Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Man Slashed in Face During Attempted Robbery In Jackie Robinson Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A man was slashed in his face last night during an attempted robbery in Jackie Robinson Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.
The 45-year-old victim was walking to the bathroom in the park while counting money when he was approached by five males and one female who demanded the money. 

The victim refused and the assailants punched him several times, knocking him to the ground.

Once on the ground he was slashed on the left side of the face with a knife.

No property was removed.

The victim was taken to Harlem hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The incident occurred last night at 5:30 p.m. in the park near West 152nd Street and Broadhurst Avenue.

Tompkins Square Park Scissor Stabbing - Victim In Critical Condition


By Geoffrey Croft

A 25-year-old male is in critical condition after being stabbed several times with a scissors by a homeless man with a long criminal history, NYC Park Advocates has learned.  

The incident occurred yesterday at 2:45 p.m in Tompkins Square Park by the chess tables and homeless encampments near seventh Street on southwest corner of the park.

Emerson Whitmore, 51 and Sarah Wilson, 36, approached the victim inside the park yelling, wheres my stuff?. 

Whitmore stabbed the victim several times in the chest and back with a pair of scissors. 

When he fell to the ground,  Wilson kicked the victim several times.

When a 23-year-old good samaritan tried to break up the assault, Whitemore tried to stab her with the scissors.

The assailants fled with eyewitnesses in purist.

Police spotted the chase and joined in and arrested the two. 

The victim was transported to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

Emerson Whitmore was arrested for 3 felony Assault charges, Menacing, and Criminal Possession Of A Weapon.

He has at least 31 prior arrests dating back to 1982.  

Sarah Wilson was charged with Assault 2. She has at least six prior arrests. 

Whitmore lives at a nearby mens shelter.  Sarah Wilson lives at the Isaac T. Hopper House, a woman’s shelter run by Women’s Prison Association.  

Last Monday, July 11th, a freelance journalist was attacked while filming a homeless encampment in the park. 

Two homeless men punched the 36-year-old victim several times.  They tackled him causing him to drop his phone.

They grabbed his phone and broke it.

Homeless Attack Man Filming In Tompkins Square Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A  36-year-old freelance journalist was attacked last Monday, July 11th,  filming homeless people in Tompkins Square Park,  NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The victim told police he was video taping quality-of-life issues inside the park using his i-phone video for his blog.
He was filming a group in a homeless encampment and they asked him to stop around 10:50 p.m. 

Two homeless men tackled him causing him to drop his phone. They punched him several times and they grabbed his phone, and broke it.

Police are trying to retrieve the video from the broken phone but the phone is in poor condition and is not backed up on a cloud.

No arrests have been made. 

Yesterday two homeless people attacked a man in the park near the same location.

The victim was stabbed several times with a pair of scissors.  

He was transported to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pokemon GO Robbery In Central Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A tourist from New Hampshire was robbed in Central Park on Saturday night while playing Pokemon GO, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The 21-year-old victim had been playing Pokemon GO  while siting on the Andrew Haswell Green bench near East 102nd St and East Drive when he got up and started walking southbound down a path.

He was approached by two men who pushed him down from behind as he held his i-phone in his hand.

One of the assailants said, “I have a gun” give me your stuff.” 

The thieves took his wallet and i-phone along with a backpack.  They tossed the victim’s backpack without taking any  addional property.

One of the perps said, “Don’t remember us," before fleeing with the phone and the wallet.

Police used the tracking device app in the phone and caught up with the suspects a half hour later in White Playground, on E. 106th Street, btw. Lexington & 3rd Avenue according to police.

The victim identified the two robbery suspects at the scene.

Bryan Matz, 37, of Queens, and Camacho Navla, 18,  a homeless male were arrested and charged with Robbery.   

The two were in possession of the stolen phone and wallet. 

No gun was found and the assailants never displayed a gun but made the threat of a gun.

The robbery was first reported - sans Pokemon Go details - on Monday morning.

