Saturday, August 8, 2009

Man, 63, Found Stabbed To Death On Living Room Floor in Fordham

From Eyewitness News:
A 63-year-old man was found fatally stabbed inside an apartment in the Fordham section of the Bronx.

Eyewitness News is told David Holmond was discovered inside an apartment at 2641 Marion Avenue at around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Holmond had multiple stab wounds to the back and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the victim lived in the apartment with his brother and other relatives.

The brother reportedly left the apartment with his wife, and when he came back, he found his brother dead.

The door was ajar, but there were no signs of forced entry.

No arrests were immediately made.

NYC Cop dies from Swine-Flu

From the NY Post by Philip Messing:

A 27-year-old Brooklyn cop died yesterday after a seven-week battle with swine flu -- the first NYPD officer to die from the disease, officials said.

Ryan Johnson, 27, a five-year veteran who worked out of the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms on June 17 and quickly deteriorated.

"He's been in and out of a coma since," a police source said.

Johnson, who lived in Long Island, died in a Suffolk County hospital.

Health chiefs said a preexisting condition, which sources said was asthma, contributed to his death.

But his mom told The Post he didn't have an underlying condition.

9 feared dead in Mid-Air Collison over the Hudson


A small plane has collided with a tour helicopter over the Hudson River and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it's believed that all nine people are dead.

Bloomberg says the crash victims include five Italian tourists and a pilot on the helicopter and three people on the plane, including a child. Bloomberg says officials believe the accident was "not survivable.''

Two bodies have been recovered in the water, one floating free and one in the wreckage. Other bodies have been spotted in the debris.

The mayor says "it's fair to say that this has changed from a rescue to a recovery mission.''

The accident happened in a busy general aviation corridor in which pilots operate freely at a low altitude and keep an eye out for other aircraft by sight.

The plane, a Piper PA-32, took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, and the helicopter was a Eurocopter AS 350 owned by Liberty Tours, a sightseeing and charter company, Federal Aviation Administration officials said. Officials don't know how many people were aboard the plane, but FAA spokesman Jim Peters said there may have been five passengers and one crew member aboard the helicopter.

Emergency crews were on both sides of the river and police divers were going into the water.

People who saw the crash and its aftermath described the two aircraft colliding not far from the Hoboken shoreline, and said the impact sheared off the plane's wing.

"There was a loud pop, almost like a car backfire,'' said Buzz Nahas, who saw the crash from the shore in Hoboken. "The helicopter dropped like a rock.''

Katie Tanski, of Hoboken, heard the noise of the collision, looked up and saw chaos in the air.

"We saw the helicopter propellers fly all over,'' she said. Some pieces of the wreckage fell on land, sending Tanski and others scurrying for cover.

An FAA spokesman says there were three people aboard an airplane that collided with a tour helicopter over the Hudson River near Hoboken, N.J.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters says the plane was headed for Ocean City, N.J. The helicopter had just taken off from a heliport on Manhattan's West Side.

Peters says it is believed there were five passengers and one crew member aboard the helicopter.

The accident happened just after noon between Manhattan and Hoboken. The Coast Guard said one person had been rescued and New York City fire department officials on the scene said it appeared there were fatalities.

Seven months ago, the same river was the scene of a spectacular aircraft accident. In January, a US Airways flight taking off from LaGuardia Airport slammed into a flock of birds and lost power in both engines. The plane crash-landed in the Hudson River, and all 155 people on board were pulled to safety.

Liberty Tours runs sightseeing excursions around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan at costs ranging from $130 to about $1,000.

A person who answered the phone at a Liberty Tours office declined to comment on the accident, but said the company would be releasing a statement.

Two years ago, a Liberty helicopter fell 500 feet from the sky during a sightseeing trip. The pilot was credited with safely landing the chopper in the same river and helping evacuate her seven passengers.

In 1997, a rotor on one of its sightseeing helicopters clipped a Manhattan building, forcing an emergency landing. No one was hurt.

