the conversation,” he said, of his trips out west.

Not everyone was impressed with de Blasio’s plan. Reclaim New York, a conservative group, argued the mayor ought to cut taxes and regulations to grow jobs instead.

Mayor hopeful tries to get an elusive de Blasio to ride subway

“It does not matter how frequently the city tracks job creation, costly tax breaks for politically-favored industries is insulting to the 99% who pay for those giveaways,” director Brandon Muir said.

But the Center for an Urban Future lauded the plan.

“New York’s economy has been on fire, but the one shortcoming has been the relative lack of middle class job creation,” director Jonathan Bowles said. “It’s great that Mayor de Blasio is making the creation of good jobs a key part of his affordability agenda.”

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Jun 16, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Bronx principal accused of attacking fifth-grade girl in class

A Bronx principal known for starring as a killer in a B-movie gang flick threw a fifth-grader to the floor and then threw a table on her, injuring the girl and terrifying her so badly that she’s been unable to return to school, the student and her mother charge.

Bronx mom Vanessa Roman and her daughter Vanessiana Himes, 11, say controversial Public School 132 Principal Anissa Reilly flew into a dangerous rage upon encountering Vanessiana’s unruly classroom on May 24. Reilly threw a scary temper tantrum and pushed Vanessiana onto the floor, causing a cut and bruise to her arm, the mother and daughter said.

“My daughter still can’t return to class, she’s so upset,” Roman said. “The class was out of control, and Ms. Reilly pushed my daughter down. She came home crying. It was too much.”

After the incident, Roman took Vanessiana to file a police report at the 42nd Precinct stationhouse, where the girl said Reilly pushed her, causing her to hit her shoulder.

East Harlem principal who clashed with parents taking new job

Roman has photos she says were taken at the time, showing cuts and bruises to her daughter’s arm.

“My class was really bad, but I wasn’t acting out,” Vanessiana said. “I was just standing there and Ms. Reilly came to my desk and pushed me and I fell and then she pushed a table on top of me.”

During the incident, Vanessiana said her teacher did nothing. The teacher, Gilsa Frias, said she could not discuss the alleged attack.

“I was advised by the my union that I cannot say anything about it until all the investigations go through,” Frias said Thursday.

Mom banned from NYC charter school campus for saying ‘damn’

Since the incident, Vanessiana has been moping at home, too depressed and frightened to return to PS 132.

“It made me feel sad, but I don’t want to go back to school because I’m scared of Ms. Reilly,” she said.

Roman has been giving Vanessiana home-school lessons since the alleged attack and says she believes the girl, who she says is a good student, will graduate fifth grade.

An 11-year-old boy, who said he was in Vanessiana’s class, said Reilly threw a fit that day.

Fired New Orleans principal denies he’s racist, white supremacist

“Our class was not behaving. She came in screaming. She hit two students. She kicked a desk over. After, she told us to pick up her mess,” the student said.

Police are investigating the case, but Reilly, meanwhile, remains on the job.

The principal, 45, who started working in city schools in 1996 and earns an annual salary of 3,721, has grabbed headlines and earned official reprimands with a string of scandals and transgressions.

In 2013, parents raised concerns over Reilly’s side career as a B-movie actress, when she starred as a vicious, homicidal drug dealer in the title role of the unrated 2009 flick “Gang Girl.”

Mom sues principal, teacher for forcing son to say Pledge

Reilly, who was formerly known as Anissa Chalmers, also caused controversy in 2012 when she canceled the graduation ceremony for the entire fifth grade class at PS 132 because kids were behaving badly.

Roman and Vanessiana say Reilly canceled graduation again this year, but Education Department officials wouldn’t confirm or deny it.

Reilly received a letter of reprimand in 2012 for violating regulations that govern fund-raising and protect the rights of parents who participate in parent-teacher associations.

In May, Education Department officials found Reilly had failed to report instances of wrongdoing at PS 132, a charge for which she still faces official disciplinary action.

Bronx vice principal fined G for using volunteer as babysitter

Reilly did not respond to calls for comment.

But Education Department spokesman Michael Aciman said the city is probing the latest, disturbing charges of physical violence leveled against Reilly over the May 24 incident.

“We are investigating these serious allegations and will ensure appropriate followup action is swiftly taken,” Aciman said. 

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Jun 15, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Hazardous defects in subways take too long to fix: audit

Stand clear of the broken staircase.

Hazardous defects in the subway system can take too long to spot and even longer to fix, according to a 25-station audit state Controller Tom DiNapoli released Thursday.

A clogged drain at the Seventh Ave. station in Midtown — the type of defect that should be top priority and fixed within 24 hours — took longer than three months to fix.

Other busted pieces of station equipment that can pose a danger including a malfunctioning water line at 42nd St. and missing tiles at 14th St.-Union Sq.

To fix the subways, get out of the way

The audit uncovered 21 high-priority problems — 20 of them, however, took station supervisors longer than three days to spot. In a random sample of 10 of those defects, just three were fixed within 24 hours. Overall, the audit uncovered 66 pieces of busted components at 12 stations.

“Delays in identifying and responding to unsafe conditions is a risk that can be prevented,” DiNapoli said.

MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco said last year that nearly all but a handful of serious problems were fixed within 24 hours.

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Jun 15, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Teacher called himself ‘Bird King,’ ran Bronx cockfighting ring

Uneasy lies the head that wears a Bird King’s crown.

Self-described “Bird King” Hector Cruz a city teacher collared Jan. 31 for allegedly running a Bronx cockfighting farm has copped to an animal welfare charge, the Daily News has learned.

Cruz pleaded guilty on June 8 to a single federal count, “attending an animal fighting venue,” court documents reveal.

As part of Cruz’s plea deal, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of up to six months behind bars.

NYC teacher busted for running cockfighting farm

The maximum sentence for the charge is one year in prison, according to court docs.

Cruz has also agreed to forfeit “any and all roosters, hens, baby chickens, and eggs” seized in relation to his arrest, plea agreement papers say.

Cruz, who had taught ESL at Public School 211, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but had said after his arrest that the allegations were “just trash talk.”

His lawyer declined comment.

Education Department officials said Cruz, who started working in city schools in 1996, was reassigned to an administrative center after his January arrest but continues to draw his 8,251 salary.

Education Department officials wouldn’t say when Cruz would return to the classroom or if he was facing disciplinary action over his criminal acts.

“This behavior is unacceptable and Mr. Cruz was reassigned in February pending the resolution of his criminal case,” said Education Department spokesman Michael Aciman.

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment.

NYPD cops learned about Cruz’s avian antics in February 2016 following a 311 report about roosters in a backyard.

The 59-year-old “voluntarily provided the NYPD officers with a tour of the backyard of the Bronx Rooster Farm, which housed approximately 40 to 45 roosters and/or hens of different ages,” the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office alleged.

Roosters outnumbered the hens and were “dubbed” — a cockfighting term which means these birds are “groomed or mutilated in distinct ways,” prosecutors said after Cruz’s arrest.

Cruz also boasted about bird-based bloodsport on social media, blabbing about “his success in fighting roosters … his ownership of roosters known for their cockfighting ability … the sale and shipment of roosters known for their cockfighting ability … and the money he makes from owning and selling roosters,” court papers claimed.

Cruz’s social media handle was “‘Rajah Khan’ … a play on words that means, in sum and substance, ‘Bird King,’” authorities said.

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Jun 15, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Cops cuff man wanted for avocado hurling attack in Bronx deli

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