Hordes of seemingly distracted cell phone users have descended on several park locations.  The Pokemon GO craze has people chasing and catching the virtual creatures from their mobile devises hidden throughout several city parks including Central and Union Square Park.

YouTube video shot on Friday night  titled, “stampede” shows a large group of people rushing into Central Park at 11:oopm after the rare and illusive, “Vaporeon” had been allegedly found.

The video has attracted millions of viewers.  (Don’t miss the classic narration that accompanies the 41 second clip)

The New York Times produced in short video filmed in Central Park. 

There have been numerious reported crimes since the Pokemon Go craze was recently launched world-wide. 

In Missouri eleven teens were lured to secluded areas and robbed playing Pokemon GO. 

In a Illinois suberb a pair of teenage brothers were robbed at gunpoint.

A teen in a Chandler, AZ park had his phone taken and thrown into a pond after he falsy claimed as a prank he had found a rare Pokemon when he hadn't.

In Manchester, England three students were reportedly robbed in a park at knifepoint of their mobile phones while playing Pokemon Go.  

Numerous municipalities have issued warnings of the dangers of using the phone app. who point out the need to being aware in your surroundings while in public. 

Read More:

A Walk In The Park - July 18, 2016 - By Greoffrey Croft

Man Robbed In Central Park On Park Bench - Suspects Apprehended


By Geoffrey Croft

A parkgoer siting on a Central Park bench was robbed Saturday night near the location where another victim was robbed at gunpoint earlier in the day, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The 21-year-old male victim was approached by two males who stated they had a gun. 

They demanded his property and pushed him down.

They removed his wallet and i-Phone.

Police used the tracking device in the phone and caught up with the suspects at E. 106th Street and Lexington Avenue. 

Bryan Matz, 37 of Queens and Camacho Navla, 18, were apprehended and charged with robbery.  

Police say the assailants did not have a gun.

The incident occurred at 6:50pm at 106th Street and 5th Avenue a few blocks away from the location where a 23-year-old was robbed at gunpoint by three men early Saturday morning.

Read More:

A Walk In The Park -  July 18, 2016 - By Geoffrey Croft  

Update: Central Park: Man Robbed At Gun Point By Three Teens

Surveillance photos of the individuals from inside Central Park were released by the police.


By Geoffrey Croft

A 23-year-old riding a bike in Central Park was robbed early Saturday morning, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The victim was stopped by three male black teens who displayed a gun according to police.  

The assailants removed his backpack which contained a wallet, drivers licence, debit card, and sixty dollars in cash.

The incident occurred inside the park near 106th street and the East Drive at 12:50 am.

No arrests have been made.

Later in the day another person was robbed a few blocks away in the park.

Police apprehended those suspects who are not connected to the earlier robbery. 

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  

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.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Three Injured By Fallen Tree On Queens Parkway

The Jackie Robinson Parkway in Queens is wrecked thanks to a fallen tree injuring three. No fatalities were reported — the injured were taken to Jamaica Hospital.
Three people were injured by a fallen tree on the Jackie Robinson Parkway yesterday.  (Matthew Wegner via YOUTUBE)


Three people were seriously hurt when a tree fell onto a car on a Queens parkway Saturday, as the city was hit with a heavy afternoon rainstorm, officials said, according to Daily News.

The car was headed west on the Jackie Robinson Parkway near Exit 4 at about 5 p.m. when the tree fell, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Photos from the scene suggested that the mishap triggered an accident with at least one other car. A tan-colored minivan was badly flattened, and a silver sedan had its front hood folded and smashed.

Fallen tree on Queens parkway injures three
New York Daily News - July 17, 2016 - By Ben Kochman

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Woman, 75, Shot While Walking Through Bronx Playground


A 75-year-old woman was shot in the Bronx Friday night when she was caught in the crossfire between two gangs, police said, according to the NY Post.

Authorities say the victim, who was not either group’s intended target, was hit in the right thigh around 7:45 p.m. as she walked home through Basil Behagen Playground in Morrisania.

Nobody else appears to have been shot during the fight, according to police.  

