Arverne woman charged with vehicular manslaughter in Nassau County crash

northern state mva

An Arverne woman was charged with DWI and vehicular manslaughter in connection with a fatal crash in Nassau County on Monday.

An Arverne resident was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated after a crash that killed the other driver late Monday on the Northern State Parkway, Nassau County police said.

Nassau County court sources identified the Rockaway woman as Silvia Ibanez, 42, who was traveling westbound near Exit 29A in Old Westbury about 10:15 p.m. on July 25, when her car hit a black 2013 Toyota Camry driven by Juan Collado, 61, of Washington Heights, State Police said in a news release.

Collado, who was in the right lane and was hit from behind, died of his injuries; Ibanez, who was driving a black 2010 Toyota RAV4, suffered serious injuries, police said.

Ibanez is being treated at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, where she is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Dozens rally at 100 Precinct House to support police


Dozens of local residents rallied at the 100 Precinct on Tuesday night to show their support for police officers.


The rally was hosted by Danny Ruscillo, the former president of the community council. Everybody brought their hand-made signs to show their support not only for patrol cops in Rockaway, but throughout the nation.



NYPD captain Janice Holmes, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct (left) speaks with Danny Ruscillo, who hosted the event. Holmes said that cops do not come to work with the intent of killing black people and that the present controversy will not solve anything.

theresa 3

Many kids came to the rally along with their parents. The group supporting police was diverse, with all races and political points of view represented. Photo by Theresa Racine.

A few dozen Rockaway residents showed up at the 100 Precinct on Tuesday night to show their support for the men and women who patrol the peninsula, as well as police officers throughout the nation.

The rally for police was hosted by Danny Ruscillo, the former president of the 100 Precinct Community Council.

Captain Janice Holmes, the new precinct commanding officer, set the tone, saying that, as a black woman, she had to tell her kids to respect the police.

“No cop comes to work with the intent to kill a black person,” she said. “They come to work intent to do their job and protect the people they are sworn to protect.”

“This back and forth between protest groups and police is not going to settle anything,” Holmes added.

Ruscillo urged everybody to support the police, who, he said, “want to go home to their families each day after their tour is done.”

Far Rockaway woman used bedroom window to escape ex-boyfriend who raped, robbed her

2415 BCD robbery

A 34-year-old Far Rockaway woman used a bedroom window to escape her ex-boyfriend who had raped and robbed her at 24-15 Beach Channel Drive early on Sunday morning.

A Far Rockaway woman used a bedroom window to escape from an ex-boyfriend who had raped her and robbed her early on Sunday morning, police say.

Citywide police sources said that the unidentified woman, 34, who lives at 24-15 Beach Channel Drive, was raped by an ex-boyfriend at her apartment.

She managed to escape by climbing out of the bedroom window and climbing down a fire escape. She called the 911 emergency system and told responding patrol officers from the 101 Precinct that he had both raped and robbed her, holding her against her will for hours.

The man, who reportedly lives in the 42 Precinct in Brooklyn, fled the building in an unknown direction.

He is described as a light-skinned black male wearing black shorts and no shirt. The police have not released the name of the wanted man, but detectives from the 101 Squad are investigating.  

The victim was transported to Long Island Jewish Hospital for treatment for trauma, where she remains in stable condition.

Rapes are up 100 percent in the 101 Precinct. There have been 16 rapes this year, up from eight at this time last year.

In addition, there has been a 16 percent rise in misdemeanor sex crimes in the precinct this year.


Brooklyn man killed in Breezy Point accident

B 193 street and rockaway point blve MVA

A Brooklyn man was killed when he was struck by an unidentified driver in an isolated area in Breezy Point after midnight on Sunday, police say. The intersection of Rockaway Point Boulevard and Beach 193 Street is at top of Google Earth photo. The beach club is at bottom.

A Brooklyn man was killed and the driver of the car that hit him remains under investigation as a result of a motor vehicle accident in an isolated area of Breezy Point after midnight on Sunday morning.

Police sources say that Terrance Montrose, 26, of Brooklyn, was walking on Rockaway Point Boulevard between Beach 184 and Beach 193 Street, travelling in the eastbound lane, not far from a busy beach club, when he was struck by a 2005 Toyota Sienna driven by a still-unidentified 22-year-old male motorist.

Patrol officers from the 100 Precinct found the victim lying in the roadway, unconscious and unresponsive with trauma about his body. EMS responded and transported the man to Beth Israel Hospital in Brooklyn, where he was declared dead on arrival.

City wide police sources say that the driver is under investigation for driving while intoxicated, but that no arrest has yet been made. The driver remained on the scene and cooperated with police.

The NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad was called to the scene by the patrol officers who responded to the call. The driver was transported to the 112 Precinct in Queens for testing.

