Archive for the tag 'gravesend'

decarlo

Police are searching for Robert Decarlo, a 26-year-old Gravesend resident suspected of being the driver in a hit-and-run yesterday on Flatlands Avenue that left a 12-year-old girl dead and her mother and 9-year-old sister in critical condition.

The New York Times reports:

Detectives are searching for Robert Decarlo, 26, whom they described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds, with brown eyes and short black hair. His last known address was at 114 Avenue U in Gravesend, Brooklyn, a few miles from where the crash occurred Wednesday, on Flatlands Avenue and East 46th Street.

Around 4:40 p.m., a stolen 2005 Dodge Caravan minivan that was speeding westbound on Flatlands Avenue jumped the sidewalk on the north side of the street, the police said. The vehicle plowed into the mother and her daughters, and the driver fled on foot, the police said

The minivan was reported stolen from Tommy’s Auto Repair at 2029 McDonald Avenue last week.

ABC News has more details on the accident:

Police say the victims were walking on the sidewalk when the stolen 2005 Dodge Caravan jumped the curb and mowed them down. The driver, believed to be DeCarlo, fled on food.

“He lost control, he turn two times, boom boom, and then he go on top of the kids,” an eyewitness said. “We saw the two girls laying there bleeding, and like yo let’s move the car, there might be a third.”

“Me and a couple of other guys pushed the car up onto the hydrant,” another witness said.

Under the car, they found Joey Sellers.

“Her eyes were open and she wasn’t moving at all,” Shamar Brooks said. “She wasn’t blinking.”

DeCarlo has prior arrests for robbery and drug possession, and is currently out on bail for the March 21 assault and mugging of a 65-year-old woman in Brighton Beach. Cops say he kicked and punched her multiple times before fleeing with her purse.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Two hundred years ago this week, the now historic village of Gravesend was rocked by a violent and tragic outburst that may have been the town’s first murder-suicide.

The bicentennial was first noted by historian and friend of the site Joseph Ditta, who posted on his blog of Gravesend history about two gravestones in the 364-year-old Gravesend Cemetery at Gravesend Neck Road and McDonald Avenue.

Ditta came across two stones, cracked and flaking with age, baring the names of 2-year-old Barnardus Ryder and his father, Jacobus Ryder. The Ryders died just 10 days apart, with the child passing on May 29, 1814, and the elder on June 8, 1814.

At first, Ditta writes, one might assume the two were killed by a “contagion [that] carried off multiple relatives, as [illnesses] did for eons before the advent of standardized sanitation and medical care.”

But on further research, Ditta discovered this wasn’t the case. He writes:

[A]ssumptions often prove dangerously wrong. On Monday, May 30, 1814, the day after little Barnardus Ryder died, readers of the Commercial Advertiser, one of New York City’s leading newspapers, stumbled across this shocking report from the otherwise tranquil reaches of southern Kings County:

New York, Commercial Advertiser, Monday, May 30, 1814

Newspapers up and down the eastern seaboard, from New Hampshire to Maryland, and as far inland as Ohio, recounted the tale of Gravesend’s “horrid transaction.” The version printed on June 1 in the Long-Island Star, Brooklyn’s leading weekly, managed to spell “Ryder” correctly, and added the detail that Jacobus — “long esteemed as a worthy and pious man, and . . . apparently in his right mind on the evening previous to the melancholy and dreadful act” — confessed in the letter to his father that he “imagined he heard a voice commanding him to execute the deed.” He lingered, sadly, until June 8, and died at the age of 44 years, three months, and 23 days.

Ditta doesn’t say in his post whether this was Gravesend’s first murder-suicide, but he told Sheepshead Bites that it’s quite possible.

“It very well could have been. It was a shocking story then, and even now, 200 years later,” he said.

By the time of the murder, Gravesend, one of the six original towns that later became Brooklyn, was already nearly 169 years old. But with a population numbering in the hundreds, it’s unlikely that a previous incident would have escaped the attention of record keepers.

