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Irish Eyes Are Already Smiling

As Bay Ridge prepares to be transformed into an emerald empire next month for St. Patrick’s Day festivities, a local planning committee got busy ironing out the kinks in the jubilant jaunt. The Irish American Brooklyn Parade Committee held an installation dance at St. Patrick’s Hall, 4th Avenue and 97th Street, to formally induct the grand marshal and aides, who will lead merrymakers along the 31st annual trek through historic Park Slope, March 19. Selected as grand marshal was Catherine Mitchell Miceli, secretary of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and past president of United Irish Counties. Joining her will be aides AnnMarie Acosta, Timothy Horan, Sister Therese Fitzgerald, Patrick Egan, Mary Downs, Kevin Kennedy and Michael Gaffney. This year’s parade is dedicated, in part, to the memories of four “outstanding” community leaders: New York State Supreme Court Justice William Bellard, Patrick “Chris” Coughlin, Cornelius Buckley and Francis “Frank” Lawler. Assemble for the parade – preceded by a Mass at Holy Name Church, 245 Prospect Park West, 9 a.m. – at Prospect Park West and 14th Street, noon. Marchers will traverse down 15th Street to 7th Avenue, along 7th Avenue to Union Street, up Union Street to Prospect Park West and long Prospect Park West to 15th Street. For more information about the time and location of the parade call 718-499-9482. ARREST MADE IN OTB KILLING: Investigators from the 68th Precinct have arrested a 71-year-old man in connection with a slaying outside an Off-Track Betting parlor at 513 88th Street late Wednesday afternoon. Officials said that Frank Guccione, Jr. of 8502 Fort Hamilton Parkway was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon a day after he allegedly shot 50-year-old Daniel McCurdy during what is being characterized as a heated argument. Officials alleged that McCurdy, a resident of Gelston Avenue, and Guccione were in the OTB at 4:30 p.m. when the two men began fighting. That’s when, police alleged, Guccione pulled a .32 caliber pistol and opened fire, striking the 6’2” McCurdy in the chest. McCurdy was rushed to Victory Memorial Hospital, where he died of his injuries. According to residents, Guccione and McCurdy were friends. Cops did not disclose what sparked the argument, although friends of the victim believe that the spat was allegedly over money. The New York Post described Guccione as a neighborhood “bookie” who had allegedly helped McCurdy out of a number of jams. He even bailed McCurdy out of jail after the 50-year-old had been arrested on a domestic violence charge, police alleged. *** COMPUTER, JEWELRY TAKEN FROM APARTMENT: A thief broke into a Dyker Heights home last week, taking thousands of dollars of jewelry and electronics. The victim, a resident of the 1300 block of 70th Street, told police that he left his home at 12:30 p.m. on January 25. When he returned about two hours later, he noticed that his desktop and laptop computers were missing. So were a $3,500 gold bracelet and a digital camera valued at $350. As of this writing, cops had not discovered just how the thief entered the home, since there were no signs of forced entry. *** CAR BREAK-IN LEADS TO SPENDING SPREE: Cops are looking for the thief who broke into a 2005 Dodge on the 1300 block of 77th Street last week and then used the ATM card he found inside to go on a spending spree. Police said that the thief racked up $600 in charges before the victim discovered that the card was missing and had it canceled. The victim said that he parked his car at 2:30 a.m. on January 29. When he returned to his car at 4 p.m. the following day, he realized that someone had broken into his car, taking his ATM card, a few credit cards, cell phone and MP3 player. Cops are trying to track the thief down. *** SWIPED FROM STOOP: A 26-year-old woman told police that her handbag was taken from her after she left it on a stoop “just for a minute.” The woman claimed that she placed the bag on the edge of a stoop near the corner of 3rd Avenue and 87th Street at 12:30 a.m. on January 27. When she returned a moment later to retrieve the bag, it was gone, officials said. At the time, the bag contained two gift cards, $350 in cash and an iPod. Police said that whoever took the bag immediately took it to an area store, where he, or she, used the victim’s ATM card to make several purchases. *** COMPUTER TAKEN FROM SCHOOL: Workers at the DGK School, 8502 Ridge Boulevard, told police that someone broke into a first-floor classroom, taking a computer and a monitor. Officials said that the school was closed at 10 p.m. on January 27. When a worker opened at 10:45 a.m. the following morning, he went into room 107, finding it vandalized. Police believe that the thief entered the classroom through an open side window. The suspect destroyed the classroom, vandalizing the furniture and painting the walls with water paints found among the arts and crafts. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this break-in is urged to call the 68th Precinct at (718) 439-4211. All calls will be kept confidential. *** COPS: HELP CLEAN UP GRAFFITI WHILE EARNING SOME GREEN: As the ongoing war against graffiti vandals continues, cops are now offering up to $500 in reward money to anyone who can offer them information that can lead them to anyone who commits graffiti vandalism. The hefty reward is part of the city’s new push to rid New York of graffiti vandals. Graffiti is one of the leading quality of life complaints brought to police. Officials said that cleaning up graffiti is essential to the plan, to show that the community is no longer going to tolerate marred and tagged-up walls and street corners. According to police there is a perception that if a community will tolerate graffiti, they will tolerate other criminal activities, such as drug dealing and prostitution. Anyone with information about graffiti vandalism is urged to contact either 311 or 911. *** THUGS SOUGHT FOR BATH AVE. ROBBERY: A group of thugs brutally beat a 41-year-old man as he made his way to his car parked near the corner of Bath Avenue and Bay 14th Street last week, officials said. The thieves, described as white males in their twenties, surrounded the victim just after midnight on February 2 and demanded his money. When he refused, the suspects punched the victim in the face – knocking him to the ground – and then proceeded to punch and kick him relentlessly until one of the suspects pulled $800 from the victim’s pants pocket. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this robbery to come forward. Calls can be made to the 62nd Precinct at (718) 236-2611. All calls will be kept confidential. *** IT WASN’T MR. SANDMAN: A 79-year-old woman was woken up Saturday by a burglar asking her where she kept her pocketbook, cops from the 61st Precinct said. As of this writing, cops were still looking for the man who broke into the victim’s home, located on the 3200 block of Emmons Avenue just moments before 6:20 a.m. on February 4. The victim said that she was asleep when the suspect woke her up, demanded to know where she kept her purse and ran off with it. Police believe that the victim entered the home by cutting through a screened-in window. The thief grabbed the woman’s purse, which contained $50 at the time, and fled the home through the same window, officials said. Police are investigating. *** LAUNDRY LOOTER NABBED: A 14-year-old boy has been arrested for robbing from two laundromats along Avenue X in Sheepshead Bay. Officials from the 61st Precinct said that the teen hit two coin operated laundromats before being arrested and charged with robbery. The name of the teen, a resident of Quincy Street in Fort Greene, is not being released because of his age. Police charge that the teen entered Launder Heaven, 3046 Avenue X at 7:40 p.m. on February 5 and removed $50 from a cash register. When a worker tried to stop him, the teen claimed that he had a knife and ran off. About an hour and a half later, the teen entered the Super Clean Laundromat, 2948 Avenue X, and pulled a knife on a worker, demanding the money from the resister. The teen was caught shortly after the second robbery, officials said. *** ALL BAGGED UP: Coney Island residents saw just how cops handle their more active perpetrators last week as they used “the bag” on a teenager arrested for slugging his sister on West 19th Street. Officials said that they responded to the address, located between Mermaid and Neptune avenues at 3:45 p.m. on January 30 following a report that two siblings were fighting in the street. Witnesses said that during a heated argument the unidentified suspect assaulted his sister. As cops arrived, the teen allegedly began acting out, refusing to be handcuffed. Officers ultimately apprehended the teen and then rolled out “the bag,” a piece of equipment that secures and restrains the suspect so it won’t cause harm to himself or others. Police said that both the brother and the sister were taken to Coney Island Hospital for evaluation. As of this writing, it was unclear what caused the assault. *** STITCHES FOR WOMAN IN PURSE SNATCH: A 54-year-old woman needed four stitches to close a deep gash she suffered on her elbow after a thug made off with her purse on East 2nd Street in Sheepshead Bay, officials said. Police are currently looking for the thief, who was described as a white male in his early 20s. The victim said that she was on East 2nd Street between Avenues X and Y at 9 p.m. on February 6 when the unidentified thief shoved her to the ground. Once the woman hit the concrete, the suspect scooped up her handbag and ran off toward Avenue Y. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call police. Calls can be made to the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611. All calls will be kept confidential. *** STRUCK DOWN: Firefighters and paramedics responded to Emmons Avenue between Ocean Avenue and East 21st Street in Sheepshead Bay last week after a middle aged man was knocked to the ground by a Honda Element, police said. Witnesses said that the driver of the Element was backing out of a parking spot at 3 p.m. on February 3 when she collided with the unidentified victim, who is believed to be in his fifties. Paramedics took the victim to Coney Island Hospital with minor neck and back injuries. As of this writing, no charges had been filed against the motorist. *** NABBED FOR AVE. X ROBBERY: Investigators from the 61st Precinct arrested a 19-year-old area man allegedly wanted for trying to rob a 24-year-old male on the 3000 block of Avenue X last week. Police allege that Kevin Briggs struck his victim in the back of the head with a bottle and then tried to steal the man’s cell phone at 7 p.m. on February 5. But, after a brief struggle, Briggs gave up and ran off, authorities alleged. Investigators rounded up and arrested Briggs for the attempted robbery the following day, said officials. *** COPS PROBE 50-YEAR-OLD’S MURDER: Now that the medical examiner has declared his death a murder, cops are trying to track down the last moments of 50-year-old Nikolai Chernov before he was struck in the head and killed sometime last fall. Officials said that Chernov, a resident of the 3050 block of Cropsey Avenue, was found inside his home just before 3 p.m. on September 26, 2005, suffering from bruises to the torso. There appeared to be no foul play in the man’s death until last week, when the city’s medical examiner determined that Chernov died from “blunt trauma to the head.” Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Calls can be made to the 60th Precinct at (718) 946-3311. All calls will be kept confidential. *** LUNCHEONETTE LOOTING: A masked gunman made off with $900 in cash and Lotto receipts after a daring robbery at the T-L Luncheonette at 2024 Cropsey Avenue. An employee told police that the suspect entered the restaurant at 11:45 p.m. on January 30, pulling the security gate closed behind him. The thief then pulled a gun and demanded that the employee hit the floor. Police said the thug reportedly kicked the employee while he was on the ground as he raided the register and lottery machine. The employee, officials said, was not seriously harmed. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Calls can be made to the 62nd Precinct at (718) 236-2611. All calls will be kept confidential.

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