Timelines 9/5/13

Pedestrian struck by car in Chestnut Ridge
A pedestrian was struck by a car on August 29 as he was walking through Chestnut Ridge, according to Ramapo Police. The 35-year-old man was travelling west on Red Schoolhouse Road when a 2006 BMW X3 moving in the same direction glanced his left arm and elbow as it passed. The collision caused minor injuries to the pedestrian’s elbow, but he refused hospital treatment or medical evaluation beyond examination by responding ambulatory services. The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene and was interviewed by responding officers, but was not issued any traffic summonses. 

East Ramapo president owns illegally-subdivided townhouse
An illegal subdivision was discovered at a housing complex owned by East Ramapo school board president Yehuda Weissmandl, according to village housing inspectors. The subdivision consists of three units added to one of eight three-story townhouses at 29 Bethune Boulevard in Spring Valley. Firefighters discovered the illegal subdivisions when an alarm was triggered on August 27, causing the automatic sprinklers to flood an apartment. Though Weissmandl claimed he did not know about the additions and had directed his residents to remove the walls creating the housing divisions by a September 12 deadline given by Assistant Fire Inspector Frank Youngman, Youngman explained penalties may still be imposed by the chief building inspector. Youngman added that though the housing complex was well-maintained, he would issue summonses for a lack of working smoke detectors, a responsibility the lease stipulated fell on residents.

DEA snooped on Americans’ phone calls for years before the NSA
A recently-discovered Power Point presentation revealed AT&T cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Agency for the DEA’s access to a database of phone records older than the NSA’s controversial phone log collections. The Hemisphere Project, which was revealed to the New York Times by activist Drew Hendricks, entails AT&T employees who are paid to work with DEA and local law enforcement to supply authorities with company phone data stretching as far back as 1987. In effect, Hemisphere has had access to 26 years’ worth of calls made over AT&T’s network since the program’s inception in 2007. Though the program is not classified, it was marked as “law enforcement sensitive” and disclosure of its existence was actively discouraged. According to the Obama Administration, the program followed longstanding law enforcement procedure and was technically not a government program, since the network was maintained by AT&T and only accessible through subpoenas.

Man found with stolen boat
What was first thought to be a disabled boat on the Hudson River on Tuesday turned out to be a stolen boat taken from Newburgh, according to the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department. A 27-year-old man found on the boat off the shore of Upper Nyack has been arrested in connection with the stolen boat and drugs that were also found on him, police said. The boat, a 1995 Wellcraft cabin cruiser, was reported adrift on the Hudson River at about 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said the Sheriff’s Marine Unit investigated the boat and found John C. Knaggs of 2936 Dexter Court, Queens, NY, aboard. Police said an investigation determined the boat had been stolen from Newburgh and there were also warrants for Knaggs that had been issued in Newburgh Town Court. Knaggs is charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance for methamphetamine that police said was found. Knaggs is being held pending arraignment today (Wednesday, Aug. 28).

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro dies of hanging
Ariel Castro, who was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and sexually abusing three women over the course of a decade, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his cell on September 3. Castro was in protective custody at the Correctional Reception Center outside Columbus, Ohio when he was discovered hanging in his cell at around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. Prison staff attempted to resuscitate him before he was transferred to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Following his arrest and conviction for 937 offenses including kidnapping, rape, felonious assault and aggravated murder for a forcible miscarriage he inflicted on one of his victims, Castro was incarcerated at the Reception Center. There, mental and physical evaluations were planned before Castro’s transfer to a long-term lockup facility. According to Castro’s attorney Jaye Schlachet, Castro was denied access to an independent psychologist while he was at the facility. Though a suicide note and confession was found at the house where he kept the women captive, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty dismissed claims of emotional distress and argued Castro was a narcissist who was attempting to elicit sympathy and shift blame to the victims.

Pirates win against Brewers, break losing streak
The Pittsburgh Pirates broke their recent losing streak with a victory over the Milwauke Brewers, securing their first non-losing season since 1992. Securing a 3-3 tie in the eighth, the Pirates nudged ahead from there with another run in the ninth, bringing the score to 4-3. The victory was the Pirates’ 81st win and will guarantee that it will not finish with a losing record for the first time since it went 96-66 over a decade ago.

Two Nanuet men stabbed in Central Nyack
Two Nanuet men were stabbed during an altercation in the parking lot of the Hub shopping plaza in Central Nyack at 4 a.m. on September 3. The men, age 30 and 25, were faced by the attacker, a black male who was about thirty years of age, under unknown circumstances. Police explained the attacker used a large-bladed weapon to stab the 30 year old victim in the abdomen. The 25 year old was allegedly stabbed in the arm as he attempted to prevent the attacker’s escape. Both men were transported to Nyack Hospital, where their condition remains unknown. No arrests have been made in connection to the attack and an investigation is ongoing.