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Sex-Thug attacks (NYC)

23 Oct

Police are hunting a violent sexual predator who has assaulted five women in eastern Queens over the past month, cops said.

The thug first attacked a 44-year-old woman as she entered her Queens Village home on Sept. 22, but his victim screamed and he fled.

He grabbed another Queens Village woman from behind as she entered her home on Oct. 7 and sexually assaulted her.

The pervert then sent two victims to the hospital, shoving a 40-year-old woman to the ground and punching her face as he tried to rape her in Brookville on Oct. 9, and hitting a 24-year-old woman in the back of the head and sexually assaulting her after she fell to the ground on Oct. 16. He also attacked a 23-year-old woman in Brookville on Oct. 12.

Police say the attacker is in his 20s, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10.

Shootings way up in two weeks (NYC)

23 Oct

Bullets are flying over Broadway — and everywhere else in the city.

The number of people shot surged 154 percent two we

eks ago — to 56 from 22 over the same week last year — and spiked 28 percent in the last month.

Last week tallied another increase in victims — 22 people had been hit through Friday, including the three victims gunned down outside a Brooklyn school Friday.

Last year, only 17 shooting victims were logged for the entire week.

The recent gunplay has now pushed the number of shooting victims this year slightly above last year’s tragic tally — to 1,484 from 1,451 — through Oct. 16.

Four high-ranking cops point the finger at Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying their rallies pull special crime-fighting units away from the hot zones where they’re needed.

Since Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, the NYPD has relied heavily on its borough task forces, the department’s go-to teams for rowdy crowds.

But such protest duty takes the special units away from their regular jobs — patrolling public housing and problem spots and staking out nightclubs plagued by violence, supervisors said.

“Normally, the task force is used in high-crime neighborhoods where you have a lot of shootings and robberies,” said one source.

“They are always used when there are spikes in crime as a quick fix. But instead of being sent to Jamaica, Brownsville and the South Bronx, they are in Wall Street.”

Another NYPD boss is troubled by the resulting slowdown in stop-and-frisks.

When OWS marches, as many as 3,000 cops a day could be called on to keep the peace. That’s about 10 percent of the total force.

“The city is going crazy with demonstrations and protests, and I’m lucky if I can get four cars out there,” said Deputy Inspector Ted Berntsen, commander of the 13th precinct in Chelsea.

As the NYPD deals with depleted ranks, fewer thugs are going to jail. The Organized Crime Control Bureau — an elite unit of hundreds of cops fighting drug dealers and gun runners — has seen arrests plummet 19 percent this year.

John Haggerty guilty in $1M election theft

22 Oct

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Yes, he was robbed — but no tears should be shed for Mayor Bloomberg, jurors in the $1.1 million mayoral campaign cash-swipe trial said yesterday after convicting thieving political consultant John Haggerty.

“We didn’t feel Mayor Bloomberg was a victim,” juror Stephen Conroy said yesterday, moments after he and fellow panelists found Haggerty guilty of grand-larceny and money-laundering charges carrying anywhere from zero to 15 years’ prison time.

Manhattan prosecutors proved during a three-week trial that Haggerty had promised to spend the mayor’s $1.1 million on a massive Election Day ballot-security operation –complete with line items for imaginary cars, hotel rooms and 1,355 poll workers — but used most of the loot to buy himself a house instead.

“There was so much money being thrown around” without any accountability, Conroy said after the verdict, noting that the mayor spent more than $109 million of his own cash to win his fourth term in 2009 without ever auditing the spending, or even ever asking for the missing $1.1 million back.

“It’s like losing $100 bucks for you and me,” the juror said.

“That was what the defendant was banking on,” agreed juror Michael Boice. “The fact that a lot of money is being spent.”

Added juror Piper Gray: “Now, I’m probably never going to donate to a campaign. Or at least do some pretty good research”

Still, prosecutors demanded — and received — a $250,000 bail for Haggerty, who won’t be sentenced until Nov. 4.

The conniving consultant’s face reddened as he stood up at the defense table, emptied his suit pockets, removed his trademark green necktie, and let court officers cuff his hands behind his back.

Lead rackets prosecutor Eric Seidel had asked for twice as much bail, arguing that six months before the theft, Haggerty had sent an e-mail to Maura Keaney, the Bloomberg campaign’s head of field operations, in which he mentioned having an Irish passport — a document never presented to officials.

