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Oct 13, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx man gets year in jail for abusing girlfriend’s dog


A Bronx brute will serve a year in jail for slamming his girlfriend’s puppy so hard against the floor the pooch had to have a leg amputated.


Roberto Martinez, 25, hurled the eight-month-old mutt to the floor in the hallway of his girlfriend’s apartment building on Sept. 10, 2016, according to Bronx prosecutors.


On Friday, Martinez pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to an animal, a felony. He’ll serve a year in jail under the plea deal. He’s slated for sentencing in November and was ordered held without bail Friday.


Martinez will have to register with the state as an animal abuser and is not allowed to own pets for five years.

Dog service loses woman’s pet, demands she stop posting about it


The dog, now named Sally, is doing well with a new owner, according to an ASPCA spokeswoman.


Prosecutors say they have surveillance video showing Martinez lifting Sally – then called Sassy – by her harness to his shoulder and heaving her to the ground.


After the attack, Sally tried to run away but couldn’t use her right hind leg. Martinez lifted the helpless dog by her scruff and pushed her up the stairs to the girlfriend’s apartment, where he was staying.


When Martinez’s girlfriend brought Sally to the vet she claimed the pooch had fallen down the stairs. Sally’s right hind leg was amputated six days after the attack.

Woman awarded sick pay for time off to care for ill dog


Prosecutors said there was evidence Sally had been abused before, including healed broken ribs.


“Such inhumane actions warrant a jail sentence,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. “We will not tolerate cruelty to defenseless animals.”


Martinez’s lawyer declined to comment Friday.

Tags:
animals
pets
animal cruelty

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Oct 12, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: MTA subway delays are costing morning commuters time and money


Morning straphangers give the MTA more than .75 a ride — collectively, they also fork over 34,900 hours a day, at a cost of .2 million, according to numbers crunchers at the city Independent Budget Office.


Each year since 2012, riders on every train line on the morning commute lost more hours of their day to debilitating subway delays, according to an Independent Budget Office report released Thursday.


“That the magnitude of subway delays is getting worse is not just a matter of perception,” the report’s author wrote.


The study, called “We are Being Held Momentarily” for a subway phrase that makes riders gnash their teeth, found delays on a typical weekday morning rush hour in May cost 1.5 million morning commuters 34,900 hours. That was a 45% increase from the 24,023 lost hours in a weekday in 2012.

MTA may cut 6M subway repair work if de Blasio doesn’t pay up


There’s more at stake than a personal toll on riders. Delays cost straphangers .2 million a day, or 7 million a year — not including holidays and weekends, according to the report.


The IBO report acknowledged the price of delays is “dwarfed by the size of the local economy.” Still, “it is likely that much of the cost of the time lost to subway delays actually falls on the commuters rather than their employers,” said the report, which was compiled at the request of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.


People wind up staying at their jobs later to make up for lost time stuck on a train in the morning, or they routinely leave early for work to make sure they’re on time.


“I take the 6 to Pelham and then I gotta take a bus,” Antonio Rivera, 64, who travels between Manhattan and Co-Op City in the Bronx, said Thursday. “I think it’s getting worse. You lose money and time.”

MTA to launch dashboard for riders to track subway performance


Attorney Ted Vialet, 70, of Brooklyn, said it’s a challenge to get to his office by 8:30 a.m. He leaves his Bedford-Stuyvesant place at 7 a.m. to catch the A train to lower Manhattan. Commuters who use the A, like Vialet, lose 2,775 hours a day from morning rush hour delays — among the highest in the transit system.


“Sometimes in the morning you can’t get on the train,” Vialet said. “I have to get up extra early to avoid being late. It can be stressful.”


The IBO also found in an August report, at the request of the Daily News, that city employees missed 17,143 hours of work this year because of delays.


The data in the report — crunching Metropolitan Transportation Authority performance and trip data, along with Census numbers — precedes the appointment of Joe Lhota to run the transit system at a time of crisis. Lhota has said his 6 million plan to stabilize the subway is showing promising signs in month-to-month data over the summer.

