Browsing articles in "Bronx News"
Apr 9, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Cops hunt for bandits who shot Bronx jewelry store owner

Two brazen crooks shot the owner of a Bronx jewelry store during a stickup gone bad Saturday, police said.

The violence took place at Marilyn’s Diamond Collection Inc. on Johnson Ave. near W. 235th St. in Riverdale around 12:15 p.m., according to cops.

Two men walked in and asked the owner, identified as Christopher Carucci, to see a ring, but the 57-year-old got spooked and hit the store’s panic button, sources said.

Medics rushed Carucci to St. Barnabas Hospital where he was in critical condition.

Bronx carjacker steals two vehicles at gunpoint, shoots mail man

One family member, who declined to give her name, said Carucci usually manages the store himself and has an open door policy.

“He lets everyone in,” she said. “It’s a horrible situation. He’s such a good guy.”

Police are searching for the two suspects who took off empty-handed in a Ford Explorer.

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Apr 8, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Bronx Science Facebook page becomes forum for suicidal students

A Facebook “Confessions” page allowed students from the city’s top high schools to share their unfiltered thoughts: Prom dates. College admissions. Academic pressure.

For kids at the elite Bronx Science High School, a scarier topic surfaced: Suicide.

The online outlet for Bronx Science students emerged as a gathering spot for dozens of depressed and anxious teens around the time of January midterms, raising red flags among concerned administrators.

“Looking back at the 4 years I spent here, I’m filled with regret,” reads an anonymous April 2 post from one Bronx Science student.

City claims they’re handling Bronx Science ‘fight club’ mess

“People always scorn at the idea of suicide and the people who chose that path. But, sometimes, suicide is the best option.”

A second student, in a March 20 posting, mentioned the potentially lethal depression caused by bullying.

“I had a terrible day yesterday and I’m on the verge of suicide,” the student wrote. “I’m constantly ignored and outcasted, ridiculed, and laughed at.”

Bronx Science Confessions has garnered more than 6,000 “likes” since it was created in October 2013. The page is followed by more than 5,800 people and users have submitted nearly 11,700 posts.

Antidepressants doubled before Fla. girl streamed suicide online

More than two dozen posts on the page since Jan. 1 deal with depression, anxiety or loneliness — and several of the posts mention suicide.

The deluge of negative posts on the page prompted its anonymous moderator, self-identified as a Bronx Science senior, to address the issue.

“The amount of super-depressing confessions being submitted has somehow increased at an alarming rate,” the moderator wrote on Jan. 15.

“Bronx Science Confessions is not a mental support page,” the moderator added. “You need to seek out professional mental health help.”

Mich. mom says son hanged himself after girlfriend faked suicide

Assistant Principal Andrew Nasser even placed a Feb. 23 offer for psychological help on the public forum.

“If you are suffering please know there are a variety of support systems at Bronx Science,” Nasser wrote. “Please, reach out.”

Bronx Science is one of the city’s elite specialized high schools, boasting more Nobel-prize winning grads than any high school in the country.

But the school drew negative attention in November when the Daily News uncovered an underground fight club run by students and former students via Facebook.

Real life ‘Mean Girls’ account causes protests at high school

Education Department officials vowed to deploy mental health help to Bronx Science and to keep an eye on students’ online activities after learning of the fight club.

But school administrators have not specifically addressed the Confessions page since Nasser’s Feb. 23 post. Bronx Science principal Jean Donahue declined to answer questions about the page.

Education Department spokeswoman Toya Holness said the school is monitoring the situation and employs a dozen full-time guidance counselors plus a substance abuse therapist.

The Bronx Science Student Organization is hosting the school’s first mental health week in May to draw attention to the issue, Holness said.

Miami teen commits suicide in two-hour long Facebook Live video

“The school takes a proactive, preventative approach,” she added.

Meanwhile, students said the ‘Confessions’ forum serves a helpful purpose in a competitive academic environment.

“There’s a lot of pressure in this school and there are things people can’t talk about with anyone,” a junior who posted on the page told The News.

“They can be anonymous here,” added the student, who asked that her name be withheld. “It sometimes helps to get it out there.”

Another teen who used the page said the spike in negative posts over the winter could be tied to academic stress.

“People want to be heard,” said the student, an 11th-grade girl who also did not want to be named. “In January, there were midterms and a lot of college decisions. It was a pretty intense time.”

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Apr 8, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Ex-counselor charged with raping teen girls at Bronx center

A former counselor at a Bronx center for emotionally traumatized children is charged with raping the very young people he was supposed to support, authorities said Friday.

