The New York Criminal Law Blog

July 2012 Archives

Kidnap Victim Found in Cop's Garage, He Was (Probably) Unaware

Detective Ondre Johnson is innocent ... until proven guilty.

Seriously though, he might actually be innocent. Police are investigating the 17-year-veteran in a kidnapping case where the victim was found tied up in his garage. They have boiled down the scenario to two possibilities: either Det. Johnson is incredibly oblivious or he is moonlighting as a criminal.

Citizens Tackle iPhone Thief: The Law of Citizens' Arrests

iPhone theft is pretty common in NYC. That shouldn’t surprise ti most people, as the devices cost about $500 on the Internet fence formally known as craigslist. What is slightly less common is iPhone theft in the middle of the day.

Now, the stereotype of the New Yorker is one of a callous, self-absorbed, and apathetic type. New Yorkers just don’t care, right?

Wrong.

Organized Criminals Commit Interstate Grand Theft Cardboard

Seriously? If you're going to go through that much trouble, you could at least steal something exciting, like a Maserati or a ton of Apple swag. Despite the absolutely unexciting cargo, the three brilliant men accused of stealing cardboard were pretty impressive, at least as far as thieves go.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Neal Devito, 34, John Nichols, 38, and Vincenzo Grasso, 46, were all arrested after their scheme netted more than $100,000 in stolen cardboard. The gentlemen reportedly set up multiple fake companies to transport cardboard that was intended for recyclers. They would pick up the material from stores like Sam's Club and Walmart and instead of delivering to the contracted recyclers, would sell it to companies in New York and New Jersey.

Shooting at Memorial Basketball Tournament Results in Dead Child

The "First Annual Ghetto Angels Basketball Tournament" was supposed to pay tribute to a local 15-year-old girl that was stabbed to death last year. Instead, a shootout during the basketball tournament claimed another child's life, 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, reports the New York Daily News.

Sunday night, one shooter, identified only as "Spidey", allegedly shot at one of the basketball players during a game. The player shot back, and the bullet inadvertently hit the child in the head. He passed away a short time later at Lincoln Hospital.

So far, no arrests have been made. Should "Spidey" be unmasked, and the basketball player who shot back be brought into custody? Which of the two are responsible for the death of the child?

Rape Shield Law's Applicability in Orthodox Jew Rape Trial

Sexual assault cases often come down to "he said, she said" scenarios. She said that Nechemya Weberman, a leader in the Orthodox Jewish community and counselor, sexually abused her for three years, beginning when she was twelve.

Weberman is claiming that it is all a revenge plot. Weberman claims that he persuaded her father to film the girl having sex with her over-age boyfriend and to file a complaint with the district attorney for statutory rape, reports the New York Daily News.

Serial Foot Licker In Custody; Feet of NY Children Are Safe

Is this the oddest of this year’s crimes? Even in New York, a serial children’s foot licker has to take the top prize. We’ve seen an anti-Semitic Elmo, though his conduct was more insane than criminal. There was also a lady selling hot dogs and happy endings. We’ve even written about public subway masturbators.

Anthony Parri, 49, makes those people look somewhat normal, at least, if the allegations against him are true. The New York Daily News reports that Parri was caught licking the foot of a child in a public area of the Penfield library. Another child was also victimized by the alleged serial licker.

Jason Kidd DWI: Jail Time a Possibility?

We know whose fault this really is. It's Raymond Felton's fault. You see, Jason Kidd just signed with the Knicks to serve as a backup and mentor to last year's out-of-nowhere sensation Jeremy Lin. Unfortunately, after putting pen to paper, the Knicks pulled the bait-and-switch and acquired Raymond Felton. They are expected to let Lin flee to Houston for more money.

Jason Kidd, a legend, is now backing up Raymond Felton. Yep, that explains the drinking binge.

In all seriousness though, there really is no excuse for driving while drunk. Even if you are a legend arguably being surpassed by utter mediocrity, and are understandably depressed, there are still such things as designated drivers and taxi cabs.

Alleged Ticket-Fixing Cop and Wife Caught in Murder for Hire Plot

Former NYPD Officer Jose Ramos just can’t stop flinging the metaphorical feces at the fan. Just last October, he was caught up in a ticket-fixing and corruption scandal that ensnared sixteen officers. The wiretaps from the investigation reportedly caught him handling more than parking violations. He was also accused of two dozen crimes, including running drugs and attempted robbery.

Now add conspiracy and criminal solicitation as part of a murder for hire plot to the list, reports The New York Times. Ramos, and his wife Wanda Abreu, apparently felt that the best way to take care of the charges was to kill one of the primary witnesses against him. So, in a series of coded messages recorded by investigators, the duo planned, plotted, and conspired to have a hit man take out the witness.

Woke Up This Morning, Got Yourself a Gun (Legally in NYC)

Gun rights groups think New York City hates handguns. And that Mayor Bloomberg really hates handguns. In most parts of the country, obtaining a pistol is as simple as waiting out the background check and possibly passing a safety test. In New York City, there are permits, applications, and substantial fees.

Still, it's better to jump through the hoops than be nabbed for an illegally possessed weapon. If you've moved to the City, you might be surprised to know that you not only have to register the weapon, but you also need a permit to have it in your own home.

So if you want to go get yourself a gun in NYC, listen up.

The Great Rewind: The FindLaw Guide to Expungement

What's the worst part about having a criminal record? Is it the punishment itself? What about the questions on employment applications and housing forms that ask, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"

It really was just that one time, too. You really thought you were good to drive. The officer pulled you over for a taillight and you ended up with a DUI. However, even after the punishment was inflicted and probation served successfully, the charge is still haunting you on those job applications.

Joel Grubert, Sex Offender, Arrested for Groping; Three Strikes?

It's a tough balance. The rights of the accused and the repeat offenders must be balanced against the need to protect future victims. Without protections for those that are accused, but not convicted, or protections for those that have served their time, we dissolve into an un-American authoritarian state.

Still, sometimes it seems that we're not doing enough. Joel Grubert, a 49-year-old sex offender, out on parole for child porn charges, was arrested again this weekend after he allegedly groped two young girls, ages 6 and 9, in a public library, reports the New York Daily News.

Clayton Osbon, Jet Blue Pilot, 'Insane' During Rant, Not Guilty

The criminal trial of Clayton F. Osbon came to an end this week in Amarillo, Texas with a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, reports The Associated Press.

The decision wasn't much of a surprise. From the descriptions of his odd tirade, it sure sounded like a complete and unexpected mental break.

McCarren Park Pool: A $50M Crime Scene?

McCarren Park Pool is stunningly gorgeous. The $50 million in renovations have brought an abandoned historic public park and made it state of the art. The demand for the pool, which has a capacity of 1500, has been overwhelming, resulting in people being turned away daily since it opened.

Sounds great, right?

In the five days that the pool has been open, it has already been besieged with crime. On Friday, there was a brawl between several teenagers at the pool, resulting in a lifeguard being assaulted. The pool was closed an hour early, reports DNA Info.