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Tag Archives: police

US Attorney General’s Daughter Arrested after Failure to Pay Her Uber-T Fare in Brooklyn

The stepdaughter of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch found herself in trouble with the law after failing to pay a cab driver in Brooklyn, police sources said Sunday.

Kia Absalom was taken into police custody and placed in a holding cell at the 69th Precinct stationhouse in Canarsie after she couldn’t cover her $20 fare about 3:30 p.m. last Monday, according to police sources.

Hassan Almaweri drove the cab that Kia Absalom, stepdaughter to U.S. Attoney for New York Loretta Lynch, allegedly couldn’t pay for.

Hassan Almaweri drove the cab that Kia Absalom, stepdaughter to U.S. Attoney for New York Loretta Lynch, allegedly couldn’t pay for.

The cabbie, Hassan Almaweri, 58, said Absalom, 21, told him she thought she’d paid with an app and didn’t have cash.

 

“I asked her to pay me,” Almaweri told the Daily News.

“She said, ‘No, I paid by the app.’”

“What do you mean, the app?” Almaweri says he responded.

 

Almaweri is a taxi driver signed up for UberT — Uber’s taxi hail option, according to a spokesperson for the app. For a $2 fee, riders can use Uber to book a yellow or green cab and then pay with cash or credit, not through the app.

Absalom, whose father, Stephen Hargrove, married Lynch in 2007, said she didn’t have any credit cards on hand but had credit card numbers, which the driver refused to accept, police sources said.

“So I drive her to the police station,” Almaweri said. “I go to the police and say, ‘This lady doesn’t want to pay me.’”

A sergeant who was involved with the dispute said Absalom never made mention of her relationship to Lynch.

After Absalom was placed in a cell, her boyfriend came and paid the fare, the cabbie and police sources said. Police voided the arrest, and Absalom was released without ever being fingerprinted or processed, sources said.

Later that day, a lieutenant at the precinct notified the department of the arrest and an internal review was launched, police sources said.

The cabbie, Hassan Almaweri, 58, said Absalom, 21, told him she thought she’d paid with an app and didn’t have cash.

The cabbie, Hassan Almaweri, 58, said Absalom, 21, told him she thought she’d paid with an app and didn’t have cash.

On Thursday, Absalom’s father, along with FBI agent John Robison, visited the precinct to make sure that Absalom didn’t get preferential treatment and that the incident was handled properly, sources said. They even verified that Absalom’s shoelaces were removed after she was placed in a cell, just like anybody else in custody, sources said.

Lynch was sworn in as attorney general in April.

Article Originally Featured on NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “Loretta E. Lynch Addresses the CERD Committee” By: United States Geneva’s Photostream/Source: Flickr

Speeding Man in Long Island had License Suspended 88 Times

If the first 88 times you don’t succeed…

Suffolk police busted a Pennsylvania man speeding through the Long Island Expressway on Sunday afternoon, after the driver was zooming at 86 mph.

When cops pulled over the speed demon, he gave the officers his Pennsylvania license, in an attempt to hide his litany of driving misdeeds, officers said.

Police learned that Eric Dunbar, 43, racked up 88 suspensions on his New York State license on 25 different occasions after trying to dodge traffic tickets, records showed.

Dunbar, of Tafton, Pa., amassed a series of license suspensions through multiple charges per ticket, Suffolk police told the Daily News.

He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speeding and unlawfully having more than one unexpired driver’s license.

He is expected to be arraigned at the First District Court in Central Islip on Monday.

 

Article Originally Featured on the NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “Speed of Sound” By: Ana Paticia Almeida/Source: Flickr

 

Drunken Female Real Estate Agent Stole Yellow Cab in Manhattan

A drunken female real estate agent swiped a taxi when the cabby stopped at a Manhattan police station to report her boozed-up misbehavior — grabbing the wheel and taking off as he spoke to cops inside, authorities say.

Kinga Tabares, 27, who works for the Douglas Elliman agency, acted so wildly during the ride in the wee hours of Nov. 13 — even allegedly refusing to pay — that cabby Ronald Desir took her and a pal to the 13th Precinct station house, sources said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old driver picked up the women at Washington and Little West 12th streets, but their boozy buffoonery forced him to make the pit stop at the East 21st Street station house, according to the sources.

Tabares “was so drunk, she didn’t know where she was going,” Desir told The Post, adding that her friend was the “normal” one of the two.

