Timelines — 3/7

Gunshots fired in Haverstraw
Last week, police recovered four bullet casings in an area of Haverstraw near Trimble and Wall Street. They have not found the shooter or what could have been several shooters, at this time. Police responded to a report of up to seven gunshots last Wednesday night. Witnesses reportedly told police that they saw two SUVs driving away from the scene shortly after the shots were heard. This was at about 8 p.m. Different witnesses told police that they heard between four and seven shots fired. No injuries were reported. The type of gun which fired the shots is still under investigation, but the bullet casings, which have been sent to a lab for analysis, will clear up that question. But during the initial investigation, police arrested three men who were fighting amongst themselves. They were arrested on a violation charge of disorderly conduct, and their charges were not related to the gunfire. William Sanchez, 22, of Garnerville, Michael David Poulard, 23, of Spring Valley, and Jakeem Pridgen, 21, of Spring Valley, were arrested. The investigation of the gunfire is continuing.

Occupy Rockland against Pfizer because of ties to conservative group
Occupy Rockland participated in a “National Day of Action to Shut Down the Corporations” last week, and targeted Pfizer Corp. due to the company’s action of laying off workers and ties to so-called conservative groups. The event was part of the Occupy Wall Street movement and this specific event responded to Occupy Portland’s call to protest the members and the work of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Steve White of Spring Valley, who participated in the Occupy Rockland group, said, “We hope to send a message to the people of Rockland County that the issues of Occupy Wall Street are directly affecting our everyday lives…The things that they do on Wall Street are costing us jobs on Main Street.” A spokesperson for Pfizer issued the following statement: “For more than 150 years, Pfizer has been committed to being a good corporate citizen, and our track record proves it.” The protest that took place last week was just one of more than 80 planned throughout the country. The “Shut Down the Corporations” event was aimed at being nonviolent and was open to anyone interested in participating.

Muslim leaders support NYPD spy controversy; oppose CAIR-agenda
On Saturday, Rep. Peter King and a group of Muslim clerics and activists showed their support for the NYPD’s conductance of surveillance as part of its anti-terrorism operations. A large banner which read, “American Muslims Support NYPD” was the backdrop for the rally, held just outside the NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan. The event was sponsored by the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. The founder of the group, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, said that the department’s surveillance operations were appropriate because of the ongoing threat of attacks. Jasser said, “We are not here to criticize the NYPD, but rather to thank them for doing the monitoring of extremists that Muslims should be doing.” King (R-Nassau) and a Kelly supporter, reportedly said that the police focus on Muslim extremists is no different than its focus on Italians in the Mafia or the Irish in the “Westies” gang from years ago. King said, “If they were not doing what they were doing, to me they’d be negligent and remiss in their duties. What they’re doing with their intelligence is what all police departments should be doing at all levels of government. It’s the job of the police department not to pick up the bodies after the attacks have been launched and carried out, but to stop those attacks from happening.” Samir Abdelkhalek, an 18-year-old Muslim from Staten Island who is a member of the Muslim Liberty Project, introduced King. Abdelkhalek said, “As a Muslim, I have nothing to hide. A mosque is a public space. If they’re worried about something then it means they’ve done something wrong.” On Saturday, Kelly provided a very detailed defense of the NYPD’s tactics, and declared them “essential to the city’s safety.”

Spring Valley man’s drug felony charge dropped due to lab results
Felony drug charges against Roberto Bueno, of Spring Valley, have been dropped after lab tests concluded that the substance taken from him was not heroin, as it was first thought to be. The 1.35 kilos of white power, which was stacked in three shopping bags, was in question until early February, but Bueno was not released from jail until this week, after spending more than a month in jail. The 36-year-old was held first in county jail but then after the negative tests came back from the lab, was held by federal immigration officials because his status in the United States had been questioned. The drug charges were dismissed by County Court Judge William K. Nelson this week. On January 11, Bueno was arrested by police after the taxi in which he was a passenger, was stopped for erratically driving. A police dog reportedly reacted to the shopping bags, which indicated that there were drugs inside. The packages of white powder in Bueno’s possession, were in fact a cutting agent which is often mixed with heroin to increase the weight and the value on the streets. Reportedly the arrest led to Bueno being held as an undocumented alien from the Dominican Republic.