Transit woes cost city 17k hours in lost worker time through 2017


“Chairman Lhota’s Subway Action Plan is stabilizing the subway by targeting the biggest drivers of delays across the system — and that is exactly why we need City Hall and Mayor de Blasio to commit to paying its 50% share to fully implement the plan,” MTA spokesman John McCarthy said Thursday in a statement.


De Blasio spokesman Austin Finan said Lhota can ask the state to return money it raided from the MTA.


The mayor has been adamant about leaving the funding to the state, which runs the MTA and has raided the agency of transit-dedicated funds.


“(Lhota) should ask the State to return the nearly half-billion dollars it swiped from the authority he now oversees. It’s really that simple,” said Finan.

With Edgar Sandoval

Tags:
mta
taxes and spending

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Oct 12, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Feds bust 33 gangsters who ran drug ring out of Bronx project


Federal investigators have corralled 33 members of three violent Bronx gangs accused of turning a borough housing project into their private drug distribution hub and keeping the 1,300 families living there in the grip of fear, authorities said Thursday.


Crimes committed by the gangs Young Gunnaz, Killbrook and MBG — short for both “Mill Brook Gangstas” and “Money B—— Guns” — included selling marijuana, heroin and crack along with participating in bank fraud.


The rival crews also committed at least one murder, several shootings and other acts of violence as they sought control of the Mill Brook Houses in Mott Haven, federal officials said.


Gary (Reckless) Davis, a member of Killbrook, was arrested in 2011 for fatally shooting 21-year-old Bolivia Beck at the Mill Brook Houses.


Davis was aiming for the young mother’s boyfriend, who belonged to a rival gang, when he shot her in the head instead, police said at the time.


Davis was a Facebook friend of Beck, police said when they arrested him shortly after her death.


The U.S. Attorney’s Office unsealed three indictments against the gangs on Wednesday, charging their members with racketeering, murder, attempted murder and bank fraud.


Federal authorities swept in and arrested 24 gang members at the Mill Brook Houses Wednesday. Five others, including Davis, were already in state custody on other charges. A handful of others were still being sought Thursday.


“These gangs and crews plagued the Mill Brook Houses for a decade, engaging in violence and selling drugs,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said when announcing the indictments. “One of the victims was Bolivia Beck, a 21-year-old who was shot dead in broad daylight.”


“The defendants will now face justice in federal court,” Kim said.


FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said he hopes that, with the arrests, the residents of the Mill Brook Houses “seize the chance at a fresh start to rebuild a safer place to live.”


“The gang members we rounded up in this case, and in many other investigations, seem to not learn the lesson that they cannot act with impunity,” Sweeney said. “These gangs have a significantly negative impact on the neighborhoods where they operate, but we can’t make these arrests in a vacuum.”

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Oct 12, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Man in critical condition after he’s shot, stabbed by couple

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Oct 12, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Malliotakis pleased with mayoral debate, but better without Dietl


Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is “very pleased” with Tuesday night’s debate — even if she’d rather not have Bo Dietl on stage with her for the next one.


“Certainly I would prefer a one-on-one debate with the mayor,” Malliotakis said Wednesday, calling herself the clear alternative to Hizzoner. “Obviously that would give me more time to make my case and we can drill a little more down on the various issues.”


The boisterous debate, broadcast by NY1, was marred by nearly constant outbursts from the audience, which at one point led moderator Errol Louis to direct police to kick out a spectator who screamed out that de Blasio would be going to jail. At one point, Dietl wouldn’t stop interrupting other candidates and Louis cut off his microphone.


“Yesterday was, it made it difficult, the crowd did make it difficult they took up a lot of time on all sides, on all three campaigns,” she said.

Mayoral debate turns into yelling match ahead of general election


The inclusion of Dietl — who sucked up much of the oxygen and many of the headlines — may have made it harder for Malliotakis to introduce herself to an electorate that polls say doesn’t know much about the Staten Island Republican.


