The New York Criminal Law Blog

December 2010 Archives

Hassan Malik Admits Murdering Betty Williams

Prosecutors said East Harlem local Hassan Malik, 55, admitted to murdering 28-year-old Betty Williams, who was found last week stuffed inside a suitcase. The New York Daily News reported Malik had struck Williams' head with frying pan before strangling her and concealing her body in a luggage.

Police officials revealed that Betty Williams had a history of prostitution. Hassan Malik claimed the 28-year-old victim had been at his apartment spending time with another man. Police sources said the act may have been vengeful one by Williams because she had fought with Malik about some extra money she took from him.

Lewis Hawkins Killed At Subway Stop In Bronx

Harlem teenager Lewis Hawkins was killed at a subway station in the Bronx after he got off the Manhattan-bound No. 2 train at the West Farms Square and E. Tremont Avenue stop. Police officials said the 17-year-old was gunned down and shot in the chest while heading for the elevated platform. He was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital.

The New York Daily News reported 57-year-old Rico Aybar, a Bronx local, said shootings were nothing new for the area. He said it was common to find "boys who are all strapped and when they have a confrontation the guns go off."

"You have to walk with fear," said 31-year-old Eddie Gonzalez, a regular No. 2 train rider who found the incident frightening. "You can't go anywhere normally anymore," Gonzalez said.

Dead Woman Found In Suitcase In East Harlem

A passerby walking through the streets of East Harlem was looking through garbage early Wednesday morning when she discovered the dead body of a woman. New York police officials reported that the victim's body was found stuffed inside a suitcase and left on a sidewalk. Authorities performed an autopsy on the body and found that the 28-year-old victim had been strangled.

The 28-year-old's body was found across Thomas Jefferson Park on East 114th Street, according to the New York Daily News. The woman who discovered the victim had opened the suitcase after noticing a leg sticking out of the luggage. While investigating the incident, law enforcement officials came across a surveillance video recording from a building located near the scene of a crime.

Tashia Evans Escapes From NYPD Custody

28-year-old Tashia Evans managed to escape from the NYPD's custody at Harlem Hospital in Manhattan earlier this week, according to the New York Daily News. Police sources said Officer Harold Nunez, from the 26th Precinct in Morningside Heights, was suspended as a result of the handcuffed suspect's get away.

Tashia Evans had been taken to the 26th Precinct after allegedly attempting to cash in a phony check at a Chase bank on Broadway. Law enforcement officials also found that she was also in possession of some stolen credit cards. A New York criminal defense lawyer can provide an in-depth explanation on the legal consequences of money fraud.

Heidi Jones Charged For Filing Fake Police Report

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Heidi Jones, WABC-TV's weather forecaster, was suspended on Wednesday after she filed a phony police report about having a fake stalker and being assaulted in Central Park, according to the New York Daily News. Jones told the police that a Hispanic man attacked her in the park on September and threatened her again two months after the bogus incident.

Jones claimed she was assaulted while jogging through Central Park. The supposed attacker pulled her into a wooded area and quickly fled the scene after two tourists saw the incident, but Heidi Jones never reported the attack to the authorities. She then said that a second incident occurred in November by her apartment in Manhattan, three days prior to when she informed the police about her story.

Four Dead Bodies Found On Gilgo And Cedar Beach

Authorities recently found four corpses between Gilgo and Cedar Beach among some dense foliage near Ocean Parkway, according to the New York Daily News. The bodies were discovered within a quarter-mile area, and police officials do not believe the event is just a mere coincidence. "We could have a serial killer," said Police Commissioner Richard Dormer.

Investigators suspect the bodies may have been "dumped by the same person or persons." Dormer said the corpses were not grouped together and appeared as if they had been "thrown out of a vehicle" and into some shrubbery "so that they wouldn't be seen." Two of the victims were women, and investigators are determining the gender of the other two bodies. The identity of all the victims still remains unknown.

