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“Fight Club” (Rikers Island Edition)

22 Oct

Two Rikers Island guards were quickly fired yesterday after pleading guilty to running a “Fight Club”-style disciplinary system that led to the 2008 fatal beating of 18-year-old inmate Christopher Robinson — but, by copping pleas, they avoided longer prison sentences.

Michael McKie is to get two years on Jan. 17, but he’s been in jail 21 months, so he’ll have just weeks left.

Khalid Nelson is to get one year.

Slain mother had won child custody

22 Oct

A Westchester housewife slain with her two kids by her deranged husband had already won custody of the children in the troubled couple’s contentious divorce, it was reported last night.

Amy Friedlander and lawyer-husband Sam were just days from their next court appearance when the dad — who still lived with his family — fatally beat his wife and gunned down his son and daughter before turning the shotgun on himself.

In a statement, the wife’s lawyers told the Journal News that physical custody of kids Molly, 10, and Gregory, 8, had been worked out “months ago.”

Obama vows Iraq pullout by year’s end

22 Oct


WASHINGTON — President Obama announced yesterday that the United States would pull the remaining troops out of Iraq by year’s end, setting up another foreign-policy milestone to crow about just a day after the death of Moammar Khadafy in Libya.

“After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” Obama told reporters at the White House.

He even got a jump on Macy’s in ringing in the holiday season, saying, “Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.”

The president had hoped to keep a small contingent of US forces in Iraq but failed to secure legal protections for soldiers in talks with Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki — a fact that drew criticism from Republican hawks.

So the administration is removing the last troops — currently numbering 39,000 — on a timetable established by President George W. Bush in 2008. Obama said he and Maliki were in agreement after holding a teleconference.

Although he stopped far short of proclaiming, “Mission accomplished” — the phrase that haunted his predecessor during the Iraqi insurgency — Obama did trumpet his own foreign-policy successes on a week that saw the violent end of Khadafy’s 42-year rule.

“The tide of war is receding. The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus our fight against al Qaeda and achieve major victories against its leadership — including Osama bin Laden,” the president said.

Nearly 4,500 US soldiers died in the Iraq war, which Obama pledged during his 2008 campaign for the presidency to bring to a conclusion.

“The last American soldier[s] will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops,” he said. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed Obama, saying his “astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women.

“The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government,” Romney continued.

Team Obama quickly shot back, quipping that “Mitt Romney’s foreign-policy experience is limited to his work as a finance executive shipping American jobs overseas.”

Obama said the United States and Iraq would now have a “normal relationship between sovereign nations” and an “equal partnership.”

Administration officials said up to 5,000 security contractors would remain behind to provide security for diplomats and facilities. About 160 soldiers would remain under State Department authority.

President Obama said yesterday the United States will pull the vast majority of its remaining troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, ending more than eight years of military intervention.

* US troops killed: 4,479

* Troops injured: More than 32,000

* Peak of deployment: 162,000 troops.

* Current deployment: 39,000

* Troops to remain: 150 for embassy security and defense attache’s office.

* Cost of the war: $757 billion

* US-led invasion began: March 2003

* Combat operations ended: August 2010

NYPD clerk busted in Fla. slay

22 Oct

An NYPD civilian employee and a man who allegedly killed a drug dealer in Miami Beach were arrested in Brooklyn yesterday, The Post has learned.

Michelle Lewis, 29, who resigned from her clerical duties at Police Headquarters, and Kevon George, 22, were pulled over in a Toyota Camry by US Marshals and NYPD officers in Crown Heights at around 6 p.m. Thursday, law-enforcement sources said.

The suspects were charged with murder and attempted robbery in the Florida attack.

On Oct. 13., the two Brooklynites allegedly drove down to the popular West Indian Carnival in South Beach, where they bought weed from a low-level drug dealer.

They soon wanted to buy more drugs and asked the dealer to put them in touch with a drug kingpin, whom George allegedly later shot to death, sources said.

NYPD blotter October 22, 2011

22 Oct



Two well-dressed bandits made off with a bundle of pricey winter duds from an Upper East Side store.

The sticky-fingered duo entered Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on Madison Avenue near 70th Street at 5:30 p.m. last Saturday and stuffed nearly $3,300 worth of cashmere sweaters, knitted hats and a fur vest in their bags, cops said.

The man-woman shoplifting team fled from the store without paying for the designer spoils.


A thug threatened a woman with a folding knife on the Upper East Side, cops said yesterday.

The 39-year-old victim told police a man followed her for six to eight blocks along Madison Avenue, then flashed his weapon and made a stabbing motion at 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 12, authorities said.

The woman screamed and the man fled down 68th Street.

The suspect is described as about 30 years old and 5-foot-4. He was wearing a black hooded jacket, police sources said.



A hoodlum robbed and assaulted a man in Woodside, authorities said.

