Brown: Bloomberg Wrong On Looting Numbers
When Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to The Wave last week, he said that “given the context of the devastation in Rockaway, there was virtually no looting” on the peninsula and that the major crime problem was burglaries, not looting.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has challenged that assertion, however, providing statistics showing that 15 individuals were charged with looting businesses in Rockaway in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Three of the fifteen had their case dismissed and eight others are awaiting indictment, a spokesperson for Brown told The Wave on Monday.
“The Queens District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have zero tolerance for looters who would exploit a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy for their own personal gain,” said District Attorney Brown. “Having personally viewed the devastation that encompasses the Rockaway peninsula and other areas of Queens, I want to make it clear that such law-lessness will be vigorously prosecuted by my office and that we will seek appropriate punishment.”
Brown said those individuals charged include:
Catherine Atkins, 19, of 260 Beach 81 Street; Donnell Wimms, 43, of 353 Beach 43 Street; Gregory Gittens, 25, of 84-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; and Anthony Felder, 27, of 1704 Randall Avenue in the Bronx, who are charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into a Radio
Shack store at 87-09 Rockaway Beach Boulevard between 9:00 a.m. and 10:23 a.m. on October 30, 2012. Atkins was additionally charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property; Felder was additionally charged with resisting arrest; and Wimms was additionally charged with second-degree assault and re-sisting arrest.
Donald Spellman, 22, of 81-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, and Luis Bonilla, 20, of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard, who are charged with thirddegree burglary and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly burglarizing Rock Jetty Wine and Spirits, located at 97-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, between 2:20 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on October 30, 2012. Spellman is additionally charged with second-degree assault and resisting arrest for allegedly assaulting the police officer who was attempting to arrest him.
Dwight Jones, 23, of 82-03 Rock-away Beach Boulevard and Terrance Smalls, 22, of 7600 Shore Front Parkway, both in Queens, who are charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into a clothing store located at 85-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard at approximately 11:40 a.m. on October 30, 2012.
Michael Pike, 21, of 85-15 Rocka-way Beach Boulevard, who is charged with third degree burglary, petit larceny and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly burglarizing a clothing store at the
intersection of Beach 86 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard at about 1:00 p.m. on October 30, 2012, and stealing a pair of boots.
Joshua Harris, 23, and Jordan Mohammad, 31, both of 30-08 Beach Channel Drive who are both charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and resisting arrest for allegedly breaking into a Gulf gas station, located at 38-01 Beach Channel Drive, between 4:45 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. on October 30, 2012.
Malcolm Wise, 16, of 54-81 Almeda Avenue and Roosevelt Patterson, 49, of 407 Beach 37 Street, who are charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly burglarizing a gas station located at 38- 01 Beach Channel Drive between 8:45 a.m. and 9:21 a.m. on October 30, 2012. Patterson was also charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly having a billy club in his pocket.
Jimmy Gumbs, 42, of 113 Beach 56 Place, and DaShawn Peay, 16, of 138 Beach 59 Street, who are charged with third-degree burglary, resisting arrest and third-degree criminal trespass of allegedly breaking into 57 Food Market, lo-cated at 57-25 Shorefront Parkway between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on October 30, 2012.
Brown noted that third-degree burglary and second-degree assault are both Class D felonies, each punishable by up to seven years in prison; third-degree criminal mischief is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison; fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, petit larceny and resisting arrest are Class A misdemeanors, each punishable by up to one year in prison.
According to court records, a grand jury voted no true bill against Gregory Gittens, Anthony Felder and Michael Pike.
Ryan Mueller, Devaughn Martin, Jelani Wynn, Iziah Rudolph, Bar-tosz Cichon, Joel Booth, Lawrence Davis and Khalif Washingon were all awaiting indictment on similar charges.
Mueller, 20, who lives in Breezy Point, was arrested on November 10 for burglarizing houses in his home community.
According to court records, a Breezy Point homeowner on Thetford Road heard noises in his house and saw Mueller exiting through a window. The homeowner stopped Mueller and found 100 commemorative coins, a gold ear ring and money that had been taken from his house.