Emergency responders rushed her to Lincoln Hospital, where she remains in stable condition.  The cause of the dispute is unknown, and cops have not yet made any arrests.

The playground is located on Tinton Avenue bet. E 166 St and E 165 St

Read More:

Elderly woman shot after being caught in gang crossfire
New York Post - July 16, 2016 - By Tom Wilson 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Central Park: Police Catch Two Teens, 13, Who Robbed Victim's Phone


By Geoffrey Croft

The police caught two 13-year-olds who robbed a cell phone from a parkgoer last night in Central Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The incident occurred last night at 6:34 p.m.near the corner of North Transverse Road and East Drive.

The victim, a 20-year-old male, said he was approached by the two teens who snatched his cell phone from his hand and took off.

Both assailants, who are 13-years-old, were caught nearby by responding officers from the Central Park precinct. 

Police recovered the phone and the teens were charged with grand larceny. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Park Worker Arrested On Multiple Rape Charges Of Under-Age Girl

Manhattan/Staten Island

By Geoffrey Croft

A Parks Department employee has been arrested on 20 counts of statutory rape, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

Sheldon P. Henry, 46, was arrested on June 4th for having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

The 5-ft-10, 260 pound parks employee began having sex with the then 14-year-old girl beginning on December 31, 2013 and continued over at least a three year period from ages 14-17 according to police. 

Henry was taken into custody in the 34 Pct. after the victim contacted police.
The defendant is charged with a course of conduct including in June 2015 when the informant was 16-years-old according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

“the defendant has had sexual intercourse numerous times with informant, including in June 2015 when informant was sixteen years old, at the Harlem Vista Hotel, 75 Macombs Place, New York County,” according to the complaint. 

Police arrested Henry for Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Abuse, Rape and Patronizing a prostitute. 

He exchanged $ 60 with the victim according to police.  

Bail was set at $7,500 bond, $1,000 cash.  He has been out on bail since June 6th.  His next court date is August 10th. 

A parks employee since 2012, he worked in Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island as a City Park Worker (CPW) since 2015. 

The Parks Department’s press office refused to respond to questions despite several requests. 

Henry has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.

Female, 21, Sexually Assaulted in Bronx Pool


By Geoffrey Croft

The NYPD’s Special Victims Unit is investigating a report of a twenty-one year African American female who was sexually assaulted at a Parks Department pool, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

After speaking with the girl the assailant allegedly put his hand under her bathing suit, forcibly touching her according to the police. 

The incident occurred in Crotona Park Pool on Friday at approximately 1:00pm.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Tortured Road To Build Bushwick Inlet Park Continues

Bayside Oil Depot.  For more than a decade residents have been waiting for the city to tear down the rusting oil refineries to create an open space along the Bushwick inlet shoreline as part of the long promised 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park. (Photo: Christopher Lee for The New York Times)

The elected officials, in their infinite wisdom,  all lined up to support the rezoning without first  getting legally binding assurances from the Bloomberg administration that the park would get built, either before the opportunistic commercial developers began reaping the benefits, or after.

In 2005, the city rezoned nearly 200 blocks of Williamsburg and Greenpoint to accommodate the construction of the high-end condominiums and rental buildings that now dot the water’s edge.

Since that time the city has been unable to acquire all of the necessary land to build Bushwick Inlet Park promised under Mayor Bloomberg.   Nearly half of the land the city promised to buy - 11-acre piece in the middle of the site - is still owned by CitiStorage, whose owner, Norman Brodsky, is seeking $250 million for the property, according to news reports.

In June the city offered him $100 million though Mr. Brodsky is reportedly asking for as much as $325 million. Real estate experts estimate the property’s minimum value at between $120 million and $180 million, according to Crain’s New York Business.

Mr. Brodsky has put the property up for an auction ending in July. Eminent Domain is being urged to secure the property for this much needed public use.

The city has already spent $198 million to buy various parcels to turn into parkland and an additional $25.8 million on development costs, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. That total is far beyond initial cost estimates of $60 million to $90 million.

