Slain Bronx EMT honored a year after being killed on duty

A year after the city was shocked by the killing of Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo by a maniac who hijacked her ambulance, her FDNY brothers and sisters remembered her at vigil in the Bronx. “We are gathering here so no one forgets our hero who lost her life in the line of duty,” Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, Uniform EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors union, said Friday. The 44-year-old mother of five, known as Yari, was on overtime, working in Soundview when career criminal Jose Gonzalez, who prosecutors say was high and mentally disturbed, jumped on the back of her ambulance at about 7 p.m. on March 16, 2017. When Arroyo stopped to get him off the rear bumper, he jumped in behind the wheel and mowed her down, according to the Bronx District Attorney. EMT unions sue city in push for parity with cops, FDNY Gonzalez is charged with murder. He is being held on Rikers Island. On Friday afternoon, scores of EMTs and paramedics, some in uniform, stood in the bright sun at the intersection of White Plains Road and Watson Ave. in Soundview, where Arroyo was killed, holding candles with flames flickering in the bitter wind. “A moment doesn’t go by when we don’t feel the anguish of losing her in such a traumatic way,” her uncle A.J. Hernandez said. “I look around and see a lot of people feeling the same thing. The EMTs are angels on wheels. It was terrible to lose her in such a terrible way.” Memorial services for Yadira Arroyo The way Arroyo lived was a striking contrast to the way she died. FDNY remembers fallen comrades in Memorial Day ceremony Known as the “Matriarch of Station 26,” she was a 14-year FDNY veteran. She had an infectious laugh and volunteered at soup kitchens in her spare time, friends said. Arroyo is the eighth member of EMS killed in the line of duty. At the Continue Reading

Rikers officer caught drinking on job finally fired after 2 years

When a jail supervisor smelled alcohol on former Correction Officer Yardley Rolando’s breath in the summer of 2015, she immediately confronted him. A Breathalyzer test administered showed he was intoxicated and the July 3-4 boozing was caught on surveillance cameras at Rikers Island’s Otis Bantum Correctional Center. Yet Rolando remained on the payroll on modified duty for two years, doing menial jobs like making copies or breakfast for colleagues at the department’s transportation unit. Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann late last month fired him. The decision was based on a ruling by an administrative law judge. “(Rolando’s) misconduct in this case is among the most serious offenses a correction officer can commit,” said Administrative Judge Susan Pogoda. “(He) placed the inmates in his care, as well as his fellow officers, at considerable risk.” Rolando isn’t the only officer who has spent years on modified duty before being fired. The Correction Department has stashed away dozens of rogue jailers facing charges for everything from excessive force against inmates to smuggling in contraband. Correction officers — like many other city employees — are allowed to have their disciplinary cases heard before an administrative law judge. Critics say that process is often dragged out as department investigators build their case or wait for a report from the Department of Investigation. Rolando himself struggled with the long delay. “It’s a waiting game,” he testified at his hearing. “You don’t know which way it’s going to go.” “After two years of being modified, it’s like, okay, when is it going to come? I don’t know when it’s going to come,” he added. It is unclear why his case was delayed despite the evidence. He was caught on video repeatedly drinking from vodka poured into empty Pepsi Continue Reading

Bronx Zoo kangaroo with arthritis to star in Animal Planet show

A Bronx Zoo kangaroo is ready for his close up. The marsupial — named Dave — suffers from arthritis, but is just a hop, skip and a jump away from leaping back into action thanks to medicine usually reserved for humans. Dave was rescued from an irresponsible New Jersey pet owner in 2015. “He was a very young kangaroo — he was still in a pouch — they didn’t have the expertise to care for him,” Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo, told the Daily News. It wasn’t long before the little joey was saved and taken to an animal shelter — but they weren’t able to care for him there, either. Equipped with the medical knowledge and know-how to care for exotic animals, the Bronx Zoo ended up saving baby Dave. He’s called the Boogie Down home ever since. “He's kind of an older gentleman now. He's got some age-related problems; he has arthritis and stiffness in his joints,” Breheny said. The old-timey kangaroo is one of three animals that will be featured in the season premiere of Animal Planet’s Season 2 of “The Zoo,” which will highlight how zoologists use Cryotherapy to relieve Dave of his pain. The medical therapy, commonly used on athletes, is a cooling pain treatment that limits blood flow and decreases swelling. “People don't realize how complex a task it is to really care for individual animals and manage species at same time,” Breheny told The News. The treatment is just one example of how over 200 trailblazing experts at the Bronx Zoo are advancing animal care, with research on over 700 resident species. “A lot of people are not aware of how much zoos have evolved over the last forty to fifty, sixty — one hundred years,” Breheny said. “Modern zoos in the 21st Century not only take care of animals and exhibit them to the public — we work to save species.” Continue Reading

