Queens Police & Fire
New York’s Bravest and Finest spend their days patrolling the streets and responding to emergencies. Most of the time, they get there fast enough to save a life; sometimes they don’t. Let’s take a look at some of the highs and lows of the criminals, as well as those who are here to protect us.
John Gotti – Franklin K. Lane High School’s drop out who reportedly had a 160 IQ was the also known as the “The Teflon Don” for beating numerous murder and racketeering charges. At 26, he did a yearlong stint in prison in which time his wife and their three kids went on welfare. That gave him the drive that led his life. Gotti took over the underworld after killing Paul Castellano in 1985.
The Don’s reign ended in 1992 when his pal, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano spilled the beans and Gotti got convicted of racketeering and sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison of cancer 10 years later. He is buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village.
Winton Mosley – On March 15, 1964, Queens suffered a huge black eye in the national spotlight when more than three dozen residents watched from their homes as Winton Mosley repeatedly stabbed Kitty Genovese to death, walking away at least once while she lay moaning for aid, only to return to finish the job.
Mosley attacked Genovese as she walked home from her parked car to her apartment in a building at 82-70 Austin St. at about 3:20 a.m. The knife-wielding Mosley hunted-down and murdered Genovese, 28, stabbing her repeatedly – in front of 38 residents who witnessed the bloody scene from their apartment windows in a building just across the street from the attack.
Mosley was sentenced to die in the electric chair for Kitty’s murder, a decision later overturned by a state appeals court. He confessed to the Genovese murder, as well as the murders of a 15-year-old girl and a Queens housewife.
John Taylor – On May 24, 2000, two gunmen held up the Wendy’s restaurant at 42-12 Main St. in Flushing, killing five employees and severely wounded two others.
Those charged with the crimes, Craig Godineaux and former employee John Taylor, gained entrance to the store and herded workers to the basement freezer, wrapped plastic bags around their heads and shot them in the heads at point-blank range. It was a crime so ruthless and grisly that it shocked seasoned homicide detectives and left crime scene cops and city morgue workers sickened.
Godineaux received five life sentences, while Taylor became the first person sentenced to death in Queens since Gov. George Pataki reinstated the penalty in February 1995. Though nine years later almost all the death penalty cases were overturned, Taylor continues to sit on Death Row.
David Berkowitz – The 24-year-old Yonkers resident claims a 6,000-year-old demon named Sam spoke to him through a neighbor’s dog, ordering him to kill young women. So in 1976 and 1977, Berkowitz targeted the long brown haired women of the City, but he held this borough’s women in highest esteem, calling them “the prettiest” of them all. The profile of his victims caused a panic-stricken fashion shift throughout the City.
In one of several messages sent to journalist Jimmy Breslin, Berkowitz wrote, “To the people of Queens, I love you. And I want to wish all of you a happy Easter.”
Investigators caught a major break in the hunt for Berkowitz after a woman saw a car peeling away after one murder. Luckily, Berkowitz parked by a hydrant, and was ticketed. Police traced the ticket back to Berkowitz.
Bernard Goetz – This Queens native and 2001 Mayoral vegetarian candidate is better known as the vigilante subway gunman who shot four black teenagers he said were going to rob him. That 1984 incident highlighted the strained race relations and fear of crime that permeated throughout the City. His only regret, he reportedly said, was that he ran out of bullets. Goetz was acquitted in 1987.
QUEENS MOST WANTED
Sure we’ve heard Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s brag from Brooklyn to Manhattan about how crime in New York City is at an all time low, but honestly, it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes peeled, even in Queens. According the NYPD and the FBI there are some pretty dangerous, and of course clever, individuals roaming through the borough’s streets. Listed below are some of Queens most wanted.
1. Thomas Acosta. On April 1, 1987 about 8:35 Acosta stabbed a man to death during a dispute at 210th Street and 90th Avenue.
2. Giovanni Anzora. On Aug. 18, 1991 at 4:19 a.m. in front of 41-81 Frame Place, in Flushing, 23-year-old Hector Sanchez, an immigrant from Guatemala, was talking with a friend. Anzora began to argue with Sanchez, entered his residence and returned moments later with a sharp object, stabbing Sanchez several times causing his death.
