Looters Helped Selves Amid Rockaway Ruin
Police Sweep Up Storm Scavengers
More than a dozen individuals have been charged with burglary and other crimes for looting various Far Rockaway businesses—including a liquor store, clothing stores and a Radio Shack—in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, law enforcement sources announced.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that the individuals charged include the following:
• Catherine Atkins, 19, of Beach 81st Street in Far Rockaway, Donnell Wimms, 43, of Beach 43rd Street in Far Rockaway, Gregory Gittens, 25, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Far Rockaway, and Anthony Felder, 27, of 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 Blvd. between 9 and 10:23 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
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 resisting arrest.
• Donald Spellman, 22, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, and Luis Bonilla, 20, of Hammels Boulevard, both in Far Rockaway, who are charged with third-degree burglary and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly burglarizing Rock Jetty Wine and Spirits, located at 97-08 Rockaway Beach Blvd., between 2:20 and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
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 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Terrance Smalls, 22, of Shore Front Parkway, both in Far Rockaway, who are charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into a clothing store located at 85-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd. at approximately 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday.
• Michael Pike, 21, of Rockaway 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 86th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday and stealing a pair of boots.
• Joshua Harris, 23, and Jordan Mohammad, 31, both of Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, 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 Dr., between 4:45 and 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
• Malcolm Wise, 16, of Almeda Avenue in Far Rockaway, and Roosevelt Patterson, 49, of Beach 37th Street in Far Rockaway, who are charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly burglarizing a gas station located at 38-01 Beach Channel Dr. between 8:45 a.m. and 9:21 a.m. on Tuesday. 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 Beach 56th Place, and DaShawn Peay, 16, of Beach 59th Street, both in Far Rockaway, who are charged with third-degree burglary, resisting arrest and third-degree criminal trespass of allegedly breaking into 57 Food Market, located at 57-25 Shore Front Pkwy. in Arverne between 10 and 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
“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 Brown on Wednesday, Oct. 31. “Having personally viewed yesterday the devastation that encompasses the Rockaway peninsula and other areas of Queens, I want to make it clear that such lawlessness will be vigorously prosecuted by my office and that we will seek appropriate punishment.”
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; fourthdegree criminal possession of a weapon, petit larceny and resisting arrest are class A misdemeanors, each punishable by up to one year in prison; and third-degree criminal trespass is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.
It was noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.