300 Mental Illness Tragedies in NYS - Mental Illness Policy Org
300 Mental Illness Tragedies in NYS 2017-03-21T17:14:58+00:00

300 Tragedies that might have been prevented if NewYork State made better use of Kendra’s Law.

 

Some killed or injured law enforcement officers. Some werekilled or injured by law enforcement officers. Some killed family friends orstrangers. Almost all were off treatment for mental illness at the time. Nodoubt that many of these could have been prevented if the individual wasreceiving appropriate treatment, something Kendra’s Law might have helped toensure. (Source: Treatment Advocacy Center Preventable Tragedies Database.)

 

Date: 2/2010

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On February 21, 2010, Satnam Singh, 32, was killed bytwo police who caught him bashing his mother Kaur Balbir, 61, in the head with a frying pan. Singh refused to drop the pan.”Go away! Go away!” Singh screamed at the cops. Singh, sources said,was bipolar, pummeling his mother with a flat pan and Officer Brian McCarthyand an unidentified sergeant fired multiple shots at Singh who died at thescene. Balbir was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where she was in criticalcondition with a cracked skull, a fractured left shin and a busted left arm. Source: NY Daily News, 2/22/10

 

Date: 5/2010

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On May 11, 2010, 33-year-old Devi Silvia threw her19-month-old child into the Hudson River before jumping in herself. The girlwas hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Silvia was charged withattempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare ofa child. Silvia entered into an insanity plea deal in December withprosecutors. Thejudge told Silvia she must continue treatment, stay on her medication andprovide status reports to the court. Source: Associated Press, 5/12/10; WABC-TV NY, 6/21/10;New York Post, 6/22/10; DNA Info, 11/21/11, 2/10/12

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Poestenkill, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2010, 70-year-old Robert Pryor Sr. called hisdaughter, 49-year-old Laurie Fisher, and his granddaughter’s boyfriend,24-year-old Anthony Delgado, home from a trip to a local grocery store and thenshot them both in the chest as they came through the front door. Pryor then turnedthe revolver on himself Authorities believe Pryor may have battled mental illness. Following the shootings, Delgadowas in critical condition and Fisher was in serious condition at Albany MedicalCenter Hospital. Source: TimesUnion.Com, 7/14/10; cbs6albany.com, 7/14/10

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Manhattan, New York C, NY

Summary: On July 19, 2010, 33-year-old Julian Kurita fatallystabbed his father,70-year-old Fumitaka ÒFrankÓ Kurita in the neck in the family’s apartment andthen slashed his own wrist, police said. Police say he appeared to bementally disturbed,and neighbors were at a loss to describe what could have sparked a confrontationbetween father and son. Julian Kurita left college after a bout with mentalillness. She said she believed he had struggled with schizophrenia since hisearly 20s. Hefaced murder and weapons charges. Subsequent History: On May 21, 2012, the30-year-old Kurita was convicted of murder. Source: DNAinfo.com, 7/19/10;NYDailyNews.com, 7/20/10, 5/2/12, 5/21/12

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: On July 31, 2010, 26-year-old Keith John, an inmate atthe Erie County Holding Center, committed suicide. Family members said John wasdiagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. On July 28, 2010, John was arrested for violating aprotective order against his girlfriend. Source: WIVB, 8/02/10; WKBW.com,8/2/10

 

Date: 11/2010

Location: Long Island, Queens, NY

Summary: On November 20, 2010, 48-year-old Thomas Scimone, was armedwith a shotgun and threatened to kill firefighters was shot by police as he ran from his burning home.He was in critical condition following the incident. A relative said she believedScimone was not taking his medication for bipolar disorder. The incident began when Scimoneset a fire in his living room. Police said he then threatened to gun downresponding firefighters. He jumped out of a window and ran through theneighborhood with his shotgun. Police gave chase. He didn’t respond to theircommands to drop his weapon, rather turned and pointed the shotgun at policewho opened fire. Scimone, died at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. Source: NY Daily News, 11/21/10; NBCNewYork.com, 11/21/10, 11/26/10

 

Date: 9/2010

Location: Greece, Monroe, NY

Summary: On September 29, 2010, 23-year-old Kurt Neusatz fatallystabbed his mother,53-year-old Monica Neusatz in their home. His family reported he had beentreated for schizophrenia since the age of 17. Source: 13WHAM.com, 9/30/10;DemocratandChronicle.com, 12/1/10; Associated Press, 1/4/11; GreecePost.com,1/4/11

 

Date: 5/2011

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: On May 5, 2011, 55-year-old Benjamin Campione wasfatally shot by police near the Regional Transportation Center. According to police, whenCampione was confronted by Officers, he pulled a pellet gun that looked exactlylike a Smith & Wesson revolver from his waistband and pointed it at Officers promptingthem to open fire. Campione’s two cousins said he suffered from mentalillness and was often homeless, wandering the streets of Syracuse. Campione’s brother said he’d beento police three times in the past year, alerting them that his younger brotherwasn’t taking his medication and was slipping deeper into paranoidschizophrenia. According to the brother, Campione had a history of stoppinghis medication and acting bizarrely. Source: CYNcentral.com, 5/5/11, 5/8/11; ThePost-Standard, 5/7/11

 

Date: 2/2011

Location: Syracuse, Onondago, NY

Summary: On February 1, 2011, 19-year-old Ravaun Mitchell wasshot by Syracuse police after he refused to drop a knife. On June 29, 2011, a judgeruled that Mitchell was still mentally ill and dangerous. The judge ordered Mitchell held inthe secure custody of state mental health officials for the next six monthsuntil another evaluation can be conducted. Mitchell’s defense attorney said theFebruary 1 incident was the onset of mental health problems for his client andthat Mitchell had responded well while on anti-psychotic medication followingthe incident. Source: 9WSYR.com, 2/24/11; The Post-Standard, 6/29/11

 

Date: 8/2009

Location: Schenectady, Schenectady, NY

Summary: On August 1, 2009, 25-year-old James Tomlin, diagnosedwith schizophrenia, was fatally shot by a Schenectady police officer. When officers caught up withhim, they tried to get him to drop the knife. When Tomlin lunged at Officer EdRitz, Ritz shot him. Tomlin’s mother told the DA that her son, diagnosedwith schizophrenia, was not on his medication at the time of the incident, according to the report. Source:CapitalRegion.ynn.com, 8/4/09; Times Union, 7/7/11

 

Date: 12/2009

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On December 17, 2009 30-year-old Vladimir Makarov, sufferingfrom depression and paranoia, went to the roof of his grandmother’s 24-storybuilding and leapt to his death. Makarov’s suicide occurred only days after he wasreleased from Montefiore Medical Center. Makarov checked into Montefiore on October 29, 2009,following a long hospitalization in Westchester County and prior suicideattempts. He told doctors he was hearing voices commanding him to jump off abuilding. When Makarov’s family begged his doctors to let him spendThanksgiving at home, they refused, according to his mother. She was surprisedtwo weeks later when Makarov asked to leave and was discharged on December 9.Subsequent History: On July 8, 2011, Makarov’s mother sued Montefiore MedicalCenter for letting him leave the hospital’s psychiatric unit despite signs hewas suicidal. According to the suit, five days before his discharge, Makarovtold doctors, “I lack the will to live. I feel nothing.” Then hestopped taking his medication. Source: New York Daily News, 7/19/11

 

Date: 8/2011

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On August 10, 2011, 23-year-old Jorge Ruiz threatenedto jump off the 70th-story ledge of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Ruiz suffers fromschizophrenia Source: New York Daily News, 8/11/11

 

Date: 12/2011

Location: Spring Valley, Rockland, NY

Summary: On December 14, 2011, 48-year-old Herve Gilles wasfatally shot after he attacked Spring Valley Police Officer John Roper and tookaway Roper’s nightstick. Roper responded to the scene where Gilles was throwing rocks at a bar.It was the second time that day that Roper had been called to the bar to dealwith Gilles, who had been at the bar screaming unintelligibly about an hourearlier. Gilles’ friends said he was a chronically mentally ill man whocould get out of control when drunk or off his medications. Prior History: Gilles had beenarrested for criminal offenses 33 times since 1990, including eight felonies,four of which were violent. However, as the D.A. noted in the report, whenGilles wasn’t drunk, off his meds, or high on marijuana, he was a great guy whodid volunteer work with his church. Source: LoHud.com, 12/15/11; VillageVoice, 5/8/12

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On April 27, 2009, Ex-Nets star Jayson Williams became’suicidal’ at Manhattan hotel and was tasered by NYPD police. Williams, 41, was diagnosedwith bipolar disorderin the runup to his 2004 trial for fatally shooting his chauffeur. Source:New York Daily News, 4/29/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the backdoor of a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officialssaid. On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TVstation, along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posingwith pistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against police officers whomWong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly saying breaking into hisroom, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job and trying to stage a caraccident with him. The missive, whose claims are unsupported by any publiclyknown facts, suggests Wong was deranged. “Put these actions and the themeof the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness, quitepossibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 10/2002

Location: Queens Village, Queens, NY

Summary: Robert Jeanlord, 25, suffocated his mother MarieJeanlord, 52, onOctober 28, 2002, before stabbing himself in the chest, because he thoughtshe was poisoning him, authorities said. Police found Robert on the porch waiting forofficers to arrive and his mother’s body in the bathroom of her Queens Villagehome. Police said Robert Jeanlord, who was undergoing psychiatric evaluationat Mary Immaculate Hospital last night, suffers from schizophrenia. He apparently stabbed himselftwice with a kitchen knife. Source: Newsday, October 29, 2002

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: Utica, Oneida, NY

Summary: On July 19, 2011, 30-year-old David. L. Trebilcockfatally stabbed 6-year-old Lauren Belius, while her twin sister Erica watched. On February 14,2012, a judge found Trebilcock not criminally responsible for fatallystabbing Lauren due to mental disease or defect. During the trial, a forensic psychiatrist forthe defense testified that Trebilcock suffered from paranoid schizophrenia with a poor prognosis. Source:OneidaDispatch.com, 7/21/11; New York, Observer-Dispatch, 2/14/12

 

Date: 7/2002

Location: Troy, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: Ray Valigorsky was arrested July 19, 2002 on anopen-container violation and sent to Rensselaer County Jail after police foundhim passed out on a lawn in a public area in Troy, NY. Valigorsky was aparanoid schizophrenic who fought a lifelong battle with alcohol and had lefthis wife and children to live on the streets, refusing their efforts to helphim. Sheriff’s Department officials said that, after his arrest, Valigorsky wasgiven Librium to ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms and was monitored bycorrections officers every 15 minutes. But he was found unconscious in hiscell, with no pulse, and was taken to Samaritan Hospital for resuscitation,where he later died. Former jail doctor Morteza Naghibi later told stateinvestigators he’d given Valigorsky a muscle relaxant instead of Libriumbecause an article he read in a medical journal recommended it, according todocuments. Naghibi also said he’d never “had the chance” to seeValigorsky. Valigorsky’s children filed a $72 million federal wrongful deathlawsuit, blaming Naghibi and prison nurses for directly causing Valigorsky’sdeath and criticizing the County Executive, the Sheriff, and other jail workersfor failing to monitor the medical staff. The lawsuit was based on a stateCommission of Corrections’ report that said the homeless alcoholic wassubjected to an illegal medical experiment — and his death could have beenprevented. Prior History: Valigorsky had 89 prior arrests in the city of Troy;82 were for open container violations or failure to pay fines. Source: AlbanyTimes Union, November 3, 2002 Times Union (Albany, NY) July 18, 2003 The TimesUnion, April 3, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Cicero, Onondaga, NY

Summary: John Victor Figueroa, 18, killed himself on September 10, 2002 by steppingin front of a truck on Interstate 481 near Syracuse, NY. Figueroa had beendiagnosed with schizophrenia four months earlier after a suicide attempt and had beenin and out of the hospital for two months prior to his death. His mother saidhis medication wasn’t helping him, he became increasingly paranoid and begantalking about suicide every day. On the day he died, he was scheduled to see apsychologist at Hutchings Psychiatric Center, an appointment he had waited twoweeks to get. Source: The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), February 16, 2003

 

 

Date: 7/2005

Location: Queens Village, Queens, NY

Summary: Billy Audobon, a 28-year-old man with a history ofmental illness and substance abuse, was shot in the arm by a police officer on July 3, 2005 after the man’sfamily called 911 saying he was acting erratically. According to his family, Audubon,who has bipolar disorder, called them shortly before the confrontation to say he had brokeninto his father’s bedroom in the Audubon’s Queens Village, NY apartment andtaken a handgun. He then threatened to kill himself. When police arrived,Audubon was holding the gun at his side. The officers yelled at him to drop it,and when Audubon didn’t respond, one of them fired a single shot, striking himin the right arm and forcing him to lose his grip on the gun. Source: StamfordAdvocate, July 4, 2005

 

Date: 6/2012

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: On June 21, 2012, Rochester Police officers fatallyshot Israel Andinooutside his home after he fired a shotgun at them. Andino’s stepfather said hesuffered from bipolar disorder and was off his medication. Source: WHEC, 6/21/12

 

Date: 3/2012

Location: Jamaica, Queens, NY

Summary: On March 15, 2012, 30-year-old Shereese Francis diedafter a confrontation with police. The incident began when Francis’ family called forassistance to get her to the hospital. Francis, who wasn’t taking themedication prescribed for her schizophrenia, had become emotionally distraught. Source: Gothamist.com, 4/3/12;Village Voice, 6/26/12

 

Date: 7/2002

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: Michael T. Bennett, a 28-year-old man withschizophrenia, died in the Erie County Holding Center on July 5, 2002 after astruggle involving at least six sheriff’s deputies who were trying to take himfrom the jail to Erie County Medical Center. Medical experts for the state determined Bennettdied from traumatic asphyxia, contradicting the county medical examiner’sfinding of cardiac arrhythmia associated with coronary artery disease. A grandjury cleared several jail deputies of criminal wrongdoing, although a statecommission said Bennett’s death could have been prevented if he had receivedproper emergency mental health care at the holding center. Bennett’s mother, Reola Bennett,said she had called police to report that her son was acting strangely and thatshe feared he might crash his car In August 2008, Erie County agreed to pay$1 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit. Source: Newsday, 1/24/04; Buffalo News,1/25/04, 8/15/08; The Associated Press, 2/1/04

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Southampton, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On February 4, 2004, 35-year-old David Glowczenski’sparents dialed 911 for help in subduing their son. Four police officers fromthe Southampton, NY police department arrived and found him screaming andwailing incomprehensively. Within moments, all five were in a wrestling match.It took more than two minutes for the officers, using Mace and a stun gun, toget Glowczenski on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back. He continuedto kick and scream, but abruptly stopped. The officers told investigators thatwhen they turned Glowczenski over on his back, they noticed he was unconsciousand not breathing. Less than an hour later, he was pronounced dead atSouthampton Hospital. Glowczenski’s family said he was treated with unnecessaryforce. Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk police homicide unit said theofficers acted properly, and that Glowczenski, who was schizophrenic, had takenhimself off his medication a week earlier. The incident began when Glowczenskioverheard his mother and two brothers talking about their plans to hospitalizehim. Subsequent History: On September 20, 2004, Glowczenski’s family filed alawsuit in Federal District Court against the Village of Southampton, itsPolice Department and Suffolk County. The family also sued Taser InternationalInc. for $1 billion. The complaint said that Glowczenski was beaten, sprayedwith Chemical Mace and shocked nine times with a Taser by the four policeofficers. The Suffolk County medical examiner’s office termed the deathnatural, and due to “acute exhaustive mania due to schizophrenia.”Glowczenski’s family later hired an independent pathologist to review reportsfrom two separate autopsies and other materials about his death.Theinvestigator found that Glowczenski sustained injuries from excessive force anddid not die from natural causes, the family said. In May 2005, the JusticeDepartment opened it’s own criminal investigation Prior History: The police hadresponded to calls about Glowczenski’s behavior over 40 times in the past fiveyears, according to Suffolk County police. His sister took out a restrainingorder against him in 2000 and 2001. Glowczenski had been institutionalizedtwice prior to his death. Source: Newsday (New York), April 11, 2004; New YorkTimes, September 21, 2004; Daily News, September 21, 2004; Daily News, April21, 2005; Long Island Newsday, June 7, 2005

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: Freeport, Nassau, NY

Summary: Michelle Sambriski, 34, and her 2-year-old daughter,Gina, were found dead on July 23, 2003 in Sambriski’s cousin’s Freeport, NYhome, where they had been living for the past four months. Sambriski’s cousinfound Gina’s body lying face down in the bathtub, and officers searching the homelater found Sambriski hanging in the garage, police said. Sambriski left behinda note that provided detectives with enough information to conclude that shehad drowned her daughter and then killed herself. The child’s father, BrianRamirez, had reported Sambriski to Nassau County child protective services twomonths earlier when he learned that she had been evicted from her apartment andhad gone off medication for her bipolar disorder. A subsequent investigationfailed to show any incidents of abuse or neglect and was closed weeks later. In2002, Sambriski and Ramirez were due in family court to discuss visitation, theRamirez family said, but Sambriski never showed up. Ramirez had planned to goto Nassau Family Court on July 29, 2003, to again petition for visitation.Ramizer has filed a lawsuit against Nassau County, claiming Child ProtectiveServices failed to heed his warnings about the mother’s instability.Susbsequent History: An April 2004 report on Gina Sambriski’s death by thestate Office of Children and Family Services criticized Nassau’s Department ofSocial Services for closing the case prematurely – without confirmingSambriski’s psychological history, as the girl’s father had detailed. Othermistakes included the worker’s failure to ask Sambriski to release her medicalrecords to see if she was seeking mental health treatment. The abuseinvestigator also never interviewed relatives who would have been familiar withher emotional problems, even though Ramirez provided a list. Had he contacted Sambriski’smother, he might also have found out Sambriski had previously attemptedsuicide, county police records show. The investigator also never pursued whyshe recently had been evicted or even how she was supporting herself and herdaughter. Source: Newsday (New York), July 25, 2003 Newsday, September 7, 2003Newsday, August 23, 2004

 

Date: 1/2004

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Spalding Gray, the masterful monologist of “Swimmingto Cambodia”, who turned his darkest fears about life and death intoriveting one-man theater pieces that defined the genre, was confirmed dead onMarch 8, 2004 when a body found in the East River in New York City wasidentified as his. Gray, 62, was reported missing by his wife, Kathleen Russo,on January 11, 2004 after he missed a meeting with a friend and a scheduledflight to Aspen for a ski trip. It was speculated then that Gray had jumpedfrom the Staten Island ferry, reportedly the last place he was seen alive. Grayhad been severely depressed since a near-fatal car accident in Ireland in 2001that had left him with a number of health problems, including paralysis in onefoot. After he returned to the U.S. he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder andplaced on medication. Prior History: Gray attempted suicide a number of times.In 2002 he nearly jumped off a bridge in Long Island. He later spent a month ina Connecticut psychiatric hospital. In September 2003, he phoned his wife tosay he wanted to jump off the Staten Island ferry, but police were alerted andremoved him before he could carry out his plan. Source: Los Angeles Times,March 9, 2004

 

Date: 11/2004

Location: Nyack, Rockland, NY

Summary: A 36-year-old woman jumped to her death from the TappanZee Bridge in Nyack, NY on November 22, 2004 after telling her father she wasgoing to return movies at a video store. Stephanie White initially survived the200-foot drop into the Hudson River but was pronounced dead soon after ThruwayAuthority employees pulled her from the water a short time later, state policesaid. No suicide note was left behind, but White’s mother said she was battlingbipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and that her condition hadworsened in recent weeks. White’s parents had taken her to the doctor daysearlier and were looking into an outpatient psychiatric program for her. Source: The Journal News, November 23, 2004

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Michael Harris, 24, attacked his 18-month-old nephewPriest Jefferson and the baby’s parents after beating his own mother with ahammer inside their apartment on February 13, 2006. Cops responding to numerous911 calls from neighbors found the little boy bloodied and lying on the livingroom floor as Harris held the boy’s mother, Leasia Bolden, 20, in a choke holdand stabbed her on a nearby bed, sources said. After ordering him to drop theweapon, an officer fired one round at Harris, who stabbed his sister againbefore lunging at the cop, police said. Harris was shot once more andpronounced dead at the scene, sources said. Family members and sources saidHarris was bipolar and taken out of an institution recently by his mother,49-year-old Charlene Harris, a deeply religious woman and tenant associationpresident. “He was supposed to be taking his pills. He just wentberserk,” said Carolyn Harris, his aunt. Police sources also said Harriswas angry that his mother wouldn’t cook him dinner last night. Harris had a2005 arrest for drug charges and he had to be forcibly removed from thefamily’s home in 2004, a source said. Source: New York Daily News, February14, 2006

 

Date: 11/2006

Location: Manorville, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On November 18, 2006, Carolyn Buonnano was arrested afterfatally stabbing her husband, Raymond, 43, three times on the neck beforeslitting her own throat in a botched suicide attempt. Buonnano was charged withsecond-degree murder. Subsequent History: On February 11, 2008, CarolynBuonnano, who stabbed her husband to death in an apparently unprovoked attackin their home entered an insanity plea. In a deal with prosecutors, Buonnano,39, entered a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease in SuffolkCounty Court. Judge James Hudson ordered Buonnano to undergo treatment at apsychiatric hospital. Her attorney, Eric W. Naiburg of Central Islip, said aforensic psychologist testified that Buonnano was psychotic before and afterthe event. The couple had a good marriage that was interrupted by her mentaldisease, Naiburg said. “She was a paranoid schizophrenic and she believedhe was trying to do her wrong,” Naiburg said. Assistant District AttorneyNancy Clifford said Buonnano was “unable to appreciate the nature of whatshe did.” Source: Newsday, 2/12/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: New Cassel, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 24, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, described asemotionally disturbed and afraid of losing custody of her children called thepolice and led them into a blood-spattered bedroom where her young daughter andtwo small sons lay slain on a bed, investigators said. Brewer, 27, who livedwith the children in an apartment in the Nassau County hamlet of New Cassel,was taken to a hospital for physical and mental examinations. Later thatevening, she was charged with the murder of all three children. Neither thepolice nor the county medical examiner said what caused the death of thechildren, who were identified as Jewell Ward, 6; Michael Demesyeux, 5; andInnocent Demesyeux, 18 months old. But investigators said one appeared to havebeen drowned, while the others had been slashed to death. Prior History: Nassauauthorities declined to discuss any motives behind the killings. But relativesand acquaintances described Ms. Brewer as emotionally unstable. The two fathersof the children said they had tried through the courts to gain custody. RickyWard, Jewell’s father, said he had been trying in Family Court for a year. Inthe 12 years that he had known her, Mr. Ward said Ms. Brewer had tried to killherself a number of times. The Nassau police said they were investigating areport that she had jumped out a window of her apartment on the day of thekillings. ÒHe problem was her mind state,Ó Mr. Ward said. ÒShe wasn’t stableand wasn’t able to communicate. She didn’t want anyone to have her kids. It’s atragedy that my daughter’s gone.Ó Innocent Demesyeux, the father of Ms.Brewer’s two sons, said that he and Ms. Brewer had been battling in court for18 months over visitation rights and custody of the boys, and that she fearedshe might soon lose custody. He said that he and Ms. Brewer had a date inNassau County Family Court on February 25, and that he had hoped to win thecase. He said Ms. Brewer had missed court dates recently and had refused totake drug tests. He said that he had recently been in contact with a countychild protective services agency and that a representative was to have visitedMs. Brewer’s apartment on February 22. It was unclear if that visit took place.Some neighbors said Ms. Brewer had behaved bizarrely. ÒI used to see herwalking down the street during the day in her pajamas,Ó said Lisa Jones, whosaid she was a distant relative of Ms. Brewer. Asked if Ms. Brewer had seemedmentally unstable, Ms. Jones said, ÒAbsolutely.Ó The Rev. Elijah Crawford,pastor of the Healing Power Church, spoke on behalf of the family at the Westburyhome of a relative of Ms. Brewer’s, where family members had gathered. He saidhe had been told that Ms. Brewer had snapped because money she had expectedfrom a social services agency — money she needed for the children —had failed to arrive. She didn’t get it, and snapped out,Ó the pastor said. Helater said of family members: ÒThey don’t know what happened. All they know isthat she snapped. They said she had great love for her children. It’s justsomething that happened all of a sudden.Ó Source: NY Times, 2/25/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: Queensbury, Warren, NY

Summary: On February 26, 2008, Stanley W. Chrostowski, 50, diedafter being struck by a tractor trailer. Investigators said he was drivingsouthbound in the northbound lanes of the Northway when his car hit the truckhead-on. The 2003 Ford Mustang he was driving broke in two pieces from theforce of the high-speed, head-on collision. Officials at the scene said thecrash happened at about 4:20 a.m., when Chrostowski struck a Stewart’s trucksouth of Exit 18. The truck, a refrigerated box truck owned by Stewarts Shops,burst into flames, and the driver escaped with little more than a bump on hishead, said West Glens Falls Fire Chief Michael Gordon. Gordon called it a”miracle” he was not seriously hurt. He was treated at Glens FallsHospital and released. He was identified as Kevin Palmatier of Lake Luzerne.Prior History: Chrostowski had an extensive history of treatment for mentalillness, and investigators were looking into whether he intentionally drove inthe wrong lane in an effort to commit suicide. Two neighbors of Chrostowski whosaid he had recently stopped taking his medication for mental illness said theybelieved he committed suicide. One said he had made a comment Monday that shewould have a “new neighbor soon.” Source: Glenn Falls Post Star,2/26/08

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On August 6, 2002, Jason-Eric Wilson, 16, killed himself,swallowing every pill he could find in his family’s Harlem shelter hotel room,including his own psychotropic medication. Wilson suffered from depression,anxiety and paranoid schizophrenia. His family was evicted from their Brooklynhome last year and his mental state grew worse since that time. In the yearprior to his death, Wilson was hospitalized twice for mental illness. But inthe last two weeks, Jason’s troubles were compounded as his family turned tothe city for shelter. With his father and his 10-year-old sister, Lani, Jasonwas bounced between temporary shelter rooms and the crammed EmergencyAssistance Unit in the Bronx, where he had to sleep on the floor. The Wilsonswent to the Emergency Assistance Unit to seek shelter on July 25, and there acity nurse noted on the screening form that Jason was suffering from paranoidschizophrenia. Attached were several letters from a Payne Whitney Clinicpsychiatrist who had been treating Jason. The most recent letter, dated July19, warned that Jason’s emotional health was deteriorating because of”environmental instability, including threats of homelessness andpoverty.” Source: The New York Times, August 8, 2002

 

Date: 4/2000

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: James Murphy was shot and killed by police on April 22,2000 in Queens after assaulting his mother and slitting his own wrists.Neighbors called 911 after Murphy’s mother, Dorothy, 70, fled to a nearby houseto take shelter after a violent fight with her son inside their home. AfterMurphy’s mother escaped, Murphy went searching for her and then stood in the middleof their street, screaming. Murphy ran to confront officers who had pulled upin a patrol car. He pointed his gun at them and refused to drop it whenordered. He was then shot several times by police officers. Police said he hada history of mental illness and was admitted to an undisclosed hospital forpsychiatric evaluation April 5 after threatening his mother. Source: DailyNews (New York), April 23, 2000, p. 13

 

RecordID: 860

Date: 1/2000

Location: , , NY

Summary: Alan Zelencic, 28, was shot and killed by police after helunged at them with a 15-inch knife. He had just slashed his mother with aknife and the police were trying to apprehend him when the shots were fired.His mother was treated and released. Zelencic didn’t have a criminal history, buthe did have a history of mental illness for which he had been treated at theLong Island Jewish Medical Center in 1991. Police officials said OfficersCaruso and Dudley did not appear to have violated department guidelines thatgovern situations in which officers confront emotionally disturbed people. Source: The New York Times, January 18, 2000, p. 3

 

Date: 5/2006

Location: Brooklyn, King, NY

Summary: Valerie Burgher, 34, a New York-based black journalistand writer who battled bipolar disorder, was hit by a train in a Brooklynsubway station on May 31, 2006 and died hours later of her injuries, the familysaid. After an autopsy, the New York City Medical Examiner’s office ruled thedeath a suicide. Source: Maynard Institute, June 4, 2006

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Alberto Menegro, 42, was charged with second-degreemurder and first-degree assault in a fatal attack on his 8-year-old niece andother relatives in their Manhattan apartment. Police said that Menegro claimedto be “hearing voices in his head” when he killed the girl byslitting her throat and attacked other relatives on October 19, 2003. Menegrowas alone in the kitchen with his sister’s only child when he suddenly snappedand stabbed the 8-year-old with a steak knife, police said. Other relatives athome heard blood-curdling screams coming from the room, and the mom and unclerushed in to see what was going on, cops said. Horrified at the sight of thedying girl crumpled on the floor, they tried to stop Menegro, who stabbed andwounded both of them, police said. Menegro’s relatives told police he had beentreated for schizophrenia at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital as recently asMarch 2003, but that he stopped taking his medicine. Menegro, who also cut hisown throat during the incident, was moved to Bellevue Hospital after beingtreated at Harlem Hospital. Source: New York Post, October 21, 2003 The DailyNews, October 20, 2003 New York Post, October 23, 2003

 

Date: 3/2001

Location: , , NY

Summary: Juan Arequipa, 49, spiked a bottle of Coca-Cola withcyanide and tried to get his unsuspecting teenage children to join him in afatal toast. Fortunately, both children survived. After Arequipa’s son saw hisfather and sister were getting sick and collapsing, he called 911. The fatherand daughter were unconscious when ambulance workers arrived, and Arequipalater died. His daughter was in critical but stable condition the next day.Police sources stated that Arequipa was distraught and depressed. Familymembers stated that he had spoken of suicide and was being treated withmedication for depression. Source: Newsday, March 24, 2001

 

Date: 3/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In Brooklyn, NY, Georgia Charlton, 24, a woman withschizophrenia, attempted suicide in jail in March 2004, days before she wassentenced to 17 years in prison for throwing a liter of acid on her boyfriendin 2001. Prior History: Georgia Charlton, 21, threw a liter of acid onto herboyfriend, Tenlin Lyew, permanently disfiguring his face on June 18, 2001 inBrooklyn, NY. Charlton was trying to scar Lyew for life because he threatenedto leave her if she had an abortion – but then left her anyway after shedelivered their baby, law-enforcement sources said. She had pleaded not guilty,claiming in court documents that she doused Lyew with industrial-strength drainopener after he tried to beat her. Charlton, who has been diagnosed withparanoid schizophrenia, and Lyew started a steamy love affair in their nativeJamaica. Source: New York Post, March 16, 2004 New York Post, April 15, 2003

 

Date: 4/2004

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: A woman suffering from schizophrenia and Crohns Diseasejumped seven stories to her death on Central Park West in New York City duringa Seder visit to her mother’s home on April 5, 2004, police sources said.Elizabeth Levy, 43, narrowly missed striking someone making a delivery, said adoorman at the 14-story building. The death leap happened just past 8:30 p.m.while Levy, from Palo Alto, Calif., was visiting her mother for Passover,police said. She was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Luke’s Hospital. Apolice source said Levy left behind a suicide note in which she discussedwanting to be buried according to the tenets of a new age Eastern religion shehad been following. Source: Newsday (New York), April 6, 2004

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Elmsford, Westchester, NY

Summary: Dennis Morgan, a man suffering from paranoidschizophrenia who took daily medication for about 20 years, was charged witharson and assault after he set fire to the apartment he shared with histerminally ill, mother, who also suffered from schizophrenia, in a 14-unitbuilding in Elmsford, NY in April 2002. The blaze injured two firefighters andendangered building residents. After the fire, nurses discovered puncturewounds on his mother’s stomach. She told them her son had stabbed her the nightbefore, and Morgan was then also charged with felony assault. His lawyer arguedthat Morgan’s mental condition was a mitigating factor and tried to get himtreatment and probation. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirroinsisted he serve at least five years in prison, and Morgan accepted the pleabargain, unwilling to have the court case continue with no resolution for anextended period of time. Morgan’s court-appointed attorney, Robin Bauer, saidhis case is a prime example of the need for a mental-health court in thecounty. Several people familiar with his case believe that Morgan stabbed hismother and lit the fire in a failed attempt at mercy killing and suicide.Subsequent History: Morgan, 51, committed suicide on December 8, 2003 at theClinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, where he had been placed in thegeneral prison population several months earlier, despite his mental illnessand two known previous suicide attempts. Morgan was found alone in his cell,bleeding from a cutting wound to his throat. He died several hours later. Source: White Plains Journal News, April 14, 2004 The Journal News.com, April19, 2004

 

Date: 12/2003

Location: Dannemora, Clinton, NY

Summary: Dennis Morgan, 51, a man with schizophrenia, committedsuicide on December 8, 2003 at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora,NY, where he had been placed in the general prison population several monthsearlier, despite his mental illness and two known previous suicide attempts.Morgan was found alone in his cell, bleeding from a cutting wound to histhroat. He died several hours later. Prior History: Morgan, a man sufferingfrom paranoid schizophrenia who took daily medication for about 20 years, wascharged with arson and assault after he set fire to the apartment he sharedwith his terminally ill, mother, who also suffered from schizophrenia, in a14-unit building in Elmsford, NY in April 2002. The blaze injured twofirefighters and endangered building residents. After the fire, nursesdiscovered puncture wounds on his mother’s stomach. She told them her son hadstabbed her the night before, and Morgan was then also charged with felonyassault. His lawyer argued that Morgan’s mental condition was a mitigatingfactor and tried to get him treatment and probation. Westchester CountyDistrict Attorney Jeanine Pirro insisted he serve at least five years in prisonand Morgan accepted the plea deal, unwilling to allow the court case tocontinue with no resolution for an extended period of time. Morgan’s attorneysaid his case is a prime example of the need for a mental-health court in thecounty. Several people familiar with his case believe that Morgan stabbed hismother and lit the fire in a failed attempt at mercy killing and suicide. Source: White Plains Journal News (NY), April 14, 2004 The Journal News.com,April 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2006

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On September 30, 2006, Joseph Bernazard held Phyllis Fineat knifepoint and threatened to kill her on Brooklyn’s trendy restaurant rowbefore a sharpshooter cop killed him with a single bullet. Fine was withininches of her attacker when Officer Louis Gubitosi pulled the trigger andkilled the 26-year-old man on the upscale block. Fine said Bernazard, whomoments earlier had sliced another women’s neck, never spoke to her as he heldher by the hair. He instead yelled over and over, “Kill me now! I want todie!” Bernazard’s family said he had a history of mental illness and hadtaken a turn for the worse recently. “They’re after me,” he told hissister Yolanda. The saga began when Bernazard, who was hallucinating andhearing voices in his head, was taken to Long Island College Hospital onSeptember 30. But he tore out his IV and walked out of the hospital againstdoctors’ wishes. He was still wearing his medical bracelet when he was killed.On the day of the incident, Bernazard grabbed Julie Jacobowitz, 32, a socialworker talking on a cell phone with a friend as she walked home from the gym.”If they kill me, I won’t have to hurt you,” Bernazard toldJacobowitz, police sources said. But as he spoke, he was already slicing intoher neck, causing her to scream in agony. A group of construction workersconfronted Bernazard, who told them, “The cops are going to have to killme.” When police raced up seconds later, Bernazard pushed the bleeding32-year-old woman away and ran about 2 blocks to the Met Food Market, where hegrabbed Fine by the hair. “He started yelling, ‘I’m going to kill her!'” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Cops surrounded Bernazardoutside the store. For 10 minutes, the cops tried to reason with Bernazard,telling him to drop the knife. But he refused and crouched down behind Fine.After the shooting, an ambulance took Bernazard back to the same hospital hehad walked out of hours before. He was declared dead on arrival. His victimswere not seriously hurt. Source: New York Daily News, October 1, 2006

 

Date: 4/2004

Location: Manhasset, Nassau, NY

Summary: Jessie Weiner, 24 and her mother Judith, 60, were founddead in a Manhasset, NY motel after overdosing on pills on April 14, 2004. Abottle of prescription drugs was found inside the room but no suicide note wasleft, police said. The two were reported missing several days earlier whenBarry Weiner, 57, walked into a police stationhouse and said his wife anddaughter had not returned to their Douglaston, Queens home after leaving in thefamily car. Sources said Judith Weiner, a retired city elementary schoolteacher, had kidney problems and suffered from depression, and that JessieWeiner was bipolar. “She was despondent and had a lot of medicalproblems,” Barry Weiner said of his wife. Both women had attempted suicidein the past. Detectives from the NYPD’s missing persons squad used credit cardinformation to track them to the motel. It was unclear when they checked in. Source: New York Daily News, April 15, 2004

 

Date: 12/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Anatoly Dimitriev, a 62-year-old man was shot and killedin a confrontation with police on December 16, 2006. Neighbors said Dimitrievappeared to be mentally ill. They saw Dimitriev throwing bottles out hisapartment window and chopping at trees with an ax in the courtyard of the co-opapartment building where he lived with his 41-year-old son in the city’s Bronxborough. After receiving several emergency calls about an elderly man with ahatchet, police responded to Dimitriev’s apartment building. By the time theyarrived, Dimitriev had barricaded himself in his apartment, holding his sonhostage. Police burst through the apartment door, and Dimitriev fled through awindow onto the fire escape, leaving his unharmed son behind. Police followedDimitriev, demanding he lay down the ax. When he began to come at police withthe weapon, an officer shot him. Two bullets struck the 62-year-old in theabdomen. Dimitriev was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Source: Associated Press, December 18, 2006

 

Date: 12/2006

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: On December 31, 2006, an Erie County sheriff’s deputyfatally shot Roger S. Duchnik after he repeatedly lunged at the deputy and hispartner with a hunting knife. Deputies James Mirusso and Benjamin Pisa wereinvestigating a complaint from a resident of an apartment complex on NorthBuffalo Street who reported that another resident, Duchnik, was threateningpeople. The person making the complaint described Duchnik, 52, as mentally illand off his medication. The deputies tracked Duchnik to his mother’s home onSpringville-Boston Road in Concord, where they encountered him at the bottom ofa steep driveway. They followed Duchnik as he ran up the driveway and orderedhim to take his hands out of his pockets. Duchnik turned back toward thedeputies and pulled out a knife about 8 inches long and began lunging at thedeputies. Mirusso backed up and fell down a 15-foot embankment after Duchnikswiped near his midsection. Believing his partner had been cut and fearing forhis own life, Pisa fired at least three rounds from his handgun, killingDuchnik. Source: Buffalo News, January 1 & 3, 2007

 

Date: 1/2007

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In January 2007, Blondel Lassegue, an emotionallydisturbed Brooklyn man, died of a heart attack after being Maced and Tasered bythe police. A relative called the police when Lassegue was acting up at hisuncle’s house in Queens, saying he was depressed and delusional, he hadrecently gone off medication for bipolar disorder and depression. The policehad difficulty in restraining 38 year old Lassegue; when the Mace did notsubdue Lassegue, they Tasered him. Lasssegue then had a heart attack and waspronounced dead at a Long Island Hospital. Four officers were injured and threewere hospitalized with non-serious injuries. Lassegue, who graduated fromHunter College and was recently ordained as a minister through a church in LasVegas, had been upset over the recent deaths of his mother and grandmother.Lassegue’s family says they will be consulting with a lawyer. Source:Gothamist, January 8, 2007; Precinct Flushing Times, January 25, 2007

 

Date: 10/2001

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Police killed a mentally ill Bronx man who shot andinjured his sister, Angelika Brinker, 38, and his roommate, Shamula Subaka, 41.Police said the shooting occurred because Malik Mustafa was pointing a pistolat his sister’s head and refused to yield. Mustafa, 36, has a history ofpsychological problems. Police speculate Mustafa’s failure to take hismedication triggered this incident. Source: Newsday

 

Date: 4/2004

Location: New York, , NY

Summary: A Bronx teenage boy and his transgender”girlfriend” spent four hours in negotiations with police in NewYork’s Central Park after they climbed a tree dressed only in their underwearand engaged in sex acts on April 22, 2004. The couple claimed the incidentstarted out as a suicide attempt, in which both men were going to jump from thetree. Christopher Montero, 17, was charged with multiple misdemeanors andreleased from custody. His pre-operative transsexual lover, 32-year-old WilliamRund, was held at Bellevue Hospital for evaluation. Both Montero and Rund areon antidepressants to combat bipolar disorder and were “very stressed out,”Montero said. The pair met three months ago in an online chat room. MartinRivera, who cares for Rund’s grandfather, said lately Rund was acting”even more outlandish” than usual. Rund was arrested April 14, 2004for holding a kitchen knife to Rivera’s throat, charged with severalmisdemeanors and released. Prior History: Montero was diagnosed in December2003 with bipolar disorder, said his mother, Rose Montero. Montero had beentruant from school since December 2003, when hallucinations and suicide threatslanded him in the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital’s psych ward. His former parochialschool would not take him back. Montero said she tried to enroll her son in amental health program through the public schools, but the Education Departmentdidn’t offer any options – until after the tree stunt. Source: New York Post,April 26, 2004 Daily News, April 24 & 29, 2004

 

Date: 6/2003

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Dawn Mitchell, 46, was charged with fatally stabbing hersister, Ruby, 49, a Brooklyn church worker, capping a long-running feud duringa furious argument on June 19, 2003. Dawn was also wounded in the neck, butcops said it was not clear if her injuries were self-inflicted. Neighbors saidRuby, who had devoted her life to helping her sister battle her mentalproblems, had gone to Dawn’s house after the younger woman was sent home fromher job at a senior-citizens center because of strange behavior. Ruby, who hadoften asked co-workers to pray for her sister, was stabbed in the neck andchest. Source: New York Post, June 24, 2003

 

Date: 10/2002

Location: Staten Island, Richmond, NY

Summary: Alfred Nelson, 36, was taken to the emergency room of apsychiatric hospital in Staten Island, NY, where police said the 6-foot-2,275-pound man became violent and had to be subdued with pepper spray,medication, and physical force on October 30, 2002. Nelson, who battledparanoid schizophrenia for 15 years, was pinned by a dozen people, includingseveral cops, and injected with medication. He was pronounced dead an hourlater. The city medical examiner ruled Nelson’s death a homicide by asphyxiathat aggravated a heart condition. A grand jury heard testimony from 30witnesses in the case, but declined to issue any indictments. The family isseeking $50 million in damages from the city; Bayley Seton Hospital; St.Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers, which runs Bayley Seton, and hospitalsecurity firm Burns Security. They also want $50 million in punitive damagesfrom all parties except the city. Source: Daily News (New York), July 23, 2003

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On July 17, 2008, police fatally shot Spencer Parris, 39,in the chest. The officer, whom the Police Department would not identify, hadbeen on patrol with a partner when they were flagged down by a taxi drivercarrying a female passenger. The woman, 28, whom the police did not identify,told them she had been assaulted by Parris and needed to return to theirapartment to retrieve belongings before going to stay with a friend. PoliceDepartment’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne said police went with her, knockedon the door to their apartment, and identified themselves. Parris said he wasnot coming out, but suddenly flung open the door, with a knife in his hand.Browne alleged that Parris told police several times that he was going to killthem. The officer, who had backed down the hallway was backed against aneighbor’s door when he shot Parris. Parris was pronounced dead atNewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital. Allegedly, Parris had punched hiscompanion in the face and had pulled her hair after they argued over plans tosee a midnight movie. The woman had filed a report in February, soon after theymoved into the apartment, complaining that he had assaulted her. The police havereports of two domestic incidents there in March. The woman told the policethat they met over the Internet, and that she later found out that he hadbipolar disorder and had once tried to commit suicide. Source: New York Times,7/19/08

 

Date: 1/2000

Location: Garden City, Nassau, NY

Summary: Lorecia Cox, 39, a woman with bipolar and multiplepersonality disorders, committed suicide in the Nassau County jail in GardenCity, NY in January 2000 after being taken off her mood-stabilizing medication.She was in jail for allegedly writing a $64,000 bad check. Source: Newsday(New York), November 5, 2003

 

Date: 8/2001

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: In August 2001, 26-year-old Fitzroy B. Vines Jr. – knownas “Fitz” or “Junior” – hanged himself in Rochester, NY. Afriend said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but had never filledhis medication prescription to treat it. Vines had attempted suicide oncebefore, in 1997, when he tried to hang himself in his fraternity room incollege after a fight with his girlfriend. He was treated at a hospital, thenreceived outpatient care. In a suicide note addressed to his mother, Vineswrote that he was afraid of the future. “I don’t feel I can make it, Idon’t even have a picture of how my life would of ended up.” Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 23, 2003

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Riker’s Island, , NY

Summary: In February 2003, 29-year-old Carina Montes, a woman withbipolar disorder who was on suicide watch, hanged herself with a bed sheet inher Riker’s Island jail cell. Several hours before Montes’ death another inmatesaw her tearing bed sheets and threatening to kill herself. But the guard whowas called had no idea she was on suicide watch, did not notice the sheets andnever reported the incident. Investigators later determined that a psychiatristhad never seen Montes during her five months in the jail, and none of themental health workers had access to her previous psychiatric records. Monteswas at Riker’s on a shoplifting charge. Source: The New York Times, February28, 2005

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Albany, Albany, NY

Summary: On May 15, 2004, Bart Browne, a 33-year-old man withschizophrenia, hung himself at his family’s farm outside Albany, NY. Two weeksearlier, he had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault under the state’s hatecrimes law to avoid a trial and a possible 15 years behind bars, his mother,Mary Browne said. The plea deal with the Albany County district attorney’soffice would have sent the father of two to state prison for up to four years.Browne was scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2004. Prior History: Brownewas accused of punching a man outside an Albany bar in October, 2003 because hewas upset to see him kissing another male. The single punch broke the28-year-old victim’s jaw and caused a permanent loss of feeling in his leftcheek. Mary and Stephen Browne acknowledge their son suffered from a variety ofmental problems, including schizophrenia, and don’t deny he struck the man. Butthey insist Browne didn’t attack the man because he was gay. “When theschizophrenia would rise up, it was all about anger, frustration andrage,” she said. “But he would have great periods of calm inbetween.”In an oral statement to Albany Detective Michael Nadoraski, Browneallegedly said he’d had a bad day when he hit the victim on Oct. 10. He alsosaid homosexuals “think life is a big joke. “Witnesses said they sawBrowne hit the man, then scream for the “faggots” to stop followinghim as witnesses gave chase, said Albany County District Attorney Paul Clyne.Mary Browne said her son was agitated because he totaled his vehicle in ahead-on crash that morning, a week after two of his best friends were killed ina collision. Source: Albany Times Union, August 30, 2004

 

Date: 9/2004

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Glenn Moosnick, a 35-year-old artist struggling withschizophrenia climbed onto the rafters of the Time Warner Center atrium in NewYork City on September 27, 2004 and leaped to his death as noontime shopperslooked on, police said. Authorities said Moosnick died shortly after the fallat Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. He had been a resident at Fountain House, agroup home for the mentally ill on West 47th Street, officials said. Moosnick’ssister said her brother had suffered from schizophrenia for 10 years but wasrecently doing better. She said her brother was on medication and “didn’tseem depressed”, but had been “suicidal off and on,” she said. Source: New York Post, September 28, 2004

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: Bedford, Westchester, NY

Summary: On August 17, 2002, Jessica Lee Roger, a mentally ill21-year old inmate, tied a bed sheet around her neck and strangled herself atthe Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Bedford, NY. Roger had been confinedfor 160 days to a “special housing unit” inmates call the”box”, an isolation chamber set apart from the general populationwith a concrete floor, a steel door and no clock. Prison doctors had diagnosedher with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, among otherdiagnoses. Prior History: Roger had attempted suicide in the “box” atleast four times before she succeeded. After one attempt, she was sent to aprison psychiatric hospital for a month. Although she received a diagnosis ofbipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and other mental illnesses,Roger was returned to complete her punishment in the “box”. Withindays, she again attempted suicide. According to her mother, Roger had been inand out of mental hospitals 17 times since she was 11; she had gotten only asfar as the fifth grade. When she was 16 years old, just past the threshold tobe charged as an adult under New York criminal law, Roger was arrested forbiting her sister’s arm in a fight. While in custody, she kicked a jail guardand was convicted of second-degree assault of a correction officer. DutchessCounty Court Judge George Marlow approved a plea deal to send her to anintensive program for emotionally troubled juveniles. But while she waited inthe hospital for a bed to become available, she set fire to a mattress, andMarlow was forced to sentence Roger to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison. Source: TheNew York Times Magazine, October 31, 2004

 

Date: 4/2005

Location: Rocky Point, Suffolk, NY

Summary: John Cox, 39-year-old man with a long history of mentalillness, died on April 22, 2005 after an altercation with Suffolk County (NY)police, in which he was shocked five times with a Taser. Police had respondedto a 911 call made by someone inside Cox’s girlfriend’s house in Rocky Point,NY after Cox became agitated. One witness said the trouble started because Coxhad forgotten to take his medication that day and began raving and punched awall, but Cox’ s brother said he had taken his medication. Suffolk police saidthat it took nine officers to subdue Cox, and the Taser gun did not affect him.All nine officers were treated and released for minor injuries. Cox, who hadalcohol and cocaine in his blood at the time of his death, had been takingZyprexa for his schizophrenia and acute bipolar mania, said his brother. PriorHistory: At 20, Cox had his first problem with police, which ended in aconviction for misdemeanor harassment in 1985. By the time he died, he hadaccumulated 22 convictions, mostly disorderly conduct and harassment. Althoughhe never served more than a month at a time, Cox became a frequent visitor tothe Suffolk County jail in Riverhead until the late 1990s. Cox was also often apatient at the Kings Park Psychiatric Center and the Stony Brook University Hospital.His last hospitalization at the Kings Park facility was in early 2005, when hestayed for 30 days, then moved into a halfway house. Source: Long IslandNewsday, April 25, 2005; Long Island Newsday, April 30, 2005

 

Date: 3/2001

Location: Fishkill, Dutchess, NY

Summary: Jesse McCann, a 17-year-old boy with mental illness,hanged himself in a New York State prison on March 16, 2001. According toofficial accounts, McCann was being escorted to the mental health unit at theDownstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill for his medication when he lostcontrol and began shouting obscenities. A corrections officer tried to quiethim, and McCann struck the officer and was placed in the disciplinary housingunit in an isolated cell known as “The Box”. Shortly after beingplaced in the cell, he tied one end of a sheet to the window, the other to hisneck and hanged himself. Prior History: McCann was in prison after beingsentenced to up to three and half years in state prison for an assaultconviction. The year before his death, McCann broke into a house with friends;on the day he got probation for that crime, he stole a wallet from a vehicle.The wallet contained several credit cards, and that made the crime a grandlarceny. A later scuffle with a jail guard at the Ulster County Jail turnedinto the assault charge. Since age 10, Jesse had been in and out of psychiatrichospitals. He was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and intermittentexplosive disorder. Source: New York Times, December 13, 2004 PoughkeepsieJournal (NY), November 19, 2003 Village Voice, December 23, 2003

 

Date: 10/2009

Location: Wyandanch, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On October 26, 2009, a family dispute turned deadly whenCourtney Williams, 30, fatally stabbed his disabled mother and his partiallyblind stepbrother and also attacked his stepfather. After the rampage at thefamily’s home, police arrested Williams as he walked just blocks away from thehouse. He was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count ofsecond-degree attempted murder. A witness who called 911 at told policeWilliams stabbed family members after arguing with his stepbrother, ErnestMobley Jr., 25. Police officials said the younger Mobley’s girlfriend was inthe house when the violence erupted and she called the authorities. The youngerMobley and his mother, Queen Mobley, 52, were pronounced dead at Good SamaritanHospital Medical Center in West Islip. Ernest Mobley Sr. was taken to NassauUniversity Medical Center in East Meadow and was in stable condition with stabwounds later that afternoon, spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said. Family membersof the victims said Williams was mentally ill and had begun acting erraticallyafter he stopped his medication. Queen Mobley’s sister-in-law Barbara Brown of Wyandanchand her sister, Mary Goodbread of Goldsboro, N.C., said Queen Mobley hadcontacted police on October 24 to report that Williams “was actingout.” “They told her that he would have to hurt somebody before theywould do anything,” said Goodbread, 62. “Now they’ve got toanswer.” Suffolk police said they responded Saturday night to a domesticdisturbance call. Source: Newsday, 10/27/09

 

Date: 10/2009

Location: Wyandanch, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On October 26, 2009, a family dispute turned deadly whenCourtney Williams, 30, fatally stabbed his disabled mother and his partiallyblind stepbrother and also attacked his stepfather. After the rampage at thefamily’s home, police arrested Williams as he walked just blocks away from thehouse. He was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count ofsecond-degree attempted murder. A witness who called 911 at told policeWilliams stabbed family members after arguing with his stepbrother, ErnestMobley Jr., 25. Police officials said the younger Mobley’s girlfriend was inthe house when the violence erupted and she called the authorities. The youngerMobley and his mother, Queen Mobley, 52, were pronounced dead at Good SamaritanHospital Medical Center in West Islip. Ernest Mobley Sr. was taken to NassauUniversity Medical Center in East Meadow and was in stable condition with stabwounds later that afternoon, spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said. Family membersof the victims said Williams was mentally ill and had begun acting erraticallyafter he stopped his medication. Queen Mobley’s sister-in-law Barbara Brown ofWyandanch and her sister, Mary Goodbread of Goldsboro, N.C., said Queen Mobleyhad contacted police on October 24 to report that Williams “was actingout.” “They told her that he would have to hurt somebody before theywould do anything,” said Goodbread, 62. “Now they’ve got toanswer.” Suffolk police said they responded Saturday night to a domesticdisturbance call. Source: Newsday, 10/27/09

 

Date: 10/2009

Location: Wyandanch, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On October 26, 2009, a family dispute turned deadly whenCourtney Williams, 30, fatally stabbed his disabled mother and his partiallyblind stepbrother and also attacked his stepfather. After the rampage at thefamily’s home, police arrested Williams as he walked just blocks away from thehouse. He was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count ofsecond-degree attempted murder. A witness who called 911 at told policeWilliams stabbed family members after arguing with his stepbrother, ErnestMobley Jr., 25. Police officials said the younger Mobley’s girlfriend was inthe house when the violence erupted and she called the authorities. The youngerMobley and his mother, Queen Mobley, 52, were pronounced dead at Good SamaritanHospital Medical Center in West Islip. Ernest Mobley Sr. was taken to NassauUniversity Medical Center in East Meadow and was in stable condition with stabwounds later that afternoon, spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said. Family membersof the victims said Williams was mentally ill and had begun acting erraticallyafter he stopped his medication. Queen Mobley’s sister-in-law Barbara Brown ofWyandanch and her sister, Mary Goodbread of Goldsboro, N.C., said Queen Mobleyhad contacted police on October 24 to report that Williams “was actingout.” “They told her that he would have to hurt somebody before theywould do anything,” said Goodbread, 62. “Now they’ve got toanswer.” Suffolk police said they responded Saturday night to a domestic disturbancecall. Source: Newsday, 10/27/09