City OKs zoning overhaul to set up Bronx apartment boom

The City Council signed off on a plan to rezone the area around Jerome Ave. in the Bronx to make way for thousands of new apartments. The neighborhood is the fourth to get a major zoning overhaul under Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, and the first in the Bronx. The plan covers 95 blocks stretching from 167th St. to 184th St., and is expected to pave the way for 4,600 new apartments to be built. The city will open two new schools in the neighborhood, and is spending $189 million for one of the schools, improvements to parks, and money for auto shops and other local businesses that could be displaced by the development. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Two killed, a dozen more hurt in Bronx apartment fire

Two people were killed and nearly a dozen more hurt after a fast-moving fire ripped through a Bronx apartment building Monday morning and trapped several residents inside, officials said. Firefighters carried at least two of the injured from their burning homes shortly after the blaze erupted around 1:30 a.m. along Hoffman St. near E. 187th St. in Belmont. The fire started on the first floor and spread to the rest of the five-story building, a fire official said. Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich, of FDNY’s Manhattan Borough, said several of the residents, including the two who died, were trapped on the second floor during the “difficult” fire. He said firefighters "had to push the fire back" in a stairway in order to reach those trapped by the flames. Up to five of the residents suffered from serious burns and smoke inhalation and were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center and St. Barnabas Hospital. Three firefighters were injured while tackling the fire but are expected to be OK. Residents who managed to escape their apartments took shelter in their cars to keep warm as firefighters extinguished the fire.   Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Carbon monoxide explosion blasts open manhole, leaks toxic gas

A carbon monoxide explosion blasted open a Bronx manhole before leaking toxic gas into the basement of a nearby building injuring two early Friday, officials said. The detonation went off beneath a manhole on Park Ave. near E. 187th St. in Fordham Heights around 1:05 a.m., according to authorities. Two people suffered minor injuries from the gas leak but refused medical attention. Residents who evacuated the building sought shelter from the pouring rain as firefighters extinguished the manhole fire and inspected the building for traces of the noxious fumes. Sixty firefighters brought the fire under control around 1:30 a.m., officials said. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

NYPD sergeant acquitted in Bronx woman’s killing returns to work

The NYPD sergeant acquitted of killing a mentally ill Bronx woman is back on the job, although without his gun and shield, sources said Thursday. Sgt. Hugh Barry was put on modified assignment on Tuesday, and will be riding a desk until an internal disciplinary hearing is completed. “He’s still hoping to keep his job,” said Sgt. Edward Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “I think he should be restored to full duty, to be honest with you. For him to be modified, and he’s done absolutely nothing wrong? “He’s completely exonerated in criminal court, but in the department he’s still hanging out there.” NYPD sergeant acquitted in Deborah Danner's death Last month, Barry, 31, was acquitted of firing two bullets into 66-year-old Deborah Danner’s chest on Oct. 18, 2016. The sergeant claimed he fired at Danner when she swung a bat at him. A day after Danner’s death, both Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill condemned Barry’s handling of the case, and the Bronx DA’s office immediately pressed for a murder indictment in the case. Cops are trained to “isolate and contain” emotionally disturbed suspects, which Barry failed to do, officials said. Cop on trial for Deborah Danner death to learn verdict Thursday Barry was suspended after he was indicted for Danner’s death. He became the first NYPD member to face a top homicide count for an on-duty shooting since 1999, when four cops were charged in the killing of unarmed Amadou Diallo as he reached for his wallet. They, like Barry, were acquitted at trial. The NYPD confirmed that Barry was on modified assignment, but wouldn’t say if any departmental charges have been handed down. Deborah Danner's baseball bat made me fear for life: shooter Continue Reading

