Archive for the tag 'violence'

Borgella, left, and Evans, right.

Borgella, left, and Evans, right.

Convicted murderer Woody Borgella has been sentenced to 15-years-to-life in prison for the 2011 shooting death of his live-in girlfriend in their Midwood apartment.

A jury convicted Borgella, 31, earlier in March for shooting Lora Ann Evans in the chest, killing her. Borgella and Evans, a former porn actress turned self-help writer, had a short and tumultuous relationship that came to a head on September 19, 2011, when Borgella ended a financial dispute with gunfire.

“This defendant killed a woman in cold blood and casually walked away without looking back. Now that he will be spending the next 15- years or more behind bars, walking away from what he did will not be an option,” said District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, in a statement.

Borgella was convicted for murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon.

According to the district attorney, Borgella and Evans were in a heated argument. Evans was on the bed, armed with a knife, struggling to keep Borgella at bay. A roommate heard the commotion and entered the room to break up the fight when Borgella drew a gun and shot Evans once in the chest, killing her.

Borgella fled on foot and ditched the gun behind a neighboring building. He remained on the run for two days before turning himself in to the 70th Precinct.

The convicted killer told the jury that he never intended to kill Evans, and that he was defending himself from his knife-wielding beau.

“I was just scared for my life,” he said while on the stand, according to a report by Brooklyn News Service.

The outlet reported that Borgella met Evans in June 2011, when Evans was unemployed and homeless. He invited her to move into the 1506 Ocean Avenue apartment he shared with two childhood friends.

Before moving to Brooklyn, Evans worked in the adult film industry under the names Lori Alexia and Penna Piererra. She quit the industry in 2009 to pursue a music career, and also launched a self-help website.

After the shooting, cops told reporters that Borgella had been named as the attacker on three separate domestic violence reports, although none related to Evans. He also had five prior arrests for drug possession, robbery, assault and theft.

braggst

Police took a Sheepshead Bay woman into custody on Tuesday after her 2-year-old son died from an apparent beating last week.

The 19-year-old mother has not been identified, but lived on Bragg Street near Avenue V, according to the Daily News.

Her son was rushed to Coney Island Hospital last week, while vomiting and struggling to breathe, the paper reports. Doctors believed the boy had fractured ribs and began preparing for emergency surgery. He died of internal injuries before they could operate.

The hospital notified the city authorities, and police took the mother into custody after the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, the paper reports. Charges are pending.

avei

Avenue I and East 16th Street, the scene of the shooting. (Source: Google Maps)

A 23-year-old Canarsie man was killed and another man seriously injured in what appears to be a drive-by shooting in Midwood early Saturday morning.

At approximately 4:00 a.m. the two victims were in a 2011 Toyota Camry at Avenue I and East 16th Street when a gunman opened fire.

The Daily News reports:

“I was riding my bike when I heard, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’ ” said a 45-year-old area resident. “It was so loud I thought they were shooting at me at first.”

[Gerard] Grant, who was driving, was shot four times in the chest and died, slumped over the steering wheel, police said. His friend suffered two wounds to the left side of the head and shoulder and was rushed to Kings County Hospital.

Grant’s family said they didn’t know about the shooting until police called.

“For us it’s impossible to say what could have gotten (Grant) involved in this because he’s a pretty good kid,” said his uncle Wallace Grant, 65. “He’s not a gang member of any type.”

The Yeshiva World News has a little more speculation from cops at the scene:

Sources tell YWN that the murder is an isolated incident, and the victims as well as the perpetrators are not from the area. It appears the victims were followed for quite some time before they were shot. It’s possible that the perpetrators shot the victims on that particular street, after the victims’ vehicle entered the block – which is a dead-end, with no way for them to exit.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: Chaos overtook Kings Plaza Mall (5100 Kings Plaza) yesterday afternoon when approximately 500 teenagers became rowdy, causing security officials to call the police and temporarily shutter the mall for at least two hours to restore order.

