A 16-year-old boy who allegedly set fire to a Brooklyn apartment and critically injured two New York Police Department officers started the blaze because he was “bored,” according to police.
Marcell Dockery was arrested Monday in connection with the Sunday fire. He has been charged with assault, reckless endangerment and arson.
The fire, on the 13th floor of an apartment building on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, landed two officers in critical condition in area hospitals and left five others, including two firefighters, with minor injuries.
The fire was set on a mattress in the hallway. Dockery told police he tried to stomp it out, then ran to his cousin’s apartment, on the same floor, for help.
Officers Dennis Guerra, 38, and Rosa Rodriguez, 36, responded to a call about a suspicious fire, taking the elevator up to the 13th floor.
It is unclear whether a sign was posted at the elevators stating not to use them in the event of a fire.
Surveillance footage shows the officers were hit with a plume of smoke when the elevator doors opened.
“[Guerra’s] literally right at the door and you see this rush of blackness that comes in,” a police source told the New York Daily News. “You barely see him as he turns, then it's all black.”
"The NYPD's primary objective when responding to any emergency is to protect life and property,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster. “In situations involving a fire, officers will warn and assist occupants in the evacuation of the building and take other actions if necessary to preserve life."
"Today is another sobering reminder of the dangers that face all our first responders," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
“[Dockery] said he was bored,” the source said. “He's a firebug."
Dockery was also hit with a charge of robbery and grand larceny when a neighbor recognized him as the man who threatened her with a razor blade on March 7.
He has a previous arrest related to another fire.
A brawl between the New York Police Department and Fire Department broke out Sunday during an annual charity hockey game, which delayed the game for 25 minutes.
The fight began during the second period with a score of 3-3. It started as a one-on-one battle but quickly escalated into multiple individual struggles. Within five minutes from the first fight’s start, the benches had been entirely cleared.
“It was reminiscent of the old-time Rangers-Flyers games in the mid-70s,” an NYPD cop who was at the game at the Nassau Coliseum said. “I was waiting for [legendary Philadelphia Flyers enforcer] Dave Schultz to come out on the ice.”
The game was delayed for 25 minutes as equipment was picked up off the ground and referees made lists of penalties.
Despite numerous black eyes and bruises, no one was seriously injured.
When the game continued, the NYPD eventually won 8-5 against the FDNY, which was their first victory in six years.
New York City Police are searching for a suspect who, they say, committed a hate crime by spray-painting “God is Gay” on the sign of Atlah World Missionary Church over the weekend.
You may recall that Atlah Church has been in the news several times over the past few months for posting messages like “Jesus Would Stone Homos,” “Harlem is a Homo Free Zone,” and “Obama Has Released the Homo Demons on the Black Man,” on their church sign.
Controversial pastor James David Manning applauded the NYPD’s decision to investigate the vandalism as a hate crime, saying the offender's actions were motivated by “pure and simple hate.”
Manning also told the New York Daily News that the vandalism doesn’t surprise him.
“Gay people are just outright bullies,” Manning said. “I expected them to act in a very violent way.”
The New York Civil Liberties Union also supports the NYPD’s decision to call the vandalism a hate crime, saying that regardless of how controversial his messages are, Manning and his billboards are protected under the First Amendment.
Brooklyn officer Delfin Lantigua was arrested Thursday after allegedly asking female NYPD recruits for their underwear, money and sex in exchange for a quick hire.
The 34-year-old was caught when one woman met him at a restaurant and he asked for her underwear. The woman was so appalled that she reported him to the police, who launched an investigation.
After Lantigua was arrested, police found three pairs of underwear inside his locker at the Brooklyn North Task Force.
Lantigua also allegedly asked for $1,000 from each woman.
The officer formerly worked in applicant processing where he obtained each woman’s personnel information. He also had the ability to accelerate each woman's application.
Lantigua was charged with receiving a bribe, official misconduct and coercion.
A protester facing class D felony charges for assaulting a police officer claims that she was, in fact, the one assaulted – and she’s got pictures to prove it.
The protester is Cecily McMillan. The altercation between her and New York Police Department Officer Grantley Bovell took place on March 18, 2012. On that night, protesters gathered in a New York park.
As the park grew crowded, NYPD officers were told to clear the group out. Officer Bovell and other NYPD officers began rounding up protesters and forcibly removing them from the park.
During the clearing, McMillan felt a hand grab her breast from behind. She instinctively threw an elbow at the groper, hitting him under the eye. The man she hit turned out to be Officer Bovell.