“I’m very pleased with the way the debate went,” she said. “I feel that I made the points, I feel that I held the mayor accountable on many of the issues that have been troubling the people of this city.”


Malliotakis continued to argue that public polling didn’t match up with her internal numbers, which showed a better outlook for a campaign widely consider a longshot.


“This is a race, I believe this is a race,” she said.

Shouting, insults abound in wildly stupid New York mayoral debate


Malliotakis was asked about the debate during a press conference she held outside 2800 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, which she said residents feared would be turned into a homeless shelter or detox facility. Malliotakis offered no evidence either would happen, but said the city should be more transparent about citing such facilities and expressed support for state legislation that would require 45 days’ notice for shelters. The city has promised 30 days’ notice — though it falls far short of that when using hotel rooms to house homeless people.


The city has previously said there will not be a shelter on the site and said as much again Wednesday: “We are not using this location for shelter and we have no plans to do so,” Homeless Services spokesman Isaac McGinn said.


Local Assemblyman Michael Benedetto added that there were also no plans for a substance abuse facility, and said the property owners were working with the community board to set up an advisory board about the property’s use.


Asked about the Mayor’s feelings on whether Dietl should be invited to the second debate, campaign spokesman Dan Levitan said, “We are happy for any opportunity to talk about the Mayor’s record and we look forward to debating whoever the (Campaign Finance Board) and debate sponsors decide to include.” 

Tags:
nicole malliotakis
bill de blasio
bo dietl
nyc mayoral election 2017

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Oct 11, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Heart attack victim reunited in hospital with man who saved life


Prayer saves.


Just ask Salvador Collazo. The tow truck driver was on his way to church for a little devotion last month when he happened upon a man having a heart attack on a Bronx street. He gave the stranger CPR until paramedics arrived.


“It’s emotional,” Collazo, 35, said Wednesday after reuniting at a Bronx hospital with Mark Solomon, 53, the man whose life he saved.


“You never expect this. I wasn’t looking for any praise. I didn’t know the outcome of the patient when I handed him over to the EMS. I just kept moving and went on with my day.”


As fate would have it, Collazo has been a trained paramedic for 17 years, and knew just what to do that morning when he saw Solomon in distress on Sept. 14 along Mace Ave. near Wallace Ave.


Collazo, who was on his way to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, started giving Solomon chest compressions while another bystander called 911.


Solomon, an MTA night security guard, and his girlfriend, Bobbie Brooks, wanted to thank Collazo for his divine intervention, but the humble Collazo climbed back into his tow truck and left the scene moments after paramedics arrived. No one got his name or contact information.


Brooks made it her mission to find Solomon’s “angel.” She even visited all of the local tow truck companies looking for the mystery man.


When that failed, she appealed to the Daily News, which expressed her gratitude in a story last week about Solomon’s good fortune.


Collazo, who has co-owned his own tow truck company for more than a year, had moved on, pausing briefly to mention the moment in an Instagram post


“OMW to La Gruta for a prayer and I get myself into a cardiac arrest!!!!! Good Morning!”


A friend of Collazo saw the post and the story in The News and put two and two together. Days later, Collazo, bearing flowers, was at Solomon’s bedside at the Helen Hayes Hospital and Rehab Center, where Solomon is on the mend.


“I’m glad you were there, man,” Solomon told Collazo from his bed.


“It’s a whole team effort,” Collazo replied.


“Yeah, but if you weren’t there…,” Solomon said, his voice trailing off. “Right place at the right time.


“I was on my way home when you saw me. I just finished working,” Solomon continued. “Sorry you’re seeing me this way.”


“I’ve seen you worse before,” Collazo joked, referring to the day of the heart attack. “You’re a lot better off than before, trust me.”


Brooks couldn’t stop smiling. She gave Collazo a copy of The News article as a gift, and a big hug.


“I’m so grateful to Sal,” Brooks said.


“With all the negative things going on in the world right now, Sal is like one of God’s angels working on Earth. There’s no one like him. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think Mark would have made it. He saved Mark’s life.


“I’m grateful for Sal for bringing Mark back to life.”


