2019-03-13 / Front Page

Crime Watch

Compiled by Liz Goff

Cops Quash Mall Madness
Police are investigating to determine how a rap star’s planned appearance at a sports apparel store sparked what some described as a near stampede by fans inside the Queens Center Mall on March 8th.
Police were called to the Puma store on the third floor of the mall on Friday, where the rapper “A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie” was scheduled to appear for a wrist band-only event, which drew a large crowd that got out o hand, an NYPD spokesperson said.
More people showed up for the event than were allowed to enter, which led to fans pushing and fighting in a common area of the mall, the spokesperson said. The event was cancelled as a result of the chaos.
A large number of students, who had a half-day of classes on March 8th, became unruly when they were turned away from the event, police said.
The students started shouting at mall security personnel, NYPD officers and each other, sparking chaos, fistfights and disorder, with one group ransacking another sneaker store, the police spokesperson said.
Police quickly brought order to the scene, shutting down part of the mall while they dispersed the crowd. There were no reported injuries, no public safety issues and no arrests were made, police said.
An investigation is ongoing.

LIC Hotel Plunge
A 53-year-old Long Island City hotel worker plunged to his death on March 8th, police said.
Cops said the unidentified man fell from the seventh floor of the Ravel Hotel at Queens Plaza South at about 1 p.m. on March 8th and landed in the hotel parking lot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Guests who spotted the body in the parking lot called 911, a police source said.
A spokesperson for the Wyndham chain, parent company of Ravel, said the man had been employed at the 10-story hotel for more than a year.
An investigation is ongoing.

Spyced Up Assault
Police are searching for a man who assaulted a patron outside an Astoria nightspot on March 3rd.
Cops said the two men were arguing outside Spyce Astoria at 42-15 31st Avenue at about 4 a.m. on March 3rd when one of the men punched the other in the face.
The suspect fled in an unknown direction immediately after the attack in a black BMW SUV, police said.
The victim suffered minor facial injuries and refused medical attention at the scene, a fire spokesperson said.
The suspect, who was captured on surveillance footage at the time of the attack, is described as a white male, 5-feet, 8-inches tall, with short brown hair. He was wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans at the time of the attack.
Anyone with information is urged to call the CrimeStoppers HOTLINE at 1-800-577-TIPS or click on www.nypdecrimestoppers.com.

Jail Guard Charged With DWI
An off-duty city corrections officer has been charged with drunk driving after he slammed his car into a utility pole in Queens on March 2nd, leaving his passenger critically injured.
Cops said Gonzalo Kuzma, 39, drove his car into a pole on Laurel Hill Boulevard near Review Avenue at about 7 p.m. on March 2nd, leaving fellow jail guard Rafael Rodriguez with severe head and chest injuries and a broken hip.
Kuzma told police he lost control of the car moments before it slammed into the pole, a police source said. He refused a Breathalyzer test at the scene, but submitted to a blood test at a local hospital a short while later that determined he was driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Rodriguez was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he underwent surgery for non life-threatening injuries and was listed in critical but stable condition.
Kuzma was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court on charges of drunken driving, causing serious injury to another person while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and refusing to submit to a breath test.

Man Killed By MTA Bus
Police are investigating an accident involving an MTA bus that left a man dead in Jackson Heights on March 4th.
Cops said the Q33 bus was traveling westbound on Roosevelt Avenue near 75th Street during an icy snowstorm at about 2:45 a.m. on March 4th when it struck the victim.
The man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center with severe head and body injuries, where he died a short while later. The victim was not carrying identification at the tome of the accident, police said.
The 55-year-old bus driver remained at the scene and was not charged, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.

Crash Death
A motorist died after his car struck a guardrail on the Long Island Expressway near Flushing Meadows Park on the morning of March 5th, police said.
The 30-year-old victim was traveling east in his Ford Escape on the Long Island Expressway service road at about 1:36 a.m. on March 5th when he apparently lost control and slammed into the guardrail, police said.
Cops believe the driver lost consciousness at the time of the crash, an NYPD spokesperson said. The man was taken to NY Presbyterian Hospital of Queens, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police at the NYPD Highway Collision Investigation Squad are looking into the fatal crash.



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