The New York Criminal Law Blog

April 2012 Archives

NY Subways: Chronic Issues With Wankers, Voyoeur Photogs

Okay, so it's not really news, but the New York City subways are littered with perverts and a recent rash of them should have women in the area on alert. In the last couple of weeks, there have been two reported incidents of men masturbating on the train in the presence of women. There has also been an amateur photographer plying his craft by taking upskirt shots of other riders.

Fortunately for the women, they each got a photo, or in one case, a video, of the offenders. The earliest alleged offender, Kyle Brown, 23, of Brooklyn was charged with public lewdness after he masturbated on the train in the presence of a lady with a cell phone camera, reports the Gothamist.

Bodega Man Pled Guilty to Underage Sale; Can He Withdraw Plea?

Ismael Duran knows the rules of selling alcohol to underage drinkers. So when the 44-year-old father of three, and recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic, was working the cash register at a Brooklyn Bodega and an 18-year-old tried to buy a Smirnoff Ice, he was turned away, reports the New York Daily News. Not because of the choice of a stereotypically feminine drink, mind you, but because Duran was doing his job.

He was arrested anyway.

Police claim that after the 18-year-old undercover cop was rejected, the cop made a deal with a 51-year-old customer, Stanfiel Collymore, to purchase the alcohol for him. Police say that the deal was done in store, within earshot of Duran.

Livery Cab Sex Trafficking; RICO a Possibility?

Their story could serve as a plot line for HBO's The Wire if they ever bring the show back for a sixth season. After an extensive investigation that began with routine prostitution arrests and utilized wire taps and follow-the-money techniques, the District Attorney's office, New York Police Department, and the Homeland Security took down an intricate criminal enterprise over the weekend, reports NBC New York.

The authorities have charged six cab drivers with promoting prostitution and arrested a father-son duo, Vincent George Sr. and Jr., for being the leaders of a sex trafficking ring that brought women into the country, forced them into prostitution, and tattooed them with their pimps' names. The cab drivers transported the prostitutes and negotiated rates with the customers.

How to 'Do' Jury Duty in New York

Ahhhh, Jury Duty. 'Tis a time-honored and noble duty of every good member of society that lacks a felonious record or bias against the parties. There are few things more American than participating nobly in your civic duties. This should serve as a primer to prepare you for your patriotic obligations.

Do questions like what should I expect, how long will I be there and why are the lawyers asking me all these questions ring a bell with you? If so, read more.

Etan Patz, Missing Since 1979, Found? Charges to be Filed?

He is the boy on the milk carton. When Etan Patz disappeared on May 25, 1979, it set the nation into a frenzy, as detailed by TruTv.com's Anthony Bruno. After a nationwide manhunt failed, and rewards for information went unclaimed, and the nation realized that the boy was gone, society itself changed.

Stranger danger, faces on milk cartons, and May 25, the National Missing Children's Day all emerged from that tragedy as everyday lexicon. What has not emerged is a resolution the cold case of Etan Patz.

Three Men Indicted for AC Carjacking, Murder

A trio of young men were indicted on 23 counts each for a carjacking, murder, and aggravated assault that occurred in September, 2011, reports the Gloucester County Times.

Phillip L. Byrd, 21, Eric S. Darden, 20, and Raheem D. Simmons, 18, all of Camden, are alleged to have carjacked a couple at the Trump Taj Mahal parking garage. They then forced the victims to drive to Warren Webb Sr. Drive and shot them both. Sunil Rattu, 28, died from his wounds, while his girlfriend, Radha Ghetia, 24, survived.

27 Arrested In New Jersey Child Porn Crackdown

Investigators from “Operation Watchdog” just laid down the hammer on twenty-seven individuals suspected of distributing and possessing child porn, reports NJ.com. The three-month investigation monitored file-sharing networks and used files with digital fingerprints to track files across the suspects’ computers.

Among those arrested were the 50-year-old Director of Public Works for Morristown, Charles E. Jones and an unidentified 17-year-old minor. The full list, along with photos of the suspects, has been released to the press.

Quamine Taylor Finds Diddy's Home to be Just Right

Much like the epic tale of a young fair-haired Goldilocks, who traversed forests and explored the habitation of three bears before being overcome by hunger and sleep, Quamine Taylor also found someone else's home to be just right, reports the New York Post.

