Firefighter cuffed in ex-girlfriend harassment rap

An off-duty firefighter was arrested Tuesday for allegedly harassing an ex-girlfriend by repeatedly showing up at her Queens home uninvited, police said. James Reid, 42, was hit with aggravated harassment and criminal mischief charges, and was awaiting arraignment Tuesday evening. According to cops, Reid’s 38-year-old ex complained that during one of the uninvited visits, he kicked at an air conditioner, damaging the first-floor window where it was installed. Reid earned $85,000 last year, according to the website Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Nanny accused of killing two kids ‘heard voices’ and ‘was transformed’ before slayings, her sister testifies

She heard voices, she may have seen Satan, she had “something inside her.” That was the testimony Tuesday of the older sister of Yoselyn Ortega, the Upper West Side nanny now on trial in the cold-blooded stabbing deaths of two children. The lawyers for Ortega, 55, who’s charged with killing Lulu Krim, 6, and Leo Krim, 2, are hoping the sister’s statements will bolster their insanity defense. Delci Ortega, 60, said her sister was “transformed” and saw things that weren’t there. Nanny accused of killing kids was possessed by 'demon': sister “She wasn’t herself,” the sister said. The older woman said the nanny had gone from a cheerful woman to being withdrawn. During Mass about 10 days before the attack, Yoselyn Ortega saw the specter of a “black man,” the sister said. “Who was the black man?” defense lawyer Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg asked. Nanny accused of slaying two kids finally sheds tears at trial “I don’t know. Satan? The bad one,” the sister said, acknowledging she was just speculating. The judge wasn’t having it. “We’re going to strike that guess from the record,” Justice Gregory Carro said. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Tags: upper west side new york murders crimes against children yoselyn ortega Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Student busted for bringing gun to Brooklyn high school and showing it to security guard

A Brooklyn high schooler brought a gun to school Tuesday and showed it to a school safety agent — who promptly took him into custody, police sources said. The 15-year-old Midwood High School student was carrying a .22-caliber handgun in his pants pocket when he walked up to the agent at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, sources said. He let the agent know there’d be a fight at the Bedford Ave. school later in the day, then told her, unsolicited, he had a gun and asked her if she’d like to see it, sources said. The agent called 911, and held the teen until police arrived, cops said. “This deeply troubling incident was immediately addressed by the NYPD, who swiftly and safely recovered the item,” said city Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot. “There is absolutely no place for weapons in our schools, and we are providing ongoing supports to the school community.” Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Lawyer for ex-NYPD cop accused of raping handcuffed teen wants charges tossed, paints victim as ‘troubled’

A lawyer for a disgraced former NYPD officer accused of taking part in the rape of a handcuffed drug suspect wants the charges dismissed, citing investigators' notes on the "troubled" victim. Shortly after a grand jury indicted former officers Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, the pair resigned from the NYPD and face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the rape of an 18-year-old woman in Coney Island last Sept. 15. The pair claim the sex was consensual; the investigation continues. According to documents filed Monday by lawyer Mark Bederow, who represents Martins, the victim made allegations and provided information that brings into question her reliability with law enforcement agencies. Woman who said two cops raped her faces former officers in court "It is doubtful that the grand jury would have indicted Martins and Hall on any sexual offenses if it had known the 'full story' and the truth about the prosecution's troubled star witness," wrote Bederow. According to Bederow's motion, Internal Affairs Bureau reviewed "extensive surveillance video, license plate reader analysis and GPS date" and failed to corroborate the victim's claim that the police minivan was driven from Calvert Vaux Park to Bay Ridge and back to Coney Island. In addition, the victim's friend, Mitch Amshen, "demolished" her credibility by "warning" police that she "always used to lie a lot" and "one time she made up a story where she was raped," the motion read. The 11-page document also claimed the victim "flip-flopped" about the order of which officer handcuffed and sexually assaulted her, as well as the type of vehicle in which she was placed in. Lawyer questions credibility of teen accusing NYPD cops of rape The victim's lawyer, Michael David, called the motion "a completely ridiculous attempt to try and discredit the victim further." "It's basically minutia," he said of the motion's claims. "She never said definitively where she was," David argued. "She was in the Continue Reading

