A Corona man who was volunteering to help a political opponent of Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona) was charged Monday with threatening the lives of Monserrate, two of the councilmans aides and the president of a Corona-based political group, the district attorney said.
The defendant is alleged to have threatened four individuals, including Councilman Hiram Monserrate, with intent to intimidate or coerce them, Queens DA Richard Brown said. The charges are serious and will be vigorously prosecuted.
Julio Abreu, 53, of 96-10 37th Ave., was arrested Friday, two days after Councilman James Davis (D-Brooklyn) was murdered in City Hall by Othniel Askew, who had filed papers to run against him in the September Democratic primary. Like Davis, Monserrate served in the Police Department before entering politics.
Abreu faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, Brown said.
After the tragedy that took the life of my friend and colleague, Council member James Davis, it is clearly necessary to take all threatening behavior seriously, Monserrate said. I am relieved to know that the NYPD has apprehended the suspect and look forward to resolving this matter and continuing my work on behalf of the community.
Monserrate said Abreu, a member of his opponent Luis Jimenezs campaign for the upcoming Democratic primary election, had made repeated threats against him and his staff over the last month.
These threats, where he specifically threatened to shoot either me or my staff, were initially reported to the 110th Precinct on July 9, Monserrate said.
According to the criminal complaint, Abreu telephoned one of Monserrates aides, Juan Gomez, on June 25 and accused him of tearing down fliers he had put up in support of Jimenez. He then threatened to shoot both Gomez and Monserrate, the complaint said.
On July 9, Abreu called another of Monserrates aides, Luis Lugo, and told him he was a federal agent and that he had a gun with 14 bullets in it that he was not afraid to use against Monserrate supporters, the complaint continued.
Later the same day, Abreu met Lugo in a grocery store at 37-01 Junction Blvd. and again threatened violence against him and Monserrate by saying he was crazy and had a weapon that he was not afraid to use, the complaint said.
Finally, a day before he was arrested at his home, Abreu accused Bolivar Veras, the president of the Partido Revolucion Dominicano, a Corona-based political group, of turning the Police Department against him and threatened to take Veras head off, the complaint said.
Abreu was arraigned shortly after midnight Saturday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Barry Kron, who set a bail of $100,000 and a return date of Aug. 8, Brown said.
The district attorney said Kron also issued four temporary orders of protection intended to keep Abreu away from the four men he had threatened.
Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail by Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.
©2003 Community News Group
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