She said Solomon still has a long way to go.


“He’s okay,” she said. “Right now, he’s not in the best mood. He can’t walk. He recognizes me. He has it in his mind that he wants to go home right now but it’s not time to go home. I want him to be out of here in four weeks. I got a call from his case manager that he’ll be out of here in four weeks.”


Collazo, meanwhile, said he still made it to church that day.


“Oh yeah, I went afterwards,” he said. “Cried a little bit, said a prayer, lit a candle. Did what I had to do.”

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Oct 11, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Two creeps busted for groping, grinding against women in subways


Cops busted two creeps they say groped and grinded against women in separate incidents on city subways, officials said Wednesday.


Police spotted Roger Grant, 21, grinding up against a 42-year-old woman on a Bronx-bound No. 5 train rumbling into the Fulton St. station in Lower Manhattan about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, official said.


Grant put up a fight when cops moved in to arrest him, cutting the officer’s thumb, police said.


He was charged with sex abuse and resisting arrest.


Later that day, Dontez Johnson allegedly repeatedly groped a 25-year-old woman on an East New York-bound 3 train in Brooklyn.


Johnson is accused of pinching the woman’s buttocks multiple times while he stood behind her.


His enraged victim took a cell phone photo of him before disembarking at the Nostrand Ave. station.


She took the picture straight to police, who nabbed Johnson on the 3 train five stops later at the Rockaway Ave. station.


Cops charged him with forcible touching.

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Oct 11, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Deli owner not flinching over ‘Arabs Keep Out’ vandalism


“Arabs Keep Out” was scrawled on the window of a Bronx deli, but the Yemen-born owner said he’s not too worried.


“My family has been in this business almost 50 years,” Faud Masireh told the Daily News. “We’ve dealt with worse.”


Masireh, 34, has been renovating a deli on Ampere Ave., in Country Club, all with an eye on soon opening a Westfield Market Place, an upscale grocery.


At noon Sunday Masireh showed up to continue the renovation when he found the ugly message, scrawled with a white marker, on the front door’s plate glass window.


Masireh was surprised.


“Our neighbors have been welcoming,” he said. “We’re bringing something to improve the neighborhood.”


Masireh reported the incident to police then scraped the message off the window. His relatives own food shops throughout the city and have dealt with worse problems, he said.


“This is nothing,” he said.


Still, the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating.


It’s also probing a Brooklyn incident in which a Jewish couple on Monday night found on their porch a meat tenderizer with a note attached to it.


“Shabot, Shalom, Jew cousin,” the note read. “Here are some pennies for good luck. Happy Yom Kippur. Here is a free meat clear. Love Muslim cousin.”


A teenage girl was seen running from the home, on E. 19th St., near Ave. T.

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Oct 11, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Drug dealer who sent son to Mexico as collateral gets 14 years


A drug dealer who sent his own son to Mexico as collateral in a multimillion-dollar heroin deal will spend the next 14 years behind bars.


Jose (Hippie) Mercedes was running a five-state smack ring from a Bronx apartment, and had a record 70 pounds of dope when federal agents arrested him in May 2015.


The Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecutors called the bust the largest heroin seizure in the city’s history — with million worth of drugs to get every one of the city’s 8.4 million residents high.


Mercedes, 49, was sentenced to 14 years in state prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision, on Tuesday.

EXCLUSIVE: Family of Bronx drug suspect was collateral


After months of surveillance and wiretaps, DEA task force found the heroin wrapped in 1-kilo packages with the street name Rolex, in a concealed trap compartment in the floor of a Chevrolet Suburban parked behind an apartment building on W. 251st St. in Fieldston.


Mercedes surrendered two “very close family members’ to the Sinaloa cartel, not as hostages, but as collateral in case something went wrong during one of his deals, the Daily News exclusively reported in 2015.


He lived the good life, and employed his son, brother, nieces and nephews in his drug conspiracy, requiring them to sacrifice their lives if need be, according to Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.