While he was inside the station house asking for help, Tabares allegedly got in the driver’s seat and drove off.

“When I came back outside, they were taking off,” Desir said. When cops caught Tabares in Chelsea, she was vomiting out the driver’s window, the sources said.

The broker was charged with grand larceny, unauthorized use of a vehicle and DWI.

She was taken into custody and transported to Bellevue Hospital, where she allegedly refused to take a breath test.

When asked by The Post about the bust, Tabares — who is also taking classes at NYU — claimed that details about her stealing the cab were “completely false” and that “there’s more to this story.”

“I’m not speaking about it until there’s further investigation,” she said.

Tabares’ lawyer, Sean Parmenter, refused to comment any further and added that he was still looking into the case.

Article Originally Featured on the New York Post

*Photo Credit: NYC Taxi by Vinoth Chandar/Source: Flickr

Speeding Tickets Increase after Mayor's Vision Zero Plan

The amount of speeding tickets written by NYC Cops increased 103% a few days after the 25 MPH limit was in effect. (The unposted speed limit changed from 30 MPH to 25 MPH as part of the mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan to reduce traffic deaths.)

Be aware that the 25 mph limit is default for all streets and parkways when there is no speed sign posted.  Highways like the FDR, West Side Highway and Riverside Drive will still have higher limits.  Conversely, schools zones still have lower speed limits.

The 25 mph limit does not apply to the following streets and parkways: Webster Avenue and Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx; Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Terrace on Staten Island; Fort Hamilton Parkway and Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn; and Utopia Parkway and Bell and Springfield boulevards in Queens.

If you receive a speeding ticket, do not engage the police officer in conversation.  They can and will often use anything you say against you in court.  If you receive a speeding ticket or any other traffic ticket, call us at 212-227-9008 immediately to learn how we can defend you.

*Photo Credit: “Warp Speed at 25” By: Andrew Choy/Source: Flickr

  1. Great information as I was unaware the speed limit had been reduced! Driving 30 MPH was difficult, 25 MPH close to impossible but the potential financial pain will force me to do it!

Cop Driving in Deadly Staten Island Crash Had BAC Three Times Legal Limit

The New Jersey police officer, who hit a tractor-trailer head-on on a Staten Island highway last month, killing a fellow officer and a friend and critically injuring a third cop, had a blood alcohol content of .24 percent, three times the legal limit, law enforcement sources say.

Authorities had obtained a warrant to test Pedro Abad Jr.’s blood-alcohol content following the March 20 wrong-way crash on the West Shore Expressway.

The NYPD, who’s investigating the crash, had no comment on the toxicology results. A message was left with the Linden police officers’ union, and Abad’s lawyer had no comment, saying only his client was in the process of hiring a new attorney.

Abad, 27, was driving his fellow officers and friend on the wrong side of the expressway on the way back from a strip club when his vehicle slammed into the tractor-trailer, authorities said.

Hours before the crash, Abad had posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with what he identified as “Jack Daniels Fire on the house.” Authorities said at the time it was “too premature” to speculate on what caused the accident.

Public records show Abad has been involved in eight accidents since 2005 and has two arrests for drunken driving in the last four years.

Abad was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, which killed fellow Linden officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joseph Rodriguez.

Patrik Kudlac, another Linden cop riding in Abad’s Honda, was also hospitalized in critical condition after the crash.

The Union County prosecutor’s office has said it would hand off the probe into the driving record and employment history of Abad to avoid the perception of any conflicts of interest. The state attorney general’s office said the investigation will be handled by the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.

Article Originally Posted on NBC New York

*Photo Credit: “NYPD Tron” By: Lee/Source: Flickr

A 70-Year-Old Woman in Brooklyn was fatally struck By MTA Bus Driver after His Failure to Yield

A longtime Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver was arrested on Tuesday after his bus hit a 70-year-old woman who was crossing the street in Brooklyn, killing her just a block from the shelter where she lived, the authorities said.

After the bus struck the woman, the driver continued on to a nearby depot, and by the time investigators determined through surveillance video which bus was involved in the crash, a second driver had picked it up from the depot and begun a new route, an authority spokeswoman, Amanda Kwan, said.

The driver, Paul Roper, 48, who has been a city bus driver for 15 years, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, a felony; failure to yield to a pedestrian, a misdemeanor; and failure to exercise due care, a traffic violation. The authority suspended him without pay.

