McCarthy Refutes Gang Rumors In Slaying
A recent shooting in the 114th Police Precinct, reported as gang-related by the Daily News, did not involve gangs, said 114th Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Brian McCarthy. McCarthy refuted the News account of the March 20 incident in response to a question at the March precinct community council meeting.
In the March 21 article, 4 Shot In Queens Gang Clash", unidentified police sources told the News one of the four members of a Mexican street gang, Los Vagos, shot four members of a rival Mexican gang, believed to be LA 13, outside Club Casino, 26-44 Borough Pl., around 2:30 a.m. after all eight had been evicted from the club.
"LA 13 is a gang, one of the many Mexican gangs in New York City," McCarthy said, conceding there are some LA 13 gang members in Astoria. "But there is no documented [gang] violence," he said.
McCarthy confirmed that Club Casino's security threw out the eight, who continued to fight in the nearby parking lot of the BQE Racquetball Club, where the shooting occurred. "The four who were shot have no record of criminal activity," McCarthy said, indicating one was a 27-year old Bronx resident, another was a Queens resident from outside the 114th Precinct and two others were local teenagers.
According to the News, two victims, a 22year old shot in the leg, and a 19-year old shot in the neck, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center. Athird victim, 21 years old, was shot in the chest and taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, while the fourth, 27-years old, turned up later at St. Barnabus Hospital in The Bronx with a leg wound. All were expected to survive.
McCarthy said the other group of four individuals, including the shooter, were Mexicans from North Manhattan. He did not say if any arrests were made. The News said the four men who were shot refused to cooperate with the police and there were no arrests. McCarthy also addressed a question concerning reports of gang graffiti in the precinct. "We are doing our best," he said, noting cleanup efforts and graffiti arrests have both increased
Police Officers Juan Fajardo, Lisa Velotta, and Spiro Papavlasopoulos were each presented with Cop of the Month awards for February.
Fajardo, a rookie newly assigned to the precinct, was cited for his efforts on February16 when, as part of the precinct field training unit, he responded to a robbery at Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street. Armed with a description of the robbers, who used a gun, Fajardo, along with Lieutenant Dermitzakis, found the two suspects but had to chase them. In the end, not only were both arrested, but a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered by Fajardo as well.Three other robberies, attributed to the same pair, were closed out also.
Velotta was recognized for her part in the arrests of 12 prostitutes. Noting the historic problem in the southern half of the precinct, McCarthy praised Velotta for her "innovative approach to a long-term community problem."
Papavlasopoulos was noted for his patrol assignment outside Bryant H.S. where he thwarted two robberies last month and three more this month.
Community Affairs Officer Bill Nilsson was also recognized. After joining the NYPD in 1986, Nilsson was assigned to the 114th Precinct in 1987 and has served as community affairs officer since 1994. "It's been wonderful working here at the 114th," said Nilsson, who is retiring. "I never wanted to go anywhere else."