 

Date: 12/2009

Location: Queensbury, Warren, NY

Summary: On December 1, 2009, Joanne M. Mattison stabbed herex-boyfriend, James D. Euber to death at the home he shared with his sister,Becky “Grace” Biggs. Biggs and her roommate were present at the timeof the stabbing, and tried to help Euber. Police said Mattison was charged withsecond-degree murder but would not say what prompted the attack, or where Euberwas stabbed. After the incident, Mattison told a reporter that she and Euberargued because he had stolen money from her, Euber’s sister, Cheryl Ross saidthe family believes Mattison went to the trailer seeking money from Euberbecause Euber had gotten paid hours earlier from his job as a dishwasher atPanera Bread in Queensbury. The two had argued the day before because Mattison,who was unemployed, wanted Euber to buy her beer but he would not, according toRoss. Police and friends of Mattison, 48, have said she had an extensivehistory of mental health problems. Her father, John Mattison, said she wasdiagnosed as bipolar years ago, and has “problems” when she does nottake her medication. “When she’s on her medication, she’s as normal as youand I,” he said. “I want to make sure she gets back on her medication.”Prior History: A neighbor of the trailer where Mattison killed Euber saidMattison came to his home on the day of the incident to use his phone and shecalled the FBI to report that Euber had stabbed her with a needle and stolenmoney from her. The neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity out ofconcern for retribution from police, said Mattison told him that she had beento the Glens Falls Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Office to makecomplaints about her “boyfriend,” but that neither agency would takeher complaint. He said Mattison hung up the phone after the calling the FBI,cursed and said she planned to go to the Warren County District Attorney’sOffice. It was unclear if she visited the office. Glens Falls Police Capt. WillValenza said Mattison visited the department to make a complaint at some pointthe prior week, and after officers wouldn’t take her complaint because it wasnot clear what she was alleging, she visited his office on November 25. Citypolice “had a lot of contact” with her in recent months, he said.”She was mad she wasn’t able to make a complaint. She wouldn’t say whathappened, when it happened or where it happened,” Valenza said. “Shemade no mention of her boyfriend or any man.” Mattison did not make anythreats against herself or anyone else, and did not mention Euber, Valenzasaid. Source: Glen Falls Post Star, 12/3/09

 

Date: 7/2009

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On July 30, 2009, Ivy Supersonic, whose real name is IvySilberstein, a member of Howard Stern’s wack pack, screamed wildly at police asshe was loaded into an ambulance outside her luxury Union Square building,witnesses said. Police responded to her apartment after they received a callshe was acting erratically and was possibly armed, police sources said. Theheavily-tattooed Silberstein, who investigators believe sliced herself in thearm with a knife she’s been toting in recent days, was taken to BellevueHospital for observation. She was not charged with a crime. Silberstein’sremoval from the Zeckendorf Towers marked the end of a bizarre 24 hours for thefashion designer, who posted frenzied messages on her Facebook page allegingthat Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was conspiring against her. “Whoever [sic] has a copy of the voice notes file send to FBI,” she typed.”UR very smart – send same tapes to Homeland and CIA protect me from RayKelly FedEx it to Obama now!!!” Silberstein, 42, posted one last timemoments before she surrendered, asking people to call her lawyer. Policesources said Silberstein’s doctor called 911 to say that his patient, thedaughter of famed attorney Jerome Silberstein, was bipolar and off hermedication. Source: New York Daily News, 7/30/09

 

Date: 2/2010

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On February 21, 2010, Satnam Singh, 32, was killed by twopolice who caught him bashing his mother in the head with a frying pan. Singhrefused to drop the pan when the uniformed patrol officers went to his family’sMelrose apartment to check on his mother, Kaur Balbir, 61. “Go away! Goaway!” Singh screamed at the cops, according to Donovan Howell, super ofthe building. Howell said he fetched a pass key to Balbir’s apartment when thepolice were unable to get anyone to answer their knock. Through a crack in thechain-locked door, they spotted Singh, who, sources said, was bipolar,pummeling his mother with a flat pan. The police kicked the door down, andOfficer Brian McCarthy and an unidentified sergeant fired multiple shots atSingh who died at the scene. Balbir was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where shewas in critical condition with a cracked skull, a fractured left shin and abusted left arm. Source: NY Daily News, 2/22/10

 

Date: 12/2011

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On December 4, 2011, 40-year-old Steven Angelides walkedinto a New York police station saying he was a terrorist and had a plastic bagholding a propane tank rigged to look like a bomb. Angelides said moreexplosive devices were inside a blue van parked in front of an apartmentbuilding owned by Angelides’s family. The bomb squad responded to the buildingand found the van but no explosives. Angelides’ family told police that hesuffered from bipolar disorder and hadn’t taken his medication for at least aweek. Source: Wall Street Journal, 12/5/11

 

Date: 2/2011

Location: Auburn, Cayuga, NY

Summary: On February 23, 2011, Peter Harris approached a man at agas station and asked him for a ride around midnight. When the man refused,Harris shoved him and ripped the fuel door cover off his car. Harris’ victimattempted to run into the store but Harris pursued and attacked his victim bothoutside and inside the store. Harris smashed out the man’s window, slashedthree of his car tires, and threatened him with a knife. Subsequent History: OnDecember 8, 2011, the 32-year-old Harris was sentenced to 3.5 to seven years inprison. On October 26, Harris had been convicted of possessing a knife andusing it to threaten a man and to slash the victim’s car tires. Harris was alsofound guilty of physically attacking the victim. Harris’ attorney said hisclient suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was not taking his medicationat the time of the gas station incident. Source: Auburn Pub, 12/9/11

 

Date: 12/2011

Location: Spring Valley, Rockland, NY

Summary: On December 14, 2011, 48-year-old Herve Gilles wasfatally shot after he attacked Spring Valley Police Officer John Roper and tookaway Roper’s nightstick. Roper responded to the scene where Gilles was throwingrocks at a bar. It was the second time that day that Roper had been called tothe bar to deal with Gilles, who had been at the bar screaming unintelligiblyabout an hour earlier. Gilles’ friends said he was a chronically mentally illman who could get out of control when drunk or off his medications. Roper wastaken to the hospital where he was treated for lacerations and bite marks.Subsequent History: In May 2012, a grand jury found that that Roper wasjustified in using deadly force against Gilles. Prior History: Gilles had beenarrested for criminal offenses 33 times since 1990, including eight felonies,four of which were violent. However, as the D.A. noted in the report, whenGilles wasn’t drunk, off his meds, or high on marijuana, he was a great guy whodid volunteer work with his church. Source: LoHud.com, 12/15/11; VillageVoice, 5/8/12

 

Date: 8/2011

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: On August 22, 2011, 32-year-old Jawain Wilson fatallystabbed 21-year-old Joshua Thomas. The two were working at a GoodwillIndustries Store when they got into an argument Subsequent History: On January5, 2012, a judge sentenced Wilson to 20 years in prison. Wilson’s attorney saidhis client, diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, was off his medication atthe time of the incident. Source: WKBW.com, 8/22/11, 1/5/12

 

Date: 4/2011

Location: Lockport, Niagara, NY

Summary: On April 21, 2011, Hans S. Diefenbach, diagnosed withschizophrenia, stabbed 65-year-old Norma Confer with a pair of knives, leavingone in her back. She died in May 2011 after being in a coma for five weeks. Hebelieved Confer was trying to poison him. Subsequent History: On March 8, 2012,the 47-year-old Diefenbach was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, fiveyears of post release supervision and a $5,000 fine. Diefenbach pleaded guiltyto first-degree manslaughter in December 2011, as part of a plea deal whichincludes a maximum sentence of 10 years. Diefenbach’s attorney noted that allof the psychiatrists who had evaluated him said he was not competent to standtrial. Source: Niagara Gazette, 3/8/12

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On July 11, 2011, 35-year-old Levi Aron abducted andmurdered 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky. Aron confessed to suffocating the boy with abath towel and then cutting up the body. Aron picked up Leiby while he waswalking home from a Borough Park day camp alone for the first time. Police saidthat even though Leiby had practiced the route, he got lost and approached Aronfor help. Aron took the child home and killed him two days later when he panickedafter seeing photos of the missing boy on fliers distributed in hisneighborhood. The same day, Aron was arrested and confessed to the crime.Leiby’s remains were found in two Brooklyn locations, two and a half miles fromeach other. Body parts were found in a black plastic garbage bag inside ofsuitcase in a dumpster and in the refrigerator of the third-floor attic of thehome where Aron lived. Subsequently, the Medical Examiner reported that Leibyhad been drugged before he was smothered to death, including with a drug usedto treat schizophrenia, the medical examiner said. Aron was sent to BellevueHospital for a psychiatric evaluation. His lawyers said he hears voices andsees hallucinations. Source: NewYorkDailyNews.com, 7/14/11; ABCNews.com, 7/14/11;MSNBC, 7/20/11; New York Post, 8/11/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On July 22, 2011, 42-year-old Richard Arrocho forced hisway into a train driver’s compartment on the New York subway and threatened tostab him with a screwdriver. According to witnesses, Arrocho was yelling thatsomebody was trying to kill him. The train driver said that he opened hiswindow to investigate and Arrocho climbed into the cab when he turned to radioa supervisor. Arrocho threatened the driver and grabbed the controls at onepoint. One of the passengers managed to film the incident through the window ofthe driver’s compartment. When the train stopped, the driver was able to fleethe cab. Passengers assisted the driver in holding Arrocho in the cab until policearrived. Authorities said that Arrocho has a history of mental illness and hasspent some time in a psychiatric ward. Also, he has been arrested at least 40times on a range of charges, from robbery to petty larceny. Source: UK DailyMail, 7/26/11; CBSNewYork.com, 7/26/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On July 22, 2011, 42-year-old Richard Arrocho forced hisway into a train driver’s compartment on the New York subway and threatened tostab him with a screwdriver. According to witnesses, Arrocho was yelling thatsomebody was trying to kill him. The train driver said that he opened hiswindow to investigate and Arrocho climbed into the cab when he turned to radioa supervisor. Arrocho threatened the driver and grabbed the controls at onepoint. One of the passengers managed to film the incident through the window ofthe driver’s compartment. When the train stopped, the driver was able to fleethe cab. Passengers assisted the driver in holding Arrocho in the cab untilpolice arrived. Authorities said that Arrocho has a history of mental illnessand has spent some time in a psychiatric ward. Also, he has been arrested atleast 40 times on a range of charges, from robbery to petty larceny. Source:UK Daily Mail, 7/26/11; CBSNewYork.com, 7/26/11

 

Date: 12/2009

Location: Vestal, Broome, NY

Summary: On December 4, 2009, 46-year-old Bingham Universitystudent Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani, fatally stabbed 77-year-old Professor RichardT. Antoun in his university office. Professor Antoun, a retired anthropologyprofessor, was a specialist in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies who hadworked with Zahrani. Zahrani, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was a graduate studentin anthropology. Zahrani was indicted January 22, 2010 by a grand jury on onefelony count of second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty. SubsequentHistory: In a July 21, 2010 filing, Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani’s defense attorneyreported he had been suffering from Schizoaffective Disorder for a long timeand lacked capacity to know or appreciate the nature and consequences of hisconduct. Source: The New York Times, 12/5/09; PressConnects.com, 9/27/10

 

Date: 10/2010

Location: Long Island, Queens, NY

Summary: On October 8, 2010, 23-year-old Evan Sachs crept upbehind an 8-year-old boy playing a video game at a restaurant, put a hand onhis shoulder and plunged a 4-inch blade into his back five times as witnesseswatched in horror. The boy suffered a punctured lung in the assault in a LongIsland shopping mall. He was hospitalized in stable condition and expected torecover. After the boy staggered, bleeding, to his mother, his father and awitness to the assault grabbed the suspect as he walked toward a restroom andheld him until officers arrived, police said. Neither the child nor his familyknew Sachs and they lived in different towns. Subsequent History: Police saidEvan Sachs had been hunting for a child to kill for weeks. Sachs’ attorney,Charles Rosenblum, told reporters his client has been under psychiatric careand recently had medications changed. Source: MyFoxNY, 10/09/10; CBSNews.com,10/12/10

 

Date: 10/2010

Location: Staten Island, Richmond, NY

Summary: On either October 12 or 13, 2010, 30-year-old EricBellucci, diagnosed with Schizophrenia, stabbed his parents to death in their StatenIsland Home. Eric’s sister, called police when she went to the house becauseher parents weren’t answering the phone. She opened the door and saw bloodbefore running out and calling 911. Police found the bodies of 61-year-oldArthur Bellucci and 56-year-old Marian Bellucci in the home. After thekillings, Bellucci went to Newark Airport where he caught a flight to Israel,where a friend lives. He was captured in Israel on October 15 as he tried topurchase a ticket to China. Following his capture, the delusional Bellucci toldauthorities that he was there to avenge his parents’ deaths and find the Mossadagent who killed them. His sister told police cops her brother was furiousbecause she and her parents were trying to get him help. Prior History: Belluciwas diagnosed with Schizophrenia surfaced after college, causing him to behospitalized twice. He became delusional and violent and often turned his rageon his family. His mental demons worsened in recent months as he refused totake his medication, relatives said. Subsequent History: On July 21, 2011, twostate psychiatrists determined the 31-year-old Bellucci was fit for trial. Thestunning turnaround came less than three months after a Staten Island justicehad found Bellucci mentally incompetent for trial and ordered him sent to asecure psychiatric facility. Subsequently, another psychiatrist found Bellucciunfit to proceed with trial. Subsequent History: On March 9, 2012, a judge setan April 18 hearing date to for a mental competency hearing. Source: New YorkDaily News, 10/15/10, 10/17/10; New York, CBS 2, 10/19/10; Daily Press (VA),10/16/10; HealthCentral.com, 10/16/10; NY1, 4/28/11; Staten Island Advance,5/11/11, 9/9/11; Staten Island Shore, 7/22/11; SI Live, 3/9/12

 

Date: 10/2010

Location: Staten Island, Richmond, NY

Summary: On either October 12 or 13, 2010, 30-year-old EricBellucci, diagnosed with Schizophrenia, stabbed his parents to death in theirStaten Island Home. Eric’s sister, called police when she went to the housebecause her parents weren’t answering the phone. She opened the door and sawblood before running out and calling 911. Police found the bodies of61-year-old Arthur Bellucci and 56-year-old Marian Bellucci in the home. Afterthe killings, Bellucci went to Newark Airport where he caught a flight toIsrael, where a friend lives. He was captured in Israel on October 15 as hetried to purchase a ticket to China. Following his capture, the delusionalBellucci told authorities that he was there to avenge his parents’ deaths andfind the Mossad agent who killed them. His sister told police cops her brotherwas furious because she and her parents were trying to get him help. PriorHistory: Belluci was diagnosed with Schizophrenia surfaced after college,causing him to be hospitalized twice. He became delusional and violent andoften turned his rage on his family. His mental demons worsened in recentmonths as he refused to take his medication, relatives said. SubsequentHistory: On July 21, 2011, two state psychiatrists determined the 31-year-oldBellucci was fit for trial. The stunning turnaround came less than three monthsafter a Staten Island justice had found Bellucci mentally incompetent for trialand ordered him sent to a secure psychiatric facility. Subsequently, another psychiatristfound Bellucci unfit to proceed with trial. Subsequent History: On March 9,2012, a judge set an April 18 hearing date to for a mental competency hearing. Source: New York Daily News, 10/15/10, 10/17/10; New York, CBS 2, 10/19/10;Daily Press (VA), 10/16/10; HealthCentral.com, 10/16/10; NY1, 4/28/11; StatenIsland Advance, 5/11/11, 9/9/11; Staten Island Shore, 7/22/11; SI Live, 3/9/12

 

Date: 11/2010

Location: Long Island, Queens, NY

Summary: On November 20, 2010, 48-year-old Thomas Scimone, wasarmed with a shotgun and threatened to kill firefighters was shot by police ashe ran from his burning home. He was in critical condition following theincident. A relative said she believed Scimone was not taking his medicationfor bipolar disorder. The incident began when Scimone set a fire in his livingroom. Police said he then threatened to gun down responding firefighters. Hejumped out of a window and ran through the neighborhood with his shotgun.Police gave chase. He didn’t respond to their commands to drop his weapon,rather turned and pointed the shotgun at police who opened fire. SubsequentHistory: On November 25, 2010 Scimone, who had been in critical conditionfollowing the incident, died at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. Source: NY Daily News, 11/21/10; NBCNewYork.com, 11/21/10, 11/26/10

 

Date: 9/2010

Location: Greece, Monroe, NY

Summary: On September 29, 2010, 23-year-old Kurt Neusatz fatallystabbed his mother, 53-year-old Monica Neusatz in their home. When policedarrived, they found Monica’s body in an upstairs bedroom. Kurt was found on thefront porch with self-inflicted stab wounds on his neck. His family reported hehad been treated for schizophrenia since the age of 17. Subsequent History: OnJanuary 4, 2011, a judge ordered Kurt Neusatz to undergo a mental healthevaluation to determine if he was competent to stand trial for second-degreemurder. Source: 13WHAM.com, 9/30/10; DemocratandChronicle.com, 12/1/10;Associated Press, 1/4/11; GreecePost.com, 1/4/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: Utica, Oneida, NY

Summary: On July 19, 2011, 30-year-old David. L. Trebilcockfatally stabbed 6-year-old Lauren Belius, while her twin sister Erica watched.Trebilcock was the live-in boyfriend of Alison Belius, the child’s mother. Hestabbed himself after he attacked Lauren. Trebilcock barricaded the twins’bedroom door with a dresser during the incident. Alison Belius awoke to herchildren’s screams and forced her way into the bedroom to find Trebilcockstabbing Lauren. Trebilcock cut his own wrists and stabbed himself in the chestafter he attacked the child. Subsequent History: On February 14, 2012, a judgefound Trebilcock not criminally responsible for fatally stabbing Lauren due tomental disease or defect. During the trial, a forensic psychiatrist for thedefense testified that Trebilcock suffered from paranoid schizophrenia with apoor prognosis. Source: OneidaDispatch.com, 7/21/11; New York,Observer-Dispatch, 2/14/12

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: Utica, Oneida, NY

Summary: On July 19, 2011, 30-year-old David. L. Trebilcockfatally stabbed 6-year-old Lauren Belius, while her twin sister Erica watched.Trebilcock was the live-in boyfriend of Alison Belius, the child’s mother. Hestabbed himself after he attacked Lauren. Trebilcock barricaded the twins’bedroom door with a dresser during the incident. Alison Belius awoke to herchildren’s screams and forced her way into the bedroom to find Trebilcockstabbing Lauren. Trebilcock cut his own wrists and stabbed himself in the chestafter he attacked the child. Subsequent History: On February 14, 2012, a judgefound Trebilcock not criminally responsible for fatally stabbing Lauren due tomental disease or defect. During the trial, a forensic psychiatrist for thedefense testified that Trebilcock suffered from paranoid schizophrenia with apoor prognosis. Source: OneidaDispatch.com, 7/21/11; New York,Observer-Dispatch, 2/14/12

 

Date: 4/2012

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On April 8, 2012, 24-year-old Bennedy Abreu attackedPolice Officer William Fair and Officer Phillip White with a knife. Fair wascut in the neck, jaw, nose and lip. He needed 15 stitches to close his wounds.White’s wrist was wounded during the incident. Abreu, who had a history ofsevere mental illness and violence, was not taking his medication. PriorHistory: Abreu’s family said he suffered from schizophrenia and should not havebeen taken off his medication. The family said they became concerned in April2011, when Abreu stopped receiving court-ordered treatment for his illness. Itwas then, they said, that doctors at North Central Bronx Hospital told themthat Abreu no longer needed medication. They said Abreu’s behavior had becomemore erratic over the past year. In January, they checked him in for treatmentat North Central Bronx Hospital. He was released in 10 days. The family said,upon his release, Abreu’s behavior had not changed from before he was checkedin. Source: New York Daily News, 4/13/12, 4/16/12; The Riverdale Press,04/18/12

 

Date: 4/2012

Location: Harlem, Manhattan, NY

Summary: On April 17, 2012, 26-year-old Terrance Hale, who hadstopped taking his psychotropic medications a month before, stabbed 28-year-oldOfficer Eder Loor in the skull with a knife. The knife pierced Loor’s skull andwent into his brain. Loor had responded to Hale’s mother’s 911 call askingpolice to take Hale, who was acting irrationally, to the hospital. Loor was incritical but stable condition after the attack. Hale’s mother said he had beendiagnosed 10 years before with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression.Hale, who attacked Loor without warning in the lobby of his building, wasarrested at the scene. Prior History: In October 2010, police were called toHale’s home on a report that he was suicidal. At that time, he was hospitalizedwithout a confrontation. Hale had a criminal history including a 2006 stabbing,along with arrests for robbery, assault and riot, authorities said. SubsequentHistory: On May 17, 2012, Hale’s attorney entered a plea of not guilty toattempted murder, assault upon a police officer and criminal possession of aweapon, during Hale’s arraignment. Source: New York Daily News, 4/18/12 (3articles); New York Post, 5/17/12

 

Date: 4/2012

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On April 8, 2012, 24-year-old Bennedy Abreu attackedPolice Officer William Fair and Officer Phillip White with a knife. Fair wascut in the neck, jaw, nose and lip. He needed 15 stitches to close his wounds.White’s wrist was wounded during the incident. Abreu, who had a history ofsevere mental illness and violence, was not taking his medication. PriorHistory: Abreu’s family said he suffered from schizophrenia and should not havebeen taken off his medication. The family said they became concerned in April2011, when Abreu stopped receiving court-ordered treatment for his illness. Itwas then, they said, that doctors at North Central Bronx Hospital told themthat Abreu no longer needed medication. They said Abreu’s behavior had becomemore erratic over the past year. In January, they checked him in for treatmentat North Central Bronx Hospital. He was released in 10 days. The family said,upon his release, Abreu’s behavior had not changed from before he was checkedin. Source: New York Daily News, 4/13/12, 4/16/12; The Riverdale Press, 04/18/12

 

Date: 4/2010

Location: West Seneca, Erie, NY

Summary: On April 25, 2010, 56-year-old Jerome Brylski, diagnosedwith paranoid schizophrenia, initiated a shoot out with police. The incidentbegan when family members contacted Crisis Services to alert them to the dangerthey felt was imminent. But before the counselors could talk to him, Brylskiwas on his way to a shootout with police. West Seneca Police Chief Edward F.Gehen Jr. said dispatchers got a call saying Brylski Òhad a gun that wouldshoot through five police officers, and he was acting irrationally.Ó Officersmet up with Crisis Services counselors to coordinate a plan. In the meantime,Brylski called two friends, Jeffrey Edwards and Dianna Dangelo, to come over.When they pulled into his driveway, he got into their car. As Crisis Servicescounselors were on their way to Brylski’s house, West Seneca police pulled overthe car he was riding in. Brylski jumped out of the back seat, police said, andopened fire with a rifle on the four officers at the scene. Brylski andEdwards, who drove the car, both were struck at least twice and were taken toErie County Medical Center, the chief said. Brylski was listed in stablecondition, with at least one wound to the torso. Edwards’ condition was moreserious, authorities said, as he was struck in the neck. The police officerswere not wounded. Brylski was charged with four counts of first-degreeattempted murder, authorities said. Prior History: For years, Jerome Brylskihad managed to function, despite the mental illness that seemed to transformeveryday events into what he believed was further evidence of a governmentconspiracy against him. His grown children said they had been trying for morethan a year to get authorities to intervene and get their father the help heneeded for his paranoid schizophrenia. ÒThis could have been prevented, had thesystem not failed me and my family. It took something that escalated into ashootout to get someone to listen,Ó one of his daughters said. ÒWe begged thecourts to get him a mental health evaluation. They never pursued it. He neverwent.Ó Brylski had gotten into a number of scrapes with police within the pastyear, his children said, and at each point along the way, his family tried toget him the help he needed. They said the system failed, and Brylski just gotsicker, refusing medication and counseling. At one point last year, his familyhad him committed to a psychiatric ward. He got out less than two weeks laterand wasn’t taking his medication. Months later, a West Seneca judge ordered himto under-go a mental health evaluation. Brylski never got one, relatives said,and the court did not push the issue. In recent weeks, he had taken to sleepingwith a gun next to his bed. He sent out countless e-mails, text messages andfaxes, complaining of the conspiracy against him. Source: Buffalo News,4/27/10

 

Date: 4/2010

Location: West Seneca, Erie, NY

Summary: On April 25, 2010, 56-year-old Jerome Brylski, diagnosedwith paranoid schizophrenia, initiated a shoot out with police. The incidentbegan when family members contacted Crisis Services to alert them to the dangerthey felt was imminent. But before the counselors could talk to him, Brylskiwas on his way to a shootout with police. West Seneca Police Chief Edward F.Gehen Jr. said dispatchers got a call saying Brylski Òhad a gun that wouldshoot through five police officers, and he was acting irrationally.Ó Officersmet up with Crisis Services counselors to coordinate a plan. In the meantime,Brylski called two friends, Jeffrey Edwards and Dianna Dangelo, to come over.When they pulled into his driveway, he got into their car. As Crisis Servicescounselors were on their way to Brylski’s house, West Seneca police pulled overthe car he was riding in. Brylski jumped out of the back seat, police said, andopened fire with a rifle on the four officers at the scene. Brylski andEdwards, who drove the car, both were struck at least twice and were taken toErie County Medical Center, the chief said. Brylski was listed in stablecondition, with at least one wound to the torso. Edwards’ condition was moreserious, authorities said, as he was struck in the neck. The police officerswere not wounded. Brylski was charged with four counts of first-degreeattempted murder, authorities said. Prior History: For years, Jerome Brylskihad managed to function, despite the mental illness that seemed to transformeveryday events into what he believed was further evidence of a governmentconspiracy against him. His grown children said they had been trying for morethan a year to get authorities to intervene and get their father the help heneeded for his paranoid schizophrenia. ÒThis could have been prevented, had thesystem not failed me and my family. It took something that escalated into ashootout to get someone to listen,Ó one of his daughters said. ÒWe begged thecourts to get him a mental health evaluation. They never pursued it. He neverwent.Ó Brylski had gotten into a number of scrapes with police within the pastyear, his children said, and at each point along the way, his family tried toget him the help he needed. They said the system failed, and Brylski just gotsicker, refusing medication and counseling. At one point last year, his familyhad him committed to a psychiatric ward. He got out less than two weeks laterand wasn’t taking his medication. Months later, a West Seneca judge ordered himto under-go a mental health evaluation. Brylski never got one, relatives said,and the court did not push the issue. In recent weeks, he had taken to sleepingwith a gun next to his bed. He sent out countless e-mails, text messages andfaxes, complaining of the conspiracy against him. Source: Buffalo News,4/27/10

 

Date: 4/2010

Location: West Seneca, Erie, NY

Summary: On April 25, 2010, 56-year-old Jerome Brylski, diagnosedwith paranoid schizophrenia, initiated a shoot out with police. The incidentbegan when family members contacted Crisis Services to alert them to the dangerthey felt was imminent. But before the counselors could talk to him, Brylskiwas on his way to a shootout with police. West Seneca Police Chief Edward F.Gehen Jr. said dispatchers got a call saying Brylski Òhad a gun that wouldshoot through five police officers, and he was acting irrationally.Ó Officersmet up with Crisis Services counselors to coordinate a plan. In the meantime,Brylski called two friends, Jeffrey Edwards and Dianna Dangelo, to come over.When they pulled into his driveway, he got into their car. As Crisis Servicescounselors were on their way to Brylski’s house, West Seneca police pulled overthe car he was riding in. Brylski jumped out of the back seat, police said, andopened fire with a rifle on the four officers at the scene. Brylski andEdwards, who drove the car, both were struck at least twice and were taken toErie County Medical Center, the chief said. Brylski was listed in stablecondition, with at least one wound to the torso. Edwards’ condition was moreserious, authorities said, as he was struck in the neck. The police officerswere not wounded. Brylski was charged with four counts of first-degreeattempted murder, authorities said. Prior History: For years, Jerome Brylskihad managed to function, despite the mental illness that seemed to transformeveryday events into what he believed was further evidence of a governmentconspiracy against him. His grown children said they had been trying for morethan a year to get authorities to intervene and get their father the help heneeded for his paranoid schizophrenia. ÒThis could have been prevented, had thesystem not failed me and my family. It took something that escalated into ashootout to get someone to listen,Ó one of his daughters said. ÒWe begged thecourts to get him a mental health evaluation. They never pursued it. He neverwent.Ó Brylski had gotten into a number of scrapes with police within the pastyear, his children said, and at each point along the way, his family tried toget him the help he needed. They said the system failed, and Brylski just gotsicker, refusing medication and counseling. At one point last year, his familyhad him committed to a psychiatric ward. He got out less than two weeks laterand wasn’t taking his medication. Months later, a West Seneca judge ordered himto under-go a mental health evaluation. Brylski never got one, relatives said,and the court did not push the issue. In recent weeks, he had taken to sleepingwith a gun next to his bed. He sent out countless e-mails, text messages andfaxes, complaining of the conspiracy against him. Source: Buffalo News,4/27/10

 

Date: 11/2010

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On November 23, 2010, 31-year-old Michael Brea killed hismother 55-year-old Yannick Brea with a samurai sword after a fight. Brea livedwith his mother and twin brother in the Brooklyn apartment where the incidentoccurred. Neighbors and relatives said Brea was a “quiet man” whoadmired his mother. Brea, a Haitian American actor who had small roles in ABC’sshow “Ugly Betty” and the movie “Step Up 3D,” was also alocal businessman who had given away free turkeys on Thanksgiving at his Subwaysandwich franchise in Brooklyn. However the parent company took his franchiseaway for poor performance and management issues. Subsequent History: On April27, 2012, Brea pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect tohis mother’s death after psychiatrists for both sides diagnosed him withschizophrenia. Prosecutors said Brea would be sent to a mental health facility,likely either Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan or Mid-Hudson Forensic PsychiatricCenter in upstate New York. Source: CBSNews.com, 11/24/10; Patch.com, 5/3/12

 

Date: 12/2010

Location: Auburn, Cayuga, NY

Summary: On December 18, 2010, 42-year-old Darrell McClain stabbedhis neighbor, 46-year-old David Fordyce, repeatedly after Fordyce asked him tostop yelling in the hallway. McClain was arrested at the scene. Fordyce wastaken to the hospital, where he was treated and released. Police said the fightbegan the day before the alleged assault when Fordyce accused McClain of stealing$50 from him. Police said although Fordyce allegedly threatened to hurt McClainwith a shotgun, a gun was never brandished. Officers responded to the verbaldispute that day and warned the men to stay away from each other. But instead,the argument escalated. McClain’s attorney said his client had a history ofparanoid schizophrenia and alcohol abuse. Subsequent History: On May 15, 2012,McClain pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder, first-degreeattempted assault, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon in exchangefor a promised sentence of no more than 12 years in prison. Source:Syracuse.com, 12/19/10; The Citizen, 5/15/12

 

Date: 6/2012

Location: Huntington, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On June 16, 2012, 28-year-old Matthew Hubrins, who had ahistory of mental illness, fatally stabbed his stepfather, 44-year-old NoelMohammed. Source: LongIslandPress.com, 6/16/12; New York Post, 6/18/12

 

Date: 3/2012

Location: Jamaica, Queens, NY

Summary: On March 15, 2012, 30-year-old Shereese Francis diedafter a confrontation with police. The incident began when Francis’ familycalled for assistance to get her to the hospital. Francis, who wasn’t takingthe medication prescribed for her schizophrenia, had become emotionallydistraught. Before an ambulance arrived, four police officers responded to thecall. They chased Francis through the house, ultimately cornering her in abasement bedroom, forcing her face-down on the bed and applying pressure whilethey cuffed her. Within 20 minutes of police arriving, Francis had stoppedbreathing. A few hours later she was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she waspronounced dead. Subsequent History: On March 21, 2012, Francis’ family filed aFreedom of Information request with the NYPD for relevant police records. Thepolice delayed and then denied the Francises’ subsequent appeal. In June, theFrancis family formally appealed the NYPD’s Freedom of Information denial instate court. The family accused police of excessive force and suffocatingFrancis. Source: Gothamist.com, 4/3/12; Village Voice, 6/26/12

 

Date: 7/2012

Location: Jamaica, Queens, NY

Summary: On July 4, 2012, Edgar Owens stabbed MTA Police OfficerJohn Barnett in the eye. Barnett fatally shot Owens during the attack. Owenshad a history of violence and arrests dating back to 1991 and was classified asan emotionally disturbed person. He had been sent to Rikers Island twice andlater to a state hospital. Source: New York Daily News, 7/6/12

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: Elbridge, Onondaga, NY

Summary: On July 20, 2008, Joseph Bisesi III, a seriously mentallyill man, shot and killed his parents, JoEllen and Joseph Bisesi Jr. in theirElbridge home. Shortly after state police discovered the victims’ bodies onJuly 22, Bisesi showed up at the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office in downtownSyracuse to turn himself in. Bisesi immediately told authorities what he haddone, asking them to contact “military intelligence” for him. For thenext four and a half hours, Bisesi told authorities of killing the victims withshots from a .22-caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun and disposing of theirbodies in the septic tank, using a saw to dismember his father’s remains.Subsequent History: On November 24, 2008, Joseph Bisesi III, 27, stood in courtand admitted without any show of emotion that he shot and killed JoEllen andJoseph Bisesi Jr. in their Elbridge home in July. To the outside world, theywere his parents. But in Bisesi’s world, they were “Admiral Young”and “Mrs. Kelly,” a couple masquerading as his parents after his realparents were murdered by organized crime when he was kidnapped as a child.Doctors who examined Bisesi for the defense and prosecution agreed he wasacting under those delusions and that he was seriously mentally ill at the timehe killed his parents on July 20. Defense lawyer Randi Bianco said Bisesi stillbelieved that he was an undercover operative carrying out CIA orders to killthe victims before they could kill him. He does not believe they were hisparents, she said. Bisesi faced the prospect of spending the rest of his lifein a state psychiatric facility after disposing of the murder case under thestate’s insanity law. Bisesi pleaded “not responsible by reason of mentaldisease or defect” to charges he murdered his parents by shooting themmultiple times and then disposing of their bodies in the septic tank at theirhome. Onondaga County Judge Anthony Aloi ordered Bisesi placed in the custodyof the state Office of Mental Health for a psychiatric evaluation to determineif he was still mentally ill and, if so, if he was dangerous, which could keepBisesi in the custody of mental health officials for the rest of his life withperiodic reviews by the court. Bianco said Bisesi was now likely to get thehelp his parents had been trying unsuccessfully to get for him before they werekilled. Despite their son’s increasingly paranoid behavior, his parentsapparently never feared for their lives, he said. The prosecutor, ChiefAssistant District Attorney Christine Garvey, told Aloi that Dr. Thomas Lazzaro,a psychologist who examined Bisesi for the defense, had concluded Bisesisuffered from a delusional disorder. Dr. James Knoll, a psychiatrist whoexamined Bisesi for the prosecution, concluded he suffered from paranoidschizophrenia, she said. Both doctors agreed Bisesi suffered from Capgrassyndrome, a somewhat rare psychiatric disorder in which the patient comes tobelieve people close to him or her are imposters, the prosecutor told Aloi.Garvey said the evidence indicated Bisesi clearly believed his parents wereimposters, that he was working as an undercover federal marshal to investigatecrime in the area and that he needed to kill the couple to get back his realidentity. Garvey also noted Bisesi’s condition seemed to be linked to anincident that occurred April 17, 2005, in which he was the innocent victim ofan assault during a bar fight in Baldwinsville. Bisesi suffered a head injuryand a shattered jaw when he was struck with a baton, the prosecutor said.Shortly after that assault, according to Bisesi’s family and friends, Bisesistarted having hallucinations, hearing voices and believing he had multipleidentities and a chip placed in his head by the FBI, Garvey told Aloi. Givenall of that evidence, the prosecution would not be able to overcome theinsanity defense, she admitted. Earlier this year, Bisesi started focusing moreon his delusion about the victims being imposters, but the parents never fearedhe would harm them, Bianco said. One hour before Bisesi killed his parents, hephoned a relative about having received two cell phone calls from the CIAdirecting him to kill the couple before they killed him, Bianco said. Becausethe family had gotten used to that being part of Bisesi’s typical”ramblings,” the relative did not take the call seriously, thedefense lawyer said. Bisesi read from a prepared document. He told the judgeabout the imposter parents and that he was acting under CIA orders to killthem. He also said he had “interrogated” the couple and gotten themto confess to being imposters shortly before he shot them. Source: SyracusePost Standard, 11/25/08

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: Elbridge, Onondaga, NY

Summary: On July 20, 2008, Joseph Bisesi III, a seriously mentallyill man, shot and killed his parents, JoEllen and Joseph Bisesi Jr. in theirElbridge home. Shortly after state police discovered the victims’ bodies onJuly 22, Bisesi showed up at the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office in downtownSyracuse to turn himself in. Bisesi immediately told authorities what he haddone, asking them to contact “military intelligence” for him. For thenext four and a half hours, Bisesi told authorities of killing the victims withshots from a .22-caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun and disposing of theirbodies in the septic tank, using a saw to dismember his father’s remains.Subsequent History: On November 24, 2008, Joseph Bisesi III, 27, stood in courtand admitted without any show of emotion that he shot and killed JoEllen andJoseph Bisesi Jr. in their Elbridge home in July. To the outside world, theywere his parents. But in Bisesi’s world, they were “Admiral Young”and “Mrs. Kelly,” a couple masquerading as his parents after his realparents were murdered by organized crime when he was kidnapped as a child.Doctors who examined Bisesi for the defense and prosecution agreed he wasacting under those delusions and that he was seriously mentally ill at the timehe killed his parents on July 20. Defense lawyer Randi Bianco said Bisesi stillbelieved that he was an undercover operative carrying out CIA orders to killthe victims before they could kill him. He does not believe they were hisparents, she said. Bisesi faced the prospect of spending the rest of his lifein a state psychiatric facility after disposing of the murder case under thestate’s insanity law. Bisesi pleaded “not responsible by reason of mentaldisease or defect” to charges he murdered his parents by shooting themmultiple times and then disposing of their bodies in the septic tank at theirhome. Onondaga County Judge Anthony Aloi ordered Bisesi placed in the custodyof the state Office of Mental Health for a psychiatric evaluation to determineif he was still mentally ill and, if so, if he was dangerous, which could keepBisesi in the custody of mental health officials for the rest of his life withperiodic reviews by the court. Bianco said Bisesi was now likely to get thehelp his parents had been trying unsuccessfully to get for him before they werekilled. Despite their son’s increasingly paranoid behavior, his parents apparentlynever feared for their lives, he said. The prosecutor, Chief Assistant DistrictAttorney Christine Garvey, told Aloi that Dr. Thomas Lazzaro, a psychologistwho examined Bisesi for the defense, had concluded Bisesi suffered from adelusional disorder. Dr. James Knoll, a psychiatrist who examined Bisesi forthe prosecution, concluded he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, she said.Both doctors agreed Bisesi suffered from Capgras syndrome, a somewhat rarepsychiatric disorder in which the patient comes to believe people close to himor her are imposters, the prosecutor told Aloi. Garvey said the evidenceindicated Bisesi clearly believed his parents were imposters, that he wasworking as an undercover federal marshal to investigate crime in the area and thathe needed to kill the couple to get back his real identity. Garvey also notedBisesi’s condition seemed to be linked to an incident that occurred April 17,2005, in which he was the innocent victim of an assault during a bar fight inBaldwinsville. Bisesi suffered a head injury and a shattered jaw when he wasstruck with a baton, the prosecutor said. Shortly after that assault, accordingto Bisesi’s family and friends, Bisesi started having hallucinations, hearingvoices and believing he had multiple identities and a chip placed in his headby the FBI, Garvey told Aloi. Given all of that evidence, the prosecution wouldnot be able to overcome the insanity defense, she admitted. Earlier this year,Bisesi started focusing more on his delusion about the victims being imposters,but the parents never feared he would harm them, Bianco said. One hour beforeBisesi killed his parents, he phoned a relative about having received two cellphone calls from the CIA directing him to kill the couple before they killedhim, Bianco said. Because the family had gotten used to that being part ofBisesi’s typical “ramblings,” the relative did not take the callseriously, the defense lawyer said. Bisesi read from a prepared document. Hetold the judge about the imposter parents and that he was acting under CIAorders to kill them. He also said he had “interrogated” the coupleand gotten them to confess to being imposters shortly before he shot them. Source: Syracuse Post Standard, 11/25/08

 

Date: 0/2002

Location: Pleasantville, Westchester, NY

Summary: On January 14, 2009, 39-year-old Sheila Davalloo, alreadydoing 25 years in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for trying to stabher husband to death pleaded not guilty in the stabbing death of her formerco-worker, whom police described as her love rival. She was charged in Novemberwith murder in the brutal stabbing death of her co-worker, Anna-Lisa Raymundo,in 2002. The suspect and the victim were dating the same man. Davalloo did notbecome a suspect in that slaying until after her conviction and sentencing in2004 on an attempted murder charge. Davalloo twice stabbed her husband in thechest in Pleasantville during a game in which they took turns blindfolding eachother. She drove her wounded husband, Paul Christos, to Westchester MedicalCenter in Valhalla and stabbed him again after she parked. Davalloo has beengetting treatment in prison for bipolar disorder. Source: Lower Hudson JournalNews (NY), 1/15/09

 

Date: 1/2009

Location: Westmoreland, Oneida, NY

Summary: On January 19, 2009, Ryan Peeler, diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia, allegedly beat his mother, Rhonda M. DuPont, 51, to death in hisroom at the Gallopin’ Acres Motel in Westmoreland. The deadly attack eruptedshortly after DuPont and her fiancŽ, William Griffith, 60, stopped by her son’sapartment to bring him food. Moments after Griffith broke into Peeler’sapartment and witnessed the tail end of the beating, he went to the moteloffice to contact authorities. Peeler then came out of his apartment and askeda nearby neighbor for a ride to Oneida. A long the way, however, Peeler askedto be dropped off on Main Street in the city of Sherrill, investigators said.After Peeler exited the vehicle, the neighbor drove to the Sherrill PoliceDepartment, and police from multiple agencies spent about two hours searchingfor Peeler. Peeler eventually was taken into custody shortly before 9 p.m. whensheriff’s Deputy Mark Ammann saw him walking down Park Avenue in Sherrill. Hewas questioned by sheriff’s investigators and charged with felony second-degreeassault because his mother still was alive at that point. Once DuPont’s brainactivity ceased the next morning, Peeler was charged with murder. PriorHistory: According to Griffith’s statement to sheriff’s investigators, Peeler,27, had become more violent and erratic as his mental state deteriorated latelast year. Roughly three or four years ago, Peeler was hospitalized atFaxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare for mental issues, Griffith said. Peeler was thenhospitalized at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica as more incidentsfollowed. That’s when Peeler was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.Subsequent History: On January 20, 2009, Ryan Peeler was arraigned on asecond-degree murder charge. Because Peeler appeared to have a history ofmental illness, Village Court Justice Christopher Clarkin ordered Peeler toundergo a psychiatric examination before he returned to court. He was taken toOneida County jail, where he remained without bail. Subseqent History: On February12, 2009, Ryan Peeler was transferred to a downstate mental hospital after ajudge ruled he does not understand the charges he faces. Peeler, who faces asecond-degree murder charge in the January 19 beating death of his mother,Rhonda DuPont, 51, was taken to Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Facility in New Hampton,70 miles north of New York City, said Frank Nebush Jr., chief public defenderin Oneida County. Village of Oriskany Court Justice Christopher Clarkin issueda temporary commitment order last week directing that Peeler be taken to thefacility from Oneida County jail, Oneida County First District Attorney MichaelColuzza said. Two psychiatrists separately interviewed Peeler at the jail,where he’s been on a 24-hour suicide watch. Their evaluation focused only onwhether Peeler understands the nature of the charges he faces and whether hecan assist his attorney in preparing his defense. The psychiatrists’ report toClarkin did not address Peeler’s mental state at the time he is alleged to havekilled DuPont. Peeler will be treated at the psychiatric facility and willreturn to Oneida County Court to face the criminal charges if new testsdetermine he is competent. At the time of the killing, Peeler had beendiagnosed with schizophrenia and had been living at a Westmoreland motel,police and relatives have said. The night she was slain, DuPont had gone toPeeler’s motel room to deliver dinner. Peeler attacked DuPont because hebelieved that her feet were sucking oxygen from the room, Nebush said. Source:Utica Observer Dispatch, 1/20/09, 1/22/09, 1/26/09, 2/18/09, 2/24/09, 5/22/09;Syracuse Post Standard, 1/21/09

 

Date: 5/2008

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: On May 1, 2008, John W. Sterling III stabbed a policemanin the arm who was responding to a 9-11 call from Sterling’s mother. OfficerRobert Osipovitch was stabbed after Rural/Metro personnel and police went toSterling’s home on a call that Sterling, who lived there with his mother, washaving severe emotional problems. Sterling argued with police officers andemergency medical technicians and refused to remove his right hand from hispocket. When Sterling walked at Osipovitch and refused to stop, Osipovitch usedpepper spray to subdue him. Sterling pulled out a knife, rushed at Osipovitchand stabbed him, police said. Police said Osipovitch was spared further woundsby his bulletproof vest and actions by EMT Brandon McCaughey, who pulled theknife from Sterling’s hand as Sterling and Osipovitch scuffled. SubsequentHistory: On February 5, 2009, Judge Richard A. Keenan ordered John W. SterlingIII to prison for the maximum term of seven years for second-degree assault forstabbing Officer Robert Osipovitch in the arm. After the mother of John W.Sterling III called 911 for help with her agitated son, who had a history ofschizophrenia, police failed to send a team that deals with the mentally illand had been to Sterling’s home previously, said Assistant Public DefenderJoshua Stubbe. Stubbe said Osipovitch hastily entered Sterling’s home without talkingto a Rural/Metro Medical Service team that had called for police help incalming Sterling. On the other hand, Keenan blamed Sterling for creating thedangerous situation. The courtroom was packed with about 75 colleagues ofOsipovitch. So many police officers attended that the judge moved theproceeding to a larger courtroom to accommodate the crowd. Before sentence wasimposed, Sterling apologized for the stabbing and said he had not been takingmedication for his illness. Prior History: During a trial in December, jurorsacquitted Sterling, 29, of attempted aggravated murder of a police officer butconvicted him of two counts of second-degree assault. Although the jurycouldn’t decide on a charge of attempted aggravated assault on a police officer,he’ll be retried on that charge in June and could receive a prison term of 20years, said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Schwartz. Source: RochesterDemocrat and Chronicle. 2/6/09

 

Date: 2/2009

Location: East Harlem, New York, NY

Summary: On February 16, 2009, 14-month-old Heshesh Brent wasreunited with his mother after he had been missing for nearly 24 hours from hismother’s East Harlem apartment. A few hours later, after being questioned bydetectives, 18-year-old Niasia Hicks was led away from the 25th precinct inhandcuffs. She faces charges of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of achild. Hicks had asked to watch the 14-month-old baby, according to hisgrandmother, Yaya Brent. Hicks’ mother told NY1 that the 18-year-old suffersfrom schizophrenia and had been off her medications for the last six months.She also said Hicks, who is pregnant, loves kids and would never hurt one. Shesays her daughter lost track of how late it had gotten and unknowingly createda crisis. Both families tell NY1 that Hicks had watched Brents’ children onseveral occasions. The Hicks family says this was all a mistake and that Niasia”needs to be in the hospital, not central booking.” Source: NY1.com,2/17/09

 

Date: 1/2009

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: On January 31, 2009, 14 year-old Tyquan Rivera allegedlyshot Officer Anthony DiPonzio in the back of the head on Dayton Street.DiPonzio had brain surgery and faces a long recovery. Tyquan Rivera’s mothersaid her son is not a “monster” and does not have a violent history.Wanda Lise wiped away tears inside the courtroom where Tyquan Rivera wasarraigned on attempted murder and assault charges. He pleaded not guilty andwill be held at a youth detention facility without bail. Tyquan turns 15 yearsold on February 18. Prior History: Wanda Lise said Tyquan was severely burnedwhen he was 5 years old. Calling the injury “traumatic,” Lise said hehad skin grafts on his arm and hand. Lise said a doctor diagnosed Tyquan asbeing bipolar, but he would not take medication. Lise said she filed a Personin Need of Supervision (PINS) petition on her son, a form of youth probation.She said Tyquan spent about a year at St. Joseph’s Villa, a facility fortroubled youths, before running away. Tyquan’s mother said he does not have aviolent history. She said Tyquan did not know police were searching for him forseveral days before he turned himself in. She does not believe he is guilty. Source: 13WHAM.com, 2/18/09

 

Date: 10/2008

Location: White Plains, Westchester, NY

Summary: On October 19, 2008, 37-year-old Sheldene Campbellintentionally drove her vehicle into 65-year-old Marie Bucci killing the olderwoman. Moments earlier, Campbell had struck 45-year-old Roseanne Schiavone whowas walking her dog on the same road, injuring Schiavone and her pet. Campbellsped off after hitting the women. When Campbell was taken into custody, shetold police that her brother and father had been in the car and that she hadnot been driving. Later, she told detectives that she’d lied to police on thestreet and that she had been driving and hit two people. Campbell told adetective that she had suffered a nervous breakdown and a miscarriage. PriorHistory: Two weeks before her arrest in White Plains, Campbell spent a weekunder observation in a New Jersey hospital after she was arrested by WoodcliffLakes, NJ police. In that incident, she drove onto a lawn, almost hitting ajogger, and assaulted a police officer while her 3-year-old daughter sat in thecar without a seat belt. The incident began when she left her 10-year-old sonin a McDonald’s restaurant. Even though she saw him go into the restaurant, shebecame convinced that he had been kidnapped, pushed her mother out of the car,and drove off to find him. She and was found on the Garden State Parkway,”babbling incoherently” with her 3-year-old daughter in the backseat. Campbell’s lawyer said that in the weeks between her arrests in NewJersey and White Plains, she began hearing voices and having religioushallucinations but refused to take psychiatric medication because she was indenial about her illness. Subsequent History: On March 6, 2009, a Westchestergrand jury indicted Campbell with felony counts of second-degree murder andattempted murder, first-degree attempted assault and leaving the scene, andmisdemeanor charges of leaving the scene and third-degree assault. Campbell’sattorney said she had been at the county jail since her arrest and was beingmedicated and treated for catatonic schizophrenia. Subsequent History: On December19, 2011, the 40-year-old Campbell was found guilty of murder and all othercharges brought against her for her 2008 driving rampage. Source: Lower HudsonJournal News, 3/7/09, 3/12/09, 7/30/09; LoHud.com, 11/29/11, 12/20/11

 

Date: 10/2008

Location: White Plains, Westchester, NY

Summary: On October 19, 2008, 37-year-old Sheldene Campbellintentionally drove her vehicle into 65-year-old Marie Bucci killing the olderwoman. Moments earlier, Campbell had struck 45-year-old Roseanne Schiavone whowas walking her dog on the same road, injuring Schiavone and her pet. Campbellsped off after hitting the women. When Campbell was taken into custody, shetold police that her brother and father had been in the car and that she hadnot been driving. Later, she told detectives that she’d lied to police on thestreet and that she had been driving and hit two people. Campbell told adetective that she had suffered a nervous breakdown and a miscarriage. PriorHistory: Two weeks before her arrest in White Plains, Campbell spent a weekunder observation in a New Jersey hospital after she was arrested by WoodcliffLakes, NJ police. In that incident, she drove onto a lawn, almost hitting ajogger, and assaulted a police officer while her 3-year-old daughter sat in thecar without a seat belt. The incident began when she left her 10-year-old sonin a McDonald’s restaurant. Even though she saw him go into the restaurant, shebecame convinced that he had been kidnapped, pushed her mother out of the car,and drove off to find him. She and was found on the Garden State Parkway,”babbling incoherently” with her 3-year-old daughter in the backseat. Campbell’s lawyer said that in the weeks between her arrests in NewJersey and White Plains, she began hearing voices and having religioushallucinations but refused to take psychiatric medication because she was indenial about her illness. Subsequent History: On March 6, 2009, a Westchestergrand jury indicted Campbell with felony counts of second-degree murder andattempted murder, first-degree attempted assault and leaving the scene, andmisdemeanor charges of leaving the scene and third-degree assault. Campbell’sattorney said she had been at the county jail since her arrest and was beingmedicated and treated for catatonic schizophrenia. Subsequent History: OnDecember 19, 2011, the 40-year-old Campbell was found guilty of murder and allother charges brought against her for her 2008 driving rampage. Source: LowerHudson Journal News, 3/7/09, 3/12/09, 7/30/09; LoHud.com, 11/29/11, 12/20/11

