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Sep 6, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Bank bans hoodies, hats; customers cry racial profiling

Forget dye packs and silent alarms: One city bank hopes to thwart would-be bandits with a dress code.

Lobby signs posted in Cross County Federal Savings Bank branches instruct visitors to remove their hats, hoodies and sunglasses before making their withdrawals — legal or not.

Some customers suggested the depository dress code discriminated against minorities or promoted racial profiling.

RELATED: HOMELESS MAN HOLDS UP BANK FOR

“There’s got to be something wrong with the person who thought of that,” said Quest Andino, 51, a black man walking past a bank branch in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

“That’s biased. Some people look scary, some don’t.”

Andino dismissed the idea of a couture crackdown as a deterrent: “If somebody’s going to rob a bank, they’re going to rob a bank regardless.”

RELATED: MAN SHOOTS HOSTAGES IN LOUISIANA BANK

Longtime customer Charles Lamatto, 88, insisted there was nothing sinister about the “New York” cap on his head.

“I don’t want to show I’m bald!” Lamatto said after completing a transaction in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “I’ve been in this neighborhood 66 years doing business with them. Nobody ever said anything!”

A bank official quickly responded that the critics weren’t giving Cross County enough credit. The no-hats, no-shades, no-hoodies rule was fairly commonplace outside New York. And the signs first went up in its banks — there are seven in the city — without much fanfare two years ago.

RELATED: BACKHOE USED TO BREAK INTO QUEENS BANK

“It’s basically just a security measure for our customers and employees,” said George Makowski, executive vice president for security at Cross County.

“It’s like people putting a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign in front of their house,” he said, adding that the rule is rarely enforced.

Cross County branches were robbed seven times in the last five years, all in Queens, according to the NYPD.

RELATED: FEDORA-WEARING MANHATTAN BANK ROBBER CAUGHT : COPS

Cuban immigrant Sarah Baez, 38, wore a Nike cap Thursday inside the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, branch. She understood the bank’s policy, and defended the way its customers were treated.

“I’ve never seen anyone discriminated against,” she said. “Everyone from different cultures, different colors goes there.”

Provident and PNC banks have a similar policy prohibiting the garments of choice for bank robbers seeking to keep their faces off security footage.

RELATED: POLICE ARREST SUSPECTS IN ‘FISHY’ BANK ROBBERY ATTEMPT IN BROOKLYN

Florida officials credited the policy for cutting robberies in their state. Cops in San Antonio even asked locals to doff their trusty cowboy hats.

The Cross County sign is simple and to the point: “For the safety and security of all customers and employees, we kindly ask that you remove hats, hoods, headgear and sunglasses prior to entering our facility. Thank you for your cooperation.”

An NYPD detective getting money from the ATM at the bank’s Belle Harbor branch was 100% behind the policy.

RELATED: U.S. AIRWAYS TELLS BLACK FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS TO GET RID OF THEIR HOODIES

“That’s a good thing,” he said. “There’s a lot of banks getting robbed … It’s difficult for us to investigate when someone is covering their face.”

While infamous bank robber Willie Sutton generally eschewed a hat, subsequent generations wouldn’t be caught dead (or alive) without their headgear.

The infamous “Yankee Bandit” sported a Bronx Bombers baseball cap while hitting 72 banks in southern California during the ’80s and ’90s.

RELATED: TWO ROBBED BY GUNPOINT IN QUEENS 

Closer to home, New Jersey’s own “Hat Bandit” pulled off 19 bank heists before his 2007 arrest. James Madison donned everything from an Air Force cap to a fisherman’s hat during his run.

Norman Pannicciolo, 63, wore her sunglasses inside the Belle Harbor branch with no problems Thursday morning. No one enforced the policy.

“That doesn’t bother me,” the white woman said of the dress code. “It’s a business, and a business has rules.”

The local resident paused when asked if she thought the reception would have been different if she were a black male.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m not a black male.”

With Rocco Parascandola

bpaddock@nydailynews.com

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Sep 5, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx Councilman slams Parks Department

The Parks Department is failing to repair several decrepit Bronx parks — despite millions in funds allocated for that very purpose, a city Councilman charged Thursday.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera (D-University Heights) said he’s allocated nearly million to the Parks Department in the last three years to spruce up green spaces in his district, which includes Fordham and the West Bronx, but hasn’t seen results.

