Archive for the tag 'mill basin'

Map of the coverage area for this NY Rising committee. Source: NY Rising

Map of the coverage area for this NY Rising committee. Source: NY Rising

Neighbors in Mill Basin, Mill Island, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, and Georgetown are invited to a public meeting tonight, Wednesday, November 12, to hear the latest from the state-sponsored NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program and provide input on projects proposed for funding, designed to meet the community’s recovery needs. This program aims to leverage local knowledge and build upon existing efforts and plans to help storm-impacted communities become more resilient through innovative community-driven plans.

When:          Wednesday, November 12 – 7pm-9pm
Where:         Saint Bernard School Auditorium, 2030 East 69th Street, Brooklyn NY 11234
Who:            Southeast Brooklyn Waterfront Planning Committee (including Bergen Beach, Georgetown, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island), NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program
Contact:       Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, info@stormrecovery.ny.gov

The NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program is one of several Storm Recovery Initiatives and was established to provide additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to Communities severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. To facilitate community redevelopment planning and the resilience of Communities, the State has established the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program. For additional information, check out the website.

You can learn about the specific plans being drawn up for the Southeast Brooklyn area, including the presentation and minutes from past meetings, here.

DA Ken Thompson

Cops charged a Sheepshead Bay man and Mill Basin man on Thursday, claiming that investigators  recovered more than 240 videos depicting children in sexual performances, including one video of a child in diapers.

The busts were made public by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson on Friday, following the arraignment of Harvey Epstein, 68, of Homecrest Avenue in Sheepshead Bay and John DeCotis, 70, of East 51st Street in Mill Basin. The two face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

“It is shocking that anyone, particularly men who are 68 and 70 years old, would watch and collect such sick images,” Thompson said in a statement. “The children in these videos are real children who are being sexually abused to satisfy deviants who troll the internet. I am committed to fighting child exploitation and honored to have dedicated detectives in my Investigations Bureau who work tirelessly to protect innocent children.”

The busts were made after a detective from the DA’s office was given the go-ahead to prusue a “peer to peer” investigation, using file-sharing software. The software allows those sharing digital media on a network to see the downloaded files of any other other computer on the network. The detective snagged two IPs that had downloaded videos of boys and girls engaging in sex acts with adult men and women, allowing them to follow up with the internet service providers and obtain the addresses of those users.

Acting on a search warrant, cops seized a white tower computer at Epstein’s Homecrest Avenue apartment, on which they found 221 video files depicting children in sex acts with adults, including one child still wearing diapers. He was charged with 221 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child, and ordered held on bail of $5,000 bond or $1,000 cash.

At DeCotis’ East 51st Street home, cops seized a Dell computer on which they found 21 videos of child sexual performances, including one of a young girl dressed provocatively and engaging in sex acts with an adult. The defendant admitted to detectives that he had downloaded 50 to 100 videos over the last five or six years, the DA’s office said. He was charged with 21 counts of possessing child pornography and ordered held on $7,500 bail.

Epstein is due back in court in December, while DeCotis’ is due back in April.

Approximately 1.8 million adolescents have been the victims of sexual assault in the United States, according to the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. The CDC estimates that one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. Warning signs of possible sexual abuse of a child include sudden mood swings, unusual fear of people or places, and “clues” that seem likely to provoke discussion about sexual issues. You can find out more about identifying signs of sexual abuse in children – and warning signs that suggest someone is sexually abusing a child – at this U.S. Department of Justice fact page.

brawlA group of Kings Plaza Mall security guards are on suspension pending an investigation after video surfaced showing them punching and kicking a teen in what they say was an attempt to control a brewing brawl.

Cell phone footage recorded on Sunday at around 4:30pm appears to show a group of security guards pinning a teen to the ground and punching him repeatedly in the face.

ABC News reports:

In the video, at least four mall security guards are seen trying to subdue a 16-year old boy, and not just tackling him.

The boy is punched and kicked and grabbed by the throat, by grown men more than twice his age.

“They threw him on the floor, they choked him, about three of them that actually choked him, and they were kicking him in the head,” said eyewitness Shaunternette Melton.

But the video does not show the entire episode. Police say the teen, identified as Christopher Henry, had just assaulted one of the guards after he had been asked repeatedly to leave the mall.

WPIX11 reports that Henry and another teen were arguing with each other. The security team said that the 39-year-old guard approached Henry and repeatedly asked him to leave. Instead, Henry refused and allegedly jumped on the guard and punched and kicked him. Other guards responded and took Henry into custody.

Mall officials released the following statement:

We find the images captured in the video disturbing. We are cooperating with law enforcement and AlliedBarton Security Services, who employs the security officers involved, to fully investigate the entire incident so that appropriate action can be taken.

