The 114th Precinct, which covers Astoria, Long Island City and parts of Woodside and Jackson Heights, experienced an overall decline in crime, with burglary down 3.8 percent, robbery down 9.4 percent and grand larceny auto down 15.1 percent, according to police. On the other hand, felonious assault was up 0.6 percent and grand larceny was up 2.6 percent from the previous year, police said.However, the number of rapes and murders in the precinct were the exact same number as in 2004. In both years, there were eight murders and 34 rapes in the precinct, police said.The year's first murder occurred on Feb. 21 when 36-year-old Jamal Hathaway, of 18-35 26th Rd. in Astoria, was discovered unconscious on the ground with three gunshot wounds. Hathaway was pronounced dead at the scene and no arrests were made. At the time of the shooting, police were searching for a suspect described as a 50-year-old man, police said.On June 26, two Queens men were shot dead near Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City during a gunfight in which as many as 30 bullets were fired, police said. Curt Wilkis, 29, and Carl Turner, 21, both from Brooklyn, were both killed within a period of five to seven minutes near the housing development, police said.Turner was found inside the housing project near 11th Street, while several residents reported seeing Wilkis being chased by a SUV down 9th Street. One resident said he saw one of the SUV's passengers hang out the window and shoot Wilkis. Another resident, who identified himself at the time as H.M., said a man dressed in white appeared moments later and fired more shots into Wilkis' body, the resident said.Among the precinct's other murders in 2005 were the death of Flushing's James "Jimmy" Zisimopoulos, 27, who was stabbed near a souvlaki stand at 32nd Street and Broadway in Astoria early in the morning on July 9, and the shooting death of Brooklyn's Ashley Bayke, 24, who was carrying $5,000 in cash at 25-69 23rd St. in Astoria on July 2.Two Brooklyn teenagers - Jonathan Andujar, 19, and Angel Class, 18 - were arrested in mid-September in the stabbing, police said. Both cases are still pending, however, Andujar will appear in court on Feb. 3 and Class will appear on Feb. 28, a spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorney said.There have already been four murders in the 114th Precinct in 2006, including the shooting of a Syracuse man and a Hempstead man outside the A.Q. Juice Bar in Astoria on New Year's Day, the stabbing of a 45-year-old Mexican immigrant on Jan. 11 in his Astoria apartment and the stabbing of a 42-year-old Ridgewood man in front of the Santorini Cafe on Jan. 6. Police have arrested Ricardo Garcia-Villegas, 51, of the Bronx, in the Jan.11 stabbing and Johnny Banks, 32, and Frederich Donovan, 19, both from Astoria, in the New Year's Day shootings. No arrests have been made in the Jan. 6 stabbing, police said.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by email at news@times
©2006 Community News Group
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