“This is an embarrassment to our community,” Cabrera said. “If this was in Manhattan, I guarantee you it wouldn’t be in this condition for five years. Here in the Bronx, we deserve better. Here in the Bronx, we expect better.”

The most blatant example, Cabrera said, was at Mount Hope Garden in University Heights, which has been closed for five years and now resembles a junkyard. Cabrera said he earmarked million for a playground update and cameras, but the Parks Department claims it found far more extensive damage, and now needs to bring in a consultant to design the restoration.

Cabrera said he’s also earmarked .7 million for a new garden, fence, playground and benches at the Grand Avenue Playground; 0,000 for security cameras, and repaving the basketball court and redoing the soccer field at St. James Park; and .6 million to create Regatta Park along the Harlem River. But none of the projects, he said, has gotten off the ground.

“All I’m getting is excuses after excuses,” Cabrera said.

A Parks Department spokesman said the borough has received nearly three quarters of a billion dollars for park improvements under Mayor Bloomberg, but the fix ups take time because of “a participatory design process (and) the city’s procurement rules.”

RELATED: CITY TO CRACK DOWN ON PARKWAY BBQS

For example, the restoration at Grand Avenue Playground wasn’t fully funded until last year, and is now being designed, the spokesman said. And St. James Park only got its funding this year. The Parks Department held a scoping meeting Thursday to hash out plans.

The slow going frustrates residents.

“On the weekends, my daughter wants to go outside, and I can’t do that, and I have a park next door to me,” said Sandra Perez, 40, who lives next door to Mount Hope Garden. She says the fetid conditions have led to vermin and mosquitoes in the neighborhood.

Aisha Powell, 24, who lives nearby, said she remembers barbecuing at the once beautiful park.

“It’s horrible,” she said. “It’s disgusting. I remember it looking like a park.”

Park boosters said the problem is a disconnect between allocation of funds and actual repairs.

“Unfortunately, this administration is more interested in groundbreakings than seeing these project through to completion,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates.

jcunningham@nydailynews.com

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Aug 25, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Sound of silence found on City Island

Can’t hear yourself think in the Bronx? Then head to City Island, says one of New York’s top sound experts.

Benjamin Sachwald, an acoustical consultant, or “noise expert,” has registered his lowest decibel reading in New York City in 10 years on the sleepy seaside enclave off the eastern shores of the borough.

“Even rural areas affected by insect noise and wind blowing through trees don’t get that quiet,” said Sachwald after measuring only 38 A-weighted decibels, on a City Island side street. “It’s extremely quiet.”

A-weighted decibels mark the loudness of sound in the air, taking into account frequencies heard by the human ear.

The average city block rings in at around 60 decibels and avenues in midtown Manhattan consistently reach at least 70 decibels, according to Sachwald.

And he knows his noise. The 31-year-old, who doubles as a heavy metal drummer, grew up with a talent for both music and math. He made use of his skills by becoming one of the city’s go-to sound guys.

The audio-phile works for the environmental and engineering consulting group AKRF Inc., the company that assisted in overhauling the city noise code almost ten years ago.

Consultants such as AKRF are often enlisted to help with city projects even before a shovel hits the ground, or the jackhammers start pounding, by assessing sound levels for environmental impact statements.

The oh-so-quiet City Island reading was taken on a residential street, around midday. Sachwald said the reading was comparable to a library reading room.

But just how noisy can the rest of the city get?

According to Sachwald, the loudest offenders in the Big Apple are the elevated trains that rumble through the outer boroughs. The trains reach between 90-95 decibels when screeching through a turn.

“That’s painful,” the sound man said. “Anything between 90-100 can be quite significant.”

With its out of the way locale, Sachwald said City Island is a respite from the day to day barrage of noises that burden most Bronx nabes.

Community Board 10, which encompasses City Island, as well as Throgs Neck and Pelham Bay, has had only 1,292 noise complaints this year with 145 on the isle, according to the city’s 311 system.

