Archive for the tag 'violence'

Nikolia Rakossi

Nikolai Rakossi

Nikolai Rakossi, the man believed to have brutally stabbed to death a mother and daughter in their East 13th Street apartment before fleeing to Russia, has been apprehended by Russian authorities after more than two years on the lam.

Larisa and Tatyana Prikhodko.

RIA Novosti, a government operated Russian news agency based in Moscow, is reporting that Russian police took Rakossi into custody yesterday. Rakossi is identified as a “resident of Novomoskovsk, a town in the Tula province, south of Moscow.” The report indicates that Russian authorities have been on the hunt for Rakossi since U.S. investigators turned over materials to Russian prosecutors after it was believed that Rakossi fled back to his native country.

Rakossi, a handyman living legally in the U.S.,  is the primary suspect in the stabbing deaths of 27-year-old Larisa Prikhodko and her mother, Tatyana Prikhodko, 56, who was also his girlfriend.

Their bodies were discovered with multiple stab wounds to the face and torso late at night on April 17, 2011, in their apartment at 2299 East 13th Street, off of Gravesend Neck Road. Police were following up on a report that Larisa had gone missing after she didn’t show to pick up her 2-year-old son from her father’s home. The father, Felix Zeltser, filed the report at the 61st Precinct, and police stumbled across the double homicide when they visited her apartment.

2299 East 13th Street, the building where the murders took place (Photo by Paypaul)

Larisa worked in the maternity ward at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and her mother was a nurse at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn. The 2-year-old son remains in Zeltser’s custody.

As authorities pieced together the crime scene, they came to believe that Rakossi, the mother’s boyfriend, was the murderer, and soon discovered that he had boarded a flight back to Russia from John F. Kennedy airport.

Rakossi reportedly called his sister, Lydia, from the Brooklyn apartment the day the bodies were found, and the evening of which he boarded the flight.

“He was in tears,” Lydia, who lives in Russia, said of the phone call. ”He told me: ‘Please don’t keep any offense in your heart about me. Forgive me. You will never see me again.’”

Lydia believed he would commit suicide.

”Knowing him, I don’t think he would be able to live with himself and carry the burden of having killed the person he loved more than himself, and her daughter,” she told reporters after the call.

The NYPD began working with the U.S. State Department and Russian officials to apprehend Rakossi, although investigators at the time seemed skeptical of success.

Family and friends of the victims operate a Facebook page in their memory.

Beyond the report from the Russian state media agency, we have not yet been able to confirm the arrest. It is also not yet clear if Rakossi will be prosecuted in Russia or the United States. We have contacted the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the NYPD for more information.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A Mill Basin couple was yanked from their car near Kings Plaza last week, and beaten by a gang of 10 teenagers allegedly shouting racial slurs.

The incident happened as the victims, Ronald and Alanna Russo, stopped at the intersection of Avenue U and East 58th Street at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Monday. The group of African-American teenagers was crossing the street against the light, and Russo honked his horn. That drew the teenager’s attentions, and at least one of the teens kicked the car.

According to a criminal complaint first reported on by the Daily News, Russo got out of the car to survey the damage.

Daily News reports what happened next:

Ronald Russo was dragged to the ground. Then he was punched and kicked in the head. He felt more blows all over his body, investigators said. He suffered a fractured nose, a broken septum, a blood clot and abrasions to his shoulder. He was treated and released from Beth Israel Medical Center.

In the midst of the attack, there was a steady chorus of epithets. “White motherf—–!” screamed the attackers, who ranged in age from 12 to 18.

The paper reports that court documents claim the youths also shouted, “Get those crackers!” and “Get that white whore!”

Alanna Russo, 30, was calling 911 when the 12-year-old girl pulled the woman’s hair and threw her to the ground. The victim’s head slammed into the concrete. She suffered a black eye, bleeding and difficulty breathing, prosecutors said, but she refused medical attention.

Her husband’s iPhone was stolen during the melee, according to cops.

Cops have arrested four teens suspected of being involved in the attack, and are still searching for the remaining suspects.

Jeffrey Babbitt in a recent photo taken by neighbor Robert Pizzimenti, via Newsday.

