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Apr 5, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Sister of NYC man Tasered to death by cop shocked they killed him


The sister of a Bronx man who died after he was Tasered twice by an NYPD officer “can’t fathom” what happened to her brother after the city’s medical examiner Wednesday ruled his death a homicide.


“It’s too hard to take all this in. It’s not right, they murdered my brother,” said Mildred Galarza, whose brother Ariel Galarza died on Nov. 2, 2016 after NYPD Sgt. William Melrose zapped him twice.


“Somebody should be arrested for this,” she added.


Melrose and other cops reported to the Mayflower Ave. building in the Bronx after a neighbor called 911 when she thought Galarza was an emotionally disturbed person holding a knife.

Bronx man hit with stun gun may go blind in one eye


Galarza, 49, was holding a bottle of hot sauce and the neighbor admitted her sight wasn’t good and was sorry.


Galarza, who suffered from asthma and a learning disability, was shocked twice by Melrose before going into cardiac arrest.


The city’s medical examiner ruled that the manner of death for Ariel Galarza was a homicide — caused by cardiac arrest following physical exertion, restraint and use of conducted electrical weapon in an individual with hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, acute drug intoxication.


The attorney general’s office continues to investigate whether Melrose should be criminally charged for going against protocol.

Family of Bronx man who died after NYPD Taser files M lawsuit


“The family now awaits the determination of the investigation underway by the attorney general’s office as to the issue of criminality regarding this wrongful death,” said Sanford Rubenstein, the attorney for the Galarza family who filed a million notice of claim earlier this year.

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Apr 5, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx carjacker who shot postal worker was recently arrested


A carjacker sporting a bullet-proof vest who shot a mailman in the Bronx is a parolee recently arrested for three other crimes, officials said Wednesday.


Clarence Brooks is accused of forcing an off-duty mailman out of his car at gunpoint on E. 232nd St. and Carpenter Ave. in Wakefield Tuesday afternoon.


As Brooks, 27, tried to speed off in the mailman’s car, an on-duty postal worker blocked his escape, witnesses told police. Brooks firing wildly at the 30-year-old postal worker, grazing his arm.


After crashing the stolen car, Brooks allegedly carjacked a woman’s Nissan Pathfinder — but crashed into another vehicle, trapping himself in the crushed SUV. He had to blast out the window to get out as police approached and took him into custody.

Bronx carjacker steals two vehicles at gunpoint, shoots mail man


First responders took the postal worker to Montefiore North Hospital, where he was treated and released.


Brooks was charged with attempted criminally negligent homicide and two counts of robbery, cops said Wednesday. His arraignment was pending.


He was released on parole until 2020 in 2015 for a 2013 attempted robbery conviction, cops said Wednesday.


On March 20, investigators charged him with three other crimes that all took place within blocks of his home in the Edenwald section of the Bronx, about a mile Tuesday’s mayhem, officials said.


Police caught him firing off several rounds from a gun on E. 225th St. on March 20, officials said.


He didn’t hit anyone but the gunplay triggered an alert by the NYPD’s ShotSpotter system, which uses sensors to triangulate the location of gunshots, officials said.


Cops charged him with weapons possession and reckless endangerment for that incident.


On the same day, investigators also charged Brooks with two counts of assault for attacking a 25-year-old woman and a 35-year-old woman on E. 226th Drive on Feb. 24, officials said.


He was hit with another assault charge for allegedly attacking a 25-year-old woman on E. 229th St. on Oct. 17 and dragging her down the block by her hoodie, officials said. 

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Apr 5, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx plane crash kills ex-swindler and 6 others in 1977


(Originally published by the Daily News on April 6, 1977. This story was written by Mark Liff, Harry Stathos and Brian Kates.)


Seven persons, including Alexander (Sandy) Guterma — who was implicated in some of the biggest stock frauds of the 1960s — were killed yesterday in the crash of a private plane in a wooded area of Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.


The sole survivor of the crash, Guterma’s 14-year-old son Mark, was in critical condition at Jacobi Hospital.


The 62-year-old financier’s second wife, Sandra, 35, and his children, Carol, 31; Brandon, 11, and Brock, 12, all died in the crash, as did the pilot, Bob Holiday, 39, of Cleveland. Another daughter, Caren, 25, died on the way to the hospital, authorities said.


