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Mar 24, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx students head to D.C. to join the March for Our Lives


Bronx students crammed onto three buses bound for Washington D.C. early Saturday armed with a message: the time for meaningful action on gun control is now.


“We waited and we prayed and nothing happened,” said Hana Santos, 15, a sophomore at Dreamyard Preparatory Academy. “I feel like right now the only thing I can do is be an activist and fight.”


Santos and 150 of her peers from four Bronx high schools and one middle school will join some 500,000 people from across the country in Washington Saturday afternoon at the March for Our Lives to make sure lawmakers hear their demands for stricter gun legislation.


“This march had to happen,” said Dreamyard Preparatory Academy sophomore Lucky Islam, 15. “The school shootings should’ve stopped with Columbine, but they didn’t. We need to do something about it because the grownups aren’t doing anything.”


Some Bronx students said the specter of gun violence causes them daily anxiety.


“I wake up with the fear that I’m not going to make it back home,” said Dreamyard Prep junior Jileiny Padilla, 17. “School should be our safe place. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether we’re going to make it out or see another day.”


The fear is not farfetched for senior Denisse Ramirez and her peers at Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics.


In February, the NYPD arrested a 15-year-old classmate after he allegedly threatened to shoot up the school on social media and made repeated attempts to purchase a gun online. He is being prosecuted in family court and his name was not released due to his age.


“God forbid the cops hadn’t stopped it — we coulda been just like Parkland,” Ramirez, 17, said.


The courage and steadfast activism demonstrated by the survivors of the Parkland shooting inspired Ramirez and many of her peers.


“We’re the same age and they’re survivors,” said Ramirez, an artist who held a sign that read “How many more?” below a painted image of three young people with their heads in crosshairs. “We should take action. If you’re a writer, if you’re a poet, if you’re a singer, use that in some way to stand up.”


As the students huddled on the sidewalk outside Bronx Supreme Court, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, addressed the students, bullhorn in hand.


“You guys are gonna be the ones who will make the change for gun reform,” Diaz said, as the students prepared to board the buses his office helped charter.


“When you get to be my age and something’s changed, you’re gonna be able to tell your grandkids ‘I was on those buses, I was there in D.C.’ And no one’s going to be able to take that away from you.”


The buses departed New York at 6:30 a.m.

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Mar 24, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: SEE IT: Selfie-taking burglars wreak havoc on Bronx Burger King


A crew of hamburglars broke into a Bronx Burger King and trashed the joint after they couldn’t get things their way, authorities said Saturday.


Cops released surveillance video of the March 18 break-in at the Burger King on Westchester Ave. near Colonial Ave. in Pelham Bay Park, where four men and a woman forced open the front door about 3:30 a.m.


The boneheaded burglars took selfies and filmed themselves laughing and hamming it up as they deliberately knocked over pallets of food and a mop bucket of water, the video shows.


They damaged several pieces of restaurant equipment before running off with various food items, including a box of hamburger buns, cops said.


Cops are asking the public’s help identifying and locating the crooks.


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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Mar 24, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: NYC jail guard said ‘I accidentally shot my friend’ in 911 call


A city correction officer accused of fatally shooting a woman inside his Bronx apartment called 911 in a panic, demanding immediate help, court documents revealed Friday.


“I accidentally shot my friend,” Alain Samba told the operator as Marie Faye was sprawled out on the floor of his Ogden Ave. apartment in Highbridge just before 10:40 p.m. Wednesday.


Faye, 35, suffered a gunshot wound in her chest and was rushed to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, where she died.


Samba, 42, told investigators that the gun when went off while he was holding it. Detectives charged him with criminally negligent homicide.


The 42-year-old was held on ,000 after a brief arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court on Thursday night.


Sources said Samba, a father of two, has been a correction officer for just over a year and was assigned to Rikers Island before his arrest.

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Mar 23, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Ex-teacher, his twin plead not guilty to building bombs in Bronx


A former teacher and his twin brother charged with building bombs in their Bronx home — with teenagers helping them — pleaded not guilty on Thursday.


Christian and Tyler Toro, both 27, were indicted March 15 on conspiracy, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device, and unlawful possession of a destructive device counts in Manhattan Federal Court.


Prosecutors also charged Christian Toro with one count of distribution of explosive materials to a minor.


The Toros, who were restrained with ankle chains during their brief appearance in Judge Richard Berman’s courtroom, did not speak during Thursday’s plea proceeding.

Ex-teacher, his twin indicted for allegedly making bombs in Bronx


Christian Toro sported a khaki jail uniform, short beard and rectangular glasses. Tyler Toro wore a navy jail outfit and horn-rimmed glasses, and his beard was thicker than Christian’s.


Berman asked the Toros’ lawyers how they pleaded.


“Not guilty,” replied Amy Gallicchio, who represents Christian.


Bryan Konoski, who reps Tyler, said “The same, not guilty.”


Prosecutor Elizabeth Hanft told Berman three terabytes of data were seized from the Toros’ apartment and that an FBI lab was conducting tests on materials found in their home.