The Ryders remain among the borough’s most famous residents, a founding family whose name still adorns streets, schools and libraries. The first Ryder, Barent Jurianz Ryder, emigrated from Holland in 1658. He later married Aeltie Van Voorhies, another familiar surname.

Check out the full story of these headstones and what came of Ryder’s descendants on Ditta’s Gravesend Gazette. You can also read our August 2009 Q&A with Ditta about Gravesend’s history, and check out his book, Gravesend, Brooklyn.

The suspects. (Source: NYPD via NBC)

The suspects. (Source: NYPD via NBC)

More details have emerged in the bank robbery spree we told you about earlier this week, in which four banks were hit in a span of just two hours.

Originally, it was reported that police were looking for one suspect in a case that saw robberies or attempted robberies from Gravesend to Bergen Beach.

Now police say they’re seeking two men for the Monday afternoon heists.

The men hit the four banks between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., getting away with a $6,300 haul.

NBC reports that the suspects entered each bank and gave the teller a note demanding money.

The suspects made off with $1,800 from Capital One at 2102 Ralph Avenue, and $4,500 from Santander Bank at 301 Avenue U in Gravesend.

They also hit Chase Bank at 1987 Flatbush Avenue and Northfield Bank at 1123 Kings Highway, but tellers refused to cooperate at those locations.

Surveillance video captured the above images of the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The location of Santander bank at 302 Avenue U, where the first robbery took place.  (Source: Google Maps)

The location of Santander bank at 302 Avenue U, where the first robbery took place. (Source: Google Maps)

Cops are hunting for a man described as black, approximately 6-foot-2-inches tall, with a scar on his face in connection with a string of bank robberies that happened across Southern Brooklyn yesterday. The suspect was wearing a black hoodie at the time of the robberies.

Police say the man robbed four banks between Gravesend and Canarsie within just a few hours, according to News 12.

The spree began at Santander bank at 301 Avenue U, just off McDonald Avenue, at 2:30 p.m. He then went on to Ralph Avenue’s Capital One bank, hit a Flatbush Avenue Chase bank, and ended with a Northfield bank on Kings Highway.

In at least one of the cases, he passed tellers a note demanding money. It’s not yet known how much he made off with.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Source: NYScanner/Twitter

Source: NYScanner/Twitter

Police successfully and safely talked down a man who threatened to jump from an Avenue X apartment building yesterday, and took him into custody for psychiatric evaluation.

First responders converged on the scene at East 3rd Street and Avenue X after receiving the call at approximately 3:00 p.m. yesterday.

The man was on a seventh floor fire escape, threatening to take his life.

Emergency personnel from the NYPD, FDNY and the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit were on scene. Traffic was rerouted as Avenue X was closed off from Ocean Parkway to East 2nd Street, and the B1 ceased running.

The rescue operation lasted more than an hour, but ultimately the man was taken into custody and brought to Coney Island Hospital, the NYPD confirmed.

truck-exposing

The pickup truck used in the flashing spree (Source: NYPD)

Cops have arrested a Sea Gate man for exposing himself to several young girls in Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay within the last two weeks.

The story first made headlines last week, when cops revealed they were hunting a man driving a white pickup truck who they believed were responsible for three separate flashing incidents that occurred within the span of 15 minutes.

The spree took place on Monday, March 17, between 7:25 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. The villain chatted up an 11-year-old girl on West 9th Street and Avenue O before flashing his genitals and running off.

Minutes later he turned up on West 7th Street and Bay Parkway and followed a 14-year-old girl into an apartment building, and exposed himself again. Finally, he approached a 13-year-old girl on West 6th Street and 65th Street and again provided a generous but unwanted view of his privates.

Apparently, that wasn’t all. Brooklyn Daily is reporting that police believe the same man flashed a group of 13-year-old girls on the corner of East 24th Street and Gravesend Neck Road on March 11. There is a heavily used playground at that intersection, and an elementary school a block away. The outlet reports that the girls approached the intersection when they came into view of the suspect in the pickup truck, sitting with genitals in public view.