“Don’t Know What Happened”


The turbo-prop plane, a Japanese-made Mitsubishi 2 that cost over 0,000, was making its final approach to LaGuardia Airport when it apparently became trapped in a blanket of fog and rain.


The 11-seater, on an instrument landing system approach, was cleared for landing and was last seen on the radar screen at Laguardia at 2:30 p.m. It crashed about 2 ½ miles from the airport.


“We simply don’t know what happened yet,” a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.


The plane came in low over the woods, shearing off the tops of trees in the murky fog before it crashed, about 150 yards short of hitting homes at the corner of Watt and Stadium Aves.


Coming in from Kentucky.


Debris was scattered over a 300-yard radius in Pelham Bay Park.


The flight originated at Somerset-Pulaski Airport, in Somerset, Ky., where Guterma, who lived in Boca Raton, Fla., owns the Mount Victory Coal Co.


Guterma — who was born in Siberia and educated in China — became known in in the press as “Mr. X” after the mysterious, multi-national financial pyramid he constructed collapsed in the lap of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the late 50s and early 60s.


Implicated in millions of dollars worth of stock swindles, Guterma was sentenced in 1960 to 4 years and 11 months in federal prison on a fraud conviction. While serving the sentence he also was convicted and fined on charges of serving as an agent of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujilo, from whom he accepted 0,000 to broadcast political propaganda through the Mutual Broadcasting network, which he owned.


He was released two years early, after he testified for the government against some former associates.


Later he became president of the United Communities Corp. and its 25 subsidiaries, which recently were involved in a controversial plan to develop Great Harbor Cay in the Bahamas as a resort.


He reportedly stepped down as president of that concern in June 1975 “for health reasons,” a source in Boca Raton said.


“I was playing baseball in the park across the street when suddenly I heard a noise coming out of the sky,” said John Cirillo, 14. “It sounded like an engine stuttering. It started and stopped. Then we saw it come down. It hit across the top of the branches.


“Heard Terrible Roar”


“At first, we thought it hit the houses. There was no fire, just a lot of smoke. It looked like the pilot was trying to bring it up. His wings kept tipping to the left.”


Another neighborhood youth, Joseph Sciascia, 13 said: “I was near the park entrance and I saw it crash into the trees. Pieces were flying everywhere. We ran to call the police.”


“I heard this terrible roar,” said Helen Carozza, who lives opposite the crash site. “I thought it was a truck out of control. What a thud! It bounced.” She said she saw the plane slam into some trees and then flip over on its back before crashing.


Trapped in the wreckage, Mark moaned, “God, my feet hurt. Help me! Get me out!” according to police Officer Thomas Holihan, one of the first rescuers at the scene.


Holihan said he had to remove Holiday’s body with a rope before he could get to the injured youth. The bodies of the other victims had to be freed with buzzsaws and hydraulic jacks.


Although there was a ceiling of 500 feet at Laguardia at the time of the crash with a visibility of 2 ½ miles, Carl Evers, who operates a seaplane base near the crash scene, said: “This was not a flying day. The ceiling’s been down. It’s a lousy day.


Family Vacation Trip


Guterma, had planned the trip to New York at least two weeks ago, according to a friend, Dagny Woodcock, who was to have made the trip with them, but canceled.


“It was to have been a long-awaited family vacation — a time for them all to get together,” Ms. Woodcock said.


She said that Guterma announced the trip at Mark’s birthday party two weeks ago. They picked the date, she said, because it was one of the few time that Caron, a real estate dealer, could make the trip.

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Apr 5, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: UPS worker accused of slamming door on cop says officer hit him

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Apr 5, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Bronx carjacker steals two vehicles at gunpoint, shoots mail man

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Apr 4, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Yankee Stadium hopes to score home run with new food menu


Buy me some peanuts and … chicken wings?


Yankee fans can expect a new lineup at the stadium concession stands this year with fare that includes fresh mozzarella sandwiches, meatloaf burgers and a single Brontosaurus rib that will run you .


The Bronx Bombers will be back in Yankee Stadium Monday for a home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, but stadium staffers are just as excited about what fans can look forward to off the field.


