Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 33 Years to Life in Prison for Fatal Shooting of East Williamsburg Metal Worker during Crime Spree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 33 Years to Life in Prison for Fatal Shooting of East Williamsburg Metal Worker during Crime Spree

Victim Was Shot in the Chest; 13-Year-Old Girl Was Shot in the Hip

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 22-year-old man has been sentenced to 33 years to life in prison for the 2015 fatal shooting of Michael Matusiak, a 53-year-old worker at a sheet metal shop in East Williamsburg.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant senselessly took the life of an innocent father who caught him breaking into cars and shot and injured two others, including a 13-year-old on her way to school. His decision to needlessly escalate his crimes by using a handgun has affected many lives. Not only did he take the victim’s life, he destroyed his own. He will now spend the rest of his life in prison to pay for his violent actions.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Bryan Aponte, 22, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog to 33 years to life in prison. The defendant was convicted of one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, last month, following a jury trial.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on October 6, 2015, at approximately 7:50 a.m., the defendant was spotted breaking into and ransacking cars at the corner of Grattan Street and Knickerbocker Avenue in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was confronted by Michael Matusiak, 53, and another man, 57, both workers at the nearby ABNY sheet metal shop.

After Matusiak shouted at the defendant, he turned around and fired, striking Matusiak in the chest and buttock. The 57-year-old man was shot in the torso and in the ear. A 13-year-old girl was shot in the hip by a stray bullet as she walked to school. Matusiak died at the scene. The other victims were treated at Elmhurst Hospital and released.

The defendant was arrested three weeks later in East New York, Brooklyn, at his grandparents’ home after they called police to say he wanted to surrender.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Chow Xie, of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau Grey Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.

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Defendant Who Allegedly Shouted Homophobic Slurs And Menaced Man with Knife in Subway Indicted for Hate Crimes

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

August 30, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION


Defendant Who Allegedly Shouted Homophobic Slurs
And Menaced Man with Knife in Subway Indicted for Hate Crimes

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today that a 72-year-old man has been indicted on charges of menacing as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon, and other offenses for allegedly shouting homophobic slurs at a passenger on the A train and following him after he got off at the Nostrand Avenue station.

Arnold Moody, of Flatbush, Brooklyn, was arraigned today in Brooklyn Supreme Court on an indictment in which he is charged with menacing as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon, aggravated harassment and related charges.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on August 9, 2017, at approximately 8:50 a.m., Moody began verbally harassing and threatening the victim who boarded a Manhattan-bound A train at the Broadway Junction subway station in East New York, Brooklyn. The defendant harassed the victim by shouting homophobic slurs, such as “You’re a [expletive deleted], why are you standing like that? I’m going to cut you.”

The defendant continued to hurl verbal insults at the victim, and allegedly followed the victim off the train at Nostrand Avenue while brandishing a knife. Several plainclothes police officers on the subway platform saw the defendant with the knife and quickly arrested him. He is being held on bail of $15,000 bond or $10,000 cash and is due back in court on October 18, 2017.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In Brooklyn, everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or religion must be free to walk the streets and ride the subways without fear for their safety. Brooklyn’s beauty and strength lies in its diversity and we will not tolerate hate crimes, of any kind.”

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt

 

Read the full press release here.

 

Defendant Who Allegedly Shouted Homophobic Slurs And Menaced Man with Knife in Subway Indicted for Hate Crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

 

Defendant Who Allegedly Shouted Homophobic Slurs
And Menaced Man with Knife in Subway Indicted for Hate Crimes

Arrested after Following Victim off Train While Carrying Knife

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today that a 72-year-old man has been indicted on charges of menacing as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon, and other offenses for allegedly shouting homophobic slurs at a passenger on the A train and following him after he got off at the Nostrand Avenue station.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In Brooklyn, everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or religion must be free to walk the streets and ride the subways without fear for their safety. Brooklyn’s beauty and strength lies in its diversity and we will not tolerate hate crimes of any kind.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Arnold Moody, 72, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree menacing as a hate crime, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree aggravated harassment and related charges. He is being held on bail of $15,000 bond or $10,000 cash and is due back in court on October 18, 2017. He faces up to two to seven years in prison if convicted of the top count.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on August 9, 2017, at approximately 8:50 a.m., the victim boarded a Manhattan-bound A train at the Broadway Junction subway station in East New York, Brooklyn, when the defendant began verbally harassing and threatening the victim, using homophobic slurs, stating, in sum and substance “You’re a [expletive deleted], why are you standing like that? I’m going to cut you.”