Willie Bowman, 30, was indicted on charges he sexually assaulted three girls between the ages of 12 and 14, officials said.

The alleged rapes took place at the Henry Ittleson Center on Iselin Ave. in Riverdale between 2014 and 2015, according to authorities.

Bowman was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court on Wednesday and posted bail on Friday, records show.

He was arrested on March 28 — in Wesley Chapel, Fla., where he now lives — and was extradited to New York, state officials said.

Bowman’s brother, Shawn, denied that his brother committed the crimes.

“My brother is a good person,” he said. “These are some trumped-up charges.”

The Henry Ittleson Center is run by the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services.

The organization’s spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Apr 7, 2017

BRONX NEWS: NYC Uber driver thankful video of threatening woman went viral

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Apr 7, 2017

BRONX NEWS: SEE IT: Burglar scales building to break in Bronx apartment

A burglar scaled the side of a building to break into an apartment in the Bronx, making off with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, police said Friday.

Cops released surveillance video showing the athletic thief climbing to the balcony of a first floor apartment on Morris Ave. near E. 190th St. in Fordham Manor around 11:30 a.m. March 21, cops said.

Once inside the apartment, the burglar swiped ,850 worth of jewelry, before fleeing back down the side of the building, according to officials.

No one was injured in the home invasion robbery, police said.

Cops described the burglar as a man with a thin build, light complexion and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket, black knit cap, blue jeans and black sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked the call CrimeStoppers on (800) 577-TIPS.

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Apr 7, 2017

BRONX NEWS: 17 MTA employees feted at Daily News’ Hometown Heroes in Transit

They are the city’s unsung heroes — the men and women who go above and beyond to keep the nation’s busiest mass transit system up and running.

A group of magnificent Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees were honored Thursday as Daily News Hometown Heroes in Transit at the fifth annual awards ceremony.

“Today we have the opportunity to recognize so many amazing people — these heroes and heroines that go beyond the call of duty,” said Daily News Co-Chairman and Co-Publisher Eric Gertler.

“They perform extraordinary acts of generosity and courage in service to their fellow human beings — many of whom sometimes are just complete strangers.”

MTA cop lauded for stopping man who stole ambulance, killed EMT

A total of 17 transit workers were feted at the event in Midtown emceed by NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan.

Among them was MTA bus driver Norton Cockburn, who rushed to the aid of a pregnant woman in labor aboard a Q9 bus in Queens last August.

“I’m feeling blessed for this occasion,” said Cockburn, 57. “It’s something special and extraordinary.”

Another winner was Darren Johnson, who pulled off two heroic feats within the space of a few minutes.

Daily News salutes these 17 heroic MTA workers

The 50-year-old subway station cleaner first chased down a man who had grabbed the buttocks of a female straphanger inside the 63rd St.-Lexington Ave. station.

Minutes later, Johnson got word of a fire in a trash bin at the station’s entrance. Without hesitating, he grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the blaze.

“I was in the right place, right time,” Johnson said, shrugging off his heroism.

“Working for transit, you see so much . . . You can’t just walk away. You gotta help.”

MTA track worker coaches kids in basketball after night shift

Track worker Greg Cawley’s eyes turned wet when he embraced the colleague whose life he helped save on a Brooklyn worksite last August.

Cawley and fellow track workers Paul Hayes and Darrell Nelson were honored for reviving Adrian (Doc) Shields after he collapsed at their feet.

“We’ve worked together a long time,” Cawley said.

“It’s nice to get the award, but it’s not something you look for. For us, it’s about family.”

MTA stars honored at Daily News Hometown Heroes awards

The awards were presented by several well-known New Yorkers, including actor Edgar Garcia, NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills and radio host Curtis Sliwa.

“It’s a tough job. Nobody wants to stay in the subway,” Sliwa said.

“If the Daily News didn’t do this each year, how would the average citizen know about these civil servants who take that extra step?”

The other MTA workers celebrated at the breakfast were signal maintainer David Martinez; conductor Warren Cox; train operator Trina Hayes; bus drivers Diana Belgrave and Darrick Gatling; track worker Maurice Jackson; conductors Joella Irving, Ayana Arroyo and D’Atra Felder, and transit workers Jermaine St. Hilaire, Vladimir Nolasco and Shakeia Owens.

Brooklyn bus driver works to help disadvantaged, homeless kids

“They have saved lives. They brought lives into the world,” said Daily News Editor-in-Chief Arthur Browne.