Gunman bolts with $23 after shooting Uber driver in Bronx robbery

Police released surveillance video Monday of a man wanted in the shooting and robbery of an Uber driver in the Bronx. The clip shows the gunman, wearing all black, running away after blasting Jeffrey Cisnero Camacho multiple times and swiping $23 from him, according to police. Camacho, 26, was able to stumble out of his silver Toyota and wave down cops after Saturday attack in Soundview. Rescuers rushed him to Jacobi Medical Center, where he is expected to survive. Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the suspect in the video. The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that will lead to the gunman. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Tags: soundview nypd nyc taxis Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading

Woman who suffocated Bronx grandmother with plastic bag during robbery gets 25 years to life

A woman who suffocated a Bronx grandmother with a plastic bag after tormenting her finally faced justice Tuesday — 15 years after the crime and three years after her first conviction was overturned. Sparkle Daniel, 33, was sentenced to 25 years to life for killing Nellie Hocutt, 91, in her Williamsbridge home during a robbery. She was found guilty of murder March 6 at her retrial. Daniel and accomplice Nadine Panton tied Hocutt to a chair poured red wine down her throat as they ransacked her home. They then put a bag over Hocutt’s head and suffocated her. Woman who admitted to murder has conviction overturned Daniel admitted to the crime in a chilling videotaped confession, telling police that Hocutt pleaded, "Why are you doing this to me?" Panton replied, "I have to do this. If I let you live, you're going to tell the police." They then pulled a beige Pathmark bag over Hocutt's head and suffocated her, then fled with their meager bounty — a gold chain they tore from the victim's neck, $120 in cash and a half-dozen bath towels. The case went unsolved until 2007, when a friend of the two women came forward. 2nd suspect convicted in granny slay Those first few years were agonizing, Hocutt’s grandchildren said. “Until they finally caught them, everybody was a suspect,” said her grandson, Omar Whitfield. A jury convicted Daniel in 2010, but the state Appellate Division tossed the conviction, in a 4-1 ruling that police were slow to give her Miranda warnings. Justice Darcel Clark — now the Bronx District Attorney — was the sole voice of dissent on the panel. Prosecutors re-tried Daniel this year, and a jury found her guilty of second-degree murder on March 6. "The defendant committed a crime that is singularly cruel and vicious. She suffocated a defenseless woman during a robbery that netted her $120," Clark said Tuesday. "Nellie Hocutt's family finally has a measure of justice, as they have Continue Reading

Case of Queens grandma shot in the face goes cold as main suspects are released

An investigation into the fatal shooting of a Queens grandmother in her South Jamaica home has gone cold after charges against the main suspects were dropped earlier this month. The only thing that seems certain at this point is that 71-year-old Leta Webb is dead, shot in the face on March 31, 2015, as she answered her front door at 2 a.m. At the time, it seemed that detectives had closed the case early, arresting Julian Douglas, 25, about a month later based on what they said was a tip. An unidentified witness picked Douglas out in a photo array, his lawyer David Cohen said. Cops bust 2nd suspect in killing of elderly Queens woman The same witness claimed to have overheard Douglas or the other suspect, Sahel Green, talking about the murder, the lawyer said. Green, 22, was arrested in October 2015. Relatives said at the time that they believed the murder was in retaliation for the gang affiliations Webb’s adopted son had while in prison. But for more than two years the case has dragged on, with no progress. Queens man arrested after woman, 70, shot in face, killed “I wasn’t there. I had three alibi witnesses and phone records to prove I was home,” said Douglas. “There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no cameras showing me I was there. Nothing,” said Douglas, who said he was targeted because he’s a parolee who lived near the 119th Ave. crime scene. Nothing linked the two defendants to the scene, the lawyer said. Even a recording of the murder failed to implicate Douglas. Queens woman, 70, slain while answering knock on door “There’s video of the crime. A car pulls up, people approach the house, then they get back in the car. You can tell from the video there’s no witnesses,” Cohen said of the late-night murder. Charges were dropped on March 9. Police and Continue Reading

Sixth-grader opens up on deadly stabbing at hands of ‘spooky man’