The defendant continued to hurl verbal insults at the victim, and when the train pulled into the Nostrand Avenue subway station, the defendant allegedly followed the victim out onto the subway platform while brandishing a knife. However, several plainclothes police officers on the subway platform saw the defendant with the knife and quickly apprehended the defendant.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney T. Peter Choi of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Deputy Bureau Chief and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Joseph P. Alexis, Chief of the Trial Division.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt

 

Former Employee of Charter Bus Company Indicted for Stealing over $1 million in Amusement Park Tickets from Employer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

 


Former Employee of Charter Bus Company Indicted
For Stealing over $1 million in Amusement Park Tickets from Employer

Used Company Credit Card to Buy and Misappropriate over 36,000 Tickets
To Dorney Park and Six Flags Great Adventure

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Staten Island woman has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly stealing amusement park tickets valued at over $1 million from her employer, a Red Hook-based charter bus company. The defendant used the company credit card to purchase tickets that were later redeemed at the parks but unconnected to any company offerings.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly engaged in a long-term and large-scale fraud scheme, stealing over $1 million in property from her employer, a local business in Brooklyn, which entrusted her with its credit card. With today’s indictment, we intend to hold the defendant fully accountable for her egregious acts.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Rosemarie Bader, 51, of Staten Island. The defendant was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which she is charged with one count of first-degree grand larceny, one count of second-degree grand larceny, one count of first-degree criminal possession of stolen property and one count of second-degree criminal possession of stolen property. The defendant was ordered held on bail of $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash and to return to court on October 11, 2017. She faces up to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count with which she is charged.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendant worked for Best Trails and Travel Corporation (BTTC), a charter bus company located at 5 Sigourney Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. BTTC offers private and corporate charter bus packages to a variety of locations, including regional amusement parks and casinos and often including admission to the destinations. The defendant, a 16-year employee of the company, was most recently employed as the Sales Director – a role in which she alone managed and coordinated the various amusement park trip packages offered by BTTC to its clientele: She ordered the tickets from the amusement parks, took delivery of the tickets, secured the tickets in a safe to which she alone had access, placed bus dispatch orders and distributed the appropriate number of theme park tickets to the bus drivers and trip leaders. The defendant was authorized to use BTTC’s American Express credit card to pay for the theme park tickets for the packages.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, between approximately January 2014 and November 2016, the defendant allegedly used the BTTC credit card to over-order tickets to two of the company’s destinations, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey and Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, using the card to pay for over 36,000 tickets that were unconnected to any BTTC bus package but were redeemed at the parks. The defendant allegedly took delivery of the tickets by intercepting UPS and Federal Express deliveries and storing the tickets in a personal safe under her desk to which only she had access. The vast majority of the tickets the defendant allegedly over-ordered and possessed were never used to fulfill BTTC’s bus-and-ticket packages, nor were the unused and unauthorized tickets returned to the amusement parks for refund, as was the company’s usual practice. Rather, the defendant kept those tickets for her own use without authorization of BTTC.

According to the indictment, the defendant’s alleged scheme was discovered in 2016 when an accounting by her employer revealed company ticket orders to Dorney Park and Six Flags Great Adventure far exceeding the actual bus seats available to the parks through company-run trips during applicable time periods. In total, between approximately January 2014 and November 2016, the defendant allegedly used the BTTC American Express credit card to purchase 23,136 tickets to Dorney Park and 13,102 tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure that were redeemed at the parks, according to the investigation, but were unconnected to any BTTC trips. Combined, based upon the average cost of the tickets allegedly misappropriated by the defendant, she stole at least $1,000,533 worth of tickets from the company. The defendant’s employment was terminated in October 2016.