AlliedBarton Security Services, the contractor that provides security to the mall, also issued a statement:

AlliedBarton Security Services shares the community’s concern about the video and the events shown,” the statement read. “We are investigating what is shown in the video, as well as the events that occurred before the video began. The security officers involved have been suspended pending investigation. AlliedBarton’s responsibilities at Kings Plaza Mall are to help create and maintain a safe and secure environment. It is imperative that these duties be conducted in a safe and respectful manner and we accept nothing less from our teams.

NBC New York reports that the teen was arrested and charged with assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

He has previous arrests for petit larceny, intent to defraud the transit system, and robbery. Other arrests are sealed due to his age.

Though security insists that the teen has a history of bad behavior in the mall, in addition to the arrests listed above, activists say that the response was excessive.

“Irrespective of what led into this, the actions of those security guards in this community is appalling, and that can’t be tolerated,” said activist Tony Herbert. “We can’t tell these kids to act civil and professional in society when those who have the authority and are trained professionally can’t do the same.”

The mall has been the scene of several violent brawls between large groups of teens, including a December incident that saw as many as 500 teens screaming and fighting in the shopping center. Another “teen riot” occurred in February with approximately 100 teens, which led to arrests. Neighbors say there have been at least two other incidents.

Members of local community groups have put pressure on the NYPD and the mall’s security to bring the situation under control.

Sources: NBC New York, News 12, ABC News, CBS News.

armed-robbery

Cops are hunting a man that they believe is responsible for four muggings at gunpoint in Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach and Mill Basin.

Police say their man is a black male in his mid-20s, between 6’0″ to 6’2″, with a light complexion and last seen wearing rectangular eyeglasses. He was slightly unshaven, and may drive or have a co-conspirator who drives a white Acura TL.

The four robberies police believe him responsible for are:

  • On September 6, at 3:45pm, the 67-year-old  male victim was parking his car in his Marine Park garage, near Stuart Street, when the suspect put a gun to his head and demanded his watch, ring and cellphone. After getting the goods, the robber ran north on Gerritsen Avenue and then jumped into a waiting white Acura TL on Avenue R.
  • On September 10, at 10:55am, in front of 325 Whitman Drive in Mill Basin, the 35-year-old female victim was getting out of her car when the man came up to her. He pointed a gun at her and forced her to hand over her watch and wallet, which contained $300 and credit cards. He fled on foot.
  • On September 14, at 9:35pm, approached his victim near West 1st Street and Village Road South in Gravesend as the 56-year-old man walked out of his driveway. He flashed a gun and pulled off his wedding ring and his watch before running off to a car and driving away.
  • A 78-year-old man and 74-year-old woman were robbed next, on September 17 at 9pm, on the corner of Avenue Z and Batchelder Street. The two were walking when the man approached, flashed his gun and took a watch before fleeing.

No one was injured in any of these incidents. Using descriptions from the witnesses, cops were able to make the sketch above.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Sampson (File photo)

State Senator John Sampson had just scant hours to celebrate his victory in Tuesday’s primary elections before a former top aide and Democratic consultant was found guilty on Wednesday of conspiring with the pol to defraud the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000.

Melvin Lowe, 52, was found guilty by a federal jury of wire fraud, tax violations and swindling the DSCC out of the cash in 2010. He faces up to 82 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines, according to the New York Post.

Crain’s details the scam, in which prosecutors said Lowe directed the funds to a political consulting firm that then kicked it back to him.

Twenty-thousand dollars also went to political consultant Michael Nieves, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Nor has political operative Elnatan Rudolph, a former Brooklynite who owned Cornerstone Management Partners and who received $5,000.

In addition, Mr. Lowe was convicted for tax violations for his failure to report more than $2 million in consulting income, causing his bank to make a false statement to his mortgage lender, and for defrauding a Yonkers resident of $66,000.

Lowe told an IRS agent that Sampson ordered the $20,000 payment to Nieves, although prosecutors found the consultant was owed no money from the party’s campaign fund. The fund was controlled by Sampson, who at the time was the head of the Democratic conference, and Sampson approved the $100,000 payment. Prosecutors told the New York Times that they had not yet decided if they would pursue charges against the pol in connection to the kickback scheme.

Sampson faces unrelated criminal charges for allegedly lying about his ownership of a liquor store and, separately, for allegedly embezzling $400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes.

He won his primary election on Tuesday with more than 54 percent of the vote, and is expected to win reelection in November.

Sampson (File photo)

State Senator John Sampson is well on his way to reelection after besting three primary opponents last night despite multiple criminal indictments for corruption.