The woman, Carol Bell, was walking north on Sackman Street and trying to cross Fulton Street in the Broadway Junction section of Brooklyn around 6:15 a.m. when a southbound bus turned left onto Fulton, the police said.

She had just waved hello to a grocery store owner, as she did almost every morning on her way from the Magnolia House Women’s Shelter to a methadone treatment program. Ms. Bell had been homeless off and on since the mid-1990s, her daughter said.

Surveillance video published by NBC New York showed her waiting cautiously on the side of the street for cars to pass, and then moving across the street with the aid of her walker. There was no painted crosswalk at the intersection, but the charges indicate Ms. Bell still had the right of way.

The bus stopped briefly after hitting her, and then drove off to the East New York Depot, several blocks away, near the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Broadway, the police said. The bus, which was not in service, had been returning to the depot from the B15 bus route at the time of the crash, Ms. Kwan said.

Photos from the scene showed a crumpled walker lying in the street.

The authorities initially could not find Mr. Roper on Tuesday morning. Ms. Kwan said the bus was towed back to the depot after its rooftop number was seen on surveillance video and investigators pulled it over along the B15 route, with a fresh driver at its wheel.

The crash, coming several days after three trick-or-treaters were killed by a car that jumped a curb in the Bronx, drew renewed promises from Mayor Bill de Blasio about the city’s commitment to its Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths. Residents who live near the scene of Tuesday’s crash said speeding buses are a constant problem.

One of the charges Mr. Roper faces — failure to yield — was at the center of a clash this year between the mayor and the city’s major bus drivers’ union. A new traffic-safety law made failing to yield a misdemeanor in some cases, and enforcement of the law had prompted protests by drivers. But on Tuesday, the union, Transport Workers Union Local 100, was restrained in its response to the charges against Mr. Roper, saying only that the crash was a “terrible tragedy.”

Mr. de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Vision Zero initiative had already helped to reduce fatalities.

“We’re very committed to it, and every time we lose someone, we say, you know, this is something that we need to keep reiterating to people — the care they need to take with driving, and why all these standards matter, why that lower speed limit matters,” Mr. de Blasio said.

In 1998, Ms. Bell’s daughter, Lisa Bell, got an apartment, where she lived with her mother until she lost the lease around 2007.

“She was a very caring person; she never let me go hungry. She had a heart of gold,” Lisa Bell, 51, said, adding, “We had a rough life.”

A man who identified himself as Mr. Roper’s brother said he spoke briefly with him on Tuesday. “He didn’t see nothing,” said the brother, who declined to give his name.

Lisa Bell said she was not upset at the bus driver, but wanted him to understand how she felt.

“I know it wasn’t intentional,” she said. “It was an accident he didn’t stop. He was scared. It happens every day. But I need him to know he took my mom’s life, and that’s my best friend.”

Article Originally Posted By The New York Times

*Photo Credit:

Blood-Alcohol Estimates Questioned In Drunken-Driving Cases, Including In Deadly Long Island Crash

Blood-Alcohol Estimates Questioned In Drunken-Driving Cases, Including In Deadly Long Island Crash

Original Article Featured on CBS

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The way prosecutors see it, Oneil Sharpe Jr. was drunk when he raced down a Long Island highway at nearly 100 mph this summer and slammed into a car carrying a family home from a church gathering, causing a fiery wreck that killed a father and his two children.

Sharpe’s blood-alcohol reading, taken about four hours later, was 0.06 percent — below the legal threshold of 0.08. But he was still charged with drunken driving and vehicular homicide because a forensic technique estimated that his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash actually was 0.12.

That technique, known as “retrograde extrapolation,” has been used to win convictions nationwide for decades, but has increasingly come under scrutiny by drunken-driving experts as an unreliable measure of a person’s intoxication. Some defense attorneys have even labeled it junk science.

“Government lawyers and puppet scientists know retrograde extrapolation is hogwash and will say so when it benefits them, but mostly they pretend otherwise because it is useful in gaining convictions,” said D. Timothy Huey, a Columbus, Ohio, attorney specializing in drunken-driving cases.

“Retrograde extrapolation is about as scientifically reliable as astrology,” added Jonathan Manley, a former prosecutor who is representing Sharpe in the Long Island crash. “It relies on the assumption that a person’s blood-alcohol content peaked prior to the arrest without any basis to prove that.”