“They do community work. They stop crimes. It’s just a remarkable list of achievements by people who didn’t expect to be in those circumstances.”

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Apr 7, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Jury awards $13M to woman injured in Bronx stair fall

A Bronx jury awarded million on Thursday to a woman who fell down a set of crumbling nearly century old stairs, the Daily News has learned.

Aminata Kromah, 36, shattered her ankle and legs in the 2013 tumble — cutting short her hairdressing career, according to her lawyer.

As a result, a state Supreme Court jury ordered the company that maintains the Davidson Ave. property where Kromah fell — Langsam Property Service Corp. — to pay up.

“This woman’s leg was shattered along with all her hopes and all her dreams,” Kromah’s attorney, Marc Freund of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman P.C.

Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha is getting M from NYC

Kromah was visiting a grieving friend at 2265 Davidson Ave. when she fell.

During the trial, the super, Marino Rojas, acknowledged that he and Langsam official Linda Hernandez knew there was a pattern of the stairs wearing out and cracking but the company waited until that particularly step actually cracked off before replacing it.

“Langsam at each and every step of the way, was careless and chose profits over safety,” Freund said. “The company, in order to save money, gave a superintendent impossible task of taking care of this building with 50 apartments and seven commercial stores, as well as an entirely separate building a mile away.”

Five of the 11 stairs where the incident occurred were replaced one at a time within six months of the accident, according to Freund.

Woman to file 0M suit accusing NYPD of hit-and-run ‘coverup’

“For another 0 they could have replaced the rest of the stairs and instead they chose to gamble with the safety of everyone that visited that building,” Freund said.

“This woman’s leg was shattered along with all her hopes and all her dreams.”

Kromah, who moved to the city from Liberia in 2002, got emotional when the jury foreman read the verdict.

“I was crying I was so happy,” said Kromah.

“I thank the jury. I thank God and I thank the American justice system.”

Kromah said she’s had multiple surgeries and will never be able to work again and has years of therapy ahead of her. “I still have pain, and I can’t sleep,” she said.

Her husband, Sadiou Soumahoro, 52, an Ivory Coast native, chimed in, “Yes, the justice system worked for us. The Bronx people have spoken.”

“We’ve been through hell since this accident and we continue to go through hell,” he said. “The therapy is very expensive and we had to stop it because the money ran out. So we feel great.”

A rep for the company could not be reached, and the lawyer who represented it did not return a phone call. 

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Apr 6, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Foul-mouthed passenger banned from using Uber again (GRAPHIC)

A foul-mouthed Uber passenger who threatened to accuse her driver of rape and assault and have him deported has been banned from ever using the ride-share app again.

A bizarre video, which was posted to YouTube on Monday, shows the woman unleashing a racial tirade against the driver — because he didn’t have a charger for her iPhone.

“I’m going to start screaming out the window that you’re raping me, that you raped me,” she shouts in the video during the exchange at the corner of Cypress Ave. and 138th St. in the Bronx.

The driver repeatedly asks her to get out of his car after she begins yelling about “calling the cops.”

SEE IT: Uber rider threatens to accuse driver of rape (GRAPHIC)

After screaming herself hoarse, the irate passenger tells the stunned driver to “get the f–k out of my country.”

“Donald Trump is going to send you and your family back, she blurts out after spewing a flurry of expletives.

A former pal contacted the Daily News, claiming the person in the video is a 21-year-old Bronx woman busted for weapons possession two years ago.

“I used to hang out with her on East Tremont Ave., but she’s got a little too wild,” she said.

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The former friend says she immediately recognized the woman when she saw the video. Friends said the passenger goes by “Chastity” on social media.

The News reached a lawyer who represented her in a February drug case. He said he couldn’t be certain that his client was the passenger in the video.

“You better see my s–t,” she told the driver. “I’m in the Daily News.”

The News covered her gun arrest in 2015. She was busted under a different name. The News couldn’t verify the woman in the back seat of the Uber was the same person in the gun collar and is withholding her name.

“The rider’s account has been banned and Uber is looking into this incident,” a company spokesman said.

With Chris Sommerfeldt, Marco Poggio

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Apr 6, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Female FDNY members hosting festival to encourage women to join

It’s a race to the finish — of the FDNY application process.

Women firefighters on Saturday will hold an event to promote diversity in city’s Fire Department and encourage applicants to file for the upcoming firefighter exam.