As part of the 2005 waterfront rezoning that allowed the development the city promised to build not one park but three —the 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park, Barge Park, and a park on Commercial St. in Greenpoint. Only a 7-acre chunk of Bushwick Inlet Park with a soccer field and a lawn adjasent to a newly built Parks building has opened.  

- Geoffrey Croft

On Saturday night Representative Carolyn B. Maloney set up her tent in the rain during a “sleep-in”  intended to call attention to the city’s offer to buy a piece of land that would help complete Bushwick Inlet Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (Photo: Kevin Hagen for The New York Times)


Throughout its well documented transformation, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has hosted an array of outlandish incongruities. By now, the images are almost hackneyed: artists and Hasidim gliding along on bicycles, sporting parallel chest-length beards; coffee beans of every roast sharing shelf space with spices from the Caribbean and craft beers brewed in nearby warehouses that had long stood idle.

But a scene along the East River on Saturday night would have given pause to even the most jaded Brooklynite. On a plot of pavement in the shadow of an industrial wasteland, a congresswoman, the borough president and several dozen community activists were trying to pitch a tent, according to an article in the New York Times.

The would-be campers were seeking not a temporary respite from the asphalt but rather the creation of a permanent park. More than a decade ago, New York City promised to build a 28-acre green space along the inlet in exchange for the community’s support for a rezoning that added luxury residential buildings to what was once a primarily working-class enclave. But the revitalization of Williamsburg has galloped ahead without completion of Bushwick Inlet Park, and the “sleep-in” on Saturday was a plea to the businessman who owns a parcel of land that stands between its uncoupled ends.

“We’re not asking for anything more than what was promised us,” said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat whose district includes part of Williamsburg and who spent the night in a narrow orange tent. “And it wasn’t just a promise, it was a deal.”

In 2005, almost 200 blocks of Williamsburg and Greenpoint were rezoned to accommodate the construction of the high-end condominiums and rental buildings that now hug the water’s edge. To moderate the effect on the community, which activists say sorely lacks green space, the city committed to building Bushwick Inlet Park on five and a half blocks along the East River. So far, only a corner of it has been created, at the southern end.

 The city’s efforts to fulfill its promise have been complicated by the difficulty of buying land from different owners to piece the park together, not to mention the eventual cleanup of decades of industrial pollution. The price of the project has catapulted past the original estimates of $60 million to $90 million made when Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican turned independent, was mayor. The city has already spent $198 million on land, and $25.8 million on development. But the biggest plot still eludes the project: an 11-acre swath in the middle of the footprint, held by Norman Brodsky, owner of CitiStorage.

At the moment, Mr. Brodsky remains in a standoff with the city, which offered him $100 million for the property in June. Though Mr. Brodsky declined to comment, those involved in the conversations said he was hoping for a higher bid, reportedly as much as $325 million. Real estate experts pegged the property’s minimum value at between $120 million and $180 million, according to Crain’s New York Business.

 City officials argued that their offer was “fair and appropriate” and that the value of the land had soared only because of rezoning contingent upon the creation of the park. Mr. Brodsky has thus far spurned the city and put the property up for an auction ending in July. Some have even suggested that the city use eminent domain to claim the land, betting that whatever compensation a court required would be less than the amount Mr. Brodsky was demanding. (Asked about the use of eminent domain, a city spokeswoman said, “Our focus is on a negotiated sale.”)

Sensing opportunity in the gridlock, another group has proposed an alternate idea: turning the ghost town of ramshackle refineries and warehouses into a museum and exhibition space called Maker Park. City officials dismissed the idea, saying the area’s postapocalyptic feel may appeal to trendy developers, but that the structures need to be demolished to ensure that the heavily polluted land underneath can be properly remediated.

Despite occasionally biblical rain on Saturday, several dozen residents of the neighborhood took part in the demonstration, which offered music, dancing and trays of lukewarm hot dogs. The gathering was less kumbaya than college colloquium, with participants sitting down to lectures from Daniel Campo, a professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore who has studied the area’s ethnographic history, and Adam Perlmutter, a lawyer who has helped to litigate the parkland dispute.

