Police Blotter: Operation Spotlight targets chronic misdemeanor offenders in Queens

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KEW GARDENS—Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Operation Spotlight—a multi-agency criminal justice initiative designed to identify chronic misdemeanor offenders and target them for enhanced prosecution— started Monday in Queens.

The program is being administered in conjunction with the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Coordinator’s Office. The Queens district attorney’s office is the first prosecutor’s office to take part in the initiative, which is slated for citywide expansion, Brown said.

Under Operation Spotlight, chronic misdemeanor offenders will receive meaningful sanctions for their crimes or, if appropriate, will be referred to intensive court-supervised substance abuse treatment.

The program is focusing on 9,000 misdemeanor offenders, roughly 40 percent of whom are also felony offenders. Some 43 percent of the offenders have six or more prior misdemeanor convictions and approximately 27 percent have 11 or more prior misdemeanor convictions, Brown said.

Edgemere man suspected of salon robberies arrested

JAMAICA—The Queens Robbery Squad arrested a Rockaway man Friday morning on charges he committed three armed robberies at beauty salons in the 103rd and 105th Precincts, police said.

Maurice Collier, 29, of 331 Beach 32nd St in Edgemere, was arrested at 10:15 Friday morning and charged with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

He was charged with three robberies of cash and jewelry from patrons and owners of southeast Queens beauty salons, police said. The heists were part of a larger pattern of six salon thefts from June 28 to Aug. 6 that were still under investigation, police said.

2 cops hurt in Jamaica stopping motorists

JAMAICA – Two police officers were injured last Thursday night while trying to arrest two men for driving the wrong way down a one way street in Jamaica, police said.

The officers saw the two cars heading the wrong way down 160th Street between South Street and Liberty Avenue just before 6 p.m., police said. As the officers attempted to stop the vehicles, one of them tried to flee by driving in reverse, striking several parked cars.

As one of the officers approached the vehicle, the driver reversed again, pinning the officer against another car, police said. He sustained minor injuries to his right leg, and was treated at Jamaica Hospital.

The second officer strained his shoulder and sprained his elbow while attempting to arrest the driver.

The driver, Ronald Clarke, 27, of 150 Hill St., was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, police said.

The second driver fled the scene, and the investigation was continuing.

Robber gets $500 from Hollis carpet store

HOLLIS—A armed man stole $500 from Bright Carpet on Jamaica Avenue early Friday morning, police said.

The unidentified man entered the Bright Carpet store at 212-47 Jamaica Ave. at 8:15 a.m. and brandished a gun, police said. He removed $500 in cash and fired a round of bullets into the wall before fleeing, police said.

There were no injuries or arrests and police were continuing with an investigation.

6 cops hurt in Far Rockaway as fugitive flees, fatally falls

FAR ROCKAWAY — A handcuffed Brooklyn man was killed after he escaped from police custody and plunged off the roof of a building Thursday night, police said.

Six police officers were injured in the incident, which began after 10 p.m. when 27-year old Curtis Goddard barged into the 10th floor apartment of his 26-year old ex-girlfriend at 71-15 Beach Channel Dr., police said.

The 26-year-old woman was home with her 4-year-old son, 2-year-old daughter and four friends when Goddard forced his way in, police said.

When one of the woman’s friends, a 31-year old man, tried to eject Goddard from the apartment, the ex-boyfriend pulled a gun, forcing him into the hallway, police said.

The friend then phoned 911. When police arrived, a violent struggle broke out between the officers and Goddard, but they managed to cuff his hands behind his back and recover a razor, several bullets and two notes, police said.

While handcuffed, Goddard continued to fight with the cops, reaching for a gun from one of the officer’s holsters and repeatedly screaming “shoot me,” police said.

Goddard then broke free by pushing the officers away and ran up a nearby stairwell to the roof, police said. When the cops reached the roof they discovered his body lying in a yard 12 stories below, police said.

Goddard, of 514 Essex St. in Brooklyn, was pronounced dead on arrival at Peninsula Hospital, police said.

Six police officers were injured in the fracas, including one who sustained a fractured finger, police said.

LIC man charged with neighbor’s murder

LONG ISLAND CITY — The neighbor of a man who was shot to death in a courtyard at Queensbridge Houses last week was arrested in connection with the murder, police said.

Phillip Dennis, 17, of 40-03 Vernon Blvd., allegedly shot 33-year-old Derrick Harris outside his apartment building at 11:55 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, police said. Dennis was arrested Sunday and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

Harris, of 40-02 Vernon Blvd., was struck with a gunshot wound to the chest and pronounced dead 30 minutes later at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, police said

Bandit unable to break into Astoria bank safe

ASTORIA—A bandit broke into the vault room at the Marathon National Bank early Monday morning, but could not open a safe, police said.

The unknown suspect entered the 32-04 Broadway bank at 1:42 a.m. through the staircase of an adjacent abandoned business and tried unsuccessfully to break into a floor safe, police said.

The bank reported no losses, police said.

Truck driver robbed of $77,000 in Jackson Hts.

JACKSON HEIGHTS—A courier truck driver was robbed at gun point of $77,000 in cash in broad daylight Monday morning, police said.

A group of men committed the heist at 11:39 a.m. at the intersection of 34th Avenue and 60th Street, then fled the scene, police said.

No arrests were made and police were continuing with their investigation.

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