Author Archive

homicide

Source: Gabriella M.

Update (5:30pm): A police source has confirmed to Sheepshead Bites that two people were found dead at the apartment building. Additionally, a suspicious substance believed to be cyanide was found at the scene.

Cyanide is a highly toxic chemical that, when ingested, rapidly affects the central nervous system and heart and can cause death within minutes. The presence of the chemical spurred FDNY Hazardous Materials units to be dispatched, including at least one marked “WMD.”

Our source said the investigation is ongoing, and they are not yet sure if the chemical was ingested purposely, accidentally or if foul play was involved.

Update (6:13pm): CBS News reports that the victims were a 42-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman. They were found in the living room of the apartment at approximately 12:45pm. A “suspicious substance” was found on the table near their bodies. Our source told us the NYPD currently believes it is cyanide, but will not know until it has been tested.

Our tipster, Gabriella M., told us the bodies were found on the 5th floor, leading to the evacuation.

Original post:

We are receiving tips about a large police presence at 3030 Emmons Avenue, a large rental building near Haring Street.

Neighbors who live in the building say two individuals were found dead in an apartment in the building at approximately 2:3opm today. As of 5:00pm, there remains a heavy police presence at the scene.

Source: Tipster

Source: Gabriella M.

Homicide detectives have been spotted, as well as Emergency Services Units, the NYPD’s version of a SWAT team, and Hazmat units.

No homicide has been confirmed, and at least one neighbor contradicted rumors of murder, saying it may have been drug overdoses.

The floor of the building in which the bodies were rumored to have been found was evacuated by police, according to our tipster.

Source: Albert D

We’ve reached out to the NYPD and will update as more information becomes available.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Source: Albert D

Source: Matt Y

Source: Matt Y

homeless

Police have arrested Elliot Baez, a homeless man they say is responsible for vandalizing the September 11 Wall of Remembrance in Coney Island on Friday.

A surveillance camera caught a person authorities believe is Baez, 58, smearing white paint over the memorial and encircling the image of Police Officer Moira Smith at approximately 2:38am Friday.

After video was released, a tipster led authorities to Baez on Saturday afternoon even though initial descriptions suggested the vandal was a woman. Baez was charged with criminal mischief after making self-incriminating statements to police, according to reports.

The Wall of Remembrance, located at MCU Park, honors first responders killed on September 11, and has an image of each of the fallen heroes. Smith’s image appears to have been targeted, but cops told her husband Baez was “deranged” and had no apparent motive or agenda against Smith or her surviving family, according to the Daily News.

Smith was the only female first responder who perished during the terrorist attack. A survivor who worked at the World Trade Center was one of the last people to see her alive, and he has built a website detailing her courage as she helped conduct the evacuation, and has called for a public statue in her honor.

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries praised the NYPD’s quick apprehension of the vandal.

“The heroes who laid down their lives to save others on September 11 deserve our reverence and respect for the sacrifice they made that day,” said  Jeffries. “The Memorial at MCU Park in Coney Island stands as an important reminder of the courage and valor displayed by American patriots in the face of unspeakable terror. The officers from the 60th precinct who tracked down this suspect should be commended for their thorough work, and the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Source: MTAPhotos/Flickr

B LINE

From 9:45am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Manhattan-bound B trains run local from Prospect Park to Kings Hwy.

Q LINE

From 9:45am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park.

F LINE

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Avenue X-bound F trains skip Avenue U.

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, F service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 179 St and Avenue X.
  2. Between Avenue X and Coney Island.

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, F trains run every 20 minutes between Avenue X and Coney Island.

From 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, Manhattan-bound F trains skip Smith-9 Sts, Carroll St, and Bergen St.

From 9:45pm to 5am, Tuesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains skip Sutphin Blvd, Van Wyck Blvd, and 75 Av.

From 12:30am to 5am, Wednesday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av.

Schraeder (l) and Petlakh (r) Source: Social media accounts, via Forward

Schraeder (l) and Petlakh (r) Source: Social media, via Forward

Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a violent attack against the Kings Bay YM-YWHA’s executive director outside an Israel Defense Force fundraiser at the Barclays Center earlier this month, but chose not to charge the man with a hate crime.

Shawn Schraeder, 25, was arrested on Thursday by local police in St. Louis, Missouri, in cooperation with the NYPD. He’s been extradited back to New York and was awaiting arraignment as of yesterday, the Forward reports.

Schraeder is accused of slugging the Kings Bay Y’s executive director, Leonard Petlakh, on October 6, leaving him with a broken nose and in need of stitches.

The incident followed a basketball game that raised funds for the IDF, which drew pro-Palestinian protesters. The activists were booted from the arena after becoming unruly and attempting to unfurl at Palestinian flag. They remained outside where they allegedly accosted Petlakh and other attendees, shouting “Free Palestine” and “Your people are murderers.” A squabble ensued, which left Petlakh injured.

The local leader called his foes “vile anti-Semitic hooligans masquerading as anti-Zionists” and elected officials condemned the attack as a hate crime.

Schraeder, though, is not being charged with a hate crime; police no longer believe bias was involved, ABC News reports.

Local pols have commended the police for the quick arrest, but are urging them to reconsider a hate crime charge.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz issued the following statement:

“I’m pleased that police arrested a suspect in the brutal attack on Leonard Petlakh but I find it disturbing that they do not plan to charge him with a bias crime.

“Given the anti-Semitic nature of this attack, I urge authorities to reconsider this decision. I will be calling on the district attorney to treat this as a bias case and seek the harshest penalties that are allowed under the law.

“According to multiple accounts of the incident, the suspect did not work alone. He was part of a group of anti-Israel protestors whose intentions turned hateful and violent. I encourage law enforcement to pursue the accomplices who fled after the attack and bring them to justice as well.