The case was investigated by Supervising Detective Investigator Michael Seminara and Detective Investigator Jacqueline Klapak, both of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau, under the overall supervision of Chief Investigator Joseph Piraino.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Deidre Moskowitz, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Dana Roth, Deputy Chief of the Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Feldman, Senior Executive for Investigations and Crime Strategies.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Nine Alleged Loot Gang Members Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Murder; 14 People Shot in Seven Incidents

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

August 22, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Nine Alleged Loot Gang Members Charged With
Conspiracy to Commit Murder; 14 People Shot in Seven Incidents

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that nine alleged members of the Brownsville- based Loot Gang have been variously charged in a 69-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and other charges in connection with seven separate shootings that left one innocent man dead and 13 people injured. Four of those shot were women, all innocent bystanders.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants, who range in age from 15 to 25, are alleged to be members of the Loot Gang, which operates out of the New York City Housing Authority Ocean Hill Houses in the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville.

The defendants are charged in connection with 10 incidents, including seven shootings and one assault, between November 2015 and August 2016. Fourteen people were shot, including one fatally. One person was beaten. The defendants mostly targeted rival gangs, including, on multiple occasions, shooting at members of True Bosses Only (TBO) in Bushwick, which is TBO territory. In addition to Bushwick, the shootings occurred in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Canarsie, and Jamaica, Queens. In one instance an innocent 22-year-old man who was a student at John Jay College was shot and killed.

During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants allegedly agreed to commit crimes to maintain their dominance over their claimed geographic area, their social media dominance and superior positioning among budding rap artists.

Furthermore, Loot members allegedly used social media extensively to communicate about getting guns and ammunition and committing acts of violence against rival gangs. Loot used public Facebook postings and music videos posted to YouTube and SoundCloud to antagonize rival gang members, boast about previous acts of violence against rival gangs and show Loot loyalty through hand signs, clothing and lyrics.

It is alleged that at least one shooting, on November 27, 2015, was in retaliation for the shooting death of Armani Hankins, a.k.a., Rocky, in Fort Greene, a month earlier. The victim was allegedly a friend of some of the Loot Gang members, and they released a rap music video entitled “Rockyworld” on YouTube which is a song about retaliation against a gang known as 900 for his death.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This indictment underscores our commitment to prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law the violent gang members responsible for most of the senseless shootings in certain pockets of Brooklyn. Our targeted approach to enhancing public safety focuses on the shooters and gang leaders who drive the violence. We simply will not tolerate such lawlessness and bloodshed in our communities, which put hardworking residents at risk.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Queens Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Fatally Stabbing Teen during Pizzeria Brawl in Brooklyn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 28, 2017

 

Queens Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Fatally Stabbing
Teen during Pizzeria Brawl in Brooklyn

Defendant Stabbed Victim in the Heart With a Knife

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 23-year-old Queens man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the November 2014 fatal stabbing of a teenager at a Domino’s Pizza restaurant in East New York.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Through his violent actions, this defendant didn’t only kill a teenager, but also destroyed the hopes and dreams his family had for their loved one. This was a senseless, violent and deadly assault, for which the defendant will now spend many years in prison.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Juan Rosa, 23, of Jamaica, Queens. He was sentenced today to 20 years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog. The defendant pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on July 18, 2017. His co-defendant, Michael Gibbs, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on June 30, 2017. Gibbs was sentenced to 13 years in prison on July 14, 2017.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on November 11, 2014, at approximately 9:40 p.m., the defendant and four men entered the Domino’s Pizza restaurant located at 2196 Pitkin Avenue in East New York. Rosa, Gibbs, and three others kicked and punched 18-year-old Dashawn Cameron, who was inside the pizzeria. As the men beat Cameron, Rosa stabbed the victim with a knife.