The feds have claimed they uncovered more than 30 pounds of bomb-making materials in the Toros’ Pelham Parkway apartment as well as a note implying plans to murder children. The chilling missive read “Under the full moon the small ones will know terror,” officials said.


Christian, who taught special education at Democracy Prep Harlem High School, and his twin are also accused of trading texts about Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock.


Tyler Toro wrote to Christian Toro that Paddock had a police radio when he slaughtered 58 people who were attending an outdoor concert in October, prosecutors previously said.


“We need to invest in one,” Tyler Toro allegedly texted.


“Copy. I see a couple on Amazon,” Christian Toro replied, according to prosecutors.


The twins also paid Democracy Prep students an hour to take fireworks apart — and remove the explosive materials, officials have alleged.


Cops first became aware of the Toros after a 15-year-old student made a bomb threat against Democracy Prep on Dec. 4.


The student was arrested. Christian Toro then unexpectedly resigned from his job on Jan. 10.


Tyler Toro returned Christian Toro’s work laptop to the school shortly thereafter.


A computer tech later stumbled upon a bomb-making book — prompting the feds’ investigation, according to court papers.


Christian Toro was also collared Jan. 31 on a third-degree rape charge. Prosecutors claim Christian Toro had sexual encounters with the girl who made the bomb threat from September 2017 to January 2018.


Their lawyers declined to comment Thursday.

Tags:
fbi
teachers busted
east harlem
west harlem
las vegas
nevada
stephen paddock

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Mar 22, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx juvenile detention center to turn into affordable housing


A once-infamous juvenile detention center in the Bronx will be transformed into more than 700 units of affordable housing.


The City Council Thursday approved plans to turn the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in Hunts Point into a 0 million, 5-acre campus dubbed The Peninsula that will include 700 units of affordable housing, ground-floor retail, light industrial manufacturing space and other amenities.


“It’s a big day for justice in the Bronx. As we move to build more than 700 affordable homes, open space and small businesses in Hunts Point on the site of the old Spofford facility, we are seeing a community rising and the righting of old wrongs,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.


Spofford was a hulking concrete complex that was shuttered in 2011 after years of criminal justice activists urging its closure.

Brooklyn juvenile center aide hit with sex assault charges


Among the young people who had been incarcerated there was boxer Mike Tyson, who recalled his experiences there to New York Magazine.


“I had heard horror stories about Spofford. I was terrified. I had no idea what was going to go down in that place. But when I went to the cafeteria for breakfast, it was like a class reunion. ‘Chill,’ I said to myself. ‘All your boys are here,’” he told the magazine.


All 700 of the units will be income-restricted and the development will be mixed income — with apartments reserved for those making from 30% to 90% of the area median income, and 75 units set aside for formerly homeless people.


“The Spofford redevelopment project reflects the core of our mission: To create equitable economic growth for all New Yorkers,” New York City Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett said in a statement.

NYC juvenile detention aide faces 16 years for raping teen girl


The project passed 48-0.


“The Peninsula will be a transformative project for Hunts Point and the South Bronx, adding 100% affordable housing and new jobs while spurring economic growth through the creation of a vibrant hub for my community, “Councilman Rafael Salamanca, who represents the neighborhood, said in a statement.

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Mar 22, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Cuomo says state budget must fund NYCHA or he won’t sign it


Gov. Cuomo went after Mayor de Blasio’s public housing headaches again Thursday, visiting another decrepit NYCHA apartment and insisting he won’t sign the state budget unless it includes help for city public housing tenants.


At the Forest Houses in the Bronx, the governor repeated his push to get an independent contractor to come in and jump-start NYCHA apartment upgrades.


“We have to have a real solution as part of this budget, to bring in a contractor who can do the work,” he said. “And if this budget does not have a solution for the NYCHA tenants, I won’t sign the budget.”


Cuomo’s parachuting into the Bronx came a day after de Blasio took to the airwaves to razz the governor for suddenly discovering the sorry conditions in public housing.


This was the third NYCHA apartment visit in 10 days for the governor, who has recently made it his mission to point out de Blasio’s failure to address the authority’s mismanagement issues.


The mayor, in turn, has ridiculed the governor for what he sees as his too-little, too-late approach. On Wednesday de Blasio accused Cuomo of hypocrisy, stating, “The governor is getting his photo-op but not handing over the money.”


The state stopped aiding NYCHA in the late 1990s, and Cuomo began steering funds the agency’s way in 2015. To date he’s allocated a total of 0 million, though 0 million has yet to be spent as the state and NYCHA iron out differences regarding how quickly the funded work can get done.


At the Forest Houses, Cuomo toured the apartment of Carmen Silvia, 84, who suffered a stroke and can’t move the left side of her body. She’s stuck in her 11th floor unit with water damage and roaches.


“Here in New York, conditions deteriorated over a prolonged period of time,” Cuomo said. “It was a silent storm, but it was the drip drip drip of apathy, neglect and discrimination that has allowed this to happen. This is a failure of the political system.”


Cuomo hugged Silva’s son, Alberto Pitarro, 61, who said he’s worried about his mom’s living conditions.