Evans Castillo, 22, and a cohort jumped the victim on 56th Street near 33rd Avenue at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 1, said a spokesperson for DA Richard Brown.

The alleged perpetrator knocked the victim to the ground while an accomplice swiped the victim’s necklace, according to prosecutors.

Castillo fled in a getaway car but police caught up to him on Oct. 11. He was charged with robbery and assault.


Police are asking the public for help in identifying the thug pictured here who allegedly swiped money from a food deliveryman in Astoria.

The bandit, wearing a black T-shirt and camouflage shorts, approached the 21-year-old man on Main Avenue near 8th Street at 10 p.m. on Aug. 26 and threatened him with a raised fist, police said.

He rifled the victim’s pockets, snatched $120 and fled on a bicycle, cops said.


It wasn’t music to his ears.

A crook may be heading to the slammer after attacking a man for his headphones in Far Rockaway, cops said.

George Spigner, 20, allegedly wielded a knife and demanded the victim’s gear on Beach 97th Street near Rockaway Freeway at about 11 a.m. on Oct. 10, according to court papers.

The punk punched the victim, slashed his headphone wires and fled.

The victim was treated for minor injuries, police said.

Police nabbed Spigner the same day.

The Bronx


A trio assaulted a man after robbing him of his cellphone in Williamsbridge, authorities said.

Isaiah Garrett, 21, allegedly ripped the phone from the victim’s hand on Rochambeau Avenue near East 208th Street Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.

The victim tried to grab back his property and Garrett punched him in the face while Akeen Barnes, 24, and another accomplice pushed him to the ground, court papers state.

The beat-down continued, then the suspects fled. Barnes and Garrett were arrested the same day.

Staten Island


A tire-slashing teen duo was flattened by cops in Arrochar, police said yesterday.

From Sept. 23 through Wednesday, they allegedly slashed the tires of 25 cars and SUVs in an area bounded by Kramer Street, Foch Avenue, Lamport Boulevard and Quintard Street.

Tiana Bello, 16, and Jesus Vazquez, 17, were spotted Tuesday at 9:05 p.m. hopping a fence into Saint Mary’s Cemetery on Parkinson Avenue.

Police recovered two knives from a bag they allegedly tried to discard. They were charged with criminal mischief, said a spokesman for DA Daniel Donovan.

Mobster turns to painting while in jail for haunted mansion murder

22 Oct


He’s the mobster turned Michelangelo.

A Bonanno turncoat who traded in his brass knuckles for a paint brush and palette was sentenced yesterday to time served for the murder of a mob associate inside a supposedly haunted mansion in Staten Island.

Michael Maggio has served nearly six years in prison for the gangland killing of Robert McKelvey, who was strangled, dismembered and incinerated at the spooky Kreischer Mansion.

While Maggio was providing information to the FBI to dismantle the crew of Bonanno soldier Gino Galestro, he began painting landscapes and portraits in the witness protection section of prison.

Defense lawyer Marc Agnifilo said the paintings are displayed in the waiting room of the prison, and he provided copies of the artwork for Judge Allyne Ross to review in Brooklyn Federal Court.

“I thought, more eloquently than anything I could say, the paintings show there’s good in him,” Agnifilo said. “A gentleness, a humility more than I could say.”

Agnifilo said Maggio sends paintings to his young children regularly, but he has been cut off from contact with them because their mother is Galestro’s sister-in-law.

“Do they get the painting or is it thrown in the garbage?” Agnifilo said, adding that Maggio has no way of knowing.

Even Maggio’s father – who stabbed his wife to death when the defendant was a boy – refused to even write a letter to the judge because a cousin, Staten Island restaurateur Frank Fresca, was believed to have been rubbed out because Maggio is a rat.

Maggio testified at the trial of Bonanno associate Joseph Young, who carried out McKelvey’s killing. A crew of young wanna-bes who chopped up the victim’s body and fed the pieces into an old incinerator at the mansion also pleaded guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Dennehy acknowledged Maggio’s assistance in what was essentially a missing person case until he stepped forward.

Maggio wept as he told the judge: “I’m sorry for the life I was living. I’m sorry for everything.”

Crime History: Joseph Bonanno snatched from Manhattan neighborhood?

22 Oct


On this day, Oct. 21, in 1964, notorious Mafia leader Joseph Bonanno was supposedly kidnapped off the street in front of his Manhattan apartment.

Bonanno was there at the creation of the American Mafia in the 1920s, and established the Bonanno crime family in Brooklyn.

Bonanno, who despised his nickname Joe Bananas, had fallen from grace in the 1960s for trying to become the boss of bosses in what became known as “the Banana War.”

He claimed other families grabbed him in a move to force him out of the mob.

He was released after being held in a farmhouse for six weeks.

Authorities suggested Bonanno staged his own kidnapping to prevent him from having to testify.

He retired to Arizona. He died in 2002 at age 97.


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