The United Women Firefighters — representing 57 female Bravest — will host a free community festival and firefighter themed adventure race along with the Vulcan Society, an organization of black firefighters and EMS.

Saturday’s event will allow eligible candidates to file for the upcoming FDNY firefighter exam on the spot. The last time the city gave a firefighter entrance exam was in 2012.

FDNY to hold first ever Passover Seder

The event will include an “Are You Brave Enough?” race.

The 5K challenge will also have seven obstacles modeled after the firefighter physical exam — as well as exercises firefighters might get at the FDNY training academy and what firefighters find in the field.

Competitors will get a real taste of what it takes to be among the Bravest. They’ll take on window hurdles, drag some life-size dummies, lug fire hoses up stairs, crawl through a tunnel that simulates a dark fire — and do it all wearing heavy firefighter gear.

The event is open to men and women.

While there’s a fee to compete in the foot race, the rest of the event is free.

Along with a chance to file for the upcoming firefighter exam, those who show up can take CPR classes and check out fire safety demonstrations.

Kids are welcome — and can take a shot at a pint-sized obstacle course just for them.

Anyone is welcome to attend and pose for pictures while trying on bunker gear or sitting on a fire engine rig or even trying to operate a spraying fire hose.

The firefighter exam is open to anyone between the ages of 17 1/2 and 28. Military veterans can get an age exemption of five years.

The filing period is open for a limited time and the exam is given only once every four years so age eligible candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

For firefighter exam information please go to:

The UWF and Vulcan Society are organizing the event, which is sponsored by LUNA bars, to increase the diversity of the FDNY.

Women are still only 0.5% of the FDNY — and while that is a historic high for the city’s Fire Department, it is the lowest percentage out of all major U.S. cities in the United States.

“We have a real opportunity to make great strides in changing the landscape for women firefighters in the FDNY. This job will change your life,” said Sarinya Srisakul, UWF president and FDNY firefighter.

“I hope all young women take advantage of this opportunity and come out to ‘Are You Brave Enough?’ and file for the Firefighter exam!”

The Vulcan Society successfully pushed the city in a landmark discrimination lawsuit to do more to hire black firefighters — and now the number of blacks on the job has doubled to over 700, roughly 7% of the 10,000 strong force.

“The Vulcan Society will help guide and train applicants in every aspect of hiring. We strongly advocate and believe in diversity and inclusion of people of color and women in the FDNY,” said Vulcan president Regina Wilson, also an FDNY firefighter.

“We would love to increase the numbers of women and people of color to our ranks.”

The adventure race and community festival will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx.

St. Mary’s Park is located at 450 St. Anne’s Ave.

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Apr 6, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Yadira Arroyo murder suspect ranted about Maserati to cops

Jose Gonzalez, accused of killing a city EMT, winked at courtroom cameras and pleaded not guilty Wednesday — as new court records revealed his unhinged, drug-addled rants to cops.

“I didn’t do anything. I’m going to get a lawsuit. I’m going to get a Bentley,” Gonzalez allegedly blathered to arresting officers shortly after he hijacked an FDNY ambulance and fatally mowed down Bronx EMT Yadira Arroyo on March 16.

In rambling statements over the next few hours, Gonzalez claimed he was high on PCP, marijuana and the schizophrenia drug Seroquel when he crushed the beloved mother of five with her own ambulance, according to the court filing unsealed Wednesday.

“I’m going home in my Maserati. You cops are cool I will give you a Maserati and a million dollars,” he claimed once inside the 43rd Precinct stationhouse, the records show.

‘Tin House’ coin will aid family of EMT Yadira Arroyo

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “I hopped on the ambulance to save people from the fire.”

Gonzalez later said he was “not a murderer” but admitted he climbed into Arroyo’s ambulance and drove away while her partner was yelling at him.

“I deserve million. I use PCP and alcohol. I had two blunts of PCP eight hours ago,” he allegedly said around 1:10 a.m. on March 17.

The excerpts were released as Gonzalez appeared in Bronx Criminal Court wearing handcuffs, a bright orange jumpsuit and a creepy smirk on his face.

City owes EMTs such as Yadira Arroyo so much more

“Not guilty,” he spat out when asked for his plea on a first-degree murder charge.

The aggressive attitude came after he previously refused to attend grand jury proceedings or leave his cell for a court appearance last month.

Several EMTs in the crowd scoffed upon hearing his words.

Defense lawyer Alice Fontier failed to convince the judge to bar cameras from the courtroom. She and Gonzalez have been the targets of death threats, Fontier said.