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On April 27, 2009, Ex-Nets star Jayson Williams became’suicidal’ at Manhattan hotel and was tasered by NYPD police. When policearrived at the hotel, they found a suicidal and violent Williams along withempty bottles of two psychiatric drugs that could have exacerbated his mentalillness if taken together. Two sources said the ex-NBA star had bottles forCelexa, an anti-depressant, and lithium, used for manic-depression – along withthe sleeping pill Ambien, human growth hormone and two other drugs. Williams,41, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the runup to his 2004 trial forfatally shooting his chauffeur. It’s unclear how many pills he took before theincident at the Hilton Embassy Suites in Battery Park City. But doctors at St.Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan – where he was recovering – told relatives acombination of Celexa and lithium could have made the former Net’s mood swingsturn frighteningly violent. While recovering at St. Vincent’s, Williams was puton the mood stabilizer Depakote, which is used to get bipolar patients out ofthe manic phase of their illness. Source: New York Daily News, 4/29/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the American CivicAssociation, an organization that helps immigrants settle in this country.Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the back door,”making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through the front,shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmly walked inthe front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying a satchel withextra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to be survival gear -a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionist was killed, whilethe other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and then crawled under adesk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The rest of those killedwere shot in the classroom. Four people were critically wounded. Wong was founddead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office, a satchel containingammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Police found two handguns— a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a hunting knife. Thirty-sevenpeople in all made it out of the building, including 26 who hid in the boilerroom in the basement, cowering there for three hours while police methodicallysearched the building and tried to determine whether the gunman was still aliveand whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said. On the day of thekillings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station, along with hisdriver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing with pistols. The letterunleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against police officers whomWong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly saying breaking into hisroom, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job and trying to stage a caraccident with him. The missive, whose claims are unsupported by any publiclyknown facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It already was known the Vietnam-bornChinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuum cleaner factory job in November,was deeply frustrated with his lack of English skills and obsessed withacquiring a gun before he went on his shooting rampage. “The letter soundsbizarre and has tones of persecution. And in his internal world, this violencemight have been some sort of retaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar,clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center.”Put these actions and the theme of the letter all together, and it couldpoint to major mental illness, quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.”Wong’s sister told NBC’s “Today” show that she could “see thathe was very depressed from losing his job, and he was very frustrated with hisEnglish-speaking skills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in this country.Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the back door,”making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through the front,shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmly walked inthe front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying a satchel withextra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to be survival gear -a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionist was killed, whilethe other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and then crawled under adesk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The rest of those killedwere shot in the classroom. Four people were critically wounded. Wong was founddead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office, a satchel containingammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Police found two handguns— a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a hunting knife. Thirty-sevenpeople in all made it out of the building, including 26 who hid in the boilerroom in the basement, cowering there for three hours while police methodicallysearched the building and tried to determine whether the gunman was still aliveand whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said. On the day of thekillings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station, along with hisdriver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing with pistols. The letterunleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against police officers whomWong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly saying breaking into his room,stealing from him, causing him to lose his job and trying to stage a caraccident with him. The missive, whose claims are unsupported by any publiclyknown facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It already was known the Vietnam-bornChinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuum cleaner factory job in November,was deeply frustrated with his lack of English skills and obsessed withacquiring a gun before he went on his shooting rampage. “The letter soundsbizarre and has tones of persecution. And in his internal world, this violencemight have been some sort of retaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar,clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center.”Put these actions and the theme of the letter all together, and it could pointto major mental illness, quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’ssister told NBC’s “Today” show that she could “see that he wasvery depressed from losing his job, and he was very frustrated with hisEnglish-speaking skills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing with pistols.The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against policeofficers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort of retaliation,”said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU’sLangone Medical Center. “Put these actions and the theme of the letter alltogether, and it could point to major mental illness, quite possibly paranoidschizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s “Today” show that shecould “see that he was very depressed from losing his job, and he was veryfrustrated with his English-speaking skills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; NewYork Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against policeofficers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and thetheme of the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness,quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and thetheme of the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness,quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job and tryingto stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims are unsupported byany publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It already was known theVietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuum cleaner factory jobin November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of English skills and obsessedwith acquiring a gun before he went on his shooting rampage. “The lettersounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And in his internal world, thisviolence might have been some sort of retaliation,” said Dr. VatsalThakkar, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU’s Langone MedicalCenter. “Put these actions and the theme of the letter all together, andit could point to major mental illness, quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.”Wong’s sister told NBC’s “Today” show that she could “see thathe was very depressed from losing his job, and he was very frustrated with hisEnglish-speaking skills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims are unsupportedby any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It already was knownthe Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuum cleaner factoryjob in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of English skills andobsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shooting rampage. “Theletter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And in his internal world,this violence might have been some sort of retaliation,” said Dr. VatsalThakkar, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU’s Langone MedicalCenter. “Put these actions and the theme of the letter all together, andit could point to major mental illness, quite possibly paranoidschizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s “Today” show that shecould “see that he was very depressed from losing his job, and he was veryfrustrated with his English-speaking skills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; NewYork Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and the themeof the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness, quitepossibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying a satchelwith extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to be survivalgear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionist was killed,while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and then crawledunder a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The rest ofthose killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were critically wounded.Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office, a satchelcontaining ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Police found twohandguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a hunting knife.Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 who hid inthe boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours while police methodicallysearched the building and tried to determine whether the gunman was still aliveand whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said. On the day of thekillings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station, along with hisdriver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing with pistols. The letterunleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against police officers whomWong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly saying breaking into hisroom, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job and trying to stage a caraccident with him. The missive, whose claims are unsupported by any publiclyknown facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It already was known the Vietnam-bornChinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuum cleaner factory job in November,was deeply frustrated with his lack of English skills and obsessed withacquiring a gun before he went on his shooting rampage. “The letter soundsbizarre and has tones of persecution. And in his internal world, this violencemight have been some sort of retaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar,clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center.”Put these actions and the theme of the letter all together, and it couldpoint to major mental illness, quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.”Wong’s sister told NBC’s “Today” show that she could “see thathe was very depressed from losing his job, and he was very frustrated with hisEnglish-speaking skills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to be survivalgear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionist was killed,while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and then crawledunder a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The rest ofthose killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were critically wounded.Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office, a satchelcontaining ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Police found twohandguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a hunting knife.Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 who hid inthe boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours while policemethodically searched the building and tried to determine whether the gunman wasstill alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said. On the dayof the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station, along withhis driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing with pistols. Theletter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations against policeofficers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and thetheme of the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness,quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and thetheme of the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness,quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and thetheme of the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness,quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: Binghamton, Broome, NY

Summary: On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong barricaded the back doorof a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full ofimmigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committingsuicide, officials said. The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the AmericanCivic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in thiscountry. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said Wong parked his car against the backdoor, “making sure nobody could escape,” then stormed through thefront, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word. He then calmlywalked in the front door with two handguns. Sources say he was carrying asatchel with extra ammo, a large knife, a flashlight and what appeared to besurvival gear – a sign that he was prepared for a standoff. One receptionistwas killed, while the other, shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead and thencrawled under a desk and called 911, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said. The restof those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were criticallywounded. Wong was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office,a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Policefound two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — and a huntingknife. Thirty-seven people in all made it out of the building, including 26 whohid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours whilepolice methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether thegunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said.On the day of the killings, Wong mailed a letter to a Binghamton TV station,along with his driver’s license, gun permit, and photos of him posing withpistols. The letter unleashes a slew of bizarre, paranoid accusations againstpolice officers whom Wong, 41, believed were persecuting him, repeatedly sayingbreaking into his room, stealing from him, causing him to lose his job andtrying to stage a car accident with him. The missive, whose claims areunsupported by any publicly known facts, suggests Wong was deranged. It alreadywas known the Vietnam-born Chinese loner, who lost his $8 an hour vacuumcleaner factory job in November, was deeply frustrated with his lack of Englishskills and obsessed with acquiring a gun before he went on his shootingrampage. “The letter sounds bizarre and has tones of persecution. And inhis internal world, this violence might have been some sort ofretaliation,” said Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor ofpsychiatry at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. “Put these actions and thetheme of the letter all together, and it could point to major mental illness,quite possibly paranoid schizophrenia.” Wong’s sister told NBC’s”Today” show that she could “see that he was very depressed fromlosing his job, and he was very frustrated with his English-speakingskills.” Source: KDA2, 4/3/09; New York Post, 4/6/09

 

Date: 5/2009

Location: Searingtown, Nassau, NY

Summary: On May 13, 2009, Kay Barragan, the wife of 1-800-Mattressmogul Napoleon Barragan, was murdered in her Long Island home, allegedly by hermentally troubled son, police said. The family driver found 65-year-old KayBarragan’s body at the bottom of a flight of stairs when he reported for workas usual at the Searingtown home about 7 a.m. Nassau County cops hauled EduardoBarragan, 38, out of the house in handcuffs and wearing only a robe. He wascharged with second-degree murder. They said mother and son were alone in the housewhen she died. Allegedly, Barragan beat his mother until she bled to death.Eduardo’s sister, Kay Otilia Massel, 42, called her brother “a good manwho has suffered for 19 years with schizophrenia.” Prior History: In theweeks before Kay Barragan’s death, trouble brewed the Long Island home sheshared with her son, Eduardo. Nassau County police said in the prior six weeks,they received four 911 calls from the house. Nassau County Detective Lt. JohnAzzata confirmed the mother and son had a fight but said there was no firmmotive for the slaying of Barragan. The 911 calls to the home on Sunset Drivein Searingtown were all “minor in nature,” with one involving alarceny, Azzata said. Eduardo Barragan’s sister told the Daily News her brothersuffered from schizophrenia. Azzata said only that “he has a medicalhistory” and no criminal record. Subsequent History: On November 5, 2009,Nassau County Judge David Sullivan found Eduardo Barragan unfit to stand trialfor the May murder of his mother, and sent him to a secure upstate psychiatricfacility indefinitely. Sullivan said in court that Barragan, 38, had beenexamined by two psychiatrists, both of whom determined that he is mentallyincompetent to stand trial. Neither prosecutors nor Barragan’s defense lawyercontested those findings. Source: New York Daily News, 5/14/09, 5/15/09;Newsday, 11/6/09

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Alberto Menegro, 42, was charged with second-degreemurder and first-degree assault in a fatal attack on his 8-year-old niece andother relatives in their Manhattan apartment. Police said that Menegro claimedto be “hearing voices in his head” when he killed the girl byslitting her throat and attacked other relatives on October 19, 2003. Menegro wasalone in the kitchen with his sister’s only child when he suddenly snapped andstabbed the 8-year-old with a steak knife, police said. Other relatives at homeheard blood-curdling screams coming from the room, and the mom and uncle rushedin to see what was going on, cops said. Horrified at the sight of the dyinggirl crumpled on the floor, they tried to stop Menegro, who stabbed and woundedboth of them, police said. Menegro’s relatives told police he had been treatedfor schizophrenia at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital as recently as March 2003,but that he stopped taking his medicine. Menegro, who also cut his own throatduring the incident, was moved to Bellevue Hospital after being treated atHarlem Hospital. Source: New York Post, October 21, 2003 The Daily News,October 20, 2003 New York Post, October 23, 2003

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Alberto Menegro, 42, was charged with second-degreemurder and first-degree assault in a fatal attack on his 8-year-old niece andother relatives in their Manhattan apartment. Police said that Menegro claimedto be “hearing voices in his head” when he killed the girl byslitting her throat and attacked other relatives on October 19, 2003. Menegrowas alone in the kitchen with his sister’s only child when he suddenly snappedand stabbed the 8-year-old with a steak knife, police said. Other relatives athome heard blood-curdling screams coming from the room, and the mom and unclerushed in to see what was going on, cops said. Horrified at the sight of thedying girl crumpled on the floor, they tried to stop Menegro, who stabbed andwounded both of them, police said. Menegro’s relatives told police he had beentreated for schizophrenia at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital as recently asMarch 2003, but that he stopped taking his medicine. Menegro, who also cut hisown throat during the incident, was moved to Bellevue Hospital after beingtreated at Harlem Hospital. Source: New York Post, October 21, 2003 The DailyNews, October 20, 2003 New York Post, October 23, 2003

 

RecordID: 860

Date: 1/2000

Location: , , NY

Summary: Alan Zelencic, 28, was shot and killed by police after helunged at them with a 15-inch knife. He had just slashed his mother with aknife and the police were trying to apprehend him when the shots were fired.His mother was treated and released. Zelencic didn’t have a criminal history,but he did have a history of mental illness for which he had been treated atthe Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1991. Police officials said OfficersCaruso and Dudley did not appear to have violated department guidelines thatgovern situations in which officers confront emotionally disturbed people. Source: The New York Times, January 18, 2000, p. 3

 

Date: 10/2001

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Police killed a mentally ill Bronx man who shot andinjured his sister, Angelika Brinker, 38, and his roommate, Shamula Subaka, 41.Police said the shooting occurred because Malik Mustafa was pointing a pistolat his sister’s head and refused to yield. Mustafa, 36, has a history ofpsychological problems. Police speculate Mustafa’s failure to take hismedication triggered this incident. Source: Newsday

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester, NY

Summary: Samuel Calloway, 19, of New Rochelle, NY killed his6-year-old cousin Marquise Newman with a hatchet in the boy’s apartment, thenset the apartment on fire on August 4, 2002. In April 2004, Calloway pleadedguilty to second-degree murder in Westchester County Court to avoid aconviction at trial that would have produced a much longer sentence. Callowaysaid he killed the boy after going to his apartment, forcing a babysitteroutside and barricading the door. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murderfor trying to kill 44-year-old Chauncey Williams with the same hatchet hoursearlier outside a New Rochelle pizzeria. Calloway told the police the man hadmade a pass at him. Acting state Supreme Court Justice Richard Molea promisedCalloway a prison term of 20 years to life at sentencing. Calloway’s attorneysays he is a paranoid schizophrenic who also suffers from bipolar disorder andwho was not taking his prescribed medication at the time of the murder. Thedefense had hoped Calloway could plead not responsible by reason of mentaldisease, but that would have required the consent of the office of DistrictAttorney Jeanine Pirro. The prosecution hired an expert who evaluated Callowayand determined that despite his illness he was aware of what he was doing. Source: The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), December 31, 2002; TheAssociated Press, April 23, 2004; The Journal News (Westchester County, NY)April 23, 2004; White Plains Journal News, June 9, 2004

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester, NY

Summary: Samuel Calloway, 19, of New Rochelle, NY killed his6-year-old cousin Marquise Newman with a hatchet in the boy’s apartment, thenset the apartment on fire on August 4, 2002. In April 2004, Calloway pleadedguilty to second-degree murder in Westchester County Court to avoid aconviction at trial that would have produced a much longer sentence. Callowaysaid he killed the boy after going to his apartment, forcing a babysitteroutside and barricading the door. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murderfor trying to kill 44-year-old Chauncey Williams with the same hatchet hoursearlier outside a New Rochelle pizzeria. Calloway told the police the man hadmade a pass at him. Acting state Supreme Court Justice Richard Molea promisedCalloway a prison term of 20 years to life at sentencing. Calloway’s attorneysays he is a paranoid schizophrenic who also suffers from bipolar disorder andwho was not taking his prescribed medication at the time of the murder. Thedefense had hoped Calloway could plead not responsible by reason of mentaldisease, but that would have required the consent of the office of DistrictAttorney Jeanine Pirro. The prosecution hired an expert who evaluated Callowayand determined that despite his illness he was aware of what he was doing. Source: The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), December 31, 2002; TheAssociated Press, April 23, 2004; The Journal News (Westchester County, NY)April 23, 2004; White Plains Journal News, June 9, 2004

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: John Cipollina, 41, who is diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia, spent four months in jail after he attacked his parents during acar ride near their North Buffalo, NY home in March, 2002, authorities said.According to police statements, 65-year-old Rosario Cipollina told of how hisson gave him a black eye and was prone to throwing chairs around their home,and the chief of the Erie County district attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureaudescribed the Cipollina case as a classic example of elder abuse. AfterCipollina was released from jail, a judge signed an order of protection thatforced him to move out of his parents’ house and refrain from all contact withthem. This was eventually modified to allow visitation only. DespiteCipollina’s continued requests to return to his parents’ home, City Court JudgeThomas P. Franczyk delayed making a decision on this until he received moreinformation on the son’s mental condition and medication. Rosario Cipollina,however, told Judge Franczyk that he did not object to his son’s return, butwanted “to make sure he’s taking his medication”. Source: BuffaloNews (New York), April 7 & May 4, 2003

 

Date: 7/2000

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Jaime Oliveira, 22, a man with schizophrenia, allegedlyattacked two women in July and August 2000 after picking them up in his cabearly in the morning outside two different bars in Woodside, Queens. In July2000, he allegedly refused to allow a 31-year-old woman to leave his cab bylocking her door from the front seat. He then walked around to the back, openedthe passenger door and attacked her. In August 2000, he allegedly raped a25-year-old woman as she slept in the back of his black Lincoln Town Car. Hewas charged with rape, sodomy, attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, sex abuseand kidnapping and faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted. Oliveira, whohad spent much of the two years since his arrest in and out of mentalinstitutions and was on medication, has been missing since shortly afterposting $150,000 bail on Oct. 21, 2003. He failed to appear for his November 5,2003 trial date. “I’m not speculating” about whether he went off hismedication once he made bail, his attorney Lawrence Kerben said. “He waslooking at a lot of time. Fifteen years was the last offer from the DA’s office.” Source: New York Daily News, November 18, 2003

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: Granby, Oswego, NY

Summary: Joseph Blake, an Oswego County, NY, man, was accused ofkilling his parents James, 81, and Betty Blake, 72, by striking them with aclaw hammer. Their bodies were found July 16, 2003 in their home in Granby, NY.Blake, 48, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. According to thearrest report, Blake has a history of mental health problems and a longinvolvement with Community Mental Health. A judge ordered an evaluation ofBlake by two county psychiatrists due to Blake’s disheveled appearance in courtand his past history of psychiatric problems. The day before his parents werekilled, Blake was taken by police to the Oswego Hospital emergency room for amental health evaluation after he got into an altercation with a social worker.On the morning that his parents’ bodies were found, Oswego officers againpicked up Blake on a mental health order, which they have said was unrelated tothe killings. Subsequent History: Blake pleaded guilty on November 18, 2004 tokilling his parents and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 25 years tolife. On October 18, 2004, Blake was found competent enough to assist in hisdefense and stand trial, acting County Judge John Elliott said. During a briefhearing in April 2004, defense lawyer Joseph Rodak said a clinical psychologistrecommended Blake undergo a brain scan because he had suffered a series of headinjuries throughout his lifetime and these may have caused brain damage. Afterappearing in Oswego County Surrogate Court on July 13, 2004, it was decidedthat Blake would undergo further psychiatric evaluations.The DistrictAttorney’s Office was given the opportunity to select their own doctor toevaluate Blake. Prior History: Since 1995, Blake had been treated in severalpsychiatric facilities for bi-polar disorder. Blake also had a history of goingoff medications, Rodak said. Source: The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), January27, 2004/ April 27, 2004/ July 20, 2004/ October 19, 2004/ November 19, 2004;The Palladium Times, July 19, 2004/ October 19, 2004; Long Island Newsday,December 21, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Police alleged that Bonergy Quelal, 47, threw materialshe found in a transit storage shed – including a fire extinguisher – onto thetracks in a subway tunnel in Greenwich Village, setting off a small explosionon the night of February 29, 2004. More than 1,000 riders on several trainswere evacuated. The Bronx man had been released on February 19 from the WeillCornell Medical Center after 17 days of treatment, despite objections from hisfamily. A police investigator said Quelal suffers from bipolar disorder andtakes medication for the illness. Quelal, who reportedly is unemployed, wasarrested shortly after the incident and was being held for arraignment.Prosecutors were determining what charges should be filed. Prior History:Neighbors said Quelal had a history of spraying ammonia and bleach on litstoves and inside clothes dryers, as well as tossing furniture out windows -once nearly hitting a passerby. On October 18, 2000 firefighters were called toQuelal’s apartment in response to a kitchen-stove fire. Neighbors said he setthe fire and that he had said he saw the devil in the flames. In August 2003Quelal was charged with trespassing at Brooklyn’s Fort Hamiliton, but thecharges were dropped. He was arrested later that month in upstate New York forstealing credit cards and checks from mailboxes, and served about six months injail. Soon after he was freed, he spent two days in the psychiatric ward atLincoln Hospital in the Bronx, his brother said. Quelal’s brother said Quelalblew up his medication in a microwave after his latest release from thehospital. At the time of his arrest for the subway incident, he was beingsought on a warrant for failing to appear in court for a traffic-law violation,police said. Source: Newsday (NY), March 2, 2004 Daily News (NY), March 2,2004

 

Date: 2/2002

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Ronald Popadich, 40, a Bergen County, NJ man withschizophrenia, faces a 70-count indictment in Manhattan that charges him withsecond-degree murder in the death of Neal Spicehandler, a lawyer from LongIsland who was struck as he crossed Seventh Avenue during one of Popadich’salleged hit-and-run rages on Feb. 12, 2002. Popadich also faces attemptedmurder charges for allegedly striking 17 other people that day and seven peoplein a rampage on Feb. 14. In addition, he is charged with shooting New York Citycabbie Gurmukh Singh, 54, twice in the head. Singh survived. In March 2004,Popadich pleaded guilty in Hackensack (NJ) Superior Court to murder, carjackingand weapons charges related to the shooting death of a New Jersey woman onFebruary 10, 2002. The death spurred Popadich’s five-day crime spree,culminating in the hit-and-run incidents in New York. In April 2004, he wassentenced to 30 years in prison without parole for the New Jersey murder, andcould spend the rest of his life behind bars if he is convicted of one count ofmurder and 26 counts of attempted murder in the Manhattan incidents. SeeEpisode #2481 Source: New Jersey Journal, March 6, 2004 The Record (BergenCounty, NJ) April 16, 2004

 

Date: 2/2002

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Ronald Popadich, 40, a Bergen County, NJ man withschizophrenia, faces a 70-count indictment in Manhattan that charges him withsecond-degree murder in the death of Neal Spicehandler, a lawyer from LongIsland who was struck as he crossed Seventh Avenue during one of Popadich’salleged hit-and-run rages on Feb. 12, 2002. Popadich also faces attemptedmurder charges for allegedly striking 17 other people that day and seven peoplein a rampage on Feb. 14. In addition, he is charged with shooting New York Citycabbie Gurmukh Singh, 54, twice in the head. Singh survived. In March 2004,Popadich pleaded guilty in Hackensack (NJ) Superior Court to murder, carjackingand weapons charges related to the shooting death of a New Jersey woman onFebruary 10, 2002. The death spurred Popadich’s five-day crime spree,culminating in the hit-and-run incidents in New York. In April 2004, he wassentenced to 30 years in prison without parole for the New Jersey murder, andcould spend the rest of his life behind bars if he is convicted of one count ofmurder and 26 counts of attempted murder in the Manhattan incidents. SeeEpisode #2481 Source: New Jersey Journal, March 6, 2004 The Record (BergenCounty, NJ) April 16, 2004

 

Date: 2/2002

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Ronald Popadich, 40, a Bergen County, NJ man withschizophrenia, faces a 70-count indictment in Manhattan that charges him withsecond-degree murder in the death of Neal Spicehandler, a lawyer from LongIsland who was struck as he crossed Seventh Avenue during one of Popadich’salleged hit-and-run rages on Feb. 12, 2002. Popadich also faces attemptedmurder charges for allegedly striking 17 other people that day and seven peoplein a rampage on Feb. 14. In addition, he is charged with shooting New York Citycabbie Gurmukh Singh, 54, twice in the head. Singh survived. In March 2004,Popadich pleaded guilty in Hackensack (NJ) Superior Court to murder, carjackingand weapons charges related to the shooting death of a New Jersey woman onFebruary 10, 2002. The death spurred Popadich’s five-day crime spree,culminating in the hit-and-run incidents in New York. In April 2004, he wassentenced to 30 years in prison without parole for the New Jersey murder, andcould spend the rest of his life behind bars if he is convicted of one count ofmurder and 26 counts of attempted murder in the Manhattan incidents. SeeEpisode #2481 Source: New Jersey Journal, March 6, 2004 The Record (BergenCounty, NJ) April 16, 2004

 

Date: 10/2000

Location: Yonkers, Westchester, NY

Summary: David “Lobo” Salazar, a homeless man with ahistory of psychiatric illness, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison forfatally beating a Mexican gang member whose body he dumped in the Hudson River.Salazar, 29, told Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli that he was drunkwhen he beat 19-year-old Jaime “Dado” Rojas to death in October 2000.Rojas’ body was discovered floating near the Yonkers City Pier on October 9,2000. Salazar said that he hit Rojas seven or eight times with a stick and thathe had sniffed glue, drank alcohol and smoked crack shortly before the killing.Salazar had been beaten up a week earlier during a fight with Rojas and anotherman. Salazar, who has suffered from schizophrenia, was admitted to apsychiatric hospital following his arrest a few days after the body was found.He was found to be competent to stand trial in 2003 and told his Legal Aidlawyer not to pursue a psychiatric defense. Facing second-degree murdercharges, he was about to go to trial in January 2004 when he pleaded guilty tofirst-degree manslaughter in exchange for the 12-year sentence. Source: TheJournal News.com (NY), March 10, 2004

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: Pleasantville, Westchester, NY

Summary: Sheila Davalloo, a woman with bipolar disorder and afamily history of mental illness, was convicted of second-degree attemptedmurder, first-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weaponafter stabbing her husband Paul Christos, on March 23, 2003 in theirPleasantville, NY home. In April 2004, she was sentenced to 25 years in prison.Christos was stabbed while handcuffed and blindfolded during a kinky gameDavalloo suggested at their home – and then again later when she drove him to asecluded area of the Westchester Medical Center’s grounds, the prosecutioncontended at trial. She faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 yearsin state prison. Davalloo, 34, said she was high on painkillers that day anddid not recall stabbing Christos. After the assault on her husband, Davalloobecame a suspect in the November 8, 2002 slaying of Anna-Lisa Raymundo, who wasbeaten and stabbed to death in her Stamford, CT apartment. Testimony revealedthat both women were having relationships with Nelson Sessler, a researchscientist at Purdue Pharma, where they also worked as scientists. Davalloo wasreferred to a social worker at her workplace in September 2002, but two monthslater stopped returning the counselor’s phone calls and canceled herappointments. Dr. Donald Lewittes, a forensic psychologist who examinedDavalloo after the March 23 incident, testified that he believes Davalloo wasmisdiagnosed. For at least 48 hours after the stabbing, Davalloo suffered froma dissociative disorder in which she hovered between consciousness and psychosis,Lewittes said. Davalloo’s psychiatrist at Westchester Medical Center testifiedthat Davalloo was admitted to the facility April 3 and stayed for severalmonths. Dr. Jay Draoua said he diagnosed her with depression and hypomania andprescribed an anti-psychotic medication when she was discharged. She said sheregularly took Valium and Xanax and up to 15 to 20 Vicodin pills a day. Thestabbing, Lewittes said, “happened through a psychotic, confused mind andwas meant to hurt him, not kill him.” Source: White Plains Journal News,February 10 & 20, 2004 The Stamford Advocate, 2/11, 2/12, & 2/19, 2004White Plains Journal News, 4/21/04; Lower Hudson Journal News (NY), 1/15/09

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Mount Vernon, Westchester, NY

Summary: On September 19, 2002, Kimberly Weldon threw her3-year-old son, Malik, in front of a school bus in Mount Vernon, NY because shesaid the voices in her head told her he should be spared the troubled life shehad led. The bus passed over Malik, who was not seriously injured. She wascharged with attempted murder. At trial, a psychologist determined that the38-year-old suffered from psychosis and did not understand the consequences orwrongfulness of what she had done. The prosecution’s own expert agreed. Weldonhad begun acting strangely in late summer 2002 but had no history ofpsychiatric problems. Her 17-year old daughter told doctors that, hours beforethe incident, Weldon had ordered her and her brother into the family car andtold them to undress. Then she had them get dressed again and return to theirMount Vernon apartment, but told them not to go near the doors and windows andthat Jesus was coming. Two doctors who observed Weldon in the county jail inOctober 2002 reported that she was acutely psychotic and delusional when shearrived but was competent to stand trial. Weldon was freed on bail and wasbeing treated as an outpatient at St. Vincent’s Hospital. She was givenvisitation rights with her children, who were being cared for by relatives. Source: White Plains Journal News (NY), January 12, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Middle Island, Suffolk, NY

Summary: Christopher Maggio, 31, who suffers from depression and”probably other mental illnesses” according to his lawyer, held hisparents hostage in their Head of the Harbor home because he was angry about thebreak-up of his marriage. Maggio has been charged with second-degree kidnappingfor terrorizing his parents and threatening them with a knife, a handgun and astun gun and for causing destruction to their property. Maggio’s wife, aRussian woman he brought back from that country to marry, filed an order ofprotection against him after several months of marriage and finally left himafter he violated the order. Source: Newsday (New York), October 1, 2002

 

Date: 10/2002

Location: Queens Village, Queens, NY

Summary: Robert Jeanlord, 25, told police he suffocated his motherMarie Jeanlord, 52, on October 28, 2002, before stabbing himself in the chest,because he thought she was poisoning him, authorities said. Police found Roberton the porch waiting for officers to arrive and his mother’s body in thebathroom of her Queens Village home. Police said Robert Jeanlord, who wasundergoing psychiatric evaluation at Mary Immaculate Hospital last night,suffers from schizophrenia. He apparently stabbed himself twice with a kitchenknife. Source: Newsday, October 29, 2002

 

Date: 9/2001

Location: Webster, Monroe, NY

Summary: Randy Eugene Smith, a mentally ill homeless man, wascharged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Lorie Hartman onSept. 2, 2001. Smith was accused of killing Hartman, 42, as she walked her twodogs in Empire Boulevard Park in Webster, New York. Smith had been living inthe park for about six weeks before the attack. He was found incompetent inDecember 2001 and remanded to Rochester Psychiatric Center. Monroe County CourtJudge Patricia D. Marks agreed on Nov. 13, 2002, to extend Smith’s commitmentfor another year. Subsequent History: Smith pleaded guilty to first-degreemanslaughter in April 2005, and was sentenced on June 23, 2005 to the maximumsentence of 25 years. He had earlier been charged with second-degree murder butwas initially ruled incompetent to stand trial. However, in May, 2004, he wasdeemed competent and was later put on trial. But in October 2004, his trialended in a hung jury. Later, an eighth-inch-long hair matching Smith’s hair wasfound on Hartman’s body and her blood was also found on his clothing. PriorHistory: Smith has been mentally ill since the 1980s and was involuntarilycommitted to the psychiatric center in 1998 for refusing to take medication tocontrol paranoid schizophrenia. He was eventually released when his conditionimproved, according to court records. Source: Rochester Democrat Chronicle,November 14, 2002; May 4, 2004; May 3, 2005; June 24, 2005;

 

Date: 12/2001

Location: Sodus, Wayne, NY

Summary: Sharone S. Thomas, 17, is charged with assault andaggravated assault for allegedly hitting trooper John Jackson in the face witha rock the size of a hand grenade outside a store in Sodus on Dec. 11, 2001. InApril, doctors deemed Thomas mentally unfit to face prosecution, and the courtcommitted him to a psychiatric center. He was cleared for trial in earlyNovember 2002. He faces a maximum of 25 years in state prison if convicted ofboth charges. Prior History: Thomas has a history of assaulting policeofficers, and was tried as a juvenile because he was younger than 16. Thomashas an extensive history of mental illness. He has been diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia, “including paranoid delusions and hallucinations.” Ifa jury finds him not guilty of the charges by reason of mental disease, Thomaswill be sent to a secure mental health treatment facility, where doctors willbe asked to determine whether he is dangerous. If they find that he is, he canbe held at the institution and his case will be reviewed every two years. Source: Finger Lakes Times, November 19, 2002

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: Jeremy Perkins, 28, is charged with second-degree murderand weapons possession in connection with the stabbing death of his 54-year-oldmother, Ellie Perkins. Police found her body in a bedroom in their Buffalo homeon March 13, 2003. A not guilty plea was entered for Perkins and he was orderedto submit to a psychiatric evaluation. A friend of the family told The BuffaloNews that Perkins had developed schizophrenia in the last year and that familymembers had been treating him with vitamins. On July 29, 2003, Perkins pleadednot mentally responsible for the murder of his mother. Erie County JudgeShirley Troutman ordered further psychiatric examinations for Perkins, refusingto consider the findings of two members of the staff of the Rochester ForensicMental Unit who have been treating Perkins since early August 2003. Troutmanultimately must decide whether Perkins goes to prison or gets long-termtreatment in a guarded mental facility. Source: The Times Union, March 15,2003 Buffalo News (New York), November 15, 2003

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Lockport, Niagara, NY

Summary: Aaron A. Paterson, 27, a Lockport, NY man who inflictedapparent brain damage on his infant daughter in three incidents of child abusein March, 2002, received a 10-year prison sentence in December 2002. Paterson,who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder according to his attorney,allegedly smothered, shook and slammed his daughter’s head against a doorjam inthree separate incidents. The baby’s mother, who did not know about theassaults, took the baby to the doctor because she seemed lethargic and theinjuries were noted. Paterson will have to serve 8 and 1/2 years of hissentence before he is elgible for parole. Once he gets out of prison, he willbe on five years of probation. The judge also signed an order barring Patersonfrom having any contact with his wife and daughter for the next decade.Paterson had no prior criminal record. Source: The Buffalo News, December 20,2002

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Larme Price, 30, was charged with first-degree murder andfaces the death penalty for allegedly killing four immigrants in separate actsof revenge against Arabs for the September 11 terror attacks. However,questions mounted about whether proper psychiatric treatment could have cutshort the rampage. The killing spree began February 8, 2003, when police sayPrice shot and killed a Guyanese immigrant of Indian descent in a Queensgrocery store. Two hours later, Price allegedly fatally shot an immigrant fromIndia in his Brooklyn convenience store. An immigrant from the Ukraine waskilled March 10 at his laundermat in Brooklyn after Price said he”disrespected” him. Ten days later, Price allegedly killed a Yemeniimmigrant in a Crown Heights, Brooklyn, grocery store. Brooklyn Criminal CourtJudge Timothy Duffici placed Price on suicide watch after his arrest andordered detoxification treatment for the admitted drug user. Price’s relativeshave said they repeatedly tried to get psychiatric treatment for the father ofthree who descended into paranoia and rage. They said Price was turned awayfrom Woodhull Hospital several times. A hospital source told the Daily Newsthat Price had been seen by a psychiatrist but was discharged because he showedno sign of being a danger to himself or others. Source: Daily News, April 1,2003

 

Date: 2/2002

Location: Oswego, Oswego, NY

Summary: On February 19, 2002, Rebecca A. Boardway, 30, fatallystabbed her daughter, 10-year-old Mariah Skanley. Boardway told police shestabbed her daughter with a 4-inch steak knife to save the girl from going tohell. Boardway pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.Subsequent History: Oswego County Judge Walter Hafner Jr. ruled that Boardwaywas a threat to herself and others after listening to a state psychiatristtestify that Boardway was hallucinating and psychotic when she killed herdaughter. Boardway was charged with attempted murder and felony assault afterpolice said she stabbed her daughter. During her plea, Boardway, who wasdiagnosed with schizophrenia in 1999, told the judge she wasn’t taking hermedication and hadn’t seen a psychiatrist in two to three months before herarrest. Subsequent History: On July 28, 2009, an Onondaga County judge ruledthat Rebecca Boardway, who claimed she killed her daughter to save the childfrom going to hell, would remain at Hutchings Psychiatric Center for the timebeing but will be allowed escorted furloughs on and off the campus. Source:The Post-Standard, 3/26/03; Fox44.net, 7/29/09

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester, NY

Summary: Samuel Calloway, 19, of New Rochelle, NY killed his6-year-old cousin Marquise Newman with a hatchet in the boy’s apartment, thenset the apartment on fire on August 4, 2002. In April 2004, Calloway pleadedguilty to second-degree murder in Westchester County Court to avoid aconviction at trial that would have produced a much longer sentence. Callowaysaid he killed the boy after going to his apartment, forcing a babysitteroutside and barricading the door. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murderfor trying to kill 44-year-old Chauncey Williams with the same hatchet hoursearlier outside a New Rochelle pizzeria. Calloway told the police the man hadmade a pass at him. Acting state Supreme Court Justice Richard Molea promisedCalloway a prison term of 20 years to life at sentencing. Calloway’s attorneysays he is a paranoid schizophrenic who also suffers from bipolar disorder andwho was not taking his prescribed medication at the time of the murder. Thedefense had hoped Calloway could plead not responsible by reason of mentaldisease, but that would have required the consent of the office of DistrictAttorney Jeanine Pirro. The prosecution hired an expert who evaluated Callowayand determined that despite his illness he was aware of what he was doing. Source: The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), December 31, 2002; TheAssociated Press, April 23, 2004; The Journal News (Westchester County, NY)April 23, 2004; White Plains Journal News, June 9, 2004

 

Date: 7/2001

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Georgia Charlton, 21, threw a liter of acid onto herboyfriend, Tenlin Lyew, permanently disfiguring his face on June 18, 2001 inBrooklyn, NY. She was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 17 yearsin prison. Charlton was trying to scar Lyew for life because he threatened toleave her if she had an abortion – but then left her anyway after she deliveredtheir baby, law-enforcement sources said. She had pleaded not guilty, claimingin court documents that she doused Lyew with industrial-strength drain openerafter he tried to beat her. Charlton, who has been diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia, and Lyew started a steamy love affair in their native Jamaica.Subsequent history: Charlton attempted suicide in March 2004. Source: The NewYork Post, April 21, 2003 The New York Post, March 16, 2004

 

Date: 2/2002

Location: Ozone Park, Queens, NY

Summary: Felix Rondon, 32, of Queens, New York, savagely bit hispregnant, live-in girlfriend’s face in an attempt to permanently disfigure her.Rondon suffers from bipolar disorder and had sought psychiatric help the weekbefore the February 18, 2002, attack on 22-year-old Jessica Mencia in theirSouth Ozone Park home. He pleaded guilty to assault charges and agreed to spend11 1/2 years behind bars. Although Rondon originally faced an attempted murdercharge, Mencia agreed to the plea deal so she could avoid testifying at atrial, prosecutors said. She still suffers from the attack, when Rondon bit offlarge parts of both ears, parts of her forehead and cheeks, and nearly took outan eye, police said. Mencia later gave birth to a disabled child and will haveto continue to get skin grafts and plastic surgery for years. Before handingdown the negotiated sentence, Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum notedRondon’s pattern of mental illness, including bipolar disorder, adjustmentdisorder and schizoaffective disorder. He said he hoped Rondon receives propertreatment in prison. Erlbaum also signed an order prohibiting Rondon from cominginto contact with Mencia before November 27, 2017. He said Rondon would be inviolation of the order if he accepted a visit from Mencia at prison, althoughhe said the parties could ask a judge to modify the order at a later date. Source: Daily News (New York), May 28, 2003 Newsday (New York), August 7, 2003

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: John Cipollina, 41, who is diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia, spent four months in jail after he attacked his parents during acar ride near their North Buffalo, NY home in March, 2002, authorities said.According to police statements, 65-year-old Rosario Cipollina told of how hisson gave him a black eye and was prone to throwing chairs around their home,and the chief of the Erie County district attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureaudescribed the Cipollina case as a classic example of elder abuse. AfterCipollina was released from jail, a judge signed an order of protection thatforced him to move out of his parents’ house and refrain from all contact withthem. This was eventually modified to allow visitation only. DespiteCipollina’s continued requests to return to his parents’ home, City Court JudgeThomas P. Franczyk delayed making a decision on this until he received moreinformation on the son’s mental condition and medication. Rosario Cipollina,however, told Judge Franczyk that he did not object to his son’s return, butwanted “to make sure he’s taking his medication”. Source: BuffaloNews (New York), April 7 & May 4, 2003

 

Date: 3/2001

Location: , , NY

Summary: Juan Arequipa, 49, spiked a bottle of Coca-Cola withcyanide and tried to get his unsuspecting teenage children to join him in afatal toast. Fortunately, both children survived. After Arequipa’s son saw hisfather and sister were getting sick and collapsing, he called 911. The fatherand daughter were unconscious when ambulance workers arrived, and Arequipalater died. His daughter was in critical but stable condition the next day.Police sources stated that Arequipa was distraught and depressed. Familymembers stated that he had spoken of suicide and was being treated withmedication for depression. Source: Newsday, March 24, 2001

 

Date: 1/2002

Location: Rockaway Park, Queens, NY

Summary: Timothy Fahy, 18, is accused of shooting Officer KevinBoyle, 43, in the leg during a standoff in Rockaway Park on January 31, 2002.Fahy has remained at Kings County Hospital Center undergoing psychiatricevaluation since the shooting and is awaiting arraignment. Police sources saidFahy allegedly stopped taking his Risperdal, a drug used to treatschizophrenia, the day before the incident. They also said it appears that Fahyhad been receiving treatment for mental illness at St. John’s EpiscopalHospital in Far Rockaway. Officials from the Queens district attorney’s officesaid Fahy will be charged with attempted murder, attempted aggravated assaultand criminal possession of a weapon. Source: Newsday (New York, NY), February2, 2002

 

Date: 2/2001

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Susan Mooney, 36, who police say has a history ofpsychiatric problems, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder forsmothering her 7-month-old son on February 25, 2001. Mooney had beenhospitalized twice in the weeks prior to her son’s death, once at the requestof her family and once after she called police and requested the death penaltyfor herself. The baby’s father reported that Mooney, his common-law wife of 12years, began to act strangely after the birth of their second child. Mooney’sattorney’s claim she was suffering from post-partum psychosis. Source: The NewYork Times, February 26, 2001, p. B5 The Daily News, October 3, 2002

 

Date: 10/2001

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Police killed a mentally ill Bronx man who shot andinjured his sister, Angelika Brinker, 38, and his roommate, Shamula Subaka, 41.Police said the shooting occurred because Malik Mustafa was pointing a pistolat his sister’s head and refused to yield. Mustafa, 36, has a history ofpsychological problems. Police speculate Mustafa’s failure to take hismedication triggered this incident. Source: Newsday

 

Date: 4/2001

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: Kenneth Jerome Taylor, of Rochester, NY, pleaded notguilty by reason of mental disease or defect for slashing the throat offour-year-old Keyanna Hill on April 12, 2001. Hill was hospitalized for severaldays, but survived the attack. At trial, the judge accepted Taylor’s plea and,pending a forensic evaluation, could commit Taylor to a state mentalinstitution for the rest of his life. Psychiatrists hired by both the state anddefense found that Taylor’s illness at the time prevented him fromdifferentiating between right and wrong during the attack on Hill. Taylor, 39,suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, court-appointed psychiatrists said. Afterhe was arrested, he told police that he had been treated for schizophrenia butno longer needed medication. Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August30, 2002 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 12, 2002

 

Date: 4/2000

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: James Murphy was shot and killed by police on April 22,2000 in Queens after assaulting his mother and slitting his own wrists.Neighbors called 911 after Murphy’s mother, Dorothy, 70, fled to a nearby houseto take shelter after a violent fight with her son inside their home. AfterMurphy’s mother escaped, Murphy went searching for her and then stood in themiddle of their street, screaming. Murphy ran to confront officers who hadpulled up in a patrol car. He pointed his gun at them and refused to drop itwhen ordered. He was then shot several times by police officers. Police said hehad a history of mental illness and was admitted to an undisclosed hospital forpsychiatric evaluation April 5 after threatening his mother. Source: DailyNews (New York), April 23, 2000, p. 13

 

RecordID: 860

Date: 1/2000

Location: , , NY

Summary: Alan Zelencic, 28, was shot and killed by police after helunged at them with a 15-inch knife. He had just slashed his mother with aknife and the police were trying to apprehend him when the shots were fired.His mother was treated and released. Zelencic didn’t have a criminal history,but he did have a history of mental illness for which he had been treated atthe Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1991. Police officials said OfficersCaruso and Dudley did not appear to have violated department guidelines thatgovern situations in which officers confront emotionally disturbed people. Source: The New York Times, January 18, 2000, p. 3

 

Date: 4/2001

Location: , , NY

Summary: Jose Almonte was charged with attempted murder, assault,weapons possession and endangering the welfare of a child after he attacked8-year-old Ricky Bermudez in front of their apartment building in April 2001. Asergeant with the police emergency services unit, Brian Wall, said that afterMr. Almonte barricaded himself in his apartment, it took “some intensenegotiations” first to get him to put his knife down, then to get him tolet the police in. But Mr. Almonte did not resist once the police were in hisapartment, Sergeant Wall said. A cousin of Almonte’s said that Almonte had beendiagnosed with schizophrenia six years ago and that he had been hospitalizedseveral times. Source: The New York Times, April 10, 2001, p. B3

 

RecordID: 997

Date: 3/2000

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: Fred Magyar, 30, who suffers from mental illness, pleadedguilty to a charge of disorderly conduct stemming from an arrest for allegedlystalking a young boy in Buffalo, New York. Chief City Judge Thomas P. Amodeosentenced Magyar to time served for the 27 days he spent in jail in March 2000and to continue taking his prescribed medications and keep up with the mentalhealth counseling he has been receiving. In addition, Magyar was ordered tostay away from the boy and his family. Source: The Buffalo News, May 19, 2000,p. 5C

 

Date: 11/2001

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Clifton Goring, 19, is suspected of fatally beating andthen tossing a homeless woman, Terana Street, 33, off the roof of a five-storybuilding in Brooklyn after arguing over who would sleep on a landing. He hasbeen charged with second-degree murder. Police have stated that after beatingStreet by punching and kicking her in the throat, Goring believed she was deadand fled the building, but then returned shortly to remove her pants and shoesand throw her off the roof to make it look as if she had been raped. Streetdied of blunt impact injuries and evidently had known Goring for years.Goring’s mother and his half-brother have stated that Goring had not beentaking his anti-psychotic medications for the schizophrenia and other mentalproblems that he has been treated for since he was 10 years old. In fact, hehad been hospitalized at Kings County Hospital just five days before thismurder after his mother called 911 to complain that Goring was banging on herdoor. He was released the next day. Source: Daily News (New York), November22, 2001

 

Date: 11/2001

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Jackson Roman, 36, is accused of pushing a 41-year-oldimmigrant nurse from Guyana, Latchmie Ramsamy, in front of a subway train inmidtown. Ramsamy survived but part of her left foot was amputated and sheremained in serious condition with a fractured skull, neck and spinal injuries.Roman was charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment, andfaces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Roman has been treated forschizophrenia and has been in and out of mental institutions since 1988. He hasa particular fascination with subways, as he had blasted a shotgun at a train14 years ago as well as fondled a passenger in a subway car last year. Romanwas apparently released approximately a month prior to this incident and hadleft his supervised mental-health program almost immediately. New York’smental-health bureaucracy refuses to state whether or not Roman was onmedication at the time. Source: Daily News (New York), November 22, 2001; TheNew York Post, November 24, 2001; The Houston Chronicle, November 21, 2001

 

Date: 4/2001

Location: , Nassau, NY

Summary: Shaun T. Alexander, a Hofstra University student who wasdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, confessed to killing his classmate,twenty-year old Max B. Kolb, in a motel room. Prosecutors said that Alexander statedthat he asked Kolb to the motel to talk privately about a personal problem andwhen Kolb rejected Alexander’s sexual advances, he was stabbed. Kolb’s body wasfound buried in the backyard of a house Alexander rented in Long Beach. Whilein intensive therapy, Alexander stated in an affidavit that he Òwill takemedication to control [his] illness for the rest of [his] life.Ó Source: TheNew York Times, May 19, 2001

 

Date: 1/2001

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Timothy Byrne, who suffers from bipolar disorder, wasarrested at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral at a New Year’s Day Mass, where,during Communion, he tried to slap handcuffs on Edward Cardinal Egan, theleader of the New York Archdiocese’s 2.3 million Catholics. Byrne claimed thathe was trying to publicize his belief that the story of Christ’s resurrectionwas a Òmistaken diagnosisÓ and that Jesus never existed, and that he tried tomake a Òcitizen’s arrestÓ against Egan because ÒChristian judgesÓ kept throwinghis cases out of court. He further insisted that the real Jesus is alive today,living as a 30-year-old, green-eyed Manhattan woman named Hypacia. A brightarchitect before mental illness reduced him to what his worried father calls Òapoor soul who needs some help,Ó Byrne’s father disclosed that his son had notbeen taking his medication for the past few months. Police discovered thatByrne had been in and out of mental health facilities for more than a year andwas arrested in September 1999 for threatening President Clinton. However,officials agreed to drop those charges upon Byrne’s referral to a mental-healthfacility. Source: The New York Post, January 2, 2001

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Lynbrook, Nassau, NY

Summary: Peter John Troy, 35, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic,was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and given two life sentenceswithout parole for killing a Lynbrook, NY, priest and parishioner with asemi-automatic rifle at morning Mass, then barricading himself in his home in aseven-hour standoff with police on March 12, 2002. He was also sentenced to aminimum of 25 years in prison for the attempted first-degree murder of a policeofficer during his arrest, and the judge levied a $20,310.10 reimbursement forthe two victims’ funeral costs. Psychologist Anthony Santoro, who said he spokewith Troy on three dates, concluded that Troy was mentally capable of helpinghis attorney before and during trial. The conclusion contradicted hisphysicians’ finding. Against his lawyer’s advice, Troy insisted on representinghimself at trial, and refused to use an insanity defense. Prior History:According to his mother, Troy began showing signs of mental illness while incollege. For the next 15 years, Troy was hospitalized several times and placedon medication. Twice in 2001, Troy was detained by the police and admitted topsychiatric hospital wards. But a judge ordered him released, and a countymental health agency failed to locate him for follow-up care that doctors hadurged. The state’s Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabledlater found that Nassau County “inappropriately” closed his case. Theyear before the shootings, Bellevue Hospital Center had told the Nassau Countymental health department that Troy was a candidate for outpatient treatmentunder Kendra’s Law. Troy’s lawyer had sought to have his client declaredincompetent to stand trial, but the judge refused. Saying that Troy had shownno remorse, the judge called him “extremely dangerous, arrogant, stubborn,a mean individual hellbent on causing as much pain as you could.”Sunsequent History: In March 2004, the family of one of his victims, EileenTosner, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Nassau County’s Department ofMental Health and the Nassau University Medical Center. Troy was also named inthe suit. Despite a bid by Nassau County to throw out the civil lawsuit, inJuly 2004 Supreme Court Justice William LaMarca ruled that the wrongful deathcase could move ahead. Troy represented himself in the suit. In 2005, Troy, whostill claimed his innocence, tried to block the suit by refusing to release anyof his mental health records, despite two orders by a state Supreme CourtJustice. Source: Newsday (New York, NY), March 14, 2002; Daily News, March 16,2002; The New York Times, March 20, 2002; July 31, 2003; Newsday, 2/28/03;3/11/03; 6/20/03; 6/26/03; 5/17/04; 7/15/04; 5/25/05

 

Date: 9/2000

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Stacy Royster, 17 at the time, is one of five teenagersinvolved in the murder of a Chinese food deliveryman September 1, 2000 inQueens, New York. Royster was involved with a group of teens accused of luringthe man to an abandoned house, stealing two bags of food and bludgeoning him todeath with a brick. All of the teens, including Royster, were charged withmurder. In the days before the crime, Royster — who suffers from bipolardisorder with “psychotic features,” according to her psychiatricrecords — said she was battling a severe depression brought on by her bestfriend’s recent departure for college. Her grandmother, Anastacia Brown,attributed her strange behavior before the murder to the effects of Royster’sstopping her antipsychotic medication two months earlier. Royster, who takesLithium to stabilize her mood swings and is currently taking the antipsychoticmedication Seroquel, was hospitalized four times before the killing. She has ahistory of cutting herself with knives and razors and attempted suicide whilein jail at Rikers Island. Royster has been offered a 17-year sentence inexchange for a guilty plea to robbery charges. Her lawyer changed his initialplan to use an insanity defense. Source: The New York Times, April 26, 2002

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Rev. Julio Torres, 57, and his wife were brutallyattacked in their rectory home on March 31, 2002 by Torres’ oldest son, Javier,27, who was visiting the couple from a halfway house in Baltimore for theweekend. Javier Torres stabbed his 37-year-old stepmother in the abdomen andback and his father in five places in the chest and back before fleeing. He wasarrested later that night after surrendering to police near Times Square.Torres was charged with two counts of attempted murder and is being held onRikers Island. Rev. Torres emphasized that his son, who has suffered fromparanoid schizophrenia since he was 19, attacked them in the midst of adelusional breakdown. Rev. Torres said his son regularly refused to take hisanti-psychotic medicine. As recently as December, 2001, a Maryland judge foundthat Torres did not need to be confined to a mental hospital despiteindications that he was homicidal. Source: Daily News (New York), May 6, 2002