McMillan was immediately detained and put in handcuffs. In the days following her arrest, she told media outlets that police used excessive force against her during her detainment. After being released, McMillan went to The Institute of Family Health in Manhattan and had pictures taken of her body. The pictures validate her claim that someone did indeed grab her breast and use excessive force when handling her.
Here they are:
On the night she was arrested, McMillan suffered an epileptic seizure after being handcuffed. A witness video shows NYPD officers standing over McMillan and watching as she convulses on the ground. The officers never undid her handcuffs during the seizure.
McMillan was on the ground for roughly 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Here is the witness video:
McMillan’s trial was set to begin on February 6, but got pushed back because a judge hadn’t yet been selected.
In a March 2012 statement McMillan said she is confident the trial will clear her of any wrongdoing.
“I am innocent of any wrongdoing, and confident I will be vindicated,” she said, adding that she has a “long-standing personal commitment to non-violence.”
11City Says Hero Stabbing Victim Can't Sue NYPD for Negligence After He Fought Off Murderer In Front Of Officers (Video)
Joseph Lozito, the man who was brutally stabbed in the face by killer Maksim Gelman, sued the city of New York because, he says, two police officers failed to help him when he was attacked.
Gelman went on a daylong killing spree, fatally stabbing three random people and almost adding Lozito to his tally, but after he told the Lozito, “You’re going to die,” he was taken out and held down by Lozito until police arrived.
Lozito says that officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor were on the train where the attack happened and did nothing to protect him while he struggled to stop the deranged man from killing him.
“Most of my wounds are in the back of my head,” Lozito said. “He got to the back of my head because my left shoulder [was] in his waist.”
Once Lozito had Gelman pinned to the floor, after he'd already been stabbed in the face, Howell reportedly walked over, tapped the injured hero on the shoulder, and said, “You can get up now.”
“By the time he got there, the dirty work was already done,” said Lozito.
Following the incident, Lozito decided to sue the city for negligence because the two officers did nothing to stop the incident or step in while Lozito struggled to keep the killer down.
Unfortunately, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan threw out the lawsuit, saying that although it was “shocking and horrific,” the law doesn’t allow him to claim negligence against the police.
“Under well-established law, the police are not liable for such incidents,” said city lawyer David Santoro. “That doesn’t detract from the Police Department’s public safety mission, or the fact that New York is the safest big city in America.”
As for Gelman, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the three murders.
Peter Shankman is a CEO, TEDx speaker, NASA advisor, and HARO founder, amongst other things. He can now add one more accolade to his resume: being the jogger who was ticketed for running too early in the morning in Central Park.
Shankman was with his running partner in Central Park at 4:30 a.m. training for an upcoming triathlon when a police officer cited him.
According to the NYPD officer, “the people’s park” does not open until 6am.
"Most people who've gotten in touch think it's a bogus charge, and have mentioned end of the month quotas as a reason I didn't just get a warning," Shankman told Gothamist.
Shankman gave an account of what happened on his Facebook page:
At 4:30 this morning in Central Park, at mile 2 of my ten mile run, I was stopped by the police and given a summons for exercising in the park "before it opened." Apparently, Central Park doesn't "open" until 6am, and my exercising (running) in the park before 6am is illegal. Note - Running in the park. Not "performing sex acts for crack," or "laying down explosive charges," but "running." Because apparently, a 215 pound man running through Central Park at just over a 9:10 pace is a threat to Manhattan.
To answer the question of why I was running so early - I needed to do ten miles today as part of Ironman training. If I didn't start that early, I wouldn't be done before my first meeting of the day.
A "hey, buddy, the park doesn't open until six, you need to run on the sidewalk outside" from the police officer wouldn't have sufficed? Apparently not, since he made it clear that his boss was in the car with him, so he had to write me up.
I now get to go to court in May and fight this. What a waste of taxpayer money, and my time. Ridiculous.
Shankman claims he saw no signs or warnings at 63rd Street and Central Park West where he entered the park, reports the Daily Mail.
“The last 12 years have really been about getting the city healthy, you know,” Shankman said to Pix 11. "No smoking in bars, no trans fats, and here I was, I was running, I was exercising, trying to lose a few more pounds before this race. Thank god I wasn’t holding a BIG Gulp.”
Shankman faces a fine of up to $1,000 and must appear in court in May.
A disturbing video showing a man being arrested in the Bronx has gone viral.