Brooklyn NYPD cop shot in bullet-proof vest - in parking lot of 81st Precinct stationhouse

From the Daily News by Alison Gendar, Sarah Armaghan AND Wil Cruzd:

A Brooklyn cop on a break early Saturday stepped into a stationhouse parking lot and was shot - in his bulletproof vest.

"I think I've been shot," the four-year veteran told fellow cops when he walked back into the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant after the 3:30 a.m. incident.

The cop was not seriously injured. Metal fragments were found in the vest.

"The bullet did not penetrate the vest," said a police spokesman.

The NYPD isn't sure what kind of gun was used, but investigators believe it was probably a small-caliber pistol and not a pellet rifle.

The 27-year-old cop was treated and released at Kings County Hospital.

Investigators were interviewing him Saturday and canvassing the area for abandoned guns.

It was unclear if he was targeted. No arrests have been made.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thieves Swiped artwork from Musuem Twice

From the NY Post by Murray Weiss, Sabrina Ford, and Leonard Greene:

Brazen art thieves swiped two Russian masterpieces right off the walls of an Upper West Side museum in separate heists that police are finding as hard to decipher as an abstract painting.

A cop who happened to be visiting the museum was the first to notice a work was missing from the Nicholas Roerich Museum on West 107th Street near Riverside Drive.

It was 30 minutes before closing time on June 24 when he saw a blank spot on a wall where a picture was supposed to be.

"A police officer was just visiting, and he noticed there was a label and no painting," said a museum employee.

Gone was a $20,000 piece called "The Himalayas," a 10-by-14 inch pencil-on-paper drawing that Roerich, a Russian artist, sketched to mark his days in the 1930s when he was living in the foothills of the Asian mountains.

Four days later, an employee noticed a work was missing from a wall in the same hallway, a 12-by-16 inch oil-on-canvas painting called "Talung Monastery," valued at $70,000.

"It's like getting hit in the head with a hammer twice," said Daniel Entin, the museum's executive director.

"If someone steals your car you can go get another one, but with a painting you can't replace it -- never ever. That's what is the most sad."

Cops said they had few clues in the thefts, and surveillance video of the hallway has yielded little information.

Officials said the museum employs four staffers and receives only about 25 visitors on an average day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Two Men Charged in 2001 Killing of Karaoke Club Guard

From the NY Times by Simon Akam:

Federal prosecutors announced murder indictments Wednesday against two men in the 2001 killing of a security guard at a karaoke club in Queens.

One of the men, Yudi Liu, 26, of Brooklyn, was arrested Monday. The other, Guang Ju Lin, 32, of Los Angeles, is being held by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities in California.

According to documents filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, Mr. Liu and Mr. Lin were responsible for killing the guard, Danny Cabezas, in Flushing, Queens, on Dec. 11, 2001.

Prosecutors say [pdf] the men were members and associates of the Ah Jun, an organized crime enterprise with bases in Chinatown, Manhattan, and in Brooklyn and Flushing.

The documents state that the Ah Jun engaged in murder, extortion, illegal gambling and narcotics trafficking, among other crimes.

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said the murder took place at the end of an evening at the Moneybox, on Main Street in Flushing.

A group from the Ah Jun organization went to the club, where Mr. Cabezas was working.

“The lieutenant from the organized crime group, he decides he’s going to step up, confront the bouncer,” Mr. Brown said.

Mr. Cabezas had the better of the initial struggle, but the Ah Jun members took their revenge later. “On the way out that night, Liu stabs him to death at Lin’s direction,” Mr. Browne said.

The police spokesman added that a police operation that had investigated extortion of van drivers turned up the information that led to the indictments.

Mr. Lin and Mr. Liu were each charged with one count of violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity.

Julia L. Gatto, Mr. Liu’s lawyer, did not return calls for comment.

Federal prosecutors said Mr. Lin would be assigned a defense lawyer when he is moved to New York.