Rosa was seen on surveillance video with a knife, according to the investigation, and later admitted to stabbing Cameron. Cameron died from his injuries at Brookdale University Hospital. Two of the men have yet to be apprehended. A third defendant, Rakiem Smith, 24, pleaded guilty to assault and perjury, and was sentenced to one year in jail.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Emily Dean, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.

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Nine Alleged Loot Gang Members Variously Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Murder; 14 People Shot in Seven Incidents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

 

Nine Alleged Loot Gang Members Variously Charged With
Conspiracy to Commit Murder; 14 People Shot in Seven Incidents

Defendants Shot at Rivals in Fast Food Restaurant, at July 4 Party and in Drive-by Shootings; Innocent College Student Shot Dead; Bystander, in Separate Incident, Shot After Being Grabbed and Used as “Human Shield”

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that nine alleged members of the Brownsville- based Loot Gang have been variously charged in a 69-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and other charges in connection with seven separate shootings that left one innocent man dead and 13 people injured. Four of those shot were women, all innocent bystanders.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This indictment underscores our commitment to prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law the violent gang members responsible for most of the senseless shootings in certain pockets of Brooklyn. Our targeted approach to enhancing public safety focuses on the shooters and gang leaders who drive the violence. We simply will not tolerate such lawlessness and bloodshed in our communities, which put hardworking residents at risk.”

Commissioner O’Neill said, “This indictment illustrates how law enforcement is taking a strong stance against violent gang members who commit these heinous acts of senseless violence against innocent victims. We stand with our local law enforcement partners ready to identify, investigate and arrest those who are at the root of crime and collateral damage in our neighborhoods.”

The Acting District Attorney said that some of the defendants were arraigned yesterday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Harrington and held without bail. The rest are expected to be arraigned this week. The defendants are variously charged with first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree gang assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, first- and second-degree attempted assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault, and first-degree reckless endangerment. The defendants face up to 25 years in prison on the top conspiracy count. (See defendant addendum.)

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants, who range in age from 15 to 25, are alleged to be members of the Loot Gang, which operates out of the New York City Housing Authority Ocean Hill Houses in the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville.

The defendants are variously charged in connection with 10 incidents, including seven shootings and one assault, between November 2015 and August 2016. Fourteen people were shot, including one fatally. One person was beaten. The defendants mostly targeted rival gangs, including, on multiple occasions, shooting at members of True Bosses Only (TBO) in Bushwick, which is TBO territory. In addition to Bushwick, the shootings occurred in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Canarsie, and Jamaica, Queens. In one instance an innocent 22-year-old man who was a student at John Jay College was shot and killed. It is alleged that all of the shootings were committed when Loot members were “spinning the block,” i.e., driving through rival territory looking for rival gang members and using one or more of four “community guns,” i.e., including a .357 Magnum, which the defendants referred to as “Becky,” and shared among themselves.

During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants allegedly agreed to commit crimes, including murder, assault and weapons possession, in order to maintain their dominance over their claimed geographic area, their social media dominance and superior positioning among budding rap artists.

Furthermore, Loot members allegedly used Facebook private messaging, as well as the calling feature available through Facebook messaging, along with text messages, phone calls, and FaceTime to communicate about getting guns and ammunition and committing acts of violence against rival gangs. Loot used public Facebook postings and music videos posted to YouTube and SoundCloud to antagonize rival gang members, boast about previous acts of violence against rival gangs and show Loot loyalty through hand signs, clothing and lyrics.

It is alleged that at least one shooting, on November 27, 2015, was in retaliation for the shooting death of Armani Hankins, a.k.a., Rocky, in Fort Greene, a month earlier. The victim was allegedly a friend of some of the Loot Gang members, and they released a rap music video entitled “Rockyworld” on YouTube which is a song about retaliation against a gang known as 900 for his death.

