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- Under Cover
Joseph Pabon, who was convicted on April 12 of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the July 2009 death of Eridiana Rodriguez, a fellow employee in the office building at 2 Rector St., was sentenced on Tues., June 5 to 25 years to life in prison. Pabon, an elevator operator in the building, was 27 on July 7, 2009 when he grabbed the 46-year-old victim married with three grown children, bound her hands and feet and taped her mouth so tightly that she suffocated, according to the charges. The victim’s body, which he had stuffed in an air duct, was discovered four days later.
Soho burglary bust
Police arrested Demarest Flowers, 30, shortly after 8 a.m. Sun., May 27 and charged him with burglary for breaking into Aquagrill at 210 Spring St. and Sixth Ave. and stealing liquor. Flowers told police he broke into the same restaurant on Wed., May 23.
L.E.S. man shot dead
Abdul Garcia Jr., 24, who recently moved from the Lower East Side to the Bronx, was shot to death around 6:40 p.m. Sun., June 3 a few blocks from his home in Morrisania, police said. The victim, known as Junior, was shot five times in the head and the back and had a handgun in his rear pocket, according to a Daily News item. Garcia, who moved to the Bronx to live with his girlfriend and his son and stepson, had a record of several arrests.
Indict Chinatown bank
A federal grand jury on Thurs., May 31 indicted Abacus Federal Savings Bank (with headquarters at 6 Bowery) and 11 of its former employees with conspiracy and fraud in connection with the sale of loans to the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fanny Mae”) between May 2005 and February 2010.
Among the individual defendants implicated in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of fraudulent mortgages are Yiu Wah Wong, the bank’s vice president and chief credit officer, and Wai Hung “Raymond” Tam, the bank’s loan origination supervisor.
Abacus officials claimed in a statement that the bank was the sole victim in the fraud and that it has cooperated in the investigation. “We do not understand why our community bank was the only one targeted for prosecution while many other banks that contributed to the national economic crisis remain untouched,” the statement said.
Seek bank robber
Police are seeking a suspect identified as Cornell Neilly, wanted for robbing 11 banks in Manhattan between Bowling Green and Morningside Heights. The spree began on April 11 at the HSBC branch on Broadway at 103rd St., and the most recent robbery took place on May 26 in Midtown Manhattan. The other incidents took place in neighborhoods such as the Financial District and Gramercy.
Jonathan Tripp, 31, a resident of Chrystie St., jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on Sun., June 3 during a charity bicycle ride, according to a New York Post item. Tripp, the fourth suicide from the bridge in the past two weeks, left a white peony blossom and a note written on a brown paper bag before he died, the Post said.
BB gun busts
A 14-year-old boy and his 15-year-old cousin were arrested in the second-floor apartment of the younger suspect across from P.S. 2, 122 Henry St., after the school custodian, 34-year-old Cleveland Williams, was hit in the right leg with a BB pellet the afternoon of Wed., May 23.
Police spotted a BB rifle on a living room table when the younger boy opened the door. Police also found a second rifle, nunchuks (a marshal arts weapon), knives and a dart blowgun in the apartment, according to reports. The school principal, Brett Gustafson, told the Post that police were called to the school three times in the past eight weeks for similar incidents.
The following week, on May 29, a 19-year-old victim was hit in the back by a BB pellet while riding his bike near Campos Plaza at E. 12th St. and Avenue C. Police are investigating the incident, but there were no immediate arrests.