Bronx man killed in early a.m. shooting

From the Daily News by Jonathan Lemire:

A 27-year-old Bronx man was gunned down at a quiet intersection early Tuesday, police said.

Residents who live along Rosewood St. and Barker Ave. in Williamsbridge were awoken by the sound of a single gunshot at 12:30 a.m., and several people called 911, police said.

When cops arrived, they found Lester Williams sprawled on the sidewalk and bleeding heavily from a bullet wound to his chest, police said.

Williams was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center where he died a short time later. The motive for the killing remains unknown, police said.

Williams, who had a sealed criminal record, lived less than a block from where he was gunned down, and detectives were trying to determine his whereabouts in the moments before his death.

NYPD chopper makes 2nd emergency landing in 3 days; faulty light blamed

From the Daily News by Michael Lipkin and Alison Gendar:
An NYPD helicopter made an emergency landing in Prospect Park on Tuesday, its second unscheduled touchdown in three days.

Police said the "precautionary landing" happened just before 1a.m. yesterday in one of the Brooklyn park's ball fields.

The pilot noticed a light blinking on the control panel and, rather than continue flying, chose to land and have the chopper tested, a police spokesman said.

"Most of the people thought it was for a movie because so many movies are filming in Park Slope right now," said dog-walker Johanna Clearfield, who lives nearby.

"[It was] like having a giant SUV with mechanics under there trying to get the engine going," she said.

An NYPD technical crew came out to check on the helicopter, and after nearly eight hours on the ground, the chopper took off at about 8:45 a.m., spectators said.

An NYPD spokesman said no mechanical problems were uncovered.

The same helicopter - N315PD - made an unexpected landing on the Metropolitan Oval Soccer Field in Maspeth, Queens, just before 3 a.m. Saturday.

The same problem - a faulty indicator light was to blame - a spokesman said.

As the helicopter sat on the Prospect Park grass, police placed ladders up against the bird to check the rotors, parkgoers said.

"Obviously, the pilot did not want to land in Prospect Park if he had other options," said dog-walker Gary Osgood, who waited until the copter took off.

"They removed the ladders and it looked like a normal helicopter takeoff," he said, noting spectators took it all in stride and joked "how this was the longest coffee and doughnut run we'd seen."

The NYPD has a fleet of seven choppers. The one that landed in Prospect Park is one of four patrol helicopters that are slated to be replaced in 2010 with federal homeland security funds.

The department is also replacing two Bell 412 air-sea rescue copters at a cost of $18.6 million.

The Bells are at least 10 years old and have logged more than 4,000 hours in the air, which means their engines have to be rebuilt or replaced.

A third rescue chopper in the NYPD fleet, bought in 2003, is loaded with counterterrorism extras including mapping, surveillance and communication technology.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Deadly Stabbing In Chelsea Apartment

From the by Kathy Carvajal:

Police Question Victim's
Father-In-Law, Wife

A 50-year-old man is dead and his wife and elderly father-in-law are being questioned about the death in Manhattan.

Police say a domestic dispute turned deadly late Monday at 426 West 27th Street in Chelsea.

The victim was found in his apartment with a stab wound to the chest.

He later died at St. Vincent's Hospital.

News video shows the victim's 70-year-old father-in-law covered in blood as he was walked into the 10th Police Precinct in Manhattan early Tuesday.

Police investigates scene of daring Staten Island home burglary

From the Staten Island Advance by John Annese:

The agile-as-a-cat burglar who escaped capture with a death-defying leap off a Staten Island balcony early this morning, may have staged as many as 21 break-ins over the past year, police believe.

Several police sources have linked a early-morning break-in at 28 Sabrina Lane in Dongan Hills to a pattern of high-end home burglaries in the borough's hill neighborhoods -- a pattern, sources believe, may share a connection to the so-called "Ninja Burglar" spree back in 2007 and 2008.

