Boy dies in fire
An 11-year-old boy died tragically Tuesday after an all hands fire broke out in his Coney Island apartment — a blaze that investigators say the child may have sparked.
As this paper went to press, FDNY officials believed that the child was playing with matches when he started the 12:15 p.m. fire on February 16.
Local firefighters made it to the building, located at West 24th Street near Surf Avenue, within three minutes of being called there. When they arrived, they found the young boy, who had not been named, unconscious and unresponsive. He later died at Coney Island Hospital.
FDNY officials said that a second person, believed to be a relative suffering from shock, was also taken to the hospital for observation.
Killed in deli dispute
A 25-year-old man was gunned down in Coney Island following a dispute in a Mermaid Avenue deli, officials said.
Police said that the victim, identified as Adam James, was inside the deli near West 32nd Street just before midnight on February 15 when sources said he was confronted by someone he had an earlier argument with.
After a fierce exchange of words, James left the deli and approached his car.
Once he got inside, his opponent pulled a gun and opened fire, pumping upwards of five shots into the vehicle.
James reportedly got out of the car and fell to the ground, witnesses told police. He died at the scene.
The gunman fled, said police, who are asking anyone with information regarding the man’s whereabouts to come forward.
Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
Maimed over graffiti
A 16-year-old boy lost his leg as he tried to leave his tag at a Gravesend subway station.
Officials said that Jose Juarez was on the tracks leading up to the Kings Highway station near West 7th Street at 10:30 p.m. on February 13 when a passing train severed his leg.
Juarez was rushed to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition after treatment.
There are threats, then there are threats on snow days.
When it comes to an incident in Sheepshead Bay, cops are trying to figure out which is which.
Cops from the 61st Precinct said that a 50-year-old man contacted them, claiming that he felt threatened when an unidentified woman began throwing snow at him.
The victim said that he was on Avenue X near West Street at 8 p.m. on February 11, the day after the snowstorm chatting on his cellphone, when the woman started screaming at him, claiming that he was talking too loudly.
“Get off the phone,” the woman screamed before she began throwing snow at the victim.
The victim was hit, but unharmed. Yet the pain lingered — at least long enough for the victim to report that he felt threatened by the woman’s actions.
Cops were looking to question the woman as this paper went to press.
Quantities of Xanax and marijuana were allegedly recovered after a car was stopped in Gerritsen Beach Saturday.
Police said that they pulled a 1995 BMW over near the corner of Avenue X and Gerritsen Avenue at 12:30 a.m. on February 13 after cops noticed that the man behind the wheel wasn’t wearing his seat belt.
Cops inspected the car after the driver couldn’t produce ID, allegedly finding marijuana “scattered around the center console,” officials said. They also found a bag of 41 Xanax pills in the driver’s jacket pocket.
The motorist, who was ultimately identified as 19-year-old Michael McGrath, was taken into custody, charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Three thugs are being sought for chasing a 31-year-old man through Sheepshead Bay during an attempted robbery.
The victim told police that he was on his way home at 8:45 p.m. on February 9 when the three suspects confronted him at the corner of Avenue W and East 17th Street.
That’s a nice phone,” one of the thieves said, adding, “I got a gun. Let me get it.”
Instead of forking the phone over, the victim ran off.
The thieves gave chase, but abandoned their pursuit after a few blocks.
Busted for purse snatch
Cops have arrested a 22-year-old allegedly responsible for choking a woman until she gave up her purse on 86th Street.
The victim, 47, said that she was nearing 25th Avenue at 1 a.m. on February 5 when Brandon Williams allegedly crept up from behind and began choking her.
He then shoved the woman to the ground, grabbed the purse and ran off to a nearby building, police alleged.
A cop conducting a vertical patrol of the apartment building took him into custody when he spotted Williams chucking the purse into a building incinerator. The purse had the victim’s ID in it, officials said.
Williams was charged with robbery.
Game goon sought
A 16-year-old was robbed of his PlayStation Portable, iPod Nano and a Sidekick cell phone following an example of brute force in Sheepshead Bay.
The victim said that he was waiting for his friend at the corner of Brown Street and Avenue X at 4:17 p.m. February 4 when an unidentified thief stormed up to him.
“Give me your iPod,” the thief demanded.
When the victim refused to comply, the thief started punching him. All the while, he had his hand in his jacket as if he had a firearm.
After several punches to the face, the victim offered up his property. The thief took it and ran off, officials said.
Caught in the act
A 16-year-old was in handcuffs last week after cops caught him trying to steal — of all things — a school bus, police alleged.
Prosecutors alleged that opportunity knocked as Gary Stevens walked by the unattended bus near the corner of East 15th Street and Avenue Z on the afternoon of February 2. The door was wide open and the keys to the bus were still in the ignition.
It was also a great opportunity for two attentive police officers, who saw Stevens walk by the bus and then heard the motor turn over, officials alleged.
The officers raced over and grabbed Stevens before he could sail off in his new school bus.
Stevens, however, wasn’t in the market for school buses that day.
According to published reports, he told the arresting officers that all he wanted to do was turn on the vehicle, close the door and take a nap.
Blade boys busted
Two young men were arrested in Brighton Beach Sunday following a botched knife-point robbery, police said.
Officials alleged that Joel Tlamai, 20, and Gilberto Velazquez, 16, surrounded their victim on Brighton 10 Path just before 9:30 p.m. on February 7.
One of the two men allegedly pulled a knife and demanded the victim’s money, but both suddenly got cold feet and ran off.
Responding officers from the 60th Precinct apprehended both men a short time later, charging them with robbery.
Preying on Pathmark, police
Cops arresting a woman for shoplifting in the Coney Island Pathmark found themselves with a bigger score after a brief search, police alleged.
Police said that they took Johanna Aragon, 32, into custody at 5:35 p.m. on February 7 after store employees caught her allegedly trying to sneak out of the supermarket with a pair of slippers, some lotion, and a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles.
But when cops searched her bag, they allegedly realized that Aragon had stolen something else — a fake police parking placard.
The would-be placard, a photocopy on paper, was allegedly found in her handbag, although it’s doubtful that it would fool anyone if it was left on someone’s dashboard.
Cops took Aragon into custody, charging her with petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful use or possession of official police cards.
Left flat footed
A NYC traffic agent was left with some sore toes back in January when a woman he was giving a ticket to ran over his foot, police alleged.
Now, over a month later, she’s the one left flat — in a holding cell.
Chila Lati, 39, was apparently in a hurry as she did her errands on the afternoon of January 8, so much so that she parked her 1996 Ford in a crosswalk on Avenue U, police alleged.
She ran off and went to a nearby pharmacy to pick something up, but when she came outside the traffic agent was in the midst of writing her a ticket.
Officials said that Lati begged the agent not to write the ticket, but he ignored her.
Apparently seeing no other alternative, Lati jumped into her car and sped off, running over the agent’s foot in the process, police alleged.
After a brief investigation Lati was taken into custody on February 1, charged with assault.