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104th Pct. reports murders up 400%

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The precinct, which covers 7.5 square miles in Glendale, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Middle Village, had just one murder last year by June 20, the latest date for which figures are available this year.

Three of the killings occurred at separate area nightspots, leading the 104th Precinct to step up enforcement of licensed drinking establishments, said Capt. Scott Shanley, the precinct's commander.

On April 3 a Ridgewood barbershop owner was shot in the head inside the Metrolounge on Metropolitan Avenue. Anderson Pizarro, 27, died shortly after.

Less than two weeks later, Pittsburgh resident Diomedes Rivera, 29, was fatally stabbed in the stomach outside the Latina Ja Tavern on Cypress Avenue.

And on May 13 Ecuadorean immigrant Luis Cajas was shot and killed at work inside Kelly's bar and grill on Eliot Avenue in Middle Village.

Police have made no arrests in the three cases and investigations were ongoing.

Another gruesome murder took place June 13 in Maspeth, when 18-year-old Richard Richardson was slashed to death with a Samurai sword. His supposed friend, Michael Desiderio, 18, of Maspeth, was charged with second-degree murder in the slaying.

Information about the fifth murder was unavailable.

Despite this wave of violent assaults, the overall crime rate was down 10 percent in the precinct as of June 20.

Shanley has said the dip may be linked to the precinct's "Operation Impact" initiative, which floods troubled southern Ridgewood along Cypress Avenue with cops from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night.

Burglaries were down 20 percent, from 362 to 290. With 28 fewer robberies than last year, criminal complaints for that crime are down 18 percent, the figures show.

Automobile thefts were down about 12 percent, as well as felony assaults by roughly 10 percent.

Rape and grand larceny were up, however. There have been two more rapes this year, bringing the total incidents to nine. And this year's 253 cases of grand larceny marked a 9.5 percent increase over last year, the figures showed.

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

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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