3. Michael Francis. On Aug. 24, 1994 on the corner of Guy Brewer Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, at approximately 12:25 a.m., Francis became involved in an argument with Steven Moutrie over money. He then shot Moutrie once in the chest causing his death.
4. Man Singh. On Dec. 24, 1995 at about 11:30 p.m. while at 97-17 40th Road in Elmhurst, Singh stabbed a man to death during a dispute.
5. Fernando Cuartas. On Aug. 20, 1996 at 7:04 p.m. Cuartas shot and killed Sigifredo Giraldo during a dispute at 88-11 St. James Avenue in Elmhurst.
6. Oscar Ortiz. On March 22, 1998 Ortiz was attending a birthday party with William Reyes. During the party a dispute occurred and Reyes shot and killed three people. Ortiz fled the scene with Reyes.
7. Eric Coles. On Jan. 1, 1999 at a New Year’s party Coles struck a victim in the face with a brick causing his death.
8. Yascob Hondri. On Feb. 26, 2000 at approximately 5:56 a.m., Hondri entered a residence in the vicinity of 94th Avenue and 101st Street, and stabbed an unidentified victim numerous times.
9. Ryan Johnson. Johnson has two warrants for Criminal Possession of a weapon, due to an incident on Feb. 19, 2000.
10. Moises Interiano. Interiano is wanted for assault since June 8, 2002.
Locking your car doors and installing an alarm system on the vehicle is a start, but don’t be surprised if all that’s left sitting in the street the next morning is a bare frame, or an empty parking spot. We didn’t mean to scare anyone now, we’re just looking to inform you on the cars thieves desire most and what communities they prefer to hit up.
1995 Honda Civic
1989 Toyota Camry
1991 Honda Accord
1994 Dodge Caravan
1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 pick-up
1997 Ford F150 pickup
2003 Dodge Ram pick-up
1990 Acura Integra
1988 Toyota pick-up
1991 Nissan Sentra
Source: The National Insurance Crime Bureau 2004
MOST HIT COMMUNITIES-2006
Most Hit Communities - 2006
102nd Precinct, 473 cars stolen
104th Precinct, 469 cars stolen
105th Precinct, 465 cars stolen
109th Precinct, 450 cars stolen
114th Precinct, 425 cars stolen
Source: City Stats based on 16,782 stolen in 2006
CRIMES RESPONSE TIME
From the moment you dial those three numbers: 9-1-1 to the second the first set of flashing lights reaches the scene, it often feels like hours have passed. But looking at the NYPD’s timesheets it’s apparent that precincts throughout Queens are doing a pretty good job at responding to a crime in progress in a timely manner, with a few speeding in before the average 4.3 minute mark across the city.
100th Precinct: 3.6 minutes.
101st Precinct: 3.9 minutes.
110th Precinct: 3.9 minutes.
102nd Precinct: 4 minutes.
108th Precinct: 4 minutes.
Source: City Stats 2006
Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft and most of these structures of course happen to be homes. In Queens most of these burglaries occur between the hours of between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., police said, noting that the use of force to gain entry is not required to classify an offense as burglary.
104th Precinct: 544
114th Precinct: 502
105th Precinct: 500
109th Precinct: 472
110th Precinct: 466
Source: City stats 2006 based on 23,704 burglaries citywide.
Firefighters position themselves along the 7 Train platform Tuesday morning as they look down at a retail building being demolished after it was gutted by an early morning fire Tuesday. Tribune Photo by Ira Cohen
CIVILIAN FIRE FATALITIES
As first responders to fires, public safety and medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors. The city’s bravest make significant contributions to the safety of New York City and homeland security efforts. They strive to keep our citizens free from danger, especially deliberate, harmful acts, but there are those unfortunate occurrences when not every trapped civilian can be saved.
Community Board 4: 4
Community Board 7: 3
Community Board 3: 3
Community Board 5: 1
Source: City Stats 2006 based on 92 civilian fatalities