The video shows a man sitting down after exiting a bus on Pelham Parkway. Two officers are restraining him while the man questions why. He keeps saying that he gave them his identification and ticket so there should be no reason why they are restraining him. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, reports say that the officers may have accused the man of not paying his bus fare, but witnesses say that he showed them his receipt.
The man becomes agitated as the officers refuse to stop holding him, so as he tries to stand up, a struggle ensues. The two officers are then joined by four other officers who all struggle to arrest the man, eventually pulling him to the ground.
"Oh my God," yells the man. "Please don't do this to me!"
Eventually, with six officers all on top of the man, he is cuffed. As the officers get up, one clearly kicks him in the head for no reason at all.
After the video was posted on Facebook by Dariel Reyes, it quickly went viral. The NYPD says they are aware of the video and are investigating the incident. According to the Daily News, the petition has already gotten over 100 signatures.
A New York woman and her two young children were stabbed to death last month.
Guatemalan immigrant and Queens resident, Deisy Garcia, 21, filed a domestic-abuse report on May 30, 2013, saying she was afraid that her husband would kill her.
According to TheBlaze, the report, which was in Spanish, was never translated into English.
New York City Police also responded to two reports filed by Garcia, at least one of them in Spanish, regarding her husband’s violence and threats last November, but no arrests were made.
Garcia and her daughters, Daniela, 2, and Yoselin, 1, were found dead in their apartment on Jan. 17, allegedly stabbed by Garcia’s husband and the girls’ father, Miguel Mejia-Ramos.
The NYPD did not have an explanation to why there was no English translation of the report.
“I knew about the police report, and I knew about the police showing up at the house previously on one of the times where Deisy had called the police because she had been the victim of domestic violence,” Roger Asmar, the family's attorney, told CNN. “But we did not know that every time Deisy filled out a report — every time she went to the precinct or the cops came to the house — no one actually translated the text into English, so, apparently no one looked into it.”
Garcia’s family says that if the police had taken action, she might still be around.
“I know she contacted them and told them he kicked her and abused her, but the police told her they needed to see proof of the abuse,” Luzmina Alvarado, Garcia’s mother, told the New York Post.
An NYPD representative said, “The allegations are under internal review.”
Officers were also reminded that police department policy mandates that reports in foreign languages must be translated into English.
According to statements to police after his arrest, Mejia-Ramos, 28, was angry when he found a Facebook photo of his wife with another man. He allegedly used two knives to kill Garcia before hugging and kissing his daughters, asking for forgiveness, and then stabbing both of them multiple times.
The New York Times reported that after two suicide attempts, first stabbing himself in the chest and then hanging himself, he fled. An illegal immigrant, Mejia-Ramos was arrested in Texas on Jan. 20 en route to Mexico after police tracked his cellphone.
He surrendered and confessed to killing his children because he didn’t have any car seats to take them.
Mejia-Ramos was nearly deported, but his case was closed in 2011 after it fell under guidelines set up by the Obama administration that directed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to focus on cases involving those found guilty of serious crimes.
A federal judge in New Jersey ruled Thursday that the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims was legal.
According to The Associated Press, U.S. District Judge William Martini has dropped a lawsuit against the NYPD by a group of Muslims in New Jersey who alleged that the department’s spying on them infringed on their constitutional rights because they focused on religion, national origin and race.
Martini noted the plaintiffs had no proof that the NYPD “acted with discriminatory purpose,” spying on them just because of their religion. “The more likely explanation for the surveillance was to locate budding terrorist conspiracies,” he wrote.
The judge added: “The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights’ legal director, Baher Azmy released a statement criticizing the ruling, calling it troubling: “In addition to willfully ignoring the harm that our innocent clients suffered from the NYPD’s illegal spying program, by upholding the NYPD’s blunderbuss Muslim surveillance practices, the court’s decision gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion.”
Along with CCR, California-based civil rights group Muslim Advocates also made it clear that they will appeal the ruling. Glenn Keaton, Muslim Advocates’ legal director, was quoted in the New York Village Voice saying, “The fight is not over by any means. The surveillance program violates the Constitution, and we are confident that this decision will not hold up to review upon appeal. The NYPD's blatantly discriminatory program has hurt the lives of many innocent Americans--moms who fear sending their children to school, students who simply want to pray, and Muslim-owned businesses that have lost customers.”
The city’s Law Department declined to comment on the ruling. Former Mayor Michael Michael Bloomberg and former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has always backed the surveillance programs, saying they were necessary for the protection of the city from terrorist attacks.
A similar lawsuit filed in a Brooklyn federal court is still ongoing.