Sharpe pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene and driving while intoxicated. He also is charged with having 23 fraudulent credit cards in his vehicle.

While there are no national statistics to document the use of retrograde extrapolation, prosecutors in many states, including New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado and Illinois, have offered evidence of estimated intoxication levels at trial. But courts in some other states have severely restricted its use, requiring prosecutors to use only the blood-alcohol readings taken at the time of a person’s arrest.

“The general rule in virtually every state is that it is up to a jury to decide its relevance,” said attorney Patrick Barone, who has written a textbook titled “Defending Drinking Drivers” and teaches a class at Western Michigan University’s law school that includes a two-hour lecture on retrograde extrapolation.

“I challenge it every time it comes up,” Barone said. “Juries are too frequently bedazzled by science because science as a whole is not well understood or taught.”

In the Long Island case this summer on the Southern State Parkway, the 24-year-old Sharpe wasn’t tested immediately, because a friend allegedly whisked him away from the scene. Prosecutors believe Sharpe fled because he knew he was drunk, and they bolstered their case by releasing a cellphone video purportedly showing him tossing a bottle of tequila into the woods after the crash.

Prosecutors who have used retrograde extrapolation swear by it as a proven technique that doesn’t reward drunken-driving suspects for fleeing the scene and avoiding immediate blood-alcohol testing.

“It’s been standard procedure for many years in many states across the country,” said Beadle County, South Dakota, State’s Attorney Michael Moore, a past president of the National District Attorneys Association. “It’s been proven to be reliable and upheld by courts all across the country.”

It was most famously, if not successfully, used after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989, when Capt. Joseph Hazelwood was given a blood test 10 1/2 hours after the grounding and recorded a 0.06. A toxicologist estimated his reading at the time of the accident was 0.14.

Hazelwood was ultimately convicted of negligent discharge of oil and fined $50,000, but was cleared of charges of being drunk.

Experts say the intoxicating effects of alcohol are not experienced until it is absorbed into the bloodstream. After a person stops drinking, the blood-alcohol level peaks when the most alcohol has been absorbed and the least amount of alcohol has been eliminated.

Defense attorneys argue alcohol absorption and elimination rates vary widely depending on a person’s gender, drinking habits, the type of beverage, what a person ate and how much, and whether a person had experienced trauma, which sometimes slows the rate.

Leonard R. Stamm, a Maryland attorney and dean of the National College for DUI Defense, said prosecutors should avoid retrograde extrapolation “unless they’re able to line up every conceivable factor, and I don’t know that they’re ever able to do that.”

Mary Catherine McMurray, a forensic expert who once worked for the Wisconsin state patrol, says she has seen increased use of retrograde extrapolation in the past five years, but cautions “the further away from a person’s last drink, the less useful retrograde is, and prosecutors usually have to take the word of the person on when that last drink occurred.”

“It’s hard for me to call it junk science, because it’s got merits,” she said, “but I understand why people say it is junk science.”

Photo Credit: “Breath Test” by Oregon Department of Transportation/Source: Flickr

List of the Most Ticketed Cars in the United States

A new list was published that shows which cars get the most traffic tickets in the United States. While driving one of these cars does not mean you will automatically get a traffic ticket, the data shows that drivers of these cars are more likely to get tickets, especially speeding tickets, than others. The list is as follows:

20. Toyota Prius C
19. Infiniti QX56/QX80
18. Saturn Aura
17. Mitsubishi 3000 GT
16. Mini Cooper S Countryman
15. Pontiac G8
14. Scion xA
13. Suzuki Reno.
12. Volkswagen GTI
11. Hyundai Veloster
10. Mazda 2
9. Toyota FJ Cruiser
8. Scion tC
7. Mercury Topaz
6. Volkswagen Rabbit
5. Subaru Tribeca
4. Toyota Supra
3. Scion FR-S
2. Pontiac GTO
1. Subaru WRX

There are some surprises on the list, like the Volkswagen Rabbit, the Mercury Topaz, and the Saturn Aura – especially considering none of these cars have been made in the United States for the past several years. Others, like the WRX and Toyota Supra, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

If you receive a speeding ticket or any other traffic ticket in New York, please call us immediately at 212-227-9008 to find out how we can help you.