A member of the NYPD Crime Scene Unit dusts a backyard deck for prints

at the scene of an attempted home robbery this morning.

This morning's burglar scaled a third-story balcony, then entered the house through an open patio door at about 1 a.m., then started rummaging through an office room, but was interrupted by a six-months-pregnant mother of two who heard a noise.

"He was trying to go in the closet, but there wasn't enough space," said the mom, Halide Useini. "When I tried to open the light, I saw him face me. I was so scared, I screamed."

The burglar, who was tall and slim, was dressed entirely in black, with black gloves, and a mask that covered everything but his eyes. Mrs. Useini couldn't even make out his skin color.

Without missing a beat, the burglar turned and ran back onto the patio.

"He put his hand on the patio and he went down," Mrs. Useini said.

The burglar dropped about 17 feet, using a ground-level air conditioning unit to break his fall, and fled. Yesterday, the NYPD's Crime Scene Unit dusted the balcony for prints and examined the air conditioning unit, which was dented by the thief's landing.

Said one police source familiar with the case: "There's absolutely no forensic evidence. There's no video. Even if there was a good video, it wouldn't have brought anything to this."

The source added, "I'd like to see him show up in the emergency room with a broken bone."

Mrs. Useini, her husband, Nick, and their two daughters were all home at the time of the break-in.

Both husband and wife were awake -- Mrs. Useini was watching television while her husband had just finished surfing the Internet and went to take a shower.

Useini said he had heard some noises, but he thought it was just his wife walking around. Then he heard his wife -- "I heard a scream, like a child that came out of a nightmare.

The Useinis had an alarm system, but didn't activate it because, as Useini explained, "The chime drives you crazy."

Now, he says, he'll be more cautious, advising, "People should keep their windows and doors locked."

A family in Emerson Hill whose house was part of the burglary pattern recounted a similar story last May. In that case, homeowners Russ and Dolores Irardy said they confronted "a ninja in a black suit" who made his escape with an acrobatic leap off a second-story landing.

The serial burglaries, dubbed "Pattern 21," started in July 2008, and spreads across Todt Hill, Grymes Hill, Emerson Hill, Concord and Arrochar.

Some law enforcement sources say the burglaries may be loosely linked to the so-called "Ninja" burglary pattern, which garnered nationwide media attention in 2007 and 2008, after a Dongan Hills man reported battling a nunchuck-wielding thief in his kitchen. Police grew skeptical of his account, but the "ninja" nickname stuck.

The NYPD closed the book on that spree with the announcement that a ring of Albanian nationals believed responsible had been deported. In the past, police insisted that the most recent wave of burglaries had nothing to do with the "Ninja" pattern, but one police source close to the case has said the Albanian suspects weren't responsible for all 19 of the burglaries involved in the "Ninja" pattern.

Another, as-yet unidentified criminal hit a few of the houses in that pattern, the source said, and that crook may be linked to the latest wave of burglaries.

"I think this guy was someone who has some type of training to be calm in these situations," Useini said. "That's pretty amazing, that he could just slip in like that while you're awake, watching television."

Slain Coney Island grandmother Anna Surman's family 'in shock'

From the Daily News by Henrick Karoliszyn and Jonathan Lemire:

Stunned relatives of an 87-year-old grandmother killed by a stray bullet in Coney Island planned for her funeral Monday as cops hunted the warring gunmen who claimed her life.

Anna Surman was sitting on a bench in the courtyard of the Surfside Gardens Houses admiring the flowers and feeding a neighbor's cat when a bullet pierced her neck Sunday afternoon.

Surman, a retired history professor in her native Moscow, died within minutes, and the killing outraged her fellow Russian immigrants who live in the towering housing project.

"She loved going out in the courtyard once a day if she could," said Yelena Lkicheva, 47. "She loved being outside [and] it's ridiculous she died because of going out there."

That courtyard remained the center of the NYPD's investigation, though detectives have not been able to locate a surveillance camera that captured a clear image of the two men whose gun battle sprayed the fatal bullet, a police source said.