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: At 2 a.m. on April 16, 2002, Christine Wilhelm of HoosickFalls, NY drowned her 4-year-old son, Luke, and attempted to drown her5-year-old son, Peter, in a bathtub in the family home. Wilhelm, who has ahistory of schizophrenia, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to threecounts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder,but was eventually convicted of murder in July 2003. On September 3, she wasgiven the maximum sentence of 50 years to life by Rensselaer County Court JudgePatrick McGrath, who told Wilhelm he had “no room for mercy” for her.Wilhelm had claimed her husband sexually abused the children and the drowningwas an intended “act of mercy” for them. It was later determined thatthere was no evidence of abuse. Since her imprisonment at the Rensselaer CountyJail, Wilhelm underwent several disciplinary hearings, was placed on suicidewatch and given antipsychotic medication. During her incarceration, she will beat a much higher risk for suicide attempts and will be shunned by otherinmates, according to experts. Her attorney says Wilhelm still talks about Lukeas if he’s alive and has tried to take her own life in jail. “It’s a sadday for psychiatry because our society seems not to be able to see the forestfor the trees when it comes down to people’s mental behavior,” said Dr.Stephen Price, who was the defense team’s star witness. Since Wilhelm’sconviction, two social worker’s testimonies indicating Wilhelm knew the killingwas wrong have come into question, and the public defender was contemplating agrand jury investigation. Prior History: Wilhelm had a history of involvementwith child protective services and multiple psychiatric hospitalizations inboth Florida and New York. Prior to the killing, her husband had brought her toAlbany Medical Center, where she was hospitalized in the psychiatric wing formore than a week. Wilhelm also made contact with Capital Region social servicesnumerous times – as recently as four days before the killing – telling them shewas afraid her children were in danger. Her mother testified in court that shehad begged her son-in-law to hospitalize Wilhelm just two days before thedrowning, and that Wilhelm was not taking her medication at the time, a factconfirmed by Kenneth Wilhelm. Subsequent History: In June 2006, ChristineWilhelm’s last-ditch appeal was making its way through the Appellate Divisionof state Supreme Court. Wilhelm’s lawyer, public defender Jerry Frost, was backin court in Albany arguing that Wilhelm’s sentence of 50 years to life inprison should be reversed and that she should be granted a new trial. Mr. Frostcontended, yet again, that Wilhelm is not guilty by the reasons of her owninsanity. He also reiterated that she belongs in the strict confinement of amental institution, not in a prison cell. Subsequent History: On August 24,2006, an appellate court reversed Christine Wilhelm’s 2003 murder convictionand ordered a new trial for the woman who was found guilty of drowning one sonand trying to drown his brother. The court ruled that Wilhelm’s right tocounsel was violated by the testimony of child protective case workers whointerviewed her without a lawyer. Wilhelm, 42, is serving a sentence of 46years to life in prison. She had stopped taking her medication to treatparanoid schizophrenia about a month before she held her 4-year-old son, Luke,under his bathwater on April 15, 2002, prosecutors said. Wilhelm’s other son,Peter, now 9, survived after begging her to let him go. He testified at thetrial that his mother was seeing werewolves on the night she attacked him andhis brother. A five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of state SupremeCourt ruled unanimously that Kathleen McGarry and Casi Maloney of county ChildProtective Services were working with law enforcement when they interviewedWilhelm without her lawyer present and reported her comments to the districtattorney’s office. They said Wilhelm told them she knew what she was doing waswrong but did it anyway. The 16-page decision, written by Justice Thomas E.Mercure, said defense attorney Jerry Frost was correct in arguing that the twocase workers’ trial testimony should not have been allowed. It stated that theCPS workers “had ‘a cooperative working arrangement’ with and were actingas agents of the police and prosecutor in interviewing and relaying herincriminating status.” Subsequent History: Christine Wilhelm pleaded notguilty on September 13, 2006, citing mental illness, in a deal reached withprosecutors. Wilhelm will be sent to a psychiatric facility where she couldspend the rest of her life. Rensselaer County District Attorney PatriciaDeAngelis agreed to the deal three weeks after an appeals court tossedWilhelm’s conviction. Judge Patrick McGrath turned Wilhelm over to the stateCommission on Mental Health to be placed in a secure mental facility at theMid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in Orange County. Within 30 days, she will get anexamination by two independent psychiatrists. That report will be returned tothe judge who then will have 10 days to schedule a hearing to determine whetherWilhelm suffers from a dangerous mental disorder that would keep her in thefacility. She will have another evaluation within six months, another within ayear and every two years after that. Source: Albany Times Union (New York),June 6, 2002 Albany Times Union, 5/29/03, 6/3/03, 6/19/03, 7/8/03, 7/8/06,8/14/06, 8/25/06, 8/27/06, 8/30/06, 9/13/06, 9/15/06, 9/17/06;Saratogian,7/10/03; The Daily Gazette, 7/10/03

 

Date: 1/2000

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Chris Pollard, 21, of Brooklyn, was sentenced after beingconvicted of attempted rape, burglary and assault charges related to his attackon a 49-year-old nanny at the West 46th Street home of Thomas Winberry. OnJanuary 1, 2000, Pollard was sent to Winberry’s home to deliver a package and attackedand choked the nanny after forcing his way into the house. Winberry returnedhome while Pollard was there, and Pollard attacked him as well, slashing himacross the face, inflicting a gash that required 50 stiches to close. StateSupreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner said psychiatric tests show that Pollardhas “a major psychotic disorder, possibly schizophrenia,” and that”he is a threat to himself and others.” The judge designated Pollarda “predicate violent felon”, directed that he receive psychiatrictreatment in prison and be supervised for five years after his release, andordered him registered as a sex offender. Source: The Associated Press,October 20, 2000

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester, NY

Summary: Thomas Hollis, a 53-year-old man with schizophrenia,punched Sgt. Olivia Coughlin on May 7, 2004 in New Rochelle, NY, permanentlyinjuring her back and forcing her into retirement from the police department.Hollis was acting strangely across the street from Police Headquarters whenCoughlin drove up to him to see what was wrong. Hollis grabbed Coughlin throughthe car window and tried pulling her out. When Coughlin struggled to get freeof Hollis, he punched her in the head and ran off. Then he cut himself punchinga window at a funeral home and was arrested at a hospital after police linkedhim to the attack on Coughlin. Subsequent History: On March 1, 2005, Hollispleaded not responsible by reason of mental illness to the assault charge afterdoctors for the defense and prosecution agreed that his mental illness had kepthim from understanding what he was doing. State Supreme Court Justice JanetDiFiore ordered him into the custody of the state Department of Mental Health.He will be evaluated routinely to determine if he remains a threat to thecommunity. Prior History: Hollis has a history of mental illness since the late1970s and has had 31 convictions, mostly for misdemeanors, during the past 35years. Source: The Journal News (NY) March 1, 2005

 

Date: 3/2005

Location: New York, , NY

Summary: On March 28, 2005, a homeless man was arrested for tryingto smuggle a BB gun into a federal building in New York City so he could shootSocial Security clerks for cutting off his benefits. Daniel O’Brien, 38, toldinvestigators he brought the weapon “so he could intimidate SocialSecurity employees if necessary,” but added he had no qualms about usingit. O’Brien, who suffers from bipolar disorder and lives in a homeless shelteron Staten Island, was being held without bail by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Hewas arrested by the Federal Protective Service and arraigned before a federalmagistrate. Prior History: Law enforcement sources said O’Brien had served timein federal prison previously. His name was on a Secret Service watch list becausehe had made verbal threats against President Bush in 2002. Source: New YorkDaily News, March 29, 2005

 

Date: 4/2005

Location: New York, , NY

Summary: Russell Martinez, 41, an emotionally disturbed RhodeIsland man disrupted Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on April 4, 2005 trying toget a letter to Cardinal Edward Egan in which the man demanded to be the nextPope. Police responded and escorted Martinez, of Warwick, R.I., out of thecathedral about 6:45p.m. He was brought to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatricevaluation. As Egan celebrated Mass, Martinez shouted and tried to give him aletter with instructions on who should be Pope John Paul II’s replacement.Martinez, an honors graduate of Boston University, suffered from schizophrenia,and had been off his medication for about a year, his parents said. Source:New York Daily News, April 5, 2005

 

Date: 8/2004

Location: Elmhurst, Queens, NY

Summary: On August 6, 2004, Robert Marshall, diagnosed withbipolar disorder, attacked 88-year-old Antoinette Russo and then smothered herwith a mattress when she surprised him as he was robbing her home. Marshallhelped himself to lunch and a shower as Russo lay dying. “I left with 20bucks, a full stomach and a bath,” he told police. Subsequent History: OnApril 6, 2005, the 25-year-old Marshall was declared incompetent to stand trialand ordered to a psychiatric center. A psychiatric report found that Marshallsuffered from drug addiction and several psychiatric disorders, includingbipolar disorder. Marshall had served time on robbery, drugs and weaponscharges. Subsequent History: On June 29, 2011, 31-year-old Robert Marshall wassentenced to 15 years in prison. Until recently, doctors had considered thebipolar Marshall mentally unfit to stand trial for the August 2004 slaying.After he was declared fit, he pleaded guilty. Source: New York Daily News,4/7/05; New York Daily News, 6/30/11

 

Date: 4/2005

Location: Rocky Point, Suffolk, NY

Summary: John Cox, 39-year-old man with a long history of mentalillness, died on April 22, 2005 after an altercation with Suffolk County (NY)police, in which he was shocked five times with a Taser. Police had respondedto a 911 call made by someone inside Cox’s girlfriend’s house in Rocky Point,NY after Cox became agitated. One witness said the trouble started because Coxhad forgotten to take his medication that day and began raving and punched awall, but Cox’ s brother said he had taken his medication. Suffolk police saidthat it took nine officers to subdue Cox, and the Taser gun did not affect him.All nine officers were treated and released for minor injuries. Cox, who hadalcohol and cocaine in his blood at the time of his death, had been takingZyprexa for his schizophrenia and acute bipolar mania, said his brother. PriorHistory: At 20, Cox had his first problem with police, which ended in aconviction for misdemeanor harassment in 1985. By the time he died, he hadaccumulated 22 convictions, mostly disorderly conduct and harassment. Althoughhe never served more than a month at a time, Cox became a frequent visitor tothe Suffolk County jail in Riverhead until the late 1990s. Cox was also often apatient at the Kings Park Psychiatric Center and the Stony Brook UniversityHospital. His last hospitalization at the Kings Park facility was in early2005, when he stayed for 30 days, then moved into a halfway house. Source:Long Island Newsday, April 25, 2005; Long Island Newsday, April 30, 2005

 

Date: 4/2005

Location: Rocky Point, Suffolk, NY

Summary: John Cox, 39-year-old man with a long history of mentalillness, died on April 22, 2005 after an altercation with Suffolk County (NY)police, in which he was shocked five times with a Taser. Police had respondedto a 911 call made by someone inside Cox’s girlfriend’s house in Rocky Point,NY after Cox became agitated. One witness said the trouble started because Coxhad forgotten to take his medication that day and began raving and punched awall, but Cox’ s brother said he had taken his medication. Suffolk police saidthat it took nine officers to subdue Cox, and the Taser gun did not affect him.All nine officers were treated and released for minor injuries. Cox, who hadalcohol and cocaine in his blood at the time of his death, had been takingZyprexa for his schizophrenia and acute bipolar mania, said his brother. PriorHistory: At 20, Cox had his first problem with police, which ended in aconviction for misdemeanor harassment in 1985. By the time he died, he hadaccumulated 22 convictions, mostly disorderly conduct and harassment. Althoughhe never served more than a month at a time, Cox became a frequent visitor tothe Suffolk County jail in Riverhead until the late 1990s. Cox was also often apatient at the Kings Park Psychiatric Center and the Stony Brook UniversityHospital. His last hospitalization at the Kings Park facility was in early2005, when he stayed for 30 days, then moved into a halfway house. Source:Long Island Newsday, April 25, 2005; Long Island Newsday, April 30, 2005

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Sparta, Livingston, NY

Summary: In May 2004, 18-year-old Nathan Dewispelare admitted thathe used a shotgun to kill his mother, Lizbeth, in the family home in Sparta,NY. Dewispelare, who suffers from schizophrenia, attacked his mother after shecaught him trying cut a Ritalin pill and take it. A dispute between mother andson ensued. Hours later, Dewispelare shot his mother. Subsequent History: OnMay 5, 2005, Dewispelare pleaded guilty to manslaughter for shooting andkilling his mother. He will serve 15 years in prison and five years parole. ALivingston County grand jury had indicted Dewispelare and reported there wasenough evidence in the case to charge him with murder. However, after thevictim’s family advocated leniency for Dewispelare, he agreed to plead guilty tomanslaughter. Source: RNEWS-TV, May 5, 2005

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: Kirsten M. Vanderlinde, a 36-year-old North Buffalo, NYresident, was charged with murdering her 7-month-old daughter, Melissa, on May27, 2004 by repeatedly slamming the baby into a sidewalk. Vanderlinde, who hasschizophrenia, had stopped taking her medication about two weeks before themurder. Vanderlinde had been diagnosed in her mid-twenties with the illness andhospitalized multiple times. She was charged with second-degree murder andplaced on a suicide watch. Shortly before the attack, a police officer droveVanderlinde home after finding her walking around outside in her nightgown,carrying her baby. The officer said she went with Vanderlinde into her apartment,where she said Vanderlinde answered questions appropriately. SubsequentHistory: On March 8, 2005, Vanderlinde was found not guilty by reason ofinsanity. Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman, who heard the case without ajury, cited “voluminous” records that documented Vanderlinde’sfrequent psychiatric hospitalizations in the years before the attack, as wellas her behavior in the days that followed. While in jail, Vanderlinde triedeating a mattress and drank from a toilet, appeared to rock and feed aninvisible baby and asked to make a phone call to check on Melissa, the judgenoted. She ordered Vanderlinde committed to a secure mental health institutionand further psychiatric evaluation. Prior History: After Vanderlinde becamepregnant in early 2003, she went off at least some of her medication becauseshe feared it could harm her unborn child, several sources said. She alsostopped taking her medication several other times, deciding on her own that shedidn’t want to take it, her friend Shirley Ford said. “She’d be suicidal.She’d become real agitated . . . She was a totally different person when shewas off her medication,” Ford said. More than once, paramedics took her toErie County Medical Center or Buffalo General Hospital. Source: Buffalo News(NY), June 6, 2004; Brattleboro Reformer (AP), March 1, 2005; Long IslandNewsday, March 8, 2005

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Elmsford, Westchester, NY

Summary: Dennis Morgan, a man suffering from paranoidschizophrenia who took daily medication for about 20 years, was charged witharson and assault after he set fire to the apartment he shared with histerminally ill, mother, who also suffered from schizophrenia, in a 14-unitbuilding in Elmsford, NY in April 2002. The blaze injured two firefighters andendangered building residents. After the fire, nurses discovered puncturewounds on his mother’s stomach. She told them her son had stabbed her the nightbefore, and Morgan was then also charged with felony assault. His lawyer arguedthat Morgan’s mental condition was a mitigating factor and tried to get himtreatment and probation. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirroinsisted he serve at least five years in prison, and Morgan accepted the pleabargain, unwilling to have the court case continue with no resolution for anextended period of time. Morgan’s court-appointed attorney, Robin Bauer, saidhis case is a prime example of the need for a mental-health court in thecounty. Several people familiar with his case believe that Morgan stabbed his motherand lit the fire in a failed attempt at mercy killing and suicide. SubsequentHistory: Morgan, 51, committed suicide on December 8, 2003 at the ClintonCorrectional Facility in Dannemora, NY, where he had been placed in the generalprison population several months earlier, despite his mental illness and twoknown previous suicide attempts. Morgan was found alone in his cell, bleedingfrom a cutting wound to his throat. He died several hours later. Source: WhitePlains Journal News, April 14, 2004 The Journal News.com, April 19, 2004

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Elmsford, Westchester, NY

Summary: Dennis Morgan, a man suffering from paranoidschizophrenia who took daily medication for about 20 years, was charged witharson and assault after he set fire to the apartment he shared with histerminally ill, mother, who also suffered from schizophrenia, in a 14-unitbuilding in Elmsford, NY in April 2002. The blaze injured two firefighters andendangered building residents. After the fire, nurses discovered puncturewounds on his mother’s stomach. She told them her son had stabbed her the nightbefore, and Morgan was then also charged with felony assault. His lawyer arguedthat Morgan’s mental condition was a mitigating factor and tried to get himtreatment and probation. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirroinsisted he serve at least five years in prison, and Morgan accepted the pleabargain, unwilling to have the court case continue with no resolution for anextended period of time. Morgan’s court-appointed attorney, Robin Bauer, saidhis case is a prime example of the need for a mental-health court in thecounty. Several people familiar with his case believe that Morgan stabbed hismother and lit the fire in a failed attempt at mercy killing and suicide.Subsequent History: Morgan, 51, committed suicide on December 8, 2003 at theClinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, where he had been placed in thegeneral prison population several months earlier, despite his mental illnessand two known previous suicide attempts. Morgan was found alone in his cell,bleeding from a cutting wound to his throat. He died several hours later. Source: White Plains Journal News, April 14, 2004 The Journal News.com, April19, 2004

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Elmsford, Westchester, NY

Summary: Dennis Morgan, a man suffering from paranoidschizophrenia who took daily medication for about 20 years, was charged witharson and assault after he set fire to the apartment he shared with histerminally ill, mother, who also suffered from schizophrenia, in a 14-unitbuilding in Elmsford, NY in April 2002. The blaze injured two firefighters andendangered building residents. After the fire, nurses discovered puncturewounds on his mother’s stomach. She told them her son had stabbed her the nightbefore, and Morgan was then also charged with felony assault. His lawyer arguedthat Morgan’s mental condition was a mitigating factor and tried to get himtreatment and probation. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirroinsisted he serve at least five years in prison, and Morgan accepted the pleabargain, unwilling to have the court case continue with no resolution for anextended period of time. Morgan’s court-appointed attorney, Robin Bauer, saidhis case is a prime example of the need for a mental-health court in thecounty. Several people familiar with his case believe that Morgan stabbed hismother and lit the fire in a failed attempt at mercy killing and suicide.Subsequent History: Morgan, 51, committed suicide on December 8, 2003 at theClinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, where he had been placed in thegeneral prison population several months earlier, despite his mental illnessand two known previous suicide attempts. Morgan was found alone in his cell,bleeding from a cutting wound to his throat. He died several hours later. Source: White Plains Journal News, April 14, 2004 The Journal News.com, April19, 2004

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Elmsford, Westchester, NY

Summary: Dennis Morgan, a man suffering from paranoidschizophrenia who took daily medication for about 20 years, was charged witharson and assault after he set fire to the apartment he shared with histerminally ill, mother, who also suffered from schizophrenia, in a 14-unitbuilding in Elmsford, NY in April 2002. The blaze injured two firefighters andendangered building residents. After the fire, nurses discovered puncturewounds on his mother’s stomach. She told them her son had stabbed her the nightbefore, and Morgan was then also charged with felony assault. His lawyer arguedthat Morgan’s mental condition was a mitigating factor and tried to get himtreatment and probation. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirroinsisted he serve at least five years in prison, and Morgan accepted the plea bargain,unwilling to have the court case continue with no resolution for an extendedperiod of time. Morgan’s court-appointed attorney, Robin Bauer, said his caseis a prime example of the need for a mental-health court in the county. Severalpeople familiar with his case believe that Morgan stabbed his mother and litthe fire in a failed attempt at mercy killing and suicide. Subsequent History:Morgan, 51, committed suicide on December 8, 2003 at the Clinton CorrectionalFacility in Dannemora, NY, where he had been placed in the general prisonpopulation several months earlier, despite his mental illness and two knownprevious suicide attempts. Morgan was found alone in his cell, bleeding from acutting wound to his throat. He died several hours later. Source: White PlainsJournal News, April 14, 2004 The Journal News.com, April 19, 2004

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: Watkins Glen, Schuyler, NY

Summary: Chad Mack pleaded guilty to murder and robbery charges inthe August 2002 shooting death of Teresa M. Ford in Schuyler County, NY. Theassault, which took place in Ford’s home, ended a two-day crime spree thatbegan in Cattaraugus County earlier that month. Mack and two other accomplicesallegedly robbed a cab driver in Ellicottville, NY before murdering Ford. Macklater asked to recant his plea, claiming he didn’t understand the courtprocess. Since his arrest in September 2002, Mack told four psychiatrists andone psychologist that he heard voices, saw spirits and had flashbacks aboutwhat happened the night Ford died, and believed the spirits interfered with hisdefense. Schuyler County Judge J.C. Argetsinger eventually ruled that Mackunderstood what he was doing when he pleaded guilty. He based his decisionprimarily on the testimony of psychiatrists Mihai Dasculu, of the SchuylerCounty Mental Health Department, and Gary Horwitz, a forensic psychiatrist fromRochester hired by the state to examine Mack. Dasculu, who had treated Macksince November 2002, concluded that he suffered from schizophrenia but neverthelesswas competent to proceed with trial. Subsequent History: Argetsinger’s rulingthat Mack will not be able to withdraw his courtroom confession means Mackfaces 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and first-degreerobbery. Subsequent History: In April 2007, Chad Mack, convicted of a 2002murder, was granted an appeal. Mack was sentenced to 25 years to life for hisrole in the robbery and murder of Teresa Ford, a Town of Orange woman. Theappeal was granted because after Mack pleaded guilty he requested a change ofcouncil that was initially denied. Six months later, Mack was finally grantedSusan Betzjitomir as his legal council. Betzjitomer said she is thrilled withthe appellate court’s decision. “There were a lot of procedures that happenedin between that didn’t go his way and I argued he would have had a much betterchance if the attorney he wanted had represented him,” said Betzjitomir.The case will resume from the point where Mack requested a change of council.Betzjitomir said Mack suffers from diagnosed schizophrenia, and at the time ofhis plea he wasn’t in his right mind. “Chad Mack was sentenced harshly andhe was sentenced with no plea bargain I think which is evidence that he reallydidn’t know what he was doing,” said Betzjitomir. Prior History: In June2004, Chad Mack and Elizabeth Kettle were found guilty of robbing and murderingFord. Source: Star-Gazette (Elmira, NY), 5/1/04; The Leader (NY), 6/5/04;WENY.com, 4/6/07

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: A man with mental illness who was high on marijuanaattacked his mother with a kitchen knife in her Brooklyn, NY home on May 7,2004. The victim, 47-year-old Jamaican immigrant Yvonne Stewart, was stabbed inthe back and limbs by her son Kevon Stewart, 21. She then walked to herneighbor’s lawn while naked and bleeding. She was critically wounded butsurvived the attack. Kevon Stewart was charged with first-degree assault andweapon possession. Family members said Kevon Stewart, who had no prior arrests,has schizophrenia with a history of drug abuse. Eyewitnesses described him as”totally deranged.” Source: The New York Post May 8, 2004

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: New York City police arrested Akeem Capers, 20, on May14, 2004 for the alleged stabbing death of his grandmother in Brooklyn and theattempted rape of another woman. Capers, who is from Greensboro, NC, hasschizophrenia and had lived in a group home until early April 2004. Capers wasarrested at a subway station in Manhattan after plain-clothes officers saw himthrow a man onto the tracks, according to police. He was trying to push anotherman when officers captured him, police said. Police also reported that Capers’grandfather had found his 65-year-old wife, Alice Wise, dead on the kitchenfloor on May 13, 2004. She had three stab wounds to her neck and abdomen.Police said that Capers was also suspected in an assault on a 34-year-old womanthe same day of the stabbing in the condominium complex where his grandparentslived. Capers had left Greensboro the previous month for an extended visit toNew York to see his dying father. Source: News & Record (Greensboro, NC),May 15, 2004

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: New York City police arrested Akeem Capers, 20, on May14, 2004 for the alleged stabbing death of his grandmother in Brooklyn and theattempted rape of another woman. Capers, who is from Greensboro, NC, hasschizophrenia and had lived in a group home until early April 2004. Capers wasarrested at a subway station in Manhattan after plain-clothes officers saw himthrow a man onto the tracks, according to police. He was trying to push anotherman when officers captured him, police said. Police also reported that Capers’grandfather had found his 65-year-old wife, Alice Wise, dead on the kitchenfloor on May 13, 2004. She had three stab wounds to her neck and abdomen.Police said that Capers was also suspected in an assault on a 34-year-old womanthe same day of the stabbing in the condominium complex where his grandparentslived. Capers had left Greensboro the previous month for an extended visit toNew York to see his dying father. Source: News & Record (Greensboro, NC),May 15, 2004

 

Date: 5/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: New York City police arrested Akeem Capers, 20, on May14, 2004 for the alleged stabbing death of his grandmother in Brooklyn and theattempted rape of another woman. Capers, who is from Greensboro, NC, hasschizophrenia and had lived in a group home until early April 2004. Capers wasarrested at a subway station in Manhattan after plain-clothes officers saw himthrow a man onto the tracks, according to police. He was trying to push anotherman when officers captured him, police said. Police also reported that Capers’grandfather had found his 65-year-old wife, Alice Wise, dead on the kitchenfloor on May 13, 2004. She had three stab wounds to her neck and abdomen.Police said that Capers was also suspected in an assault on a 34-year-old womanthe same day of the stabbing in the condominium complex where his grandparentslived. Capers had left Greensboro the previous month for an extended visit toNew York to see his dying father. Source: News & Record (Greensboro, NC),May 15, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Scarsdale, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 18, 2004, Philip Wald, a bipolar disorder suffererfrom Brooklyn, NY, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to seven yearsin state prison for making random obscene phone calls to teenage girls andforcing them to perform sexual acts with the threat that he was watching andwould punish them if they didn’t comply. Wald, 36, pleaded guilty tofirst-degree sexual abuse and first-degree coercion in February 2004, admittingthat he threatened six teenage girls. The first victim was a 17-year-old NewCastle girl in September 2001. He made similar calls to two 14-year-old NewCastle girls, a 13-year-old Scarsdale girl, a 12-year-old Mamaroneck girl and a15-year-old Pleasantville girl. Wald, whose family had tried for years to get himto stop his manic phone calling, said he needed treatment to help himunderstand why he does such things. Wald was miles from any of the victims andthey were never in imminent danger when he made the phone calls during 2001 and2002. But Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy charged him with sexualabuse under the theory that he subjected the girls to physical contact theywould not have engaged in otherwise, and his conviction was believed to be thefirst of that nature in New York state. The sexual abuse conviction will alsoforce him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Source: The Journal News.com, May 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Scarsdale, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 18, 2004, Philip Wald, a bipolar disorder suffererfrom Brooklyn, NY, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to seven yearsin state prison for making random obscene phone calls to teenage girls andforcing them to perform sexual acts with the threat that he was watching andwould punish them if they didn’t comply. Wald, 36, pleaded guilty tofirst-degree sexual abuse and first-degree coercion in February 2004, admittingthat he threatened six teenage girls. The first victim was a 17-year-old NewCastle girl in September 2001. He made similar calls to two 14-year-old NewCastle girls, a 13-year-old Scarsdale girl, a 12-year-old Mamaroneck girl and a15-year-old Pleasantville girl. Wald, whose family had tried for years to gethim to stop his manic phone calling, said he needed treatment to help himunderstand why he does such things. Wald was miles from any of the victims andthey were never in imminent danger when he made the phone calls during 2001 and2002. But Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy charged him with sexualabuse under the theory that he subjected the girls to physical contact theywould not have engaged in otherwise, and his conviction was believed to be thefirst of that nature in New York state. The sexual abuse conviction will alsoforce him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Source: The Journal News.com, May 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Scarsdale, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 18, 2004, Philip Wald, a bipolar disorder suffererfrom Brooklyn, NY, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to seven yearsin state prison for making random obscene phone calls to teenage girls andforcing them to perform sexual acts with the threat that he was watching andwould punish them if they didn’t comply. Wald, 36, pleaded guilty tofirst-degree sexual abuse and first-degree coercion in February 2004, admittingthat he threatened six teenage girls. The first victim was a 17-year-old NewCastle girl in September 2001. He made similar calls to two 14-year-old NewCastle girls, a 13-year-old Scarsdale girl, a 12-year-old Mamaroneck girl and a15-year-old Pleasantville girl. Wald, whose family had tried for years to gethim to stop his manic phone calling, said he needed treatment to help himunderstand why he does such things. Wald was miles from any of the victims andthey were never in imminent danger when he made the phone calls during 2001 and2002. But Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy charged him with sexualabuse under the theory that he subjected the girls to physical contact theywould not have engaged in otherwise, and his conviction was believed to be thefirst of that nature in New York state. The sexual abuse conviction will alsoforce him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Source: The Journal News.com, May 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Scarsdale, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 18, 2004, Philip Wald, a bipolar disorder suffererfrom Brooklyn, NY, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to seven yearsin state prison for making random obscene phone calls to teenage girls andforcing them to perform sexual acts with the threat that he was watching andwould punish them if they didn’t comply. Wald, 36, pleaded guilty tofirst-degree sexual abuse and first-degree coercion in February 2004, admittingthat he threatened six teenage girls. The first victim was a 17-year-old NewCastle girl in September 2001. He made similar calls to two 14-year-old NewCastle girls, a 13-year-old Scarsdale girl, a 12-year-old Mamaroneck girl and a15-year-old Pleasantville girl. Wald, whose family had tried for years to gethim to stop his manic phone calling, said he needed treatment to help himunderstand why he does such things. Wald was miles from any of the victims andthey were never in imminent danger when he made the phone calls during 2001 and2002. But Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy charged him with sexualabuse under the theory that he subjected the girls to physical contact theywould not have engaged in otherwise, and his conviction was believed to be thefirst of that nature in New York state. The sexual abuse conviction will alsoforce him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Source: The Journal News.com, May 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Scarsdale, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 18, 2004, Philip Wald, a bipolar disorder suffererfrom Brooklyn, NY, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to seven yearsin state prison for making random obscene phone calls to teenage girls andforcing them to perform sexual acts with the threat that he was watching andwould punish them if they didn’t comply. Wald, 36, pleaded guilty tofirst-degree sexual abuse and first-degree coercion in February 2004, admittingthat he threatened six teenage girls. The first victim was a 17-year-old New Castlegirl in September 2001. He made similar calls to two 14-year-old New Castlegirls, a 13-year-old Scarsdale girl, a 12-year-old Mamaroneck girl and a15-year-old Pleasantville girl. Wald, whose family had tried for years to gethim to stop his manic phone calling, said he needed treatment to help himunderstand why he does such things. Wald was miles from any of the victims andthey were never in imminent danger when he made the phone calls during 2001 and2002. But Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy charged him with sexualabuse under the theory that he subjected the girls to physical contact theywould not have engaged in otherwise, and his conviction was believed to be thefirst of that nature in New York state. The sexual abuse conviction will alsoforce him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Source: The Journal News.com, May 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Scarsdale, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 18, 2004, Philip Wald, a bipolar disorder suffererfrom Brooklyn, NY, was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to seven yearsin state prison for making random obscene phone calls to teenage girls andforcing them to perform sexual acts with the threat that he was watching andwould punish them if they didn’t comply. Wald, 36, pleaded guilty tofirst-degree sexual abuse and first-degree coercion in February 2004, admittingthat he threatened six teenage girls. The first victim was a 17-year-old NewCastle girl in September 2001. He made similar calls to two 14-year-old NewCastle girls, a 13-year-old Scarsdale girl, a 12-year-old Mamaroneck girl and a15-year-old Pleasantville girl. Wald, whose family had tried for years to gethim to stop his manic phone calling, said he needed treatment to help himunderstand why he does such things. Wald was miles from any of the victims andthey were never in imminent danger when he made the phone calls during 2001 and2002. But Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy charged him with sexualabuse under the theory that he subjected the girls to physical contact theywould not have engaged in otherwise, and his conviction was believed to be thefirst of that nature in New York state. The sexual abuse conviction will alsoforce him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Source: The Journal News.com, May 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Carmine Randazzo Sr., 78, was stabbed five times in thearm, back and torso on September 16, 2006 after visiting a Queens flea marketduring his regular neighborhood stroll. William Scott, 28, allegedly jumped outfrom behind a building in Hillcrest and attacked Randazzo without provocation,a police source said. Scott, described by a relative as schizophrenic and onmedication, was awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree murder,assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Scott, who sources said gave afull confession in Randazzo’s murder, has prior convictions for robbery andcriminal possession of a weapon. Prior History: Queens neighbors said Scott hada history of random public violence – and one woman said he once punched herhusband in the head on the street. “My husband had just gotten hispacemaker put in. He was just walking to the store. He saw [Scott] and saidhello to him, and [Scott] just cold-cocked him,” said neighbor JustineCullinan, 64, describing the brutal incident two years ago. “My husbandfell on the ground and lost consciousness for a minute.” Cullinan said sheand husband Denis Cullinan, 63, did not report the incident out of sympathy forScott’s mother, a city correction officer. Other neighbors said Scott wouldroam the neighborhood, angrily cursing white people. Galda Rochleder said sheonce saw Scott attack a man with a bat, screaming, “You whitem———-r!” “He’s always muttering to himself, walking back andforth, when he sees white people,” she said. “He’ll say under hisbreath “You b—–ds, I hate you.” Subsequent History: William Scott,the alleged assailant, told investigators that voices in his head told him toattack, a source said. “The guy just went off. It was completelyunprovoked. He just pulled out a knife and started screaming andstabbing,” a police source said. “It’s one of those horrible,freakish things.” After a brief standoff, Scott was taken into custody andgiven a psychiatric evaluation. Prior History: Scott was admitted to BellevueHospital on September 18, 2006 for observation. He was last in a mentalinstitution in November 2005 when he was sprung from Creedmoor PsychiatricCenter after a two-year stay, sources said. Scott soon resumed his bizarrebehavior, neighbors and victims said. Neighbors said they watched Scott turnfrom a happy-go-lucky boy into a deranged young man who would yell racial slursat white neighbors and then attack them. There were a dozen incidents in adecade, according to police records and witness and victim accounts.Christopher Rau experienced a 1998 run-in with Scott. Rau said he tried to gethelp for Scott, who regularly railed against whites, but never pressed charges.Rau recalled Scott coming after him with a baseball bat on a summer day eightyears ago. “He called me a white f—-t,” Rau said. “He wouldhave killed me if he’d gotten me. I was literally running as fast as I could;he rounded the corner, went right through the bushes and made a beeline for me.He swung at me. The only reason he didn’t nail me was because I got the doorclosed before he could connect,” Rau said. Rau, a health professional,arranged for Scott to be admitted to a mental health facility, but Scott’smother, Pamela Dunn, didn’t want her son committed, he said. Just five daysbefore Carmine Randazzo’s slaying, Scott allegedly knifed 48-year-old LawrenceNelson blocks from where Randazzo was later killed. Nelson escaped with a slashon his right index finger. Scott was not caught, but Nelson later picked himout of a lineup after his arrest in Randazzo’s slaying, police sources said.Scott’s sister said her younger brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia whenhe was in prison for robbery at age 17. He complained that people’s”spirits” were talking to him, but she usually could coax him out ofhis delusions, she said. “He’s no psycho, he’s my brother and he’sill,” said Tamarra Scott. “He’s been ill for years, and at the mercyof institutions his whole life.” Source: NY Daily News, 9/17/06, 9/18/06,9/19/06, 9/21/06; Newsday, 9/18/06, 9/20/06; New York Post, 9/17/06 &9/18/06

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Hillsdale, Columbia, NY

Summary: On February 11, 2006, 23-year-old William S. Demagallfatally attacked retired high school teacher 56-year-old George Mancini.Mancini suffered multiple stab wounds to his chest and back but died of bluntforce trauma to the head. After the murder, Demegall set the body on fire tohide evidence and left with some of Mancini’s belongings. Hillsdalefirefighters discovered the body when they were called to put out the fire thathad spread throughout the apartment. Demagall, who has bipolar disorder andschizoaffective disorder, was arrested in Schodack on unrelated charges onFebruary 13. Prior History: Prior to the incident, Demagall quit his job andwent to live part-time in the woods. He was hospitalized at least three timesin the three years prior to the murder, most recently on February 3, 2006, whenhis strange behavior became so noticeable that his mother and grandmotherapplied to have him committed. He escaped the secured psychiatric facility twodays before the murder by squeezing between the bars. At that time, though hewas supposed to be medicated, he was evidently not taking his meds. Demagall’sfather said his son suffers from Bipolar Disorder, marked by episodes of manicbehavior and delusions. Subsequent History: On December 8, 2006, a juryconvicted William S. Demagall of second-degree murder, rejecting his insanitydefense despite extensive psychiatric testimony, family members’ observationsof his bizarre behavior and his documented decline into Schizophrenic delusionsduring the past three years. Subsequent History: On March 21, 2007, William S.Demagall was sentenced to the maximum punishment, 25 years to life in prison.Subsequent History: In April 2009, the Appellate Division of state SupremeCourt overturned William S. Demagall’s murder conviction and ordered a newtrial for the 25-year-old. In its ruling, the Court ordered that Demagall, whohad been incarcerated at Great Meadow Correctional Facility for the past twoyears, stand trial again before a different judge due to a Òreversible errorÓin the court’s handling of the first psychiatrist who examined Demagall.Subsequent History: On November 9, 2010, William S. Demagall’s retrial began.Subsequent History: On March 22, 2011, 27-year-old William Demagall wassentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Demagall had been found guilty inNovember of second-degree murder after a second trial for the stabbing andbludgeoning death of George Mancini. Demagall had escaped from a secure mentalward at Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts and hid in a cave just beforethe killing. Demagallstood trial despite being diagnosed as mentally ill.Mental evaluations presented at trial asserted Demagall suffered from ParanoidSchizophrenia and believed that he was at various times Robin Hood, Merlin, SirGalahad of the Arthurian legends and a ninja. Source: The Independent,9/19/06, 12/4/06; Berkshire Eagle, 9/21/06, 11/29/06, 11/30/06, 12/6/06,12/9/06, 12/10/06, 12/14/06, 2/6/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07; Daily Freeman, 4/3/09;TimesUnion.com, 11/10/10, 3/23/11

 

Date: 9/2006

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On September 30, 2006, Joseph Bernazard held Phyllis Fineat knifepoint and threatened to kill her on Brooklyn’s trendy restaurant rowbefore a sharpshooter cop killed him with a single bullet. Fine was withininches of her attacker when Officer Louis Gubitosi pulled the trigger andkilled the 26-year-old man on the upscale block. Fine said Bernazard, whomoments earlier had sliced another women’s neck, never spoke to her as he heldher by the hair. He instead yelled over and over, “Kill me now! I want todie!” Bernazard’s family said he had a history of mental illness and hadtaken a turn for the worse recently. “They’re after me,” he told hissister Yolanda. The saga began when Bernazard, who was hallucinating andhearing voices in his head, was taken to Long Island College Hospital onSeptember 30. But he tore out his IV and walked out of the hospital againstdoctors’ wishes. He was still wearing his medical bracelet when he was killed.On the day of the incident, Bernazard grabbed Julie Jacobowitz, 32, a socialworker talking on a cell phone with a friend as she walked home from the gym.”If they kill me, I won’t have to hurt you,” Bernazard toldJacobowitz, police sources said. But as he spoke, he was already slicing intoher neck, causing her to scream in agony. A group of construction workersconfronted Bernazard, who told them, “The cops are going to have to killme.” When police raced up seconds later, Bernazard pushed the bleeding32-year-old woman away and ran about 2 blocks to the Met Food Market, where hegrabbed Fine by the hair. “He started yelling, ‘I’m going to kill her!'” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Cops surrounded Bernazardoutside the store. For 10 minutes, the cops tried to reason with Bernazard,telling him to drop the knife. But he refused and crouched down behind Fine.After the shooting, an ambulance took Bernazard back to the same hospital hehad walked out of hours before. He was declared dead on arrival. His victimswere not seriously hurt. Source: New York Daily News, October 1, 2006

 

Date: 9/2006

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On September 30, 2006, Joseph Bernazard held Phyllis Fineat knifepoint and threatened to kill her on Brooklyn’s trendy restaurant rowbefore a sharpshooter cop killed him with a single bullet. Fine was withininches of her attacker when Officer Louis Gubitosi pulled the trigger andkilled the 26-year-old man on the upscale block. Fine said Bernazard, whomoments earlier had sliced another women’s neck, never spoke to her as he heldher by the hair. He instead yelled over and over, “Kill me now! I want todie!” Bernazard’s family said he had a history of mental illness and hadtaken a turn for the worse recently. “They’re after me,” he told hissister Yolanda. The saga began when Bernazard, who was hallucinating andhearing voices in his head, was taken to Long Island College Hospital onSeptember 30. But he tore out his IV and walked out of the hospital againstdoctors’ wishes. He was still wearing his medical bracelet when he was killed.On the day of the incident, Bernazard grabbed Julie Jacobowitz, 32, a socialworker talking on a cell phone with a friend as she walked home from the gym.”If they kill me, I won’t have to hurt you,” Bernazard toldJacobowitz, police sources said. But as he spoke, he was already slicing intoher neck, causing her to scream in agony. A group of construction workersconfronted Bernazard, who told them, “The cops are going to have to killme.” When police raced up seconds later, Bernazard pushed the bleeding32-year-old woman away and ran about 2 blocks to the Met Food Market, where hegrabbed Fine by the hair. “He started yelling, ‘I’m going to kill her!'” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Cops surrounded Bernazardoutside the store. For 10 minutes, the cops tried to reason with Bernazard,telling him to drop the knife. But he refused and crouched down behind Fine.After the shooting, an ambulance took Bernazard back to the same hospital hehad walked out of hours before. He was declared dead on arrival. His victimswere not seriously hurt. Source: New York Daily News, October 1, 2006

 

Date: 10/2006

Location: Long Island, Queens, NY

Summary: On October 9, 2006, Susanne Carlson, 70, was bludgeonedto death in her Long Island home by her son. Christopher Carlson, 39, dialed911 after the attack and told police he had struck his elderly mother in thehead in the bedroom of her West Islip home. Police arrived shortly after 3 a.m.and found a battered Susanne Carlson dead in her bed – beaten to death with anold-style military rifle. His attorney, Frank Murphy of Sayville, said hisclient suffers from depression and schizophrenia. He had run out of hismedication during the past week, Murphy said. “He’s very upset,”Murphy said. “He’s unable to sleep. Unable to eat.” At hisarraignment, Carlson was ordered held without bail. Prior History: ChristopherCarlson was unemployed after a short stint in the military and lived with hismother and younger brother, Eric Carlson. Records show he has previousconvictions for harassment and driving while intoxicated. “I’m shocked,but then I’m not shocked the way the kids are,” said a neighbor. “Shedidn’t like coming home. She was afraid for her life, basically.” Source:Newsday, October 10, 2006

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars and helicopterswere searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spotted it around1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulled his car overon a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars and blocked himin, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta was taken to aQueens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta was arrested a weekprior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, after his girlfriendsaid he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her and dragged heracross the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car, theauthorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Collettaalso was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’soffice said, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmless Bostonterrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick or something,”Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect in a weekendshooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injured five was pulled out ofthe jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue HospitalCenter, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected to base the man’sdefense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observation at thehospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custody onSaturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left his meetingwith his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from a mentalillness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind that he wasdelusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with his diagnosisand contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that he was notsure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that he expectedto base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was not responsiblefor his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Colletta is to bearraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or in QueensCriminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether he iscompetent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said. Thepolice have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shooting spreesnorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August 25, heappeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home. Thecouple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a night outwhen Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presentinghis case to the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next fewweeks the charges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatricexaminations ordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial.Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspectauthorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks agowas arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing before Judge Robert Hanophy,Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictment brought against himafter being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court from Manhattan’s BellevueHospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, among others, murder in thesecond degree, attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon andcriminal possession of a controlled substance. Defense attorney Todd Greenbergentered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client, who faces 25 years to lifein prison if convicted. In court last week, prosecutors added a 10th incidentto the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was driving on the VanWyck Expressway when Colletta fired upon his black Audi. That incidentundermines original reports that Colletta fired only at red vehicles because hebelieved he was being pursued by the Bloods street gang. Cuff was not injured.After his client’s arrest, Greenberg maintained that Colletta suffered fromserious mental disease and defect. Colletta had been arrested a week earlier onassault charges stemming from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, andGreenberg reported that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant todetail the specifics of the case he plans to make to jurors, after the Thursdayproceedings Greenberg reiterated that his client’s mental capacity will playinto his argument. Source: New York Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; NewYork Daily News, August 27 & 28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30,2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006; Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006;Boston Herald, 8/29/06; Associated Press, 9/1/06

 

Date: 10/2006

Location: Plattsburgh, Clinton, NY

Summary: On October 28, 2006, Alphegina “Gina” Snide, 72was found dead in the bedroom of her Mooers Forks home. She died of multipleblows to the head. David D. Couture, 28, was accused of her murder. Couture wasbrought back from Arizona to New York to face charges of second-degree murderand third-degree grand larceny in Mooers Town Court. Prior History: Couture wasdiagnosed in 2000 with severe bipolar disorder, major depression, socialanxiety and borderline intellectual functioning, according to court records.But despite the mood disorders, his family and friends maintain that he hadnever shown any signs of violence in the past. In 2004, an Administrative Lawjudge approved Couture’s disability application based on the medical opinionsof five doctors. The doctors concurred with an earlier diagnosis and added thatin 2004 he displayed suicidal ideations, poor sleep, racing thoughts, lowself-esteem, high stress, guilt anxiety, low concentration, low energy andhypervigilance. In 2002, Couture was prescribed antidepressants and medicationto help minimize the manic episodes. But, according to his family, Couture feltthe side effects drastically affected his daily functioning so he wouldsometimes opt not to take them. He had sought additional treatment at CVPHMedical Center numerous times in the past, the family said, and was twiceadmitted to the Mental Health Unit. The other times, he was given additionalprescriptions. According to a statement he gave Plattsburgh City Police aboutone day before he allegedly killed Snide, he hadn’t been taking his medicationfor a long time. “The drinking and smoking has been taking a toll on me. Ihaven’t been taking my medication at all,” he told police after beingcharged with stealing from his aunt in Plattsburgh. “I have been feelingdepressed and feeling out a place for a long time.” When Couture wasarrested for the Plattsburgh theft, he was about to board a bus that was enroute to Phoenix. He was at the Plattsburgh City Police Station for an hour anda half, which was when he told police he was depressed. He was released by thepolice on his own recognizance, with an appearance ticket for City Court.Subsequent History: On September 5, 2007, David Couture was sentenced to 32years to life in prison for murdering a former neighbor with a sledgehammerwhen he burglarized her home last year. Couture, who had been in Clinton CountyJail since November, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to killing72-year-old Alphegina Snide after he crawled through her window to steal moneyand jewelry. Source: Plattsburgh Press Republican, 11/4/06, 6/13/07; WSTM TV,9/6/07

 

Date: 12/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Anatoly Dimitriev, a 62-year-old man was shot and killedin a confrontation with police on December 16, 2006. Neighbors said Dimitrievappeared to be mentally ill. They saw Dimitriev throwing bottles out hisapartment window and chopping at trees with an ax in the courtyard of the co-opapartment building where he lived with his 41-year-old son in the city’s Bronxborough. After receiving several emergency calls about an elderly man with ahatchet, police responded to Dimitriev’s apartment building. By the time theyarrived, Dimitriev had barricaded himself in his apartment, holding his sonhostage. Police burst through the apartment door, and Dimitriev fled through awindow onto the fire escape, leaving his unharmed son behind. Police followedDimitriev, demanding he lay down the ax. When he began to come at police withthe weapon, an officer shot him. Two bullets struck the 62-year-old in theabdomen. Dimitriev was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Source: Associated Press, December 18, 2006

 

Date: 12/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Anatoly Dimitriev, a 62-year-old man was shot and killedin a confrontation with police on December 16, 2006. Neighbors said Dimitrievappeared to be mentally ill. They saw Dimitriev throwing bottles out hisapartment window and chopping at trees with an ax in the courtyard of the co-opapartment building where he lived with his 41-year-old son in the city’s Bronxborough. After receiving several emergency calls about an elderly man with ahatchet, police responded to Dimitriev’s apartment building. By the time theyarrived, Dimitriev had barricaded himself in his apartment, holding his sonhostage. Police burst through the apartment door, and Dimitriev fled through awindow onto the fire escape, leaving his unharmed son behind. Police followedDimitriev, demanding he lay down the ax. When he began to come at police withthe weapon, an officer shot him. Two bullets struck the 62-year-old in theabdomen. Dimitriev was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Source: Associated Press, December 18, 2006

 

Date: 12/2006

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: On December 31, 2006, an Erie County sheriff’s deputyfatally shot Roger S. Duchnik after he repeatedly lunged at the deputy and hispartner with a hunting knife. Deputies James Mirusso and Benjamin Pisa wereinvestigating a complaint from a resident of an apartment complex on NorthBuffalo Street who reported that another resident, Duchnik, was threateningpeople. The person making the complaint described Duchnik, 52, as mentally illand off his medication. The deputies tracked Duchnik to his mother’s home onSpringville-Boston Road in Concord, where they encountered him at the bottom ofa steep driveway. They followed Duchnik as he ran up the driveway and orderedhim to take his hands out of his pockets. Duchnik turned back toward thedeputies and pulled out a knife about 8 inches long and began lunging at thedeputies. Mirusso backed up and fell down a 15-foot embankment after Duchnikswiped near his midsection. Believing his partner had been cut and fearing forhis own life, Pisa fired at least three rounds from his handgun, killingDuchnik. Source: Buffalo News, January 1 & 3, 2007

 

Date: 12/2006

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: On December 31, 2006, an Erie County sheriff’s deputyfatally shot Roger S. Duchnik after he repeatedly lunged at the deputy and hispartner with a hunting knife. Deputies James Mirusso and Benjamin Pisa wereinvestigating a complaint from a resident of an apartment complex on NorthBuffalo Street who reported that another resident, Duchnik, was threateningpeople. The person making the complaint described Duchnik, 52, as mentally illand off his medication. The deputies tracked Duchnik to his mother’s home on Springville-BostonRoad in Concord, where they encountered him at the bottom of a steep driveway.They followed Duchnik as he ran up the driveway and ordered him to take hishands out of his pockets. Duchnik turned back toward the deputies and pulledout a knife about 8 inches long and began lunging at the deputies. Mirussobacked up and fell down a 15-foot embankment after Duchnik swiped near hismidsection. Believing his partner had been cut and fearing for his own life,Pisa fired at least three rounds from his handgun, killing Duchnik. Source:Buffalo News, January 1 & 3, 2007

 

Date: 1/2007

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In January 2007, Blondel Lassegue, an emotionallydisturbed Brooklyn man, died of a heart attack after being Maced and Tasered bythe police. A relative called the police when Lassegue was acting up at hisuncle’s house in Queens, saying he was depressed and delusional, he hadrecently gone off medication for bipolar disorder and depression. The policehad difficulty in restraining 38 year old Lassegue; when the Mace did notsubdue Lassegue, they Tasered him. Lasssegue then had a heart attack and waspronounced dead at a Long Island Hospital. Four officers were injured and threewere hospitalized with non-serious injuries. Lassegue, who graduated fromHunter College and was recently ordained as a minister through a church in LasVegas, had been upset over the recent deaths of his mother and grandmother.Lassegue’s family says they will be consulting with a lawyer. Source: Gothamist,January 8, 2007; Precinct Flushing Times, January 25, 2007

 

Date: 1/2007

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In January 2007, Blondel Lassegue, an emotionallydisturbed Brooklyn man, died of a heart attack after being Maced and Tasered bythe police. A relative called the police when Lassegue was acting up at hisuncle’s house in Queens, saying he was depressed and delusional, he hadrecently gone off medication for bipolar disorder and depression. The policehad difficulty in restraining 38 year old Lassegue; when the Mace did notsubdue Lassegue, they Tasered him. Lasssegue then had a heart attack and waspronounced dead at a Long Island Hospital. Four officers were injured and threewere hospitalized with non-serious injuries. Lassegue, who graduated fromHunter College and was recently ordained as a minister through a church in LasVegas, had been upset over the recent deaths of his mother and grandmother.Lassegue’s family says they will be consulting with a lawyer. Source:Gothamist, January 8, 2007; Precinct Flushing Times, January 25, 2007

 

Date: 2/2007

Location: Hicksville, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 17, 2007, Harvey L. Holmes III, 42, allegedlycommitted a series of assaults, including an attack on an 11-year-old girl. Theattacks on women and the girl happened over a span of a couple hours. Thelittle girl was grabbed when she entered a supermarket with her mother at 2:15p.m., Nassau County police said. “He grabbed her from behind, took her andthrust her up against his body and made kind of a grinding motion againsther,” police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said. The other victims, ranging in agefrom 19 to 46, were held and fondled in three parking lots and a conveniencestore over the next half-hour, police said in a report. Officers found Holmesdriving near a mall, where he hit another car but didn’t stop, police said. Hewas chased by car before he pulled over, they said. Holmes was charged withsexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child,menacing and forcible touching, failing to stop for a police officer, andleaving the scene of an accident. He was to be arraigned on February 17 inHempstead. Holmes’ father, Harvey L. Holmes, Jr., said that his son is not asexual predator but suffers from mental illness and should not have beenreleased from a psychiatric ward. The elder Holmes acknowledged that what hisson had done was wrong. But he said there was another side to the story.”He’s very mentally ill, and the system has really not helped him.” Hisson, the elder Holmes said, had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia and washospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center’s psychiatric unit on December30 but later released on January 25. He said that his son should never havebeen out. Source: Local CBS, 2/19/07

 

Date: 2/2007

Location: Hicksville, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 17, 2007, Harvey L. Holmes III, 42, allegedlycommitted a series of assaults, including an attack on an 11-year-old girl. Theattacks on women and the girl happened over a span of a couple hours. Thelittle girl was grabbed when she entered a supermarket with her mother at 2:15p.m., Nassau County police said. “He grabbed her from behind, took her andthrust her up against his body and made kind of a grinding motion against her,”police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said. The other victims, ranging in age from19 to 46, were held and fondled in three parking lots and a convenience storeover the next half-hour, police said in a report. Officers found Holmes drivingnear a mall, where he hit another car but didn’t stop, police said. He waschased by car before he pulled over, they said. Holmes was charged with sexualabuse, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, menacing andforcible touching, failing to stop for a police officer, and leaving the sceneof an accident. He was to be arraigned on February 17 in Hempstead. Holmes’father, Harvey L. Holmes, Jr., said that his son is not a sexual predator butsuffers from mental illness and should not have been released from apsychiatric ward. The elder Holmes acknowledged that what his son had done waswrong. But he said there was another side to the story. “He’s verymentally ill, and the system has really not helped him.” His son, the elderHolmes said, had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia and was hospitalized atNassau University Medical Center’s psychiatric unit on December 30 but laterreleased on January 25. He said that his son should never have been out. Source: Local CBS, 2/19/07

 

Date: 2/2007

Location: Hicksville, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 17, 2007, Harvey L. Holmes III, 42, allegedlycommitted a series of assaults, including an attack on an 11-year-old girl. Theattacks on women and the girl happened over a span of a couple hours. Thelittle girl was grabbed when she entered a supermarket with her mother at 2:15p.m., Nassau County police said. “He grabbed her from behind, took her andthrust her up against his body and made kind of a grinding motion againsther,” police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said. The other victims, ranging in agefrom 19 to 46, were held and fondled in three parking lots and a conveniencestore over the next half-hour, police said in a report. Officers found Holmesdriving near a mall, where he hit another car but didn’t stop, police said. Hewas chased by car before he pulled over, they said. Holmes was charged withsexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child,menacing and forcible touching, failing to stop for a police officer, andleaving the scene of an accident. He was to be arraigned on February 17 inHempstead. Holmes’ father, Harvey L. Holmes, Jr., said that his son is not asexual predator but suffers from mental illness and should not have beenreleased from a psychiatric ward. The elder Holmes acknowledged that what hisson had done was wrong. But he said there was another side to the story.”He’s very mentally ill, and the system has really not helped him.” Hisson, the elder Holmes said, had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia and was hospitalizedat Nassau University Medical Center’s psychiatric unit on December 30 but laterreleased on January 25. He said that his son should never have been out. Source: Local CBS, 2/19/07

 

