Increase in Shootings in the Bronx, Brooklyn North, and Queens South This Year

Categories: Crime, NYPD

bk1bennett via Compfight cc
Summer is here. Memorial Day has passed and on June's first weekend, thirteen people were shot over a nine hour stretch spanning Saturday night and Sunday morning. The number of shootings traditionally rises with the heat. More folks outside for more hours. More rubbing shoulders and more getting on nerves.

This is never good news, but it is especially worrisome for those who live in areas where the number of shootings has already risen.

In the Queens South Patrol Borough, there were 50 shooting victims through May 25th, seven more than the same time last year, according to NYPD statistics. In the Bronx, there were 131 shooting victims over that stretch, up from 103 last year. And in the Brooklyn North Patrol Bureau, there were 124 victims, up from 103.

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The "Gatsby Bandit" Is Suspected of Three Queens Bank Robberies in Nine Days

The FBI calls him the "Gatsby Bandit" because of the hat. The middle-aged man suspected of three recent Queens bank robberies wore a tan driving cap during a May 16 heist at Astoria Federal Savings Bank on Broadway. He also wore a similar hat, only in blue, in separate robberies on May 12 at Investors Bank on Broadway and May 7 at Santander Bank on Roosevelt Avenue.

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Disguises, Bomb Threats, and Gasoline: Recent Check Cashing Robbery Attempts in NYC

U.S. Attorneys Office-Eastern District of New York
The scene of the 2012 Valentine's Day Heist.
Robbing a check cashing outlet is much less straightforward than robbing a bank. For a bank heist, a note demanding money is all a thief needs; the tellers are trained to hand it over. Banks have other tools - like exploding dye-packs and GPS trackers hidden in cash bundles - to foil the bank robbers on the back end.

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Woman Who Killed Her Alleged Rapist Must Be Granted New Parole Hearing, Judge Rules

Image via HudsonLink
Taconic Correctional Facility, where Pulinario is now serving her time.
Seventeen years after a woman murdered her alleged rapist, a State Supreme Court judge has issued a rare decision, ordering a parole board that declined to set her free to reconsider. The current case stems from a September night in 1995, when 21-year-old Imagio Santana was found shot to death on a street corner in Brentwood, Long Island. Santana carried no ID; he was identified by his fingerprints and by the tattoo of the word "Dominican" he had on his right arm.

The police discovered heroin on Santana's body, and learned he'd been arrested the previous month for drug possession. Lieutenant John Gierasch, who headed the Suffolk County Homicide Squad, said that the killing "had the markings of a drug hit," according to a New York Daily News account from the time.

But on October 18, a month after the murder, police arrested a 21-year-old woman with no criminal record, Keila Pulinario. She told police that she had shot Santana, with whom she had an on-and-off relationship for the past five years. The reason, she said, was that several days earlier, Santana had raped her in his car. When she confronted him about it, he laughed and threatened to rape her again.

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Journalist Randy Gener Beaten and Left With Brain Trauma In Possible Hate Crime [UPDATED]

Photo by Kelly Stuart; image via Facebook.
Friends of Randy Gener gather at a candlelight vigil on Sunday night in Hell's Kitchen.
A local journalist has suffered brain injuries and remains in intensive care after being viciously attacked near his home earlier this month. Just before 4 a.m. on Friday, January 17, theater critic and journalist Randy Gener was on his way to his apartment from the opening night of a play, walking on Seventh Avenue between 54th and 55th streets. Just steps from his home, Gener was attacked and beaten. He was found a short while later, bloody and unconscious.

Gener has previously written about theater for the Village Voice, as well as the New York Daily News, the New York Times, NPR, New York, and a couple dozen other big-name media outlets. He's also gay and Filipino; the NYPD has announced they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. A friend told CBS that the attackers didn't steal his wallet. The NYPD told Pix11 that a witness may have seen a Hispanic man punch Gener in the head and flee in a silver four-door car.

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Which Neighborhoods Had the Biggest Increase in Murders in 2013?

Categories: Crime, NYPD

Wikimedia Commons
Departing NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly.
Another year, another drop in the city-wide murder rate. Down 20 percent, from 419 in 2012 to 329 through Sunday. But like so many of New York City's improvements in recent decades, the year's crime drop did not sweep through each neighborhood equally.