Family of slain Bronx EMT wants death penalty for Arroyo’s killer

Arroyo, 44, was killed while working an overtime shift and responding to a 911 call with her EMT partner Monique Williams, authorities said.

It was a passerby who let her know Gonzalez, 25, was joyriding on her bumper, and the crazed alleged gang member spun around and jumped into her driver’s seat once she exited the vehicle to assess the situation.

Gonzalez ran her over twice, dragging her into an intersection and killing her, prosecutors said.

Dozens of Arroyo’s colleagues attended the hearing Wednesday.

EMT Yadira Arroyo laid to rest days after criminal ran her down

“We will continue to come to every court date,” Israel Miranda, president of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507, said. “We will continue to have hundreds of people out here looking for justice. This man needs to be convicted for his crime.”

One fellow EMT waved a sign suggesting Arroyo — known as Yari — helped her alleged killer multiple times in the past.

“Jose, Yari helped you and brought you to the hospital 3 times!!” the sign read. “WHY DID YOU MURDER HER.”

Miranda said he believed Arroyo had transported Gonzalez for treatment in the past.

Slain Bronx EMT Yadira Arroyo’s accused killer skips court date

Arroyo’s partner was still “too sensitive” to speak publicly Wednesday, close friend and FDNY EMS Lt. Vanessa Ocasio said.

“This is a tragic loss for her that she witnessed, and mentally, emotionally, psychologically, she’s just dealing with grieving everyday,” Ocasio said.

The Daily News launched a fund to help Arroyo’s family with an initial gift of ,000. Generous readers boosted the fund to more than 5,000.

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Apr 6, 2017

BRONX NEWS: SEE IT: Pair of crooks attack, rob courier carrying $48G in Bronx

Cops released dramatic footage on Thursday of two men robbing a courier with a plastic bag stuffed with ,000 in the Bronx, police said Thursday.

The courier was walking with a plastic bag filled with cash on Burhe Ave. near Hobart Ave. in Middletown-Pelham Bay around 12:45 p.m. when one of the robbers ran up behind him and ripped the bag from his hand.

Surveillance video shows that as the bag breaks and bundles of cash are scattered across the sidewalk, a struggle ensues between the two men. The second robber then runs over, and begins punching the courier in the head.

Meanwhile, the first robber grabs a few loose bundles of cash, and both crooks flee. The duo made off with ,500, cops said.

Bronx crook robs one bank, then gets busted stealing from another

EMS workers treated the courier at the scene for minor injuries to his face, according to officials.

Cops are now asking the public’s help identifying the two men. One is described as Hispanic with facial hair, and both are around 5-foot-10.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

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Apr 6, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Irate Uber rider threatens to accuse driver of rape (GRAPHIC)

She’s definitely in The News now.

A crazed Uber passenger boasting about being “in the Daily News” hurled racial expletives at her driver before threatening to falsely accuse him of rape and have him deported, shocking dash-cam footage shows.

The hostile exchange went down on the corner of Cypress Ave. and 138th St. in the Bronx after the unidentified driver told the fuming woman that he didn’t have an iPhone charger. The bizarre video was posted to YouTube on Monday and quickly garnered over 100,000 views.

“I’m going to start screaming out the window that you’re raping me, that you raped me,” the woman shouts in the video.

Two dead in Brooklyn, Bronx overnight shootings

The driver repeatedly asks the woman to get out of his car after she begins yelling about “calling the cops.”

After screaming herself hoarse, the woman tells the stunned driver to “get the f–k out of my country.”

“Donald Trump is going to send you and your family back,” she blurts out after spewing a flurry of racial expletives.

Though it was not immediately clear what she was talking about, the woman at one point told the driver, “You better see my s–t, I’m in the Daily News.”

Woman shot in head, killed inside Bronx housing project stairwell

“I was on the Daily News and I don’t give a f–k,” she shouts.

The woman also threatens to punch herself in the face and tell police that the driver did it.

“You’re going to jail,” she fires. “I’ll call the cops right now…I’m going to tell them you’re holding me against my will. You’re going to jail for domestic violence.”

Just before the nearly nine-minute back-and-forth comes to an end, the woman notices she’s being recorded.

“Why are you recording me,” she fumes, punching the driver’s seat furiously. “He just hit me in the face.”

After the driver tells the woman that she can “make up whatever,” she finally exits the car.

“This is uptown New York man — Bronx,” the driver says, shaking his head.

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