Date: 2/2007

Location: Hicksville, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 17, 2007, Harvey L. Holmes III, 42, allegedlycommitted a series of assaults, including an attack on an 11-year-old girl. Theattacks on women and the girl happened over a span of a couple hours. Thelittle girl was grabbed when she entered a supermarket with her mother at 2:15p.m., Nassau County police said. “He grabbed her from behind, took her andthrust her up against his body and made kind of a grinding motion againsther,” police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said. The other victims, ranging in agefrom 19 to 46, were held and fondled in three parking lots and a conveniencestore over the next half-hour, police said in a report. Officers found Holmesdriving near a mall, where he hit another car but didn’t stop, police said. Hewas chased by car before he pulled over, they said. Holmes was charged withsexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child,menacing and forcible touching, failing to stop for a police officer, andleaving the scene of an accident. He was to be arraigned on February 17 inHempstead. Holmes’ father, Harvey L. Holmes, Jr., said that his son is not asexual predator but suffers from mental illness and should not have beenreleased from a psychiatric ward. The elder Holmes acknowledged that what hisson had done was wrong. But he said there was another side to the story.”He’s very mentally ill, and the system has really not helped him.” Hisson, the elder Holmes said, had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia and washospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center’s psychiatric unit on December30 but later released on January 25. He said that his son should never havebeen out. Source: Local CBS, 2/19/07

 

Date: 2/2007

Location: Hicksville, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 17, 2007, Harvey L. Holmes III, 42, allegedlycommitted a series of assaults, including an attack on an 11-year-old girl. Theattacks on women and the girl happened over a span of a couple hours. Thelittle girl was grabbed when she entered a supermarket with her mother at 2:15p.m., Nassau County police said. “He grabbed her from behind, took her andthrust her up against his body and made kind of a grinding motion againsther,” police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said. The other victims, ranging in agefrom 19 to 46, were held and fondled in three parking lots and a conveniencestore over the next half-hour, police said in a report. Officers found Holmesdriving near a mall, where he hit another car but didn’t stop, police said. Hewas chased by car before he pulled over, they said. Holmes was charged withsexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child,menacing and forcible touching, failing to stop for a police officer, andleaving the scene of an accident. He was to be arraigned on February 17 inHempstead. Holmes’ father, Harvey L. Holmes, Jr., said that his son is not asexual predator but suffers from mental illness and should not have beenreleased from a psychiatric ward. The elder Holmes acknowledged that what hisson had done was wrong. But he said there was another side to the story.”He’s very mentally ill, and the system has really not helped him.” Hisson, the elder Holmes said, had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia and washospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center’s psychiatric unit on December30 but later released on January 25. He said that his son should never havebeen out. Source: Local CBS, 2/19/07

 

Date: /2002

Location: Northport, Suffolk County, NY

Summary: Cindy Bernhardt, 38, of Northport, NY, was arraigned inSuffolk County Court on charges of second-degree conspiracy and criminalsolicitation for enlisting the services of what she believed to be a hit man tokill her husband, Thomas Bernhardt. The hit man was actually an undercoverpolice officer. She could be sentenced to a maximum of 8 to 25 years in prisonif convicted. Bernhardt suffers from bipolar disorder according to her niece,Stephanie Anaya, who lived with the couple for years. Anaya said her aunt hasnot always acknowledged her mental illness. Bernhardt’s lawyer said he was unfamiliarwith his client’s psychiatric history, but said she does take antidepressants. Source: Newsday, September 4, 2002

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Schenectady, Schenectady, NY

Summary: Chevena Polite, 16, has been charged second-degree murderin the death of a 52-year-old man who police said was lured to an apartment byPolite and a married couple to have sex and was then beaten to death after adispute arose over payment. Hours before the murder on February 1, 2003,Polite’s mother said she went there to rescue her – only to be arrested andcharged with trespassing. Polite, whose mother says she was being drugged andprostituted by Stacey Adamson, 32, and his wife, Taryn Blair-Admanson, 19,pleaded not guilty at her arraignment and was sent to the Schenectady Countyjail without bail. The three alleged killers drove victim Daniel Jamison’s bodyto Queens, left it in a trash bin and drove off in Jamison’s sport utilityvehicle. They were arrested February 10, 2003 in Eastland, Texas. Polite’smother says that since Polite was arrested, her daughter has been denied hermedication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Polite denied involvement inthe murder. Source: The Times Union (Albany, NY) February 28, 2003 The TimesUnion (Albany, NY) March 13, 2004

 

Date: 5/2003

Location: Mastic, Suffolk, NY

Summary: William Sancimo, 52, was charged with second-degreemurder in the stabbing death of his mother, Jennie Citera, 73, on May 6, 2003in her Mastic, New York home. Sancimo was arrested a day after his mother wasfound dead with more than 80 stab wounds in her face and torso, and he pleadednot guilty at his arraignment in Suffolk County Court. Sancimo has sufferedfrom manic depression, paranoia and schizophrenia for most of his life, hisbrother said, and had a history of hospitalizations since age 15. Police saidSancimo had been a patient at Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center for six monthsshortly before Citera’s murder. Prior to their mother’s death, Sancimo’sbrother said state officials were unresponsive when he called them to try toget Sancimo back into the hospital after his February 2003 release. Citera’sfamily filed notice of their plan to sue New York State and Pilgrim StateHospital for failing to properly treat and monitor Sancimo following his release.A judge ruled in August, 2003 that Sancimo was mentally imcompetent to standtrial and was to undergo further psychiatric evaluation for four months. At theend of that period, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Michael Mullen willdetermine if Sancimo is capable of going forward. Since Sancimo’s arraignment,his attorney Anthony La Pinta has maintained that his client is not mentallystable. In July, 2003, Sancimo attacked a psychiatrist at Kirby ForensicPsychiatric Center in Manhattan as the doctor was evaluating him. AssistantDistrict Attorney Janet Albertson said she did not object to Mullen’s ruling. Source: Newsday (New York), June 7, 2003 Newsday, June 27, 2003 Newsday, August21, 2003

 

Date: 6/2003

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Dawn Mitchell, 46, was charged with fatally stabbing hersister, Ruby, 49, a Brooklyn church worker, capping a long-running feud duringa furious argument on June 19, 2003. Dawn was also wounded in the neck, butcops said it was not clear if her injuries were self-inflicted. Neighbors saidRuby, who had devoted her life to helping her sister battle her mentalproblems, had gone to Dawn’s house after the younger woman was sent home fromher job at a senior-citizens center because of strange behavior. Ruby, who hadoften asked co-workers to pray for her sister, was stabbed in the neck andchest. Source: New York Post, June 24, 2003

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: Bronx, Kings, NY

Summary: Morgan McHenry, 35, a man with a history of psychologicalproblems, attacked his 69-year-old mother in their Bronx, NY home on July 18,2003. McHenry assaulted his mother during an argument, clawed at her face,dislodged her right eye and ripped out the left one, police said. Policearrested McHenry at the scene and charged him with first-degree assault.McHenry’s sister said he suffers from bipolar disorder but was never prescribedmedication. His mother was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was listedin stable condition but may lose sight in both eyes, police said. McHenry was takento Bellevue Hospital for evaluation. Source: Daily News (New York) July 19,2003 Newsday (New York) July 19, 2003

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: Freeport, Nassau, NY

Summary: Michelle Sambriski, 34, and her 2-year-old daughter,Gina, were found dead on July 23, 2003 in Sambriski’s cousin’s Freeport, NYhome, where they had been living for the past four months. Sambriski’s cousinfound Gina’s body lying face down in the bathtub, and officers searching thehome later found Sambriski hanging in the garage, police said. Sambriski leftbehind a note that provided detectives with enough information to conclude thatshe had drowned her daughter and then killed herself. The child’s father, BrianRamirez, had reported Sambriski to Nassau County child protective services twomonths earlier when he learned that she had been evicted from her apartment andhad gone off medication for her bipolar disorder. A subsequent investigationfailed to show any incidents of abuse or neglect and was closed weeks later. In2002, Sambriski and Ramirez were due in family court to discuss visitation, theRamirez family said, but Sambriski never showed up. Ramirez had planned to goto Nassau Family Court on July 29, 2003, to again petition for visitation.Ramizer has filed a lawsuit against Nassau County, claiming Child ProtectiveServices failed to heed his warnings about the mother’s instability.Susbsequent History: An April 2004 report on Gina Sambriski’s death by thestate Office of Children and Family Services criticized Nassau’s Department ofSocial Services for closing the case prematurely – without confirmingSambriski’s psychological history, as the girl’s father had detailed. Othermistakes included the worker’s failure to ask Sambriski to release her medicalrecords to see if she was seeking mental health treatment. The abuseinvestigator also never interviewed relatives who would have been familiar withher emotional problems, even though Ramirez provided a list. Had he contactedSambriski’s mother, he might also have found out Sambriski had previouslyattempted suicide, county police records show. The investigator also neverpursued why she recently had been evicted or even how she was supportingherself and her daughter. Source: Newsday (New York), July 25, 2003 Newsday,September 7, 2003 Newsday, August 23, 2004

 

Date: 1/2001

Location: Ridgewood, Queens, NY

Summary: Luis Perez, 21, who has a history of mental problems,admitted killing his mother’s girlfriend Juanita Hernandez on January 23, 2001,by stabbing and then strangling her in the Ridgewood, NY, home they all shared.He was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter.Justice Robert J. Hanophy of State Supreme Court also requested that Perezundergo psychiatric treatment. Hanophy heard two days of testimony, includingcomments from Perez’s mother, who pleaded with him to spare her son a longsentence. Perez was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic with clinicaldepression, and told a psychiatrist that he killed Hernandez because he thoughtshe had him raped by two men the night before – something both sides say was adelusion. Prosecution and defense lawyers agreed Perez was mentally ill. But hedidn’t fit the typical “not responsible by reason of mental defect ordisease” profile, prosecutor Barry Weinrib said. Source: Daily News (NewYork), July 25, 2003 New York Times, July 29, 2003

 

Date: 8/2003

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Michael Kim, an emotionally disturbed 22-year-old man,was shot by police on August 27, 2003 in the Pelham Parkway section of theBronx. NYPD officers were called to a home to break up an argument between Kimand his brother, Chin. According to police, Kim, who suffers fromschizophrenia, paranoia and anxiety, approached officers with a shovel,prompting them to fire two shots at him. Kim was hit once in the hip and oncein the thigh. He was taken to Jacobi Medical Center where he underwent surgery.One officer was also taken to the hospital and treated for trauma. Kim’sbrother, who summoned police, disputed their account. “It was anunprovoked, unjustified shooting,” said Chin Kim, a college student.”When I called 911, I told them he was suicidal, he wasn’t going to hurtanybody around him.” The family also claims Kim warned police he wascoming out of the building and that he was just holding the shovel. Police sayKim ignored their orders to drop the 5-foot-long shovel and instead lunged atthem with it. Chin Kim says he never heard the officers give a warning. The Kimfamily is now thinking of filing a lawsuit against the NYPD. The day before theincident, police, paramedics and Michael Kim’s case worker had taken him toJacobi’s mental health emergency room because he was acting irrationally. Source: News 12 Long Island, August 28, 2003 Daily News (New York), August 29,2003

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: Necati N. Harsit, a 41-year-old Rochester, NY, man, wasarrested after he allegedly bought an unloaded 9mm pistol from an undercoverRochester police officer in March 2002 and said that he intended to use it tokill a City Court Judge. Harsit was later diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia, declared mentally unfit for trial and committed to the secureforensic unit of Rochester Psychiatric Center in August 2002. In September2003, Justice Kenneth R. Fisher ordered that Harsit be held for one more yearat the Center after hearing evidence that Harsit refused to take medication andbelieved he was being kept in custody to prevent him from breaking up apornography ring involving Fisher, the prosecutor and his lawyer. In a letter,Harsit also said that two previous psychiatrists had stolen his body organs andwere selling them to a business school. Fisher found that Harsit didn’tunderstand the charges against him and couldn’t help his lawyer with a defense.Subsequent History: In September 2004, after hearing testimony that Harsitsuffers from chronic paranoid schizophrenia, state Supreme Court JusticeKenneth R. Fisher ordered Harsit to be held for up to two more years in theRochester Psychiatric Center. Criminal prosecution could resume if Harsiteventually responds to treatment and is found competent. If convicted, Harsitcould be imprisoned up to 25 years. Subsequent History: Necati N. Harsit wasallowed in June 2006 to plead not responsible by reason of mental disease ordefect for attempting to arrange the death four years ago of Judge Roy WheatleyKing, who had ruled against him in a property dispute. The plea acknowledgesthat Harsit, 44, was suffering from a mental defect that caused him to lackunderstanding that his actions were wrong, said Assistant District AttorneyTimothy L. Prosperi. Prosecutors authorized the plea after psychiatrists agreedthat Harsit suffered from chronic paranoid schizophrenia at the time of theincident. The plea ends a criminal case against Harsit that could have sent himto prison up to 25 years. After accepting the plea, County Court Judge PatriciaD. Marks ordered Harsit to be turned over to state mental health authorities,who will send him to a secure facility. He can be released, if the authoritiesverify that he isn’t a danger. Source: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,September 3, 2003, September 14, 2004, and June 28, 2006

 

Date: 9/2003

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Kareem Rodriguez, 25, a man who suffers fromschizophrenia, stabbed his nephew’s 10-year-old friend in the back outside aQueens, NY apartment on September 21, 2003. Rodriguez was arrested shortlyafter the attack and charged with assault. The boy was taken to the hospitaland stabilized. Rodriquez, who apparently became angered when he found the twoboys jumping on his bed, had been released three months earlier from JamaicaHospital Medical Center’s psychiatric ward after four months of treatment.Rodriguez’s nephew said when his uncle wasn’t taking his medicine, he spoke tohimself and liked to stab things with a small knife he always carried.Rodriguez’s mother said her son had been acting erratically the day of theattack and had begun spitting his medication out. She had planned to call anambulance to take him to the hospital later that evening. She said she tried toprotest his earlier release from the hospital, but because her son was anadult, there was nothing she could do. Source: Newsday (New York), September23, 2003 Daily News, September 23, 2003

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Alberto Menegro, 42, was charged with second-degreemurder and first-degree assault in a fatal attack on his 8-year-old niece andother relatives in their Manhattan apartment. Police said that Menegro claimedto be “hearing voices in his head” when he killed the girl byslitting her throat and attacked other relatives on October 19, 2003. Menegrowas alone in the kitchen with his sister’s only child when he suddenly snappedand stabbed the 8-year-old with a steak knife, police said. Other relatives athome heard blood-curdling screams coming from the room, and the mom and unclerushed in to see what was going on, cops said. Horrified at the sight of thedying girl crumpled on the floor, they tried to stop Menegro, who stabbed andwounded both of them, police said. Menegro’s relatives told police he had beentreated for schizophrenia at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital as recently asMarch 2003, but that he stopped taking his medicine. Menegro, who also cut hisown throat during the incident, was moved to Bellevue Hospital after beingtreated at Harlem Hospital. Source: New York Post, October 21, 2003 The DailyNews, October 20, 2003 New York Post, October 23, 2003

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Russell Harding, 39, the former head of the HousingDevelopment Corporation appointed by Mayor Rudy Guiliani in 1998, was indictedin New York City on embezzlement charges in March 2003. Harding, who suffersfrom bipolar disorder, was accused of financing lavish vacations and otherluxuries by disguising them as work expenses. A six-count federal indictmentalso accuses him of having a child-pornography movie and 10 child-pornographyimages on his computer. He plead innocent. Lawyers told the judge in his casethat Harding’s bipolar disorder skewed his ability to understand that hisbehavior was inappropriate. The charges against Harding carry a maximum of 45years in prison, although if convicted he would likely get far less underfederal sentencing guidelines. On November 3, 2003, Harding was arrested at hishome because a doctor believed he might try to kill himself. After a briefhearing, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan postponed Harding’s trial and orderedhe undergo psychiatric evaluation by doctors at the Federal Medical Center inButner, N.C. Subsequent History: In an order dated October 28, 2004, DistrictJudge Lewis Kaplan concluded that after thorough psychiatric evaluation,Harding is “competent to stand trial.” Kaplan also noted that Harding”has informed the court that he does not dispute that finding.” InSeptember 2004, Kaplan announced that, based on a report he received fromdoctors, he was prepared to rule that Harding should be tried on charges that hestole more than $250,000 from a city housing department and destroyed evidenceto cover up the thefts. Kaplan gave defense lawyers until September 27, 2004 tosubmit arguments challenging the findings. Source: New York Daily News,November 4, 2003 Newsday, November 5, 2003 Village Voice, September 21, 2004Newsday, October 29, 2004

 

Date: 11/2003

Location: Rocky Point, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On November 11, 2003, Dennis Cherbavaz, a 50-year-old manwith mental illness, led sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase through hishometown of Rocky Point, NY, then violently resisted arrest and suffered aheart attack. The deputies were attempting to serve an order of protectionfiled by his sister after she alleged that Cherbavaz had tried to run her offthe road in a car and break a chair over her head. Cherbavaz became incensedand fled, until deputies were able to catch up to him and pull him forceablyout of the car. During the struggle to subdue him, Cherbavaz suffered the heartattack and was taken to the hospital. Cherbavaz was charged with felonyreckless endangerment, as well as resisting arrest and menacing, bothmisdemeanors. Cherbavaz had been diagnosed as schizophrenic with bipolardisorder and had been admitted to psychiatric hospitals in New York andMassachusetts 23 times in two decades, said his mother, Diva Cherbavaz. Shesaid she realized her son was a danger to himself two weeks before his arrest,had been on the phone with the Suffolk County Department of Health’s crisisunit nearly every day, and even filed a police report against him for takingher 1993 Oldsmobile – just so he could be taken safely into custody. Accordingher, Cherbavaz had recently lost his job and was upset over a custody battlebetween her and her daughter over the daughter’s two young sons. “At leasthe is safe now,” she said. “As long as he is in the hospital, hecan’t hurt himself anymore. That’s the good part.” Subsequent History:Cherbavaz died in the hospital three weeks after the incident. Source: Newsday(New York), November 13, 2003 Newsday (New York) April 11, 2004

 

Date: 7/2000

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Jaime Oliveira, 22, a man with schizophrenia, allegedlyattacked two women in July and August 2000 after picking them up in his cabearly in the morning outside two different bars in Woodside, Queens. In July2000, he allegedly refused to allow a 31-year-old woman to leave his cab bylocking her door from the front seat. He then walked around to the back, openedthe passenger door and attacked her. In August 2000, he allegedly raped a25-year-old woman as she slept in the back of his black Lincoln Town Car. Hewas charged with rape, sodomy, attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, sex abuseand kidnapping and faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted. Oliveira, whohad spent much of the two years since his arrest in and out of mentalinstitutions and was on medication, has been missing since shortly afterposting $150,000 bail on Oct. 21, 2003. He failed to appear for his November 5,2003 trial date. “I’m not speculating” about whether he went off hismedication once he made bail, his attorney Lawrence Kerben said. “He waslooking at a lot of time. Fifteen years was the last offer from the DA’soffice.” Source: New York Daily News, November 18, 2003

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: West Nyack, Rockland, NY

Summary: A man accused of beating and attempting to abduct a womanfrom the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack, NY, on March 21, 2003 was foundnot guilty after a trial in Rockland County Court, during which the defenseportrayed him as a schizophrenic. While the jury determined that theprosecution proved that Brian Gordon, 21, had attempted to kidnap the woman, itdetermined he was not responsible for it because of a mental disease or defect.The jury also found Gordon not guilty of second-degree kidnapping, and twocounts of second-degree assault. Dr. Alan Tuckman, a Pomona psychiatrist,testified for the prosecution that Gordon’s mental condition wasn’t an issue,while Dr. Marc Tarle, a psychiatrist from New City, testified that Gordon was achronic schizophrenic. Gordon, who has been jailed since his arrest shortlyafter the incident, was ordered into the custody of the state Department ofMental Health, District Attorney Michael Bongiorno said. He will be held in asecure psychiatric hospital and evaluated periodically to determine if he stillposes a threat to the community or himself. Gordon had faced up to 25 yearsimprisonment if he had been found guilty of kidnapping, the most serious chargeagainst him. Source: Gannett Suburban New York Newspapers, November 27, 2003

 

Date: 12/2003

Location: Wyandanch, Suffolk, NY

Summary: Leon Kornegay, 23, a community college student fromWyandanch, NY, stabbed his marketing professor at Suffolk County CommunityCollege in Brentwood, NY, while classmates looked on in horror on Dec. 1, 2003,after months of his mother, Nadine Ward, trying to get psychiatric help forhim. The professor, Salvotore Curiale, 45, was treated for wounds to the leftside of his body. Kornegay pleaded not guilty to second-degree felony assault.Subsequent History: On June 30, 2004, Kornegay pleaded guilty to second-degreeassault. On August 19, 2004, Suffolk County Judge Louis Ohlig sentencedKornegay to 3 years in prison. Both Kornegay’s attorney, Ira Rosenberg, andWard said they were disappointed that Kornegay, who has paranoid schizophrenia,will be in prison when he needs psychiatric help. Ohlig cited Kornegay’s priorinvolvement with the law, including a 1999 conviction for misdemeanor assault,as reason for the prison term. Ohlig also sentenced Kornegay to three years ofpost-release supervision following his prison sentence. Kornegay’s paranoidschizophrenia was diagnosed after the November 2003 incident, Rosenberg said,and he is currently on medication for that condition. Prior History: Kornegaystarted acting paranoid in the summer before the murder. His mother persuadedhim to check into the psychiatric ward at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore onNov. 21, 2003, where the ER doctor said he exhibited signs of paranoidschizophrenia. The following day, when she told her son’s assigned physicianthat she feared he would hurt someone if the hospital let him out, the doctorconcurred, agreeing to seek a court order to have him committed involuntarily,Ward said. But the doctor changed his mind, Ward said, and the court order wasnot obtained. When he was discharged five days later on Nov. 26, it is unclearwhat his diagnosis was, but his discharge plan, Ward said, instructed him totake Rispodel, an anti-psychotic drug, twice a day, and to visit an outpatientclinic in Central Islip on Dec. 2. But Kornegay almost immediately tore up thedischarge plan, and threw away the medication, Ward said. Source: Newsday,December 16, 2003; Newsday, July 1, 2004; Newsday, August 20, 2004

 

Date: 8/2002

Location: Amherst, Erie, NY

Summary: Joseph Tulumello, 60, a former surgeon, pleaded guilty togrand larceny and agreed to return to his 92-year-old mother the ownership ofthe Amherst home he made her sign over to him in August 2002. He was spared ajail term on the condition that he continue taking prescribed anti-psychoticmedication and get further mental health counseling. In addition to taking overhis mother’s home, Tulumello allegedly also ran a phone sex and pornographicfilm business out of the home while she still lived there, spent her $50,000annuity and cashed her Social Security and pension checks. In February 2003,Tulumello’s medical license was revoked by the state after he was diagnosed assuffering from bipolar disorder. In July 2003, Erie County Judge Michael F.Pietruszka ordered a forensic mental examination of Tulumello, who wasultimately sent to Erie County Medical Center for care. Source: Buffalo News,December 11, 2003 Buffalo News, May 18, 2003 Buffalo News, February 28, 2004

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: Granby, Oswego, NY

Summary: Joseph Blake, an Oswego County, NY, man, was accused ofkilling his parents James, 81, and Betty Blake, 72, by striking them with aclaw hammer. Their bodies were found July 16, 2003 in their home in Granby, NY.Blake, 48, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. According to thearrest report, Blake has a history of mental health problems and a longinvolvement with Community Mental Health. A judge ordered an evaluation ofBlake by two county psychiatrists due to Blake’s disheveled appearance in courtand his past history of psychiatric problems. The day before his parents werekilled, Blake was taken by police to the Oswego Hospital emergency room for a mentalhealth evaluation after he got into an altercation with a social worker. On themorning that his parents’ bodies were found, Oswego officers again picked upBlake on a mental health order, which they have said was unrelated to thekillings. Subsequent History: Blake pleaded guilty on November 18, 2004 tokilling his parents and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 25 years tolife. On October 18, 2004, Blake was found competent enough to assist in hisdefense and stand trial, acting County Judge John Elliott said. During a briefhearing in April 2004, defense lawyer Joseph Rodak said a clinical psychologistrecommended Blake undergo a brain scan because he had suffered a series of headinjuries throughout his lifetime and these may have caused brain damage. Afterappearing in Oswego County Surrogate Court on July 13, 2004, it was decidedthat Blake would undergo further psychiatric evaluations.The DistrictAttorney’s Office was given the opportunity to select their own doctor toevaluate Blake. Prior History: Since 1995, Blake had been treated in severalpsychiatric facilities for bi-polar disorder. Blake also had a history of goingoff medications, Rodak said. Source: The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), January27, 2004/ April 27, 2004/ July 20, 2004/ October 19, 2004/ November 19, 2004;The Palladium Times, July 19, 2004/ October 19, 2004; Long Island Newsday,December 21, 2004

 

Date: 3/2001

Location: , , NY

Summary: Juan Arequipa, 49, spiked a bottle of Coca-Cola withcyanide and tried to get his unsuspecting teenage children to join him in afatal toast. Fortunately, both children survived. After Arequipa’s son saw hisfather and sister were getting sick and collapsing, he called 911. The fatherand daughter were unconscious when ambulance workers arrived, and Arequipalater died. His daughter was in critical but stable condition the next day.Police sources stated that Arequipa was distraught and depressed. Familymembers stated that he had spoken of suicide and was being treated withmedication for depression. Source: Newsday, March 24, 2001

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Lynbrook, Nassau, NY

Summary: Peter John Troy, 35, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic,was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and given two life sentenceswithout parole for killing a Lynbrook, NY, priest and parishioner with asemi-automatic rifle at morning Mass, then barricading himself in his home in aseven-hour standoff with police on March 12, 2002. He was also sentenced to aminimum of 25 years in prison for the attempted first-degree murder of a policeofficer during his arrest, and the judge levied a $20,310.10 reimbursement forthe two victims’ funeral costs. Psychologist Anthony Santoro, who said he spokewith Troy on three dates, concluded that Troy was mentally capable of helpinghis attorney before and during trial. The conclusion contradicted hisphysicians’ finding. Against his lawyer’s advice, Troy insisted on representinghimself at trial, and refused to use an insanity defense. Prior History:According to his mother, Troy began showing signs of mental illness while incollege. For the next 15 years, Troy was hospitalized several times and placedon medication. Twice in 2001, Troy was detained by the police and admitted topsychiatric hospital wards. But a judge ordered him released, and a countymental health agency failed to locate him for follow-up care that doctors hadurged. The state’s Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabledlater found that Nassau County “inappropriately” closed his case. Theyear before the shootings, Bellevue Hospital Center had told the Nassau Countymental health department that Troy was a candidate for outpatient treatmentunder Kendra’s Law. Troy’s lawyer had sought to have his client declaredincompetent to stand trial, but the judge refused. Saying that Troy had shownno remorse, the judge called him “extremely dangerous, arrogant, stubborn,a mean individual hellbent on causing as much pain as you could.”Sunsequent History: In March 2004, the family of one of his victims, EileenTosner, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Nassau County’s Department ofMental Health and the Nassau University Medical Center. Troy was also named inthe suit. Despite a bid by Nassau County to throw out the civil lawsuit, inJuly 2004 Supreme Court Justice William LaMarca ruled that the wrongful deathcase could move ahead. Troy represented himself in the suit. In 2005, Troy, whostill claimed his innocence, tried to block the suit by refusing to release anyof his mental health records, despite two orders by a state Supreme CourtJustice. Source: Newsday (New York, NY), March 14, 2002; Daily News, March 16,2002; The New York Times, March 20, 2002; July 31, 2003; Newsday, 2/28/03;3/11/03; 6/20/03; 6/26/03; 5/17/04; 7/15/04; 5/25/05

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: Lynbrook, Nassau, NY

Summary: Peter John Troy, 35, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic,was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and given two life sentenceswithout parole for killing a Lynbrook, NY, priest and parishioner with asemi-automatic rifle at morning Mass, then barricading himself in his home in aseven-hour standoff with police on March 12, 2002. He was also sentenced to aminimum of 25 years in prison for the attempted first-degree murder of a policeofficer during his arrest, and the judge levied a $20,310.10 reimbursement forthe two victims’ funeral costs. Psychologist Anthony Santoro, who said he spokewith Troy on three dates, concluded that Troy was mentally capable of helpinghis attorney before and during trial. The conclusion contradicted hisphysicians’ finding. Against his lawyer’s advice, Troy insisted on representinghimself at trial, and refused to use an insanity defense. Prior History:According to his mother, Troy began showing signs of mental illness while incollege. For the next 15 years, Troy was hospitalized several times and placedon medication. Twice in 2001, Troy was detained by the police and admitted topsychiatric hospital wards. But a judge ordered him released, and a countymental health agency failed to locate him for follow-up care that doctors hadurged. The state’s Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabledlater found that Nassau County “inappropriately” closed his case. Theyear before the shootings, Bellevue Hospital Center had told the Nassau Countymental health department that Troy was a candidate for outpatient treatmentunder Kendra’s Law. Troy’s lawyer had sought to have his client declaredincompetent to stand trial, but the judge refused. Saying that Troy had shownno remorse, the judge called him “extremely dangerous, arrogant, stubborn,a mean individual hellbent on causing as much pain as you could.”Sunsequent History: In March 2004, the family of one of his victims, EileenTosner, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Nassau County’s Department ofMental Health and the Nassau University Medical Center. Troy was also named inthe suit. Despite a bid by Nassau County to throw out the civil lawsuit, inJuly 2004 Supreme Court Justice William LaMarca ruled that the wrongful deathcase could move ahead. Troy represented himself in the suit. In 2005, Troy, whostill claimed his innocence, tried to block the suit by refusing to release anyof his mental health records, despite two orders by a state Supreme Court Justice. Source: Newsday (New York, NY), March 14, 2002; Daily News, March 16, 2002;The New York Times, March 20, 2002; July 31, 2003; Newsday, 2/28/03; 3/11/03;6/20/03; 6/26/03; 5/17/04; 7/15/04; 5/25/05

 

Date: 3/2002

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Rev. Julio Torres, 57, and his wife were brutallyattacked in their rectory home on March 31, 2002 by Torres’ oldest son, Javier,27, who was visiting the couple from a halfway house in Baltimore for theweekend. Javier Torres stabbed his 37-year-old stepmother in the abdomen andback and his father in five places in the chest and back before fleeing. He wasarrested later that night after surrendering to police near Times Square.Torres was charged with two counts of attempted murder and is being held onRikers Island. Rev. Torres emphasized that his son, who has suffered fromparanoid schizophrenia since he was 19, attacked them in the midst of adelusional breakdown. Rev. Torres said his son regularly refused to take hisanti-psychotic medicine. As recently as December, 2001, a Maryland judge foundthat Torres did not need to be confined to a mental hospital despiteindications that he was homicidal. Source: Daily News (New York), May 6, 2002

 

Date: 4/2002

Location: Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: At 2 a.m. on April 16, 2002, Christine Wilhelm of HoosickFalls, NY drowned her 4-year-old son, Luke, and attempted to drown her5-year-old son, Peter, in a bathtub in the family home. Wilhelm, who has ahistory of schizophrenia, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to threecounts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder,but was eventually convicted of murder in July 2003. On September 3, she wasgiven the maximum sentence of 50 years to life by Rensselaer County Court JudgePatrick McGrath, who told Wilhelm he had “no room for mercy” for her.Wilhelm had claimed her husband sexually abused the children and the drowningwas an intended “act of mercy” for them. It was later determined thatthere was no evidence of abuse. Since her imprisonment at the Rensselaer CountyJail, Wilhelm underwent several disciplinary hearings, was placed on suicidewatch and given antipsychotic medication. During her incarceration, she will beat a much higher risk for suicide attempts and will be shunned by otherinmates, according to experts. Her attorney says Wilhelm still talks about Lukeas if he’s alive and has tried to take her own life in jail. “It’s a sadday for psychiatry because our society seems not to be able to see the forestfor the trees when it comes down to people’s mental behavior,” said Dr.Stephen Price, who was the defense team’s star witness. Since Wilhelm’sconviction, two social worker’s testimonies indicating Wilhelm knew the killingwas wrong have come into question, and the public defender was contemplating agrand jury investigation. Prior History: Wilhelm had a history of involvementwith child protective services and multiple psychiatric hospitalizations inboth Florida and New York. Prior to the killing, her husband had brought her toAlbany Medical Center, where she was hospitalized in the psychiatric wing formore than a week. Wilhelm also made contact with Capital Region social servicesnumerous times – as recently as four days before the killing – telling them shewas afraid her children were in danger. Her mother testified in court that shehad begged her son-in-law to hospitalize Wilhelm just two days before thedrowning, and that Wilhelm was not taking her medication at the time, a factconfirmed by Kenneth Wilhelm. Subsequent History: In June 2006, ChristineWilhelm’s last-ditch appeal was making its way through the Appellate Divisionof state Supreme Court. Wilhelm’s lawyer, public defender Jerry Frost, was backin court in Albany arguing that Wilhelm’s sentence of 50 years to life inprison should be reversed and that she should be granted a new trial. Mr. Frostcontended, yet again, that Wilhelm is not guilty by the reasons of her owninsanity. He also reiterated that she belongs in the strict confinement of amental institution, not in a prison cell. Subsequent History: On August 24,2006, an appellate court reversed Christine Wilhelm’s 2003 murder convictionand ordered a new trial for the woman who was found guilty of drowning one sonand trying to drown his brother. The court ruled that Wilhelm’s right tocounsel was violated by the testimony of child protective case workers whointerviewed her without a lawyer. Wilhelm, 42, is serving a sentence of 46years to life in prison. She had stopped taking her medication to treatparanoid schizophrenia about a month before she held her 4-year-old son, Luke,under his bathwater on April 15, 2002, prosecutors said. Wilhelm’s other son,Peter, now 9, survived after begging her to let him go. He testified at thetrial that his mother was seeing werewolves on the night she attacked him andhis brother. A five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of state SupremeCourt ruled unanimously that Kathleen McGarry and Casi Maloney of county ChildProtective Services were working with law enforcement when they interviewedWilhelm without her lawyer present and reported her comments to the districtattorney’s office. They said Wilhelm told them she knew what she was doing waswrong but did it anyway. The 16-page decision, written by Justice Thomas E.Mercure, said defense attorney Jerry Frost was correct in arguing that the twocase workers’ trial testimony should not have been allowed. It stated that theCPS workers “had ‘a cooperative working arrangement’ with and were actingas agents of the police and prosecutor in interviewing and relaying herincriminating status.” Subsequent History: Christine Wilhelm pleaded notguilty on September 13, 2006, citing mental illness, in a deal reached withprosecutors. Wilhelm will be sent to a psychiatric facility where she couldspend the rest of her life. Rensselaer County District Attorney PatriciaDeAngelis agreed to the deal three weeks after an appeals court tossedWilhelm’s conviction. Judge Patrick McGrath turned Wilhelm over to the stateCommission on Mental Health to be placed in a secure mental facility at theMid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in Orange County. Within 30 days, she will get anexamination by two independent psychiatrists. That report will be returned tothe judge who then will have 10 days to schedule a hearing to determine whetherWilhelm suffers from a dangerous mental disorder that would keep her in thefacility. She will have another evaluation within six months, another within ayear and every two years after that. Source: Albany Times Union (New York),June 6, 2002 Albany Times Union, 5/29/03, 6/3/03, 6/19/03, 7/8/03, 7/8/06,8/14/06, 8/25/06, 8/27/06, 8/30/06, 9/13/06, 9/15/06, 9/17/06;Saratogian,7/10/03; The Daily Gazette, 7/10/03

 

Date: 1/2000

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Chris Pollard, 21, of Brooklyn, was sentenced after beingconvicted of attempted rape, burglary and assault charges related to his attackon a 49-year-old nanny at the West 46th Street home of Thomas Winberry. OnJanuary 1, 2000, Pollard was sent to Winberry’s home to deliver a package andattacked and choked the nanny after forcing his way into the house. Winberryreturned home while Pollard was there, and Pollard attacked him as well,slashing him across the face, inflicting a gash that required 50 stiches toclose. State Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner said psychiatric tests showthat Pollard has “a major psychotic disorder, possiblyschizophrenia,” and that “he is a threat to himself and others.”The judge designated Pollard a “predicate violent felon”, directedthat he receive psychiatric treatment in prison and be supervised for fiveyears after his release, and ordered him registered as a sex offender. Source:The Associated Press, October 20, 2000

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Larme Price, 30, was charged with first-degree murder andfaces the death penalty for allegedly killing four immigrants in separate actsof revenge against Arabs for the September 11 terror attacks. However,questions mounted about whether proper psychiatric treatment could have cutshort the rampage. The killing spree began February 8, 2003, when police sayPrice shot and killed a Guyanese immigrant of Indian descent in a Queensgrocery store. Two hours later, Price allegedly fatally shot an immigrant fromIndia in his Brooklyn convenience store. An immigrant from the Ukraine waskilled March 10 at his laundermat in Brooklyn after Price said he”disrespected” him. Ten days later, Price allegedly killed a Yemeni immigrantin a Crown Heights, Brooklyn, grocery store. Brooklyn Criminal Court JudgeTimothy Duffici placed Price on suicide watch after his arrest and ordereddetoxification treatment for the admitted drug user. Price’s relatives havesaid they repeatedly tried to get psychiatric treatment for the father of threewho descended into paranoia and rage. They said Price was turned away fromWoodhull Hospital several times. A hospital source told the Daily News thatPrice had been seen by a psychiatrist but was discharged because he showed nosign of being a danger to himself or others. Source: Daily News, April 1, 2003

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Larme Price, 30, was charged with first-degree murder andfaces the death penalty for allegedly killing four immigrants in separate actsof revenge against Arabs for the September 11 terror attacks. However,questions mounted about whether proper psychiatric treatment could have cutshort the rampage. The killing spree began February 8, 2003, when police sayPrice shot and killed a Guyanese immigrant of Indian descent in a Queensgrocery store. Two hours later, Price allegedly fatally shot an immigrant fromIndia in his Brooklyn convenience store. An immigrant from the Ukraine waskilled March 10 at his laundermat in Brooklyn after Price said he”disrespected” him. Ten days later, Price allegedly killed a Yemeniimmigrant in a Crown Heights, Brooklyn, grocery store. Brooklyn Criminal CourtJudge Timothy Duffici placed Price on suicide watch after his arrest andordered detoxification treatment for the admitted drug user. Price’s relativeshave said they repeatedly tried to get psychiatric treatment for the father ofthree who descended into paranoia and rage. They said Price was turned awayfrom Woodhull Hospital several times. A hospital source told the Daily Newsthat Price had been seen by a psychiatrist but was discharged because he showedno sign of being a danger to himself or others. Source: Daily News, April 1,2003

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Larme Price, 30, was charged with first-degree murder andfaces the death penalty for allegedly killing four immigrants in separate actsof revenge against Arabs for the September 11 terror attacks. However,questions mounted about whether proper psychiatric treatment could have cutshort the rampage. The killing spree began February 8, 2003, when police sayPrice shot and killed a Guyanese immigrant of Indian descent in a Queensgrocery store. Two hours later, Price allegedly fatally shot an immigrant fromIndia in his Brooklyn convenience store. An immigrant from the Ukraine waskilled March 10 at his laundermat in Brooklyn after Price said he”disrespected” him. Ten days later, Price allegedly killed a Yemeniimmigrant in a Crown Heights, Brooklyn, grocery store. Brooklyn Criminal CourtJudge Timothy Duffici placed Price on suicide watch after his arrest andordered detoxification treatment for the admitted drug user. Price’s relativeshave said they repeatedly tried to get psychiatric treatment for the father ofthree who descended into paranoia and rage. They said Price was turned awayfrom Woodhull Hospital several times. A hospital source told the Daily Newsthat Price had been seen by a psychiatrist but was discharged because he showedno sign of being a danger to himself or others. Source: Daily News, April 1,2003

 

Date: 9/2002

Location: Middle Island, Suffolk, NY

Summary: Christopher Maggio, 31, who suffers from depression and”probably other mental illnesses” according to his lawyer, held hisparents hostage in their Head of the Harbor home because he was angry about thebreak-up of his marriage. Maggio has been charged with second-degree kidnappingfor terrorizing his parents and threatening them with a knife, a handgun and astun gun and for causing destruction to their property. Maggio’s wife, aRussian woman he brought back from that country to marry, filed an order ofprotection against him after several months of marriage and finally left himafter he violated the order. Source: Newsday (New York), October 1, 2002

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester, NY

Summary: Seijo Imazaki, 26, a man with bipolar disorder, wassentenced to five years’ probation for assaulting a New Rochelle, NY policeofficer after breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment on July 28, 2003. Thewoman had supported him for years but finally became overwhelmed by hisunwillingness to stay on medication. The day of the incident, Imazaki brokeinto her apartment, ransacked a room and stole an air mattress. He said he waslooking for mementos from his father. Police responded to the woman’s frantic911 call. An officer scuffled with Imazaki while trying to arrest him andsuffered a knee injury. Imazaki can never contact his ex-girlfriend or her family,must move to Minnesota where he has relatives, and cannot leave that statewithout the permission of his psychiatrist or probation officer, State SupremeCourt Justice Mary Smith said. Following a non-jury trial, Smith acquittedImazaki of burglary, but convicted him of felony assault on a police officerand misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, trespass and resisting arrest.Imazaki could have faced up to seven years in state prison. Assistant DistrictAttorney Dan Schorr asked for prison time because Imazaki was a felon who couldnot be trusted to take his medication. Prior History: Imazaki’s brother, Reiko,developed a severe mental illness after high school and killed their father inNovember 1995. Imazaki returned home that day to find his father’s body tuckedinto bed. Reiko remains in a psychiatric hospital. Imazaki went on to become amodel, but eventually developed bipolar disorder, and was hospitalized wheneverhe stopped taking his medication. He has said he was sexually abused as ateenager by his high school wrestling coach. Source: The Journal News, May 26,2004

 

Date: 7/2003

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester, NY

Summary: Seijo Imazaki, 26, a man with bipolar disorder, wassentenced to five years’ probation for assaulting a New Rochelle, NY policeofficer after breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment on July 28, 2003. Thewoman had supported him for years but finally became overwhelmed by hisunwillingness to stay on medication. The day of the incident, Imazaki brokeinto her apartment, ransacked a room and stole an air mattress. He said he waslooking for mementos from his father. Police responded to the woman’s frantic911 call. An officer scuffled with Imazaki while trying to arrest him andsuffered a knee injury. Imazaki can never contact his ex-girlfriend or herfamily, must move to Minnesota where he has relatives, and cannot leave thatstate without the permission of his psychiatrist or probation officer, StateSupreme Court Justice Mary Smith said. Following a non-jury trial, Smithacquitted Imazaki of burglary, but convicted him of felony assault on a policeofficer and misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, trespass and resistingarrest. Imazaki could have faced up to seven years in state prison. AssistantDistrict Attorney Dan Schorr asked for prison time because Imazaki was a felonwho could not be trusted to take his medication. Prior History: Imazaki’sbrother, Reiko, developed a severe mental illness after high school and killedtheir father in November 1995. Imazaki returned home that day to find hisfather’s body tucked into bed. Reiko remains in a psychiatric hospital. Imazakiwent on to become a model, but eventually developed bipolar disorder, and washospitalized whenever he stopped taking his medication. He has said he wassexually abused as a teenager by his high school wrestling coach. Source: TheJournal News, May 26, 2004

 

Date: 2/2003

Location: Monticello, Sullivan, NY

Summary: Jessica Melchick, a woman with a lengthy history ofserious mental illness and hospitalizations, admitted to killing her79-year-old mother, Amelia Vogel, on February 16, 2003 in the older woman’sMonticello, NY home. A psychiatrist who testified at her plea hearing in June2004 said that Melchick, 46, thought she was saving her mother from an evilbeast that possessed her when she stabbed her 120 times with a pair ofscissors. Melchick has a mood disorder and schizophrenic symptoms, said Dr.John Lucas. “It wasn’t her that I killed that night,” Melchick toldthe judge. The judge took that admission as an insanity plea. District AttorneySteve Lungen asked the judge to rule that Melchick is a dangerous person so shecan be committed to a secure mental hospital for treatment. Prior History: OnNovember 26, 2001, Melchick impaled herself with a samurai sword. Source:Middletown Times-Herald, June 11, 2004

 

Date: 12/2002

Location: Mount Vernon, Westchester, NY

Summary: Dyego Foddrell, a man with mental illness, was chargedwith murder in the beating death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, MauriceCampbell Jr., on December 6, 2002 in Mount Vernon, NY. His lawyer, WilliamMartin, said Foddrell, 25, had been previously diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia while in state prison, but when he was released in early 2002 hewas left to fend for himself without any medication, and should therefore notbe held criminally responsible. Assistant District Attorney Fredric Green saidthat a videotaped statement Foddrell gave detectives made it clear that he hadbrutalized the boy for soiling his pants and bed, and that he was aware of whathe had done. Green said Foddrell had been beating Cambell for weeks as part ofhis method of toilet training. Subsequent History: On August 24, 2004, StateSupreme Court Justice Mary Smith sentenced Foddrell to 25 years to life instate prison. A jury had convicted Foddrell of second-degree murder in June.The child’s mother, Sharell Johnson, was also charged with murder because shehad ignored the risk Foddrell posed and left the child alone with theex-convict. In 2003, a jury convicted her of the lesser charge of criminallynegligent homicide and she was sentenced to 1 1/2 to 4 years in prison. Source: The Journal News.com (NY), June 17, 2004 White Plains Journal News,August 25, 2004

 

Date: 6/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On June 17, 2004, two teenage boys beat a homeless man todeath outside a Brooklyn church. Police responding to a frantic 911 call fromthe priest, found 43 bricks strewn around Billy Pearson’s corpse, which wastucked under a rosebush in front of St. Gabriel’s Church in East New York,where Pearson desperately tried to seek sanctuary. The two 15-year-oldneighborhood boys, Dashorn Washington and Jamel Robinson, were charged asadults with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Police said the boysspotted Pearson, 51, sleeping in an abandoned car at 3:00 AM. They chased himto the front of the church and beat him to death. Dashorn Washington’s mothersaid her son has bipolar and attention-deficit disorders, and that she hadplaced him in group homes to try to address his illness. “I’ve beenworking with my son for years to prevent something like this”, saidGeraldine Washington. Subsequent History: Jameel Robinson was convicted ofsecond-degree murder on April 12, 2005. Source: New York Daily News, June 18,2004; Newsday (New York) June 19, 2004; New York Daily News, June 19, 2004; NewYork Daily News, April 13, 2005

 

Date: 6/2004

Location: Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY

Summary: Joseph K. O’Connor, 39, pleaded not guilty to felonycharges of second-degree murder and first-degree arson in the strangling deathof his wife and the burning of their home in Niagara Falls, NY on June 18,2004. O’Connor was arrested in front of the burning house just before 11 a.m.,when police arrived to investigate the report of a domestic fight. Police saidO’Connor told them he strangled his wife and set three fires in the home usingpapers and the gas stove. Michelle O’Connor, 33, was found in the first-floordining room with a rope around her neck. Two officers dragged her out the backdoor, but efforts to revive her were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead inNiagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. The couple’s three children were inschool at the time. O’Connor was allegedly upset about an argument he had withhis wife. During his arraignment, O’Connor told Judge Mark A. Violante he hadnot taken his prescribed medication, lithium bicarbonate, for four days beforethe incident. He said he was not under the care of a doctor. SubsequentHistory: In April 2005, O’Connor pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter inexchange for a fixed 20-year prison term. Assistant Public Defender ChristopherA. Privateer, who was planning to try an insanity defense at a trial, said itwas the best deal he could make. A Family Court judge also ruled that O’Connorwas to have no contact with his three children for the duration of hissentence. Prior History: O’Connor was arrested and charged with sexual abuseand endangering the welfare of a child in an incident involving one of hisdaughters in November 2001, and on a domestic violence assault charge in June2001. Child Protective Services wanted him to leave the home for the safety ofthe children, according to court records. Source: Buffalo News (New York),June 19, 2004; Buffalo News, 4/22/05

 

Date: 6/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Police took Henry ÒHankÓ Daragona, an 81-year-old manwith mental illness, into custody after threatening to shoot and kill hisneighbor with a high-powered rifle in Syracuse, NY on June 30, 2004. Daragonaheld the Syracuse Police Department Emergency Response Team at bay for almostnine hours before they stormed his home. No one was injured. “He’s beendiagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic,” said Sgt. Tom Connellan. “He’dbeen off his medication for a few days.” Daragona’s nephew said he hadtried earlier to get his uncle to go to the VA Medical Center for treatmentonce he realized the elderly man was acting strangely. However, Daragonarefused to go. “He was not rational,” the sergeant said. Daragona wastaken to the Onondaga County Justice Center and arraigned on a singlemisdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The judgeordered Daragona to undergo an informal mental examination, and also issued an orderof protection for the neighbor, Harry LaPoint. Bail was set at $5,000 cash orbond. Source: The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), July 2, 2004

 

Date: 4/2003

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: Jay Clegg, 23, was charged with felony assault in anattack on Erie County sheriff’s deputies on April 23, 2003 in Erie CountyMedical Center’s guarded psychiatric ward in Buffalo, NY. In April 2004, ErieCounty Judge Shirley Troutman found him not guilty by reason of mental defect,necessitating a hearing on whether he would be placed in a regular mentalhospital or one that is guarded. On June 30, 2004, Troutman ordered Clegg, whohas a long history of anti-social psychiatric disorders, to spend at least thenext year in the guarded section of Rochester Psychiatric Center while heundergoes treatment. During the hearing, Rochester Psychiatric Centerpsychiatrists Srinivas C. Yerneni and Christopher Deakin testified that Clegghas chronic paranoid schizophrenia and a personality disorder. Source: BuffaloNews (New York), July 1, 2004

 

Date: 6/2003

Location: Rochester, Monroe, NY

Summary: On June 15, 2003, Ervin C. Evans, a man with paranoidschizophrenia, propped a .22-caliber rifle atop a fence next to his Rochester,NY home and put a bullet through Edwin H. Rivera’s head as the man stood fivehouses away. Evans, who was charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guiltyin Monroe County Court to a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter,admitting that he killed Rivera, 19, while acting under extreme emotional disturbance.Judge Richard A. Keenan agreed to consider a prison term ranging from a minimumof five years to a maximum of 15 years. Although Evans, 36, faced a prisonsentence of up to 25 years to life if convicted of murder, prosecutorsconsented to the plea and lesser sentence. In the months before Rivera was shotand killed, he and members of his group harassed Evans – beating him, throwingsnowballs at him, slashing the tires of his car and breaking the windows of hishome. Although Evans said he feared for his life when he retrieved the riflefrom his basement, defense lawyer Thomas J. Cocuzzi said Evans’ illness made itdifficult to determine whether he was delusional about shots being fired at himfirst. Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 16, 2004

 

Date: 7/2004

Location: Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY

Summary: In Niagara Falls, NY, a mother accused of fatallystabbing her 9-year-old daughter on July 17, 2004 reportedly told police shekilled the child because “voices” told her to do so. Falisha M.Madera, 25, also told police she had forgotten to take her medication forschizophrenia that day. Madera was charged with second-degree murder. KaylaMadera had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest with a kitchen knife and wasfound on a bedroom floor of their apartment. Madera’s mother also lived in theapartment, but was visiting family in Rochester when the girl was killed.Madera reportedly phoned her mother to tell her of the slaying, and the mothercalled Niagara Falls police. She was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial MedicalCenter after her arrest for a psychiatric evaluation. Subsequent History:Madera pleaded not guilty during her arraignment on July 26, 2004, and was sentto Niagara County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. Madera was then committed toRochester Psychiatric Center in August 2004 after a ruling that she was notcompetent to be tried. However, state doctors in December 2004 said she wascompetent. She was returned to Niagara County Jail. Source: The Buffalo News,July 19 & 24, 2004; WIVB, July 21, 2004; Daily News (New York) April 13,2005

 

Date: 7/2004

Location: Canastota, Madison, NY

Summary: A Syracuse man, Patrick S. Lanno, 45, was arrested onJuly 14, 2004 in Canastota, NY for abducting and hitting his wife, holding heragainst her will during a car trip that spanned three counties, and violatingan order of protection. Lanno has a bipolar disorder that was not properlymedicated, said his attorney, David Primo. It was a missed medication that senthim into the “tailspin” that led to his arrest, Primo said. After hisarrest, Lanno was freed on $25,000 cash bail on a felony charge of criminalcontempt and a misdemeanor charge of menacing. Subsequent History: A few daysafter Lanno’s arrest, he was sent to Central New York Psychiatric Center for anevaluation with psychiatrist Jean Liu. Liu testified that she diagnosed Lannowith bipolar disorder type 1. The district attorney’s office sought to haveLanno indicted on felony kidnapping and robbery charges Prior History: Lannohad been hospitalized at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center several weeksbefore the incident, and was diagnosed “deep depression” andprescribed Zoloft. Lanno’s prior criminal record includes a felony convictionfor possessing stolen property and a charge of unlicensed practice of law.Primo said the unlicensed practice of law charge comes out of helping fourfriends get out of traffic tickets in Onondaga County. Lanno had learned theprocess while having a lawyer take care of one of his tickets and had businesscards printed up advertising his ability. Source: The Post-Standard (Syracuse,NY), August 10, 2004; Syracuse Post Standard, June 30, 2005

 

Date: 8/2004

Location: Huntington Station, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On August 14, 2004, Jerell Harris, a homeless man with aknown history of mental illness, shot and wounded a police officer after analtercation in Huntington Station, NY. That day, family members had calledpolice after a domestic dispute, fearing Harris might hurt himself. When policearrived, Harris wrestled three officers before grabbing the gun of OfficerMichael Coscia, 26, and shooting him in the abdomen, police said. Cosciasurvived. Lanise Felder, Harris’ girlfriend, said police often taunted Harrison the car loudspeaker, saying things like, “How you doing today Jerell?What’s going on? Did you take a shower? You stink.” She said she sawCoscia’s picture in news reports about the incident and recognized him as oneof the officers she’d seen taunting Harris in the past. Harris, who also strucka deputy in the face as he was being taken out of his holding cell for hisarraignment, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, second-degree assault,resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Judge Paul Hensley ordered Harris heldat the Suffolk County jail in Riverhead without bail. Subsequent History:Harris pleaded guilty in Septmeber 2005 to two counts of first-degree attemptedmurder and nine other charges. On October 18, 2005, he was sentenced to 17years in prison. Harris also pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon,robbery, four assault charges, resisting arrest, obstructing governmentaladministration and disorderly conduct. Prior History: Police said Harris has 26prior arrests in Suffolk County for crimes including drug sale and possession,criminal possession of a weapon, assault, menacing and robbery. Harris had beendiagnosed at Stony Brook University Hospital with a chemical imbalance duringone of his stints in jail. When he returned to jail after his initialdiagnosis, Felder said he would call and say he was being given Thorazine, ananti-psychotic drug, which she believes, worsened his mental state. After hisrelease from jail, Harris was know to pace the streets talking and laughing tohimself and to argue with trees. He would sometimes walk, 10-mile stretches ata time, from his Huntington Station neighborhood in Suffolk’s Second Precinctto Wyandanch. Once when the family tried to take him to Pilgrim PsychiatricCenter in Brentwood, Felder said Harris jumped out of the car. “He wouldsay, ‘I don’t want any help from the state because the state is what did thisto me,'” she said. Source: Newsday (NY), August 16, 2004; New York DailyNews, October 19, 2005