That’s the second lowest in the borough — and a far cry from the 4,310 complaints in the Kingsbridge area.

But not all residents of the Bronx hamlet feel their small slice of waterside life is as quiet as Sachwald’s readings would suggest.

“He should come back on a weekend,” said Barbara Dolensek, the head of the City Island Civic Association.

The 40-year island resident said a summertime influx of joyriding motorcyclists has plagued the community with offensive levels of noise.

“Not all of them, but there are a lot that are just loud.”

Dolensek also pointed out a unique noise that island residents have to contend with on an almost daily basis: the blast of gunfire from the NYPD firing range on Rodman’s Neck, just across Eastchester Bay from the island.

“It is blissfully quiet much of the time, but when the firing range is going full force it really disrupts the peaceful quality of life,” Dolensek said.


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Aug 24, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx vol brings 17 years’ Experience

Sleepy-eyed schoolkids won’t be the only ones boarding city buses to return to their classrooms this fall; once again, 83-year-old Marion Chambers will be joining them.

The youthful senior citizen has been tutoring South Bronx students since 1996 with a program known as Experience Corps.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been that long,” Chambers said as she began organizing paperwork for the upcoming school year.

The former disability claims adjuster worked 35 years for MetLife Insurance before taking an early severance package in the late 1980s.

She and her husband, Donald Chambers, planned to spend their autumn years traveling.

But her husband succumbed to complications related to Parkinson’s Disease in March of 1996.

That’s when she found her new role — and found that it suited her perfectly.

RELATED: SENIORS BRING EXPERIENCE TO SCHOOLKIDS

“Volunteering changed my whole outlook on life,” Chambers said. “It just came at a good time.”

The young widow, then 66, had no prior teaching experience and was skeptical about how she would fit in with the new program.

“I didn’t know if I could do it,” the spry grandmother said with a laugh. “But it just falls in place, and the kids begin to learn. It was a learning experience for me as well.”

The program is situated in 10 schools across the city, including four in the Bronx.

The group’s 102 volunteers are all 50 years old or older, they all have a high school diploma or GED and each is screened and required to pass a background check.

For her first 10 years with Experience Corps, Chambers tutored students at Public School 156, just steps from her Concourse Village apartment.

She would walk the half a block to the school and work with kids in first through third grade on a one-on-one basis for an hour at a time, four days a week.

RELATED: READ IT AND WEEP! TUTORS GET CUT

Each school day the past two years, she has taken two buses to reach P.S.92 on 179th St.

Experience Corps., run by the Community Service Society, focuses on literacy — reading, phonics, writing and penmanship.

“Volunteers are empowered to give children the gift of reading, and (they) play an essential role in helping them meet reading performance standards,” said Kemba Tamar, the organization’s project director.

The seniors receive a small allowance to cover transportation costs, but Chambers — who was eagerly awaiting her assignment letter for the fall — she said the real reward is helping the kids.

And she shows no signs of slowing down.

“Each year I say I’m too old to keep doing this,” the octogenarian said. “But I come back each time.”

For more information about the Experience Corps, visit www.cssny.com.

dslattery@nydailynews.com


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Aug 21, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Green fix for fetid waterway

It’s the Bronx’s version of the Gowanus Canal, and city officials are eying a natural fix to improve its fetid water quality.

The city Economic Development Corp. is seeking a designer to devise a biofiltration system, called a bioswale, that would catch overflow from combined stormwater sewers before it flows into Westchester Creek.

The East River tributary, which runs from Ferry Point Park in the southeast Bronx to Westchester Village, is contaminated with untreated sewage — good old human waste — during heavy rains, and the problem has gone unchecked for more than 60 years.

The city put out the call for plans last week and will evaluate submissions based on the quality of the proposal, the applicant’s experience and the cost. The deadline to submit a proposal is Sept. 16.

RELATED: BRONX RIVER IS THE GOWANUS OF THE NORTH

The request is part of the city’s plan to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, and the progress will be monitored by state Department of Environmental Conservation, city officials said.

There are already about 100 of the natural filtration systems — which cost about ,000 each — in place across the city. The city did not specify the number of bioswales being sought for Westchester Creek.

