compiled by liz goff
Man Commits Suicide By Explosion
A 54-year-old Fresh Meadows man died instantly last week after he set off an explosion at his home in an apparent suicide, police said.
The blast destroyed a rear bedroom at a home on 188th Street, killing Gyung Lee and sending yellow smoke pouring out.
Police sources said investigators found a propane tank near the body after the smoke cleared. Investigators believe Lee released the gas into the closed-off room and lit a match to set off the explosion.
Fire officials said it took firefighters more than 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze. No firefighters were injured.
Investigators are trying to determine why Lee set off the explosion. Sources said Lee lived at the home with his girlfriend and her adult daughter, who were not at home at the time of the blast.
Bronx Man Jailed In Gum Caper
A 32-year-old Bronx man has a lot to chew on this week while he sits behind bars pondering his future.
Police said Waren Lesan walked into a Rite Aid Drug Store at 158-02 Union Tpke. at about noon on September 7, stuffed 142 packs of chewing gum into two black bags and strolled out to the street.
A store employee who spotted Lesan as he grabbed the gum called police, who arrested Lesan a short while later.
Lesan pleaded guilty in Queens Criminal Court to attempted petit larceny and was sentenced to 15 days behind bars.
Queens Rapist Faces 3-1/2 Years
A 39-year-old College Point man will be sentenced next month to prison for three and a half years after admitting he viciously raped and attacked a 23-year-old woman in March, after she passed out while partying at a Manhattan nightclub.
Police said Luis Zambrano will likely be deported to his native Peru after serving his sentence.
Prosecutors said Zambrano, who is in the U.S. on a Green Card, was caught on a surveillance tape kissing the woman after she passed out at the Marquee Club in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, then dragging her through the club, dropping her head first to the floor and into a wall. The tape then shows Zambrano picked up the woman and carried her to his cab.
Zambrano admitted in court that he then drove the woman to his College Point apartment, where he raped her twice before she regained consciousness and started screaming for help.
Law enforcement sources said the woman had no idea where she was or who Zambrano was when she regained consciousness during the second rape.
Zambrano remains free on $30,000 bail pending his sentencing on October 27, authorities said.
Met Fan Has Losing ‘Streak’
A Queens judge last week banned a 29-year-old Whitestone man from Citi Field for a year for a near-nude stunt that shocked fans at a Mets-Braves game on May 12.
Craig Coakley, who was also fined $3,000 and sentenced to 20 days of community service for the stunt, told reporters he would “love to do” his community service at Citi Field.
Prosecutors said the Mets, who will receive $2,000 of the fine, have ordered Coakley to stay away from Citi Field indefinitely. Team officials refused comment on Coakley’s offer to “clean gum off the floors” at the new home of the Mets.
Coakley, who works as an elevator operator, tore off his trousers and streaked onto the ballfield on May 12, wearing nothing but a strategically placed stuffed monkey. He was called out when he slid into second base, where he was arrested.
Cabbie Sentenced In Rape
A Queens cabbie last week was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for the attempted rape of a female passenger who passed out in the back of his livery cab last March.
Klever Sailema, 46, of Elmhurst, was also ordered to register as a sex offender with New York state.
Sailema pleaded guilty in July to attempting to force himself on the 23-year-old woman, who fell asleep after he picked her up in Astoria on March 2. Prosecutors said the woman awoke to find her clothing pulled down and Sailema on top of her.
The woman grabbed Sailema’s livery license and fled from the cab, then called 911 for help.