The suspect is charged with burglary, public lewdness, exposure of person and acting in a manner injurious to a minor.

Source: FSSP via Twitter

Source: FSSP via Twitter

A new group has launched with the goal of expanding the services of shomrim, or Jewish civilian patrol, into a broad swath of Gravesend.

Community Safety & Security (CSS) is an affiliate of the Sephardic Community Federation, and is working on a recruitment drive to bring volunteers to the well-established Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, which could begin patroling the area.

The borders of the area under consideration are Avenue I to the north, Avenue Y to the south, Coney Island Avenue to the east and McDonald Avenue to the west.

“CSS is a new organization that will work to keep our communities safe by establishing initiatives to help reduce crime and increase public safety. We hope to work with the public, law enforcement and community watch groups to achieve these goals,” said Avi Spitzer, executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation.

Spitzer said they already have a core group of volunteers, and hope to build up operations and activities over time. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has offered to help the group identify potential sources of funds for their project. CSS is headed by Jack Cayre, the scion of developer and real estate magnate Joseph Cayre.

CSS is not formally affiliated with Flatbush Shomrim.

Flatbush Shomrim Executive Coordinator Bob Moskowitz said that they have not started patrolling the new area, nor have they made a decision on whether or not they will.

“It’s under consideration right now. It’s not a done deal. There’s a lot of logistics involved,” Moskowitz said. “I’d like to help them out, but we have to look at it and see if we can do it. But we can’t help every community that asks us to. Right now it’s still up in the air. If it’s something that’s doable, we’d love to.”

Spitzer said the goal of CSS’s effort right now is to bolster shomrim’s manpower with volunteers from the proposed coverage area, which would provide the resources needed for patrols.

Flatbush Shomrim was founded in 1991 by now-Councilman Chaim Deutsch. Shomrim volunteers patrol the neighborhoods in marked and unmarked vehicles, calling 911 when they see an emergency, monitoring the activities of people they believe to be suspicious, and calling for other volunteers if they feel the need. They can often be the first to respond to a scene of a low-level incident, where they can make a citizen’s arrest if necessary.

Community shomrim patrols have also been the source of controversy. Critics say they can sometimes be overzealous in their duties, inflame ethnic tensions and, at times, an obstacle to police investigations within the Jewish community. Some patrols receive taxpayer funds and resources through the offices of elected officials.

If you’d like to volunteer for shomrim patrols, contact CSS at (347) 781-4679 or by email at CSS@SephardicFederation.org

61st-precinct

Sheepshead Bay Police Precinct – now the NYPD’s 61st Precinct – was once located on Avenue U and East 15th Street. I stumbled across the photo above and set about doing some research.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t learn when it was built or torn down and, quite frankly, stopped giving a damn once I found this amazing account of the extraordinary bravery and heroism of the local police force that occupied that stately building.

View the 1915 clipping (Click to enlarge)

View the 1915 clipping (Click to enlarge)

The date was July 13, 1915. The scene was West 5th Street and Avenue U – now on the border of the current day 61st Precinct, but then firmly within its command.

Our valiant hero is named Cowboy Doody. Cowboy James Doody.

Some time prior to the incident to be recounted below, one James Murdock who resided at the scene set forth, had “been for a long time addicted to the habit of rearing goats.”

Indeed. His neighbors, no more understanding in those sepia-tinged days than they are today, complained to authorities. A lot. Mainly about the “near -fragrance” – and no, we haven’t gotten to Doody yet – “and plaintive sounds emanating from a barn on Murdock’s place.”

The courts fined him and fined him again, ultimately offering a choice – pay yet another hefty fine or go to jail. The crazy cat lady of his time, Murdock chose jail. He was principled. Why should he not own as many damned goats as he likes? Is this not America?

The authorities disagreed and off to the clink Murdock went, leaving “sixty-five goats of indiscriminate ages … practically without any guardianship watsoever.”

What happened next is best described by those intrepid reporters of The Washington Herald (yes, this made national news, and on page two no less):

He had lived alone and none of his neighbors thought it necessary to investigate the pleadings of the goats which resounded throughout Gravesend the whole night long.

