Long Island Man Sentenced to 24 Years to Life in Prison For Murder of Brooklyn Pizzeria Owner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 19, 2020

 

Long Island Man Sentenced to 24 Years to Life in Prison
For Murder of Brooklyn Pizzeria Owner

Victim was Ambushed and Shot to Death Outside His Dyker Heights Home

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Long Island man has been sentenced to 24 years to life in prison for the shooting death of the owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The victim was ambushed outside his home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. He was carrying $15,483 in cash in a plastic bag when he was killed.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant is now facing the serious consequences for the brazen ambush murder of an innocent and beloved local business owner right outside of his home. Nothing will bring him back, but I hope this significant sentence brings some small measure of solace to his heartbroken family and friends.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Andres (“Andy”) Fernandez, 45, of Melville, Long Island. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to 24 years to life in prison. The defendant was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon on December 9, 2019, following a jury trial.

The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on June 30, 2016, at about 6:40 p.m., the victim, Louis Barbati, 61, left his restaurant, L&B Spumoni Gardens, located at 2725 86th Street in Gravesend, Brooklyn. He was carrying a plastic bag containing $15,483 in cash.

About an hour earlier, according to the evidence, the defendant, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, was in the vicinity of the victim’s home on 12th Avenue in Dyker Heights and waited, the evidence shows. At about 7 p.m., the victim arrived at his home, parked his car on the side of the house and got out holding the bag of cash.

The defendant then walked across the street and shot the victim several times, killing him. He subsequently ran, without taking the money, entered a late-model Acura and fled. In addition to being at the murder scene, the defendant was present at L&B Spumoni Gardens earlier that day, according to the evidence.

Surveillance images of the defendant were distributed by the New York City Police Department and he was identified by several witnesses. He was arrested by federal authorities on November 3, 2016.

The District Attorney thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for their assistance in the investigation.

The case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Chance Adam and New York City Police Department Detective James Hemmer, of the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad.

Homicide Paralegal Supervisor Jannette Ayala and Junior Intelligence Analyst Eungee Hwang, of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit, assisted in the prosecution.

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

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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison For 2005 Cold Case Killing of His Girlfriend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 07, 2020

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison
For 2005 Cold Case Killing of His Girlfriend

Defendant Shot Victim Once in the Head;
Charges Filed Following Comprehensive Reinvestigation

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Bedford-Stuyvesant man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the 2005 shooting death of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Desiree Cofield, who was shot in the head in the apartment the couple shared. The defendant was arrested following a lengthy and thorough reinvestigation of the case.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Today’s sentence brings the defendant to justice for taking the life of a young mother of two children. Her life mattered. My Cold Case Unit works hard to bring a measure of closure to families such as the one in this case, who deserve to know what happened to their loved ones and that their killers are held responsible. I am committed to pursuing these cases.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Julius Esquilin, 38, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The defendant was sentenced today to 15 years in prison and five years’ supervised release by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. He pleaded guilty on February 10, 2020 to first-degree manslaughter.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on February 19, 2005, at about 1 a.m., the defendant and his girlfriend, Desiree Cofield, 22, had a dispute outside 642 Greene Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which continued inside their apartment on the top floor of that building. A neighbor heard an argument, followed by a single gunshot and observed a blue light flash. The neighbor then heard the deceased’s daughter saying, “Mommy, Mommy,” according to the investigation.

A neighbor called 911 after the defendant banged on the door yelling, “I know you heard that; call the police.” The defendant also called 911 and, when police and EMTs arrived, acted aggressively.

The defendant screamed, broke picture frames and jumped on the victim’s body, according to the investigation. The police discovered the victim on a couch with a single gunshot wound to the head. Her 3-year-old daughter and 4-year-old nephew were awake in the bedroom. The victim and the defendant also had a 2-month-old daughter together, who was not present when police arrived.

Police recovered a .380 caliber shell casing, a matching live round and a note signed by the defendant that said, “Even if I am gone, I still love all of my daughters and my big mouth baby mother, Julius.” No gun was recovered.

The defendant had a history of abusing the victim, according to neighbors, the victim’s relatives and prior police reports.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Detective William Simon of the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad, under the supervision of Lieutenant Dennis Klein. The District Attorney would also like to thank DNA Specialist Susan Horan of the District Attorney’s Forensic Science Unit for her work on the case.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Samantha Magnani, Chief of the Construction Crimes and Labor Fraud Unit of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Batsidis, of the District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture and Crimes Against Revenue Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Rachel Singer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Forensic Science and Cold Case Unit.