Haggerty was responding to a Keaney e-mail in which she boasted that she was more Irish because “I was born there. I eat black pudding.”

According to a copy obtained by The Post, Haggerty wrote: “I have a house there and an Irish passport and an Irish Terrier named Seamus. I can drink you under the table and went to many more Wolfetones concerts than you did. I am sure that I have been interrogated many more times by British ‘personnel’ than you have. So there!”

Haggerty insisted through lawyer Dennis Vacco that the e-mail was “a joke,” then pleaded personally to remain free.

“I never had an Irish passport! I don’t have an Irish passport!” he told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ronald Zweibel. “I was joking.”

Said the judge, “I’m not convinced that it was a joke.”

Zweibel has given no indication of whether he will throw Haggerty in prison, but he has talked tough about the case in the past, calling the crimes “serious” in a pretrial decision and saying Haggerty was “not Robin Hood.”

A Bloomberg spokesman called the verdict a vindication of the mayor, who had been called to testify as the star prosecution witness.

“For months, the defense has attempted to cast aspersions on Mayor Bloomberg and make him the focus of this case. We are pleased that the jury saw through their cynical efforts and reached a verdict based on the evidence and the law,” spokesman Jason Post told The Post after the verdict.

#OccupyWallStreet protester who scaled 40-foot art exhibit brought down by NYPD

22 Oct

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An Occupy Wall Street protester who scaled a 40-foot-high (12.2-meter-high) steel art exhibit in Lower Manhattan early Saturday was brought down by cops at 9:13 a.m. He was taken to Bellevue for a psychiatric evaluation.

Earlier, he had said he would not come down until Mayor Michael Bloomberg has resigned, FOX News Channel reported.

The man is believed to be Dylan Spoelstra from Toronto. Hostage negotiators were talking to him more than two hours after he climbed the orange exhibit at the entrance to the group’s Zuccotti Park base.

Police and emergency medical service units were also on standby while the street was shut down, WABC reported.

Though maintaining a home base at Zuccotti Park downtown, protesters have taken their movement to points throughout the city, including Washington Square Park, City Hall and a tour of uptown buildings where some of the city’s richest businesspeople live.

“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.

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

Manhattan

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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.

Queens

***

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.

Crime History: Joseph Bonanno snatched from Manhattan neighborhood?

22 Oct

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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.

Woman, 65, slain in Coney Island

21 Oct

A 65-year-old woman was shot dead in Coney Island Thursday, cops said.

Alla Kamenev was shot several times in the torso near West 2nd Street and Sea Breeze Avenue.

Police found the woman, who lived on Surf Avenue near West 8th Street, three blocks from where she was killed, lying on the ground at 11:50 a.m.

She was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.

Cops said they don’t know whether the victim knew her killer, who fled the scene on a mountain bike.

DA wins battle over Harlem gang bang slang

21 Oct

Manhattan prosecutors were the winners today in a war of words with a slang-slinging Harlem gang banger.

A jury sided with the DA in convicting 20-year-old Jaquan “Jay-Cash” Layne on drug conspiracy charges that can cage him for 25 years to life.

Layne had argued that he was just “fronting,” or puffing himself up, when he boasted on Rikers pay phones about his drug dealing prowess.

And when he used the word “yak,” he meant cognac, not crack, as lead prosecutor Christopher Ryan claimed, Layne had argued. “Scud” meant an unattractive women, not marijuana, he also argued.

“I never thought he was part of a conspiracy,” Layne’s lawyer, Frank Rothman, said after the verdict, promising to appeal. “He was just a guy who got sunk by his own big mouth.”

Jurors convicted Layne of continuing to run his 137th St. drug operation from jail, and convicted four of his co-defendants of an assortment of conspiracy and weapons charges.

Layne’s brother Jahlyl, 18, is among them, and now himself faces 12 and a half to 25 years prison.

Layne’s girlfriend, Afrika Owes, was a 16-year-old boarding school student when she admittedly conspired with him to deliver firearms among gang members. Her case sparked headlines when the Abyssinian Baptist Church — which had complained personally to DA Cyrus Vance about the nearby drug gang — posted bail for Owes, whose family turned out to belong to the historic house of worship.

The prep-schooler-turned-gun-moll pleaded guilty to conspiracy and weapons possession and spent the summer in jail.

The Laynes and co-defendants Jeffrey Brown, Habiyb Mohammed and Jonathan Hernandez are due to be sentenced before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin on Nov. 29.

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