The New York Criminal Law Blog

May 2012 Archives

Drunk Woman Plows Benz Through Stop Sign, House

A 96-year-old woman's home is going to need some extensive remodeling after a run in with an allegedly-drunk woman's Mercedes convertible, reports the New York Daily news.

Sophia Anderson, 21, of Bushwick, Brooklyn was allegedly under the influence when she blasted a late model red Mercedes convertible through a stop sign at a T-intersection. Seconds later, the vehicle was in the back yard. In between the stop sign and the back yard was a gaping tunnel through an elderly woman's house. The stove and a bag of sugar ended up next to the totaled vehicle.

Has the Etan Patz Case Finally Been Solved, 33 Years Later?

Could it be, after all of this time, and only a few months after the last false alert, that officials have finally solved a 33-year-old murder case?

Etan Patz disappeared 33 years ago today. His abduction shocked the national conscience and started the missing child on the milk-box movement. Over the years, suspects have come and gone, including a pedophile who is currently in prison for molesting other children.

Man Takes Cleaver to Wife's Head; Is Charged With a Paradox?

A paradox is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality, expresses a possible truth.

A meat cleaver is a large metal rectangular shaped knife, which is heavily weighted towards the blade, making chopping meat easier.

And Kang Wang, 53, is a defendant in a criminal case for the paradoxical "attempted criminally-negligent homicide" after he attacked his wife with a meat cleaver.

L.I. Man Runs Dentistry Out of Home; Has Sixth Grade Education

This sounds like something out of a bad horror sequel, like Saw 7 or a Hannibal Lecter novel.

“Hello Clarice, I want to clean your teeth!”

Creepy, yet hilarious. Manuel Carranza has been accused of running a dentistry practice out of his home. Carranza, an immigrant from Honduras, has about a sixth grade education, yet he was able to run a cash-only dentist’s office for over a year. He wasn’t just pulling teeth either. He was doing root canals and dentures, reports CBS New York.

30 Days in Jail and 3 Years Probation for Dharun Ravi

Dharun Ravi learned his fate today. He was convicted in March of bias crimes and spying on this former college roommate, Tyler Clementi. Clementi took his life a few days after he found out that Dharun had used a webcam to broadcast a same-sex encounter between Clementi and an unidentified man over the internet, though the motive behind the suicide remains unclear.

The Star-Ledger reports that Ravi faced up to 10 years in prison if the maximum sentences were handed down. He will instead serve 30 days in jail, plus 300 hours of community service, sensitivity training, and three years of probation.

NYPD Cop Arrested for Nabbing Better Seat at Mets Game

Wait, that’s a crime? Apparently so.

According to the New York Daily News, Officer Eduardo Cornejo was arrested for trespassing at Citi Field after he moved to a better seat than the one he purchased.

Though it’s not exactly an uncommon practice, especially at the chronically under-filled Citi Field, seat hopping is technically trespassing.

Ferrari Drivers Kill Motorcyclist, Charged with Death by Auto

Some spirited driving by two car rental employees may have lead to the death of a motorcyclist, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The two drivers, Joseph Ferretti, 28, of Dumont, and Joseph Meyer, 19, of Oveido Florida were driving twin Ferrari F430s at a "high rate of speed" back from the gas station to their employer's place of business.

Meyer was driving the silver Ferrari, when he lost control and spun out. Ferretti was driving the red Ferrari and swerved to avoid a collision. He ended up crossing the double yellow lines and ended up in a head-on collision with Stephen Lenge, of Kinnelonwho who was riding a motorcycle. Lenge did not survive the powerful impact.

What are the Possible Criminal Charges in Brooklyn DA Scandal?

If you are Charles Hynes, Brooklyn DA, what you really want right now is for this entire mess to go away. It might, however, be too late for that. Even Mayor Bloomberg has joined the finger-pointing, reports The Guardian.

Now that reports have spread on the alleged arrangement with the local rabbis to screen molestation accusations, and widespread criticism has emerged on the practice of shielding the names of the accused, it might be time for Hynes, or others, to clean house by filing criminal charges against anyone and everyone involved in shielding the alleged pedophiles.

'Stop and Frisk' And Why It Might Be Unconstitutional

There's been a lot of hubbub over the NYPD's 'Stop and Frisk' policy lately. The recent increase in interest in a long-standing policy comes courtesy of an NYCLU study that calls into question the effectiveness of the policy and uses statistics to question whether minorities are disproportionately harassed by the officers, reports the Gothamist.

"Stop and Frisk" is a long-running NYPD tactic in which they stop and pat down "suspicious" people, checking for weapons. However, in order to be constitutional, the stops have to be based on some articulable "reasonable suspicion" that a person has committed a crime or is armed.

Social Host Criminal Liability: Parents Arrested for Teen Keggar

We can't say we told you so, probably because we didn't actually tell you so. But we kinda did. Previously, on our personal injury blog, we covered potential civil liability for parent-sponsored underage drinking. Now, thanks to a parent-sponsored underage drinking party on the Rockaway Peninsula, we're bringing the topic back.

But this time, it's criminal.

Anthony and Claire Reyes were the parents arrested for being social hosts, reports the New York Times. The party hosted at least 40 underage private high school students, including the couple's children. The party ended with two teens being taken to the hospital after consuming too much alcohol, and two parents being taken to the police station.

Hot Dogs and Happy Endings: Vendor Arrested for Prostitution

At least it wasn't an ice cream truck. That would be weird.

Catherine Scalia, presumably of no relation to the esteemed Supreme Court justice, has been arrested again for selling sex-acts with her sausages, reports the New York Post. Scalia has apparently been an unlicensed hot dog vendor (and prostitute) for years, as she was arrested for the exact same crime eight years ago.

Man Caught After Motorcycle Pursuit, Brags That He Can Go Faster

He may have been doubling the speed limit, but he can go even faster! According to MyFoxNY, Nikkolaus V. McCarthy, 25, of Charlton, NY hit speeds approaching 170 mph while riding a motorcycle on the New York State Thruway earlier this week.

A cop briefly attempted pursuit, but either couldn't keep up or just didn't want to endanger others' lives. The former seems far more likely.

Cinco De Mayo: Drunk in Public is Legal, Drinking in Public is Not!

Is New York the most perfect place in the country for people to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Unlike most of the rest of the country, there is not a specific law prohibiting being drunk in public. However, you still need to exercise a little caution, as open containers of alcohol and drugged in public are still prohibited, as is lewd conduct and numerous other things that happen when drunk people are, well, drunk.

To celebrate the awesomeness of New York's law or lack thereof, and Cinco De Mayo, here is a recipe for Mojitos Diablos. This should provide an unhealthy alternative to those Coronas, Dos Equis, and margaritas. You might also enjoy the song, posted after the break, by B.O.B., about being on a beach down in Mexico.

Just don't enjoy either on your front stoop or beyond.

NYPD Sergeant Arrested for Domestic Violence

Well, this should make for an awkward week at work. Sergeant George St. Louis, 37, of Brooklyn, was arrested on domestic violence related charges at 11 p.m. Sunday night. The New York Post reports that Sgt. St. Louis allegedly held his wife captive in the bathroom for a short time, yanked her arm, and choked her. Though she did not suffer any injuries, St. Louis has been charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault, and criminal obstruction of breathing.

Unlawful imprisonment can be charged as either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class E Felony. The difference is whether the restraint “exposed [her] to a risk of serious personal injury.” Arguably, the Sergeant could be charged with the felony here, as he was allegedly choking his wife while he restrained her in the bathroom. Choking, obviously, can lead to serious injury or death. A class E felony can result in a sentence of up to four years.