Detectives from the 100 Precinct as well as from the CID are investigating.

Mayor sets new school suspension policy; no more suspensions allowed K-2, fewer metal detectors


The union that represents school safety agents has called Mayor de Blasio’s plan to do away with suspensions for students in early grades and to remove metal detectors from many schools “dangerous” and said that “schools will be less safe.”

Statistics for the first three months of 2016 – January through March, show that there were 1208 suspensions in the city’s public schools, including 436 arrests, 340 summonses, 196 assaults, 52 knife possessions, 42 box cutter possessions, five rapes, 72 incidents of violent fights. 20 gun confiscations and 53 robberies. City officials say that those statistics show a drop in crime over the past several years.

Teacher and supervisor union officials, however, say that the crime total is much worse and that the drop in suspensions is due more to the city administration’s new rules that reclassify student actions and cut down on the permissible number of suspensions in some of the most dangerous schools in the city.

Earlier this week, the New York City Department of Education expanded its overhaul of the city’s school discipline code, announcing the end of suspensions for young children and a formal process that will likely lead to the removal of metal detectors at some schools.

The second round of reforms also includes new data-reporting requirements that have been pushed by civil liberties advocates, and adds $15 million for mental health services for high-needs students. The city will spend an additional $47 million this year on the new initiatives, and the overhaul was announced with the New York City Police Department.

Principals will no longer be allowed to suspend any students in kindergarten, first or second grade, a move that explicitly sets the city’s 1,800 schools apart from large charter networks, which are known for suspending children as young as 5 years old.

Perhaps the most anticipated change relates to metal detector scanning, which advocates have said makes students feel criminalized in their own schools, but which charter advocates and the union representing school safety agents have called a crucial safety tool.

Starting next year, the DOE and NYPD will review all schools with metal detectors and determine whether scanners should be kept, removed permanently, maintained part time or used randomly.

De Blasio’s plans were met by strong opposition from the teachers union, the principals union and the school safety agents union.

But the mayor, who announced the new policies Thursday while on vacation in Italy, insisted they were for the best.

“Today’s reforms ensure that school environments are safe and structured,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Students feel safest when lines of responsibility and rules are crystal clear.”

Under de Blasio’s new rules, school leaders who wish to add or remove scanners will invite Education Department and NYPD officials to conduct a safety assessment of their schools. The review will include a school visit and an examination of safety data.

After conducting their review, the Education Department and NYPD will decide whether the school can add or remove scanners. Education officials expect some schools to request scanner assessments later this year.

Local 237 President Gregory Floyd, whose union represents school safety agents, said any change to remove scanners from public schools would threaten student safety.

“Unfortunately this is going to lead to more children bringing weapons to schools,” Floyd said. “There could be a mass shooting. The mayor is making schools less safe.”

De Blasio’s new reforms also ban the use of suspensions for kids in kindergarten through second grade. Suspensions were already banned in 2015 for pre-kindergarten classes.

In the 2015-16 school year there were 801 suspensions of students in kindergarten through second grade, down 44% from 1,454 suspensions for those grades in the 2014-15 school year, school officials said.

The decline in suspensions followed the city’s move in 2015 to ban suspensions for insubordination in all grades.

But de Blasio’s decision to further reduce suspensions by outlawing them completely for kids in kindergarten through second grade drew criticism from the presidents of both the city teachers union and the principals union.

Ernest Logan, who heads the principals union, said the city should provide other tools to modify the behavior of chronically misbehaving students, especially if suspensions are banned.

“If the Department of Education is serious about reforming the disciplinary code it must provide school leaders with the tools they need to maintain an orderly learning environment, not take them away,” Logan said.

The city on Thursday also published data on the use of restraints — such as handcuffs — in the public schools for the first time, showing that students were restrained 673 times from January to March.

Union officials say their case is proven by the statistics that show the great majority of the weapon seizures in the school over the past year were due to the metal detectors and that removing them from dangerous schools would only lead to more deadly weapons inside school buildings. According to union statistics, 37 of the 52 box cutters, 36 of the 52 knives and eight of the 20 guns confiscated during that period were picked up by the metal detectors


Street renaming set for former Midshipman Justin Zemser

Zemser football with mom Susan

Zemser, right, with his mother, Susan, was a member of the Naval Academy’s Sprint Football Team after being all-city at the Beach Channel Educational Campus. Zemser, who died in a tragic AMTRAK accident in 2015 will be remembers with a street name thanks to City Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Justin Zemser has become something of an icon in Rockaway since he was tragically killed in a train derailment in Pennsylvania in 2015.

Zemser, 20, is remembered by his parents and the community at large as a bright young man with a great future ahead of him. He graduated from Channel View School for Research as valedictorian in 2013. At the Beach Channel campus, he was a student leader and an all-city football standout. For a time, he was an intern for City Councilman Eric Ulrich.