The move will potentially save the city hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been needed to pay for large holding tanks and other traditional “grey infrastructure” components.

“Bioswales absorb stormwater and will improve the health and cleanliness of Westchester Creek,” said Ted Timbers, a spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Protection. “Bioswales also green the neighborhood, provide shade in the summertime, clean the air and make the streets a more enjoyable place for residents.”

RELATED: GERMS MAKE IT HUDSON SHIVER!

During heavy rains, stormwater runoff mixes with raw sewage in the area’s stormwater sewage network. The sewage systems are so antiquated that stormwater mixes with wastewater, and the extra flow has to be diverted into the waterways so it doesn’t overwhelm the sewage treatment plants.

In this case, excess flow is diverted through six pipes from the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, directly into Westchester Creek.

Bioswales — which look like plants — are natural filtration systems that purify stormwater runoff before it reaches a waterway. The bioswales are a few feet deep, and filled in with soil and stone to catch the runoff.

Community activist Lothar Krause said the bioswales would be a “positive” step and called it “low-hanging fruit.”

RELATED: BRONX RIVER FOCUS OF MAJOR CLEANUP

He said the city’s plan amounted to a step in the right direction, but noted that the city still has to address other pollution problems along Westchester Creek — like a city-owned salt mound near the creek banks that inundates the waterway with salt when it rains.

Others said the green infrastructure plan was long overdue.

“I’m sure that everyone who resides near that area is relieved that finally someone is addressing the issue on a permanent basis,” said Francisco Gonzalez, the district manager for Bronx Community Board 9.

“We stand behind the city of New York when they make plans of this type.”

jcunningham@nydailynews.com

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Aug 20, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx Bangladeshis seek justice for recent attack

A Bronx cabbie returned to the Parkchester block where he was recently stabbed after leaving his mosque, to denounce what he and others described as escalating violence against members of the borough’s Bangladeshi community.

“I was an innocent man, coming for prayers,” said Nur Nabi, visibly distraught and fighting back tears during a rally Monday near the corner of Virginia and Ellis Aves., where he was chillingly attacked from behind on Aug. 11.

“I need justice,” he said. “I don’t want to see this happen to anybody else.”

More than 100 Bangladeshi-Americans waved signs and chanted during the demonstration, joined by several elected officials to demand an end to the recent violence.

RELATED: BRONX MAN GUNNED DOWN IN FRONT OF GIRLFRIEND

Nabi, a 55-year-old father of four who is disabled and walks with a cane, said he was leaving the Parkchester Jame Masjid when a man silently approached him from behind and stabbed him twice, leaving him critically wounded.

Police nabbed Hector Cuevas, 41, who lives nearby.

Cuevas — who made no statement to police — has prior arrests, but all are sealed. Cuevas is free on bail and due in Bronx Criminal Court on Sept. 30, though the charges were not known on Monday.

Police haven’t labeled the attack a hate crime, but Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. noted that the attacker didn’t rob Nabi.

RELATED: COPS HUNT ARMED ROBBERY TEAM IN THE BRONX

“All he was doing was coming out of the mosque, worshiping Allah,” said Diaz Jr., who noted that although crime is generally down, Bangladeshis appear to have been targeted in a number of incidents over the last year.

“That is a tragedy,” he added. “That is something that cannot, and should not and will not, be accepted.”

Abdus Shahid, a community activist, said there has been an uptick in crimes targeting the borough’s Bangladeshi community. Shahid — who said the growing community now numbers more than 5,000 residents — asked for an increased police presence when the mosques let out.

“We want peace when we go home after prayer,” Shahid said.

RELATED: ‘CABBIE SLASHER’ MICHAEL ENRIGHT PLEADS GUILTY TO MUSLIM HATE ATTACK

Giash Uddin, the president of the Bangla Bazar Business Association, said he knew of two incidents in which people were beaten after leaving another mosque that’s near his discount and variety store on Starling Ave.

Nabi, who said he’s never been assaulted during his nine years as a cabbie, said he had to get stitches for the wounds, and is on antibiotics and painkillers.

Politicians — including state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., City Councilwoman Annabel Palma and city Controller and mayoral candidate John Liu — denounced the violence and vowed to support the community.