Jeffrey Babbitt in a recent photo taken by neighbor Robert Pizzimenti, via Newsday.

Sheepshead Bay resident Jeffrey Babbitt was the victim of an alleged hate crime last week when he was assaulted by an enraged man, leaving him brain dead. CBS News reported that the perpetrator of the horrific act attacked two others before surrendering to the police.

Babbitt, 62, is a retired train conductor living with his 94-year-old mother, Lucille, in Sheepshead Bay. CBS described the scene when the assailant, identified as 31-year-old Lashawn Marten, began his attack:

Babbitt was minding his own business as he walked through the crowd near the chess boards in Union Square when a man made a hateful announcement and began his rampage, witnesses said.

“He said ‘the next white person who walks by I’m going to [expletive],’” one woman said. “His fist went in and the man’s head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground.”

The man continued his rampage before demanding to see police officers.

“He stood there and hit two more people and asked for the police to come,” Michael Benson said.

Stunned witnesses counted a total of three people attacked. The suspect, Lashawn Marten, 31, remained at the scene until police arrived…

Witnesses said they were amazed at the brazen, public nature of the assault.

“This is such a crowded area. You’d expect it in a back alley, but there are so many people here. That’s the strange part,” Garrett Browning said.

A report by Gothamist described Marten’s violent history as well as his unstable constitution which led to a tense confrontation with the judge setting his bail:

Police say Marten has a prior conviction for assault in NY, and the he has numerous other prior arrests, mostly out of state. When he was arraigned Thursday night, DNAInfo report he mocked the judge and asked that his bail be set at one penny—in response, the judge set bail at $1 million.

While the other victims suffered relatively minor injuries, Babbitt was taken to Bellevue Hospital, suffering from a coma. Doctors have declared him brain dead leaving friends of Babbitt heartbroken and distraught.

“I don’t believe that. I don’t know why that happened. He is very nice,” friend Igor Sapozhnikov told CBS.

Correction (9:34 a.m.):  A previous version of this post stated that Babbitt’s mother was named Hedda and that she was 92-years-old. More recent reports have stated that her name is Lucille and that she is 94-years-old. We have changed the post to reflect this information.

A photo from the scene the morning after the attack. (Source:

The Marine Park man accused of attempting to kill rowdy teenagers hanging out in front of his house last year will face a new trial after a judge called a mistrial when jurors hit a deadlock.

Thomas Dunikowski made headlines in June 2011, when he allegedly opened fire on a group of teens who refused to leave his Stuart Street stoop. Dunikowski, who has an arrest record for domestic incidents, allegedly grabbed his semi-automatic hunting rifle and perched himself at his second floor window, firing down on the teens. He struck two of them, and a fragment hit a resident. None were seriously injured, though all three were hospitalized. According to the New York Post at the time, the kids had been roaming the streets around midnight, knocking over trash cans and vandalizing cars before Dunikowski confronted them.

Dunikowski was initially charged with assault, intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, unlawful use of a loaded firearm, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

After the jury deadlocked last month, the judge called a mistrial, and pre-trial hearings began this week, according to a report in the print edition of the Bay News that does not appear online.

Dunikowski will face a new trial on all charges, including attempted murder – which has his attorney, Jay Schwitzman, outraged. According to Schwitzman, the jury had voted unanimously to acquit his client of the attempted murder charge, based on a claim of self-defense, before they failed to reach an agreement on the lesser charges.

Schwitzman added that the judge declared a mistrial before the jury could deliver their verdict on the attempted murder charge in open court, allowing the District Attorney to prosecute the charge again. The paper could not verify Schwitzman’s claims of a unanimous decision.

Dunikowski’s defense against the murder charge was based on a claim that it was self-defense, and that he and his Stuart Street neighbors feared for their lives. They offered panicked calls to 911 from Dunikowski and his neighbors as evidence.

“The people of Stuart Street wre scared for their lives,” Schwitzman told the paper. “These teens were notjust kicking cars and turning over trash cans – they were trashing everything they could find and would not stop, even when the police were being summoned. The teens were out there to harm Mr. Dunokowski and the 911 calls that were made back that up.”