“Broken Windows” Gets More Weapons off the Street

On Sunday, Brooklyn police officers approached a group of 5 men who were drinking alcohol in public, a practice that is part of the “Broken Windows” style of policing that targets low-level offenses in the hopes of curbing more major crimes. In this instance, “Broken Windows” did its job as two of the men attempted to get rid of a knife and a firearm as the officers asked for their IDs. Both men were charged with possession of an illegal weapon, and the gun and the knife were both taken off the streets.

Some members of City Council claim that “Broken Windows” should be done away with because it clogs up the city’s judicial system, but Mayor de Blasio stands behind the policy and recent polls show that the majority of New Yorkers approve of this kind of quality-of-life policing.

What is your take on “Broken Windows?”

“Broken Windows” Takes Another Gun Off the Street…and also Faces a Class Action Suit

Police officers on patrol in the Bronx stopped a man for violating New York’s open container law and over the course of the stop discovered he was carrying an illegal, loaded weapon. The man did not have identification on him, so the officers had to cuff him to bring him back to the station to issue the summons. After resisting arrest, the man was eventually cuffed and the officers discovered the loaded weapon. Incidents like this one and one earlier this year in which officers discovered a weapon on a man they stopped for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk are used as prime examples by supporters of “Broken Windows” policing; by policing minor offenses, many major crimes are stopped before they can happen.

“Broken Windows” has its fair share of detractors however, and a class action suit has been brought against the city alleges that officers issue criminal summonses without probable cause due to ticket writing quotas. This is due to the fact that about 1/5 of all criminal summonses issued in New York City are thrown out due to legal insufficiency. This class action suit, in addition to proposals put forth by members of the City Council, could change the way police operate in New York City.

Is “Broken Windows” good for the city? Or do you think it’s part of a ticket writing quota?

Broken Windows has Support Amongst New Yorkers

While there are some in the City Council that want to roll back some of the efforts of Broken Windows policing by de-criminalizing certain acts, such as public intoxication, riding bikes on sidewalks, and public urination, a recent poll shows that most New Yorkers favor this kind of quality-of-life policing. By targeting minor crimes, police hope that they may prevent major crimes from occurring – an example of this would be when police stopped a man who was riding his bike on the sidewalk and then found out he had an arrest warrant and was carrying a loaded weapon. Opponents of Broken Windows policing believe that prosecuting these petty crimes as misdemeanors clogs up the city’s judicial system. However, 57% of people across all races support the quality-of-life policing.

Is Broken Windows good for New York City? Or do you think it slows down the justice system while unfairly targeting certain groups of people?

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“Broken Windows” Policing Reduced Crime, Lowered Prison Population

Police Commissioner Bratton’s “Broken Windows” approach to policing, which aims to crackdown on low-level criminal offenses such as public intoxication and riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, has recently come under attack by the City Council. Members of the council claim that these low-level criminal offenses clog the court system and are pushing for such offenses to be de-criminalized. In response, Bratton produced a report that shows a 36% drop in major felonies since 1994 when he took over as commissioner and pushed this “Broken Windows” approach. The report also showed that there has been a significant drop in the prison population in the past 20 years.

Bratton pointed to a recent quality-of-life stop as a perfect reason why “Broken Windows” works: a man was stopped by two officers for riding his bicycle on a sidewalk. During the course of the stop, it was discovered that the man had a warrant out for his arrest, and more importantly, was illegally carrying a firearm. “That quality-of-life bicycle stop was essential in getting a gun off the street and getting basically a career criminal once again put back in the system,” said Bratton. Mayor de Blasio is standing behind Commissioner Bratton in this regard and supporting “Broken Windows,” though there are signs that Hillary Clinton supports the reversal of such policies nationwide, many of which were put in place during her husband’s tenure as President.

If you receive a summons for a low-level crime such as public intoxication or public littering, or if you a receive a traffic ticket in New York, please contact us at 212-227-9008 to find out how we may help you and keep your record clean.

Nassau Town to Equip Police with Body Cameras

The Nassau County acting district attorney and the Freeport Police Department announced that all officers will soon be equipped with body cameras, while all marked cars and some unmarked cars will be equipped with dash mounted cameras. This means that nearly all traffic stops in Freeport will now be recorded. The announcement came just days before the shooting of an unarmed man in South Carolina which was captured on camera by a civilian. What do you think of this idea? Should all other Nassau and Suffolk towns follow suit? Or is there a reason police should not be recorded during traffic stops?