The teens, who were off from school for winter break, flooded the mall, and security officials there became concerned for patrons’ safety when the kids became boisterous around 5:30 p.m., according to Kings Plaza’s head of security.

“They were just rowdy, they weren’t doing much,” the mall’s security chief told Sheepshead Bites this morning. “We called the police department and the police department escorted them in and out.”

The NYPD has not returned calls for comment about the incident, but the 63rd Precinct’s community affairs unit sent out the following e-mail, obtained by Sheepshead Bites, to community leaders this morning:

I received several phone calls last night regarding Kings Plaza…so I want to dispel any rumors you may or may not have heard.  We had a group of rambunctious teens acting like children in the mall last night.  We already had officers in the Mall at the time.  We took steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the mall and expelled the kids from the mall.  There were no reports of any injuries, larcenies, or property damaged.  Therefore there were no arrests made.

While rumors abounded on social media that a riot and gang disputes had caused the mall to close, mall security confirmed that there was no damage or theft during the incident, and no one including personnel was injured. Video of altercations with police and mall security found their way to Facebook and Twitter late in the day, including the video below showing teens clashing with what appears to be police officers from the 63rd Precinct.

Security officials also said the mall was never officially closed, although they did temporarily restrict access until the kids were ejected, and order was restored at approximately 8:00 p.m. – about an hour and a half before its usual closing time. Mall security said some businesses chose to stay closed the remainder of the day.

“Some of them kept their gate down and had their registers closed. We didn’t close. The mall was in business,” the security boss said.

Source: What What/Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: There has been a succession of media reports over the last few weeks about pedestrians being sucker-punched by a single attacker or one among a group of passing youngsters. The series of episodes reported in New York and several other states are being carelessly referred to as “the knockout game.”

How the media can collectively — and blithely — keep referring to these sporadic attacks as “the knockout game” is absurd. Whether or not the youths responsible and law enforcement apply that reference is one thing, but for the media to repeatedly use the trendy vernacular is appalling and unnecessary, as it subtly glorifies that sort of violence.

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Source: ah zut/Flickr

The man believed to be behind the Friday morning attack of a Jewish man on the Midwood – Kensington border was not charged with a hate crime, despite calls from local elected officials who say that perpatrators of the so-called “knockout game” are specifically targeting Jewish victims.

The 2:00 a.m. attack on 18th Avenue and East 5th Street saw four men arrested, but Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office only filed charges against Amrit Marajh, who allegedly took the swing. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault, menacing and harassment charges, and has posted $750 bail. Police initially arrested him for a hate crime, a charge the district attorney did not press.

The assault is believed to be the latest incident of the violent “knockout game,” in which thugs take down unsuspecting passersby with a sucker punch before running off. The victim in this case was a 24-year-old Orthodox Jewish man.

Although it appears to be a national phenomenon, local leaders say the Brooklyn version has taken on an ugly racial edge, with the victims being Orthodox Jews living in Crown Heights, Midwood and Kensington.

CBS News reports:

One of the suspects, identified as Amrit Marajh, 28, was charged with aggravated assault as a hate crime, among other counts.

The other three suspects were released without charges.

… “I came across a group of people who were walking towards me, and I was able to hear them speaking loudly about this knockout game,” he said.

Kelly also told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, “Just prior to it, (the assailants) were talking about the knockout game.”

The victim told investigators he heard one of the attackers say, “I’ll do it to this guy,” right before he was surrounded and punched, sources told CBS 2.

Marajh, through his lawyer, claims that the incident had nothing to do with the knockout game.

The Daily News reports:

Amrit Marajh, 28, had just left a bar on McDonald Ave. on Friday with four friends and was talking about boxing when the knockout game came up, police sources said.

“You can’t do that,” one member of the group said as they came upon Shmuel Perl, 24, according to a source.

Marajh allegedly said, “Yes I can, I’ll do it to this guy right now!” before punching Perl in the face, leaving him bruised.