Yoseph Robinson, Source: via facebook

Yoseph Robinson, Source: via facebook

Yoseph Robinson, the fallen Jamaican hip-hop artist turned Orthodox Jew, will be honored with a street conaming at the intersection of Avenue J and Nostrand Avenue. According to a press release issued by Councilman Jumaane Williams, the legislation to honor Robinson was passed unanimously by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

We’ve previously reported on Williams’s effort to honor Robinson, who was murdered on August 19, 2010, while working as a liquor store clerk in Midwood. As a teenager, Robinson was an aspiring hip-hop artist caught up in gang related activity like drug dealing. Looking to change his life, he converted to Orthodox Judaism at age 23. Robinson was murdered at MB Vineyards located at 2388 Nostrand Avenue while trying to protect his girlfriend from armed robber Eion Klass.

The Robinson legislation was passed alongside a bill to honor murdered teenager Christopher Rose, who was stabbed to death while being robbed. Rose is given the sad distinction as being the first person killed for their iPod. Williams recognized both Robinson and Rose at a press conference at City Hall.

“The legacies of Christopher Rose and Yoseph Robinson will live on in this community through these street co-namings,” said Council Member Williams. “Both of these individuals have had lasting impacts, and the fact that their names will be forever attached with our streets ensures that future New Yorkers will share in their history. I look forward to joining Yoseph and Christopher’s families and friends, along with the rest of our community, when we unveil their signs and celebrate their stories.”

Source: Silvercore Training / Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: What we have in Congress — to paraphrase the iconic line from “Cool Hand Luke” — is a failure to legislate. That was quite evident last week after the Senate failed to expand existing gun laws without infringing on the Second Amendment. On top of everything else, because of undue filibustering rules, a 45 percent minority — too afraid to challenge the all-too potent National Rifle Association — defeated the will of the majority.

The American people — pardon the phrase — should be up in arms over legislation that would have strengthened and expanded background checks for gun sales.

With the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre still fresh in our minds, it was disgraceful, albeit not shocking, that nearly four dozen senators did nothing to assuage the painful memories of victims’ families or the overwhelming support of the American public in a clear cut triumph for the National Rifle Association.

Continue Reading »

Dondre Samuel (Source: Facebook)

A 19-year-old Kingsborough Community College student was the lone survivor at the scene of an apparent double murder and suicide perpetrated by his mother, an NYPD officer,  in their Flatlands home yesterday.

Officer Rosette Samuel, a 13-year veteran of the NYPD who had never discharged her firearm in the line of duty, is believed to have fatally shot her boyfriend, their one-year-old son and then herself. A second son from a previous relationship, the 19-year-old student, fled out the back window when he was awoken by gunshots and called 911.

From the New York Post:

A cop who had worked with Samuel in the Manhattan traffic division before Samuel transferred to the 108th Precinct in Long Island City in January, said, “This is unbelievable.”

“She was tight with everyone here. It wasn’t her. Sometimes people snap,” that cop said. “Post-partum depression is the first thing that came to my mind. Didn’t show any signs of it.”

… The killings occurred just before 8:30 a.m. in Samuel’s first-floor apartment on E. 56th St. near Farragut Road in Flatlands.

Witnesses said they saw Samuel’s 19-year-old son Dondre Samuel, a biology student at Kingsborough Community College, frantically climbing out of the back window of that apartment wearing a pair of shorts and no shirt, just an Addidas jacket.

“He was shaken up,” said Anthony Beckford, 19. “My uncle asked what happened . . . he was all scraped up and he ran into the backyard. His elbows and his knees were scraped. He said, ‘Look, look!’”

“He was frantic. He couldn’t really talk,” Beckford said of Dondre, who is Samuel’s son from a prior relationship.

When Beckford looked at the front of the apartment, near the front door, he saw the body of Samuel’s boyfriend Peters, lying on the floor.

“I just the his head, and the top part of his body,” Beckford said. “He was facing down, surrounded by blood.”

Samuel’s body was found in bed, along with the one-year-old son.

Metro reports that a possible suicide note was found at the scene:

The source paraphrased Rosette Samuel’s note as saying, “Sorry I had to do this. I’m going to take Dylan with me because I can’t bear it alone,” referring to her 1-year-old son.

It also referenced a sum of money in a deferred compensation plan and specified it should be used for the college education of her other son, 19-year-old Dondre Samuel.