Harlem Wizards play Cherry Lane Elementary teachers for fundraiser
On Sunday, faculty from Cherry Lane Elementary School in Suffern played the Harlem Wizards in a basketball game which served as a fundraiser. Approximately 20 teachers, Principal of the school David Leach, and parents of school students, played the team which is comprised of former NBA and CBA players and college standouts. Special guests included State Senator David Carlucci, who served as an honorary coach, Suffern police chief Clarke Osborn, who refereed, and others. Carlucci’s office sponsored tickets for children who wanted to attend but could not afford to go. Proceeds for the game will be used to fund cultural arts programming like school assemblies, guest speakers, and health and fitness programs at the school. Cherry Lane Elementary has about 430 students in grades K-5. The event organizer for the school and VP of fundraising for the school’s PTA, said, “Academics are the number one service of any school of course, but when you can provide cultural programming, it supplements the academics.”

Nanuet gas station robbed at gunpoint
The Gulf gas station on the corner of Route 59 and Middletown Road in Nanuet was robbed earlier this week by two men, described as being in their early 20s and wearing dark hoodies. The two suspects, who had a handgun, and entered the gas station in the early hours of the morning, struck the clerk in the head, and tied him up. After they had hit the clerk and tied him up, they fled by foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. They were last seen headed toward Middletown Road, according to police. The clerk was taken to Nyack Hospital for the blow to his head. Investigation is still underway, and police are still searching for the two suspects.

Rockland Psychiatric Center questioned for allowing patient with violent history to reside there
Curtis D. Wilson was admitted to Rockland Psychiatric Center with a violent criminal history. He spent 13 years in Sing Sing Correctional Facility for burglary after an incident in Orange County on July 4, 1995. Charges at that time included rape, weapons possession, assault and robbery. Court documents show that the charges were dropped and he was released from prison on September 29, 2009. Yet after he was admitted to RPC, and became violent and viciously beat up a fellow patient in September 2010, the state allowed him to continue living on campus. In January, Wilson was accused of murdering an inpatient with a metal rod. Now, the state is facing a $10 million lawsuit which was filed by Spring Valley resident Darnell Clapp, who suffered facial fractures on September 26, 2010, when he was attacked by Wilson. At the time, Wilson was sentenced to probation for a misdemeanor count of third-degree assault. Clapp’s attorney said, “This known violent person didn’t belong there, and they obviously let him wander around and do whatever he wanted. Because this violent person was not properly supervised or separated from the general population, he committed an unprovoked vicious assault.” On January 16, Wilson allegedly beat 45-year-old Vincent Knadler across the face and body with an L-shaped piece of metal in a similar, unprovoked attack. He did not survive. Wilson’s criminal history has raised an array of questions about the state allowing a man with such a violent history to reside on campus with the freedom he had.

Woman unharmed after her car plunges into a stream
After her car drove off of Fenimore Road into a stream at the edge of a golf course, the driver of a black Saturn sedan walked away without any injuries. The woman’s name is not being released. The accident, which occurred earlier this week, happened when the driver was nearing the bottom of an incline near the intersection of Rocky Hollow Drive. She reportedly lost control of her car, jumped the curb of the road, and slid down an embankment into a brook located on the grounds of the Bonnie Briar Country Club. According to police, she was not injured and refused medical attention. Police said that alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident. Mechanical failure, however, may have contributed to the incident. The accident is still under investigation. A large tow truck went to the scene in order to remove the vehicle from the muddy water. The woman was middle-aged, but police would not disclose her name.