 “It’s clear that this area was always meant to be a park,” said Katherine Conkling Thompson, 53, a member of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, an advocacy group that has championed the proposed park for decades. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a neighborhood desperate for green space.”  The idea for the sleep-in was conceived by the borough president, Eric L. Adams, a Democrat who has made a habit of overnight advocacy. Last year, he was among a group of legislators and activists who slept outside the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, as part of a battle over rent regulations.

“We want to send a strong message to Mr. Brodsky to take the city’s offer,” said Mr. Adams, who grew soaked in the storm as he spoke. “The rain only shows that our commitment is real.”

With increasing frequency, Ms. Maloney has also found that the work of politics sometimes includes sleeping on unforgiving surfaces. She recently joined colleagues in an overnight sit-in for gun control legislation that involved occasional dozing on the carpeted floor of the House of Representatives. Addressing the gathering, Ms. Maloney repeatedly banged her hand down on a projector, which zapped off and seemed to be left in dubious shape.

“Over my dead body will they upzone this park,” she said to cheers. “They can drag us away from here.”

Soon enough, a group of police officers seemed to consider doing just that. “I don’t know about this,” one said as he surveyed the cluster of tents. His tone immediately shifted when he noticed Mr. Adams, a former police captain who used to work in the precinct. “What’s up, Eric?” the officer said. After a quick chat, the squad car drove off.

“I promoted those guys,” Mr. Adams explained with a grin.

In the morning, Mr. Perlmutter brought doughnuts and coffee. Bleary-eyed and still damp, the group packed up and headed to a nearby fence where they had hung a board counting down the days left for Mr. Brodsky to accept the city’s offer. On Sunday, the figure stood at 29. Through the chain-link barricade, they looked at the dilapidated landscape, sleepless but not hopeless.

So far, only a corner of Bushwick Inlet Park has been created, at the southern end of a footprint that is eventually supposed to cover 28 acres.  The city promised to build three parks — 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park, Barge Park, and a park on Commercial St. in Greenpoint — as part of a 2005 waterfront rezoning to allow housing towers. Only a 7-acre chunk of Bushwick Inlet Park with a soccer field has opened.

Read More:

Activists Camp Out to Call for Completion of a Brooklyn Park
New York Times - July 10, 2016  - By Noah Remnick

A Walk In the Park - June 13, 2012 

A Walk In the Park - May 18, 2012 

A Walk In the Park - July 21, 2011 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

People Around the Word Donating To Teen Hurt In Central Park Explosion

People around the world donate to teen hurt in park explosion

Tourist Connor Golden, 18, lost his lower leg after stepping on an explosive in Central Park last Sunday.  Golden and two friends were enjoying the day climbing on rocks in the southern part of the park when suddenly he stepped on a “shock sensitive explosive material “ that went off and severed his left foot.  (Photo: Reuters)


Less than a week after Connor Golden lost his lower leg after stepping on an explosive in Central Park, people around the world are rallying around the teen, according to an article in the New York Post. 

A Go Fund Me page created by friends and family of the Virginia teen, who turned 19 on Saturday, has already raised nearly $18,000 in less than two days. 

“Those who know Connor know him to be soft-spoken, extremely talented, dedicated to his craft and always committed in his endeavors,” wrote page organizer Terry Lowe-Edwards, who set the fund-raising goal at $50,000. 

“This is your opportunity to show your support and make a difference.”  

Golden lost his leg on July 3 after an explosive device detonated while he and two friends were exploring in Central Park. 

The trio were visiting the city for Independence Day.  

The incident is under investigation. 

The NYPD is offering a $2,500 reward for information.