Perl was not knocked out. According to news reports, all four appeared  intoxicated when they were arrested.

Authorities across the country have begun to question if the game even exists, or if the media is simply connecting a number of random acts that can occur on any given day.

The New York Times reports:

Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted to little more than an urban myth, and that the attacks in question might be nothing more than the sort of random assaults that have always occurred.

And in New York City, police officials are struggling to determine whether they should advise the public to take precautions against the Knockout Game — or whether in fact it existed.

“We’re trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Friday. “I mean, yes, something like this can happen. But we would like to have people come forward and give us any information they have.”

Still, a diverse set of local elected have come forward to denounce the attacks. As we’ve already reported, Public Advocate-elect Letitia James, Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch and Councilman David Greenfield have condemned the attacks, as has Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Later today, Congressmembers Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson, and Borough President-elect Eric Adams will hold a press conference doing the same.

Reverend Al Sharpton is also urging his supporters to speak out against the attacks, and is organizing a media campaign.

“If someone was running around talking about knocking out blacks, we would not be silent,” Sharpton said, according to CBS. “We cannot be silent.”

Sharpton aims to kick off a celebrity-driven public service announcement campaign to denounce the attacks.

kings-plaza

Eleven people turned out at a rally in front of Kings Plaza on Saturday to protest what they’re calling “Justice Reversed,” following the news that hate charges were dropped in a recent case in which black teens allegedly assaulted a white couple while shouting racial epithets.

It was a subdued protest that drew far fewer participants than anticipated, with more than 100 people saying they would attend the event on Facebook, yet less than a dozen showed. The group stood by the Flatbush Avenue entrance, guarded by nearly as many police as there were protesters, and commiserated about the perceived injustice and the safety of the community.

“I missed the [assault] by five minutes. I was walking home with my daughter and it could have happened to anyone,” said Linda Baker, the Mill Basin native who organized the rally. “It’s a hate crime. They screamed racial slurs and it goes both ways. In this neighborhood and in society it just seems to be only recognized when hate is against a minority and hate is not recognized against the white race. It’s ridiculous already.”

The protesters quietly and peacefully handed out fliers to passersby of all backgrounds about the attack, declaring in big, bold font “HATE CRIMES HAVE NO COLOR!!!!”

The group took issue with the news the week before that a grand jury decided to drop hate crime charges against Kashawn Kirton, 18, and Daehrell Finch, 17, two suspects that police arrested in connection with an assault of a couple near Kings Plaza on October 14 that authorites believed was racially motivated.

Kirton and Finch, along with two minors, were arrested shortly after the attack, in which Ronald Russo and his wife, Alanna, were attacked by a large group of black teenagers. The couple, both white, were reportedly subjected to racial epithets, with the suspects allegedly yelling “Get those crackers!” and “Get that white whore!”

The incident happened as the victims, stopped at the intersection of Avenue U and East 58th Street in their car. The group of African-American teenagers was crossing the street against the light, and Russo honked his horn. After one of the teens kicked the car Russo got out to assess the damage, and that was when he and his wife were attacked.

Although frustrated by the dropped charges, Baker and others at the event agreed that the details of the case were unclear, and that the grand jury may have had good reason to drop the charges. But they said they were bothered more by the lack of media coverage and outrage from elected officials about similar cases, and said it was indicative of what they believe is an unfair application of bias charges.

“We don’t know the whole story. Maybe they dropped the case because the guy got out of the car and started screaming racial epithets. And if he did then all bets are off as far as I’m concerned,” said John Lore, a Marine Park resident. “I’m very disappointed towards the lack of coverage. This Barney’s thing,” he said, referring to the tabloid frenzy over alleged discrimination at Barney’s and Macy’s retail outlets, “as far as I’m concerned, nothing’s been proved, everything’s an investigation. But what happened with these two people was real, that was very real, and it was deeply personal.”