Detectives were scouring nearby buildings late Monday in hopes that the two men started their disagreement elsewhere and were filmed. Witnesses told cops the two men were in their 20s, and one of them was wearing a red cap, the sources said.

Surman, who doted on her granddaughter and two adult sons, was part of a tight-knit family who were reeling over her senseless death.

"The family is in shock," said a male relative who did not give his name. "We are planning a funeral right now and we can't believe it."

Surman moved to the Surfside Gardens building nearly 15 years ago. Despite her frail health, she took a daily walk around the building and had a kind word for everyone she encountered, her friends said.

"She was so nice to everybody," said Tatyana Tabak, 81. "She really cared about everyone. She'd help anyone if they needed it."

"It's a tragedy to live all those years and get killed like that," said Sam Lugo, who witnessed the shooting.

"She was coughing blood," said Lugo, 42. "She said, 'I'm dying. I'm going to die,' then she lost consciousness."

Community activists and politicians gathered at the W.31st St. building Monday to mourn Surman and condemn the gun violence that has shattered the neighborhood recently.

"A nice lady with a big heart lost her life for nothing," said the local assemblyman, Alec Brook-Krasny. "We've had many shootings here. It's terrible."

At least eight people have been murdered this year in the 60th Precinct, which includes Surfside Gardens, more than double the three homicides during the same period a year ago.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ex-New York Giants star Plaxico Burress indicted on three charges; Antonio Pierce off the hook

From the Daily News by Melissa Grace and Corky Siemaszko:

Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress was indicted on gun charges Monday that could put him in jail for at least 3 1/2 years.

A Manhattan grand jury indicted Burress on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment.

He faces 3 1/2 years to 15 years in prison if he is convicted on a weapons count. He remains free on $100,000 bail.

The jurors did not buy Burress' claim that he did not mean to commit a felony when he fumbled his illegal .40-caliber Glock inside a crowded nightclub - and shot himself in the thigh.

Nor were they moved by Burress' public apology, which came after he testified for three hours about the November 2008 shooting that derailed his stint with the Giants and ended the team's hopes of a Super Bowl repeat.

Teammate Antonio Pierce, who was with Burress the night of the shooting was not indicted. Prosecutors said he played a part in hiding the weapon.

Mayor Bloomberg and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau have called for Burress to serve serious jail time if he's convicted.

Burress, 31, caught the game winning touchdown when the Giants upset the New England Patriots in 2008.

Big Blue dumped Burress after the shooting inside the crowded Latin Quarter, costing him a $35 million contract extension.

Pierce, told the grand jury that he helped the bleeding wide receiver and later reportedly returned the gun back to Burress' home in Totowa, N.J.

Bronx Woman Nabbed In 90-Year-Old Man's Murder

olice say a Bronx woman has been arrested in the killing of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor in his apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, CBS 2 HD has learned.

The woman has been identified as 30-year-old Angela Murray of 1246 Crosby Ave. Details surrounding her arrest have not yet been released.

Murray's being charged with the murder of Guido Felix Brinkmann, who was found in his bed with his hands bound Thursday. The medical examiner said he was asphyxiated.

Murray is also facing robbery charges.

Investigators said Brinkmann was in the habit of inviting younger women to his apartment for sex. His doorman told police a man and a woman went to the home the night before he was found dead. They were later seen leaving in his car from the basement garage.

Brinkmann was the former owner of the Adam's Apple, a disco-era nightclub.

Brinkmann was a survivor of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp and was well-known around Manhattan for his time running the popular disco in the 1970s.

Others in Brinkman's building said he was well-liked by all.

"He was a terrific guy ... a friendly guy," said one resident.

Brinkmann was a close friend of famed ex-NYPD Det. Bo Dietl, who also spent years as a security consultant. Dietl called Brinkmann, who was his son's Godfather, an "amazing man," and was the person who notified police officials that he hadn't heard from Brinkmann in a while.