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: Albany, Albany, NY

Summary: Bart Browne, a 33-year-old man with schizophrenia, wasaccused of punching a man outside an Albany, NY bar on October 10, 2003 becausehe was upset to see him kissing another male. The single punch broke the28-year-old victim’s jaw and caused a permanent loss of feeling in his left cheek.Mary and Stephen Browne acknowledge their son suffered from a variety of mentalproblems, including schizophrenia, and don’t deny he struck the man. But theyinsist Browne didn’t attack the man because he was gay. “When theschizophrenia would rise up, it was all about anger, frustration andrage,” she said. “But he would have great periods of calm inbetween.” In an oral statement to Albany Detective Michael Nadoraski,Browne allegedly said he’d had a bad day when he hit the victim. He also saidhomosexuals “think life is a big joke. “Witnesses said they sawBrowne hit the man, then scream for the “faggots” to stop followinghim as witnesses gave chase, said Albany County District Attorney Paul Clyne.Mary Browne said her son was agitated because he totaled his vehicle in ahead-on crash that morning, a week after two of his best friends were killed ina collision. Subsequent History: On May 15, 2004, Browne hung himself at hisfamily’s farm outside Albany, NY. Two weeks earlier, he had pleaded guilty tosecond-degree assault under the state’s hate crimes law to avoid a trial and apossible 15 years behind bars, his mother, Mary Browne said. The plea deal withthe Albany County district attorney’s office would have sent the father of twoto state prison for up to four years. Browne was scheduled to be sentenced onJune 24, 2004. Source: Albany Times Union, August 30, 2004

 

Date: 8/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On August 4, 2004, Richard Figueroa, 26, a man withschizophrenia, was shot and wounded by police after he charged at them with a10-inch butcher knife in his home in Brooklyn, NY. The incident occurred afterFigueroa’s mother called a private ambulance company to intervene with her son,who was threatening to kill her and other family members. When the ambulancearrived, Figueroa started charging at the window of the vehicle with thebutcher knife. Police were called, and witnesses said that Figueroa ignoredseveral commands to freeze and drop his weapon, and kept advancing toward the officers.An officer then fired several times and hit Figueroa in the abdomen. Hisbrother, Joe Figueroa, 44, who was across the street, was hit in the leg by abullet that ricocheted, a police source said. Both were taken to BellevueHospital Center, where Richard Figueroa was admitted in critical condition.Figueroa’s relatives said his illness worsened three or four years earlierafter he returned from a six-month stint as an army reservist. His mother,Anna, said Figueroa had not skipped his medication but “was out ofcontrol” and hadn’t slept for four days before the incident. He was firstdiagnosed with schizophrenia in 1997. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidthat the use of deadly force Figueroa appeared justified. Subsequent History:Figueroa was charged with reckless endangerment, assault with intent to causephysical injury with a weapon, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. Source: Newsday (New York), September 5 & 6, 2004 New York Daily News,September 6 & 7, 2004

 

Date: 8/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On August 4, 2004, Richard Figueroa, 26, a man withschizophrenia, was shot and wounded by police after he charged at them with a10-inch butcher knife in his home in Brooklyn, NY. The incident occurred afterFigueroa’s mother called a private ambulance company to intervene with her son,who was threatening to kill her and other family members. When the ambulancearrived, Figueroa started charging at the window of the vehicle with thebutcher knife. Police were called, and witnesses said that Figueroa ignoredseveral commands to freeze and drop his weapon, and kept advancing toward theofficers. An officer then fired several times and hit Figueroa in the abdomen.His brother, Joe Figueroa, 44, who was across the street, was hit in the leg bya bullet that ricocheted, a police source said. Both were taken to BellevueHospital Center, where Richard Figueroa was admitted in critical condition.Figueroa’s relatives said his illness worsened three or four years earlierafter he returned from a six-month stint as an army reservist. His mother,Anna, said Figueroa had not skipped his medication but “was out ofcontrol” and hadn’t slept for four days before the incident. He was firstdiagnosed with schizophrenia in 1997. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidthat the use of deadly force Figueroa appeared justified. Subsequent History:Figueroa was charged with reckless endangerment, assault with intent to causephysical injury with a weapon, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. Source: Newsday (New York), September 5 & 6, 2004 New York Daily News,September 6 & 7, 2004

 

Date: 8/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On August 4, 2004, Richard Figueroa, 26, a man withschizophrenia, was shot and wounded by police after he charged at them with a10-inch butcher knife in his home in Brooklyn, NY. The incident occurred afterFigueroa’s mother called a private ambulance company to intervene with her son,who was threatening to kill her and other family members. When the ambulancearrived, Figueroa started charging at the window of the vehicle with thebutcher knife. Police were called, and witnesses said that Figueroa ignoredseveral commands to freeze and drop his weapon, and kept advancing toward theofficers. An officer then fired several times and hit Figueroa in the abdomen.His brother, Joe Figueroa, 44, who was across the street, was hit in the leg bya bullet that ricocheted, a police source said. Both were taken to BellevueHospital Center, where Richard Figueroa was admitted in critical condition.Figueroa’s relatives said his illness worsened three or four years earlierafter he returned from a six-month stint as an army reservist. His mother,Anna, said Figueroa had not skipped his medication but “was out of control”and hadn’t slept for four days before the incident. He was first diagnosed withschizophrenia in 1997. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that the use ofdeadly force Figueroa appeared justified. Subsequent History: Figueroa wascharged with reckless endangerment, assault with intent to cause physicalinjury with a weapon, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. Source:Newsday (New York), September 5 & 6, 2004 New York Daily News, September 6& 7, 2004

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Martin Fairhurst, a 28-year-old man with mental illness,lured four boys from a video store to his parents’ home in Brooklyn, NY andsexually assaulted them between March and April 2003. Fairhurst befriended thethree 11-year-olds and a 14-year-old at the video store they visited afterschool. He gave them quarters to play the games, one victim said, and thenlured them back to where he lived with his parents, where he said they couldplay pool. He also offered to smoke marijuana with them, but actually only gavethem tobacco. He also showed the boys child pornography, then pulled them intoa separate room and forced them to perform sexual acts. Subsequent History: OnSeptember 16, 2004, Fairhurst was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Fairhurst, whois hearing-impaired, told the judge he suffers from schizophrenia and othermedical and psychological ailments. But the judge branded Fairhurst “amenace to society” whose tendency to sexually assault children is”pathologically ingrained.” Prior History: Fairhurst served time in1996 for assaulting two other boys. Source: The New York Daily News, September15, 2004

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Martin Fairhurst, a 28-year-old man with mental illness,lured four boys from a video store to his parents’ home in Brooklyn, NY andsexually assaulted them between March and April 2003. Fairhurst befriended thethree 11-year-olds and a 14-year-old at the video store they visited afterschool. He gave them quarters to play the games, one victim said, and thenlured them back to where he lived with his parents, where he said they couldplay pool. He also offered to smoke marijuana with them, but actually only gavethem tobacco. He also showed the boys child pornography, then pulled them intoa separate room and forced them to perform sexual acts. Subsequent History: OnSeptember 16, 2004, Fairhurst was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Fairhurst,who is hearing-impaired, told the judge he suffers from schizophrenia and othermedical and psychological ailments. But the judge branded Fairhurst “amenace to society” whose tendency to sexually assault children is”pathologically ingrained.” Prior History: Fairhurst served time in1996 for assaulting two other boys. Source: The New York Daily News, September15, 2004

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Martin Fairhurst, a 28-year-old man with mental illness,lured four boys from a video store to his parents’ home in Brooklyn, NY andsexually assaulted them between March and April 2003. Fairhurst befriended thethree 11-year-olds and a 14-year-old at the video store they visited afterschool. He gave them quarters to play the games, one victim said, and thenlured them back to where he lived with his parents, where he said they could playpool. He also offered to smoke marijuana with them, but actually only gave themtobacco. He also showed the boys child pornography, then pulled them into aseparate room and forced them to perform sexual acts. Subsequent History: OnSeptember 16, 2004, Fairhurst was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Fairhurst,who is hearing-impaired, told the judge he suffers from schizophrenia and othermedical and psychological ailments. But the judge branded Fairhurst “amenace to society” whose tendency to sexually assault children is”pathologically ingrained.” Prior History: Fairhurst served time in1996 for assaulting two other boys. Source: The New York Daily News, September15, 2004

 

Date: 3/2003

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: Martin Fairhurst, a 28-year-old man with mental illness,lured four boys from a video store to his parents’ home in Brooklyn, NY andsexually assaulted them between March and April 2003. Fairhurst befriended thethree 11-year-olds and a 14-year-old at the video store they visited afterschool. He gave them quarters to play the games, one victim said, and thenlured them back to where he lived with his parents, where he said they couldplay pool. He also offered to smoke marijuana with them, but actually only gavethem tobacco. He also showed the boys child pornography, then pulled them intoa separate room and forced them to perform sexual acts. Subsequent History: OnSeptember 16, 2004, Fairhurst was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Fairhurst,who is hearing-impaired, told the judge he suffers from schizophrenia and othermedical and psychological ailments. But the judge branded Fairhurst “amenace to society” whose tendency to sexually assault children is”pathologically ingrained.” Prior History: Fairhurst served time in1996 for assaulting two other boys. Source: The New York Daily News, September15, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Jason Naradzay, 39, was arrested after neighbors saw himwalking with a rifle through the suburban Syracuse, NY neighborhood of Geddeson February 5, 2004. The weapon, which he dropped moments before a patrol car’sarrival, had four rounds of ammunition inside and deputies said Naradzay had 21more rounds in his coat. Police also found two index cards on Naradzay,highlighted in blue marker and signaling his intentions to kill a nearby coupleand their three children. Naradzay’s explanation for the list: “I’m anaccountant . . . I do lists all the time.” According to police reports,Naradzay said he wanted to kill the woman and her family because the womanbroke off a six-month affair. At trial, the woman denied they had ever had arelationship. Prior History: Naradzay was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 14years earlier and had been in mental institutions in 1990 and 1998. SubsequentHistory: On September 27, 2004, a state Supreme Court jury convicted Naradzayon two counts of attempted second-degree murder, as well as counts of burglaryand criminal possession of a weapon. At the start of the trial, Justice JohnBrunetti dismissed three other charges of attempted second-degree murderagainst Naradzay. He faces five to 25 years in prison at his sentencing,scheduled for Oct. 25. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation in February foundthat Naradzay was able to understand the charges against him and stand trial. Source: Ithaca Journal /AP, September 21, 2004 The Associated Press, September22, 2004 Newsday, September 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Jason Naradzay, 39, was arrested after neighbors saw himwalking with a rifle through the suburban Syracuse, NY neighborhood of Geddeson February 5, 2004. The weapon, which he dropped moments before a patrol car’sarrival, had four rounds of ammunition inside and deputies said Naradzay had 21more rounds in his coat. Police also found two index cards on Naradzay,highlighted in blue marker and signaling his intentions to kill a nearby coupleand their three children. Naradzay’s explanation for the list: “I’m anaccountant . . . I do lists all the time.” According to police reports,Naradzay said he wanted to kill the woman and her family because the womanbroke off a six-month affair. At trial, the woman denied they had ever had arelationship. Prior History: Naradzay was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 14years earlier and had been in mental institutions in 1990 and 1998. SubsequentHistory: On September 27, 2004, a state Supreme Court jury convicted Naradzayon two counts of attempted second-degree murder, as well as counts of burglaryand criminal possession of a weapon. At the start of the trial, Justice JohnBrunetti dismissed three other charges of attempted second-degree murderagainst Naradzay. He faces five to 25 years in prison at his sentencing,scheduled for Oct. 25. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation in February foundthat Naradzay was able to understand the charges against him and stand trial. Source: Ithaca Journal /AP, September 21, 2004 The Associated Press, September22, 2004 Newsday, September 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Jason Naradzay, 39, was arrested after neighbors saw himwalking with a rifle through the suburban Syracuse, NY neighborhood of Geddeson February 5, 2004. The weapon, which he dropped moments before a patrol car’sarrival, had four rounds of ammunition inside and deputies said Naradzay had 21more rounds in his coat. Police also found two index cards on Naradzay,highlighted in blue marker and signaling his intentions to kill a nearby coupleand their three children. Naradzay’s explanation for the list: “I’m anaccountant . . . I do lists all the time.” According to police reports,Naradzay said he wanted to kill the woman and her family because the womanbroke off a six-month affair. At trial, the woman denied they had ever had a relationship.Prior History: Naradzay was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 14 years earlierand had been in mental institutions in 1990 and 1998. Subsequent History: OnSeptember 27, 2004, a state Supreme Court jury convicted Naradzay on two countsof attempted second-degree murder, as well as counts of burglary and criminalpossession of a weapon. At the start of the trial, Justice John Brunettidismissed three other charges of attempted second-degree murder againstNaradzay. He faces five to 25 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled forOct. 25. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation in February found that Naradzaywas able to understand the charges against him and stand trial. Source: IthacaJournal /AP, September 21, 2004 The Associated Press, September 22, 2004Newsday, September 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Jason Naradzay, 39, was arrested after neighbors saw himwalking with a rifle through the suburban Syracuse, NY neighborhood of Geddeson February 5, 2004. The weapon, which he dropped moments before a patrol car’sarrival, had four rounds of ammunition inside and deputies said Naradzay had 21more rounds in his coat. Police also found two index cards on Naradzay,highlighted in blue marker and signaling his intentions to kill a nearby coupleand their three children. Naradzay’s explanation for the list: “I’m anaccountant . . . I do lists all the time.” According to police reports,Naradzay said he wanted to kill the woman and her family because the womanbroke off a six-month affair. At trial, the woman denied they had ever had arelationship. Prior History: Naradzay was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 14years earlier and had been in mental institutions in 1990 and 1998. SubsequentHistory: On September 27, 2004, a state Supreme Court jury convicted Naradzayon two counts of attempted second-degree murder, as well as counts of burglaryand criminal possession of a weapon. At the start of the trial, Justice JohnBrunetti dismissed three other charges of attempted second-degree murderagainst Naradzay. He faces five to 25 years in prison at his sentencing,scheduled for Oct. 25. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation in February foundthat Naradzay was able to understand the charges against him and stand trial. Source:Ithaca Journal /AP, September 21, 2004 The Associated Press, September 22, 2004Newsday, September 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Jason Naradzay, 39, was arrested after neighbors saw himwalking with a rifle through the suburban Syracuse, NY neighborhood of Geddeson February 5, 2004. The weapon, which he dropped moments before a patrol car’sarrival, had four rounds of ammunition inside and deputies said Naradzay had 21more rounds in his coat. Police also found two index cards on Naradzay,highlighted in blue marker and signaling his intentions to kill a nearby coupleand their three children. Naradzay’s explanation for the list: “I’m anaccountant . . . I do lists all the time.” According to police reports,Naradzay said he wanted to kill the woman and her family because the womanbroke off a six-month affair. At trial, the woman denied they had ever had arelationship. Prior History: Naradzay was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 14years earlier and had been in mental institutions in 1990 and 1998. SubsequentHistory: On September 27, 2004, a state Supreme Court jury convicted Naradzayon two counts of attempted second-degree murder, as well as counts of burglaryand criminal possession of a weapon. At the start of the trial, Justice JohnBrunetti dismissed three other charges of attempted second-degree murderagainst Naradzay. He faces five to 25 years in prison at his sentencing,scheduled for Oct. 25. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation in February foundthat Naradzay was able to understand the charges against him and stand trial. Source: Ithaca Journal /AP, September 21, 2004 The Associated Press, September22, 2004 Newsday, September 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Southampton, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On February 4, 2004, 35-year-old David Glowczenski’sparents dialed 911 for help in subduing their son. Four police officers fromthe Southampton, NY police department arrived and found him screaming andwailing incomprehensively. Within moments, all five were in a wrestling match.It took more than two minutes for the officers, using Mace and a stun gun, toget Glowczenski on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back. Hecontinued to kick and scream, but abruptly stopped. The officers toldinvestigators that when they turned Glowczenski over on his back, they noticedhe was unconscious and not breathing. Less than an hour later, he waspronounced dead at Southampton Hospital. Glowczenski’s family said he wastreated with unnecessary force. Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk policehomicide unit said the officers acted properly, and that Glowczenski, who wasschizophrenic, had taken himself off his medication a week earlier. Theincident began when Glowczenski overheard his mother and two brothers talking abouttheir plans to hospitalize him. Subsequent History: On September 20, 2004,Glowczenski’s family filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court against theVillage of Southampton, its Police Department and Suffolk County. The familyalso sued Taser International Inc. for $1 billion. The complaint said thatGlowczenski was beaten, sprayed with Chemical Mace and shocked nine times witha Taser by the four police officers. The Suffolk County medical examiner’soffice termed the death natural, and due to “acute exhaustive mania due toschizophrenia.” Glowczenski’s family later hired an independentpathologist to review reports from two separate autopsies and other materialsabout his death.The investigator found that Glowczenski sustained injuries fromexcessive force and did not die from natural causes, the family said. In May2005, the Justice Department opened it’s own criminal investigation PriorHistory: The police had responded to calls about Glowczenski’s behavior over 40times in the past five years, according to Suffolk County police. His sistertook out a restraining order against him in 2000 and 2001. Glowczenski had beeninstitutionalized twice prior to his death. Source: Newsday (New York), April11, 2004; New York Times, September 21, 2004; Daily News, September 21, 2004;Daily News, April 21, 2005; Long Island Newsday, June 7, 2005

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Southampton, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On February 4, 2004, 35-year-old David Glowczenski’sparents dialed 911 for help in subduing their son. Four police officers fromthe Southampton, NY police department arrived and found him screaming andwailing incomprehensively. Within moments, all five were in a wrestling match.It took more than two minutes for the officers, using Mace and a stun gun, toget Glowczenski on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back. Hecontinued to kick and scream, but abruptly stopped. The officers toldinvestigators that when they turned Glowczenski over on his back, they noticedhe was unconscious and not breathing. Less than an hour later, he waspronounced dead at Southampton Hospital. Glowczenski’s family said he wastreated with unnecessary force. Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk policehomicide unit said the officers acted properly, and that Glowczenski, who wasschizophrenic, had taken himself off his medication a week earlier. Theincident began when Glowczenski overheard his mother and two brothers talkingabout their plans to hospitalize him. Subsequent History: On September 20,2004, Glowczenski’s family filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court againstthe Village of Southampton, its Police Department and Suffolk County. Thefamily also sued Taser International Inc. for $1 billion. The complaint saidthat Glowczenski was beaten, sprayed with Chemical Mace and shocked nine timeswith a Taser by the four police officers. The Suffolk County medical examiner’soffice termed the death natural, and due to “acute exhaustive mania due toschizophrenia.” Glowczenski’s family later hired an independent pathologistto review reports from two separate autopsies and other materials about hisdeath.The investigator found that Glowczenski sustained injuries from excessiveforce and did not die from natural causes, the family said. In May 2005, theJustice Department opened it’s own criminal investigation Prior History: Thepolice had responded to calls about Glowczenski’s behavior over 40 times in thepast five years, according to Suffolk County police. His sister took out arestraining order against him in 2000 and 2001. Glowczenski had beeninstitutionalized twice prior to his death. Source: Newsday (New York), April11, 2004; New York Times, September 21, 2004; Daily News, September 21, 2004;Daily News, April 21, 2005; Long Island Newsday, June 7, 2005

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Southampton, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On February 4, 2004, 35-year-old David Glowczenski’sparents dialed 911 for help in subduing their son. Four police officers fromthe Southampton, NY police department arrived and found him screaming andwailing incomprehensively. Within moments, all five were in a wrestling match.It took more than two minutes for the officers, using Mace and a stun gun, toget Glowczenski on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back. Hecontinued to kick and scream, but abruptly stopped. The officers toldinvestigators that when they turned Glowczenski over on his back, they noticedhe was unconscious and not breathing. Less than an hour later, he waspronounced dead at Southampton Hospital. Glowczenski’s family said he wastreated with unnecessary force. Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk policehomicide unit said the officers acted properly, and that Glowczenski, who wasschizophrenic, had taken himself off his medication a week earlier. Theincident began when Glowczenski overheard his mother and two brothers talkingabout their plans to hospitalize him. Subsequent History: On September 20,2004, Glowczenski’s family filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court againstthe Village of Southampton, its Police Department and Suffolk County. Thefamily also sued Taser International Inc. for $1 billion. The complaint saidthat Glowczenski was beaten, sprayed with Chemical Mace and shocked nine timeswith a Taser by the four police officers. The Suffolk County medical examiner’soffice termed the death natural, and due to “acute exhaustive mania due toschizophrenia.” Glowczenski’s family later hired an independentpathologist to review reports from two separate autopsies and other materialsabout his death.The investigator found that Glowczenski sustained injuries fromexcessive force and did not die from natural causes, the family said. In May2005, the Justice Department opened it’s own criminal investigation PriorHistory: The police had responded to calls about Glowczenski’s behavior over 40times in the past five years, according to Suffolk County police. His sistertook out a restraining order against him in 2000 and 2001. Glowczenski had beeninstitutionalized twice prior to his death. Source: Newsday (New York), April 11,2004; New York Times, September 21, 2004; Daily News, September 21, 2004; DailyNews, April 21, 2005; Long Island Newsday, June 7, 2005

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: Southampton, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On February 4, 2004, 35-year-old David Glowczenski’sparents dialed 911 for help in subduing their son. Four police officers fromthe Southampton, NY police department arrived and found him screaming andwailing incomprehensively. Within moments, all five were in a wrestling match.It took more than two minutes for the officers, using Mace and a stun gun, toget Glowczenski on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back. Hecontinued to kick and scream, but abruptly stopped. The officers toldinvestigators that when they turned Glowczenski over on his back, they noticedhe was unconscious and not breathing. Less than an hour later, he waspronounced dead at Southampton Hospital. Glowczenski’s family said he wastreated with unnecessary force. Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk policehomicide unit said the officers acted properly, and that Glowczenski, who wasschizophrenic, had taken himself off his medication a week earlier. Theincident began when Glowczenski overheard his mother and two brothers talkingabout their plans to hospitalize him. Subsequent History: On September 20,2004, Glowczenski’s family filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court againstthe Village of Southampton, its Police Department and Suffolk County. Thefamily also sued Taser International Inc. for $1 billion. The complaint said thatGlowczenski was beaten, sprayed with Chemical Mace and shocked nine times witha Taser by the four police officers. The Suffolk County medical examiner’soffice termed the death natural, and due to “acute exhaustive mania due toschizophrenia.” Glowczenski’s family later hired an independentpathologist to review reports from two separate autopsies and other materialsabout his death.The investigator found that Glowczenski sustained injuries fromexcessive force and did not die from natural causes, the family said. In May2005, the Justice Department opened it’s own criminal investigation PriorHistory: The police had responded to calls about Glowczenski’s behavior over 40times in the past five years, according to Suffolk County police. His sister tookout a restraining order against him in 2000 and 2001. Glowczenski had beeninstitutionalized twice prior to his death. Source: Newsday (New York), April11, 2004; New York Times, September 21, 2004; Daily News, September 21, 2004;Daily News, April 21, 2005; Long Island Newsday, June 7, 2005

 

Date: 9/2004

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: Karen Michelle Jefferson, 33, was shot after she lungedtoward a police officer with a butcher knife at her home in Syracuse, NY onSeptember 19, 2004. Jefferson had been threatening two other people with theknife when officers arrived at Ballantyne Garden apartments. An officerrepeatedly shouted to Jefferson to drop the knife, and she then raised it overher head and charged at him. Once the officer shot Jefferson, he called for anambulance and administered medical aid until paramedics arrived. Investigatorssaid Jefferson had been acting irrationally and don’t believe she knew the twopeople she had been threatening before police arrived. Mary Anne Singleton, anofficial at her apartment complex, said Jefferson has schizophrenia andreceives government assistance for her housing payments. Jefferson was listedin serious condition at University Hospital. Apartment complex workers said shewould probably be evicted because regulations there prohibit the use of drugsor violence. A grand jury will eventually determine whether the shooting wasjustified. Prior History: Years earlier, Jefferson had been evicted from theapartment complex for exhibiting threatening behavior, but moved back aboutfive years ago and had not any problems since that time. Source: ThePost-Standard (Syracuse), September 21, 2004

 

Date: 1/2004

Location: Middletown, Orange, NY

Summary: April Trinka, 20, tried to strangle a fellow patient at MiddletownPsychiatric Center in Middletown, NY with a necktie on January 4, 2004. She wascharged with attempted murder. Trinka told state police investigators that shefound the tie in a box of donated clothing while she was a patient at OrangeRegional Medical Center. Trinka took the tie with her when she was transferredto Middletown Psychiatric Center. She planned to strangle herself, according tocourt records. Subsequent History: In October 2004, Trink accepted a pleabargain that reduced the attempted murder charge to an attempted assaultcharge. Trinka was sentenced to five years in prison. Prosecutors requested 10years. “You can be mentally ill, in need of care and treatment – eveninvoluntary treatment – and still be competent to stand trial,” saidMarvin Bernstein, chief lawyer for Mental Hygiene Legal Services in New YorkCity. Prior History: Trinka’s mother, Linda, said her daughter was diagnosedwith post-traumatic stress disorder and had previous repeated stays in mentalhospitals. She said the attempted strangling incident at Middletown began whenshe checked her daughter into the mental health unit at Orange Regional MedicalCenter in Goshen after her daughter stabbed a family cat to death. Source:Times Herald Record (NY), October 6, 2004

 

Date: 10/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: A woman jealous of her ex-husband’s new wife scrawledswastikas on 20 different sites in Brooklyn and Queens during a three-dayperiod ending October 18, 2004. Police said Olga Abramovich, 49, of Bay Ridge,Brooklyn, confessed to spraying the swastikas. She was charged with criminalmischief and related charges. Abramovich painted swastikas on Jewish synagoguesand community centers at Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach. She also targetedher ex-husband’s car in front of his Ozone Park, Queens home and paintedswastikas on two police cruisers at Coney Island. Abramovich, who is RussianOrthodox, resented her ex-husband, Lev Abramovich, 49, for marrying anotherwoman, police said. According to a police source, Olga Abramovich suffers frombipolar disorder. Source: The New York Sun, October 19, 2004

 

Date: 9/2004

Location: Elmhurst, Queens, NY

Summary: Miguel Carrasquillo burst into Elmhurst Hospital Centerin Elmhurst, NY on September 11, 2004 and shot and wounded a worker therebefore dragging out his estranged wife, Nancy, a clerical associate at thehospital, under threats of death. He carjacked a vehicle and raped his wife ata motel before forcing her onto a bus, prosecutors said. Carrasquillo, 33, wasarrested September 13 in Fayetteville, NC, and he tried to escape the next dayas police were returning him to New York. Subsequent History: In court onOctober 25, 2004, Carrasquillo said he was hearing voices in jail, promptingJustice William Erlbaum to order that Carrasquillo be evaluated in the RikersIsland infirmary. Carrasquillo’s startling assertion came at the end of anappearance in State Supreme Court. He was arraigned the week before onkidnapping, rape and attempted murder charges, and faces life in prison. Hisrelatives said there was a history of schizophrenia in their family and thatCarrasquillo has shown signs of it since his younger brother died in a caraccident six years earlier. Source: WPIX-TV (NY), October 26, 2004

 

Date: 9/2004

Location: Elmhurst, Queens, NY

Summary: Miguel Carrasquillo burst into Elmhurst Hospital Centerin Elmhurst, NY on September 11, 2004 and shot and wounded a worker therebefore dragging out his estranged wife, Nancy, a clerical associate at thehospital, under threats of death. He carjacked a vehicle and raped his wife ata motel before forcing her onto a bus, prosecutors said. Carrasquillo, 33, wasarrested September 13 in Fayetteville, NC, and he tried to escape the next dayas police were returning him to New York. Subsequent History: In court onOctober 25, 2004, Carrasquillo said he was hearing voices in jail, promptingJustice William Erlbaum to order that Carrasquillo be evaluated in the RikersIsland infirmary. Carrasquillo’s startling assertion came at the end of anappearance in State Supreme Court. He was arraigned the week before onkidnapping, rape and attempted murder charges, and faces life in prison. Hisrelatives said there was a history of schizophrenia in their family and thatCarrasquillo has shown signs of it since his younger brother died in a caraccident six years earlier. Source: WPIX-TV (NY), October 26, 2004

 

Date: 10/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In Brooklyn, NY, Kwesi Ashun, an 18-year-old high schoolsenior with bipolar disorder, approached Officer James Sinnott and attacked himwith a knife on October 30, 2004, slicing his face from ear to neck. OfficerSinnott, who had been on foot patrol in Prospect Park South, called for backup.Responding officers Brian Risano and Matthew Koeth subdued Ashun – who wasclutching a butcher knife and a folding knife – with clubs and pepper spray,but not before Risano suffered a head injury. Ashun was admitted to KingsCounty Hospital as an “emotionally disturbed person” and later transferredto Bellevue, police said. Prior History: A month before the attack, Ashun’sfamily said he had became so depressed and withdrawn that they took him for apsychiatric evaluation. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribedZyprexa. Source: New York Daily News, November 1, 2004

 

Date: 10/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In Brooklyn, NY, Kwesi Ashun, an 18-year-old high schoolsenior with bipolar disorder, approached Officer James Sinnott and attacked himwith a knife on October 30, 2004, slicing his face from ear to neck. OfficerSinnott, who had been on foot patrol in Prospect Park South, called for backup.Responding officers Brian Risano and Matthew Koeth subdued Ashun – who wasclutching a butcher knife and a folding knife – with clubs and pepper spray,but not before Risano suffered a head injury. Ashun was admitted to KingsCounty Hospital as an “emotionally disturbed person” and latertransferred to Bellevue, police said. Prior History: A month before the attack,Ashun’s family said he had became so depressed and withdrawn that they took himfor a psychiatric evaluation. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder andprescribed Zyprexa. Source: New York Daily News, November 1, 2004

 

Date: 10/2004

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: In Brooklyn, NY, Kwesi Ashun, an 18-year-old high schoolsenior with bipolar disorder, approached Officer James Sinnott and attacked himwith a knife on October 30, 2004, slicing his face from ear to neck. OfficerSinnott, who had been on foot patrol in Prospect Park South, called for backup.Responding officers Brian Risano and Matthew Koeth subdued Ashun – who wasclutching a butcher knife and a folding knife – with clubs and pepper spray,but not before Risano suffered a head injury. Ashun was admitted to KingsCounty Hospital as an “emotionally disturbed person” and latertransferred to Bellevue, police said. Prior History: A month before the attack,Ashun’s family said he had became so depressed and withdrawn that they took himfor a psychiatric evaluation. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder andprescribed Zyprexa. Source: New York Daily News, November 1, 2004

 

Date: 11/2004

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Steven Boyd shot a delusional 44-year-old homeless man,according to authorities James Gaviglia, 38, underneath the Grand CentralParkway in Queens, NY on November 10, 2004. Boyd had been on the street sincehis mother died and he was evicted from her Brooklyn apartment four yearsearlier. He had been carting his mother’s cremated ashes and talking to trees.Gaviglia had befriended Boyd in the days leading up to the shooting, policesaid. Boyd was arrested at the scene and later charged with murder and criminalpossession of a weapon. Subsequent History: On December 21, 2004, a judge ruledthat Boyd was not competent enough to stand trial and ordered him sent to apsychiatric center. An eight-page psychological report said he hadschizophrenia, was on anti-psychotic drugs and should be hospitalized, defenselawyer Michael Anastasiou said. Prosecutors did not oppose the ruling. On May31, 2005, Boyd was deemed competent to stand trial. Source: New York DailyNews, November 14, 2004, December 22, 2004; Queens Times-Ledger, December 23,2004; New York Daily News, June 1, 2005

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: East Greenbush, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: On February 9, 2004, Jon W. Romano went to Columbia HighSchool in East Greenbush, NY, where he was a student, armed with a shotgun anda plan to “shoot up the place” and then commit suicide. Romano, 17, randomlyfired the gun in the direction of other students and injured teacher MichaelBennett before being stopped by Assistant Principal John Sawchuck. In Romano’sstatement to authorities, he told them his mother bought him the gun for targetshooting and hunting. Romano also told authorities that he had”fantasies” of “shooting random people” for up to a yearbefore the moment he decided to act on his impulses. Subsequent History:Against the advice of his lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, Romano waived his right fora trial and pleaded guilty to three counts of second degree attempted murderand six counts of first degree reckless endangerment for engaging in conductwhich created a grave risk of death to other people and showing depravedindifference to human life. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Jones saidRomano had been admitted to Four Winds Hospital, a psychiatric facility, inMarch 2003. Source: Troy Record (NY), November 23, 2004 Albany Times Union,November 24, 2004 Albany Times Union, November 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: East Greenbush, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: On February 9, 2004, Jon W. Romano went to Columbia HighSchool in East Greenbush, NY, where he was a student, armed with a shotgun anda plan to “shoot up the place” and then commit suicide. Romano, 17,randomly fired the gun in the direction of other students and injured teacherMichael Bennett before being stopped by Assistant Principal John Sawchuck. InRomano’s statement to authorities, he told them his mother bought him the gun fortarget shooting and hunting. Romano also told authorities that he had”fantasies” of “shooting random people” for up to a yearbefore the moment he decided to act on his impulses. Subsequent History:Against the advice of his lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, Romano waived his right fora trial and pleaded guilty to three counts of second degree attempted murderand six counts of first degree reckless endangerment for engaging in conductwhich created a grave risk of death to other people and showing depraved indifferenceto human life. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Jones said Romano hadbeen admitted to Four Winds Hospital, a psychiatric facility, in March 2003. Source: Troy Record (NY), November 23, 2004 Albany Times Union, November 24,2004 Albany Times Union, November 28, 2004

 

Date: 2/2004

Location: East Greenbush, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: On February 9, 2004, Jon W. Romano went to Columbia HighSchool in East Greenbush, NY, where he was a student, armed with a shotgun anda plan to “shoot up the place” and then commit suicide. Romano, 17,randomly fired the gun in the direction of other students and injured teacherMichael Bennett before being stopped by Assistant Principal John Sawchuck. InRomano’s statement to authorities, he told them his mother bought him the gunfor target shooting and hunting. Romano also told authorities that he had”fantasies” of “shooting random people” for up to a yearbefore the moment he decided to act on his impulses. Subsequent History:Against the advice of his lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, Romano waived his right fora trial and pleaded guilty to three counts of second degree attempted murderand six counts of first degree reckless endangerment for engaging in conductwhich created a grave risk of death to other people and showing depravedindifference to human life. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Jones saidRomano had been admitted to Four Winds Hospital, a psychiatric facility, inMarch 2003. Source: Troy Record (NY), November 23, 2004 Albany Times Union,November 24, 2004 Albany Times Union, November 28, 2004

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Retired Petty Officer Ambrose Kappos, 38, who suffersfrom bipolar disorder, broke into the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City onOctober 6, 2003 in an attempt to meet singer Sheryl Crow. Kappos said hebelieved Crow was communicating with him telepathically. He was charged withone misdemeanor count of intentionally stalking and a felony charge of breakingand entering. At trial, prosecutors said Kappos had also visited Crow’s sisterin Tennessee and her father in Missouri to profess his love. SubsequentHistory: Kappos was found not guilty on November 30, 2004. The charges againstKappos required jurors to believe that he broke into the concert hall with theintention of harassing Crow. Kappos testified he was merely a love-strucksuitor who went to the ballroom to propose marriage because Crow told him to doso telepathically. After the verdict, Kappos acknowledged that he wasdelusional at the time of the incident. Source: New York Post, December 1,2004

 

Date: 9/2003

Location: Staten Island, Richmond, NY

Summary: Steven Koplan, 46, a computer programmer from StatenIsland with mental illness, was accused of threatening to kill former NBC-TVanchorman Tom Brokaw and downloading a glut of child pornography. BetweenSeptember 11 and November 21, 2003, Koplan inundated an MSNBC e-mail addresswith 3,500 messages sent from his home computer, including 13 that threatenedBrokaw’s life. After examining Koplan’s computer in March 2004, authoritiesallegedly found 32 lewd photographs of children and hundreds of other pictures.In August 2004, Koplan was charged with 32 felony counts each of promoting asexual performance by a child and of possessing a sexual performance. He wasalso charged with two misdemeanor counts of aggravated harassment forthreatening Brokaw. A court-ordered psychiatric exam found he suffered fromparanoid schizophrenia and delusion disorders, but declared him mentally fit tostand trial. His attorney said that Koplan had not taken medication for hisdisorders since 1997. Subsequent History: Koplan, 46, will not serve jail timebecause of his mental illness. Instead, the Staten Island district attorney’soffice said on March 18, 2005 that Koplan would be put on probation for 10years and must allow probation officials to search his home computer. Source:Staten Island Advance, December 14, 2004; New York Daily News – March 19, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Claremont, Catawba, NY

Summary: On January 5, 2005, a man brandishing a double-bladed axattacked the police department in Claremont, NC, smashing 13 windows andthreatening an off-duty officer before police subdued him. Neither the suspect,40-year-old Tony Allen Mitchell, nor any officers were hurt in the incident.Mitchell came to the police department earlier in the week asking to becommitted to a mental institution. After the attack, officers servedinvoluntary commitment papers on Mitchell. The attack caused about $2,500 indamage to the building. Source: Hendersonville Times News (NC), January 7,2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Troy, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: Philip Pitcher Jr., a 21-year-old man with bipolardisorder, was charged with felony second-degree murder and felony second-degreearson in the death of his aunt, 43-year-old Lisa Pitcher, in Troy, NY onJanuary 11, 2005. According to police, Lisa Pitcher had been stabbed, strangledand smothered sometime around 5:30 a.m. Then Philip Pitcher allegedly turned onthe gas stove and set a fire in the living room before walking his 10-year-oldcousin to school and himself to work as a temporary laborer. Four otherresidents were evacuated from the burning apartment building. Family memberssaid Pitcher’s mother in Florida was trying to get him down there fortreatment, but he returned to New York before that happened to live with hisfather. After his father kicked him out, Pitcher moved in with his aunt.Subsequent History: Pitcher pleaded not guilty to murder, arson and recklessendangerment charges. Prior History: At age 14, Pitcher was accused oftampering with a fire escape at his school, injuring the principal. Although hewas acquitted of charges, he was sent to a youth detention center for 18months. Source: WTEN-TV ABC 10 (NY) January 12, 2005 The Troy Record, January13, 2005 The Troy Record, January 20, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Troy, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: Philip Pitcher Jr., a 21-year-old man with bipolardisorder, was charged with felony second-degree murder and felony second-degreearson in the death of his aunt, 43-year-old Lisa Pitcher, in Troy, NY onJanuary 11, 2005. According to police, Lisa Pitcher had been stabbed, strangledand smothered sometime around 5:30 a.m. Then Philip Pitcher allegedly turned onthe gas stove and set a fire in the living room before walking his 10-year-oldcousin to school and himself to work as a temporary laborer. Four otherresidents were evacuated from the burning apartment building. Family memberssaid Pitcher’s mother in Florida was trying to get him down there fortreatment, but he returned to New York before that happened to live with hisfather. After his father kicked him out, Pitcher moved in with his aunt.Subsequent History: Pitcher pleaded not guilty to murder, arson and recklessendangerment charges. Prior History: At age 14, Pitcher was accused oftampering with a fire escape at his school, injuring the principal. Although hewas acquitted of charges, he was sent to a youth detention center for 18months. Source: WTEN-TV ABC 10 (NY) January 12, 2005 The Troy Record, January13, 2005 The Troy Record, January 20, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Troy, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: Philip Pitcher Jr., a 21-year-old man with bipolardisorder, was charged with felony second-degree murder and felony second-degreearson in the death of his aunt, 43-year-old Lisa Pitcher, in Troy, NY onJanuary 11, 2005. According to police, Lisa Pitcher had been stabbed, strangledand smothered sometime around 5:30 a.m. Then Philip Pitcher allegedly turned onthe gas stove and set a fire in the living room before walking his 10-year-oldcousin to school and himself to work as a temporary laborer. Four otherresidents were evacuated from the burning apartment building. Family memberssaid Pitcher’s mother in Florida was trying to get him down there fortreatment, but he returned to New York before that happened to live with hisfather. After his father kicked him out, Pitcher moved in with his aunt.Subsequent History: Pitcher pleaded not guilty to murder, arson and recklessendangerment charges. Prior History: At age 14, Pitcher was accused oftampering with a fire escape at his school, injuring the principal. Although hewas acquitted of charges, he was sent to a youth detention center for 18months. Source: WTEN-TV ABC 10 (NY) January 12, 2005 The Troy Record, January13, 2005 The Troy Record, January 20, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Troy, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: Philip Pitcher Jr., a 21-year-old man with bipolardisorder, was charged with felony second-degree murder and felony second-degreearson in the death of his aunt, 43-year-old Lisa Pitcher, in Troy, NY onJanuary 11, 2005. According to police, Lisa Pitcher had been stabbed, strangledand smothered sometime around 5:30 a.m. Then Philip Pitcher allegedly turned onthe gas stove and set a fire in the living room before walking his 10-year-oldcousin to school and himself to work as a temporary laborer. Four otherresidents were evacuated from the burning apartment building. Family memberssaid Pitcher’s mother in Florida was trying to get him down there fortreatment, but he returned to New York before that happened to live with hisfather. After his father kicked him out, Pitcher moved in with his aunt.Subsequent History: Pitcher pleaded not guilty to murder, arson and recklessendangerment charges. Prior History: At age 14, Pitcher was accused oftampering with a fire escape at his school, injuring the principal. Although hewas acquitted of charges, he was sent to a youth detention center for 18months. Source: WTEN-TV ABC 10 (NY) January 12, 2005 The Troy Record, January13, 2005 The Troy Record, January 20, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Troy, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: Philip Pitcher Jr., a 21-year-old man with bipolardisorder, was charged with felony second-degree murder and felony second-degreearson in the death of his aunt, 43-year-old Lisa Pitcher, in Troy, NY onJanuary 11, 2005. According to police, Lisa Pitcher had been stabbed, strangledand smothered sometime around 5:30 a.m. Then Philip Pitcher allegedly turned onthe gas stove and set a fire in the living room before walking his 10-year-oldcousin to school and himself to work as a temporary laborer. Four otherresidents were evacuated from the burning apartment building. Family memberssaid Pitcher’s mother in Florida was trying to get him down there fortreatment, but he returned to New York before that happened to live with hisfather. After his father kicked him out, Pitcher moved in with his aunt.Subsequent History: Pitcher pleaded not guilty to murder, arson and recklessendangerment charges. Prior History: At age 14, Pitcher was accused oftampering with a fire escape at his school, injuring the principal. Although hewas acquitted of charges, he was sent to a youth detention center for 18 months. Source: WTEN-TV ABC 10 (NY) January 12, 2005 The Troy Record, January 13, 2005The Troy Record, January 20, 2005

 

Date: 10/2003

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: Michael “Ant” Morgan was arrested and chargedwith killing and dismembering his live-in girlfriend after they had a fight intheir Buffalo, NY apartment on October 5, 2003. Susan Small, who had lived withMorgan for about 18 months, was strangled and then dismembered. Her body wasdiscovered three weeks later in the apartment. Subsequent History: Morgan wasconvicted on January 12, 2005 of second-degree murder. State Supreme CourtJustice Penny M. Wolfgang sent Morgan, who is diagnosed with paranoidschizophrenia and has an IQ of 143, back to jail pending his March 16sentencing. Morgan, who periodically has been on a suicide watch at the ErieCounty Holding Center, must receive a prison term of at least 15 years to life.Prosecutors were pushing for the judge to impose the maximum sentence of 25years to life. Andrew C. LoTempio, Morgan’s attorney, said the conviction wouldbe appealed. Source: Buffalo News, January 13, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: East Patchogue, Suffolk, NY

Summary: In January 2005, Alexander Rousseau, 50, was arrested forviolating an order of protection taken out against him by WALK 97.5 radiostation personality K.T. Mills. Rousseau apparently visited the radio stationin East Patchogue, NY to drop off a package for Mills on January 17, 2005. Hesent a second package through regular mail. Mills recognized the handwriting onboth packages as Rousseau’s. For more than 12 years, Mills had been the targetof obsessed fan Rousseau, who sent her countless letters and gifts, including awedding ring and mock marriage license. Although she has never met Rousseau,Mills said, “He thinks I’ve had a relationship and a baby with him.”Mills was surprised to hear from Rousseau, because she thought he was living ina group home in Tampa, Florida. Rousseau was held in the Suffolk County Jail atpress time on a misdemeanor criminal contempt charge, punishable by up to oneyear in jail. “I don’t want to see him in prison,” Mills said ofRousseau. Instead, she would like to see Rousseau get the psychological helpshe believes he needs – permanently. Prior History: Rousseau has had 16 differentcharges leveled against him in the last decade, according to the Suffolk CountyPolice Department, among them aggravated harassment, trespassing and criminalcontempt. He has also been remanded to mental health facilities in SuffolkCounty at least twice. Source: Suffolk Life Newspaper (Long Island, NY),January 25, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Bronx, , NY

Summary: A police officer shot and wounded a knife-wielding Bronxteen after the mentally disturbed youth lunged at officers on January 26, 2005.Nicholas Martin, 17, was hit by two police bullets in his family’s apartment.Martin’s aunt dialed 911 that night saying Martin had not taken his medicationand was tearing up the apartment. Four officers arrived to find Martin sittingon the sofa. His aunt and uncle and their four children, ages 5, 9, 13 and 14,also were in the apartment. Martin agreed to go to the hospital, but becameagitated when police would not let him get an extra shirt from his bedroom,which held a caged pit bull. Martin tried to push past one officer and thenpulled an 8-inch blade out of the back of his pants when officers surroundedhim. “One of the officers yells, ‘Knife! Knife!’ then shoots – bang,bang,” said the teen’s adoptive father, Nicholas Martin Sr. “Hewasn’t pointing the knife. It was low. I don’t know if one of the cops gotscared or trigger-happy.” Martin was taken to the hospital in criticalcondition but is expected to recover. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidthe shooting appeared justified. The family plans to hire a lawyer. PriorHistory: Police had removed the teen from the home twice in 2004 withoutincident. Medications for schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivitydisorder were found in the home. Source: New York Daily News, January 27, 2005;GreenwichTime, January 27, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Bronx, , NY

Summary: A police officer shot and wounded a knife-wielding Bronxteen after the mentally disturbed youth lunged at officers on January 26, 2005.Nicholas Martin, 17, was hit by two police bullets in his family’s apartment.Martin’s aunt dialed 911 that night saying Martin had not taken his medicationand was tearing up the apartment. Four officers arrived to find Martin sittingon the sofa. His aunt and uncle and their four children, ages 5, 9, 13 and 14,also were in the apartment. Martin agreed to go to the hospital, but becameagitated when police would not let him get an extra shirt from his bedroom,which held a caged pit bull. Martin tried to push past one officer and thenpulled an 8-inch blade out of the back of his pants when officers surroundedhim. “One of the officers yells, ‘Knife! Knife!’ then shoots – bang,bang,” said the teen’s adoptive father, Nicholas Martin Sr. “Hewasn’t pointing the knife. It was low. I don’t know if one of the cops gotscared or trigger-happy.” Martin was taken to the hospital in criticalcondition but is expected to recover. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidthe shooting appeared justified. The family plans to hire a lawyer. PriorHistory: Police had removed the teen from the home twice in 2004 withoutincident. Medications for schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivitydisorder were found in the home. Source: New York Daily News, January 27,2005;Greenwich Time, January 27, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Bronx, , NY

Summary: A police officer shot and wounded a knife-wielding Bronxteen after the mentally disturbed youth lunged at officers on January 26, 2005.Nicholas Martin, 17, was hit by two police bullets in his family’s apartment.Martin’s aunt dialed 911 that night saying Martin had not taken his medicationand was tearing up the apartment. Four officers arrived to find Martin sittingon the sofa. His aunt and uncle and their four children, ages 5, 9, 13 and 14,also were in the apartment. Martin agreed to go to the hospital, but becameagitated when police would not let him get an extra shirt from his bedroom,which held a caged pit bull. Martin tried to push past one officer and thenpulled an 8-inch blade out of the back of his pants when officers surroundedhim. “One of the officers yells, ‘Knife! Knife!’ then shoots – bang,bang,” said the teen’s adoptive father, Nicholas Martin Sr. “Hewasn’t pointing the knife. It was low. I don’t know if one of the cops gotscared or trigger-happy.” Martin was taken to the hospital in criticalcondition but is expected to recover. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidthe shooting appeared justified. The family plans to hire a lawyer. PriorHistory: Police had removed the teen from the home twice in 2004 withoutincident. Medications for schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivitydisorder were found in the home. Source: New York Daily News, January 27,2005;Greenwich Time, January 27, 2005

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Bronx, , NY

Summary: A police officer shot and wounded a knife-wielding Bronxteen after the mentally disturbed youth lunged at officers on January 26, 2005.Nicholas Martin, 17, was hit by two police bullets in his family’s apartment.Martin’s aunt dialed 911 that night saying Martin had not taken his medicationand was tearing up the apartment. Four officers arrived to find Martin sittingon the sofa. His aunt and uncle and their four children, ages 5, 9, 13 and 14,also were in the apartment. Martin agreed to go to the hospital, but becameagitated when police would not let him get an extra shirt from his bedroom,which held a caged pit bull. Martin tried to push past one officer and thenpulled an 8-inch blade out of the back of his pants when officers surroundedhim. “One of the officers yells, ‘Knife! Knife!’ then shoots – bang,bang,” said the teen’s adoptive father, Nicholas Martin Sr. “Hewasn’t pointing the knife. It was low. I don’t know if one of the cops gotscared or trigger-happy.” Martin was taken to the hospital in criticalcondition but is expected to recover. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidthe shooting appeared justified. The family plans to hire a lawyer. PriorHistory: Police had removed the teen from the home twice in 2004 withoutincident. Medications for schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivitydisorder were found in the home. Source: New York Daily News, January 27,2005;Greenwich Time, January 27, 2005

 

Date: 11/2003

Location: Rocky Point, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On November 11, 2003, Dennis Cherbavaz, a 50-year-old manwith mental illness, led sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase through hishometown of Rocky Point, NY, then violently resisted arrest and suffered aheart attack. The deputies were attempting to serve an order of protection filedby his sister after she alleged that Cherbavaz had tried to run her off theroad in a car and break a chair over her head. Cherbavaz became incensed andfled, until deputies were able to catch up to him and pull him forceably out ofthe car. During the struggle to subdue him, Cherbavaz suffered the heart attackand was taken to the hospital. Cherbavaz was charged with felony recklessendangerment, as well as resisting arrest and menacing, both misdemeanors.Cherbavaz had been diagnosed as schizophrenic with bipolar disorder and hadbeen admitted to psychiatric hospitals in New York and Massachusetts 23 timesin two decades, said his mother, Diva Cherbavaz. She said she realized her sonwas a danger to himself two weeks before his arrest, had been on the phone withthe Suffolk County Department of Health’s crisis unit nearly every day, andeven filed a police report against him for taking her 1993 Oldsmobile – just sohe could be taken safely into custody. According her, Cherbavaz had recentlylost his job and was upset over a custody battle between her and her daughterover the daughter’s two young sons. “At least he is safe now,” shesaid. “As long as he is in the hospital, he can’t hurt himself anymore.That’s the good part.” Subsequent History: Cherbavaz died in the hospitalthree weeks after the incident. Source: Newsday (New York), November 13, 2003Newsday (New York) April 11, 2004

 

Date: 11/2003

Location: Rocky Point, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On November 11, 2003, Dennis Cherbavaz, a 50-year-old manwith mental illness, led sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase through hishometown of Rocky Point, NY, then violently resisted arrest and suffered aheart attack. The deputies were attempting to serve an order of protectionfiled by his sister after she alleged that Cherbavaz had tried to run her offthe road in a car and break a chair over her head. Cherbavaz became incensedand fled, until deputies were able to catch up to him and pull him forceablyout of the car. During the struggle to subdue him, Cherbavaz suffered the heartattack and was taken to the hospital. Cherbavaz was charged with felonyreckless endangerment, as well as resisting arrest and menacing, bothmisdemeanors. Cherbavaz had been diagnosed as schizophrenic with bipolardisorder and had been admitted to psychiatric hospitals in New York andMassachusetts 23 times in two decades, said his mother, Diva Cherbavaz. Shesaid she realized her son was a danger to himself two weeks before his arrest,had been on the phone with the Suffolk County Department of Health’s crisisunit nearly every day, and even filed a police report against him for takingher 1993 Oldsmobile – just so he could be taken safely into custody. Accordingher, Cherbavaz had recently lost his job and was upset over a custody battlebetween her and her daughter over the daughter’s two young sons. “At leasthe is safe now,” she said. “As long as he is in the hospital, hecan’t hurt himself anymore. That’s the good part.” Subsequent History:Cherbavaz died in the hospital three weeks after the incident. Source: Newsday(New York), November 13, 2003 Newsday (New York) April 11, 2004

 

Date: 7/2005

Location: Queens Village, Queens, NY

Summary: Police identified Kevin Davy, 25, as a man withpsychiatric problems who critically wounded two officers when they responded toa call that someone was attacking a religious statue outside a Queens Village,NY church with a sword and a shotgun. Davy began firing at officers DominickRomano, 29, and David Harris, 40, and one of the officers returned fire,wounding Davy. All three men survived. Relatives said Davy attended the ArtInstitute of New York City, suffers from bipolar disorder, and had not beentaking his medication. Subsequent History: Davy pleaded not guilty to attemptedmurder and other charges in Queens Criminal Court in September 2005. He facesup to 25 years in prison if convicted. Prior History: Davy had a prior juvenilerecord, according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Source: New YorkTimes, July 18, 2005; Daily News, July 18, 2005; Queens Chronicle, September15, 2005