“This is, unfortunately, not the only attack, recently, against a man like Mr. Nabi,” Liu said. “To get viciously attacked like this, it’s something that calls for denunciation by elected officials, by community leaders, by all the people here.”

Nabi’s son Asif, 10, said he’s afraid to return to his place of worship.

“I’m scared to go back to the mosque,” the boy said. “What if they stab me?”

with Barry Paddock

jcunningham@nydailynews.com

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Aug 19, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: NYPD cop busted in attacking girlfriend

An off-duty NYPD cop was busted in the Bronx on Monday for attacking his girlfriend with a weapon and choking her, officials said.

Officer George Sotomayor, 30, was charged with assault with a weapon and strangulation, cops said.

RELATED: SUPERCOP MARCANO PROPOSES TO GIRLFRIEND AT SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK

His victim was not injured, police said.

bpaddock@nydailynews.com

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Aug 18, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: West Indian American Day Carnival evolves

The 2013 West Indian American Day Carnival brochure I picked up in a store recently was well-designed and information-packed, but I was pleasantly surprised by the cover’s QR (quick response) code to take prospective patrons to special discounts offers after it’s scanned from a smart phone or other device. It’s a first for organizers, who are tackling the growing and evolving event and coping with its immense stature and increasing status.

When the West Indian American Day Carnival Association holds its kickoff cocktail reception on Aug. 20 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, there will be much to toast about. Under the leadership of President Thomas Bailey, the organization has made advancements, such as the QR-coded brochure offering discounted four-day passes for pre-parade shows, an array of sponsorship packages for small businesses to tout their goods services through discounted promotional packages.

Another important part of the growth is the association working hard to meet the needs of the masquerade and steel bands — the meat and potatoes of the carnival celebration.

And then there’s always a perpetual partnership with the city needed to pull off the carnival each year and the NYPD’s major role. Flare-ups – such as the 2011 racist rants from rouge NYPD officers on a Facebook page and the arrest of City Council member Jumaanee Williams that year – overshadow the many months of successful and cooperative planning with the police, sanitation and park departments.
These examples of growth and evolution should also be recognized when they occur.

A pre-parade event at the Brooklyn Museum will be held from Aug. 29 through Sept 1. The carnival parade along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway takes place on Sept. 2. For a full schedule and tickets, visit www.wiadcacarnival.org

CARIBBEAN FEVER SHOWS AT BARCLAYS

Riding high on the waves made by the annual Labor Day Caribbean festivities, the star-filled, three-day Caribbean Fever Irie Jamboree Music Festival will be debut at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, opening Aug. 30 and continuing through Sept. 1.

A hot lineup of top-ranked creole, reggae, dancehall, soca, calypso and worldbeat music stars will be appearing at the festival, beginning with the opening “International Night,” starring Wyclef Jean, Kassav, Tabou Combo and Djakout #1. Aug. 31 is “Carnival-Mania,” and features the best calypso and soca performers, such as Alison Hinds, Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, Iwer George, Edwin Yearwood and Tallpree.

And “Irie Jamboree,” the reggae and dancehall segment of the festival, will be held on Sept.1, starring Damian Marley, Shabba Ranks, I-Octane and others.

Door open at 7 p.m. and shows start at 8 p.m.

For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, visit online at www.ticketmaster.com or call (646) 474-9048 for information.

CHILDREN’S FEST RETURNS

The organization named for late West Indian American Day Carnival pioneer Carlos Lezama is preparing for its annual Children’s Festival coming to Brooklyn on Aug. 24.

The Carlos Lezama Archives & Caribbean Cultural Center will hold the Caribbean-American Children’s Festival on St. John’s Place between Brooklyn and Kingston Aves., (also known as Carlos Lezama Way), from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival will feature performances and activities for children and adults For information, call (516) 984-8948 or e-mail yolandalez@gmail.com and visit www.claccc.org .

CARIBBEANS FOR BILL THOMPSON

Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson Jr., who is barreling towards the Democratic primary with support from the Caribbean Americans for William C. Thompson Jr., will be hosting a meet-and-greet complimentary breakfast on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn.

