Queens Gazette

Crime Watch

Feds Seize Grenades from Duch Kills Building

Federal agents raided a vacant building in Dutch Kills on the morning of August 16th, where they discovered a cache of “inert” grenades usually used for training purposes, law enforcement sources said.

Armed federal agents donning “fatigues” raided the building at 29-15 40th Road in Dutch Kills, a former Fairfield Hotel, just after 9:30 a.m., where they seized cartons of the hollowed-out grenades, the sources said.

“The grenades posed no danger to the community,” the sources said. “But it seems likely that agents will investigate to determine where they came from and who left them in the building.”

Federal agents at the scene told area residents that “dozens” of cartons of the inert grenades were removed from the location and handed over to NYPD officials for disposal.

An investigation is ongoing.


Man, 75, Charged with Sex Abuse of Girl, 5

A Jackson Heights straphanger is receiving kudos for rescuing a 5-year-old girl who was abducted and sexually abused by a 75-year-old man on August 22nd, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

Katz said Fred Villa, who lives in Manhattan, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on August 24th, on charges including committing a predatory act on a child, criminal sex act, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child, where he was held in lieu of a $275,000 cash bond.

Katz said, according to a criminal complaint, Villa ran into the girl’s mother outside a Foodtown Supermarket on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights at about 9:30 a.m. on August 24th, where mother asked Villa, a “family friend,” to keep an eye on the little girl for half an hour, while she played at a local park.

After searching for the girl for more than a half hour, the frantic mother reported the child missing at 12:30 p.m., setting off a massive, NYPD Level 2 mobilization to find the child.

The complaint alleges that Villa held the girl at his Upper East Side apartment, where he played games with her “on his bed” – the child told investigators. Villa made the girl change out of her pink dress into an all-

white dress and then sexually abused the girl for more than four hours, while police and the mother searched through the Jackson Heights neighborhood, the complaint states.

The eagle-eyed straphanger spotted Villa and the girl on the F-train platform at about 4:15 p.m. at the 74th Street-Roosevelt Avenue station and grabbed the child by the arm – pulling her from Villa’s grasp, and shouted out for police, according to the complaint. Cops patrolling the station responded to the scene, where they grabbed Villa.

The girl’s mother was also arrested and charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child, according to the complaint. The charges were later dropped by prosecutors from Katz’s office.


Man Arrested in Raid on Dutch Kills Hotel

Federal agents raided a Dutch Kills hotel on August 16th, where they arrested one man and seized undisclosed property, law enforcement sources said.

Agents entered the hotel at 39-35 27th Street in Dutch Kills jut before noon, where they emerged a short while later with the suspect in handcuffs, the sources said.

It was unclear why the man was arrested but agents told neighbors along the tree-lined street that he had been the target of an active investigation, including surveillance, “for some time.”

An investigation is ongoing.


Ex-Con Charged in Astoria Bat Attacks

Police have arrested a Queens ex-con who they say used a bat in a crime spree that left a 79-year-old Astoria man in critical condition, sightless in his right eye.

Cops said Matthew Lloyd, 38, went on a tear in Astoria on August 19th, first striking a 46-year-old-man in the head with an orange aluminum bat inside Astoria Park.

Lloyd then fled the scene on a skateboard and traveled about a mile away at 19th Street near 20th Avenue, where he whacked 79-year-old Hristos Massalis in the forehead with the bat.

A team of medics brought Massalis to New York Presbyterian Hospital Queens, in critical condition. The elderly man underwent surgery and suffered permanent loss of vision in his right eye due to the attack, police said. Massalis also suffered a skull fracture and multiple facial fractures in the brutal assault, according to a criminal complaint.

Cops said Lloyd was arrested shortly after the two attacks, charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Lloyd has also been charged with attacks on two senior citizens in Manhattan on the day before the Astoria attacks.

Police said Lloyd, who has a history of arrests, was convicted of burglary in Queens in 2019 and was sentenced to one-to-three-years in prison in that case.

Lloyd was arraigned on the August 19th charges in Queens Criminal Court, where he was held without bail, according to the complaint.

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