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Ridgewood deaths spur 104th plan

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Just 10 days after a fatal shooting in a...

By Matthew Monks

Two recent deaths at separate Ridgewood night spots have prompted the 104th Precinct to kick off a safety campaign in Ridgewood and nearby Maspeth later this month, said Kathy Bonziglia, crime prevention officer.

Just 10 days after a fatal shooting in a Metropolitan Avenue club at the Ridgewood-West Maspeth line, a Pennsylvania man died Sunday morning after being stabbed in the stomach at 4:30 a.m. outside the Latina Ja Tavern on Cypress Avenue, police said.

Diomedes Rivera, 29, of 413 Grant St. in Pittsburgh, was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:10 a.m. at Wyckoff Hospital, police said. No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing into the incident at the tavern near Bushwick.

According to the New York Post, Rivera was leaving the bar with his girlfriend and a friend when he got into an argument with another man. The unknown assailant stabbed him and fled.

The case mirrors a shooting death on April 3 at the Metrolounge at 52-35 Metropolitan Ave. Anderson Pizarro, 27, of Howard Beach, was out with friends when he was shot in the head inside the club at 3:25 a.m. He was pronounced dead an hour later at Elmhurst Hospital, police said. An arrest has yet to be made.

Bonziglia said two club deaths in such a short time is unusual. In response, the precinct’s auxiliary police squad will fan out through Ridgewood and Maspeth near the clubs next Thursday, talking to residents about personal safety and gathering information, she said.

Some 30 officers will patrol the area on foot and hand out information packets on personal safety, a reminder now that the weather has turned warm — allowing for more night time activity, she said.

When going out at night, Bonziglia urged residents to travel in groups and park in well-lit areas. She counseled people to surrender valuables if they are mugged and use the ATM before going out. People should always be aware of their surroundings and devise a safety plan in case something happens.

She warned women never to leave a purse unattended in a bar, a simple precaution Bonziglia said which many women fail to take.

Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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