Mr. Sean Combs, or Diddy as he is affectionately known, is the proud owner of a mansion in the Hamptons. Being that he is so incredibly busy promoting his line of vodka, appearing in films, and dropping amazing verses on rap songs, he rarely makes it out to that spare domicile.

Bride Charged With Fraud, Larceny For Faking Cancer

What would you do for a free wedding and honeymoon? According to ABC News, Jessica Vega, 25, of New York faked a terminal illness.

It was a creative solution to the problem of affording a wedding, especially with the rising costs of dresses. She allegedly forged a doctor's note and convinced the father of her child that she was dying. He then proposed.

She then reportedly took the lie a step further, working her fake illness into a conversation at a bridal shop. The owner, who has had many relatives die from cancer, felt for the young woman. She provided her with a free dress, money, and spread word throughout the community. Soon, the woman had scored a free wedding, dress, photography, honeymoon in Aruba, and some spare cash to cover her child's expenses.

iPhone Theft On the Rise in NYC

This is my iPhone. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Life is hard without a smartphone. They allow you to order Chipotle five minutes before you walk in, which means you skip the line. You can stream Pandora while walking to Chipotle. And if your Chipotle is closed, you can use an app to find the closest open Chipotle while texting your friend to meet you.

No, this post isn't about those magical one-pound behemoths. It's about the phone. When walking the streets of New York, it is all to easy to get lost in the phone, checking email, changing to your Ginuwine's Pony station on Pandora, and seeking the nearest burrito assembly line.

And thieves are starting to take notice. iPhone theft is up in New York, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Plainview Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Murder of Daughter by M&M's

A mother entered a plea of not guilty this week, after an alleged murder-suicide attempt left her alive and her eight-year-old daughter dead, reports MyFoxPhilly.com. Veronica Cirella, 31, of Plainview, was discovered near her dead daughter, the apparent victim of a tragic murder-suicide attempt.

The police allege that Cirella fed her cerebral palsy-stricken daughter peanut M&Ms, knowing that she had an allergy, and then attempted to take her own life by injecting insulin, consuming painkillers, and attempted strangulation.

She has been charged by the Nassau County District Attorney's office with second-degree murder, though the medical examiner could not determine a cause of death after an autopsy.

Another Major Security Breach at Newark Airport

Another day, another major failure for the Transportation Security Administration? The most recent ineptitude comes courtesy of a distracted TSA agent who was giving directions instead of monitoring the exit, reports CBS New York.

An older British chap, 64-year-old Charan Jit Singh, went to the Newark airport to meet relatives who were arriving for a wedding. He walked past the distracted TSA agent, through an exit door, and past multiple "Do Not Enter" signs. He was either oblivious, illiterate, or just obdurate. Perhaps all three. He was only discovered because he stopped to ask someone at the gate about when a certain flight was arriving.

Man Arrested For Burying Daughter Under Home

Dennis L. Adler, 57, of New Jersey, was arrested earlier this week and charged with second-degree disturbing of human remains by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's office. A cleaning crew was working at his former home when they discovered his daughter's remains, reports NBC New York.

The investigation has so far brought to light some gruesome details. The daughter, Kimberly Adler, was likely 23 when she died. Officials think Kimberly Adler died more than three years ago. The investigators also discovered that her remains had been stored inside the house for some time before being moved to the crawl-space under the house.

Cronyism to Blame for Firefighter's Deal in Hit and Run Homicide?

Pat Quagliariello, a local firefighter, got the deal of a lifetime from the District Attorney today, reports the Gothamist. After allegedly hitting a man and leaving him to die, Quagliariello will now have to participate in the D.A.'s "Choices and Consequences" program, which requires him to speak to 35 high schools about the dangers and consequences of reckless and drunk driving.

Yep, it sure looks like community service for a life.

NYPD Officer Charged With Assault in Mamajuana 'Bar Fight'

A New York police officer was charged with assault this week, months after he punched a man in a bar fight, reports the New York Post. The officer, Ariel Frias, 27, allegedly struck Edwin Veloz, 23, causing brain damage.

The surveillance video of the incident shows Frias and a friend, Javier Delarosa, 23, beating Veloz on the ground until he lost consciousness. Veloz was in a coma, suffered brain damage, and may not fully recover.

Delarosa turned himself in days after the incident. Frias was not arrested or charged while the Internal Affairs Bureau conducted their investigation. Instead, he continued to work in the quartermaster's department, where supplies are managed and distributed. He has since been suspended without pay. Both Frias and Delarosa were charged with assault.