Postal Worker Attacked on Beach 126
Two teenagers have been arrested for attacking a postal worker last Sat urday afternoon. The teens, twin brothers Richard and Nelson Ramos of Arverne, have been charged with two counts each of second-degree attempted robbery and one count each of second-degree assault. A third teen involved in the assault fled the scene and has so far evaded capture.
"I was walking up Newport Avenue when I first crossed paths with the three teenagers," says neighborhood mailman Rick, (who has requested that The Wave not print his last name.) "I didn’t realize that fifteen minutes later these kids would be attacking me."
The teenagers were walking three abreast on the sidewalk, when Rick took his cart out into the street. After refilling his mailbag in the postal van, he continued his route going north on the 400 block of Beach 126 Street.
"They came from behind, didn’t say anything and suddenly blindsided me," says Rick, who was hit on the left side of his face. "When I saw the three teenagers above me, I thought they were there to help. I thought a foreign object hit me."
Rick then felt a hand in his right back pocket and realized he was being robbed. "They just about had my wallet, but then they mysteriously took off."
Dazed and confused, the athletic postman reoriented himself, and started chasing the teens while dialing 911 on his cell phone. A twenty minute chase ensued involving the neighbors, German shepherds from the NYPD’s canine unit, half a dozen police cars and a helicopter.
Running north onto Cronston Avenue, Rick trailed the teenagers onto Beach 125 Street. Bursting through backyards and over fences, Rick occasionally lost sight of the assailants, but helpful neighbors pointed him in the right direction. Rick’s supervisor, Charles Norris then appeared on the scene with a USPS van. Weaving through traffic and going the wrong way on Cronston Avenue, the postmen tracked the teens to the 400 block of Beach 127 Street.
It was there that another neighbor, Randy (who asked that his last name not be used), hopped out of his home in bare
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feet and shorts to assist in the chase.
With the three assailants splitting up, Rick was able to catch one of the teenagers in the middle of Beach 127 Street. "I tackled him on concrete," says Rick. "I cut up my hands, but didn’t feel a thing."
Neighbors came out with ice packs and towels for Rick, who was still bleeding from the attack.
Police officers from the 100 Precinct caught the other suspect around the same time.
A modest father of two, Rick is unaccustomed to this level of excitement. "I had so much adrenaline going through me I didn’t even notice the helicopter above us."
Reluctant to get treatment, Rick, a former Army medic, was taken to Peninsula Hospital and received four stitches and x-rays. He spent the rest of the day in the 100 Precinct speaking to Postal Inspectors and police officers, leaving only once for some pizza with his family and a quick shower.
After a rough night’s sleep, Rick woke up to hear rumors that he was hit with a baseball bat and in critical condition. With his story becoming a classic case of "telephone," Rick, who has lived in Belle Harbor for the last 25 years, loves Rockaway more than ever. "This is a neighborhood where everyone looks out for each other."
Captain Paul Piekarski of the 100 Precinct agrees. "I’d like to thank the community for coming out and helping the mailman. We have a lot of good neighbors."
The Ramos brothers were arraigned on February 22 in front of Queens Criminal Court Judge Joseph Zayas and bail has been set at $10,000 each. The twins are currently being housed in a youth detention center at Rikers Island.
Richard Ramos’ attorney, Melanie Glover, refused comment. Nelson Ramo’s attorney, Martin Goldman, was unavailable.
With the twins’ next court date on March 9, Rick is eager to see justice served. "I want to see the guy who hit me in court. I’m still angry."
Having worked nine years in Postal Service, Rick only has one regret from last Saturday. "I apologized to my supervisor and told him I couldn’t finish the route."