NYPD Hunts Serial Groper in the Bronx

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Cops are hunting a sexual deviant who has been prowling the Tremont section of the Bronx. He's wanted for groping two young women last week. The first took place on Thursday, September 26, just before 7 a.m., at the intersection of East 188th Street and Lorillard Place. The man approached a 20-year-old woman from behind and forcibly touched her, and then fled on foot.

The second took place on Friday, September 27, at Fairmount Place and Marmion Avenue, and involved a 26-year-old victim and a similar groping.

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A Romany Family Is Trying to Bail Their Son Out of Rikers Island With "Fishy" Gold Jewelry, A Judge Says

Also not acceptable: $50,000 in quarters
In mid-April, 41-year-old Tom Eli was arrested, suspected of slashing an acquaintance outside a nightclub in the Flatiron. Since then, the usually routine matter of posting bail for him has gotten much, much more interesting. Eli's family is Romany (or "Gypsy," the antique racial slur the Daily News keeps using in their headlines about the case). His mother, a "retired carnival worker and part-time palm reader," according to the New York Times, would like to bail him out using a pile of gold jewelry and coins. But yesterday, a State Supreme Court Judge called the situation "fishy," saying he needed more time to determine the gold had been lawfully obtained.

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Cops Find Drug Stash Inside DVD Player During Bronx Raid

Categories: Crime

HBO's The Wire
Cops'll tear a place up in a drug raid. Ripping up pillows. Busting through walls. Pulling down shelves. Of course, when the place is clean, there'll probably be a lawsuit coming.

But then there are cases like what happened in an apartment on East Clark Place in the Bronx on October 3. Warrant in hand, NYPD officers entered the apartment. Searched every crevice. And found 30 bags of a "white rock-like substance" hidden inside a DVD player, according to a complaint filed Thursday in State Supreme Court.

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Newark's 10 Day Stretch of 10 Homicides Reflects Drop in Cop Numbers

Categories: Crime, Homicide

Newark mayor Cory Booker
During Cory Booker's first year as Newark's mayor, in 2006, there were 107 murders in his city. By 2009, that number was down to 68. That 36 percent drop in homicides helped establish the reputation that has propelled Booker to national prominence.

In 2010, however, 167 Newark police officers were laid off, a 13 percent drop in the force. City and state budget problems were the reason, of course. The murder rate jumped to 90 that year. There would be 96 in 2011 and 92 in 2012.

This year--Booker's last in city hall before he potentially relocates to the Senate chambers in D.C.--was looking better. The city remains on pace for less homicides this year than in each of the past three.

The past two weeks, however, brought Newark's public safety challenges back to the front pages. And after three years, the cuts to the police budget produced a sad crescendo: In a 10 day stretch, from Monday August 26 to Wednesday September 4, there were 10 homicides in the city, as well as three more non-fatal shootings and one non-fatal stabbing.

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Antiq Hennis Shooting: The Numbers Behind a Tragedy

Categories: Crime

At around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, 16-month-old Antiq Hennis was shot and killed while sitting in his stroller in Brownsville. Police have said the gunman was targeting his father, who was not hit.

By the Daily News's counting, Hennis's death marked the 16th time in the last three months that a child under 15 years old was shot. At least three of those victims were three years old or younger. The stories are painful to read about and difficult to put onto wider context.

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Darius McCollum, Autistic Man Jailed 29 Times for Stealing Buses and Trains, Will Finally Get Some Professional Help

Photo via Condren Rails
A very cool vintage Trailways bus, not the one McCollum stole. But who could blame him if he had?
Darius McCollum is what you might call a public transportation enthusiast. As a teenager in Queens, he'd cut class to be near the subway tracks, and dreamed of being a conductor. But at age 15, he became front-page news instead, when he drove an E train from his favorite stop, 34th Street, all the way to the World Trade Center before promptly being arrested. Over the next three decades, McCollum, now 48 and diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, was arrested dozens of times for non-violent transit-related offenses, including impersonating an MTA worker in 1996 and attempting to steal a Long Island Railroad car in 2004.

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The Police Bust That Took Down Ralph Greer Jr.

Categories: Crime

Willie Davis
Ralph Greer Jr.
Ralph Greer Jr. had a heavy shipment of dope in the truck of his car. It was 1995, more than 15 years before he would begin mediating conflicts at the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway. Back in these days he was the top lieutenant for the Seven Crowns gang. And on this day, he had to make a drop-off.

See Also: The Gang War That Wasn't: A Far Rockaway murder lit the fuse of a longstanding conflict, but a remarkable peace arrived instead

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Blessing Scam Suspects Will Be Extradited to NYC Following Sentences in California

Categories: Crime

The scammers convinced elderly Chinese women that evil spirits would kill a loved one.
Law enforcement officials have dubbed it the "blessing scam," and by now the con's strange details are familiar to most major metropolises between the coasts: The scammers target elderly Chinese women and trick them into believing that an evil spirit is about to kill a loved one and the only way to prevent the death is through a purification ceremony that involves putting all of their money into a bag. When the women aren't looking, the con artists switch the bag containing the valuables with a bag containing apples or water bottles.

New York City to Los Angeles, San Francisco to Boston, Seattle to Las Vegas--all were hit with a wave of blessing scams over the past year. This isn't necessarily a bunch of copy-cats, though. If Kings County prosecutors are right, a traveling band of criminals is responsible for at least some of the reports.

Two women recently convicted of committing the blessing scam in San Francisco face extradition to New York City following their jail terms to face similar charges, San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Michael Sullivan noted at their sentencing hearing.

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Ronald Bozeman, Wrongly Arrested and Jailed for a Year, Sues

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A man who spent a year in jail before robbery and kidnapping charges were tossed out of court is suing the New York City Police Department and the city for "generating false evidence and ignoring evidence of his innocence," court records show.

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6 Wild Gang Takedown: Caught Using Facebook, Robbing Drug Dealers

Facebook is a great place to post how you're doing, your new job, pictures of the dog, plates of restaurant food, and, if you're members of a violent drug gang, which specialized in home-invasion robberies of other drug dealers, snapshots of your piles of cash!

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