2009-03-27 / Top Stories

Street Naming Planned For Slain Honors Student

By Nicholas Briano

Community leaders and New York City Councilmember James Sanders, Jr. are planning to dedicate a street corner in Far Rockaway to the late Patrick Hernandez, the 18-year-old honor student who was shot and killed last year.

A meeting to discuss and gain support for the dedication will be held Wednesday, April 1, 6 p.m. at the Community Church of the Nazarene located at 1414 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway. Locals are encouraged to attend and voice their opinion of the proposal. The plan is to name the intersection at Gateway Boulevard and Mott Avenue, the corner where Hernandez lived, in memory of the Far Rockaway High School alum.

At the time of Hernandez's death, he and his 16-year-old brother, Ralphfael, were working for the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), participating in a beach cleanup during the early morning hours of July 10, 2008.

The two brothers were walking home from the beach when Karon Lenihan, 17, who was also working with RDRC, allegedly jumped out of a gray Nissan Maxima and shot Hernandez dead shortly before 11 a.m.

Patrick Hernandez is pictured in a recent high school football photo. A street naming in his memory is being planned. Patrick Hernandez is pictured in a recent high school football photo. A street naming in his memory is being planned. Police speculated that the two boys were once rivals in school and more recently at work, and that the attack was sparked by Lenihan's jealousy of Hernandez. Hernandez graduated from Far Rockaway High School in January, six months early, and was a member of the school's football team.

The proposal to name the intersection in his memory was met with much support from Community Board 14 at their meeting last month in Rockaway Beach.

Hernandez was the kind of kid that didn't have time to hang out on the streets, buy guns or join gangs, according to people who knew him well. He had planned to attend SUNY Cortland and major in philosophy this past fall.

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