“It is funny that it has to be a governor the comes over here to take care of the problems we have,” Pitarro said. “There are 400,000 (NYCHA tenants) that are suffering. My mom is just one out of all of them, with the walls, water damage, roaches, all the problems that she has. I can’t say how appreciative I am for you to be here.”


The governor again slapped at NYCHA managers for delaying repairs by taking too long to spend the money they have.


“NYCHA can’t spend the money they have,” he said. “They are saying it’s going to take them four years to replace a boiler with the money they have. It is the incompetence of NYCHA. Until you fix that, you will accomplish nothing.”


Council member Ritchie Torres, who attended Cuomo’s press conference at Forest Houses, said de Blasio is in denial about the chaos at NYCHA.


“The residents of public housing have gotten a rotten deal from the mayor,” he said. “The mayor has no one but himself to blame for the mismanagement of NYCHA. Affordable housing neglect is the legacy of the mayor.”

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Mar 22, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: City correction officer grilled after fatal shooting at his home


Cops are grilling a city correction officer over the fatal shooting of a woman inside his Bronx apartment, officials said Thursday.


Police took the 42-year-old correction officer into custody after a woman was shot in the left side of her chest in his sixth-floor apartment on Ogden Ave. near University Ave. in Highbridge just before 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, cops said.


Medics took the 35-year-old victim to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, where she died. Her name was not immediately released


Charges were pending against the correction officer Thursday, cops said.

Woman shot to death in Bronx apartment, man taken into custody


Sources said the suspect has been a correction officer for just over a year and is assigned to Rikers Island. His name was not immediately released.


“He works a lot,” said one neighbor who declined to give her name. “I don’t see him much because he’s always working.”


She said the officer has two children, a girl the neighbor estimated to be around 10 and a boy around 12. Both children live with their biological mother but used to visit their father fairly regularly.


“He’s a good father from what I’ve seen,” she said. “The children stay with him but I haven’t seen them in there in the longest time.”


The neighbor was shocked the killing happened while she was home just across the hall.


“I was home all day because of the snow and I didn’t hear nothing,” she said. “It’s weird because he (once) told my husband he doesn’t even have a gun. I thought if anything he got shot.”


A second neighbor said he heard a shouting match between a man and a woman in the apartment about two weeks ago.


“They were screaming at each other back and forth,” said the neighbor, who could not make out the words of the heated exchange. “It lasted about five minutes and then she slammed the door on him.”


The blow-up was unusual, he said. “They were in and out,” he said. “I usually never hear them.”


Two police officers were stationed at the open door of the apartment Thursday as investigators collected evidence.


“We grieve over the loss of life and have full confidence that the ongoing investigation will reveal exactly what lead to this tragic incident,” said city Department of Correction Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Peter Thorne. “This is under investigation by NYPD.”

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Mar 22, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Woman shot to death in Bronx apartment, man taken into custody


A shooting in a Bronx apartment left a woman dead and a man in custody Wednesday night.


The 35-year-old victim was shot in the left side of her chest in a sixth-floor apartment on Ogden Ave. near University Ave. in Highbridge just before 10:40 p.m., cops said.


Medics took the victim to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, where she died.


Police took a man into custody. Charges against him are pending, cops said.

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Mar 21, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Homeless man, 19, cuffed for fatal attack on Bronx father of 3


Cops caught a 19-year-old homeless man they say killed a Bronx father of three when the teen and another man jumped the victim and smashed his head against the sidewalk, police said Wednesday.


Ceasar Johnson was arrested Monday and charged with the murder of Philip Roseburgh, 35, a single dad who Johnson and another man allegedly attacked after a war of words erupted outside the victim’s apartment building on Garden St. near Prospect Ave. in Belmont around 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20, according to authorities.


During the lethal beatdown, cops said Johnson and a second suspect still sought by police punched Roseburgh, knocking him to the ground where his head pounded against the pavement.


Medics rushed Roseburgh to St. Barnabas Hospital with a skull fracture. He died there six days later.


Witnesses identified Johnson, who has one prior arrest for a 2017 robbery, from a photo lineup before his arrest, cops said.

Tags:
nyc homeless
belmont
new york murders

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Mar 20, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Off-duty NYPD school safety agent cuffed for attacking girlfriend


An off-duty NYPD school safety agent was arrested Monday evening in an attack on his girlfriend in their Bronx home, cops said.


Mark Brown, 35, was charged with assault after police were called to his Parkchester apartment around 5:20 p.m., authorities said.


He has been suspended without pay, according to police.

Tags:
nypd
parkchester
new york assaults

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Mar 20, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Gunman bolts after shooting Uber driver in Bronx robbery


Police released surveillance video Monday of a man wanted in the shooting and robbery of an Uber driver in the Bronx.


The clip shows the gunman, wearing all black, running away after blasting Jeffrey Cisnero Camacho multiple times and swiping from him, according to police.


Camacho, 26, was able to stumble out of his silver Toyota and wave down cops after Saturday attack in Soundview.


Rescuers rushed him to Jacobi Medical Center, where he is expected to survive.


Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the suspect in the video.


The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers is offering a ,000 reward for any information that will lead to the gunman.


Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.

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Mar 19, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx man dies after being struck, pinned between two vehicles

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