Pols, authorities seek clues in murder of Elmhurst teen

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City Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona), Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Corona), Police Department officials and the family of a murdered 16-year-old held a news conference in Elmhurst Monday in an effort to mobilize the community against crime and uncover information about the boy’s death.

According to police, Alejandro Brito of Elmhurst was shot multiple times June 17 and was found in front of a building at 86-11 Whitney Ave., close to his home on Elbertson Street. Although the teen’s body was discovered around 8:50 p.m. in a busy neighborhood, Peralta said nobody has come forth with any information about the killing.

“This is a tragic death, but I ask anyone with information to please contact officials with any information they may have,” Peralta said. “Justice will be served.”

Monserrate noted that increasing levels of gang-related crime have been plaguing the area, citing a shoot-out at the end of last year at National Street and Roosevelt Avenue and a rape in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as evidence that gangs pose a threat to the well-being of Elmhurst residents.

Police officials would not rule out that the murder was gang-related, and Monserrate and Peralta have called for resources to reduce gang-related crime.

“Residents read about record-low crime levels in the press, but on the streets they hear of one, two, three gang-related incidents and they begin to live in fear,” said Monserrate, a former police officer. “The growing presence of gangs in this area is contributing to a sense of lawlessness on the streets. ... We need more resources to put an end to criminal activity.”

Members of Brito’s family present for Monserrate’s public appeal included the boy’s father, Alejandro Brito Sr., and brother, James Garcia. Garcia, who just returned from the Persian Gulf where he served with the U.S. Marines, joined with the city councilman in his call for cooperation.

Those with information are encouraged to call 110th Precinct Detective James Aspenleiter at 718-476-9137. As of Tuesday, police had received no new information regarding the murder.

Reach reporter Dan Trudeau by e-mail at, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Updated 7:13 pm, October 10, 2011
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