Browsing articles in "Bronx News"
Feb 15, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Man wakes from nap, gets robbed at knifepoint at Bronx hotel

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Feb 15, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Bronx woman dies in apartment fire early Sunday morning

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Feb 15, 2015

BRONX NEWS: CARIBBEAT: Carnival joy in Trinidad and Tobago

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Feb 14, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Cops crack 1993 Bronx slaying

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Feb 13, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Alleged perv teacher Richard Hovan’s ex- fiancée takes stand

An accused perv prep school teacher — on trial for bedding a 16-year-old student — told bogus stories in a recorded call made by his ex-fiancée, evidence at his Manhattan trial Friday revealed.

The former love, Marina Bontkowski, took the witness stand against cheating Riverdale Country School teacher and former “Price is Right” contestant Richard Hovan, who she suspected was bringing the teen to their Chelsea pad when she was out of town and after they broke up in 2011.

As prosecutors played the damning call to Hovan’s cellphone, Bontowski briefly glared at her ex, who refused to look her way.

During the phone call, she buttered him up by telling him she missed him, which she later admitted was true, and then lured him into discussing the alleged affair with the underage pupil.

“Right now, I wish we were still getting married in August, even after everything,” Bontowski said on the call, which was monitored by investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Hovan claimed he did not sleep with the girl even though Bontkowski said she walked in on her topless with Hovan.

He started by begging Bontkowski to stay mum on what she knew — trying to save his job and keep his life from falling apart.

“I need to make sure that things like this don’t get out because she doesn’t deserve it and I was just trying to help her out,” Hovan babbled.

At first he claimed he was just counseling the girl through her parents’ divorce. He then admitted that a line was crossed but insisted they didn’t go all the way.

“We did not have sex — I absolutely promise that, 100%,” she said.

When she confronted him with her discovery of condoms in the apartment, he claimed they were close to sex but that he wasn’t into it.

“To be honest, it was kind of awkward,” he said, claiming he wasn’t turned on.

Hovan is on trial for criminal sex act, rape and other charges related to encounters with the teen.

Bontkowski said she turned him in and reported him to the school because she “knew he shouldn’t be teaching.”

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Feb 13, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Bronx man charged in possible drug-related killing

A 54-year-old Bronx man was arrested in the murder of a retired nurse in what police said may have been a drug deal gone bad, cops said Thursday.

The body of Eric Simmons, 68, was found Jan. 28 with a bag of heroin on him in the stairwell of a Melrose Houses apartment building on E. 156th St. near Courtlandt Ave., police sources said.

Arnell Jones, who lives in the building where Simmons was found, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, police said.

Jones has five prior arrests, including criminal possession of a controlled substance and robbery, according to cops. Three of his arrests are sealed.

Simmons, a nurse from Lincoln Hospital Center until his retirement two years ago, died from a blow to the head, police sources said.

Sources also said he had nine arrests, several of which involved drugs.

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Feb 12, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Family of man who killed himself at Rikers files suit

The family of a man who killed himself at Rikers Island — after guards allegedly ignored his cries for help — filed a suit against the city Wednesday.

Quanell Offley committed suicide on Dec, 3, 2013 because the guards tasked with taking care of him failed to provide appropriate medical care or suicidal prevention protocol, alleges the suit filed in Bronx Supreme Court.

Offley’s death was “caused solely by virtue of the carelessness, negligence, lack of supervision and egregious disregard” of the guards, reads the suit filed by lawyer Paul Weitz.

Offley, 31, hanged himself with a bed sheet tied to an air vent in his solitary confinement cell, Weitz told the Daily News.

Offley had repeatedly complained to jail guards that he planned to kill himself and one guard responded, “If you have the balls, go ahead and do it,” the Associated Press reported.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks unspecified damages, though court papers filed last August seek million.

The city Law Department said that its lawyers would review the lawsuit.

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Feb 11, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Bronx bandit who scared victims with syringe gets 15 years

This needle bandit got the sharp end of justice.

A Bronx thief who used a hypodermic syringe to threaten and rob 10 victims was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison.

Angel Cintron, 41, was handed the stiff sentence for threatening his victims — one as young as 11 years old — with a needle he claimed was infected with the AIDS virus, before swiping their cellphones, iPods and other gadgets.

The syringe scoundrel went on the robbery spree in 2012 on well-trafficked E. Tremont Ave., said prosecutors.

Wearing an orange Department of Correction jumpsuit and black mitts, Cintron turned his back to Bronx Supreme Court Justice Ralph Fabrizio for nearly the entire sentencing after he spotted a Daily News photographer taking his picture.

A fleet of court officers stood by as the judge grew increasingly peeved.

“You have a right to face me,” said Fabrizio at one point.

“Not with that dude here taking pictures like that,” snapped back Cintron, who kept his neck angled away from the bench, showing the judge only the “DOC” letters on his jumpsuit.

The refusal to face the judge was his only statement during the proceeding.

Cintron had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery in the first degree, one count of third-degree robbery, and another count of attempting to sell narcotics.

His attorney Richard Barton told The News afterward that the bandit was a lifelong heroin addict.

He claimed that Cintron did not truly intend to injure his victims.