He was in his second year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland at the time of his death. He was coming home from leading a plebe orientation when he was killed.

A plaque was dedicated near the football field at Beach Channel in his memory and an annual touch football tournament named for him was held this year.

Now, he will have a street named in his memory.

City Councilman Eric Ulrich recently announced the renaming of the corner of Seaside Avenue and Beach Channel Drive Rockaway Beach as “Midshipman Justin Zemser Way” for the late Rockaway resident, along with several other street renaming ceremonies throughout the city.

“Midshipman Justin Zemser embodied the very best our nation has to offer,” Ulrich said in a prepared statement. “He was a born leader, a gifted student and a tireless servant. We can all learn from the example he set every day and from his commitment to both country and community. I’m thankful to my colleagues in the City Council for passing this legislation, and I’m looking forward to putting up the new street sign, so we can continue to honor Midshipman Justin Zemser’s life.”

Howard Zemser, Justin’s father, praised Ulrich and his team for their efforts.

“We thank Council member Ulrich and his staff for getting this done and fighting to honor Justin,” he said “We’re looking forward to putting up the new sign and inviting the community to join us.”

Zemser was an active member of the Rockaway community. He would often visit and give motivational speeches to high schoolers while in his midshipman’s uniform. Joseph Featherston, assistant principal of Channel View School for Research, believes the street renaming is the perfect way to honor Zemser.

“The signpost bearing his name will be a constant reminder to Channel View’s students that they should live their lives following the ‘Zemser Way’ — patriotism, service, academic success, honesty, friendship, and leadership,” he said “

U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs Officer Commander John Schofield also believes the street renaming is a great way to honor the serviceman.

“Justin Zemser was and will always be a member of the Naval Academy family,” he said “Any effort to keep his memory alive is certainly an appropriate way to remember who he was and the excellence he embodied as a U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman.”

No date has yet been set for the renaming ceremony.

Rockaway restaurant owner arraigned on disability fraud charges

Restaurant opening

Michelle Buggs (center) the owner of a Far Rockaway restaurant on New Haven Avenue, was arraigned in Nassau County on charges of disability fraud and filing false business documents. Her restaurant received mixed reviews on social media. Pictured is the opening of the restaurant in 2014, with many local politicians in attendance.

A Far Rockaway restaurant owner was arrested on felony charges Thursday, accused in Hempstead Criminal Court of fraudulently accepting disability and workers’ compensation payments, the Nassau County District Attorney announced on Thursday.

Nassau court sources identified the woman as Michelle Buggs, 45, of Inwood, who was charged with grand larceny, insurance and workers’ compensation fraud, perjury and offering a false instrument for filing.

Authorities said she accepted more than $69,000 while claiming a disability, despite evidence that her injury had healed.

The Nassau County district attorney’s office said Buggs was hurt on the job on Oct. 18, 2006, while employed as a baker and cake decorator at a Glen Head Waldbaum’s. She suffered an injury to her right wrist while helping a fallen customer from the floor and back to her walker. The Workers’ Compensation Board approved disability payments as a result.

Her disability, for which she was getting payments each month, did not keep her from opening a trendy Caribbean restaurant in Far Rockaway, court papers show.

State records show Buggs filed incorporation papers for a restaurant named It’z All 4 U in August 2012.

The restaurant, located at 20-01 New Haven Avenue in Far Rockaway, got mixed results from diners on Yelp and other social media sites.

Several said that the restaurant was very good and that the help, particularly the owner and manager were “very friendly and helpful.”

Others, however, said that the food was inedible and the restaurant not very conducive to dining pleasure.

The restaurant served such specials as curry goat, pinto beans, chopped BBQ, meat loaf and BBQ Chicken.

During a December 2014, independent medical exam, Buggs said she had not been able to work since the injury, prosecutors said. During a February 2015, workers’ compensation hearing, she said she didn’t own a business, according to prosecutors.

During surveillance of the restaurant by authorities in February 2015, Buggs was seen cooking, working the register, serving customers and carrying items and deliveries using her right hand, prosecutors said.

“When individuals decide to scam the system by filing fraudulent disability insurance claims, they are undermining that very system designed to help those in need,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.

She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on Aug. 26. Buggs’ attorney, Scott Gross of Garden City, said his client denies the charges.

“She looks forward to fighting this case in court,” Gross said.

Buggs faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top charges.



Man sent to hospital with gunshot wound to leg in Arverne attack

66-19 bcd shoooting

A local man was shot in the leg at 11:02 p.m. on Friday night in front of 66-19 Beach Channel Drive in Arverne. It was the second shooting incident In Rockaway this week.

Detectives from the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Park are searching for the gunman who shot a 22-year-old Arverne man in the leg in front of 66-19 Beach Channel Drive at 11:02 p.m. on July 22.

