The New York Criminal Law Blog

June 2012 Archives

Anti-Semitic Elmo Ran a 'Rape Camp' Porn Site, Disturbs the Peace

New York City has a problem, and his name is Elmo. More specifically, his legal name is Adam Sandler, but he is dressed as Elmo. Sandler has an odd habit of donning a loveable Sesame Street character costume and ranting against alleged Jewish conspiracies while traipsing through crowds of children.

Who is this guy? According to The New York Times, the man who adopted the same name as the Jewish comedic legend (ironic, huh?) has a questionable background that once dabbled in violent porn sites.

Stepfather Charged With Assault With a McDangerous Weapon

Often, when someone is arrested, the district attorney will choose to charge every conceivable offense, and seek the most severe offenses, in order to create leverage for the plea bargaining process. For example, they might charge a DUI manslaughter charge as a murder charge, or they might charge that same person with DUI, drugged driving, murder, manslaughter, changing lanes improperly, speeding, and a missing front license plate.

But nothing, nothing that we have ever reported on, has ever come close to this charge. James Hackett, a 26-year-old stepfather of the unnamed minor victim, was arguing with his wife. The stepdaughter interjected, hoping to diffuse the situation. Instead, Hackett reportedly blew a gasket and tossed the fresh, crispy, magnificent McDonald's fries in his stepdaughter's face, reports The Smoking Gun.

Catch Criminals by Day, Commit Capers by Night: Cop's Double Life

Detective Rafael “Ray” Astacio, 40, seemed to be a model cop for all of his fourteen years on the force, reports the New York Daily News. After his numerous promotions and advancements, he was making over $100,000 in salary plus overtime. He was even one of the original members of the NYPD baseball team.

The current Special Victim’s Unit detective and former vice squad member has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including catching the man who posed as a gynecologist in order to sexually assault women and the man who abducted an unconscious woman from a night club and sexually assaulted her.

His model cop routine, however, seems to have been a front.

Commissioner Kelly: 'Not a Good Month for Jimmy the Henchman'

Talk about an understatement. It really, really has been a bad month, and an even worse year, for Jimmy the Henchman, also known as James Rosemond. Earlier this month, he was convicted of running a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring, reports The New York Times. Rosemond and his associates transported millions of dollars worth of cocaine across state lines in musical equipment cases. They would also cover the drugs in mustard to thwart detection.

And now, he's been indicted in a murder for hire plot, reports The Inquisitr. Not a good month indeed. At this rate, he'll be indicted for causing the worldwide financial crisis by the end of the summer.

Hare-owing Journey: The Return Home and Retribution

The first half of Miss Cooper’s heroic tale of perseverance can be found here.

Miss Cooper had abandoned hope. It had felt like a lifetime since she had been home.

If she tried, really hard, she could almost imagine the warmth of the sun beaming down, through the store window, onto her back. But even that was becoming more difficult.

The memories were fading fast.

Hare-owing Journey: The Abduction of Miss Cooper

Miss Cooper liked her current digs. She had a pen in the front window. There was sunlight and an endless parade of humans to stare at. The humans would often stop in and massage her back and ears. Yes, this was the life.

These two humans though, they were a funny looking pair. He had a handlebar mustache, not unlike her own. Both were adorned with large ostentatious headgear.

“It’s not Tombstone in here. The Wild West was soooo last century,” Miss Cooper thought to no one in particular.

NYPD Cop Stated 'Fried Another N-----', Argues He is Not Racist

Michael Daragjati is scheduled for sentencing on Friday, reports the New York Daily News, and though one wouldn't expect him to come into court and admit to being ignorant and racist, claiming the opposite in a letter to the court just seems disingenuous at best, and utterly dishonest at worst.

The former NYPD officer was arrested in October on multiple charges, including extortion and violating the civil rights of an African-American man from Staten Island, 32-year-old Kendrick Gray.

'Push-in' Robbery Claims Life of Grandmother; $12k Reward for Info

Police are offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for bludgeoning an 88-year-old grandmother to death in what appears to be a push-in style robbery, reports the Gothamist.

According to the New York Daily News, Evelyn Shapiro was found by her adult grandchildren, who were concerned after not hearing from her in over 24 hours. Her body was discovered in a pool of blood, with groceries scattered around her. More groceries were still in her trunk. Police suspect that the assailant stalked her from the grocery store and attacked her in her home while she was carrying her food into her apartment.

More iPhone Theft: $78k Worth of Apple Gear Stolen by Ex-Cop

A byproduct of a popular product is that it has a much higher tendency to get stolen, so it is not surprising then to see an increase in smartphone thefts, especially of the iPhone. What is surprising, at least to some, is when an ex-cop hired to guard the Apple products does it, reports the New York Daily News.