Ron Buchter, who lives in the building, said Brinkmann undoubtedly had a fulfilling life before his tragic end.

"He had a full life, even with the Adams Apple," Buchter said. "The Upper East Side 30 to 40 years ago was the epicenter of the world in terms of the 1960's revolution."

Not up to dress code: Off-duty cop arrested after he pulls gun on bouncer at Mingles

From the Daily News by Alison Gendar, Joe Jackson and Oren Yaniv:

An off-duty NYPD cop was busted Sunday for waving a gun at a bouncer who refused to let him into a Queens club, police and witnesses said.

Trevor Harpaul, 28, pulled the gun and taunted the bouncer after he was turned away from Mingles Lounge on 101st Ave. in Ozone Park about 1 a.m.

"Where's your mouth now?" he asked the terrified bouncer.

The cop showed up at the club wearing a red cap, sneakers and shorts, a violation of the joint's dress code, a manager said.

"He was very intoxicated with slurred speech," said the manager, 30, who asked not to be named. "He insisted on coming in."

A bouncer turned him away, prompting Harpaul to display his NYPD identification and mouth off some more.

"You think you're big? I've got something for you," he said, according to a witness.

The cop went back to his car and came back holding an unlicensed handgun with a defaced serial number, an illegal weapon that would be difficult to trace if it were used in a crime, sources said.

Two uniformed cops arrived, ordered Harpaul to the ground and handcuffed him. The officers found Harpaul's service weapon and marijuana in his car.

Harpaul, a four-year member of the force assigned to Brooklyn's 84th Precinct, was awaiting arraignment Sunday night.

He was charged with weapons possession, reckless endangerment and menacing, all felonies, as well as possession of marijuana and other counts.

"I don't know what he does at night, it's none of my business," said the cop's father, Americk Harpaul, 51, who answered the door at their home in East New York, Brooklyn.

With Kate Nocera

Elderly Woman Killed in the crossfire in Coney Island

An elderly woman was shot in front of the Surfside Garden Houses in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn. She later died at the hospital.

The victim was identified as 87-year-old Anna Surman of 2950 West 31 Street.

It happened about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Someone called 9-1-1 to report a woman shot at 2960 West 31st Street. Surman had been caught in the crossfire between two men firing guns at each other.

Police found Surman with a gunshot wound in her neck. Emergency crews rushed her to Lutheran Hospital but it was too late.

Police have not made any arrests in the case.

The murder took place a few blocks from the famous Coney Island boardwalk. The New York City Council recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of plans backed by Michael Bloomberg, New York's mayor, to build hotels, housing and a new entertainment complex on Coney Island.

Photo from

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Livery cab slams into Queens street festival, injuring dozen

From the Daily News by Edgar Sandoval and Jonathan Lemire:

An out-of-control livery cab skidded into a Queens street festival Sunday, slamming into food tents and injuring a dozen people while sending scores more scurrying for safety, police and witnesses said.

Revelers who braved the rain to enjoy the annual Queens Ecuadorian Day Parade in Corona were sampling traditional foods and shopping for clothes when the car suddenly roared into the tents, witnesses said.

"It just came out of nowhere," said Luz Lima, who was selling children's garments with her 15-year-old niece, Nicky. "The car just came on us and I just heard an explosion."

"I was expecting to get hit [and] I just blacked out," said Nicky Lima. "I screamed. I was terrified."

Investigators believe that Louis Nunez was behind the wheel of his 2002 Lincoln Town Car when he lost control at the intersection of 37th Ave. and Junction Blvd. at 1 p.m., police said.

Unable to stop, the car careened into several tents set up by the Junction Blvd. Merchant Association, just a block from the popular parade.

"I could not believe my eyes," said Jay Hu, who was selling clothes in a tent moments before the wreck. "We ran out of the way and it crashed everything on its way."

"People ran all over screaming," said witness Mike An, 45. "They were running for their lives."