Young Mikayla Capers has only seen Daniel St. Hubert in person twice in her life, and years apart at that, but she seemed to have no trouble pointing him out in a courtroom Tuesday. Peering at him from the witness stand in Brooklyn Supreme Court was the 11-year-old girl’s second face-to-face encounter with the man. The first time, she said, he was stabbing her — over and over and over — in an East New York elevator. Mikayla was just 7 when she and her best friend, Prince Joshua (P.J.) Avitto, were trapped inside the elevator of the boy’s Schenck Ave. building on June 1, 2014, with St. Hubert. “I got into the elevator first, pressed the button. P.J. was behind me, then the mysterious man came in,” Mikayla testified after identifying him for the jury. On cross-examination, Mikayla added she noticed the “spooky man” in the hallway of the Boulevard Houses. He was leaning against the mailboxes with his hands behind his back before they entered the elevator. “He told us to shut up,” she said as she scratched her head and clenched a Pokémon game card that 6-year-old P.J. walked around with in his pocket. “I felt anxious. P.J. got quiet and he repeatedly stabbed us,” Mikayla said as she was handed tissues and relatives in the audience cried. Now a sixth-grader, Mikayla said didn’t know what the relentless weapon was, but that it was “sharp.” She was stabbed 16 times. Juror No. 2 kept his head down throughout most of her testimony. The attacker ran out of the elevator and left the children for dead, but Mikayla survived and crawled to the courtyard for help. “P.J. looked dead. His eyes were wide open with a bunch of blood on the floor,” she said. A neighbor saw Mikayla collapse on the ground and called 911. She spent nine days in the hospital, according to trial testimony. P.J. was stabbed 11 times and died at Brookdale University Hospital. While Continue Reading

Slain officer’s siblings outraged that family member backed his killer’s parole

A convicted cop killer’s early parole — at the request of the officer’s son — has set off a family feud. The brother and sister of Officer Waverly Jones were horrified to learn that the Parole Board thought the family supported the release of former Black Liberation Army member Herman Bell, 70, who has admitted to killing three police officers. The board voted March 1 to let Bell go early from his life sentence based on a letter sent from the officer’s kid. The son of Jones, who shares his father’s name, wrote the board, saying the family had forgiven Bell. The slain cop’s other family members said they were “horrified” that the three-time convicted cop murderer will be let out of prison. “We would never embrace the guy who killed my brother,” Manny Jones, 72, said. “We always said that (Bell) could come home when my brother comes home.” The younger Waverly Jones said the family was sick of being reminded of their loss every time Bell came before the parole panel. “The simple answer is (parole) would bring joy and peace as we have already forgiven Herman Bell publicly,” the son wrote. “On the other hand, to deny him parole again would cause us pain as we are reminded of the painful episode each time he appears before the board.” Other family members did not write the board, but hoped that strong opposition to Bell’s release from the police unions and elected officials would be enough. Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have both come out against the early release. “I was just totally shocked. We don’t embrace that,” the officer’s brother said. Bell and his two co-defendants lured Jones and Officer Joseph Piagentini to the W. 159th St. project and shot Jones in the back of the head in 1971. Piagentini was tortured and shot 22 times, begging for his life before he was killed. “My life was shattered at Continue Reading

Depraved dad found guilty of beating, raping two stepdaughters who had eight kids with him

A Queens jury on Monday convicted a man for beating and raping his two stepdaughters over a four-year span. The man, who was found guilty of forcing himself on the girls when they were under the age of 15 between 2005 to 2008, fathered eight children with the girls, trial evidence showed. The Daily News is withholding his name to protect the identities of the victims. The sexual abuse began after he married the girls’ mother and moved the family from Florida — where he had served 10 years in prison for manslaughter — to Queens. He made his sick move on her daughters after the mother suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for almost a year, prosecutors said. The stepfather failed to prove to the jurors that the girls consented — even with their mother testifying on his behalf that she didn’t see anything, according to law enforcement sources. According to trial testimony, the abuse stopped when the oldest sister had enough of the beatings and reported the stepfather to a school administrator, who in turn called the police. The older sister testified earlier this week that he had stalked the younger sister after she had been removed from the home and placed in foster care, and had gotten her hooked on drugs. Sentencing is expected on April 10, when he faces up to 175 years in prison for seven counts of rape and statutory rape charges. Sign up for BREAKING NEWS Emails privacy policy Thanks for subscribing! Tags: new york rapes new york assaults new york sexual assaults Send a Letter to the Editor Join the Conversation: facebook Tweet Continue Reading