Manuel DaSilva, 42, left the force a few years back after he tested positive for steroids, according to the Daily News. His new job was as a security guard for the Apple Store in SoHo. So, while he was supposed to be preventing theft, he was instead allegedly sneaking into the back and dropping armfuls of iPods, iPads, and iPhones into his car. Surveillance video caught him on six different occasions.

Broken Bottles and Bloody Chins: Drake, Brown Fight Over Rihanna?

While it may not have the street cred of the Biggie and Tupac feud, Drake and Chris Brown's mutual dislike should prove to be interesting. Both were drinking at the same bar. Both have been, or perhaps currently are, involved with Rhianna.

Alcohol and broken hearts apparently means broken bottles and bloody chins, reports the New York Post.

Besides being known for his music, Chris Brown is known for domestic violence against Rhianna. That ended their star romance and put him on probation. However, according to the celebrity-stalking TMZ, they have been spending a lot of time together in public and have done a couple of songs together recently, including the Birthday Cake remix (warning: explicit lyrics).

Texting While Driving Results in Death, Court Ordered Talking

People in New York are rightly a little irritated right now. Back in 2010, a 19-year-old Nechama Rothberger was driving along when she had to send an all-important text. Mid-text, however, she was interrupted by Tian Sheng Lin, the guy that she just ran over, reports the Gothamist.

Her traffic incident was the inspiration behind last July's change in law that now allows police officers to pull over texters as a primary offense. Previously, it had to be coupled with something "more serious" like speeding.

Soccer Mom Madam Gets Break From Appeals Court; Lower Bail

The "Soccer Mom Madam," Anna Gristina, may be back on the streets soon, at least while her case is pending. Back in March, she was arrested and indicted for running a high-end prostitution ring that dated back 15 years. The arrest was the culmination of a five-year investigation.

Because she possessed a British passport, as well as property in Canada, the prosecutor, and the judge, felt that she was a flight risk. Prosecutors say that they have a recording of her promising to flee the country if she ever runs into criminal trouble, reports the New York Daily News.

Mom Gets 32 to Life for Starving, Drugging, Murdering Daughter

There aren’t words harsh enough to describe the utterly despicable human being that is Carlotta Brett-Pierce. One word we can use, at least for the next 32 years, is incarcerated, reports the New York Post.

Brett-Pierce was convicted last month of murdering her own daughter, Marchella Pierce. Prosecutors showed evidence of starvation and torture, reports the Gothamist. She had 60 adult doses of Claritin and 30 doses of Benadryl in her system and weighed just 18.9 pounds when she died. The jury needed only one hour to convict her of murder.

Woman Runs Down Boyfriend Over Broken iPhone

This is my iPhone. There are many like it, but this one is mine … and he BROKE IT!

Jasmine Diaz, 25, is in jail right now, waiting to face charges after she ran over her 17-year old boyfriend Frankie Hernandez. It wasn’t because he was cheating, or beating her, or selling crack out of the kitchen. No, he was doing none of those things. He did something far worse in her eyes. He broke her iPhone, reports the New York Daily News.

We get it. The iPhone and iPad devices are like crack. They are fun to use, trendy, user friendly, and hardly ever crash. This is the same phone that was once referred to as the “Jesus phone”.

Tire Thief Dies in Getaway Crash; Driver Charged

Some would say that he died on the job.

Francisco Santana Pena, 24, of the Bronx, died in the collision with a tire still in his lap, reports the New York Post. The driver, Starling Santana, was also injured in the crash, though he escaped with a broken thigh.

The collision came five miles after the chase started. The police spotted a "suspicious vehicle" at a local Honda dealership and tried to stop the car. It took off.

New York Moves Towards Marijuana/Marihuana Decriminalization?

Could it be? Is New York, much like California, going to be a haven for hashish? A Mecca for marijuana? A wonderland for weed?

You get the point. And yes, they might just be headed in that direction. According to The New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg has reversed his previous pro-enforcement stance and has joined Governor Cuomo’s proposal to curb the number of cannabis arrests resulting from police stop and frisks.

Another Day, Another Student Teacher Tryst

Is it getting to the point where it's no longer news? English teacher Erin Sayar, 35, and married, allegedly carried on an affair with a 16-year-old student, Kevin Eng, reports the New York Daily News.

CBS New York did a story last week on the fourteen school employees that have been arrested in the last three months for sexual misconduct. Fox 8 New York is covering a story in which a student won a $500 bet that he could hook up with his teacher before his five friends.

It's a bit much.