 

Date: 7/2005

Location: Queens Village, Queens, NY

Summary: Police identified Kevin Davy, 25, as a man withpsychiatric problems who critically wounded two officers when they responded toa call that someone was attacking a religious statue outside a Queens Village,NY church with a sword and a shotgun. Davy began firing at officers DominickRomano, 29, and David Harris, 40, and one of the officers returned fire,wounding Davy. All three men survived. Relatives said Davy attended the ArtInstitute of New York City, suffers from bipolar disorder, and had not beentaking his medication. Subsequent History: Davy pleaded not guilty to attemptedmurder and other charges in Queens Criminal Court in September 2005. He facesup to 25 years in prison if convicted. Prior History: Davy had a prior juvenilerecord, according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Source: New YorkTimes, July 18, 2005; Daily News, July 18, 2005; Queens Chronicle, September15, 2005

 

Date: 9/2005

Location: New York, , NY

Summary: On September 7, 2005, Bernard Derr stabbed a 10-month-oldbaby in the stomach as the child was sitting in her stroller, out for a walkwith her nanny on the streets of upper Manhattan. Derr, 48, lived only blocksaway in an apartment run by the Federated Employment and Guidance Service, asupportive housing program for the mentally ill. The child, Isabelle Avins, wastaken to the hospital in critical but stable condition. Derr was taken toBellevue Hospital Center for psychiatric tests. Police said Derr had never beenarrested but had a psychiatric history. Subsequent History: Derr was arraignedon September 9 in the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital Center. Hiscourt-appointed lawyer, Deborah Wright, said he was acting incoherently and wasunable to answer questions put to him. But after Judge Donna G. Recant ofManhattan Criminal Court questioned him briefly during the arraignment, sheruled that he was not irrational and could understand what was going on. Source: The New York Times, September 9, 2005; Long Island Newsday, September9, 2005; The New York Times, September 10, 2005

 

Date: 9/2005

Location: New York, , NY

Summary: Altagracia Rodriguez, a mentally ill woman who allegedlykidnapped four-year-old Josue Polanco from his mother at a New York Cityrestaurant on September 8, 2005, had her own two children taken away byofficials and she wanted a child to replace them, relatives said. Rodriguezsuffers from schizophrenia and had stopped taking her medication, according torelatives, who called police to report the kidnapping. The boy was eventuallyreturned to his mother unharmed. Rodriguez was charged with kidnapping. Source: Washington Times, September 11, 2005; Stamford Advocate, September 10,2005

 

Date: 7/2005

Location: Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY

Summary: Roger Woodson, 47, a homeless Poughkeepsie man, was sentto a secure mental hospital after a judge ruled he was not legally responsiblefor a knife attack on Alvin Diaz on July 23, 2005. Woodson could give no reasonfor the attack. Diaz sustained wounds to his wrist, legs and chest, Chasesaid.A court appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Claude Schleuderer, found that Woodsonsuffers from schizophrenia. Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, December 24, 2005

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Michael Harris, 24, attacked his 18-month-old nephewPriest Jefferson and the baby’s parents after beating his own mother with ahammer inside their apartment on February 13, 2006. Cops responding to numerous911 calls from neighbors found the little boy bloodied and lying on the livingroom floor as Harris held the boy’s mother, Leasia Bolden, 20, in a choke holdand stabbed her on a nearby bed, sources said. After ordering him to drop theweapon, an officer fired one round at Harris, who stabbed his sister againbefore lunging at the cop, police said. Harris was shot once more andpronounced dead at the scene, sources said. Family members and sources saidHarris was bipolar and taken out of an institution recently by his mother,49-year-old Charlene Harris, a deeply religious woman and tenant associationpresident. “He was supposed to be taking his pills. He just wentberserk,” said Carolyn Harris, his aunt. Police sources also said Harriswas angry that his mother wouldn’t cook him dinner last night. Harris had a2005 arrest for drug charges and he had to be forcibly removed from thefamily’s home in 2004, a source said. Source: New York Daily News, February14, 2006

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Michael Harris, 24, attacked his 18-month-old nephewPriest Jefferson and the baby’s parents after beating his own mother with ahammer inside their apartment on February 13, 2006. Cops responding to numerous911 calls from neighbors found the little boy bloodied and lying on the livingroom floor as Harris held the boy’s mother, Leasia Bolden, 20, in a choke holdand stabbed her on a nearby bed, sources said. After ordering him to drop theweapon, an officer fired one round at Harris, who stabbed his sister again beforelunging at the cop, police said. Harris was shot once more and pronounced deadat the scene, sources said. Family members and sources said Harris was bipolarand taken out of an institution recently by his mother, 49-year-old CharleneHarris, a deeply religious woman and tenant association president. “He wassupposed to be taking his pills. He just went berserk,” said CarolynHarris, his aunt. Police sources also said Harris was angry that his motherwouldn’t cook him dinner last night. Harris had a 2005 arrest for drug chargesand he had to be forcibly removed from the family’s home in 2004, a sourcesaid. Source: New York Daily News, February 14, 2006

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Michael Harris, 24, attacked his 18-month-old nephewPriest Jefferson and the baby’s parents after beating his own mother with ahammer inside their apartment on February 13, 2006. Cops responding to numerous911 calls from neighbors found the little boy bloodied and lying on the livingroom floor as Harris held the boy’s mother, Leasia Bolden, 20, in a choke holdand stabbed her on a nearby bed, sources said. After ordering him to drop theweapon, an officer fired one round at Harris, who stabbed his sister againbefore lunging at the cop, police said. Harris was shot once more andpronounced dead at the scene, sources said. Family members and sources saidHarris was bipolar and taken out of an institution recently by his mother,49-year-old Charlene Harris, a deeply religious woman and tenant associationpresident. “He was supposed to be taking his pills. He just wentberserk,” said Carolyn Harris, his aunt. Police sources also said Harriswas angry that his mother wouldn’t cook him dinner last night. Harris had a2005 arrest for drug charges and he had to be forcibly removed from thefamily’s home in 2004, a source said. Source: New York Daily News, February14, 2006

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: Michael Harris, 24, attacked his 18-month-old nephewPriest Jefferson and the baby’s parents after beating his own mother with ahammer inside their apartment on February 13, 2006. Cops responding to numerous911 calls from neighbors found the little boy bloodied and lying on the livingroom floor as Harris held the boy’s mother, Leasia Bolden, 20, in a choke holdand stabbed her on a nearby bed, sources said. After ordering him to drop theweapon, an officer fired one round at Harris, who stabbed his sister againbefore lunging at the cop, police said. Harris was shot once more and pronounceddead at the scene, sources said. Family members and sources said Harris wasbipolar and taken out of an institution recently by his mother, 49-year-oldCharlene Harris, a deeply religious woman and tenant association president.”He was supposed to be taking his pills. He just went berserk,” saidCarolyn Harris, his aunt. Police sources also said Harris was angry that hismother wouldn’t cook him dinner last night. Harris had a 2005 arrest for drugcharges and he had to be forcibly removed from the family’s home in 2004, asource said. Source: New York Daily News, February 14, 2006

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Staten Island, Richmond, NY

Summary: Stephanie Lindboe, 65, was fatally shot after lunging ata a police sergeant who was responding to a disturbance call at her StatenIsland apartment building on February 16, 2006. Ms. Lindboe, who had beenhospitalized repeatedly for a psychiatric condition and had been knownthroughout the building for erratic behavior, had just stabbed a neighbor atleast eight times when the sergeant and four other police officers confrontedher, the authorities said. The woman she had stabbed, Linda Padula, 58, wholived across the hallway, was taken to the same hospital, and remained inserious condition yesterday, having suffered stab wounds to her head, neck,shoulder and upper chest, the police said. Source: New York Times, February17, 2006

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Staten Island, Richmond, NY

Summary: Stephanie Lindboe, 65, was fatally shot after lunging ata a police sergeant who was responding to a disturbance call at her StatenIsland apartment building on February 16, 2006. Ms. Lindboe, who had beenhospitalized repeatedly for a psychiatric condition and had been knownthroughout the building for erratic behavior, had just stabbed a neighbor atleast eight times when the sergeant and four other police officers confrontedher, the authorities said. The woman she had stabbed, Linda Padula, 58, wholived across the hallway, was taken to the same hospital, and remained inserious condition yesterday, having suffered stab wounds to her head, neck,shoulder and upper chest, the police said. Source: New York Times, February17, 2006

 

Date: 10/2005

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: Peter Braunstein is accused of posing as a firefighterand sexually abusing a woman on Halloween night in 2005. Braunstein’s lawyerscontend that he suffers from schizophrenia and Òhad a substantial incapacity tounderstand the consequences of the actions charged.” A defensepsychologist who interviewed and tested the defendant between January and May,says Braunstein, 42, has suffered “psychotic breaks with reality,”paranoid delusions and an inability to control his impulses. Braunstein, ajournalist who once wrote for Women’s Wear Daily, has pleaded not guilty tocharges of arson, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, sexual abuse and assaultrelated to the attack on a former colleague in her home on Oct. 31, 2005.Prosecutors say Braunstein set two small fires in the hallway outside the doorof the 34-year-old woman’s apartment in Manhattan’s Chelsea area. With smokefilling the corridor, Braunstein pounded on her door, said he was from the firedepartment and demanded to be let in, prosecutors say. Once in the woman’sapartment, prosecutors say, he knocked her out with chloroform, tied her upwith a parachute cord and sexually abused her for more than 13 hours.Braunstein’s mental condition is now stable because of medications at BellevueHospital Center and, for the past three weeks, in jail, Gottlieb said. Thelawyer also said his client, who stabbed himself in the neck just before he wasarrested in Tennessee in December, is on suicide watch at a Rikers Island jail.Subsequent History: During his April 2007 trial, Peter Braunstein’s lawyersadopted the defense that Braunstein was a paranoid schizophrenia, whichcrippled his decision making process and destroyed his ability to form intentto commit the crime. Braunstein was charged with drugging a woman with achloroform rag and sexually assaulting her for hours. The defense case reliedon “neuro-law,” an emerging field at the crossroads of science and lawthat probes brain images for clues to behavioral proclivities and hasreportedly been used in more than 100 criminal defenses. Defense attorneys claimedBraunstein’s brain was so poisoned by undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia thathe couldn’t form the intent to commit the crime necessary for a conviction.Subsequent History: On May 23, 2007, Peter Braunstein was convicted ofkidnapping and sexually abusing a woman he barely knew after posing as afirefighter to gain entrance to her Chelsea apartment and tying her to her bed.The jury in State Supreme Court in Manhattan rejected the defense argument thatMr. Braunstein was delusional and so mentally ill that he lacked the intent tocommit a crime. He was convicted of 10 counts of kidnapping, burglary, robberyand sexual abuse — every charge against him except arson. SubsequentHistory: On June 18, 2007, New York Superior Court Judge Thomas Farber sentencedPeter Braunstein to 18 years to life in prison for 10 counts stemming from aHalloween 2005 attack. The charges include robbery, kidnapping and sexualabuse. Braunstein was was found guilty in May of this year. Prior to thesentencing, Braunstein wrote a letter to Farber, in which he expressed remorsefor his crimes and asked for the judge’s mercy. In the letter, he wrote that hewas insane during the time he was committing the crimes—a fact whichBraunstein believes the prosecution and jury overlooked. He also asked thejudge to assign him to a facility where he may be treated for his mentalillness. During his trial, defense lawyers claimed that Braunstein sufferedfrom paranoid schizophrenia. Expert medical testimony stated that Braunsteinwas detached from reality during the crimes and could not have premeditated theacts. Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, 5/29/06; New York Post, 10/18/06; ABCNews, 4/30/07; New York Times, 5/3/07; NEWS 1 TV, 5/11/07, 5/15/07, 5/17/07,5/24/07; Newsday, 5/17/07; Long Island Press, 6/18/07

 

Date: 5/2006

Location: Yonkers, Westchester, NY

Summary: Robert Gjonlekaj, 35, was charged with second-degreeassault, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. OnMay 28, 2006, Gjonlekaj kicked a 6-year-old girl in the face at a supermarketin Yonkers, NY. The youngster was treated at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxvillefor bruising and swelling to the left side of her face. She was later released.A witness in the store told police that she heard Gjonlekaj talking to himselfbefore the incident. Gjonlekaj’s mother later told police that her son wastreated at the Bronx Psychiatric Center for schizophrenia for three years. Source: New York Journal News, May 31, 2006

 

Date: 2/2002

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Krisna Soogrim, 38, a construction worker from Guyana,was facing up to 25 years to life for killing Juliet Velaidam, 34, in theirHollis home on Feb. 7, 2002, before he took a plea deal under which he willserve 20 years in prison for the murder and for assaulting a police officerwhen he threw a meat cleaver. Soogrim blames his actions on Kali, a Hindugoddess, who is usually painted with a fearsome, warlike expression andsometimes is referred to as the goddess of dissolution and destruction.Soogrim, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, as well as delusional andpsychotic illnesses, has claimed Kali came to him in a dream and had sex withhim, defense lawyer David Bart said. Source: New York Daily News, April 6,2006

 

Date: 1/2005

Location: Riverside, Steuben, NY

Summary: During the early morning hours of Jan. 13, 2005, JamesRussell testified that he had been off his medications and sleepless for fournights when he picked up a newspaper and saw the image of a demon on the sportspage. Believing that the demon had made its way into the body of his brother’sgirlfriend, Carole Roth, Russell plunged several sharp objects into Roth’sthroat 45 minutes later, killing her. In July 2006, a Suffolk County Courtjudge accepted his plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease. Inrecounting that night’s events, Russell stammered and rambled for severalminutes in court, and at one point was given a chair because he appearedunstable on his feet. Prior History: Russell had been living with his brother,William, 52, and Roth in their Riverhead apartment for about five years.Russell said a few weeks before the slaying, he began reading the Bible andstopped taking his medications for bipolar disorder because he felt the HolySpirit inside him. Russell said after being alarmed by the newspaper photo ofthe New York Yankees pitcher, he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and wentafter his brother, convinced that he had been possessed. William Russell fledthe apartment to call the police, leaving Roth alone with his brother. “Inmy head, I thought the devil had jumped from my brother into her,” Russellsaid. When police found Roth, she had three knives, a pair of scissors and abarbecue fork still lodged in her neck. Russell was naked when he was arrestedand during his police questioning. He was arraigned in the nude at a policestation house in Riverhead because he refused to wear clothes, law enforcementsources said. After another hearing to determine his mental status, Russellwill be transferred to a state psychiatric hospital. Source: Newsday, August1, 2006

 

Date: 6/2006

Location: Canarsie, Kings, NY

Summary: Dwayne Palmer, 32, charged with stabbing his 1-year-olddaughter to death must undergo a psychiatric examination before trial, a judgeordered on August 14. Palmer was formally charged in State Supreme Court inBrooklyn with second-degree murder and attempted murder in an attack on hiscompanion, Natasha Martin, and their daughter, Samara Palmer, in Ms. Martin’sapartment in Canarsie early on June 19, during the night after Father’s Day.Mr. Palmer, who was arrested later that morning at his mother’s house, gave along statement to the police recounting feelings of alienation, routinemiscommunications, money problems and perceived slights. Mr. Palmer went to Ms.Martin’s apartment to visit Samara, found the door bolted and “came to theprecinct looking for a police escort but could not get one,” he told thepolice. He returned to the apartment alone and unlocked the door, using a keyMs. Martin did not know he had, prosecutors said. Ms. Martin tried to push thedoor closed; he was stronger. “He asked her if she loved him and she saidno,” the police wrote. “He got a knife from the kitchen area from theknife rack (wood handle). When she said ‘No,’ that she didn’t,’ he snapped. Shewas on the bed with Samara and he stabbed them. She was telling him she lovedhim while it was going on. He then left.” Palmer’s lawyer, Michael A.Millet, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf and requested the psychiatrictests. The lawyer described a series of hospital stays Mr. Palmer had undergonefor schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The judge, Matthew J. D’Emic, set ahearing for Sept. 7 on the results of the new psychiatric examination. Heordered Mr. Palmer held in jail, and he issued protection orders for Ms. Martinand her sons. Source: New York Times, August 15, 2006

 

Date: 6/2006

Location: Canarsie, Kings, NY

Summary: Dwayne Palmer, 32, charged with stabbing his 1-year-olddaughter to death must undergo a psychiatric examination before trial, a judgeordered on August 14. Palmer was formally charged in State Supreme Court inBrooklyn with second-degree murder and attempted murder in an attack on hiscompanion, Natasha Martin, and their daughter, Samara Palmer, in Ms. Martin’sapartment in Canarsie early on June 19, during the night after Father’s Day.Mr. Palmer, who was arrested later that morning at his mother’s house, gave along statement to the police recounting feelings of alienation, routinemiscommunications, money problems and perceived slights. Mr. Palmer went to Ms.Martin’s apartment to visit Samara, found the door bolted and “came to theprecinct looking for a police escort but could not get one,” he told thepolice. He returned to the apartment alone and unlocked the door, using a keyMs. Martin did not know he had, prosecutors said. Ms. Martin tried to push thedoor closed; he was stronger. “He asked her if she loved him and she saidno,” the police wrote. “He got a knife from the kitchen area from theknife rack (wood handle). When she said ‘No,’ that she didn’t,’ he snapped. Shewas on the bed with Samara and he stabbed them. She was telling him she lovedhim while it was going on. He then left.” Palmer’s lawyer, Michael A.Millet, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf and requested thepsychiatric tests. The lawyer described a series of hospital stays Mr. Palmerhad undergone for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The judge, Matthew J.D’Emic, set a hearing for Sept. 7 on the results of the new psychiatricexamination. He ordered Mr. Palmer held in jail, and he issued protectionorders for Ms. Martin and her sons. Source: New York Times, August 15, 2006

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta was takento a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta was arrested aweek prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, after hisgirlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Collettaalso was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’soffice said, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that he wasnot sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the police said.Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang, which isidentified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described to policeofficers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression, Greenbergsaid. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr. Colletta, andthat the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta was incompetent to standtrial because he did Ònot understand the nature of the proceedingsÓ and that hewas Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease and defect.Ó Mr. Greenbergsaid his client’s mental illness pushed him into taking drugs, which in turnÒexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had to tell him whathappened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost, he wasdevastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by a grand juryon charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree District AttorneyRichard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presenting his caseto the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next few weeks thecharges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatric examinationsordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial. Subsequent History:On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect authorities believe wasbehind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks ago was arraigned during abrief court appearance. Standing before Judge Robert Hanophy, Colletta listenedto a grand jury’s 57 count indictment brought against him after beingtransported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court from Manhattan’s Bellevue HospitalCenter. The indictment listed charges of, among others, murder in the seconddegree, attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminalpossession of a controlled substance. Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered anot guilty plea on behalf of his client, who faces 25 years to life in prisonif convicted. In court last week, prosecutors added a 10th incident to thecharges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was driving on the Van WyckExpressway when Colletta fired upon his black Audi. That incident underminesoriginal reports that Colletta fired only at red vehicles because he believedhe was being pursued by the Bloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After hisclient’s arrest, Greenberg maintained that Colletta suffered from seriousmental disease and defect. Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assaultcharges stemming from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenbergreported that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail thespecifics of the case he plans to make to jurors, after the Thursdayproceedings Greenberg reiterated that his client’s mental capacity will playinto his argument. Source: New York Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; NewYork Daily News, August 27 & 28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30,2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006; Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006;Boston Herald, 8/29/06; Associated Press, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least four injured,and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles across Queens. Thepolice said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He is accused ofhaving driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August 25 andearly on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were still searching fora motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Colletta mayhave believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gang identified by itsred clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired on were red. Theshootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. Andrzej Leonik, 47,was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in a car and shothim in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a gray livery cab wasfired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, but the driver wasnot hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left leg outside a Chineserestaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queens district attorneysaid the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the police said it was at 9:40p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22 and 25, were lookingfor a parking space when bullets shattered the windshield of their yellow car,the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their names were not released.The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begin targeting red vehicles.Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of a red minivan. Flying glasswounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist, and Adesh Prolwah, 29, inthe left arm, the authorities said. Within a few minutes, Todd Upton, 51, wasshot on the Cross Island Expressway. Upton subsequently died at New YorkHospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minutes later, two shots were fired atthe front passenger door of another red minivan on the Whitestone Expressway.The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, the police said, gunfire shatteredthe windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in the Queensboro Hill area. The Queensdistrict attorney’s office said the 44-year-old driver was not hurt, but thepolice said he was injured by flying glass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the lastvictim, an off-duty police lieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct inBrooklyn, was fired upon in Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was drivinga red minivan. The district attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, byflying glass, though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, policecars and helicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrolofficer spotted it around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta wasarrested. He pulled his car over on a one-way street as police officers pouredfrom their cars and blocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officialssaid Colletta was taken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History:Colletta was arrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing andassault, after his girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried tostrangle her and dragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had beenliving in his car, the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been takinglithium to treat paranoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house withhis father in Woodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, wholived two doors down, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, whosaid he was Mr. Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restrainingorder against Colletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released fromjail without bail, was living in his car because his house was too close tohers. Colletta also was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, thedistrict attorney’s office said, but the outcome of the case was not available.Neighbors painted contrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew upin the neighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy whowalked with a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove herto church during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail after allegedlyassaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was his firsttime in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that hewas not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presentinghis case to the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next fewweeks the charges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatricexaminations ordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial.Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspectauthorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks agowas arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing before Judge RobertHanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictment broughtagainst him after being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court fromManhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, amongothers, murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault, criminalpossession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty plea on behalf of hisclient, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. In court last week,prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, ofWestport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Colletta firedupon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports that Collettafired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued by theBloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest, Greenbergmaintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease and defect.Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemming from adomestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he was adiagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the case heplans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; AssociatedPress, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta wastaken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta wasarrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, afterhis girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Collettaalso was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’soffice said, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens District AttorneyRichard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told the DailyNews yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walking hisdog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonik becausehe thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, a policesource said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmless Bostonterrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick or something,”Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect in a weekendshooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injured five was pulled out ofthe jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue HospitalCenter, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected to base the man’sdefense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observation at thehospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custody onSaturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had been hospitalizedin the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Mr.Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. He feels terrible aboutit. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t think he has an awarenessof his actions without being told.Ó He said he left his meeting with his clientÒmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from a mental illness at thetime of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind that he was delusional andextremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with his diagnosis and contributedto his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that he was not sure that Mr.Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that he expected to base hislegal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was not responsible for hisactions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Colletta is to be arraignedon murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or in Queens Criminal Courtbut must undergo further testing to determine whether he is competent to standtrial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said. The police have saidthat Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shooting spree snorting cocaineand sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August 25, he appeared testyand erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home. The couple said theywere parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a night out when Mr. Colletta,who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-colored car. ÒI don’t likepeople parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple, Mr. Madrow said, andcontinued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Do you think you’rericher than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spree began. According to theauthorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol duringthe shooting spree, which would have aggravated any psychotic episode. It wasunclear if he had been taking medication lately. Subsequent History: MatthewColletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree in Queens that left one mandead and at least four others injured, told the police that he got his gun fromLucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closing in,Ó according toprosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 at Bellevue HospitalCenter in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail. Most of the targetswere chosen because they were in red vehicles, the police said. Colletta saidhe believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang, which is identifiedwith the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described to police officers Òredcars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, a reporter for TheAssociated Press who was selected to represent fellow reporters at thearraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave police investigators severalversions of the events that seemed contradictory and fantastical at times,prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta denied involvement in the spree,telling police that he left his car in the valet parking lot of a strip cluband that Òsomeone must have put the gun there; that’s not mine.Ó But he alsotold police investigators he had been temporarily living in his car and that hefound the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said. The police have said that Mr.Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine and sleeping in his car, a Cadillac.Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessed some cocaine and five bags ofangel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed the gun from Lucifer.Ó StateSupreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho ordered Mr. Colletta held withoutbail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, said after the arraignment thathis client had a long history of mental illness and had been in and out ofmental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta was diagnosed as suffering fromparanoid schizophrenia and manic depression, Greenberg said. Greenberg saidthat he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr. Colletta, and that the psychiatricexam would show that Mr. Colletta was incompetent to stand trial because he didÒnot understand the nature of the proceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsibleby reasons of mental disease and defect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mentalillness pushed him into taking drugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.ÓÒWhen I spoke to him, I had to tell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said.ÒWhen I told him a life was lost, he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History:Matthew Colletta was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25Queens shooting spree District Attorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006.Brown, who was still presenting his case to the grand jury, said once theindictment is filed in the next few weeks the charges will be made public.Colletta was undergoing psychiatric examinations ordered by a judge todetermine his fitness to stand trial. Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006,Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect authorities believe was behind a deadly six hourbullet barrage seven weeks ago was arraigned during a brief court appearance.Standing before Judge Robert Hanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57count indictment brought against him after being transported to Kew GardensSupreme Court from Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listedcharges of, among others, murder in the second degree, attempted murder,assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of acontrolled substance. Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty pleaon behalf of his client, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Incourt last week, prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. JeffreyCuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Collettafired upon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports thatColletta fired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued bythe Bloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest,Greenberg maintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease anddefect. Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemmingfrom a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he wasa diagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the casehe plans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; AssociatedPress, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta was takento a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta was arrested aweek prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, after hisgirlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Collettaalso was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’soffice said, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that hewas not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presentinghis case to the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next fewweeks the charges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatricexaminations ordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial.Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspectauthorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks agowas arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing before Judge RobertHanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictment broughtagainst him after being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court fromManhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, amongothers, murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault, criminalpossession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty plea on behalf of hisclient, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. In court last week,prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, ofWestport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Colletta firedupon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports that Collettafired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued by theBloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest, Greenbergmaintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease and defect.Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemming from adomestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he was adiagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the case heplans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; Associated Press,9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least four injured,and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles across Queens. Thepolice said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He is accused ofhaving driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August 25 andearly on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were still searching fora motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Colletta mayhave believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gang identified by itsred clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired on were red. Theshootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. Andrzej Leonik, 47,was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in a car and shothim in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a gray livery cab wasfired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, but the driver wasnot hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left leg outside a Chineserestaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queens district attorneysaid the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the police said it was at 9:40p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22 and 25, were lookingfor a parking space when bullets shattered the windshield of their yellow car,the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their names were not released.The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begin targeting red vehicles.Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of a red minivan. Flying glasswounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist, and Adesh Prolwah, 29, inthe left arm, the authorities said. Within a few minutes, Todd Upton, 51, wasshot on the Cross Island Expressway. Upton subsequently died at New York HospitalMedical Center of Queens. Only minutes later, two shots were fired at the frontpassenger door of another red minivan on the Whitestone Expressway. The27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, the police said, gunfire shattered thewindows of a red Toyota RAV4 in the Queensboro Hill area. The Queens districtattorney’s office said the 44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police saidhe was injured by flying glass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, anoff-duty police lieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn,was fired upon in Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a redminivan. The district attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, byflying glass, though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, policecars and helicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrolofficer spotted it around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta wasarrested. He pulled his car over on a one-way street as police officers pouredfrom their cars and blocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officialssaid Colletta was taken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History:Colletta was arrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing andassault, after his girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried tostrangle her and dragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had beenliving in his car, the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been takinglithium to treat paranoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house withhis father in Woodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, wholived two doors down, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, whosaid he was Mr. Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restrainingorder against Colletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released fromjail without bail, was living in his car because his house was too close tohers. Colletta also was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, thedistrict attorney’s office said, but the outcome of the case was not available.Neighbors painted contrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew upin the neighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy whowalked with a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove herto church during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail after allegedlyassaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was his firsttime in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that hewas not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presentinghis case to the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next fewweeks the charges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatricexaminations ordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial.Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspectauthorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks agowas arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing before Judge RobertHanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictment broughtagainst him after being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court fromManhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, amongothers, murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault, criminalpossession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty plea on behalf of hisclient, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. In court last week,prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, ofWestport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Colletta firedupon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports that Collettafired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued by theBloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest, Greenbergmaintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease and defect.Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemming from adomestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he was adiagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the case heplans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; AssociatedPress, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta wastaken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta wasarrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, afterhis girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Colletta alsowas arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’s officesaid, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had been hospitalizedin the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Mr.Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. He feels terrible aboutit. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t think he has an awarenessof his actions without being told.Ó He said he left his meeting with his clientÒmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from a mental illness at thetime of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind that he was delusional andextremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with his diagnosis and contributedto his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that he was not sure that Mr.Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that he expected to base hislegal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was not responsible for hisactions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Colletta is to be arraignedon murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or in Queens Criminal Courtbut must undergo further testing to determine whether he is competent to standtrial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said. The police have saidthat Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shooting spree snorting cocaineand sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August 25, he appeared testyand erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home. The couple said theywere parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a night out when Mr. Colletta,who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-colored car. ÒI don’t likepeople parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple, Mr. Madrow said, andcontinued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Do you think you’rericher than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spree began. According tothe authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence of cocaine and alcoholduring the shooting spree, which would have aggravated any psychotic episode.It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately. Subsequent History:Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree in Queens that leftone man dead and at least four others injured, told the police that he got hisgun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closing in,Ó accordingto prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 at Bellevue HospitalCenter in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail. Most of the targetswere chosen because they were in red vehicles, the police said. Colletta saidhe believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang, which is identifiedwith the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described to police officers Òredcars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, a reporter for TheAssociated Press who was selected to represent fellow reporters at thearraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave police investigators severalversions of the events that seemed contradictory and fantastical at times,prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta denied involvement in the spree,telling police that he left his car in the valet parking lot of a strip cluband that Òsomeone must have put the gun there; that’s not mine.Ó But he alsotold police investigators he had been temporarily living in his car and that hefound the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said. The police have said that Mr.Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine and sleeping in his car, a Cadillac.Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessed some cocaine and five bags ofangel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed the gun from Lucifer.Ó StateSupreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho ordered Mr. Colletta held withoutbail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, said after the arraignment thathis client had a long history of mental illness and had been in and out ofmental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta was diagnosed as suffering fromparanoid schizophrenia and manic depression, Greenberg said. Greenberg saidthat he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr. Colletta, and that the psychiatricexam would show that Mr. Colletta was incompetent to stand trial because he didÒnot understand the nature of the proceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsibleby reasons of mental disease and defect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mentalillness pushed him into taking drugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.ÓÒWhen I spoke to him, I had to tell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said.ÒWhen I told him a life was lost, he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History:Matthew Colletta was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25Queens shooting spree District Attorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006.Brown, who was still presenting his case to the grand jury, said once theindictment is filed in the next few weeks the charges will be made public.Colletta was undergoing psychiatric examinations ordered by a judge todetermine his fitness to stand trial. Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006,Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect authorities believe was behind a deadly six hourbullet barrage seven weeks ago was arraigned during a brief court appearance.Standing before Judge Robert Hanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57count indictment brought against him after being transported to Kew GardensSupreme Court from Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listedcharges of, among others, murder in the second degree, attempted murder,assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of acontrolled substance. Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty pleaon behalf of his client, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Incourt last week, prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. JeffreyCuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Collettafired upon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports thatColletta fired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued bythe Bloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest,Greenberg maintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease anddefect. Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemmingfrom a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he wasa diagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the casehe plans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; AssociatedPress, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta wastaken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta wasarrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, afterhis girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Collettaalso was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’soffice said, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that hewas not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presentinghis case to the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next fewweeks the charges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatricexaminations ordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial.Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspectauthorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks agowas arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing before Judge RobertHanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictment broughtagainst him after being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court fromManhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, amongothers, murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault, criminalpossession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty plea on behalf of hisclient, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. In court last week,prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, ofWestport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Colletta firedupon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports that Collettafired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued by theBloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest, Greenbergmaintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease and defect.Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemming from adomestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he was adiagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the case heplans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; AssociatedPress, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least four injured,and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles across Queens. Thepolice said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He is accused ofhaving driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August 25 andearly on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were still searching fora motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Colletta mayhave believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gang identified by itsred clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired on were red. Theshootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. Andrzej Leonik, 47,was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in a car and shothim in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a gray livery cab wasfired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, but the driver wasnot hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left leg outside a Chineserestaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queens district attorneysaid the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the police said it was at 9:40p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22 and 25, were lookingfor a parking space when bullets shattered the windshield of their yellow car,the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their names were not released.The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begin targeting red vehicles.Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of a red minivan. Flying glasswounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist, and Adesh Prolwah, 29, inthe left arm, the authorities said. Within a few minutes, Todd Upton, 51, wasshot on the Cross Island Expressway. Upton subsequently died at New York HospitalMedical Center of Queens. Only minutes later, two shots were fired at the frontpassenger door of another red minivan on the Whitestone Expressway. The27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, the police said, gunfire shattered thewindows of a red Toyota RAV4 in the Queensboro Hill area. The Queens districtattorney’s office said the 44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police saidhe was injured by flying glass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, anoff-duty police lieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn,was fired upon in Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a redminivan. The district attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, byflying glass, though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, policecars and helicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrolofficer spotted it around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta wasarrested. He pulled his car over on a one-way street as police officers pouredfrom their cars and blocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officialssaid Colletta was taken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History:Colletta was arrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing andassault, after his girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried tostrangle her and dragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had beenliving in his car, the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been takinglithium to treat paranoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house withhis father in Woodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, wholived two doors down, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, whosaid he was Mr. Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restrainingorder against Colletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released fromjail without bail, was living in his car because his house was too close tohers. Colletta also was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, thedistrict attorney’s office said, but the outcome of the case was not available.Neighbors painted contrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew upin the neighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy whowalked with a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove herto church during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail after allegedlyassaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was his firsttime in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told the DailyNews yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walking hisdog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonik becausehe thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, a policesource said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmless Bostonterrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick or something,”Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect in a weekendshooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injured five was pulled out ofthe jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue HospitalCenter, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected to base the man’sdefense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observation at thehospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custody onSaturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that hewas not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valetparking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there;that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarilyliving in his car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree District AttorneyRichard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presenting his caseto the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next few weeks thecharges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatric examinationsordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial. Subsequent History:On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect authorities believe wasbehind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks ago was arraigned during abrief court appearance. Standing before Judge Robert Hanophy, Colletta listenedto a grand jury’s 57 count indictment brought against him after beingtransported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court from Manhattan’s Bellevue HospitalCenter. The indictment listed charges of, among others, murder in the seconddegree, attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminalpossession of a controlled substance. Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered anot guilty plea on behalf of his client, who faces 25 years to life in prison ifconvicted. In court last week, prosecutors added a 10th incident to thecharges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was driving on the Van WyckExpressway when Colletta fired upon his black Audi. That incident underminesoriginal reports that Colletta fired only at red vehicles because he believedhe was being pursued by the Bloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After hisclient’s arrest, Greenberg maintained that Colletta suffered from seriousmental disease and defect. Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assaultcharges stemming from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenbergreported that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail thespecifics of the case he plans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedingsGreenberg reiterated that his client’s mental capacity will play into hisargument. Source: New York Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York DailyNews, August 27 & 28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006;Gothamist, August 27, 2006; Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; BostonHerald, 8/29/06; Associated Press, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta wastaken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta wasarrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, afterhis girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Colletta alsowas arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’s officesaid, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick orsomething,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, thesuspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injuredfive was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluationat Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected tobase the man’s defense on his mental condition. Colletta was under observationat the hospital, where he was taken after becoming disruptive while in custodyon Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to the counts against Mr. Collettaafter the police found a second loaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine inhis pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta had already been charged withsecond-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of aweapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said his client had beenhospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis of paranoidschizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told what happened. Hefeels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. But I don’t thinkhe has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He said he left hismeeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta was suffering from amental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirms in my mind thathe was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fits in with hisdiagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. He said that hewas not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedings and that heexpected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr. Colletta was notresponsible for his actions by reason of mental disease or defect. Mr. Collettais to be arraigned on murder, assault and related charges at Bellevue or inQueens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing to determine whether heis competent to stand trial and to participate in his defense, Mr. Brown said.The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the week prior to the shootingspree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple he encountered outside his home.The couple said they were parked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a nightout when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-coloredcar. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple,Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Doyou think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spreebegan. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, which would have aggravated anypsychotic episode. It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately.Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree inQueens that left one man dead and at least four others injured, told the policethat he got his gun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closingin,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 atBellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail.Most of the targets were chosen because they were in red vehicles, the policesaid. Colletta said he believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang,which is identified with the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described topolice officers Òred cars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, areporter for The Associated Press who was selected to represent fellowreporters at the arraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave policeinvestigators several versions of the events that seemed contradictory andfantastical at times, prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta deniedinvolvement in the spree, telling police that he left his car in the valet parkinglot of a strip club and that Òsomeone must have put the gun there; that’s notmine.Ó But he also told police investigators he had been temporarily living inhis car and that he found the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said. Thepolice have said that Mr. Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine andsleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessedsome cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed thegun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho orderedMr. Colletta held without bail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine ifhe is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, saidafter the arraignment that his client had a long history of mental illness andhad been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta wasdiagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression,Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr.Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr. Colletta wasincompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand the nature of theproceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons of mental disease anddefect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illness pushed him into takingdrugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had totell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost,he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by agrand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presentinghis case to the grand jury, said once the indictment is filed in the next fewweeks the charges will be made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatricexaminations ordered by a judge to determine his fitness to stand trial.Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspectauthorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks agowas arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing before Judge RobertHanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictment broughtagainst him after being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court from Manhattan’sBellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, among others,murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault, criminal possession ofa weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Defense attorneyTodd Greenberg entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client, who faces 25years to life in prison if convicted. In court last week, prosecutors added a10th incident to the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was drivingon the Van Wyck Expressway when Colletta fired upon his black Audi. Thatincident undermines original reports that Colletta fired only at red vehiclesbecause he believed he was being pursued by the Bloods street gang. Cuff wasnot injured. After his client’s arrest, Greenberg maintained that Collettasuffered from serious mental disease and defect. Colletta had been arrested aweek earlier on assault charges stemming from a domestic dispute with hisgirlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. Whilereluctant to detail the specifics of the case he plans to make to jurors, afterthe Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiterated that his client’s mental capacitywill play into his argument. Source: New York Times, August 27, 28 & 30,2006; New York Daily News, August 27 & 28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28& 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006; Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26,2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; Associated Press, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least fourinjured, and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles acrossQueens. The police said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He isaccused of having driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August25 and early on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under theinfluence of cocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were stillsearching for a motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation saidMr. Colletta may have believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gangidentified by its red clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired onwere red. The shootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. AndrzejLeonik, 47, was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in acar and shot him in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a graylivery cab was fired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, butthe driver was not hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left legoutside a Chinese restaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queensdistrict attorney said the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the policesaid it was at 9:40 p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22and 25, were looking for a parking space when bullets shattered the windshieldof their yellow car, the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their nameswere not released. The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begintargeting red vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of ared minivan. Flying glass wounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist,and Adesh Prolwah, 29, in the left arm, the authorities said. Within a fewminutes, Todd Upton, 51, was shot on the Cross Island Expressway. Uptonsubsequently died at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Only minuteslater, two shots were fired at the front passenger door of another red minivanon the Whitestone Expressway. The 27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, thepolice said, gunfire shattered the windows of a red Toyota RAV4 in theQueensboro Hill area. The Queens district attorney’s office said the44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police said he was injured by flyingglass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, an off-duty policelieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, was fired uponin Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a red minivan. Thedistrict attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, by flying glass,though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, police cars andhelicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrol officer spottedit around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta was arrested. He pulledhis car over on a one-way street as police officers poured from their cars andblocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officials said Colletta wastaken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History: Colletta wasarrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing and assault, afterhis girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried to strangle her anddragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had been living in his car,the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been taking lithium to treatparanoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house with his father inWoodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, who lived two doorsdown, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, who said he was Mr.Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out a restraining order againstColletta after the assault. Colletta, who had been released from jail withoutbail, was living in his car because his house was too close to hers. Collettaalso was arrested in 2000 on drug possession charges, the district attorney’soffice said, but the outcome of the case was not available. Neighbors paintedcontrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, who they said grew up in theneighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said he was a tough guy who walkedwith a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from her sidewalk and drove her tochurch during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Colletta who would not give theirnames said he was quiet and hard working but distraught over his deterioratingrelationship with Ms. Zevlakis. Subsequent History: Todd Greenberg, the lawyerfor Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanity defense as his client was taken toa mental hospital. “His mental capacity is going to play a part in thisissue on whether he had the intent to commit these crimes,” saidGreenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,” said the lawyer, “thisis out of character for him.” But a police source yesterday raisedquestions about Colletta’s penchant for violence, saying the 34-year-olddiagnosed schizophrenic should have never been released without bail afterallegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “It wasn’t like it was hisfirst time in trouble,” the source said of Colletta, who has a past drugconviction. Prosecutors said yesterday they requested $1,000 bail in theassault case. They noted the Queens man had no prior convictions for violentcrimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed as he was sent to a psychiatricfacility, officials said. Greenberg said Colletta had been in and out of mentalhospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.”He’s going to be held responsible either being confined to a psychiatricinstitution or being confined to a prison cell,” said Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown. The spree’s first victim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told theDaily News yesterday he was wearing a red shirt when he was shot while walkinghis dog in Maspeth on Friday night. Colletta told cops he fired at Leonikbecause he thought the “devil dog” was about to attack a baby, apolice source said. Leonik said a neighbor was petting Sonya, his harmlessBoston terrier. “This guy must have been on drugs or sick or something,”Leonik said. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect in a weekendshooting spree in Queens that killed one man and injured five was pulled out ofthe jailhouse booking system for psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital Center,and the suspect’s lawyer said that he expected to base the man’s defense on hismental condition. Colletta was under observation at the hospital, where he wastaken after becoming disruptive while in custody on Saturday night, saidRichard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney. Prosecutors added weapons anddrug charges to the counts against Mr. Colletta after the police found a secondloaded gun in his 1992 Cadillac and cocaine in his pants pocket, Mr. Brownsaid. Mr. Colletta had already been charged with second-degree murder, recklessendangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, ToddD. Greenberg, said his client had been hospitalized in the past and had beengiven a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe hasbeen told what happened. He feels terrible about it. He says he would neverhurt anybody. But I don’t think he has an awareness of his actions withoutbeing told.Ó He said he left his meeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ thatMr. Colletta was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the shootingspree. ÒIt confirms in my mind that he was delusional and extremely, extremelyparanoid. That fits in with his diagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr.Greenberg said. He said that he was not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit forcourt proceedings and that he expected to base his legal defense on theargument that Mr. Colletta was not responsible for his actions by reason ofmental disease or defect. Mr. Colletta is to be arraigned on murder, assaultand related charges at Bellevue or in Queens Criminal Court but must undergofurther testing to determine whether he is competent to stand trial and toparticipate in his defense, Mr. Brown said. The police have said that Mr.Colletta spent the week prior to the shooting spree snorting cocaine andsleeping in his Cadillac. By the morning of August 25, he appeared testy anderratic to a couple he encountered outside his home. The couple said they wereparked outside his home about 6 a.m. after a night out when Mr. Colletta, whowas watering his hedges, sprayed their cream-colored car. ÒI don’t like peopleparking in front of my house,Ó he told the couple, Mr. Madrow said, andcontinued: ÒDo you think you have more money than me? Do you think you’rericher than me?Ó About 13 hours later, the shooting spree began. According tothe authorities, Mr. Colletta was under the influence of cocaine and alcoholduring the shooting spree, which would have aggravated any psychotic episode.It was unclear if he had been taking medication lately. Subsequent History:Matthew Colletta, charged with a drive-by shooting spree in Queens that leftone man dead and at least four others injured, told the police that he got hisgun from Lucifer and that he was reacting to Òred cars closing in,Ó accordingto prosecutors at a bedside arraignment on August 29, 2006 at Bellevue HospitalCenter in Manhattan, where he was being held without bail. Most of the targetswere chosen because they were in red vehicles, the police said. Colletta saidhe believed he was being threatened by the Bloods gang, which is identifiedwith the color red. Prosecutors said Colletta described to police officers Òredcars closing inÓ during the spree, said Marcus Franklin, a reporter for TheAssociated Press who was selected to represent fellow reporters at thearraignment. When arrested, Mr. Colletta gave police investigators severalversions of the events that seemed contradictory and fantastical at times,prosecutors said. In one version, Mr. Colletta denied involvement in the spree,telling police that he left his car in the valet parking lot of a strip cluband that Òsomeone must have put the gun there; that’s not mine.Ó But he alsotold police investigators he had been temporarily living in his car and that hefound the gun Òin a container,Ó prosecutors said. The police have said that Mr.Colletta spent last week snorting cocaine and sleeping in his car, a Cadillac.Prosecutors said that Mr. Colletta possessed some cocaine and five bags ofangel dust, and that he said he had Òborrowed the gun from Lucifer.Ó StateSupreme Court Judge Justice Fernando Camacho ordered Mr. Colletta held withoutbail and be given a psychiatric exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.Todd D. Greenberg, a lawyer for Mr. Colletta, said after the arraignment thathis client had a long history of mental illness and had been in and out ofmental hospitals since he was 18. Mr. Colletta was diagnosed as suffering fromparanoid schizophrenia and manic depression, Greenberg said. Greenberg saidthat he entered a plea of not guilty for Mr. Colletta, and that the psychiatricexam would show that Mr. Colletta was incompetent to stand trial because he didÒnot understand the nature of the proceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsibleby reasons of mental disease and defect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’smental illness pushed him into taking drugs, which in turn Òexacerbated hisparanoia.Ó ÒWhen I spoke to him, I had to tell him what happened,Ó Mr.Greenberg said. ÒWhen I told him a life was lost, he was devastated.ÓSubsequent History: Matthew Colletta was indicted by a grand jury on chargesrelated to the Aug. 25 Queens shooting spree District Attorney Richard Brownsaid on August 31, 2006. Brown, who was still presenting his case to the grandjury, said once the indictment is filed in the next few weeks the charges willbe made public. Colletta was undergoing psychiatric examinations ordered by ajudge to determine his fitness to stand trial. Subsequent History: On October5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34, the suspect authorities believe was behind adeadly six hour bullet barrage seven weeks ago was arraigned during a briefcourt appearance. Standing before Judge Robert Hanophy, Colletta listened to agrand jury’s 57 count indictment brought against him after being transported toKew Gardens Supreme Court from Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. Theindictment listed charges of, among others, murder in the second degree,attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminalpossession of a controlled substance. Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered anot guilty plea on behalf of his client, who faces 25 years to life in prisonif convicted. In court last week, prosecutors added a 10th incident to thecharges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, of Westport, Conn., was driving on the Van WyckExpressway when Colletta fired upon his black Audi. That incident underminesoriginal reports that Colletta fired only at red vehicles because he believedhe was being pursued by the Bloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After hisclient’s arrest, Greenberg maintained that Colletta suffered from seriousmental disease and defect. Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assaultcharges stemming from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenbergreported that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail thespecifics of the case he plans to make to jurors, after the Thursdayproceedings Greenberg reiterated that his client’s mental capacity will playinto his argument. Source: New York Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; NewYork Daily News, August 27 & 28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30,2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006; Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006;Boston Herald, 8/29/06; Associated Press, 9/1/06

 

Date: 8/2006

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: Matthew Colletta, 34 was charged with second-degreemurder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon in connectionwith a six-hour shooting spree that left one person dead, at least four injured,and a trail of shattered glass and bullet-scarred vehicles across Queens. Thepolice said that Colletta has a history of mental illness. He is accused ofhaving driven his green 1992 Cadillac through Queens late on August 25 andearly on August 26, randomly firing at strangers while under the influence ofcocaine and alcohol, the authorities said. The police were still searching fora motive. An official with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Colletta mayhave believed he was being threatened by the Bloods, a gang identified by itsred clothing, and that five of the seven vehicles fired on were red. Theshootings began about 7:30 p.m. on August 26 in Maspeth. Andrzej Leonik, 47,was walking his dog near his house when a stranger pulled up in a car and shothim in his right knee. At 8:10 p.m. in Long Island City, a gray livery cab wasfired at, the authorities said. Its windshield shattered, but the driver wasnot hurt. Next Udai Klemnarine, 22, was shot in the left leg outside a Chineserestaurant in Ozone Park, the authorities said. The Queens district attorneysaid the shooting took place at 9 p.m., though the police said it was at 9:40p.m. Later near Forest Park, a brother and sister, aged 22 and 25, were lookingfor a parking space when bullets shattered the windshield of their yellow car,the authorities said. They were not hurt, and their names were not released.The shooting continued, and the gunman seemed to begin targeting red vehicles.Just before 11 p.m., shots shattered the windows of a red minivan. Flying glasswounded Ramsampy Veerepen, 23, in the right wrist, and Adesh Prolwah, 29, inthe left arm, the authorities said. Within a few minutes, Todd Upton, 51, wasshot on the Cross Island Expressway. Upton subsequently died at New York HospitalMedical Center of Queens. Only minutes later, two shots were fired at the frontpassenger door of another red minivan on the Whitestone Expressway. The27-year-old driver was not hurt. Next, the police said, gunfire shattered thewindows of a red Toyota RAV4 in the Queensboro Hill area. The Queens districtattorney’s office said the 44-year-old driver was not hurt, but the police saidhe was injured by flying glass. Finally, about 1:30 a.m., the last victim, anoff-duty police lieutenant, Arnaldo Alvarado of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn,was fired upon in Forest Hills, the police said. He, too, was driving a redminivan. The district attorney’s office said he was hit, but not hurt, byflying glass, though the police said he was, in fact, injured. By then, policecars and helicopters were searching for the green Cadillac, and a patrolofficer spotted it around 1:40 a.m. near Forest Park, where Colletta wasarrested. He pulled his car over on a one-way street as police officers pouredfrom their cars and blocked him in, witnesses said. Law enforcement officialssaid Colletta was taken to a Queens hospital after his arrest. Prior History:Colletta was arrested a week prior to the incident on charges of menacing andassault, after his girlfriend said he threatened her with a hammer, tried tostrangle her and dragged her across the floor. Since then Colletta had beenliving in his car, the authorities said. A friend said Colletta had been takinglithium to treat paranoid schizophrenia. Colletta shares a two-story house withhis father in Woodhaven. He and his girlfriend, Philomenia Zevlakis, 23, wholived two doors down, often had raucous fights, neighbors said. John Perry, whosaid he was Mr. Colletta’s best friend, said Ms. Zevlakis took out arestraining order against Colletta after the assault. Colletta, who had beenreleased from jail without bail, was living in his car because his house wastoo close to hers. Colletta also was arrested in 2000 on drug possessioncharges, the district attorney’s office said, but the outcome of the case wasnot available. Neighbors painted contrasting portraits of Mr. Colletta, whothey said grew up in the neighborhood. Margaret-Mary Hasselberg, 79, said hewas a tough guy who walked with a swagger, yet still shoveled snow from hersidewalk and drove her to church during bad weather. Friends of Mr. Collettawho would not give their names said he was quiet and hard working butdistraught over his deteriorating relationship with Ms. Zevlakis. SubsequentHistory: Todd Greenberg, the lawyer for Matthew Colletta, hinted at an insanitydefense as his client was taken to a mental hospital. “His mental capacityis going to play a part in this issue on whether he had the intent to committhese crimes,” said Greenberg. “From what I know of Matthew,”said the lawyer, “this is out of character for him.” But a policesource yesterday raised questions about Colletta’s penchant for violence,saying the 34-year-old diagnosed schizophrenic should have never been releasedwithout bail after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend on Aug. 20. “Itwasn’t like it was his first time in trouble,” the source said ofColletta, who has a past drug conviction. Prosecutors said yesterday theyrequested $1,000 bail in the assault case. They noted the Queens man had noprior convictions for violent crimes. Colletta’s arraignment was postponed ashe was sent to a psychiatric facility, officials said. Greenberg said Collettahad been in and out of mental hospitals for years, including a stint at Queens’Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. “He’s going to be held responsible eitherbeing confined to a psychiatric institution or being confined to a prisoncell,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. The spree’s firstvictim, Andrzej Leonik, 46, told the Daily News yesterday he was wearing a redshirt when he was shot while walking his dog in Maspeth on Friday night.Colletta told cops he fired at Leonik because he thought the “devildog” was about to attack a baby, a police source said. Leonik said a neighborwas petting Sonya, his harmless Boston terrier. “This guy must have beenon drugs or sick or something,” Leonik said. Subsequent History: MatthewColletta, 34, the suspect in a weekend shooting spree in Queens that killed oneman and injured five was pulled out of the jailhouse booking system forpsychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital Center, and the suspect’s lawyersaid that he expected to base the man’s defense on his mental condition.Colletta was under observation at the hospital, where he was taken afterbecoming disruptive while in custody on Saturday night, said Richard A. Brown,the Queens district attorney. Prosecutors added weapons and drug charges to thecounts against Mr. Colletta after the police found a second loaded gun in his1992 Cadillac and cocaine in his pants pocket, Mr. Brown said. Mr. Colletta hadalready been charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment andcriminal possession of a weapon. Mr. Colletta’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, saidhis client had been hospitalized in the past and had been given a diagnosis ofparanoid schizophrenia. Mr. Greenberg said that ÒHe has been told whathappened. He feels terrible about it. He says he would never hurt anybody. ButI don’t think he has an awareness of his actions without being told.Ó He saidhe left his meeting with his client Òmore convincedÓ that Mr. Colletta wassuffering from a mental illness at the time of the shooting spree. ÒIt confirmsin my mind that he was delusional and extremely, extremely paranoid. That fitsin with his diagnosis and contributed to his actions,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. Hesaid that he was not sure that Mr. Colletta would be fit for court proceedingsand that he expected to base his legal defense on the argument that Mr.Colletta was not responsible for his actions by reason of mental disease ordefect. Mr. Colletta is to be arraigned on murder, assault and related chargesat Bellevue or in Queens Criminal Court but must undergo further testing todetermine whether he is competent to stand trial and to participate in hisdefense, Mr. Brown said. The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent the weekprior to the shooting spree snorting cocaine and sleeping in his Cadillac. Bythe morning of August 25, he appeared testy and erratic to a couple heencountered outside his home. The couple said they were parked outside his homeabout 6 a.m. after a night out when Mr. Colletta, who was watering his hedges,sprayed their cream-colored car. ÒI don’t like people parking in front of myhouse,Ó he told the couple, Mr. Madrow said, and continued: ÒDo you think youhave more money than me? Do you think you’re richer than me?Ó About 13 hourslater, the shooting spree began. According to the authorities, Mr. Colletta wasunder the influence of cocaine and alcohol during the shooting spree, whichwould have aggravated any psychotic episode. It was unclear if he had beentaking medication lately. Subsequent History: Matthew Colletta, charged with adrive-by shooting spree in Queens that left one man dead and at least fourothers injured, told the police that he got his gun from Lucifer and that hewas reacting to Òred cars closing in,Ó according to prosecutors at a bedsidearraignment on August 29, 2006 at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, wherehe was being held without bail. Most of the targets were chosen because theywere in red vehicles, the police said. Colletta said he believed he was beingthreatened by the Bloods gang, which is identified with the color red.Prosecutors said Colletta described to police officers Òred cars closing inÓduring the spree, said Marcus Franklin, a reporter for The Associated Press whowas selected to represent fellow reporters at the arraignment. When arrested,Mr. Colletta gave police investigators several versions of the events thatseemed contradictory and fantastical at times, prosecutors said. In oneversion, Mr. Colletta denied involvement in the spree, telling police that heleft his car in the valet parking lot of a strip club and that Òsomeone musthave put the gun there; that’s not mine.Ó But he also told police investigatorshe had been temporarily living in his car and that he found the gun Òin acontainer,Ó prosecutors said. The police have said that Mr. Colletta spent lastweek snorting cocaine and sleeping in his car, a Cadillac. Prosecutors saidthat Mr. Colletta possessed some cocaine and five bags of angel dust, and thathe said he had Òborrowed the gun from Lucifer.Ó State Supreme Court JudgeJustice Fernando Camacho ordered Mr. Colletta held without bail and be given apsychiatric exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial. Todd D. Greenberg, alawyer for Mr. Colletta, said after the arraignment that his client had a longhistory of mental illness and had been in and out of mental hospitals since hewas 18. Mr. Colletta was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia andmanic depression, Greenberg said. Greenberg said that he entered a plea of notguilty for Mr. Colletta, and that the psychiatric exam would show that Mr.Colletta was incompetent to stand trial because he did Ònot understand thenature of the proceedingsÓ and that he was Ònot responsible by reasons ofmental disease and defect.Ó Mr. Greenberg said his client’s mental illnesspushed him into taking drugs, which in turn Òexacerbated his paranoia.Ó ÒWhen Ispoke to him, I had to tell him what happened,Ó Mr. Greenberg said. ÒWhen Itold him a life was lost, he was devastated.Ó Subsequent History: MatthewColletta was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to the Aug. 25 Queensshooting spree District Attorney Richard Brown said on August 31, 2006. Brown,who was still presenting his case to the grand jury, said once the indictmentis filed in the next few weeks the charges will be made public. Colletta wasundergoing psychiatric examinations ordered by a judge to determine his fitnessto stand trial. Subsequent History: On October 5, 2006, Matthew Colletta, 34,the suspect authorities believe was behind a deadly six hour bullet barrageseven weeks ago was arraigned during a brief court appearance. Standing beforeJudge Robert Hanophy, Colletta listened to a grand jury’s 57 count indictmentbrought against him after being transported to Kew Gardens Supreme Court fromManhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center. The indictment listed charges of, amongothers, murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault, criminalpossession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Defense attorney Todd Greenberg entered a not guilty plea on behalf of hisclient, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. In court last week,prosecutors added a 10th incident to the charges. Jeffrey Cuff, 39, ofWestport, Conn., was driving on the Van Wyck Expressway when Colletta firedupon his black Audi. That incident undermines original reports that Collettafired only at red vehicles because he believed he was being pursued by theBloods street gang. Cuff was not injured. After his client’s arrest, Greenbergmaintained that Colletta suffered from serious mental disease and defect.Colletta had been arrested a week earlier on assault charges stemming from adomestic dispute with his girlfriend, and Greenberg reported that he was adiagnosed schizophrenic. While reluctant to detail the specifics of the case heplans to make to jurors, after the Thursday proceedings Greenberg reiteratedthat his client’s mental capacity will play into his argument. Source: NewYork Times, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; New York Daily News, August 27 &28, 2006; Newsday, August 27, 28 & 30, 2006; Gothamist, August 27, 2006;Houston Chronicle (AP), August 26, 2006; Boston Herald, 8/29/06; AssociatedPress, 9/1/06