Emergency workers tend to Connor Golden, 18, who stepped on explosive material in Central Park on Sunday morning near E. 62nd Street while with friends. (Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Read More:

People around the world donate to teen hurt in park explosion
New York Post - July 10, 2016 - By Lindsay Putnam

Explosion In Central Park Severs Man's Foot
A Walk In The Park - July 3, 2016  - By Geoffrey Croft

Man, 68, Arrested For Exposing Himself To Girl, 13, In Queens Playground


By Geoffrey Croft

A 68-year-old Queens resident was arrested last night after exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl in a Rego park playground, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The man approached the girl in Annadale Playground and lifted up his shirt and exposed his genitalia. 

A half hour later police arrested Teodoro Sanz, 68, and charged him with Public Lewdness. 

The incident occurred in the park near 62nd Avenue within the confines of the 112 Pct.

In May a man was arrested for touching himself in front of a large group of kids near a playground in Prospect Park.

Prospect Park: Man Arrested For Touching Himself in Front Of A Group Of Children


By Geoffrey Croft

A parks worker witnessed a man engaging in lewd behavior by a children’s playground in Prospect Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

On May 27th, a parks worker saw a man masterbating in front of a group of children by a playground near Grand Army Plaza in broad daylight.     

The incident occurred a little after 12:00pm.

Police arrested Travon Davis, 20.  

He was charged with twenty-one counts of Acting in A Manner Injurious to Child Less Than Seventeen, and One Count of Public Lewdness.  

A month earlier, on April 28th, Davis was arrested for shop lifting at a CVS on lower Broadway in Manhattan and charged with Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. 

Homeless Man Stabbed In Central Park By Another Homeless Man


A 24-year-old homeless man was stabbed by another homeless person in an argument over a homeless woman, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The victim was stabbed one time in the stomach with an unknown object according to police.  

The incident occured near Strawberry Fields on Thursday at 11:00am.

EMS transported the aided to Cornell Hospital.

The police said the victim was uncooperative.  No arrests have been made.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Man Arrested For Groping Woman Sunbathing in UES Park

Thomas Cronin, a 53-year-old wanted for 11 burglaries, grabbed the buttocks of a Manhattan sunbather Wednesday afternoon, not knowing that an off-duty cop was nearby.

Career thief Thomas Cronin, 53, wanted for 11 burglaries, grabbed the buttocks of a 45-year-old woman sunbathing in Carl Schurz Park on Wednesday afternoon.  The woman was lying face down on a blanket when the assilant grabbed her buttocks.  An off-duty police officer reading in the park heard the victim yell out and helped nabbed the suspect with the assistance of several other officers.  (Photo: DOCCS via NY Daily News)

Cronin, of East 63rd Street, was charged with forcible touching, sex abuse in the third degree and 11 counts of third-degree burglary. 


He grabbed her — and cops grabbed him.  

A career crook wanted for 11 burglaries grabbed the buttocks of a Manhattan sunbather, not knowing that an off-duty cop was hanging out nearby, cops said, according to an account in the New York Daily News.  

Officer Eric Sullivan was reading a book about the American Revolution in Carl Schurz Park, near Gracie Mansion, on Wednesday afternoon, when he heard a woman scream out and call someone a pervert.  

Thomas Cronin, 53, had ridden up to the 45-year-old woman on his bicycle, dismounted, and goosed her while she was sunbathing, face-down on a blanket, authorities said.

Sullivan followed Cronin, who ditched his bike and ran off toward E. 91st St. and First Ave., according to police.  

The cop called 911, and though he lost sight of Cronin, two officers, Julian Febres and Christopher Bobell of the 23rd Precinct, found him near E. 90th St. and York Ave., officials said.  

The woman snapped a cell phone photo of Cronin before he fled, cops said.  

(credit: Twitter.com/NYPD19Pct)
The 19th Pct. Tweeted out the work of the officers. "Off duty rookie cop helps catch serial burglar/forcible toucher on  Outstanding work by all Officers involved!"

The pinching perv, it turned out, was wanted in a string of 11 Manhattan burglaries, and was on parole after his 2013 robbery, burglary and criminal possession of a forged instrument convictions in Nassau County.

He's served six prison sentences since 1987, all for robbery or burglary convictions.