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Teenager Indicted for Attempted Murder for Shooting that Wounded Six During Unofficial J’ouvert Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

 

Teenager Indicted for Attempted Murder for Shooting that Wounded Six During Unofficial J’ouvert Celebration

Defendant Allegedly Fired into Crowd,
Striking Six People, Including 7-Year-Old Boy

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Flatbush teenager has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with attempted murder and related charges for a shooting that wounded six people, including a 7-year-old boy, during an unofficial J’Ouvert Celebration in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly opened fire into a crowd, disrupting a community celebration while showing complete disregard for the devastation he might cause. It is fortunate that no one was killed as a result of his senseless actions. We remain committed to prosecuting gun violence and will now seek to hold this defendant accountable.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Donovan Bailey, 16, of Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Youth Court Justice Craig Walker on a 16-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and related charges. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on November 17, 2020.

The District Attorney said that on September 7, 2020 at approximately 2:44 a.m., the defendant, who was a week shy of his 16th birthday, allegedly fired into a crowd of people gathered for an unofficial J’ouvert Celebration near the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Crown Street. Six individuals, including a 7-year-old boy, were wounded in the shooting.

First responders rushed the victims to Kings County Hospital. Four victims sustained gunshot wounds to their legs, including the 7-year-old boy who was critically injured and sustained a broken femur. Two victims were shot in the foot.

Video surveillance from the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Crown Street shows a silver vehicle pull up to Crown Street approximately five minutes before the shooting. The surveillance footage also allegedly shows the defendant walking south on Nostrand Avenue with a large procession for several blocks and firing a weapon into a crowd before entering the back-passenger side of the silver vehicle and fleeing the scene.

Detectives from the New York Police Department’s Gun Violence Suppression Unit apprehended the defendant approximately 20 minutes after the shooting at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Lincoln Road. Police recovered a loaded .40 caliber pistol with an extended magazine from the defendant’s fanny pack, which matched shell casings recovered at the scene.

The case is being prosecuted by Executive Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Senior Assistant District Attorney Cassandra Pond, and Assistant District Attorney Evelina Rene, both of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau.

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

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Murder of Three Individuals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 14, 2020

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Murder of Three Individuals

Defendant Allegedly Shot Victims to Death in Two Separate Incidents

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an East New York man has been arraigned on two indictments charging him with first-degree murder and related charges for two separate incidents in June in which he allegedly shot and killed three people.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly went on a murderous crime spree, ruthlessly killing two men and a woman over the course of a week. The defendant allegedly brazenly shot them in broad daylight. We will now seek to bring him to justice. My condolences go out to the families who lost their loved ones to this nonsensical gun violence.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Charles Hernandez, 47, of East New York, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today and last week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on two indictments in which he is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder, four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of first-degree reckless endangerment. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on October 22, 2020. The defendant faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Additionally, the District Attorney said that Liza Jenkins, 47, of East New York, was arraigned last week on an indictment charging her with second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence for allegedly helping Hernandez get rid of the clothing he allegedly wore during the June 20, 2020 homicide. She was released without bail and ordered to return to court on October 22, 2020.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on June 20, 2020, at approximately 11 a.m., outside of his home in the vicinity of Milford Street and Blake Avenue, in East New York, Kenneth Singleton, 35, was washing his car when the defendant allegedly approached Singleton from behind and shot and killed him.

Furthermore, it is alleged, on June 27, 2020, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Stephanie Perkins, 39, and Chioke Thompson, 23, were sitting on a stoop on Van Siclen Street, near Belmont Avenue, in East New York, when the defendant allegedly approached them and opened fire, shooting and killing both victims. The defendant was allegedly wearing a blond wig, a long coat and carrying an assault rifle.

He was apprehended on July 9, 2020 in West Virginia by the Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Emily Dean assisted in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Chief of the Homicide Bureau.

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

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD to Host Gun Buyback Event in East New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD to Host
Gun Buyback Event in East New York

Will be Held at St. Paul Community Baptist Church on Saturday, September 12;
$200 Will be Given for Every Working Handgun or Assault Rifle, No Questions Asked

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, today announced a Gun Buyback event that will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2020 from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at St. Paul Community Baptist Church, located at 859 Hendrix Street in East New York, Brooklyn. The event is hosted in partnership with Rev. David Brawley of East Brooklyn Congregations and Metro IAF, a national community organizing network.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “As we stand up against an uptick in shootings throughout our city and in Brooklyn, we must employ every strategy and engage every part of our community. Saturday’s gun buyback event will provide an opportunity for everyone to turn in a firearm and receive cash – a simple action that can help reduce the number of lethal weapons on our streets. I encourage anyone who is in possession of a gun or a rifle, or knows of someone who is, to come out to St. Paul’s Church, get some money and help make Brooklyn safer. My gratitude to the NYPD and Metro IAF for partnering with us.”