“If the roles were reversed I’m quite sure this would’ve made headlines and it would have been on the cover of the Daily News. That Barney’s situation is minuscule compared to this,” Lore said.

Many at the rally said they had hoped elected officials would attend. Assemblyman Alan Maisel walked past the protest and talked to police officers, but did not stop to speak with protestors. Sheepshead Bites caught up with him, and he said he was unaware of the group, noting that he was there to attend a rally for Bill de Blasio that occurred earlier in the day. He was not recognized by the protesters.

Asked about the case, Maisel expressed confusion at its cause, or why protesters wanted to hear from elected officials.

“I didn’t bring the case to the grand jury. I didn’t see the evidence. I recommended they try to reach out to the district attorney,” Maisel said. “But what the police say is that the individuals that were attacked did not report any bias when they were questioned initially.”

He added: “I’m not sure what they’re protesting against. Certainly, I don’t know why they’re protesting here. They should protest on Joreleman Street or Adams Street,” where the courthouse and district attorney’s offices are located.

The victims in the case, Ronald and Alanna Russo, were invited to the protest. Baker said she was told through others that they did not want any publicity in connection to the case.

Calls to the district attorney’s office had not been returned as of this writing.

Nikolia Rakossi

Nikolai Rakossi

Larisa and Tatyana Prikhodko.

Russian authorities will not be deporting Nikolai Rakossi to the Unites States to stand trial for the 2011 slayings of Larisa Prikhodko and her mother, Tatyana, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn district attorney confirmed to Sheepshead Bites.

Still, Rakossi will face trial in Russia, using evidence provided by the district attorney’s office.

“Nikolai Rakossi was found in Russia.  Based on evidence from our office and the NYPD, he is being detained for questioning for the double homicide,” a spokesperson for District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

The suspect, believed to have stabbed the mother and daughter to death in their apartment at 2299 East 13th Street, before fleeing back to his mother country, was recently detained by Russian authorities after more than two years on the lam. Rakossi is a Russian citizen, and Russian law forbids citizens from being extradited.

“Because Rakossi is a Russian citizen, Russia has jurisdiction over the case and he will not be extradited,” the spokesperson said. “[The district attorney] will continue to work very closely with Russian authorities to see that he is brought to justice.”

Rakossi denies involvement in the death of the Prikhodkos, but Russian authorities have decided to keep him behind bars until he stands trial.

The New York Post reports:

He denied the accusation but was ordered to be held in custody by judge Alexandra Bezdetnova in Sovietski Court, Tula.

A source said: “He was on the run for two and a half years, and there was a risk he could flee again to Ukraine.”

Court spokeswoman Olga Dyachuk: “The court has taken into attention that Rakossi is accused of a grave crime which can result in him being jailed for 20 years, or for life, and concluded that there is every reason to believe that the charged person might try and escape investigation.

“The court therefore satisfied the investigator’s petition and Rakossi will spend two months in Tula detention center number 1.”

kirton

Kirton

The Daily News is reporting that a grand jury decided to drop the hate crime charges raised against Kashawn Kirton, 18, and Daehrell Finch, 17, two suspects that police arrested in connection with an assault of a couple near Kings Plaza on October 14 that authorites believed was racially motivated.

Kirton and Finch, along with two minors, were arrested shortly after the attack, in which Ronald Russo and his wife, Alanna, were attacked by a large group of black teenagers. The couple, both white, were reportedly subjected to racial epithets, with the suspects allegedly yelling “Get those crackers!” and “Get that white whore!”

The incident happened as the victims, stopped at the intersection of Avenue U and East 58th Street in their car. The group of African-American teenagers was crossing the street against the light, and Russo honked his horn. After one of the teens kicked the car Russo got out to assess the damage, and that was when he and his wife were attacked.

Kirton claims that he was wrongly arrested, and not associated with the other teenagers. He said he was shopping at Lowe’s at the time, and was nabbed by police because he matched the description.

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.

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