The event for Thompson — whose grandparents came to the U.S. from St. Kitts — will be held at the Crystal Manor 1460 Flatbush Ave. (between Glenwood and Farragut Roads), from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

On Aug. 16, Thompson scheduled a tour of Brooklyn Caribbean-American small businesses with state Assemblyman Nick Perry (D- Brooklyn).

Thompson, who has been touting his Caribbean American roots in recent TV ads, has plans to aid small businesses.

CONSULATES’ HEALTH FAIR

The CARICOM Consular Corps, an organization of New York-based Caribbean consulates and diplomats, is making the health of Caribbean Americans a priority by cosponsoring the Caribbean Health Fair on Aug. 24 in Brooklyn at Holy Cross Parish, 2530 Church Ave.(between Rogers and Nostrand Aves.), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event includes free health screenings, health education information and community resource references, fitness demonstrations, giveaways, volunteer opportunities and children’s entertainment.

St. Lucia Consul General Julian DuBouis, chairman of the CARICOM Consular Corps, has reached out to community organizations and businesses urging their participation to address medical and health challenges prevalent in the Caribbean community.

The health fair is presented in collaboration with the Caribbean Nurses Association and the Caribbean American Medical and Scientific Association.

For information, call (646) 215-6045, (212) 697-9360, (516) 459-2093 or (917) 647-4878.

RESPECT FOR THE SKATALITES

Patrons – VIPS and everyday folk showed their respect for Jamaica’s famous Skatalites band at the 50th anniversary event commemorating the band’s founding.

A number of VIPS attended the event including  Vincent HoSang, CEO of Royal Caribbean Bakery; Christopher Castriola; community relations officer at the Jamaica Consulate in New York;  Irwine Clare, chair of the Jamaica Diaspora Board; and James Haynes, CEO of the Jah Jerry Foundation. The event was held July 26 in the Bronx by the nonprofit Jah Jerry, Inc.  educational foundation.

Visit the www.jahjerry.org website, send email to jahjerryinc@gmail.com or call Haynes at (212) 470-5655 for information.

jmccallister@nydailynews.com

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Aug 18, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Woman stabs husband to death during fight at Bronx homeless shelter  

A woman allegedly stabbed her husband to death during a fight in a homeless shelter in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, police said.

Patricia Nimmons, 55, was charged Saturday morning with stabbing and killing her 50-year-old husband hours earlier in the room they shared on Prospect Ave., police and witnesses said.

Neighbors said they heard the couple, who had moved into the shelter three weeks ago, sparring around 9 p.m.

RELATED: MAN KILLED TRYING TO BREAK UP FIGHT BETWEEN TWO WOMEN

“I heard them fighting, there were pots falling and I heard them scuffling around,” said neighbor Jake Pankey, 48. “Then I heard one of them say ‘Be quiet. Be quiet.’ After that there was nothing. No sound. Then I saw the EMTs show up, then the police.”

Emergency responders rushed the severely wounded man to Lincoln Medical Center, where he died, police said.

Nimmons accompanied her husband to the hospital, witnesses said.

RELATED: 4 DEAD, 5 INJURED ACROSS NYC IN NIGHT OF MAYHEM

“When the ambulance came and they put him in she got in with them,” said Rosemary Nieves, 51. “She looked scared. Her eyes were really wide. She looked nervous and scared.”

Nieves added that the dead man had been polite but rarely spoke, while his wife had a history of mental issues.

“He would cook Jamaican food in the kitchen…he was a decent man. He got up and worked,” Nieves said. “His wife was a different story though. She wasn’t all there.”

Nimmons was also charged with Manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. Police are still investigating the reason for the dispute.

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Aug 16, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Sanitation worker with Army training saves stab victim

A stabbing victim bleeding profusely from his wounds got a clean rescue from a Bronx sanitation worker early Friday morning.

The man, 23, came stumbling out of a building near a sanitation garage at 181st St. and Third Ave. around 6:30 a.m., and collapsed on the sidewalk, in full view of a group of sanitation workers across the street.

One of them, Charlie Ojeda, 50, an Iraq War veteran, sprang into action.

The retired Army National Guard sergeant immediately realized the young man, 23, had lost too much blood.