Commissioner Dermot Shea said, “Every day, in all kinds of ways, our NYPD officers work tirelessly to prevent gun violence. This buyback event with the community and our partners in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office represents one more effort to take guns, and the bullets in them, off of our city streets.”

Pastor Brawley said, “We are pleased to work with Brooklyn DA Gonzalez and NYPD Commissioner Shea on this buyback effort. Every gun taken off the street is a gun that can’t do damage to our children and other residents. But we need to do more — identifying the mostly out-of-state gun dealers who supply these weapons in the first place and pressuring gun makers like Glock to cut off their ties to these dealers of neighborhood destruction. Through my work as co-chair of Metro IAF we have proposed the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign which offers a comprehensive outline to do this. We also believe that the time has come for gun makers to integrate state-of-the-art gun safety technology into their weapons.”

The District Attorney said that his Office, along with the NYPD, will offer money in the form of $200 bank cards for each operable gun or assault rifle turned in. All transactions will be anonymous, no questions asked. The bank cards will be issued after each firearm is received and screened by officers on-site. Guns should be unloaded and packaged in a paper or plastic bag or a box when brought to the event. If transported by car, the guns must be kept in the trunk. Both working and inoperable weapons will be accepted.

Participants will receive $25 for operable rifles, shotguns and air guns. Unlimited numbers of guns can be turned in, but participants will receive a limit of $600 in bank cards. No identification is required, and the firearms will be accepted with no questions asked. Active and/or retired law enforcement officers and licensed gun dealers are not eligible for this event.

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Cab Driver Arraigned for Rape of 12-Year-Old Passenger Who He Allegedly Assaulted Twice After Repeatedly Punching Her

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 2020

 

Cab Driver Arraigned for Rape of 12-Year-Old Passenger
Who He Allegedly Assaulted Twice After Repeatedly Punching Her

Defendant Was Hired by Relative to Drive Victim Home;
Allegedly Brandished Gun, Threatened Her if She Reported Attack

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a cab driver has been indicted for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in the early evening hours of August 10, 2020, while driving around with her for more than two hours. The defendant allegedly stopped the cab at two different locations and climbed into the back seat to rape the child, before dropping her at home.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “I was sickened to hear of this alleged brutal attack on a helpless young girl who should have been safely driven to her home. I am committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual assault, including this child, who will live with this trauma for the rest of her life. Keeping our streets safe from violent sexual predators is a top priority and we will seek to hold this defendant fully accountable.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Rafael Martinez, 32, of East New York, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo on a 28-count indictment charging him with three counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, four counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault, 12 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. The defendant, whose bail was set at $200,000, was ordered to return to court on October 19, 2020. He faces a sentence of up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on August 10, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., the defendant allegedly picked up a 12-year-old girl from a relative’s home in Fort Greene and was supposed to drive the girl to her own home in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Instead, it is alleged that after driving away, the defendant allegedly stopped the cab on Bergen Street and removed what appeared to be a black firearm from the glove compartment, loaded silver bullets into it and told the victim: “If you say anything, these bullets are for you.”

The defendant then allegedly climbed into the backseat, threatened the child with a firearm, and punched her body. The defendant then allegedly proceeded to rape and sexually assault her. The defendant then allegedly went back into the driver’s seat and drove to a second location, on Herkimer Street, and returned to the backseat, pushed the victim down and allegedly raped her again. At approximately 8 p.m., he allegedly dropped her home, where she disclosed to her mother that she had been raped.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lana Schlesinger, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Bureau Chief.

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

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Allegedly Stabbing Police Officer in Neck, Shooting His Partner and Firing Gun at Police Officers Who Responded to Scene, Wounding a Third Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Allegedly Stabbing Police Officer in Neck, Shooting His Partner and Firing Gun at Police Officers Who Responded to Scene, Wounding a Third Officer

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Flatbush man has been indicted on attempted aggravated murder and other charges for allegedly stabbing a police officer in the neck, taking the injured officer’s gun, using it to shoot the officer’s partner in the hand and also firing it at responding police officers, wounding a third officer.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly engaged in an unprovoked and cowardly attack on an officer and his partner, then opened fire at responding officers. We are lucky that these officers were not killed. This case underscores the dangers our police officers face day in and day out. We will now seek to bring this defendant to justice for endangering their lives and the lives of those around them.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Dzenan Camovic, 21, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He is charged with three counts of attempted aggravated murder, three counts of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and other related charges in an indictment that was filed today in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He is presently being held without bail and will be arraigned on the indictment on a later date.