With the coming of daylight the goats, having devoured all the interior fittings of the barn, walked right out through the wall on one side and permeated the entire neighborhood.

With ba-a-a-a and bleats of joy the goats proceeded on their work of devastation. The reidents were powerless. Many who sought to prevent the invasion of their premises were butted all over the place.

Butted all over the place! The carnage! The mayhem! Kings Plaza had nothing on the Gravesend streets of 1915.

What were the residents to do? Worry not, for this is the cue for our hero, Mounted Policeman James Doody, who appeared on the horizon and bellowed a mighty “Ki-ya!”

“Ki-ya!” he said. “Ki-ya!” as he “rode his fiery steed up and down and across the placid confines of Gravesend today, twirling his lasso above his head and ever and anon lassoing a goat.”

Our brave hero was not alone. Cowboy Doody – he was indeed a former cowboy, having “acquired said efficiency on the plains in the southwestern part of our country,” was assisted by “his associate centaurs of the Sheepshead Bay police precinct.”

But, alas, our Herald reports, “none of them could zip out ‘ki-ya’ with the penetra[ting] efficiency of James Doody.”

By noon the strange-eyed nuisance had abated. Doody and his centaurs corralled 42 goats into a barn behind the station photographed above.

Doody, with his “Ki-ya” and his no less valorous but less vocal assistants, were scattering out toward Sheepshead Bay, Flatbush, Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge in search of the most nimble and adventurous of the flock.

The legend of Cowboy Doody is new to us. But, this reporter has learned, his name to this day strikes fear into the black, freakish hearts of goats everywhere, and his mighty “Ki-ya!” brings, without exception, the following reaction from goats citywide:

Sleep Inn Hotel

Construction site for the Sleep Inn Hotel (Source: Amusing the Zillion)

Amusing the Zillion reported last week that Sleep Inn Hotel is now under construction on Stillwell Avenue and Avenue Z, just north of the Coney Island Creek, making it the first new hotel in the neighborhood in decades.

The site reports:

A sign on the construction fence says “Anticipated Completion: Fall 2015.” Mahesh Ratjani, one of the partners in the project, tells ATZ: “We are hoping to have it completed by the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015.” According to DOB records, a 12,989 square foot, four-story hotel will occupy the 13,000 square foot lot. Sleep Inn is a member of the Choice Hotels Group.

Documents on the Department of Buildings website show the hotel will have 53 guest rooms.

The problem is that the 2590 Stillwell Avenue lot, which was purchased in 2007 for $1.9 million, isn’t really part of Coney Island. ATZ says it’s the border of Gravesend and Bath Beach, and I’d agree. Regardless, it’s far flung from the amusement district, and ain’t the kind of hotel we were thinking when we heard hotels were coming to Coney Island.

112213gay.jpg

Surveillance video captured the suspect after one of his robberies. (Source: Gothamist)

A man believed to be behind as many as eight armed subway robberies was arrested after his latest mugging, which occurred at Gravesend’s Avenue U station on the F line.

CBS News reports:

Eric Gay, 43, of Brooklyn, is charged with three counts of robbery. Investigators believe he may be responsible for as many as eight muggings since Sunday.

As CBS 2′s Alice Gainer reported, each time, the suspect allegedly walked up to his victims, said he had a gun with a silencer and then robbed them.  However, they also said none of the victims actually saw the weapon the attacker claimed to have.

The attacks took place in the East Village, West Village, Queens and Brooklyn, police said.  Items the suspect stole ranged from iPods to cellphones, cash and MetroCards.

It was the Gravesend robbery that lead to his arrest. Gay allegedly robbed a man of an Android phone at the Avenue U station. Police tracked the phone and canvassed the area nearby, with the victim riding along. The witness spotted him, and cops made the bust.

Gay was taken to Kings County Hospital Center before being booked at the Brooklyn Robbery Squad. It’s unclear why he was hospitalized, and a follow-up by Gothamist returned no leads.

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