Sampson garnered 7,218 votes, or 54.17 percent of those cast – nearly double that of his closest rival, union organizer Dell Smitherman, who pulled in 3,981, or 29.88 percent of the vote. Homeless advocate Sean Henry, who ran a spirited and well-funded campaign, pulled in 1,668 votes, or 12.52 percent. A fourth candidate, Elias Weir, earned 3.44 percent.

It’s a strong win for the embattled pol. Prior to the election, some observers wondered if Henry and Smitherman would split the anti-Sampson vote and help usher in a victory for the incumbent; however, even if there was only one challenger, Sampson still would have won the Democratic nod.

The district is a Democratic stronghold, making reelection almost a sure thing for Sampson.

The pol will return to Albany in January, but will lose his seat if found guilty of the criminal charges on which he’s been indicted. He allegedly embezzled more than $400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes to finance a political campaign, as well as separate charges for lying to the FBI about a liquor store he owned.

Photo by John H.

Photo by John H.

Tipsters let us know that Pizza D’Amore is preparing to open up shop at 3003 Avenue U, the former storefront of Pizzeria Del Corso and Sammie’s Pizza.

It’s the latest outpost for the pizzeria, which also has locations in Mill Basin and Bensonhurst’s Ceasar’s Bay. The storefront is being fully renovated and the exterior got a major facelift.

The previous tenant, Sammie’s Pizza and Restaurant, opened in 2011 and closed up shop some time ago after failing to make much of a mark in the neighborhood. And, to be fair, they had big shoes to fill after taking the spot over from Pizzeria Del Corso, run by pizza prodigy Nino Coniglio.

We’ve heard good things about Pizza D’Amore, though, and readers of our sister site Bensonhurst Bean nominated it as one of that neighborhood’s best slices.

Best of luck to the new owners, and we look forward to grabbing a bite soon!

West Nile DOH map

The city Department of Health will be spraying mosquito-killing pesticides throughout parts of our neighborhood tonight, between 8:15pm and 6am – which was supposed to happen last week but ended up being canceled because of the rain, according to a DOH spokeswoman.

The area to be sprayed is shaded yellow on the map above, although it’s only an approximation.

Here’s a .pdf from the city detailing the spraying, and here’s more information about the West Nile Virus.

And, to prepare yourself for tonight, check out the suggestions we detailed last week about what to do to protect yourself, including staying indoors and closing air conditioner vents.

Sampson (File photo)

Another allegation has surfaced against indicted State Senator John Sampson, with a former top aide admitting to federal prosecutors that he swiped $100,000 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and forked most of it over to a senator believed to be Sampson.

The Post reports:

Melvin Lowe admitted during confidential meetings with prosecutors that he defrauded the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000 – and gave $75,000 of the money to “Senator #1,” the filing says. A source said “Senator #1” is Lowe’s ex-boss, Sampson (D-Brooklyn), who is fighting charges that he, himself, also committed fraud and tax crimes.

… Prosecutors also said they have a witness who’ll testify hearing Lowe and Sampson discuss the cash exchange.

Lowe is facing tax evasion charges, as well as allegations that he swindled the DCSS out of the cash in 2010. He faces 80 years in prison if convicted.

Sampson was indicted last year for corruption. Among the list of charges is that he stole nearly half a million dollars from the sale of foreclosed homes.

Despite campaign debt stemming from the legal charges, Sampson is still a formidable contender in this year’s state elections. An incumbent since 1996, it remains to be seen whether union organizer Dell Smitherman or homeless advocate Sean Henry will be able to overcome his name recognition.

He also continues to have the backing of the Kings County Democratic Party chair, Frank Seddio, and an associate of the Gambino crime family.

doh-map

The Department of Health is warning residents of the Sheepshead Bay area that they will be spraying pesticides throughout parts of the neighborhood tomorrow night, between 8:15 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The area to be sprayed is shaded yellow on the map above, although it’s only an approximation.

Like any time a government sprays a bunch of toxic crap in the air, they’re saying the chemical used – Anvil 10+10 – has no known risk to humans. But it’s The Man, man, so here are a couple of things you should do to make sure you stay safe and don’t grow an arm out of your butt (tips courtesy of The Man, not guaranteed to be 100 percent effective):

  • Stay indoors whenever possible during that time period – especially if you have asthma or respiratory issues.
  • Close the vents on your air-conditioner and set it to recirculate.
  • Remove toys, equipment and clothing from outdoor areas. If you leave them out there, make sure to wash them with soap before using them.
  • If you have an outdoor garden, wash your produce thoroughly before eating it.

Here’s a .pdf from the city detailing the spraying and safety tips, and here’s the city’s webpage for West Nile Virus.

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