Two vendors suffered minor injuries - burns caused by tipped over food carts - and were taken to Elmhurst Medical Center in stable condition, officials said. Ten other people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Nunez, who was not hurt, appeared disoriented when he was pulled from the car, witnesses said.

"He asked me if he had killed someone," said witness Carlos Jarrin. "He seemed strange, out of it."

A propane tank from one food booth got lodged under the cab, forcing cops to evacuate the area until members of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit removed it.

Nunez does not face any criminal charges, police said. With Simone Weichselbaum

With Simone Weichselbaum

Brooklyn Street Argument Leads To Seven Stabbings

From by Jen Chung:

There was a violent altercation in Cypress Hills earlier this morning, near the J train's Crescent Avenue station. According to 1010WINS, "Apparently two groups of men ranging in age from 18 to 40-years-old, began arguing on Crescent Avenue and Fulton Street, police said. The arguing lead to violence when knives were pulled and six of the men were stabbed on the streets, and another man being chased down into" the subway station, where he was stabbed. Subway service was suspended. One of the victims was stabbed in the face; WABC reports that the seven victims were taken to area hospitals. The cops are looking for suspects.

NYPD chopper makes emergency landing in Queens

From the Daily News by Zachary Goelman AND Wil Cruz:

An NYPD chopper made an emergency landing early Saturday, flying low over some homes in Queens before safely setting down in a soccer field, a witness said.

The helicopter landed on the Metropolitan Oval Soccer Field in Maspeth just before 3 a.m., police said.

No one was injured.

"I was taking out the trash when I heard it," said Mike Chambers, 49, who lives nearby. "It cleared the houses by like 30 feet, and the fence by maybe 10.

"It came down fast, but smooth," Chambers added.

"Real fast." It's unclear why the helicopter pilot felt the need to make an emergency landing. The aircraft had no no mechanical problems, police said.

"They just figured it was safest to land," said a police source.

"It was just a precaution."

Another NYPD helicopter carrying mechanics was brought in to check on the chopper before it was flown back to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

Cops kill Bronx man in wild shootout after he fires on uniformed NYPD

From the Daily News by Zachary Goelman, Zak Failla and Wil Cruz :

A Bronx man was mortally wounded by cops after he opened fire on them, sparking a fierce shootout on the street, police and witnesses said.

Oswaldo Sevilla Moran, 31, was shot in the chest during the gun battle with four uniformed cops in Longwood, the Bronx.

"He turned and fired several shots," a police source said of Sevilla Moran. "Our guys fell back behind a van and returned fire."

Sevilla Moran was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died an hour later. The cops in the shootout were treated for trauma there, police said.

A .32-caliber semiautomatic handgun was recovered near his body at the scene, cops said.

"This is as clean as it gets," said a police source of the shooting.

The cops were given Breathalyzer tests, sources said.

The gunfire erupted after a concerned citizen approached two patrol cops at Southern Blvd. and Avenue St. John about 2:30 a.m.

"That man has a gun," the witness told them, according to the source.

Around the same time, a 911 caller reported hearing shots in the area.

When cops went to investigate, Sevilla Moran, who had blended into a crowd, tried to sneak away, police said.

"It was obvious he had a gun in his hand," said a police source. "They ordered him to drop his gun."

That's when Sevilla Moran pulled the trigger, police said. A backup team arrived to assist the officers, and witnesses said they heard 30 to 40 shots fired.

The suspect's roommate said he was a construction worker who left his Mott Haven apartment to buy a soda.

"I'm surprised, in shock," said the 25-year-old roommate, who didn't want to give her name.

"It's not easy when someone comes to your door and says your friend is dead," she added. "He doesn't deserve it."

Francisco Sevilla, Oswaldo's heartbroken father, questioned whether police needed to shoot his son - who emigrated from Mexico 16 years ago.

"Why didn't they talk to him?" asked Francisco Sevilla, 56. "They're supposed to be professionals."