Police sources say that patrol officers responding to a shots fired call found the unidentified victim with a gunshot wound to his right leg. He is expected to recover fully from his wound. In addition, police said, the man has a broken femur from the gunshot.

The victim was transported to Jamaica Hospital while police did vertical patrols in nearby housing authority buildings looking for the shooter.

A level on mobilization was called, bringing police officers from the NYPD’s Strategic Response Unit as well as Emergency Service Unit for a weapons and ballistic search.

This was the second confirmed shooting incident in Rockaway this week. On Monday, a woman was shot in the abdomen in Arverne, a dozen blocks from Friday’s shooting.

National Night Out Against Crime, Community Resource Day coming August 2


The National Night Out Against Crime and Community Resource Day were announced at the 101 Precinct Community Council meeting on Thursday night. Photos  by Theresa Racine.


Two of the 101 Precinct officers at the council meeting.


A scene from last year’s National Night Out Against Crime. This year’s events will take place on August 2.

By Theresa M Racine

Special to

Fifty east end community members attended the 101 Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday night to express their concerns about police-community relations.

Community members joined council president Jasmine Outlaw and others who expressed their concerns in the wake of the recent shootings of police officers.

Outlaw reminded the participants that, while there have been son such issues in Rockaway, that anything can happen at any time and that everybody, police and community, need to be vigilant.

Outlaw said that he and her board are looking into a program that started in the Bronx called “People Police Academy,” which was recently featured on New York 1.

That pilot program is designed to help police officers better understand the people they police, in hopes that the understanding will help to repair relationships between the police and the people they serve and protect.

Outlaw encouraged anyone who wants to be involved with this program to contact her at .

She also asked the community to be more diligent in attending council meetings. The 101st Precinct community council meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 P.M. Meetings are held at the CenterLight Health Center located at 1821 Cornaga Avenue.

A major event in right around the corner.

In the 101 Precinct, National Night out Against Crime and Community Resource Day are set for August 2 at O’Donohue Park on Seagirt Boulevard and Beach 20 Street. Resource Day is when the community and organizations get to come out and share resources with the community and let people know what kinds of help is out there for them. It is also a day that builds community and promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.

The 101 precinct will be host the resource day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and National Night Out will continue from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The commanding officer of the 101 precinct, Deputy Inspector Justin Lenz said that he and his command have worked hard at getting the guns off the streets. According to Lenz, forty eight guns have taken off the streets since the last meeting, including a 45 caliber over the weekend, which a 13 year old kid had in his possession.

Rock Safe Streets which stands against gun violence, showed up at the meeting, spoke on their efforts to take away the guns as well. They connect with these kids and give them something valuable in their hands, like schooling, a job. Rock Safe Streets have had already this month two “Peace Rallies” and asking the community to show up on Friday July 22, 2016 at 5 p.m. at Dix Avenue and Beach Channel Drive, the site of the latest shooting in which a woman was shot in the abdomen.

On Wednesday, July 27, there will be a “March for Peace” at 48-15 Beach Channel Drive, beginning at 3 p.m.

On July 26, there will be a pro-police rally at the 100 Precinct at 6:30 p.m. at the station house on Beach 93 Street.

The 100 Precinct National Night out against Crime will be held on August 2 in the parking lot across the street from the precinct and the Queens Library. The event will begin at 4 p.m.



Woman beaten, raped in front of Rockaway Social Security Office early Sunday morning

Rape locaton

The raped and beaten woman was found propped up in front of the Rockaway Park Social Security Office early on Sunday morning. Some speculate that she had been in one of the local bars prior to the assault. Photo by Doug Macleod.

A 30-year-old Rockaway woman remains in satisfactory condition at Queens General Hospital on Wednesday after being brutally raped and beaten in front of the Rockaway Park Social Security Office early on the morning of July 17, police sources say.

According to citywide sources, a man walking on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at about 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning saw a woman propped up against the wall in front of the Social Security Office, 113-06 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

The man did not have a cell phone, and he flagged down a passing cabbie, who called the 911 emergency phone system.

Responding patrol officers from the 100 Precinct found the unidentified victim with lacerations to her face and her pants were pulled down over her ankles. Police sources say that she was semi-conscious and could not tell officers what had happened to her or who had accosted and raped her. She complained of pain to her face and eyes.

Local sources say that the woman had been in one of the local bars prior to the attack, but police could not corroborate that information.

Detectives from the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit and the 100 Precinct Squad are investigating. Anybody with information on the crime is urged to contact the local precinct squad.

According to NYPD statistics, this was the fifth rape in the precinct this year, in comparison with six last year at this time. Rape in the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, however, is up 87.5 percent this year, with 15 rapes as compared with 8 last year.

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