Some precincts oversaw a significant reduction in murder rate. In the 81st, which patrols the eastern half of Bed-Stuy, there have been six murders this year, compared to 16 in 2012. In the 113th of southeast Jamaica murders dropped from 16 to seven. The rate in East Harlem's 25th sank from 10 to 3. And half of the Bronx's 12 precincts boasted notable decreases--eight to two in the 41st (Hunt's Point), 18 to nine in the 43rd (Soundview), 16 to nine in the 47th (Williamsbridge), nine to three in the 48th (Tremont), seven to two in the 49th (Morris Park), and six to two in the 50th (the borough's northwest corner).

Many neighborhoods, however, didn't fare as well. Of the city's 77 precincts, 23 have had more murders in 2013 than in 2012.

Here's that list, complete with any other notable crime stats (2013 numbers through December 22). For historical context, we've included each precinct's 2001 murder rate. All data are from the NYPD's Compstat reports.

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Have You Seen This Douche? Pennsylvania Police Need Your Help

Image courtesy of the Solebury Township Police Department
"Joe," the suspect in a drugging and robbery in Solebury, Pennsylvania.
There's a perp on the loose in New York, and he apparently specializes in driving incredibly long distances to rob people. Also, he sounds like a real douche.

We got an email yesterday from Detective-Corporal Roy G. Ferrari, who works at the Solebury Township Police Department. Solebury is in Pennsylvania, about 70 miles from New York City, a town of a little less than 9,000 residents. But the main action in our story takes place in New Hope, an even smaller town about two miles down the road. It was there that a man who called himself "Joe" met his victim at what the Solebury police have chosen to describe as "a known gay bar." That would be The Raven, which is also a bed and breakfast and restaurant, hosts a weekly drag night, and has a pool. (Note to self: Stay at the Raven immediately.)

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Charges Reduced Against Reverend Billy and Choir Director For Toad Hat-Wearing Chase Bank Protest

Photo by Kim Fraczek; image via Facebook.
Reverend Billy (white coat, Elvis hair) and Luckett (blue shirt) at a press conference with liberty-loving puppets after this morning's hearing.
In September, longtime New York activist Reverend Billy and his Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, led by choir director Nehemiah Luckett, went into a Chase Bank in midtown and made a little music. The two led a choir of eight in a musical protest against mountaintop removal, a controversial form of coal-mining that Chase helps finance. The choir sang a song, then Reverend Billy preached a sermon on Chase's fondness for fossil fuel investments. The whole thing lasted about 15 minutes, according to the choir, who had donned fetching yellow toad hats during the performance.

For their trouble, as we told you at the time, Luckett and Reverend Billy (real name William Talen) were charged with rioting in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly, and two counts of disorderly conduct. The rioting and the menacing both carried a possible punishment of one year in prison. But in a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court Monday morning, those charges were greatly reduced. According to the Manhattan District Attorney's office, the prosecution reviewed the footage and decided that the whole thing looked more like a musical protest than a riot.

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The Massive Blind Spot in the NYPD's New Crime Visualization Map

Categories: Crime

Two New Yorkers were killed at this intersection in the past two years, but their deaths are not recorded by the NYPD's crime map.
The NYPD released a spiffy new interactive crime map on Sunday. Enter an address, any address, and the map will tell you the precise location and nature of every crime that has occurred in the surrounding area as far back as January 2012. You can filter by type of crime to identify the neighborhoods that are most frequently burglarized, the streets where rapes most commonly occur, and the corner that has seen the most murders.

It's a tool, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly said in a press release trumpeting the map, that will help New Yorkers' understand where they are most at risk. "This administration has relied on data to drive its crime fighting, and this map helps enhance New Yorkers' and researchers' understanding of where felony and violent crime persists," Kelly said.

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Former Romney Intern Adam Savader Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking One Woman, Won't Face Trial For the Other 14

Image via Facebook
The pithed-looking fellows you see to your left are former vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Long Island native, former Romney/Ryan campaign intern, and super creepy dude Adam Savader. If Savader's fixed gaze looks familiar, it's because in late April, he was arrested and charged with cyberstalking and sexually extorting a number of female acquaintances. The AP reports that last week Savader pleaded guilty to stalking one woman. That leaves 14 more for which he will not face trial.

According to the complaint, Savader started with a woman he knew from high school in Great Neck, now a college student in Michigan, who is identified in court documents as M.K. He hacked into her AOL account and took nude pictures she'd kept there, ones she'd meant to send to a boyfriend but never did. Then he contacted her by text message using a Google Voice phone number and threatened to send them to her parents and others unless she gave him more photos. He also took the opportunity, the complaint says, to ask her "a series of personal questions relating to sexual preferences, positions, etc."

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