“There was a really deep stabbing wound right at the point in the arm where you’d put a needle if you were donating blood,” said Ojeda, a Bronx native, who rushed across the street to aid the stricken man.

RELATED: FEARLESS POOCH LOSES AN EYE AFTER SAVING GIRL FROM SNAKE

“I don’t know if his attacker got an artery but it was pumping, really flowing,” he said.

Ojeda ran and got his Army-issue first aid kit from his car.

Snapping on a pair of gloves, he yanked out a field pressure gauze dressing — a bandage with two strips of material at the end — and applied it like a tourniquet, just like he’d done countless times while on tour in Iraq.

He finished by securing his field pressure dressing with a non-slip knot — an old military trick that helps keep direct pressure on the wound.

“Once I stopped the bleeding the man became more coherent, but he kept drifting in and out,” said Ojeda.

RELATED: SUSPECT IN CUSTODY FOR STABBING NYC TEEN

By the time he’d taken a quick look to make sure the bleeding man didn’t have any gashes around his stomach cavity, cops and firefighters were on the scene.

The firefighters, coming to give first aid, looked closely at his makeshift tourniquet and then left it alone.

“They asked, ‘Who did this?’ and the cops said, ‘the sanitation guy.’ They could see it was done right so they just left it lone,” said Ojeda.

The stabbing victim was loaded onto a gurney when EMS arrived and taken to St. Barnabas Hospital.

The 23-year-old had been stabbed four times in the back and arm by a woman, cops said. Police are still searching for the suspect, believed to have been the man’s girlfriend.

RELATED: CITY SANITATION WORKER MAKES HIS OWN PLEDGE ON FLAG DAY

“He also had some busted teeth, I guess she punched him and knocked them out,” said Ojeda, adding that this rescue was far less dramatic than what he’d seen in Iraq.

“I was a mechanic and my job was just to keep things rolling all the time, but we all got combat lifesaver training because you never knew what you were walking into,” he said.

It’s also not the first time he’s played hero at home, either. About a year ago he got a Bronze Medal from the Sanitation Department for his role in foiling a purse-snatching.

Ojeda said he chased down a thief who had yanked the bag off a woman’s arm outside his Bronx home.

“I ran him down and gave him a whack with my weed-whacker. He dropped that bag real quick,” said Ojeda, who held the man until cops arrived.

gotis@nydailynews.com

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Aug 16, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Gunman chases two men in the Bronx, shoots one in the leg

A gunman chased down two men in the Bronx early Friday and shot one in the leg, fire sources and a witness said.

The violence erupted near the corner of Grand Ave. and 183rd St. in University Heights about 1:40 a.m.

RELATED: BRONX MAN GUNNED DOWN IN FRONT OF GIRLFRIEND

The shooter fired five times at the fleeing men, a witness said.

Emergency responders brought the injured man to St. Barnabas Medical Center. The wound, in his left leg, was not considered life-threatening.

RELATED: MAYHEM ACROSS FOUR BOROUGHS EARLY SUNDAY

Cops were hunting the gunman, who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt as he fled north on Grand Ave.

jstepansky@nydailynews.com

On a mobile device? Watch the video here.

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Aug 15, 2013
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BRONX NEWS: Feds break up Bronx heroin ring

Ay, Papi!

Federal, state and local investigators have dismantled a multi-state heroin trafficking ring headed by a drug dealer nicknamed Papi, operating out of a Morris Heights flat, the Daily News has learned.

Officers arrested seven people during a raid early Thursday in the Bronx. The sweep, which also netted additional arrests in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, netted about million worth of smack.

Luis Lugo-Santiago, 38, also known as Papi, was charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin. His brother, Orlando Nunez DeLeon, 36, allegedly managed the heroin mill, which prepared one to two kilos of horse for sale every week.

Investigators said the traffickers processed the drugs at the mill on Jesup Pl., then couriers would ferry it inside secret car compartments to Delaware, Maryland and Philadelphia, where it was sold.

Law enforcement officials said Thursday’s bust put a significant curb the region’s heroin trade.

“This case is the epitome of a multi-state trafficking organization in the northeast,” said David Dongilli, Special Agent in Charge of the the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia Division.

jcunningham@nydailynews.com

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