Bronx hospital shooting survivor files suit against gun dealer

A medical resident shot by deranged doctor Henry Bello at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital last summer claims the gun dealer who sold Bello an assault rifle may not have done an adequate background check, according to a new lawsuit. First-year resident Justin Timperio filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday against Upstate Guns and Ammo LLC and Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. Timpiero was working at Bronx Lebanon when Bello, 45, opened fire inside the hospital last June 30, killing one doctor and injuring six other people before he turned the gun on himself. Timpiero, whom Bello shot in the abdomen and right thigh, was hospitalized until July 21 to treat his near-fatal injuries, the suit states. In his suit, Timpiero claims Upstate Guns and Ammo should have contacted the NYPD to see if Bello had a rifle license when he bought an AM-15, reportedly gunmaker Anderson Manufacturing's version of the AR-15. "One of the factual issues to be decided in this lawsuit is whether (Upstate Guns) in performing Bello’s background check for his purchase... contacted the New York Police Department... to determine if Bello, a City of New York resident, was issued a rifle permit by NYPD to lawfully possess an AM-15 rifle in the City of New York” where he lived, the suit states. The lawsuit also claims the gun company “in accordance with federal and New York State laws, failed to properly and thoroughly conduct a background investigation of Bello prior to selling the ...rifle to Bello on June 22, 2017,” stating it would have — or should have — known he was required to have an NYPD rifle permit. The suit alleges the sale to Bello was “negligent” and was the “proximate cause” of the young doctor’s injuries. Timperio’s suit also claims Bronx-Lebanon didn't collect Bello's hospital ID card after he quit, allowing him to get into the hospital and go on his bloody rampage. Upstate Guns and Ammo declined Continue Reading

Clumsy crook burgles Bronx car dealership of computers, cash, car

He was a not so-smooth criminal. A bumbling burglar busted in an air conditioner to loot a Bronx car dealership, before making a brazen getaway in a used BMW from the lot, cops said Wednesday. The klutz hoisted himself through the window once occupied by the toppled AC unit at the NYC Motors Corp., near E. 167th St. and Brook Ave. in Morrisania, just before 4 a.m. Monday. Surveillance footage shared by cops Wednesday shows the suspect nearly tipping over a glass-topped desk during his grand entrance. He managed to save the tabletop from crashing to the floor as he crawled into the trailer.  The robber rummaged through the office for about 20 minutes, grabbing two Dell computers, two television monitors and $2,000 in cash, cops said. At one point he glanced outside, where a woman police believe was involved in the theft was acting as a lockout, and looked up at the camera documenting his heist. The crook’s attempt to return the air conditioner to its rightful place ended in catastrophe. He knocked the desk over, sending papers and electronics sliding off in a heap. Police said the suspect eventually jumped behind the wheel of a 2007 BMW and sped off with the goods — through the fence lining the property. Anyone with information about the robber is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1 (800) 577-TIPS.  Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! With NICOLE HENSLEY Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Calls for Bronx DA Clark’s firing pour in amid misconduct claims

The wild party days at the Bronx District Attorney’s office may soon be over for top prosecutor Darcel Clark. The Bronx DA, who’s accused of running an office where prosecutors have on-duty sex and get hammered at Margarita parties before stumbling to court, should be removed from office, an NYPD union head demanded Tuesday. “The governor has to do a house cleaning at the Bronx District Attorney’s office,” Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said. “The police can’t work with this DA, and that speaks to her competency as a prosecutor.” Mullins’ claims come as NYPD brass canceled a breakfast meeting with Clark in early March about the police “bridging the gap in the Bronx community,” sources told The Daily News. Bronx DA’s office overrun with sex, booze and fights: employee Several sergeants and commanding officers refused to attend, claiming Clark maliciously prosecuted Sgt. Hugh Barry, who was acquitted of killing a schizophrenic Bronx woman earlier this month. Precinct commanding officers also refused to attend because Clark indicted Bronx Cpt. Naoki Yaguchi, a 13-year veteran accused of official misconduct and obstructing governmental administration for allegedly delaying a breathalyzer test for a Bronx detective involved in a two-car crash on April 22. NYPD Captains Endowment Association President Roy Richter said the prosecution of Yaguchi was “completely unwarranted.” “(Clark’s) running the DA office like it was the ‘Hunger Games’,” Richter said. “You don’t know who she’s going to throw in the arena next.” NYPD sergeant acquitted in Deborah Danner's death “There was a lot of outrage over her decision to prosecute Cpt. Yaguchi,” he added. The bombshell notice of claim filed Monday by Crystal Rivera about swinging parties and prosecutorial misconduct only bolstered Richter’s Continue Reading