“He really thought of it like a scam,” said Barton, noting that prosecutors never presented evidence that the hypodermic needles were infected.

“I don’t believe he ever meant to hurt anybody.”

Fabrizio laid into Cintron for terrorizing teenagers before handing down the harsh sentence.

“You’re not a child. They were, and you were a predator in those cases,” he said. “There is no excuse. There is no apology. There is only an admission of guilt.”

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Feb 10, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Man gets up to 10 years in prison for 1993 sex assault

A North Carolina man on the lam for more than two decades after sexually assaulting a Fordham University student was sentenced Tuesday to up to a decade in prison.

Michael Ferguson, 50, fled after posting bail for the 1993 charge of attempted rape against the 20-year-old victim.

He followed the woman to her Parkchester home, choked her, and pushed the student into a stairwell before sexually assaulting her.

Her boyfriend, a transit cop, caught Ferguson in the act — and arrested him after a short chase.

Officials finally nabbed Ferguson early last year when he applied for a license in Rocky Mount, N.C. where he had been living under the radar with a wife and five children.

A jury convicted him last December on charges of first-degree attempted rape and first-degree sexual abuse.

The victim, who had “moved on with her life,” was forced to relive the horrible ordeal all over again — and endure detailed cross-examination — during the one-week trial, said Bronx assistant district attorney Astrid Borgstedt.

The DA’s office sought a max of 15 years.

“She’s afraid to this day of being alone, of walking into places at night,” Borgstedt told Judge Dominic Massaro.

“This is the kind of crime people never forget.”

Ferguson, wearing a gray shirt, slacks and a brown tie, stood silently while his attorney pushed for a more lenient sentence.

Two of his children submitted letters saying that Ferguson was “the best father” and they missed him, said attorney Steven Brill.

One of the convicted rapist’s co-workers at the Atlantic Millbrook Apartment Homes, where Ferguson worked in maintenance, claimed he was “a hard worker and a great family man.”

“You have seen over two decades of evidence that Mr. Ferguson is capable of being rehabilitated,” said Brill.

“The court does not have to speculate or make a guess. You can see it with both eyes.”

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Feb 10, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Bronx parolee busted after bullets fly at fried chicken shop

Jamie Cintron likes his fried chicken with a side order of gunsmoke, cops say.

Bronx officers cuffed the parolee early Tuesday after he shot up a fried chicken joint in the Bronx, then ran into a bar next door, waved around his gun and threatened to kill everyone inside, officials said.

Cintron, 40, who did seven years in prison for robbery, is now facing assault, weapons possession, reckless endangerment and menacing charges for the 2:45 a.m. mini-spree, which began when he walked into the Super Kennedy Fried Chicken on E. Gun Hill Road in Norwood around the corner from his home and started arguing with a 25-year-old employee.

Cintron allegedly pulled a gun and fired in the employee’s direction, but the bullet went into the counter, police said.

He ran into the La Familia Bar next door and brandished the firearm, police sources said.

“I will kill everyone in here,” Cintron threatened, according to court records.

Responding officers took Cintron into custody — just as he ordered a drink, police sources said.

No one was injured.

Cintron was released from prison in 2013 after the robbery sentence, officials said. He also did a two-year stint in prison for drugs beginning in 2001, according to court records.

The arraignment on his current charges was pending Tuesday.

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Feb 9, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Cops charge suspect in death of man found in BMW in Bronx

A 25-year-old man nicknamed “Boogie” has been charged with the strangulation of a New Jersey man found dead in the trunk of his BMW in the Bronx, officials said Monday.

Jordan Johnson, 24, was founded in his car Jan. 15 in Bedford Park.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Andre Jamal Thompson, 25, also known as “Boogie,” was charged with murder. There could be other arrests, he said.

The day before Johnson was found, his live-in girlfriend came home in the middle of the night to discover their Fort Lee apartment was burglarized, Molinelli said.

Thompson lured Johnson to his apartment, then beat and killed him, Molinelli said. Thompson then allegedly used Johnson’s phone to text the girlfriend, telling her to meet him in Harlem.

The girlfriend fell for the ruse and while she was away from her from her flat Thompson broke in and stole jewelry, cash and other items, Molinelli said.

Thompson fled to Laurel, Md., where he was arrested last Wednesday. He is being held there pending his extradition to New Jersey.

At the time of the incident, police sources said the murder might be tied to an identity theft ring.

Molinelli’s office did not return a call seeking comment.

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Feb 9, 2015

BRONX NEWS: Bronx teacher claims teen accusing her of rape is lying

A 14-year-old special ed student who accused an educator at a Bronx school of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting him is fabricating the attacks, the accused woman’s lawyer said Monday.

Maria Contreras, 29, was arraigned Sunday and held on ,000 bail — but her lawyer went on the attack against the paraprofessional’s accuser.

“This is the word of a special needs child with serious behaviorism issues,” said lawyer Ruth Hamilton at Bronx Criminal Court.

“This is her (Contreras’) worst nightmare. She would never touch a child,” the lawyer added.

Contreras, a married mother of two, is accused of having sex with the boy at least six times. Roughly 40 friends and family showed support for her at the courthouse.

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