The team unveiled new social gathering spots and concession options it hopes will be home runs with the Yankee faithful.

CC Sabathia ready to start season as Yankees’ No. 2 starter


The additions include the Sunrun Kids Clubhouse — the stadium’s first ever children’s zone — shaped like a mini-baseball field with a soft artificial surface, and outfitted with Yankee-themed playground equipment.


“We’re very proud of this space,” said Yankees spokesman Michael Margolis.


Fans can also explore several new decks and a sports lounge complete with large-screen televisions and USB outlets for charging phones and tablets.


But the Yankees are really hoping to score with the food.

Yankee prospect Gleyber Torres to play SS, 2B and 3B with Thunder


New menu items include a caramelized onion French dip sandwich, a s’mores cup and the solid single-pound rib that costs as much as a ticket to the game.


“We’ve been finding through surveys that guests want a wide variety,” said senior executive chef Matt Gibson. “We want to make sure we can provide it.”


But baseball purists need not despair. You can still get a hot dog.


“People are still going to want chicken fingers and fries, which is great,” said sous chef Brandon Rodriguez. “It is a ballpark at the end of the day.”

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Apr 4, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: New York City crime in 2017 drops to lowest so far recorded


Despite a jump in subway crime, the city recorded its safest first quarter in at least a generation, with record lows in serious crime including murders and shootings, police said Monday.


Through the first three months of the year, the crime rate is down 5% compared to the same time frame last year.


Murders were down 10%, with 61 slayings this year compared to 68 last year, police said.


And there were 42 fewer shootings this year, a drop of 22%.

Broken windows works and don’t undo it


There was also a sharp drop in homicides at housing projects — five this year compared to 13 last year, a 62% decrease, police said.


But crime in the subways is up 6%, mostly due to a double-digit surge in felony assaults.


Dermot Shea, the chief of Crime Control Strategies, said the mostly good news is no surprise to police brass.


“Last year, we said that we believed crime could go lower,” Shea said at press conference on Randalls Island. “We are now witnessing the effects of our sustained focus on the recividist population within New York City as our strategies take hold.”

NYC sees safest February in over 20 years, though murders up


CompStat, introduced in 1994, analyzes and maps crime patterns to hold NYPD commanders responsible for their districts.


Police have been focusing mostly on the repeat offenders who drive a majority of the violent crime in the city.


At the same time, the NYPD remade its approach to New Yorkers, working off a neighborhood policing model designed to improve relationships and lean on residents for the information and cooperation police need to solve crimes.


But Police Commissioner James O’Neill, on the heels of Tuesday’s terror attack in Russia, said the concern remains that proposed budget cuts by President Trump could dramatically cut the federal funds the NYPD relies onto prevent terrorism in the city.

New York City to ease up on school arrests


Mayor de Blasio said the city will fight any funding dip that hurts the city.


“Maybe he’s been away from New York a little too long if he thinks we are not going to fight it,” the mayor said of Trump. “We need to protect our city.”

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Apr 3, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Cop Watch activist releases incriminating audio of NYPD officers


Cop Watch activist Jose LaSalle released incriminating audio recordings on Monday that allegedly capture police officers celebrating his arrest and conspiring to charge him with a felony.


He said the previously unavailable recordings were from August, when officers assigned to the Housing Bureau arrested and released him twice in one day when the Bronx District Attorney declined to prosecute.


LaSalle, the 47-year-old founder of South Bronx’s Cop Watch Patrol Unit, said police officers have it out for him because he’s been documenting their behavior since 2011.


In the recording, one of the officers cheers, “Got him! Got him!” and another chants, “It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party, hey!”

Cop Watch activist involved in M lawsuits against NYPD


LaSalle didn’t realize the device was recording them when they took it. They became wildly excited when they thought they could hit him with a felony charge for his two-way receiver radio, he said.


“This is illegal. You are transmitting at our frequency … my man, you are a felony,” one cop can be heard saying, to the joyous hurrahs of his colleagues.


Later in the recording, they are heard trying to charge him with a felony.


“There’s no felony charge option on that?” one officer asks.


Another informs him it’s a misdemeanor, which typically results in a desk appearance ticket, or DAT. But the officers decide to book him, anyway.