Among the acts of violence charged in the conspiracy are the following:

• On February 20, 2016, at approximately 12:25 a.m., it is alleged, that as part of the conspiracy which originated in Brooklyn, a person later identified as Dylan Cruz, dressed in all black with a red bandanna covering his face, ran into Rico Chimi restaurant located at 80-01 Atlantic Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, and shot at Tysheen Gott, an alleged rival gang member. Gott then grabbed a 33-year-old female patron and held her in front of him in an attempt to shield himself. He sustained five shots to both legs and his groin. The woman sustained three gunshot wounds to the left leg. Both survived. It is alleged that Quincy Vital drove Cruz to the restaurant and drove him away after the shooting.
• On July 4, 2016, there were allegedly four separate shootings involving Loot gang members, including early in the day, defendants Burston, Gilbert and Vital went “spinning” in TBO territory in a grey Mazda. They saw some TBO members. Vital grabbed a .357 magnum and handed it to Gilbert, who fired at the TBO rival. Hours later, at around 9 p.m., the TBO member who had been fired at shot and injured Corey Webb, an alleged Loot member. An hour later, Loot retaliated, returning to TBO territory and shooting a man in the abdomen. Finally, continuing to retaliate, at approximately 11:30 p.m., at 419 Chauncey Street, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Boss Gang territory, an ally of TBO, defendant Maurice Ellis allegedly fired on a crowd at an outdoor party, from a grey Mazda, striking seven people, including three women.
• On August 12, 2016, at about 12:40 a.m., at Wilson Avenue and Covert Street, in Bushwick, in TBO territory, it is alleged that Quincy Vital walked up to Terrell Henry, 22, a student at John Jay College, who had no gang affiliation, and shot him twice outside a bodega after Henry left a nearby party to buy an iced tea. He died of his injuries.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detective Michael Algieri, of the Gun Violence Suppression Division’s Violence Reduction Task Force, with the assistance of Detectives Frank Murdocco, Nicholas Sofokles and Stephen Berardi, and Police Officer Jean Graf, also of the Violence Reduction Task Force, under the supervision of Sergeant Andrew Dunton and Lieutenant Richard Zacarese, and the overall supervision of Inspector Richard Green, Executive Officer, and Assistant Chief James Essig, Commanding Officer of the Gun Violence Suppression Division.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Katie Lee Wright, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Thomas Teplitsky, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief of VCE and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Mark Feldman, Senior Executive for Investigations and Crime Strategies.

An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

DEFENDANT ADDENDUM:

1. Dylan Cruz, a.k.a., Banga, 25, of Queens.
2. Quincy Vital, a.k.a., SK, 19, of Queens.
3. David Burston, a.k.a., Spazz, 21, of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
4. Earl Gilbert, a.k.a., Bloccz, 22, of Queens.
5. apprehended juvenile, 15, of East New York, Brooklyn.
6. Legrant Foster, a.k.a., Brisko, 22, of East New York, Brooklyn.
7. Maurice Ellis, a.k.a., Maur, 20, of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
8. Josiah Morris, a.k.a., Siah, 19, of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
9. Terrard Wimms, a.k.a., Ty, 19, of East New York, Brooklyn.

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Court Officer Charged with Official Misconduct for Coercing Woman to Perform Sexual Act in Court Stairwell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 21, 2017

 

Court Officer Charged with Official Misconduct for
Coercing Woman to Perform Sexual Act in Court Stairwell

Victim was Waiting to Bail out Boyfriend when Defendant Implied he Could Help

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today that a Brooklyn court officer has been indicted for official misconduct and other charges for allegedly coercing a woman who was waiting in Criminal Court to perform a sex act on him in a public stairwell. The victim believed that the defendant would help her boyfriend’s case if she complied, and that his case would be adversely impacted if she didn’t.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “What this defendant – a public servant – allegedly did was a disgrace to his fellow court officers who day in and day out serve the public with respect and work hard to keep our courthouses safe. He allegedly abused his authority to exploit a young woman who needed assistance in order to gratify himself. Such conduct will not be tolerated and we will now seek to hold him accountable for this despicable act.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Sergeant Timothy Nolan, 58, of Lake Grove, NY. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with official misconduct, second-degree coercion, public lewdness and exposure of a person. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on October 4, 2017. The defendant faces up to a year in jail if convicted of the top count.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 21, 2016, the victim – who was 25-years-old at the time – was in Brooklyn Criminal Court at 120 Schermerhorn Street to bail out her boyfriend. While sitting in the hallway, she was approached by the defendant, who was on duty and in uniform.