Read/View More

New York Daily News  - July 8, 2016 -  John Annese  

WCBS -  July 7, 2016

New York  Post - July 7, 2016 - By Daniel Prendergast 

Newsday - July 7, 2016  - By Anthony M. DeStefano 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Teen, 17, Murdered After Being Lured Into Bronx Park

Esmeldyn Peña, 17, was stabbed to death in Claremont Park early July 4th.    


By Geoffrey Croft

A seventeen year old was murdered after being lured into a Bronx park.  

Esmeldyn Peña, 17, was stabbed to death inside Claremont Park early July 4th after he received a call to come to the park relatives say.     

The incident occurred on Monday, at 2:35 a.m. in the park near Clay Avenue and Belmont Street according to police. 

The victim was stabbed in his chest which punctured his lung and heart.

A friend put the victim in his car and drove him to Bronx Lebanon hospital where he died at 4:40 a.m.

Peña and the friend were talking to some girls nside the park. He started talking to another group that he knew but the friend didn't.

The friend said he didn't see the attack but saw the Peña grab his chest and blood spread across his shirt and he fell to the ground.

A search of the scene turned up a black handled knife across the street from the park.

According to the parents of the victim, their son, who worked as a mechanic, received a strange call for him to come to the park they said.

"He received a call from a friend, I told him not to go,"  said his uncle Carlos Peña.

He stated that when he went to the park he was ambushed. 

The heartbroken family is of Dominican descent.

Police interviewed several people but have made no arrests.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Explosion In Central Park Severs Man's Foot

Emergency workers tend to Connor Golden, 20, who stepped on explosive material in Central Park on Sunday morning near E. 62nd Street while with friends. (Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)


By Geoffrey Croft

An 18-year-old tourist from Fairfax, Virginia had his foot blown off when he stepped on a home made explosive this morning in Central Park.

The victim and two friends were enjoying the day climbing on rocks in the southern part of the park when suddenly Connor Golden stepped on a “shock sensitive explosive material “ that went off and severed his left foot according to police.

The explosion was heard blocks away. 

The incident occurred at 10:52 am near E. 62nd Street off of the East Drive.

"We don’t know what happened. There was a small explosion and then dust,”  “Dust beyond the caliber of fireworks based on what we heard,” said the victim’s friends Thomas Hinds, 20, and Matthew Stabile, 18.

Authorities cordoned off a two block perimeter around the blast.  Police from the Counter Terrorism Unit swarmed the area along with officers from the bomb squad.  Police fanned out trying to gather evidence, bomb sniffing dogs were deployed. 

The FBI joined the investigation. 

Officers from NYPD's Stragegic Responce Group secure an area across from today's incident.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC PArk Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

NYPD John O’Connell, a deputy chief for counterterrorism told reporters that the friends had, “jumped off the rock behind me as they did an explosion occurred injuring one of the victims,”  he said at a news conference across from the scene.

The vicim was transported to Bellevue Hospital in serious, but stable condition. He is undergoing surgery this evening. 

The friends were questioned and cleared by police as suspects. 

Authorities said they do not believe incident was connected to terrorism but instead are pointing to a firework experiment or a homemade device. 

“It is not unusual for the public to make or try to create homemade fireworks around the Fourth of July,” said deputy chief  O’Connell.

"We are not finding anything constant with a constructed IED," said Lt. Mark Torre, of the NYPD’s bomb Squad.

“This is clearly explosive material but there is nothing to indicate that this was an explosive devise that was placed or put in this area with a specific intent  to harm  any individual.”

Police are canvassing for video are looking for witnesses to determine who is responsible for this horrific incident,  and believe the devise was there for a day.

Police secure a path that leads up to the rocks where the incident occured.

Paramedics, firemen, and police help the victim after the explosion in Central Park. (Photo: AP)

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Man Injured in Central Park Explosion
New York Times - July 3, 2016 -  By Rick Rojas and Samantha Schmidt

New York Daily News  - July 3, 2016  - By Edgar Sandoval, Ryan Sit, Stephen Rex Brown