“Give him a DAT? No? Just put him through?” one cops asks another.


LaSalle, speaking to reporters outside NYPD headquarters on Monday, said, “You’re talking about 30 officers celebrating my arrest, saying it’s a party … it was like I was (Osama) bin Laden. They were celebrating like I was one of America’s most wanted.”


The cop watcher said he believes this happens every day to people who are less tech savvy and don’t have the means to expose everyday abuses of power.


“But guess what? (The cops) screwed up. They messed up and now we’ll hold them responsible. We must hold them responsible.”


The NYPD did not immediately respond to a question on whether the officers involved have or will be disciplined.

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Apr 3, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Man jumps out of Bronx building trying to avoid cops


A 23-year-old man wanted in connection with a grand larceny jumped out a window when cops came to arrest him at a Bronx building Monday morning, police said.


The man plunged four floors and suffered serious body trauma, but is conscious and alert at St. Barnabas Hospital, officials said.


The incident happened at about 8 a.m. on E. 184th St. in Fordham.


Police said when cops from the Queens Warrant Squad showed up to make the arrest, the suspect jumped.


Details of the grand larceny were not immediately clear.


rparascandola@nydailynews.com

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Apr 3, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: Woman, 26, found shot dead on Bronx street


A 26-year-old woman was found shot to death on a Bronx sidewalk early Sunday.


Police found Margarita Franco shot in the head on the sidewalk along E. 214th St. near Barnes Ave. in Williamsbridge around 2:30 a.m. — about a half-mile away from her home. She died at the scene.


Cops on Sunday night couldn’t provide any information on who shot Franco or why.


As word of Franco’s death spread, her friends took to Facebook to mourn her.

Woman shot in head, killed inside Bronx housing project stairwell


Franco went to the High School of Fashion Industries, according to the school alumni association’s Facebook page.


“R.I.P. Marie Franco I still can’t believe this ?????? such a dope girl, cool as hell. She was always a happy person,” wrote Enu Alexis Nwankwo

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Apr 3, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: One of NYC’s ‘worst’ landlords hit with Section 8 bias suit


One of the city’s most notorious landlords blatantly discriminates against Bronx tenants using Section 8 vouchers, a new lawsuit charges.


Rosalba Gonzalez, 49, alleges in a lawsuit to be filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday that landlord Ved Parkash declined to accept the federal subsidy for rent. It is illegal to discriminate against tenants using the vouchers, which is considered lawful income.


“Mr. Parkash shouldn’t discriminate against families and break the law just to serve his wallet,” said Gonzalez, who lives with two of her three sons in the building at Grand Concourse and E. Burnside Ave.


In June, Gonzalez, who was in Housing Court for failing to pay rent, thought she’d resolved the issue by securing a Section 8 voucher that would cover 3 of her 5 rent, the suit says. But Parkash allegedly declined the offer.


A subsequent sting arranged by the Fair Housing Justice Center caught Parkash employees rejecting callers posing as prospective tenants with Section 8 vouchers asking about other properties owned by Parkash, the suit says.


In one sting in January, a Parkash employee simply replied “nah” when asked if the landlord accepted Section 8.


“It’s just preference… they don’t accept any” Section 8 vouchers, the employee allegedly said, adding that “the owners” set the policy.


In 2015, Parkash was No. 1 on Public Advocate Letitia James’ worst landlord list. Last year, he was No. 4. He owns four buildings with 257 units and 992 violations, according to the list. “This latest move by Ved Parkash, one of the most notorious landlords in our city, is nothing more than outright discrimination and an attempt to line his pockets,” James stated.


In February, it emerged that another property Parkash owns is infested with rats carrying a potentially deadly disease, leptospirosis.


Parkash did not return a phone call from the Daily News.

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Apr 2, 2017
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BRONX NEWS: CARIBBEAT: ‘Caribbean Music Comedy and Theater Festival’


The borough of Queens is the place for Caribbean theater, music and culture as the Black Spectrum Theatre hosts its month-long “Caribbean Music, Comedy and Theater Festival.”


The inaugural festival continues this week with a concert starring “I’ll Do Anything for You” Jamaican music star Denroy Morgan and a number of Caribbean comedians on Saturday.


