Monday, November 22, 2004

Man gets caught passing off counterfeit hundred dollar bills

A man was caught in Boro-Park after he went from store to store purchasing small items with counterfeit one hundred dollar bills. The man was discovered by the owner of the liquor store on 55th street and 13th avenue and tried to flee with a car service. The man was stopped and blocked in the car by passersby. Shomrim were quickly called to the scene and kept an eye on the man. The police were called and showed after a half hour of waiting around. After speaking to the man briefly the police let the man go without even interviewing any witnesses. The crowd being totally outraged by the horrible injustice blocked the car only to be chased away by the police. Only after the police had left were a few people able to confront the counterfeiting thief and ask that the money be returned. The man seeing he had no choice but to comply, took a wad of twenties out of his pocket and handed them over to a Shomrim member and swore that was all he had stolen. He also returned a cordless phone that he had stolen from Eagle's electronics. The man was warned to never try such a stunt in the neighborhood again.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Don't take my dog!

A Brooklyn girl could lose her best friend - a spunky terrier who raised her spirits and helped pull her out of depression - because her landlord will not budge on its no-dogs-allowed policy.
"She's my best friend," 9-year-old Alison Shur said as she cuddled her adoring pooch. "Friends at school leave on vacations and on trips, but Lada's here forever with me now."

The family even got the city's permission to keep the dog - but the landlord went to court and got a judge to step in.

Alison's mom, Ilona, bought the friendly terrier when she and her daughter moved from Bay Ridge to Bensonhurst two years ago.

Alison hated the move. She missed her friends, stopped talking, hid her food, complained of stomach pains and fell behind in school. And the lonely child's therapist said a pet might help lift Alison's depression.

So even though her lease prohibited pets, Shur bought Ellada, a frisky Kerry blue terrier that Alison nicknamed Lada.

It was love at first sight.

"I like that she has a funny face. Her nose. Her eyes. Her little ears. She's very kind," Alison said. "Sometimes, she makes the wily face when she wants to get food."

But the building's owner, Contello Towers II Corp., was not at all enamored of the dog. The company, seeing Lada as a violation of the lease, has waged a two-year legal battle to evict the dog.

"If we allow one pet, it opens the floodgates," said Santo Golino, attorney for Contello Towers.

Animal advocates said dogs like Lada are sometimes considered grandfathered into leases if landlords fail to file a complaint within a matter of weeks. Lada, a quiet, nonshedding pup, went undetected for roughly four months.

But earlier this week, The Towers won the latest legal battle when Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt ruled that the dog was not medically necessary and therefore not allowed in the apartment.

The city Department of Housing Preservation and Development now will force the family to give up the pet - or get out.

Shur is determined to fight.

"It is inhuman," said the Georgian immigrant, who has offered to pay more in rent and buy extra insurance so her daughter could keep her pet.

Shur said she has not lost hope, in part because a city administrative hearing officer ruled in her favor in August 2003.

The hearing officer concluded that Shur was "foolish" to buy the prohibited animal, but also found that Alison had a disability and her reliance on Lada met the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act, so she could keep the dog.

But Contello Towers immediately appealed, leading to this week's ruling.

Shur said the building was full of dogs, but only newer tenants like herself were being targeted.

"I can't let them do this to my daughter," Shur vowed. "I won't."

During the expensive two-year fight, Shur has kept Alison unaware of efforts to take her dog, and begged neighbors not to expose the secret.

Yesterday, the landlord refused to back down.

"Everyone who brings in a dog, we pounce on them right away," Golino said. "Someone with a weak claim like this - 'I don't feel well, so I need a dog' - it lends itself to too much mischief, people feigning illnesses to keep a dog."


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Palestinian Terrorist Yasser Arafat finally Dies at 75

Yasser Arafat, revered as the champion of Palestinian statehood and reviled as a terrorist, died Thursday at the age of 75, spreading spasms of grief among Palestinians and rekindling calls for new peace talks with Israel. Arafat's death marked a turning point in modern Middle East history, leaving the Palestinians without a strong leader for the first time in four decades and arousing fears of a chaotic power struggle that could lead to fighting in the streets. Thankfully that doesn't bother me at all. I'm just happy they finally made up their minds already whether he's dead or not.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Lakewood man gets 10 years for burglaries of Orthodox Jewish homes

A Superior Court judge yesterday sentenced a 22-year-
old Lakewood man with no prior criminal record to 10 years in prison
for a long string of burglaries that targeted homes of Orthodox Jews
in Lakewood.

Judge Vincent J. Grasso imposed the sentence on Dwayne Johnson of
Ridge Avenue for the 15 burglaries to which he pleaded guilty in

Johnson also will be required to make restitution for the items he
stole. Supervising Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Madelin F.
Einbinder said that when the amount is tallied, Johnson will owe
thousands of dollars.

The break-ins Johnson admitted to were among 35 charges in an
indictment which also accused him of taking items from some of the
homes he burglarized.

The crime spree lasted from September 2003 until mid-March, the
indictment said.

Johnson primarily stole cash and jewelry, the indictment said, but
from one home, he stole rings, cash, clothing and 100 pears.

He was caught March 18 after he and another man, who has not been
caught, burglarized an East End Avenue home, ransacked it, took keys
to the car parked outside and used them to open the vehicle. The
pair fled when the car alarm sounded, but police who responded to
the alarm followed footprints in fresh snow to Johnson. Police then
linked him to other burglaries.

Johnson's attorney, Patrick Patel, noted that Johnson had no
criminal record before the burglary spree, but added, "When he hit
the scene, he hit it off and running."

Johnson apologized to Grasso before he was sentenced.


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