The District Attorney said that on June 3, 2020, at approximately 11:45 p.m., Police Officer Yayon Frantz Jean Pierre and Police Officer Randy Ramnarine were standing on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Church Avenue when the defendant, walking south on Flatbush Avenue, walked up to Officer Jean Pierre from behind and allegedly stabbed him in the neck. He then allegedly rushed Officer Ramnarine with the knife and threw it at him.

Officer Jean Pierre allegedly fired at the defendant and then tripped. It is alleged the defendant then struggled with Officer Jean Pierre for control of his gun. After seizing the gun, the defendant is alleged to have fired at Officer Ramnarine, striking him in the hand. Additional police officers responded to the scene and the defendant also opened fire on those officers, striking one of those officers in the hand.

Two officers were shot, both in the left hand, and recovered. Officer Jean Pierre was treated for the stab wound to his neck.

The defendant was hospitalized and treated for multiple gunshot wounds and recovered.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Andy Palacio of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Cassandra Pond, of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.

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

More Than 36 Alleged Violent Offenders Indicted over the Past Week After Grand Juries Reconvened in Brooklyn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

 

More Than 36 Alleged Violent Offenders Indicted over the Past Week
After Grand Juries Reconvened in Brooklyn

Defendants charged with Murders, Gang Shootings, Attempted Murder and More;
Three Panels Now Hear Cases for First Time Since Grand Juries were Suspended in March

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that 36 individuals have been indicted for various violent crimes during the first week that grand juries reconvened. Grand juries have not been impaneled since mid-March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With three panels currently hearing cases, the DA’s Office obtained indictments on homicides, gang shootings, attempted murder, rape and other serious felonies. All of the defendants in these cases were previously held on bail or remanded and are still detained.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “With the resumption of grand juries, we are able to redouble our efforts at fighting violent crime in Brooklyn. The dozens of indictments we obtained over the past week ensure that dangerous offenders remain in custody as we seek to bring them to justice. I am grateful to the NYPD, to our other partners in law enforcement and to the prosecutors in my Office who were ready during these challenging times to quickly present their cases.”

The District Attorney said that grand juries were empaneled on August 11 and have been hearing cases since then. The cases that are being prioritized involve incarcerated defendants accused of violent felonies, including homicides, shootings and rape.

Among those indicted is Charles Hernandez who allegedly shot a man and a woman to death in East New York on June 27, 2020. The defendant allegedly disguised himself with a long blonde wig and a surgical mask as he fired multiple rounds at the victims. He was later apprehended in West Virginia. He has been charged with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Also indicted was Marcus Worrell, charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting two victims, killing one and seriously wounding the other, inside a Brownsville deli on June 5, 2020.

Gang prosecutors indicted several defendants, including Olayinka Babatunde who’s been charged with attempted murder in connection with a September 2019 shooting. The defendant allegedly aimed at a group of rivals but struck two innocent women who were waiting to cross a Flatbush intersection. Indictments were obtained in two other gang-related cases, each charging three defendants. One was a shootout in a housing development courtyard during a July 4th barbecue attended by many families. The other involved an April shooting in which an innocent bystander was struck.

In all, the Homicide Bureau indicted 14 defendants and the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau indicted 11 defendants, with the Special Victims Bureau and Trial Bureaus accounting for the other indictments. Numerous additional indictments are expected to be filed this week.

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Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez Announces Creation of Gun Violence Suppression Bureau

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez Announces
Creation of Gun Violence Suppression Bureau

Adds Resources and Expertise to Oversee All Firearm Cases;
Senior Prosecutor with Extensive Trial and Managerial Experience Appointed as Bureau Chief

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the creation of a Gun Violence Suppression Bureau that will add resources to the Office’s core mission: keeping the public safe. The new Bureau will improve the Office’s response to gun violence by consolidating resources and expertise under a single umbrella, by working closely with law enforcement agencies to expeditiously collect and enhance the evidence necessary for successful prosecutions, by reducing gun recidivism and by training assistants who are assigned to firearm cases to apply strategies that help overcome hurdles in prosecuting these often-difficult cases. In addition, the Bureau will collaborate with the Police Department to focus on drivers of crime, track patterns of gun violence and identify likely retaliations. It will also enhance fairness by formulating and ensuring consistent plea offers to all defendants.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “With the recent and worrisome spike in gun violence, we must innovate and strengthen our response to all cases against those who carry lethal weapons on our streets. The new Gun Violence Suppression Bureau will provide a laser-like focus of our resources and expertise in targeting the small number of individuals who are responsible for most of the gun violence in our community. Maintaining the historic gains in public safety that we’ve achieved over the past decade is our vital obligation and I believe this Bureau will help in reaching this goal.”

The District Attorney said that the Bureau will be headed by Chief Patrick O’Connor. A graduate of Harvard Law School, ADA O’Connor joined the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in 2014 as a Deputy Chief in the Gangs Bureau. Prior to that, he served for 19 years in the Queens District Attorney’s Office. He has tried more than 100 felony cases, including many homicides, during his career. About two years ago, he secured a conviction against a man who fatally stabbed 6-year-old P.J. Avitto and seriously wounded 7-year-old Mikayla Capers in a horrific unprovoked attack inside an East New York elevator. In December 2018, ADA O’Connor was appointed to lead the new Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau. His keen organizational skills, decades of legal expertise prosecuting difficult cases and a deep commitment to public safety and fairness will serve him well in his new position.

ADA O’Connor will be replaced as Bureau Chief of LEAB by Assistant District Attorney Aaron Nottage, currently a Deputy Chief in the Crime Strategies Unit. ADA Nottage, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, joined the Office in 1994 after serving as a field coordinator for the launch of the Legal Lives program and an intake interviewer for the Alternative Sentencing Unit. As a prosecutor, he tried many felony cases, including robberies, attempted murders, and homicides. As a supervisor, he oversaw dozens of violent felony trials. He was promoted to several supervisory positions in a Trial Bureau, including Deputy Bureau Chief for Criminal Court, Grand Jury and Supreme Court. In 2017, ADA Nottage was appointed to spearhead the then-new Public Housing Crime Suppression Unit. He has ably led a team that draws on data-driven intelligence and works with the NYPD, tenant associations and community members to drive down violent crime in public housing developments. His seasoned and varied experience make him well suited for this endeavor.

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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Stabbing Black Woman in Subway During Hate Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 30, 2020

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Stabbing
Black Woman in Subway During Hate Crime

Defendant Sentenced to Additional Two to Four Years Concurrent Time
For Separate Attack on Off-Duty Police Officer a Day Earlier

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking a 57-year-old black woman and stabbing her in the back in a hate crime attack in a Brooklyn subway station. The defendant was sentenced to an additional two to four years concurrent time in prison for a separate incident in which he assaulted an off-duty police officer a day earlier.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant viciously assaulted a fellow subway rider for no other reason than the color of her skin—one of two unprovoked attacks he waged over the course of two days. Acts of hate are not tolerated in Brooklyn, a place that prides itself on the diversity of its communities. I hope this sentence sends a clear message that racism and intolerance are unwelcomed here.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Aleksejs Saveljevs, 34, of Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn. He was sentenced yesterday day to 10 years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun following his guilty plea to first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime. The defendant also pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault for attacking a police officer and was sentenced to two to four years for that incident. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on November 9, 2018, at approximately 7:30 p.m., inside of the Church Avenue subway station, a Black woman who had just gotten off the Q train was walking on the platform towards the station exit when the defendant approached her from behind, grabbed her and repeatedly struck her about the shoulders and upper back. An eyewitness approached and attempted to help, asking: “What is going on here?” The defendant replied: “You (expletive) black (expletive).” The eyewitness then helped the victim up the stairs and shielded her from the defendant, who continued to approach them. The eyewitness told the defendant to back off and he fled the scene.

The victim went up the stairs and began to spit up blood. She was examined at the scene by emergency medical personnel, filed a report with police and went home. Later that night, the victim began to vomit as she was trying to sleep, noticed blood on her sheets and realized she had been stabbed in her back. She called 911 and was taken to Kings County Hospital and treated for a collapsed lung. She was released from the hospital on November 15, 2018.

Two days later, while going through items she was carrying during the assault she found a screwdriver inside of her lunch bag that didn’t belong to her and called police. The defendant’s DNA, which was stored in the City’s database following an unrelated arrest, was recovered from the screwdriver.

In addition, on November 8, 2018, at approximately 8:55 a.m., the defendant assaulted an off-duty police officer while the victim was walking his dog on Williams Court near East 11th Street in Sheepshead Bay. The defendant struck the victim’s head and face with a sharp object and stated, “I am going to (expletive) you up.” The defendant continued to strike the victim’s head and face as the victim fled.

The victim was treated for a broken cheek bone at Lutheran Hospital and required several staples and stitches to treat cuts to his head and face. The defendant’s building manager identified the defendant from surveillance images taken the day of the assault. The victim also identified the defendant during a lineup procedure conducted at the 61st Precinct.

The hate crime case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriana Rodriguez, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli Muse, Bureau Chief.

The assault case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lino J. De Masi of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney James Lin, Bureau Chief.

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