2016-11-02 / Features

114th Pct. Cops Honored

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

Police Officers Cristina McDonald and Dwight Wanzer are partners in the 114th Precinct. Working together for more than a decade, the duo was recognized as the precinct’s Cops-of-the- Month for September.

Officers McDonald and Wanzer, assigned to the midnight “graveyard” shift on September 25, responded to a 911 call of a robbery in progress at 35th Avenue and Crescent Street, said Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, Commanding Officer of the 114th Precinct at the October 25 meeting of the Precinct Community Council held at Riccardo’s by the Bridge.

“Three males, one dressed as a police officer, armed and with a police radio, pulled over a cab driver and robbed him of $70 in cash and his cell phone,” said Inspector Fortune. “Two men fled in a white van while the third fled on foot.”

With knowledge of four previous robberies also committed by three individuals impersonating police and descriptions of them, McDonald and Wanzer observed an individual fitting a description of one of the suspects at 21st Street and 41st Avenue from their patrol car.

McDonald and Wanzer walked over to question the man. Unsatisfied with his responses, they frisked him and found a police radio and flashlight in his possession.

Taken to the 114th Precinct for questioning, McDonald and Wanzer were able to gain information from the suspect about the other accomplices impersonating police who were then also arrested.

“I want to thank everyone, Deputy Inspector Fortune, Lt. (Nick) Morales, and Council President (Ann) Bruno,” said McDonald.

“We love working in this community,” Wanzer added.

Reviewing recent crime statistics, Inspector Fortune pointed to grand larceny as the precinct’s number one crime, in particular possessions stolen from cars.

“The holidays are coming, be aware,” he said. “Don’t leave (shopping items) in cars.”

Fundraising for the 114th Precinct’s annual children’s Christmas party got under way at the meeting with former Community Board 1 District Manager George Delis leading the way.

“This is an opportunity to do something for the children of our community,” said Delis.

President of the Astoria Houses Residents’ Association Claudia Coger said, “I want to say how great this program is.”

“Last year was my first (Christmas party),” said Inspector Fortune. “It’s a great event and a great cause.”

Council President Bruno announced that this year’s event takes place December 3 at the Astoria World Manor for children 10 years old and younger, accompanied by an adult. About 200 children are expected to attend.

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