2005-07-01 / Community

Teen In Racial Assault Stabbed BC Youth In ‘02

By Howard Schwach

JOHNRICHJOHNRICH Ozone Park youth Nicholas Minucci, 19, is in trouble with the law in connection with a racial assault in Howard Beach Wednesday.

This is not the first time that Minucci has been in trouble. In November of 2002, he was arrested for repeatedly stabbing a Broad Channel teen in front of a local restaurant.

That case made news throughout the Rockaway community and the city when the youth died under the wheels of a Rockaway subway train in December of 2003.

John Rich, who was 15 in 2002, was stabbed after a party at a Broad Channel restaurant right on Jamaica Bay.

Rich stumbled to his 14 Road home with the serrated knife still in his chest. He collapsed in front of his home and was found by his mother.

Nicholas Minucci, then 17, was arrested for the attack.

According to an eyewitness, a group of Broad Channel youth were near the bay when three carloads of teens from Ozone Park and Howard Beach intruded. An altercation ensued during which Rich was stabbed.

In December of 2003, after Rich was fatally run over by a northbound shuttle train at the Beach 98 Street station, Minucci was given youthful offender status and his case was adjudicated and sealed by the court, according to a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Because the case files are sealed, the District Attorney could not provide information on the outcome of the case.

At first, local police suspected foul play and thought that Rich might have been killed to keep him from testifying against Minucci, but his death was declared an accident that was allegedly brought on by a bout of drinking at a Rockaway bar.

Witnesses at the time said that Rich “staggered” onto the subway platform and then fell on the tracks.

One of the witnesses reported calling 911, but the call apparently came too late.

In the Howard Beach case, Minucci reportedly confessed to police that he had repeatedly beat Glenn Moore, 22, with a metal baseball bat. In his confession, Minucci allegedly said that he beat the man because he had been eyeing a $3,000 chain that Minucci was wearing days earlier.

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