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Local News August 22, 2013  RSS feed

Nab City Workers For Beating Mates

DA Condemns Domestic Violence Incidents

A New York City firefighter and a city sanitation worker were charged last week with choking their domestic partners in separate incidents.

Queens District Attorneys Richard A. Brown identified the defendants as Sanitation Worker Napoleon Robinson, 52, of South Ozone Park and Firefighter Steven Clarke, 39, of Far Rockaway.

Robinson was charged last Tuesday, Aug. 13, with second-degree strangulation, a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Clarke was arraigned last Monday, Aug. 12, before Queens Criminal Court Judge Ernest F. Hart on counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and second degree harassment.

Clarke, who faces up to one year in jail if convicted, was ordered released on his own recognizance and to return to court on Sept. 6.

“The offenses that the two defendants are charged with committing are crimes of violence against their loved ones,” Brown said. “Domestic violence is a very serious problem and cannot be ignored, which is why my Domestic Violence Bureau maintains the highest domestic violence conviction rate and the lowest dismissal rate in the city and which takes more pre-indictment pleas than the rest of the city combined.”

According to the criminal charges, Robinson placed his hands around the neck of his female domestic partner and squeezed, impeding her breathing and causing her substantial pain. The incident allegedly occurred in front of their residence at approximately 12:05 a.m. last Tuesday, Aug. 13.

In the second criminal complaint, Clarke allegedly pushed his wife to the floor inside their residence just after midnight last Monday and placed his hands around her neck and squeezed, making it difficult for her to breathe and causing scratching and redness to her neck.

The cases are being prosecuted by the DA’s Domestic Violence Bureau, which is under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Scott E. Kessler, bureau chief, and Kelly E. Sessoms Newton, deputy bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel S. Saunders.

It was noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.