Other festival happenings include a free reading of Marcha Tracey’s new play “Paradise Plume” on April 13, and the Trinidad and Tobago play “My Countrymen” by Harlan Penn, April 21 through 23.


To purchase tickets for any festival events, visithttp://bit.ly/Caribbeanfestival2017.

CARIBBEAT: A French toast to Calypso Rose


In addition to the Caribbean Festival, which started yesterday with Guyana-born playwright/actress Ingrid Griffith’s one-woman play “Demerara Gold,” the Black Spectrum Theatre will be presenting several other events including the Valerie Donaldson play “Brother Joombo’s Magic History Soup” Tuesday through Thursday at 10:30 a.m.


The encouraging stage work is created for students — from fifth grade to high school. Classes are encouraged to see the play.


To make a reservation or get information, call the Black Spectrum Theatre at (718) 723-1800 and visit www.blackspectrum.com.


JAH JERRY’ FOUNDATION BENEFIT

CARIBBEAT: Carnival association’s golden anniversary year


Named for a pioneering Jamaican music star and dedicated to his passion for education, the Jah Jerry Foundation will be celebrating its Anniversary Scholarship Fund-raiser Dinner Dance on April 21 in nearby town of Pelham, New York, in Westchester County.


The fund-raising affair will be held at the Country Kitchen Restaurant, 810 Pelham Parkway, from 8 p.m. to midnight, to benefit the educational mission of the group named for late Jerome (Jah Jerry) Haynes, according to James Haynes, son of the late musician and founder of the nonprofit group.


Jerome Haynes, who died in 2007, was guitarist and founding member of legendary Skatalites ska band. Ska music was a precursor to Jamaica’s patented and popular rocksteady reggae rhythms.


The group’s 2017 goals are to provide scholarships to selected music majors at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and donate state-of-the-art desktop computers to Alpha Boys School, whose student musicians have been influences in the development of the ska and reggae music genres.

CARIBBEAT: Art from Africa to B’klyn on display


Businessman Vincent HoSang, president and CEO of Caribbean Food Delights firm, is scheduled to attend the affair and sign copies of his timely book “Change of Fortune: How One Determined Immigrant Built His American Dream.”


For information on the organization and the benefit affair, call (212) 470-5655 and visit www.jahjerry.org.


FAREWELL TO NETBALL GROUP FOUNDER


The members, players and supporters of the New York-based Caribbean-American Netball Association will be remembering one of the organization’s founders, Albert Telemacque aka DJ Gold, in the today in a service at the Carib Funeral Home, 1922 Utica Ave., in Brooklyn.

CARIBBEAT: Art from Africa to B’klyn on display


Telemacque, 85, died on March 18. Viewing begins at 2 p.m. and services will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A home-going celebration will be held at in Brooklyn at the Tropical Reflections Ballroom, 4501 Glenwood Road, 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. For information, call Carib Funeral Home at (718) 444-1818 or Tropical Reflections at (718) 287-4900.


CARIBBEAN CULTURAL CENTER GALA HONOREES


A distinguished group of honorees prepared for the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute Spring Gala Reception on Wednesday in Manhattan at the Loeb Boathouse Central Park.


Susan Taylor, editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence magazine who has Caribbean roots, is one of the individuals recognized. In addition to her work at Essence, Taylor (who was born in Harlem to parents from Trinidad and St. Kitts) is the founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement.

CARIBBEAT: Gala for University of the West Indies


Ana Oliveria, president and CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation, Nigerian-American “Black Lives Matter” cofounder Opal Tometi, and Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, a program director at Rockefeller Brothers Fund are the others honored for “their work in arts, culture, and social justice.”


Founded in 1976 by Marta Moreno Vega in 1976, the internationally respected East Harlem-based CCCADI is a multi-disciplinary center that integrates art, education, activism and conscious cultural tourism. The center recently moved into its new home — a landmark former FDNY firehouse on 120 E. 125th St. (between Park and Lexington Aves.)


Gala entertainment includes Afro-Brazilian music from Dendê & Band, and sounds from Harlem’s DJ Stormin’ Norman.


For information on the gala and the CCCADI programs and activities, call 212- 307-7420; send email to info@cccadi.org and visit www.cccadi.org.

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