Whenever the drugs were en route to his operation, he was required to send one of his family members — often his nephew, and once, his teenage son — as a “guarantee.”

70 kg of heroin snagged in biggest-ever New York seizure


During one trip to Mexico, his son suffered a severe head injury, according to court documents.


“No prison sentence could possibly compensate the thousands from every community who have lost loved ones to heroin addiction, but I hope this lengthy sentence and our successful investigation will serve as a warning to traffickers who try to use our city as their headquarters,” Brennan said.

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Oct 10, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Record number of homeless kids attend NYC schools this year


One in 10 city schoolkids was homeless during the school year that ended in June, representing a 6% increase over the year before, new statistics show.


A record 111,562 homeless students attended city schools in the 2016-17 year, up from 105,445 in the 2015-16 school year, according to data posted online Tuesday by the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students. The center is a project of the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York.


The rise in homelessness was less than the previous year’s, when the tally increased by 22%, from 86,694, in the 2014-15 school year.


“The city has taken some considerable steps to assist students living in shelters, but these numbers show that further action is needed,” said Randi Levine, policy coordinator for Advocates for Children.

Surge in number of weapons found in NYC schools


“The city should ensure that there is high-level leadership on this issue,” she said.


The city schools’ new total includes kids in charter schools and is more than double the prerecession homeless student population of 50,926 for the 2007-08 school year.


The figure includes kids living in shelters, those living doubled-up with family members and those in other temporary housing arrangements.


Roughly 1.1 million students are enrolled the New York City public schools.

Malliotakis blames Blaz for homeless, mental health crises


Statistics show students who experience homelessness at some point in their lives are more likely to transfer schools and miss class. They are also less likely to graduate from high school on time and meet grade-level standards for reading and math.


Liz Cohen, chief of staff for the nonprofit Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, said homeless students face a number of difficulties in school.


“Across the board, the outcomes are much more challenging than for students who are not experiencing homelessness,” Cohen said. “Simply the act of losing your home is a trauma that these kids are experiencing.”


A 2017 study the institute published found domestic violence and evictions were frequently cited as factors contributing to homelessness by people in shelters.

NYC Education Dept. must make health inspection reports public


A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio said the city departments of Homeless Services and Education are working together to better support homeless students.


“DHS and DOE remain focused on addressing the unique needs of students in temporary housing, which is why we’ve worked together to expand dedicated staffing and programming,” spokeswoman Jaclyn Rothenberg said.

Tags:
new york public schools
nyc homeless

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Oct 10, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx cop busted for allegedly having sex with underage hooker


An Bronx cop was arrested Tuesday over accusations he had sex with an underage hooker and recorded their encounter, a law enforcement source said.


The alleged incident happened while Raul Olmeda was off-duty in January. Olmeda, 40, has been on modified duty, working a desk job without his gun and shield, as cops investigated.


He was arrested for using a child less than 17 in a sexual performance about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.


He was suspended without pay after his arrest.

Staten Island cop arrested for allegedly threatening ex-wife


Olmeda joined the force 3 1/2 years ago and had been assigned to the 42nd Precinct until the incident.


He was awaiting arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court Tuesday.

Tags:
nypd
police under investigation
sex crimes
prostitution
crimes against children

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Oct 10, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Cops grilling boyfriend of woman found dead in Bronx home


Cops are grilling the longtime boyfriend of a 38-year-old woman who was found dead in her Bronx apartment with strangulation marks on her neck, police sources said Tuesday.


Chanel Ricart was found in her bed inside her Carpenter Ave. apartment near E. 223rd St. in Williamsbridge by her sister about 10:10 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.


Responding officers discovered bruising around her neck, cops said.


Her boyfriend told police that Ricart had come home late Saturday after a night of drinking. He said Ricart took drugs before going to bed, and never woke up.


Cops took the boyfriend into custody after his statements didn’t line up with the markings found around her neck, police sources said.


No charges have been filed and the boyfriend’s name was not immediately disclosed.


An autopsy has been slated to determine how Ricart died.

Tags:
williamsbridge
nypd

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