Entries in Queens (4)


NYC Subway Push Killing: Woman Charged With Murder

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A woman who allegedly told New York City police she pushed a man onto the subway tracks because she hated Hindus and Muslims has been charged with murder as a hate crime.

Erica Menendez, 31, allegedly told police that she "pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I've been beating them up."

Menendez was taken into custody Saturday morning after a two-day search, and when detectives were interviewing her she allegedly made the statements implicating herself in Thursday night's subway-platform death.

"The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter's worst nightmare -- being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train," Queen District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. "The victim was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant's actions can never be tolerated by a civilized society."

Menendez was due to be arraigned Saturday evening. She could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the second degree murder charge.

On Thursday night, a woman shoved a man from a subway platform at Queens Boulevard, and the man was crushed beneath an oncoming train. Police had searched the area for her after the incident.

The victim was Sunando Sen, identified by several media outlets as a graphic designer and Indian immigrant who opened a print shop, Amsterdam Copy, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Sen was struck by the No. 7 train after the unidentified woman allegedly pushed him from the northbound platform at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard at 8:04 p.m. on Thursday.

Witnesses told police they had seen the woman mumbling to herself, pacing along the platform. She gave Sen little time to react, witnesses said.

"Witnesses said she was walking back and forth on the platform, talking to herself, before taking a seat alone on a wooden bench near the north end of the platform. When the train pulled into the station, the suspect rose from the bench and pushed the man, who was standing with his back to her, onto the tracks into the path of the train," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said earlier today. "The victim appeared not to notice her, according to witnesses."

Police released brief surveillance video of the woman fleeing the subway station, and described the suspect as a woman in her 20s, "heavy set, approximately 5'5" with brown or blond hair."

It was New York's second death of this kind in less than a month. On Dec. 3, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han of Queens was shoved onto the tracks at New York's Times Square subway station. Two days later, police took 30-year-old Naeem Davis into custody.

On Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked whether the attack might be related to the increase of mentally ill people on the streets following closures of institutions over the past four decades.

"The courts or the law have changed and said, no, you can't do that unless they're a danger to society. Our laws protect you," Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


3 Million Bees Seized From New York Beekeeper’s Home

ABC News Radio(NEW YORK) -- A New York City neighborhood was abuzz when nearly three million bees were seized from a beekeeper in Queens who violated urban beekeeping rules.

Beekeepers descended on the Corona, New York home of Yi Gin Chen Wednesday night to collect the hives in the 58-year-old man’s driveway and yard.

Police say that the man began his hobby with one hive two years ago, but since then his swarm has grown out of control, to 45 hives and millions of bees.

New York City’s board of health lifted a ban on beekeeping in March of 2010, which opened the door for many fans of the insect to keep Apis mellifera — the non-aggressive honeybee.  The bee population has been dwindling.

Beekeepers in New York City are required to register with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and to adhere to appropriate practices.

“I think he violated a lot of common sense doctrine. He was a bad steward to the bees,” Andrew Corte, president of the New York City Beeekeepers Association, told ABC News.


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


“Being a beekeeper is to be sure bees are placed in a manner that doesn’t harm neighbors. This man had several hives within of a few feet of his neighbors,” he said.

ABC News was unable to reach Chen for comment.

Best practices for urban beekeeping include maintain a docile and non-defensive colony, ensuring neighbors are not outside when the hive is opened,  and meticulous record keeping, according to the Beeekeepers Association.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New York Arson Attacks Under Investigation as Hate Crimes

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Four arson attacks in Queens, N.Y., are being investigated as possible hate crimes against Muslims, police said.

The attacks, which took place around 8 p.m. Sunday, targeted an Islamic center housing a prominent Shiite mosque, a bodega and two private homes.

Police and fire officials say at least two of the attacks appear to have stemmed from a dispute at the bodega, where a customer of Guyanese descent argued with an employee.  The customer allegedly returned to the bodega and tossed a Molotov cocktail behind the counter.

Authorities were investigating whether the employee worshiped at the Islamic center, which was hit by a similar firebomb made from a glass Starbucks bottle.

"No matter what the motivation was of the individual who threw Molotov cocktails in Queens last night, his actions stand in stark contrast to the New York City of today that we've built together," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement Monday.

The door of the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation Islamic center was blackened by the blast but the building did not catch fire.

"We thank Allah (SWT) that no major damage or injury was caused by the blast," reads a message on the foundation's website.  "The Foundation reiterates its resolve to continue to serve the community and to strive to bring love where there is hatred, light where there is darkness and enlightenment where there is ignorance."

A fifth attack involving an incendiary device thrown through the front window of a home in neighboring Nassau County at 9:40 p.m. is also under investigation.  The device did not ignite a fire, and no injuries were reported.  NYPD officials say the firebomb matched the Molotov cocktails used in the first three Queens attacks.

Although none of the attacks caused any injuries, flames that erupted at one of the homes took more than 60 firefighters about 40 minutes to control.  The other home attacked, which also serves as a Hindu temple, was hit by two Molotov cocktails thrown from a van that sped away.  The bottles fizzled out.

All five incidents are under investigation as arsons.  At least some appeared to target Muslims.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing on New York Beach

Stockbyte/Thinkstock (file photo)(QUEENS, N.Y.) -- A small airplane was forced to make an emergency landing on a beach in New York Monday after it had problems with its engine.

According to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV in New York, the PA 28 landed in shallow water on Rockaway Beach in Queens, just three miles south of John F. Kennedy International Airport, around 7 p.m.  All three people on board -- a pilot and two passengers -- walked away from the aircraft with no injuries.

The plane was grounded due to a rough running engine.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio