2000-06-03 / Front Page

Key Arrest By District 23


By Joan Ward George

Ellis Landle and Michael Gitters were arrested Wednesday evening for alleged sexual abuse of a 20-year-old woman on the "A" Train earlier that day. Landle and Gitters were arrested initially by plainclothes police officers of Transit District 23, out of Beach 116 street, for theft of services (jumping the turnstile) at the Beach 59 street "A" train station. Transit Detective Speed and Police Officer Peterson ran a check on the perps who both ended up having outstanding warrants against them and they were transferred to Queens Central Booking.

Ironically, at the same time that the two toll jumpers were being arraigned on theft of services charges in Central Booking, their mugshots were being identified as two of the seven assailants of the woman who alleges having been sexually abused earlier that day. The victim has accused Landle, 18, of Beach 59 street, and Gitters, 18, of East 143 street, Bronx, of fondling and sexually abusing her during a grueling ride from the Jay Street, Borough Hall "A" train station stop in Brooklyn, all the way to Beach 59 street in Arverne, at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

According to a transit police spokesperson, the victim turned up at the District 23 office at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday to report the alleged sexual abuse that she suffered while riding on the "A" train that morning. The victim told Transit Police Detective Ianello that after she entered the last car of the "A" train at Jay Street, Borough Hall early Wednesday morning, she was surrounded by seven young men. According to the victim, she was fondled in her private parts, and forced to touch the exposed private part of one of her assailants. Detective Ianello ran a check of transit arrests made Wednesday and showed several photos to the victim. He obtained a positive identification on the alleged perps and proceeded to Central Booking where he re-arrested Landle and Brooks on the felony sexual abuse charge.

Police related to The Wave that a third suspect, Corey Lowe, 18, of Lenox road, in Brooklyn, has also been arrested and charged with felony sexual abuse in the first degree. Police of the District 23 Transit Police Station are continuing the investigation in search of the other young men who have not as yet been apprehended. Anyone with information about this incident that might be able to assist the police in their investigation is asked to call Detectives Ianello or Speed or Police Officer Peterson at the District 23 Transit office at 474-3319.

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