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Police stop suicide attempt at Kew Gds. Hills hotel

In a furious race against time last week, 102nd Precinct detectives tracked a Kew Gardens man who had left a suicide message for his wife and children on an answering machine to a Kew Gardens Hills hotel room, where they found him bleeding from self-inflicted wounds to his wrists and leg.

The man’s wife called police after she arrived at her Park Lane South apartment shortly before 4 p.m. on Aug. 5 and found a message from her 34-year-old husband on the answering machine saying he intended to kill himself, said Detective Lester Klvana of the 102nd Precinct Detective Squad.

Klvana rushed over to the house with three other detectives to listen to the message. “They were all there crying,” he said of the wife and her two little boys. “The husband had just started a new job as a budget director and was very pressured and depressed.”

Klvana, Detective Rick Van Houten, Sgt. Phil Nelson and Sgt. Mike Nagri listened to the message, which included details of a $695,000 life insurance policy. There was no background noise, which could have included clues as to the husband’s whereabouts, Klvana said. The caller ID indicated he had called from his cell phone.

Police picked up on a key clue when the man said the family would find the body in the early afternoon. Klvana said they had figured he must be in a hotel because the room would be cleaned by the early afternoon.

The detectives contacted the precinct’s Technical Assistance Response Unit, which worked with the cell phone carrier to find out where the man was when he placed the suicide call. The phone company quickly faxed a map detailing the general vicinity where the call was made.

The only hotel within the area on the map was the Kew Motor Inn, located at 139-01 Grand Central Parkway in Kew Gardens Hills. “Then we do a credit check and sure enough he used his credit card,” Klvana said. “We knew he was there. We just hoped he was alive.”

The detectives obtained a key for the door and entered the man’s room.

“As we opened the top lock he was standing right there. He was very upset,” Klvana said. “Both wrists were slit. He tried to cut his leg. He was bleeding.”

The man was taken in an ambulance to New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, where he was treated for his injuries and underwent psychological evaluation, police said.

When detectives reached the hotel lobby, they were greeted by the man’s wife.

“She thanked us and called us her guardian angels,” Klvana said. “She couldn’t believe that we did such a good job and found him so quickly.”

The incident was over by 8:30 p.m.

wReach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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