Victor Wright Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Prosecutor

The New York Daily News reported drug kingpin Victor Wright, 40, admitted to attacking a prosecutor two years ago. Wright was serving a life sentence for being a part of Kenneth McGriff's narcotics gang when he attacked Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Pokorny in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Victor Wright admitted last month to assaulting Carolyn Pokorny but denied using a razor in the attack. He told the judge he had only used his hands, even though a video capturing the event revealed Wright had something in his hand during the assault. A razor had also been found on the carpet of the courtroom.

Woman Strangled In SoHo House Hotel Death

New York police officials found that the 33-year-old woman killed in a SoHo House hotel tub had actually been strangled, reported the New York Daily News. The hotel serves as a private club that only allows card-carrying members to stay. Investigators originally suspected the woman might have died from a drug overdose until they noticed the bruises on her neck.

Police arrived at the SoHo House after the hotel received complaints about water leaking down into the rooms below. They found the unidentified woman unconscious in a flooded bathtub, which was still running water. The victim was still fully clothed, and her body leaned against the back of the tub. She was declared dead at the scene.

Vitaly Borker Arrested And Charged With Fraud

Authorities arrested Brooklyn Internet merchant Vitaly Borker on Monday and charged him with one count of wire fraud, mail fraud, cyberstalking, and making interstate threats. The New York Times reported Borker was mistreating his customers because he thought their online complaints helped boost his business' profile when searched through Google

34-year-old Vitaly Borker managed a Web site known as decormyeyes.com. One customer, Clarabelle Rodriguez, had bought a pair of glasses from DecorMyEyes and later realized they were just an imitation. When she tried to return them, Borker threatened to sexually assault her and sent her hostile emails. In one instance, he had sent Rodriguez a picture of the front of her apartment building.

Rabbi Gershon Kranczer And His Sons Accused Of Sexual Abuse

Brooklyn rabbi Gershon Kranczer, the former head of Yeshiva Tehila L'Dovid, and his three sons were recently accused of sexually abusing four female relatives, according to the New York Daily News. The incidents may have started 15 years ago, and detectives suspected the 58-year-old rabbi of attacking two underage relatives while his sons abused the other girls.

Authorities investigated the rabbi's home in Midwood after the oldest victim, a 20-year-old woman, told a coworker about having been sexually assaulted by Gershon Kranczer. The 20-year-old revealed that she had been repeatedly molested by the rabbi during the last 15 years. The coworker reported what she had learned to the police and said that the other three victims, who were ages 8, 17, and 19, had also been allegedly abused in Kranczer's home.

What Constitutes As Disturbing the Peace In New York?

What happens when you fight in public, let your dog bark for long periods of time, or play excessively loud music throughout the night? Engaging in a form of disorderly conduct, like those mentioned, jeopardizes a person's right to peace and tranquility and constitutes as a criminal offense known as disturbing the peace.

An NY criminal defense attorney may explain that disturbing the peace (or breach of the peace) typically refers to words, like a verbal threat, or conduct that places the public's safety, morals, health, and overall peace at risk. The offense is generally seen as a misdemeanor crime, and offenders may be subject to fines, at least 90 days in prison, or both. Disturbing the peace falls under the more extensive category of disorderly conduct, which includes:

Moishe Berkowitz Killed In Drunk Driving Accident

25-year-old Moishe Berkowitz, a Brooklyn yeshiva teacher, was killed in a motor vehicle accident when an oncoming Volkswagen crashed into his car on Monday. Police sources and witnesses said the Volkswagen driver may have been drag racing while driving intoxicated. The suspect is expected to be charged with DWI and vehicular manslaughter.

Moishe Berkowitz had gone bowling with his friends before the accident, and they were apparently following him when they saw the fatal head-on collision. Berkowitz was alone in his vehicle when the Volkswagen had crossed the double yellow line and slammed into the victim's car. The yeshiva teacher was brought to the Maimondes Medical Center where he died shortly thereafter.