The defendant told her to take a walk with him and led her to a public stairwell. He allegedly told her “I got you” and “I will take care of you,” then exposed himself and asked for a sexual act, the investigation found. It is alleged that the victim took the statements to mean that the defendant would help with bailing out her boyfriend if she complied, but would adversely impact his case if she didn’t.

The defendant allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair, fondled and attempted to kiss her as she performed a sex act on him.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney William Neri of the District Attorney’s Blue Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Robert Walsh, Bureau Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt

 

Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and New York AG Eric Schneiderman Call for ICE to End Immigration Enforcement Raids in State Courts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 3, 2017

 

Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and New York AG Eric Schneiderman Call for ICE to End Immigration Enforcement Raids in State Courts

Raids in NY Courthouses, including Family and Community Courts, Spiked this Year;
Victims and Witnesses being Targeted are Increasingly Fearful of Cooperating with Prosecutors

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today called for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop conducting raids in New York courthouses and to recalibrate their priorities so crime victims and witnesses are not targeted for removal proceedings. Instances of arrests and attempted arrests by ICE in courts have spiked approximately five-fold this year compared to 2016, according to service providers, and a growing number of victims have expressed reluctance to move forward with criminal prosecutions due to fear of being deported, according to the Brooklyn DA’s Office. These reports are consistent with findings detailed in a national report issued by the New York Attorney General’s office in March. Together, the reports provide overwhelming evidence that the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies have undermined public safety and must end.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The federal authorities claim they are making America safe again, but the truth is that their immigration enforcement policies are making all of us less safe. We encounter more and more victims and eyewitnesses to crime who are fearful of moving forward because of immigration status, and we see arrests by ICE spiking in our courthouses, including Family Court and courts dedicated to helping human trafficking victims and those with mental health issues. We must not allow a large number of our residents to live in the shadows and stop cooperating with law enforcement – but the Trump Administration is now creating this dangerous reality. ICE should treat courthouses as sensitive locations, like it does schools and houses of worship, to allow everyone free access to our justice system and stop the chilling effect felt by victims and witnesses.”

Attorney General Schneiderman said, “Targeting immigrants at our courthouses undermines our criminal justice system and threatens public safety. If the Trump Administration continues to arrest people in the heart of our justice system, immigrants will be less likely to serve as witnesses or report crimes – and that leaves us all at risk. I join District Attorney Gonzalez in calling for ICE to stop immigration raids in our courthouses. Everyone, regardless of their immigration status or the status of their loved ones, should have access to equal justice under the law.”

Steven Choi, the New York Immigration Coalition’s Executive Director, said, “The federal government continues to perpetuate a false narrative that immigrants are criminals. This does not make us safer – in fact, it instills fear in a community that is now too afraid to come forward with crucial, case-saving information. This is an issue of public safety and I am proud to stand with Acting DA Gonzalez and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to demand the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop making senseless arrests in New York courthouses. This is our New York: one that does not terrorize immigrants at the expense of due process and our democratic principles.”

Mizue Aizeki, the Immigrant Defense Project’s Acting Executive Director, said, “Since January, ICE’s campaign to terrorize our immigrant communities has extended into New York State’s courthouses. Today, we applaud Brooklyn’s Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for calling on ICE to end this terrible practice. ICE’s continued presence in our courthouses is having a horribly destructive impact on public safety and access to justice for all New Yorkers and must stop.”

Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society, said, “We applaud New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez for calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to immediately stop courthouse raids. ICE’s presence in local courts undermines the essential functions of our criminal justice system and deters New Yorkers from seeking vital court protections and services. We hope New York City’s other District Attorneys join with us in our continued efforts to keep ICE from raiding courthouses.”

Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families, said, “When victims and witnesses are afraid to come forward, the very purpose of our judicial system is compromised. ICE’s continuing presence in New York’s courthouses poses a serious deterrent to immigrants who seek justice, including trafficking and domestic violence victims served by Sanctuary for Families and other providers. With the prospect of detainment and deportation looming, victims will be unprotected, witnesses will be silent and violators will go free.”
A recent survey by the Immigrant Defense Project has found that there were approximately 60 arrests and attempted arrests in New York State courts so far this year, with at least eight arrests in Brooklyn. Only 11 arrests were reported statewide in 2016 and 14 in 2015. ICE operations have expanded and the agency is arresting individuals in Family Court, Human Trafficking Intervention Court and Mental Health Treatment Court. Those arrested included lawful residents (Green Card holders), a domestic violence victim and people who appeared on low-level misdemeanors.

While ICE has designated certain locations such as schools, medical facilities and places of worship as “sensitive locations,” where it does not carry out enforcement actions, it has so far refused to designate courthouses as sensitive locations. The result is that a large segment of New Yorkers are now discouraged from appearing in state courts, including in housing disputes, to obtain orders of protection or to settle important matters such as child custody.

In addition, legal professionals, social workers and service providers have reported an increase in victims and witnesses who express reluctance to cooperate with state authorities out of fear of being targeted by ICE. For example, an elderly victim in Brooklyn who was allegedly assaulted by her son is reluctant to move forward with the case because the defendant is a Green Card holder and the complainant does not want to risk seeing him deported. This trend means that crimes will go unreported and criminals may not be held accountable and remain free to victimize others, placing all of us at risk and making us less safe.

AG Schneiderman has been leading the effort to protect New Yorkers from the overreach and backsliding of the Trump administration. He was the first legal officer in the country to offer a legal roadmap for localities to become sanctuary jurisdictions while complying with federal law, and has sued the administration for constitutional violations related to its immigration policies.

Acting DA Gonzalez has been a leader in prosecutors’ work to protect immigrants, creating a policy this spring to offer non-citizens plea offers that avoid collateral immigration consequences, hiring two immigration attorneys to advise his staff and holding monthly Immigration Forums to educate community members about common scams and how to avoid them. On August 8, 2017 The Brooklyn DA’s Office will hold a symposium for legal professionals on the intersection of criminal law and immigration law.

The Acting District Attorney and the Attorney General thanked the New York Immigration Coalition, the Immigrant Defense Project, the Legal Aid Society, Safe Horizon and Sanctuary for Families for their work and advocacy on immigration issues.

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Brooklyn Man Convicted of Murder for Fatal Shooting of East Williamsburg Metal Worker during Crime Spree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Murder for Fatal Shooting of East Williamsburg Metal Worker during Crime Spree

Victim Shot in the Chest after Confronting Defendant, Who was Breaking into Cars

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 22-year-old man has been convicted of murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon for the 2015 fatal shooting of Michael Matusiak, a 53-year-old worker at a sheet metal shop in East Williamsburg.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Michael Matusiak was a beloved father who was senselessly shot to death after standing up to this defendant, who was breaking into cars. Mr. Matusiak should be alive today but for the brazen and callous actions of this defendant, who also shot two other people that morning including an innocent 13-year-old girl. He has now been held accountable.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Bryan Aponte, 22, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He was convicted today of one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, following a jury trial presided over by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog. Sentencing was set for August 30, 2017, at which time the defendant faces up to 57 years to life in prison

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on October 6, 2015, at approximately 7:50 a.m., the defendant was spotted breaking into and ransacking cars at the corner of Grattan Street and Knickerbocker Avenue in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was confronted by Michael Matusiak, 53, and another man, 57, both workers at the nearby ABNY sheet metal shop.

After Matusiak shouted at the defendant, he turned around and fired, striking Matusiak in the chest and buttock. The 57-year-old man was shot in the torso and in the ear. A 13-year-old girl was shot in the hip by a stray bullet as she walked to school. Matusiak died at the scene. The other victims were treated at Elmhurst Hospital and released.

The defendant was arrested three weeks later in East New York, Brooklyn, at his grandparents’ home after they called police to say he wanted to surrender.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Chow Xie, of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau Grey Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.

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