“As Leonard recovers from this attack, it is incumbent upon all of us to keep the outrage alive and to not ever allow bias-motivated violence to become old news. As this incident and many others like it have demonstrated, anti-Israel rhetoric has a way of crossing the line quickly to anti-Semitic rhetoric.

“We must continue to speak out against this unacceptable behavior and to seek justice for all those who are victimized by the actions of individuals whose violence is motivated by hate.

Councilman Mark Treyger issued a similar statement:

“I applaud the NYPD for recognizing the seriousness of this attack and for making a quick arrest, despite the fact that the suspect was halfway across the country. This sends a clear message that our city will not tolerate violence against anyone and will devote the necessary time and resources to investigating all incidents of hatred. I would also like to thank Mr. Petlakh for his unwavering leadership and devotion to our community and for his hard work over the years to bring people of all faiths together. My thoughts are with him and his family as they continue to recover from this shocking and brutal attack. Once again, we showed that we will rise above these kinds of incidents that serve to divide our borough and city and will always come together to denounce all forms of violence and hatred.”

… While Council Member Treyger is pleased that an arrest has been made in this incident, he believes that hate crimes charges are warranted based on remarks allegedly directed at the victim during the attack.

Avenue U's N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Avenue U’s N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Early morning straphangers made a gruesome find Saturday after a man hanged himself at Avenue U’s N line subway station in Gravesend.

The man was found hanging by a “thick rope” at about 3:35am, police told the Daily News. The rope was tied to the staircase on the Manhattan-bound side of the platform, Gothamist adds. Conflicting reports indicate he was either 22 or 25 years old.

His identity was not released, but police believe it was a suicide and are still investigating, though no criminality is suspected.

The scene was cleaned up quickly. Neighbors who rode the train at the station just hours after said they were unaware of the incident until reports surfaced later in the day.

Source: drpavloff/Flickr

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Here are some of the big stories you may have missed this week. You can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Source: freeside510/Flickr

Q LINE

From 10:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Manhattan-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park.

F LINE

From 11:15pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts.

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Manhattan-bound F trains run express from Church Av to Jay St-MetroTech.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

I've been told that the owner is definitely an NJ resident who moved from the neighborhood. But the photo is just too good not to use for this post.

I’ve been told that the owner is definitely an NJ resident who moved from the neighborhood. But the photo is just too good not to use for this post.

Apparently, the four car owners in Sheepshead Bay that actually have their car registered in 11235 are paying the highest rates for car insurance of any zip code in New York State.

The data was analyzed by consumer advice website ValuePenguin.com, which attempted to rank the affordability of car insurance across the state. What they found was, lo and behold, New York City has the highest costs, with Brooklyn leading the way. We asked the number-crunchers at ValuePenguin to break it down further, and what they found was that the 11235 zip code covering Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach leads all of Brooklyn.

Drivers in 11235 pay, on average, $5,585 a year, according to the report. That’s 2 percent higher than the borough average, $5,308 a year. The borough itself is 30 percent higher than the city average, and 250 percent higher than the state.

The rates were calculated based on a single 30-year-old male and a 65-year-old male who drives a 2010 Toyota Camry about 12,000 miles a year, to commute to work. It’s based on somebody with a good credit history and in good condition, and hasn’t had an accident or traffic violation in the past five years – so, basically a person who is a better candidate for cheap insurance than this neighborhood’s shoddy, luxury-car driving maniacs.

The other zip code covering a big chunk of Sheepshead Bay, pays $5,351 on average, and 11223 – Gravesend – pays $5,354. Collectively, it appears all the zip codes along the Southern Brooklyn coastline* pay more than the borough average for car insurance:

  • 11214 (Bensonhurst) – $5,354
  • 11223 (Gravesend) – $5,351
  • 11235 (Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay) – $5,585
  • 11229 (Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest) – $5,351

* They did not produce numbers for Coney Island, so we can’t say this comprehensively.

So why is the insurance so high along the coastline? It could be the risk posed by storms like Superstorm Sandy, which saw thousands of cars destroyed in the flood. But seeing as how rates were high even before Sandy, maybe, just maybe, it’s something a little more sinister.

But what’s it matter? Chances are that you have Pennsylvania plates, or you’re a chump.

Check out the study.

A Con Edison employee was repairing the wiring yesterday (Source: Aliza

A Con Edison employee was repairing the wiring yesterday (Photo by Aliza Chasan)

By Aliza Chasan

Two years after Superstorm Sandy, one park in Gravesend is just now getting power back.

Though the streets in the area didn’t see much above-ground flooding, the storm’s salt waters managed to corrode the underground wiring serving the park at the corner of McDonald Avenue and Avenue S. As a result, the McDonald Playground bathrooms have been locked to keep people from injuring themselves in an unlit bathroom.

“Babies, if they want bathroom, they can’t go and it’s a problem for parents,” Olga Sianashka, 38, said. “I’m all the time playing with my children here and it’s not working,” she said about the bathroom.

It took some time for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to become aware of the problem as the power lines serving the park don’t supply electricity to any area houses.

Once Phil Mazzeo, a Parks Department electrician, found out, he checked the park’s property box and found the Con Ed wires were destroyed. After that, it was a matter of waiting for Con Ed to come out.

“I called 311 maybe five or six times,” Aliza Krassallosik, 40, said. “Why can’t the public go to the bathroom as well?”

Bobbie Colon, 37, said the bathroom situation is “outrageous” and that the park’s problems go beyond a locked bathroom.

“This was a really nice park five years ago, but now it’s someplace you really don’t want to come to.”

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