Cops reportedly found a sealed envelope as well. The contents are currently unknown.

Steven Koifman, one of the defendants (via Facebook)

Authorities unsealed charges against a Manhattan Beach man and six others last Thursday, claiming they conspired to commit securities fraud, but when the deal soured they turned on a co-conspirator and threatened to “put slugs into” him if he failed to come up with $350,000.

Alex Puzaitzer, 52, of Manhattan Beach, was one of the seven arrested in three states. The other defendants are Alexander Goldshmidt, 47, of New Jersey; Michael Vax, 54, of New Jersey; Paul Orena, 38, of New York; Yitz Grossman, 58, of New York; Efim Aksanov, 39, of Florida; and Steve Koifman, 41, of Florida.

According to authorities, the group operated what’s known as a “pump and dump” scheme, in which they acquired control of a large block of penny stock shares of Face Up Entertainment Group, a Valley Stream-based online gaming company that operates poker platforms and social media games. The alleged fraudsters inflated the prices and trading volumes of stock in the company, then sought to unload them on the public and reap hundreds of thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains.

Investigators from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office wiretapped the group, capturing the defendants discussing ways to seize ownership of stock and then inflate the value through false press releases disseminated online. They coordinated trading to create an impression of high trading volume and attract unsuspecting investors.

However, their tactics failed, and they did not reap a profit, according to investigators.

As a result, the seven indicted members of the ring turned on an eighth co-conspirator, who then began cooperating with authorities. Several members of the ring, including Puzaitzer, allegedly met with the cooperating conspirator in Manhattan, demanding they pay him $350,000 and return his shares – or else Efim Aksanov, one of the Florida-based members of the ring, would “put slugs into” his chest.

The cooperating conspirator was allegedly harassed by the defendants in subsequent phone calls and meetings, and, during a meeting in March, Puzaitzer, Goldshmidt, Orena and Vax issued more threats to the conspirator and his family if he didn’t come up with the money.

All seven defendents are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Brighton Beach Avenue and Coney Island Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

UPDATE (1:00 p.m.): Kingsborough Community College just released the following statement, noting that it was a slashing, not a stabbing:

At approximately 10:45 a.m., an argument ensued between two Kingsborough Community College (KCC) students at Coney Island and Brighton Avenues as they waited for a bus to transport them to the college.  The argument continued and escalated after they boarded the bus.  One of the arguing students slashed the other with an instrument, causing superficial wounds.  The victim was taken to Lutheran Hospital for evaluation and the suspect fled and is being sought by police. We are awaiting a report on the medical status of the student taken to the hospital and a report from Police on the status of the search for the suspect.

UPDATE (12:01 p.m.): According to sources, the stabbing slashing is the result of an altercation between two Kingsborough Community College students. The students were either on or boarding a yellow school bus that serves as a shuttle to the school from the subway station. The bus is still on the scene. The victim has been transported to the hospital.

The suspect, described as a male in his mid-20s, 5’5″, wearing a black jacket and red hoodie, has not yet been apprehended, but sources say police know his identity and home address.

Original post:

We just received a note that a male was stabbed slashed in the neck twice, near the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Avenue.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:00 a.m. Police have established a crime scene, and EMS is requested to rush to the scene.

Calls over the scanner indicate the suspect may have fled westbound on the boardwalk.

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: Facebook

Authorities have revealed the identity of the naked, burned body found on Gerritsen Beach’s shores Sunday morning as 14-year-old Shaniesha Forbes.

Forbes was reported missing on Friday, last seen at her Flatlands home on Avenue I at 8 a.m. Friday before leaving for school. Forbes was a freshman at Academy for Young Writers in East New York, according to her Facebook profile.

According to the Daily News, Forbes’ naked body was found partially burned next to the remains of a bonfire and some beer. The burns are not believed to be the cause of her death, as there was no smoke in her lungs and only her legs, arms and hands were burned.

Police have not yet ruled the death a homicide, and an autopsy was inconclusive. They have previously noted that there were no obvious signs of trauma, but are continuing to investigate.

Various reports say that Forbes had run away from home at least once before, and so police did not issue a public missing persons bulletin.

« Prev - Next »