Volume 74, Number 43 | March 02 - 08, 2005

Police Blotter

Murder-robbery arrest
A fourth suspect, Servisio Simmon, 21, of 60 Baruch Dr., was arrested on Mon., Feb. 28, and charged with murder in connection with the Jan. 27 shooting death of Nicole duFresne during a Jan. 27 robbery on the Lower East Side.

Simmon was among the group that held up duFresne and her three friends at Clinton and Rivington Sts., according to the charge.
Rudy Fleming, 19, of Staten Island was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with being the shooter in the case. Tatiana McDonald, 14, was subsequently arrested and charged with murder because she was a party to the robbery. The third arrest in the incident came on Feb. 2 when Ashley Evans, 18, of Queens was charged with murder because of participation in the robbery.

Servicio Simmon was identified by one of the other defendants as taking part in the robbery. He is the cousin of David Simmon, 18, who was arrested along with a 15-year-old boy at the same time as Fleming for beating and attempting to rob a Lower East Side bouncer earlier on the night that duFresne was shot to death. David Simmon and the 15-year-old were not with the group when they robbed duFresne and her friends, according to police.

More gunfire at Hot 97
A shooting outside 395 Hudson St., the home of Hot 97, the FM hip-hop radio station, at 10 p.m., Mon., Feb. 28, ended with Kevin Reed, 24, of Los Angeles, being taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital with a gunshot wound in the groin, police said

The shooting on the street in front of the building between Houston and Clarkson Sts. took place during an argument between the entourages of the rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) and The Game (Jason Taylor).

50 Cent said during an on-air interview that night that he was expelling his protégé, The Game, from his crew. Reed was said to be a member of The Game’s entourage, whose members had driven to the station to protest the insult. The two groups ran into each other outside the building but neither 50 Cent nor The Game was among them when the shooting began, according to a Newsday article.

Hot 97, on the seventh floor of the building, was where Miss Jones, a morning show D.J., recently played a song with lyrics that mocked the victims of the South Asian tsunami. The sidewalk in front of the station was also the scene of a February 2001 shooting involving the entourage of the rapper Lil Kim.

Lil Kim’s federal court trial for perjury in connection with her grand jury testimony on the 2001 shooting began March 1. The perjury charge involves her testimony that she did not know two suspects in the case, Suif Jackson and Damion Butler, both of whom have pleaded guilty in connection with the 2001 shooting. The Federal Court judge on Feb. 28 ruled that the prosecution may offer as evidence a video showing Jackson and Butler with Lil Kim in a performance.

Jury deliberates on cop
A jury began deliberations on Monday night, Feb. 28, on the reckless manslaughter trial of Police Officer Bryan Conroy, who shot and killed an unarmed West African immigrant during an undercover police raid on a counterfeit CD operation in a Chelsea warehouse nearly two years ago.

The victim, Ousmane Zongo, 43, an immigrant from Burkina Faso, made his living repairing African artifacts that vendors stored in Chelsea Mini-Storage on 12th Ave. at W. 27th St. Conroy, 25 at the time, justified the shooting, telling a grand jury that Zongo, who was not involved in the counterfeit ring, had advanced on him and lunged for his gun after he shouted that he was a police officer.

Conroy’s grand jury testimony was entered as evidence and an expert witness testified that the four bullets in Zongo’s body could have entered during a lunge or while the victim was backing away.

Conroy’s Staten Island neighbors and Zongo’s relatives sat across from each other in the courtroom during the trial, which began Feb. 14.

Arrest in subway murder
Detectives from the 13th Precinct on Feb. 23 arrested Elio Cruz, 33, of 155 W. 190th St. for murder in connection with the Feb. 19 shooting death of German Cabrera, 36, of Hamilton Heights, Manhattan, on the Downtown platform of the 1/9 subway station at 18th St. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly commended the 13th Precinct detective squad for the timely arrest. The suspect is believed to be the former boyfriend of Cabrera’s fiancée.

Police and the Emergency Medical Service team who responded to the 8 a.m. shooting were delayed in getting to the victim because clerks had been removed from that side of the station for the weekend. The officers and medical aides had to use MetroCards offered by passersby to get onto the platform.

Subway death
Kai Tam, 69, of 43-30 46th St. in Sunnyside, Queens, was struck and killed by a northbound N train at the Canal St. station, police said. No criminality was suspected.

Scammer phones again

A Village resident received a phone call on Feb. 16 from a con artist who identified himself as Doug Richards calling from England to inform her that she won $89,000 but had to register with him as a senior citizen and send $32,000 in $100 bills to an address in Holland.

The resident, Doris Diether, strung the caller along, and put a tape recorder to the phone when he called again 10 minutes later and another three times in the next three days to “confirm” her eligibility for the prize and instruct her on just how to wrap those $100 bills in newspaper and mail them in an uninsured plain brown envelop to Jan, PO Box 3000 AL, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Diether said she phoned the U.S. Postal Service Fraud complaint line and was told that others, including some people who sent the money, had also received calls from Doug Richards.

On March 1, Diether said Doug called again that morning, said he had trouble reaching her and asked if she had sent the money. “I assured him I had, but just yesterday because the weather had been bad,” said Diether. The con artist went through the mailing instructions again and promised to send the check for the prize money as soon as her envelope arrived. Diether said she has also notified city and state authorities about the scam.

Albert Amateau

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