 

Date: 5/2007

Location: Mount Vernon, Westchester, NY

Summary: On May 9, 3007, the 24-year-old grandson of Mayor ErnestDavis was arrested after he tried to rob a man on a southside street and thenescape in a cab. Daniel Davis approached a 24-year-old city man at 2:15 a.m. onEast Third Street, displayed a knife and said, “You got any money? Emptyyour pockets,” police said. A police car happened by, Davis fled, and thevictim flagged down the car. The two officers chased Davis around the ThirdStreet corridor. Davis ran into the Pathmark Plaza parking lot and jumped intoa yellow cab, but the officers stopped the taxi on Third Street. Davis jumpedout and ran but was captured at 125 E. Third St. after a brief chase. Officerssaid they recovered a gravity knife from him. Daniel Davis was charged withfirst-degree attempted robbery, second-degree attempted grand larceny andthird-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies. The mayor said hisgrandson has bipolar disorder, often does not take his medication and resortsto drinking. Prior History: Daniel Davis has 10 prior arrests – four on felonycharges, five on misdemeanors and one lesser crime. He pleaded guilty in August2004 to criminal possession of a loaded firearm, a felony, and in 2000 tounauthorized use of a vehicle without the owner’s permission, a misdemeanor.Subsequent History: On September 9, 2008, Westchester County Judge BarbaraZambelli postponed Daniel case against him at the request of his lawyer, JacobRollings. Ex-Mayor Ernest Davis, who was in the courtroom for the proceedings,said his grandson has bipolar disorder and may not understand what is happeningto him. Daniel Davis was accused of trying to rob a man at knifepoint in May2007.Davis’ sentencing to allow for a psychological exam to see if heunderstands the criminal Source: The Journal News, 5/10/07; Hudson JournalNews, 9/10/08

 

Date: 9/2005

Location: Veteran, Chemung, NY

Summary: On September 17, 2005, state police were called toMichael and Rebecca Cannon’s home in Veteran, when someone reported a manwearing a bloody shirt was digging in the dirt near the home. Police discoveredRebecca Cannon’s body in the home. It was determined later that she died ofsuffocation. Michael Cannon was indicted in January 2006 on a charge ofsecond-degree murder in the death of his wife, Rebecca Cannon, 57. SubsequentHistory: A competency hearing was held October 4, 2006 in front of ChemungCounty Judge James Hayden, who ruled Michael Cannon was incapable of assistingin his own defense. In early 2007, Cannon was returned to Chemung County fromthe custody of the state Department of Mental Health, who said he was nowcapable of standing trial. Subsequent History: During the May 2007 trial ofMichael Cannon, Chemung County Public Defender Nancy Eraca-Cornish pointed outthat Cannon had attempted suicide in the month before the murder and had beeninvoluntarily committed to a mental treatment program. Several witnessestestified that on the day of the murder, Michael Cannon was picking up dirt andgravel, packing it into a deep gash in the middle of his forehead. Cannon’sinjuries, which required hospitalization, were apparently caused by a fall froma balcony, witnesses said. Rebecca Cannon’s children from her first marriagesaid they were seeking justice for their mother and were united in their standto not be satisfied with any kind of plea bargain for the man they believecould have prevented their mother’s death if he had taken his prescriptionmedication. Martin Cannon of Middleton, N.J., a younger brother of MichaelCannon, said his brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was still ateenager. Source: Elmira Star Gazette, 5/15/07, 5/17/07

 

Date: 2/2006

Location: Narrowsburg, Sullivan, NY

Summary: On February 3, 2006, Sheriff’s Deputy Cyrus Barnesresponded to a 911 call at William “Chris” Morris’ home inNarrowsburg. When Barnes arrived at the address, Morris fired on him. Thebullet just missed Barnes, lodging in the seat of his patrol car. Thattriggered a 12-hour stand-off. Subsequent History: On April 16, 2007, William”Chris” Morris, 52, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault ona police officer. On May 30, 2007, Morris was sentenced to 10 years in prisonfor firing at a sheriff’s deputy. Morris’ lawyer, Stephan Schick, read from apsychiatrist’s report: Morris has a severe form of bipolar disorder withpsychotic symptoms; post-traumatic stress disorder due his being shot during ahome-invasion robbery at his family’s home when he was in his 20s; andcomplications arising from severe neurological effects of Lyme disease. Hisillnesses cost Morris everything he had achieved in a very successful computercareer, Schick said, and drove him into a terrible downward spiral. SullivanCounty Court Judge Frank LaBuda said the court will recommend that Morrisserves his sentence at the state secure psychiatric hospital in Marcy. Source:Times Herald-Record, 5/30/07

 

Date: 4/2006

Location: Schenectady, Schenectady, NY

Summary: On April 21, 2006, Nicholas Paniccia killed hisgrandmother, Marlene A. Hill, 75, by stabbing her in the neck during apsychotic episode. Paniccia was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia monthsbefore the killing. Paniccia told doctors that he heard voices telling him tokill his grandmother because she was reading his thoughts. He entered herbedroom and stabbed her at 2:20 a.m. He pinned her to the floor by flipping herbed over on top of her. He then left the home and drove into Albany. Albanypolice officers found Paniccia wandering the streets with self-inflicted knifewounds and took him to the Capital District Psychiatric Center. He was arrestedlater when Schenectady police learned of his whereabouts. Prior History: NicholasPaniccia was hospitalized before killing his grandmother, after a psychoticepisode in which he injured his father. He had stopped taking anti-psychoticmedication at the time when he killed his grandmother. Subsequent History: OnJuly 6 2007, Nicholas Paniccia, a 21-year-old Schenectady man charged withstabbing his grandmother to death, was committed to a secure psychiatricfacility, Schenectady County prosectors said. Paniccia pleaded not responsibleby reason of mental disease or defect, according to District Attorney RobertCarney. Paniccia will be held at the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Centerwhere he will be evaluated by doctors to determine whether he can be releasedfrom the facility. Carney said it was only the second time in about 80 murdercases that his office had accepted an insanity plea. Source: Times- Union(NY), 7/7/07; HudsonsMostWanted.com, 7/7/07

 

Date: 7/2007

Location: Albany, Albany, NY

Summary: On July 1, 2007, Harrison Carnevale, 17, was killed whenMarianne Williams, who had fled police minutes earlier, allegedly ran a stopsign and broadsided the car he was driving on Henry Johnson Boulevard. Williamshas been charged with manslaughter in the death of the Latham teen. PriorHistory: Just days after police say she nearly ran down two dozen people duringa 2005 chase through busy city neighborhoods, Marianne Williams threatened to”put two bullets” in the forehead of a city court judge. The threatwas detailed in an August 2005 memo to then-City Court Judge John Egan from DavidKelley, a psychologist at the Albany County jail. A day earlier, Egan hadordered county mental health staff to evaluate whether Williams understood thenumerous charges against her. Kelley would later advise the court thatWilliams, now 31, understood the charges against her despite mental healthproblems. His report is contained in court records connected to her subsequentguilty plea, when 24 felony charges were replaced by a single misdemeanor.Williams served about eight months in the Albany County jail for thatconviction, according to Sheriff James Campbell. Because she has at least twoprior convictions — including one for attempted weapons possession — Williamscould have been sent to prison for longer had she been convicted of another felonythen. But prosecutors say the proof wasn’t there. Williams’ lawyer says she isa sick woman who fell through the cracks. Williams, by her own admission, hasstruggled with mental health problems for years — claiming, according toKelley’s 2005 report, to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolardisorder and relying in the past on antipsychotic and mood-altering drugs. Shehas a lengthy criminal record, including a conviction for a June 2002 incidentwhen she called 911 and told Albany police to “send a car to Myrtle andGrand. I’m gonna kill persons,” according to court records. Williams, whoalready had a felony grand larceny conviction, pleaded guilty to attemptedcriminal possession of a weapon (a 4-inch knife) and served about 18 months in prison. Source: Albany Times Union, 7/12/07

 

Date: 7/2007

Location: Middletown, Orange, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2007, Ray Jackson, 42, was fatally stabbed atDavid Moore Heights, a housing project on Genung Street in the City ofMiddletown. Jackson was having a cookout with his family and neighbors in thepublic courtyard when Gilbert Judge Jr., 39, went on a tirade. Judge, who wasvisiting his mother at her apartment 20 yards away, began yelling about garbagearound the house. Judge grabbed a knife, swept his mother out of her apartmentand locked himself inside with her three adopted children, ages 7, 6 and 3.Judge’s mother, Christina Judge, asked Jackson for help. Jackson begged Judgeto come outside and let the children go. Judge ran out of the apartment andbegan waving the knife in the air. People screamed and ran into their ownapartments for safety. Jackson didn’t run. He picked up an aluminum baseballbat to fend off Judge, but it was no use. Judge ran at Jackson and stabbed himat least twice, once on the left side of Jackson’s chest and once near his leftshoulder. Jackson’s 19-year-old son tried helping him to his feet, but heeventually collapsed near the roadside. He was taken to the Horton campus ofOrange Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:53 p.m.Judge ran back into his mother’s apartment. Police arrested him afterconvincing him to drop the knife, which was 13 inches long with an 8-inchblade. Judge has a history of mental illness. According to police, he had been releasedonly three days prior to the incident from Arden Hill Hospital, where he hadspent more than three weeks under observation for his mental problems. Source:Times- Herald Record, 7/14/07

 

Date: 7/2007

Location: Henrietta, Henrietta, NY

Summary: On July 21, 2007, 81-year-old Stephen Mox was found deadat his home in Henrietta. His son, Michael Mox, who has had several priorhospitalizations for mental health reasons, was accused of accused of fatallybeating and stabbing his father. According to court records, Stephen Mox wasstabbed with a kitchen knife and beaten with a fist and a wooden cane. SusanLove told Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies she was in her West Henrietta home,talking to her husband on the telephone when her brother arrived at her doorthe night of the slaying; Love said she noticed blood on Mox’s hand and a cuton his face. Subsequent History: On September 18, 2008, Monroe County CourtJudge Richard A. Keenan sentenced Michael Mox, 43, to spend 25 years behindbars for first-degree manslaughter for the fatal stabbing and beating of81-year-old Stephen Mox in their Acorn Lane home on July 21, 2007. Mox, who wasdiagnosed at age 19 as a paranoid schizophrenic, was originally charged withsecond-degree murder. But the prosecution allowed him to plead guilty June 19to the lesser charge because of the probability that facts in the case wouldcompel jurors to find him guilty of murder committed under extreme emotionaldisturbance, which warrants a manslaughter count. At his plea, Mox said hehadn’t been taking prescription medication, became angry with his father, andheard voices. Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 8/3/07, 9/14/08

 

Date: 5/2007

Location: Union Springs, Cayuga, NY

Summary: On May 17, 2007, Jon Hewitt threatened his formergirlfriend with two knives, forcing her to go with to his boat against herwill, and restricted her movements. Subsequent History: On August 28, 2007, JonHewitt pleaded guilty to three counts related to an incident where hethreatened his former girlfriend of two decades, something he said he wishes hecould go back in time to erase. He blamed his “irrational” behavioron his bipolar condition and him not taking his prescription. Hewitt, 48, alsopointed to his “self-medicating” use of alcohol that day. CayugaCounty Court Judge Mark Fandrich ordered Hewitt to undergo a mental healthevaluation. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9. Source: Auburn Citizen, 8/28/07, 8/29/07

 

Date: 9/2007

Location: Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY

Summary: On September 5, 2007, Shauna Mahoney allegedly killed her19 1/2-month-old son, Trevor Schneider, because she didn’t want him growing upto be like her. The statement was part of a confession Mahoney made to officersafter she was arrested that evening. The confession, now part of asecond-degree murder case against Mahoney, 20, paints a chilling picture of awoman police and others say began battling mental problems long before her sonwas born in January 2006. Mahoney told Detective Celestine Booze that she wasalone with Trevor in the home she shared with her mother and her mother’sfiance, when she decided to end the child’s life because he wouldn’t stopcrying. She also told Booze it wasn’t the first time she considered killing herson. ÒIt was just me. I wanted him gone,Ó she said. ÒI suffocated him. I put myhands on his mouth and nose, and I pushed him down. Trevor was flailing around.He was moving his legs and arms, and I kept my hands over his mouth and nosefor 20 minutes.Ó Mahoney told police that she waited for several more minutesafter her son stopped moving before calling 911 to report that she had killedher son. ÒThe [dispatcher] said to try and resuscitate him,Ó Mahoney said. ÒIdidn’t even try.Ó During her arrest at about 6 p.m., as police clickedhandcuffs on her, Mahoney told officers she didn’t care about what washappening to her. Subsequent History: Mahoney remained hospitalized in thepsychiatric unit of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where she wasarraigned on September 6. A not-guilty plea was entered on her behalf, as isstandard practice for murder arraignments. Police said Mahoney was beingtreated for Òsome typeÓ of mental-health disorder. Prior History: AdamSchneider, the child’s father, said he dated Mahoney for about two years beforethey broke up late last year. He said that Mahoney had struggled with mentalhealth issues since she was 17, had twice been taken to Niagara Falls MemorialMedical Center’s psychiatric unit for observation and had been institutionalizedfor a short period at a mental-health facility in Medina. Subsequent History:On May 1, 2008, Shauna E. Mahoney, the mentally ill woman who killed her infantson last summer, was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for first-degreemanslaughter. Mahoney had agreed in February to plead guilty to themanslaughter count. She originally was charged with second-degree murder andfaced 25 years to life in prison if she had been convicted on that charge. Shetold the judge that doctors have diagnosed her with bipolar disorder andpostpartum psychosis. Source: Buffalo News, 9/9/07, 5/2/08

 

Date: 9/2007

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: On September 26, 2007, fears of another Virginia Techmassacre gripped St. John’s University after a student was spotted walkingthrough the campus carrying a .50-caliber rifle and wearing a Halloween mask.The suspect, Omesh Hiraman, 22, an emigrant from Guyana, was arrested with thehelp of a police cadet, sources said. The loaded weapon, manufactured by Wolf,in Spain, carries just one shot, and while no other ammunition was found onHiraman, police searching his Elmhurst home yesterday found another 50 roundsof ammunition. Police sources said that Hiraman told them that he wasschizophrenic and hadn’t taken his medication. Attorney Anthony Colleluori saidhis client, who transferred to St. John’s from Cornell University, was beingtaken to a hospital, and that he “is exhausted, confused and sad.”Hiraman was supposed to be in a business class when he was arrested, policesaid, but he walked right past it and did little to remain unobtrusive. Somewitnesses said he appeared to be marching. The weapon, police said, was onlypartly concealed by a black plastic garbage bag, and his Halloween mask turnedheads. The school was locked down and police searched each building, lookingfor a possible second gunman, a notion fueled by the fact that Hiraman took offhis mask and removed clothing as he walked through campus, police sources said.By 5:30 p.m., with frantic parents racing to the campus, the lockdown ended.Subsequent History: On September 28, 2007, Omesh Hiraman, 22, was arraigned athis bedside at Bellevue Hospital by way of video conference. Hiraman’s parentsstood by as he was arraigned on three charges, including fourth-degree criminalpossession of a weapon, which is a misdemeanor charge carrying a maximumsentence of one year in prison. Hiraman is also charged with two violationsregarding the rifle – illegal possession of a rifle and a charge relatedto the rifle’s certification. Hiraman’s lawyer says side effects from recentback surgery and medication for schizophrenia may have prompted Wednesday’sincident, but he insists this was not a repeat of Columbine or Virginia Tech.Hiraman is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation next month to decideif he’s fit to stand trial. The judge has ordered him held without bail untilhis next hearing, which is scheduled for October 28th. Source: Newsday,9/27/07; New York 1 News, 9/28/07

 

Date: 9/2007

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: On September 26, 2007, fears of another Virginia Techmassacre gripped St. John’s University after a student was spotted walkingthrough the campus carrying a .50-caliber rifle and wearing a Halloween mask.The suspect, Omesh Hiraman, 22, an emigrant from Guyana, was arrested with thehelp of a police cadet, sources said. The loaded weapon, manufactured by Wolf,in Spain, carries just one shot, and while no other ammunition was found onHiraman, police searching his Elmhurst home yesterday found another 50 roundsof ammunition. Police sources said that Hiraman told them that he wasschizophrenic and hadn’t taken his medication. Attorney Anthony Colleluori saidhis client, who transferred to St. John’s from Cornell University, was being takento a hospital, and that he “is exhausted, confused and sad.” Hiramanwas supposed to be in a business class when he was arrested, police said, buthe walked right past it and did little to remain unobtrusive. Some witnessessaid he appeared to be marching. The weapon, police said, was only partlyconcealed by a black plastic garbage bag, and his Halloween mask turned heads.The school was locked down and police searched each building, looking for apossible second gunman, a notion fueled by the fact that Hiraman took off hismask and removed clothing as he walked through campus, police sources said. By5:30 p.m., with frantic parents racing to the campus, the lockdown ended.Subsequent History: On September 28, 2007, Omesh Hiraman, 22, was arraigned athis bedside at Bellevue Hospital by way of video conference. Hiraman’s parentsstood by as he was arraigned on three charges, including fourth-degree criminalpossession of a weapon, which is a misdemeanor charge carrying a maximumsentence of one year in prison. Hiraman is also charged with two violationsregarding the rifle – illegal possession of a rifle and a charge relatedto the rifle’s certification. Hiraman’s lawyer says side effects from recentback surgery and medication for schizophrenia may have prompted Wednesday’sincident, but he insists this was not a repeat of Columbine or Virginia Tech.Hiraman is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation next month to decideif he’s fit to stand trial. The judge has ordered him held without bail until hisnext hearing, which is scheduled for October 28th. Source: Newsday, 9/27/07;New York 1 News, 9/28/07

 

Date: 9/2007

Location: West Saugerties, Ulster, NY

Summary: On September 26, 2007, Tracey Passaro, 37, was found deadinside her and her husband’s home in West Saugerties after a person inside thehouse called 911 and said there had been a shooting. When police from severalagencies arrived at the house, Anthony Passaro Jr., 40, was waiting outside andconfessed that he had shot his wife, state police Capt. Wayne Olson said. Thehusband was taken into custody immediately, charged with second-degree murderlater that day and sent to the Ulster County Jail without bail. Prior History:Anthony A. Passaro, the suspect’s father, said during an interview that his sonis “a very sick man” – that he was diagnosed with diabetes at age 4,suffers from depression and has multiple sclerosis, which caused blindness inone eye. Tracey Passaro’s sister, Toni Del’Ostia of Yonkers, said on that herbrother-in-law has a history of mental illness, tried to kill himself on morethan one occasion, is prone to wild mood swings and has been in and out ofpsychiatric hospitals. Relatives said Anthony Passaro Jr. had two sisters andwas home-schooled for a few years but never graduated high school or earned anequivalency diploma. He worked at one time as an electrician but lately hasbeen on disability, relatives said. Subsequent History: On November 23, 2009,Anthony D. Passaro Jr. was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for shootinghis wife, Tracey, to death in their home two years ago. Passaro’s sentencing,on a charge of second-degree murder, was delayed seven months because he wastoo sick to go to court. Passaro, 42, attended the hearing in a hospital bed.Passaro’s lawyer, public defender Andrew Kossover, asked that the court showPassaro “some compassion” because of his medical conditions, which hesaid include multiple sclerosis, diabetes and a lesion on his brain, as well aspast diagnoses of being bipolar and schizophrenic. Kossover said he’s had nomeaningful communication with his client since the trial, but Acting stateSupreme Court Justice Roger McDonough noted two psychologists examined Passaroand found he was able to understand the court proceedings. Source: KingstonDaily Freeman, 9/28/07; Middletown Times Herald Record, 11/24/09

 

Date: 10/2007

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On October 6, 2007, Lee Coleman, 38, went on a bloodyrampage after stealing knives from a Second Ave. restaurant. Coleman appeared tohave super-human strength after attacking 56-year-old cook Amarjit Singh ofQueens and mutilating Susan Barron, 67, an East Side psychologist, witnessessaid. “After he got shot, he was still standing up,” said GusKassimis, 36, who saw part of the attack from the Gemini diner he owns onSecond Ave. “It took four cops to wrestle him to the ground.” Colemanwas taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition after he was shot.According to police, he faced charges of attempted murder and assault. Coleman’ssister, Teresa Gonzalez, said her was schizophrenic and bipolar and that he hadbeen “really stressed” and “struggling” in recent days.Gonzalez said that her family was trying to get Coleman help just before theattack. Coleman, a former male model, was living a normal life until hesuffered nervous breakdowns in 2005 and again earlier this year. He was treatedeach time at Jacobi Medical Center, said Gonzalez. She confirmed a news reportthat her brother had stopped taking his medication a long time ago because,”It made him sluggish. He thought it was doing him harm.” SubsequentHistory: On October 15, 2008, Lee Coleman, 39, who brutally slashed SusanBarron on an East Side street was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Barron hashad 15 operations and had to give away her beloved Scottish terrier because shewas unable to care for the pooch. Cook Amarjit Singh, who tried to stop theattack, lost a piece of his ear, and said he can no longer work. Colemanapologized and said he was “not myself” when he snatched restaurantkitchen knives and went on a rampage on October 6, 2007. Manhattan SupremeCourt Justice Rena Uviller blamed the attack on authorities’ failure to enforcelaws that are supposed to keep the mentally ill on their medications. Source:NY Daily News, 10/8/07; Channel 2 News (NY), 10/9/07; New York Daily News,10/15/08

 

Date: 10/2007

Location: Bronx, Bronx, NY

Summary: On October 6, 2007, Lee Coleman, 38, went on a bloodyrampage after stealing knives from a Second Ave. restaurant. Coleman appearedto have super-human strength after attacking 56-year-old cook Amarjit Singh ofQueens and mutilating Susan Barron, 67, an East Side psychologist, witnessessaid. “After he got shot, he was still standing up,” said GusKassimis, 36, who saw part of the attack from the Gemini diner he owns onSecond Ave. “It took four cops to wrestle him to the ground.” Colemanwas taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition after he was shot.According to police, he faced charges of attempted murder and assault. Coleman’ssister, Teresa Gonzalez, said her was schizophrenic and bipolar and that he hadbeen “really stressed” and “struggling” in recent days.Gonzalez said that her family was trying to get Coleman help just before theattack. Coleman, a former male model, was living a normal life until hesuffered nervous breakdowns in 2005 and again earlier this year. He was treatedeach time at Jacobi Medical Center, said Gonzalez. She confirmed a news reportthat her brother had stopped taking his medication a long time ago because,”It made him sluggish. He thought it was doing him harm.” SubsequentHistory: On October 15, 2008, Lee Coleman, 39, who brutally slashed SusanBarron on an East Side street was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Barron hashad 15 operations and had to give away her beloved Scottish terrier because shewas unable to care for the pooch. Cook Amarjit Singh, who tried to stop theattack, lost a piece of his ear, and said he can no longer work. Colemanapologized and said he was “not myself” when he snatched restaurantkitchen knives and went on a rampage on October 6, 2007. Manhattan SupremeCourt Justice Rena Uviller blamed the attack on authorities’ failure to enforcelaws that are supposed to keep the mentally ill on their medications. Source:NY Daily News, 10/8/07; Channel 2 News (NY), 10/9/07; New York Daily News,10/15/08

 

Date: 11/2006

Location: Manorville, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On November 18, 2006, Carolyn Buonnano was arrested afterfatally stabbing her husband, Raymond, 43, three times on the neck beforeslitting her own throat in a botched suicide attempt. Buonnano was charged withsecond-degree murder. Subsequent History: On February 11, 2008, CarolynBuonnano, who stabbed her husband to death in an apparently unprovoked attackin their home entered an insanity plea. In a deal with prosecutors, Buonnano,39, entered a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease in SuffolkCounty Court. Judge James Hudson ordered Buonnano to undergo treatment at apsychiatric hospital. Her attorney, Eric W. Naiburg of Central Islip, said aforensic psychologist testified that Buonnano was psychotic before and afterthe event. The couple had a good marriage that was interrupted by her mentaldisease, Naiburg said. “She was a paranoid schizophrenic and she believedhe was trying to do her wrong,” Naiburg said. Assistant District AttorneyNancy Clifford said Buonnano was “unable to appreciate the nature of whatshe did.” Source: Newsday, 2/12/08

 

Date: 1/2008

Location: New Hartford, Oneida, NY

Summary: In January 2008, 19-year-old Kevin Adams fatally stabbedhis grandfather, 81-year-old of Edward Bogan, a longtime aide to formerCongressman Sherwood Boehlert. Subsequent History: On February 12, 2008, NewHartford Town Justice William Virkler ruled that Kevin Adams, charged withmurdering his grandfather, was competent to stand trial. Oneida County ChiefPublic Defender Frank Nebush said he planned to pursue an insanity defense forAdams. Nebush said Adams suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was beingtreated at Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy, near Utica. SubsequentHistory: On April 10, 2008, 19-year-old Kevin Adams entered a plea of insanityin Oneida County Court related to the January stabbing death of hisgrandfather, Edward Bogan. Adams was charged January 4 with second-degreemurder after he told police that he stabbed 80-year-old Bogan inside therelative’s Clinton House apartment. Prior History: Since Adams’ arrest, publicdefender, Frank Nebush Jr., has continuously argued that Adams suffers fromparanoid schizophrenia and was most likely acting on ÒdelusionsÓ when he killedhis grandfather. Adams was been examined by both defense and prosecutionpsychiatrists, and their conclusion was that Adams suffers from some form ofmental defect, attorneys said. Source: Newsday, 2/13/08; Utica ObserverDispatch, 4/10/08, 11/6/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On February 12, 2008, Kathryn Faughey, a psychologist,was fatally stabbed in her Manhattan office as she saw patients late into theevening. Faughey was stabbed 15 times. Dr. Kent Shinbach, who shared a suitewith Faughey and tried to help, was also stabbed but recovered from his wounds.Faughey had been practicing on the Upper East Side for more than two decades.She was alone in her office when a man showed up at the East 79th Streetbuilding that houses the suite she shared with Shinbach and three othertherapists. The man entered Faughey’s office and attacked her with a meatcleaver and a 9-inch knife, police said. Subsequent History: On February 16,2008, 39-year-old David Tarloff, who was treated for schizophrenia at a StatenIsland psychiatric facility, was arrested for the murder of Dr. Kathryn Faugheyafter investigators matched his palm prints with those at the bloody crimescene where Dr. Faughey was killed. Police said he told investigators he hadset out to rob a psychiatrist he said had institutionalized him 17 years ago,but ended up in Dr. Faughey’s office. Police said it remained unclear why Tarloffwould have attacked Dr. Faughey. A psychiatrist who worked nearby, Dr. KentShinbach, came to Dr. Faughey’s aid and was badly injured. Police couldn’tconfirm whether Tarloff was ever Dr. Shinbach’s patient, or whether he’d metDr. Faughey. Robert Tarloff, Tarloff’s brother said his own family hadunsuccessfully tried to keep his brother institutionalized. “My father andI and our mother all tried our best to keep him [David] in the facilities thathe was hospitalized in over the many, many years of his illness, and they keptreleasing him even after we’ve told them what has been going on with hissituation,” Robert Tarloff said. “We did the best that we couldasking them to keep him in there and they didn’t.” Subsequent History: Athis February 17, arraignment, David Tarloff was all but incoherent during thefive-minute proceeding in Manhattan Criminal Court. Tarloff said his Legal Aidlawyer, Reginald Sharpe, was not an attorney. Acting Supreme Court Justice RuthPickholz ordered Tarloff be taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was to undergoa psychological evaluation to determine if he was mentally competent to standtrial. Tarloff was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attemptedmurder and first-degree assault, in connection with the therapist’s slaying.Prior History: Tarloff had been arrested earlier in February on charges ofpunching a security guard in the face after being asked to leave St. John’sEpiscopal Hospital in Queens. It wasn’t clear why Tarloff had been at thehospital. According to a health care professional at Staten Island UniversityHospital where Tarloff was treated for schizophrenia last summer, Tarloff’smental illness has landed him in court before. The source said Tarloff had beena patient at the psychiatric ward in the Ocean Breeze facility for as many asseven months last year, and on several occasions, court orders had be obtainedin Supreme Court in St. George, so doctors could administer medication to treathis schizophrenia. Subsequent History: On October 14, 2008, Justice Charles H.Solomon of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled that David Tarloff wasmentally unfit to stand trial, and ordered that he be sent to a statepsychiatric institution. The ruling came one week after two court-appointedpsychiatrists found that Tarloff had become so withdrawn that he would beunable to assist in his own defense. Mr. Tarloff’s lawyer, Bryan Konoski, hassaid that since his arrest shortly after the killing, Tarloff’s mental healthhas been up and down. He added that at times, Mr. Tarloff was stable whilemedicated, but that his condition was now worse than ever. Mr. Tarloff has notbeen speaking with anyone — not even his father, who used to visit himperiodically, according to one of the psychiatric reports filed with the courtlast week. The death of Mr. Tarloff’s mother during the summer might havepushed him into a deep depression, Mr. Konoski said. A report by Tarloff’spsychiatrists said that he had not been taking his medication, and that he wason suicide watch. In June, a judge issued a ruling allowing doctors to forceTarloff to take his medication, but Konoski said he thought the order mighthave expired. The state institution where Tarloff is sent could get anotherjudge to issue a force order, he said. Tarloff must remain institutionalizedÒuntil some time that he is fit to proceed,Ó Justice Solomon said. SubsequentHistory: On October 18, 2010, two psychiatrists told a judge that David Tarloffwasn’t mentally competent to stand trial, which was set to begin. Juryselection was halted but the judge scheduled another psychiatric examination atthe request of prosecutors. The judge declared a mistrial. Source: Newsday,2/14/08, 2/15/08; New York Daily News, 2/18/08, 6/10/08, 10/15/08, 4/8/10;Times News (NC), 2/18/08, 2/20/08, 6/11/08; Staten Island Advance, 2/18/08; NewYork Times, 2/19/08, 4/16/08, 10/7/08, 10/17/10; WNBC TV, 2/19/08; NY Post,2/22/08

 

Date: 10/2005

Location: Bay Shore, Suffolk, NY

Summary: On October 21, 2005, Elden MacFarlane, a former Green Beret,picked up a kitchen knife and repeatedly plunged it into Regina JonesMacFarlane’s neck in their Bay Shore home. Prior History: On February 13, 2008,at Elden MacFarlane’s murder trial, Dr. Alexander Sasha Bardey of Manhattan, aforensic psychiatrist, testified that four years before he killed his futurewife, MacFarlane had returned home from Operation Desert Storm and wasdiagnosed by a military doctor as being depressed testified. And, in the yearsthat followed, MacFarlane was caught in a spiraling descent toward paranoidschizophrenia that included obsessive thoughts about the smell of melted bodiesin Kuwait, religious delirium that made him hammer a metal spike into his righthand in Delaware, and driving a car through backyards in North Carolina, Dr.Bardey testified. On the day of the murder, Bardey told the jury, MacFarlane”lacked substantial capacity to know that what he was doing waswrong.” Bardey’ is defense attorney William Ferris’ star witness – ascientific voice showing that MacFarlane was mentally ill before the slayingand therefore should be sent to a hospital, not to prison for as much as 25years to life, for his wife’s killing. Pointing to medical records that date to2001, Bardey told the jury MacFarlane’s father and brother also suffered frommental illness, and explained that paranoid schizophrenia grows worse overyears before reaching a boiling point. Source: Newsday, 2/14/08, 2/15/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On February 12, 2008, Kathryn Faughey, a psychologist,was fatally stabbed in her Manhattan office as she saw patients late into theevening. Faughey was stabbed 15 times. Dr. Kent Shinbach, who shared a suitewith Faughey and tried to help, was also stabbed but recovered from his wounds.Faughey had been practicing on the Upper East Side for more than two decades.She was alone in her office when a man showed up at the East 79th Streetbuilding that houses the suite she shared with Shinbach and three othertherapists. The man entered Faughey’s office and attacked her with a meatcleaver and a 9-inch knife, police said. Subsequent History: On February 16,2008, 39-year-old David Tarloff, who was treated for schizophrenia at a StatenIsland psychiatric facility, was arrested for the murder of Dr. Kathryn Faugheyafter investigators matched his palm prints with those at the bloody crimescene where Dr. Faughey was killed. Police said he told investigators he hadset out to rob a psychiatrist he said had institutionalized him 17 years ago,but ended up in Dr. Faughey’s office. Police said it remained unclear whyTarloff would have attacked Dr. Faughey. A psychiatrist who worked nearby, Dr.Kent Shinbach, came to Dr. Faughey’s aid and was badly injured. Police couldn’tconfirm whether Tarloff was ever Dr. Shinbach’s patient, or whether he’d metDr. Faughey. Robert Tarloff, Tarloff’s brother said his own family hadunsuccessfully tried to keep his brother institutionalized. “My father andI and our mother all tried our best to keep him [David] in the facilities thathe was hospitalized in over the many, many years of his illness, and they keptreleasing him even after we’ve told them what has been going on with hissituation,” Robert Tarloff said. “We did the best that we couldasking them to keep him in there and they didn’t.” Subsequent History: Athis February 17, arraignment, David Tarloff was all but incoherent during thefive-minute proceeding in Manhattan Criminal Court. Tarloff said his Legal Aidlawyer, Reginald Sharpe, was not an attorney. Acting Supreme Court Justice RuthPickholz ordered Tarloff be taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was to undergoa psychological evaluation to determine if he was mentally competent to standtrial. Tarloff was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attemptedmurder and first-degree assault, in connection with the therapist’s slaying.Prior History: Tarloff had been arrested earlier in February on charges ofpunching a security guard in the face after being asked to leave St. John’sEpiscopal Hospital in Queens. It wasn’t clear why Tarloff had been at thehospital. According to a health care professional at Staten Island UniversityHospital where Tarloff was treated for schizophrenia last summer, Tarloff’smental illness has landed him in court before. The source said Tarloff had beena patient at the psychiatric ward in the Ocean Breeze facility for as many asseven months last year, and on several occasions, court orders had be obtainedin Supreme Court in St. George, so doctors could administer medication to treathis schizophrenia. Subsequent History: On October 14, 2008, Justice Charles H.Solomon of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled that David Tarloff wasmentally unfit to stand trial, and ordered that he be sent to a statepsychiatric institution. The ruling came one week after two court-appointedpsychiatrists found that Tarloff had become so withdrawn that he would beunable to assist in his own defense. Mr. Tarloff’s lawyer, Bryan Konoski, hassaid that since his arrest shortly after the killing, Tarloff’s mental healthhas been up and down. He added that at times, Mr. Tarloff was stable whilemedicated, but that his condition was now worse than ever. Mr. Tarloff has notbeen speaking with anyone — not even his father, who used to visit himperiodically, according to one of the psychiatric reports filed with the courtlast week. The death of Mr. Tarloff’s mother during the summer might havepushed him into a deep depression, Mr. Konoski said. A report by Tarloff’spsychiatrists said that he had not been taking his medication, and that he wason suicide watch. In June, a judge issued a ruling allowing doctors to forceTarloff to take his medication, but Konoski said he thought the order mighthave expired. The state institution where Tarloff is sent could get anotherjudge to issue a force order, he said. Tarloff must remain institutionalizedÒuntil some time that he is fit to proceed,Ó Justice Solomon said. SubsequentHistory: On October 18, 2010, two psychiatrists told a judge that David Tarloffwasn’t mentally competent to stand trial, which was set to begin. Juryselection was halted but the judge scheduled another psychiatric examination atthe request of prosecutors. The judge declared a mistrial. Source: Newsday,2/14/08, 2/15/08; New York Daily News, 2/18/08, 6/10/08, 10/15/08, 4/8/10;Times News (NC), 2/18/08, 2/20/08, 6/11/08; Staten Island Advance, 2/18/08; NewYork Times, 2/19/08, 4/16/08, 10/7/08, 10/17/10; WNBC TV, 2/19/08; NY Post,2/22/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: Massena, Saint Lawrence, NY

Summary: On January 31, 2008, Harry Klages II, 25, allegedlyattackeded Andrew W. Lesperance, 51, with a knife leaving the man barelyclinging to life in the younger man’s South Main Street apartment. Klagesbrutally mutilated Lesperance by gouging out his eyeball, cutting off hisgenitals and slicing into his other eye and abdomen. Prior History: Harry E.Klages II began showing signs of a troubled mind early on in his life. Heexhibited evidence of mental illness “since he was a small child” and,at age 17, was being treated for alcohol problems said his father, Harry E.Klages Sr. Despite Klages’s criminal record, expulsion from SUNY Cobleskill forbizarre behavior and a history of being in and out of various mental health andalcohol abuse programs and facilities, many who knew him never suspected hemight be capable of brutally mutilating Lesperance. Those who knew or metKlages describe a young man who, depending on whether he was drunk or sober,could be a monster or friendly but who was deeply troubled. Klages waslearning-disabled since childhood and suffered from schizophrenia at an earlyage, said his father. “Every six months or a year he was sent to rehab byme until he moved out,” Mr. Klages said. “They said he had seriousmental health problems then.” Mrs. Klages, who moved into the householdabout five years ago, said she knew right from the start that Klages was deeplytroubled. “He drew demonic, ghoulish pictures … his entire room, thewalls were painted with ghoulish things,” Mrs. Klages said. “Themovies he watched, the music he listened to, was all violent. It was horrificstuff. He has tattoos all over him that are ghoulish. That should tip anyoneoff there is something wrong with him.” People who knew him said he was atalented tattoo artist and some of his designs may have been inked on his ownbody. A local shop owner said he had heard that Klages was doing tattooing outof his apartment. Klages’s father doubts that was the case. “He might havetattooed a couple of people there, but he wasn’t in business doing tattoos, asfar as I know,” Mr. Klages said, adding that his son received SocialSecurity disability payments because of his mental illness. According toKlages’ former girlfriend, Klages has served county jail time for attemptedassault related to a knife attack on a man at Fitzy’s Tavern in Ogdensburg. Source: The Capital, 2/18/08; Watertown Daily Times, 4/29/09

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: New Cassel, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 24, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, described as emotionallydisturbed and afraid of losing custody of her children called the police andled them into a blood-spattered bedroom where her young daughter and two smallsons lay slain on a bed, investigators said. Brewer, 27, who lived with thechildren in an apartment in the Nassau County hamlet of New Cassel, was takento a hospital for physical and mental examinations. Later that evening, she wascharged with the murder of all three children. Neither the police nor thecounty medical examiner said what caused the death of the children, who wereidentified as Jewell Ward, 6; Michael Demesyeux, 5; and Innocent Demesyeux, 18months old. But investigators said one appeared to have been drowned, while theothers had been slashed to death. Prior History: Nassau authorities declined todiscuss any motives behind the killings. But relatives and acquaintancesdescribed Ms. Brewer as emotionally unstable. The two fathers of the childrensaid they had tried through the courts to gain custody. Ricky Ward, Jewell’s father,said he had been trying in Family Court for a year. In the 12 years that he hadknown her, Mr. Ward said Ms. Brewer had tried to kill herself a number oftimes. The Nassau police said they were investigating a report that she hadjumped out a window of her apartment on the day of the killings. ÒHe problemwas her mind state,Ó Mr. Ward said. ÒShe wasn’t stable and wasn’t able tocommunicate. She didn’t want anyone to have her kids. It’s a tragedy that mydaughter’s gone.Ó Innocent Demesyeux, the father of Ms. Brewer’s two sons, saidthat he and Ms. Brewer had been battling in court for 18 months over visitationrights and custody of the boys, and that she feared she might soon losecustody. He said that he and Ms. Brewer had a date in Nassau County FamilyCourt on February 25, and that he had hoped to win the case. He said Ms. Brewerhad missed court dates recently and had refused to take drug tests. He saidthat he had recently been in contact with a county child protective servicesagency and that a representative was to have visited Ms. Brewer’s apartment onFebruary 22. It was unclear if that visit took place. Some neighbors said Ms.Brewer had behaved bizarrely. ÒI used to see her walking down the street duringthe day in her pajamas,Ó said Lisa Jones, who said she was a distant relativeof Ms. Brewer. Asked if Ms. Brewer had seemed mentally unstable, Ms. Jonessaid, ÒAbsolutely.Ó The Rev. Elijah Crawford, pastor of the Healing PowerChurch, spoke on behalf of the family at the Westbury home of a relative of Ms.Brewer’s, where family members had gathered. He said he had been told that Ms.Brewer had snapped because money she had expected from a social services agency— money she needed for the children — had failed to arrive. Shedidn’t get it, and snapped out,Ó the pastor said. He later said of familymembers: ÒThey don’t know what happened. All they know is that she snapped.They said she had great love for her children. It’s just something thathappened all of a sudden.Ó Source: NY Times, 2/25/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: New Cassel, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 24, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, described asemotionally disturbed and afraid of losing custody of her children called thepolice and led them into a blood-spattered bedroom where her young daughter andtwo small sons lay slain on a bed, investigators said. Brewer, 27, who livedwith the children in an apartment in the Nassau County hamlet of New Cassel,was taken to a hospital for physical and mental examinations. Later thatevening, she was charged with the murder of all three children. Neither thepolice nor the county medical examiner said what caused the death of thechildren, who were identified as Jewell Ward, 6; Michael Demesyeux, 5; andInnocent Demesyeux, 18 months old. But investigators said one appeared to havebeen drowned, while the others had been slashed to death. Prior History: Nassauauthorities declined to discuss any motives behind the killings. But relativesand acquaintances described Ms. Brewer as emotionally unstable. The two fathersof the children said they had tried through the courts to gain custody. RickyWard, Jewell’s father, said he had been trying in Family Court for a year. Inthe 12 years that he had known her, Mr. Ward said Ms. Brewer had tried to killherself a number of times. The Nassau police said they were investigating areport that she had jumped out a window of her apartment on the day of thekillings. ÒHe problem was her mind state,Ó Mr. Ward said. ÒShe wasn’t stableand wasn’t able to communicate. She didn’t want anyone to have her kids. It’s atragedy that my daughter’s gone.Ó Innocent Demesyeux, the father of Ms.Brewer’s two sons, said that he and Ms. Brewer had been battling in court for18 months over visitation rights and custody of the boys, and that she fearedshe might soon lose custody. He said that he and Ms. Brewer had a date inNassau County Family Court on February 25, and that he had hoped to win thecase. He said Ms. Brewer had missed court dates recently and had refused totake drug tests. He said that he had recently been in contact with a countychild protective services agency and that a representative was to have visitedMs. Brewer’s apartment on February 22. It was unclear if that visit took place.Some neighbors said Ms. Brewer had behaved bizarrely. ÒI used to see herwalking down the street during the day in her pajamas,Ó said Lisa Jones, whosaid she was a distant relative of Ms. Brewer. Asked if Ms. Brewer had seemedmentally unstable, Ms. Jones said, ÒAbsolutely.Ó The Rev. Elijah Crawford,pastor of the Healing Power Church, spoke on behalf of the family at theWestbury home of a relative of Ms. Brewer’s, where family members had gathered.He said he had been told that Ms. Brewer had snapped because money she hadexpected from a social services agency — money she needed for thechildren — had failed to arrive. She didn’t get it, and snapped out,Ó thepastor said. He later said of family members: ÒThey don’t know what happened.All they know is that she snapped. They said she had great love for herchildren. It’s just something that happened all of a sudden.Ó Source: NYTimes, 2/25/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: New Cassel, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 24, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, described asemotionally disturbed and afraid of losing custody of her children called thepolice and led them into a blood-spattered bedroom where her young daughter andtwo small sons lay slain on a bed, investigators said. Brewer, 27, who livedwith the children in an apartment in the Nassau County hamlet of New Cassel,was taken to a hospital for physical and mental examinations. Later thatevening, she was charged with the murder of all three children. Neither thepolice nor the county medical examiner said what caused the death of thechildren, who were identified as Jewell Ward, 6; Michael Demesyeux, 5; andInnocent Demesyeux, 18 months old. But investigators said one appeared to havebeen drowned, while the others had been slashed to death. Prior History: Nassauauthorities declined to discuss any motives behind the killings. But relativesand acquaintances described Ms. Brewer as emotionally unstable. The two fathersof the children said they had tried through the courts to gain custody. RickyWard, Jewell’s father, said he had been trying in Family Court for a year. Inthe 12 years that he had known her, Mr. Ward said Ms. Brewer had tried to killherself a number of times. The Nassau police said they were investigating areport that she had jumped out a window of her apartment on the day of thekillings. ÒHe problem was her mind state,Ó Mr. Ward said. ÒShe wasn’t stableand wasn’t able to communicate. She didn’t want anyone to have her kids. It’s atragedy that my daughter’s gone.Ó Innocent Demesyeux, the father of Ms.Brewer’s two sons, said that he and Ms. Brewer had been battling in court for18 months over visitation rights and custody of the boys, and that she fearedshe might soon lose custody. He said that he and Ms. Brewer had a date inNassau County Family Court on February 25, and that he had hoped to win thecase. He said Ms. Brewer had missed court dates recently and had refused totake drug tests. He said that he had recently been in contact with a countychild protective services agency and that a representative was to have visitedMs. Brewer’s apartment on February 22. It was unclear if that visit took place.Some neighbors said Ms. Brewer had behaved bizarrely. ÒI used to see herwalking down the street during the day in her pajamas,Ó said Lisa Jones, whosaid she was a distant relative of Ms. Brewer. Asked if Ms. Brewer had seemedmentally unstable, Ms. Jones said, ÒAbsolutely.Ó The Rev. Elijah Crawford,pastor of the Healing Power Church, spoke on behalf of the family at theWestbury home of a relative of Ms. Brewer’s, where family members had gathered.He said he had been told that Ms. Brewer had snapped because money she hadexpected from a social services agency — money she needed for thechildren — had failed to arrive. She didn’t get it, and snapped out,Ó thepastor said. He later said of family members: ÒThey don’t know what happened.All they know is that she snapped. They said she had great love for herchildren. It’s just something that happened all of a sudden.Ó Source: NYTimes, 2/25/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: Queensbury, Warren, NY

Summary: On February 26, 2008, Stanley W. Chrostowski, 50, diedafter being struck by a tractor trailer. Investigators said he was drivingsouthbound in the northbound lanes of the Northway when his car hit the truckhead-on. The 2003 Ford Mustang he was driving broke in two pieces from theforce of the high-speed, head-on collision. Officials at the scene said thecrash happened at about 4:20 a.m., when Chrostowski struck a Stewart’s trucksouth of Exit 18. The truck, a refrigerated box truck owned by Stewarts Shops,burst into flames, and the driver escaped with little more than a bump on hishead, said West Glens Falls Fire Chief Michael Gordon. Gordon called it a”miracle” he was not seriously hurt. He was treated at Glens FallsHospital and released. He was identified as Kevin Palmatier of Lake Luzerne.Prior History: Chrostowski had an extensive history of treatment for mentalillness, and investigators were looking into whether he intentionally drove inthe wrong lane in an effort to commit suicide. Two neighbors of Chrostowski whosaid he had recently stopped taking his medication for mental illness said theybelieved he committed suicide. One said he had made a comment Monday that shewould have a “new neighbor soon.” Source: Glenn Falls Post Star, 2/26/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: Westbury, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 23, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, 27, drowned herthree children, Jewell Ward, Michael Demesyeux, and Innocent Desmesyeux Jr. oneby one and then laid them out on her bed in their pajamas. In the hours beforethe incident, Brewer, 27, told her brother that she was ÒfineÓ when he askedher how she was doing. Prior History: Relatives say that the death of LeatriceBrewer’s mother four years opened the most difficult chapter of her life.Interviews with family members and friends as well as court documents yield aportrait of her last few years: an often confrontational woman leading a lifemarked by substance abuse, arrests, an abusive relationship with the father oftwo of her children, financial struggles and mental health issues. Althoughraised by her maternal grandmother, Maebell Mickens, in a strict household, inmore recent years Leatrice Brewer had built a criminal record includingharassment and unlawful possession of marijuana, as she shuttled from onesocial service office to another and struggled to raise three children. Herparents had also struggled: Her father, Larry Brewer, who died in 2001, was inand out of jail during her formative years, said relatives, and her mother,Pearly Mae Mickens struggled with drug addiction and schizophrenia. As a juniorin high school, Brewer was charged with petty larceny and pleaded guilty todisorderly conduct. She didn’t graduate, but later earned her GeneralEducational Development certificate, a family member said. Around that time,Brewer met Ricky Ward, who would father her first child, a daughter namedJewell, who was born in June 2001. Almost two years later, Michael was born, inFebruary 2003. His father was Innocent Demesyeux, who for a time lived withBrewer in New Cassel. In April 2003, Demesyeux took out a restraining order onBrewer after she attempted to slash him with a large kitchen knife, accordingto court documents. That same month, Brewer was first accused of slappingJewell, then 1, and officials opened the first of 10 cases on her over theensuing four years, six of which were deemed unfounded. Complaints were made byBrewer herself, Maebell Mickens, Innocent Desmesyeux and anonymous orundisclosed callers. In August 2006, Innocent Desmesyeux Jr. was born. Lastfall, Brewer got a job at Kohl’s in Westbury. But with the loss of that jobabout a month ago, Maebell Mickens said she saw a dramatic change in Brewer.She walked around in public in pajama pants, a T-shirt and a ragged hair scarf,a relative said. In mid-February, Mickens asked one of Brewer’s cousins tocheck on Brewer. The cousin went to see her a few days later and Brewercomplained that people were watching her but that she was fine. On Friday,February 22, two days before the killings, Maebell Mickens visited hergranddaughter and found her depressed and complaining that her life was indisarray. Brewer again talked of people watching her and voices talking to herfrom the television. Mickens offered to take care of the children for a while,but Brewer said no. That same day, Nassau child protection officials sentcaseworkers twice to visit Brewer, but got no answer at the door. Over the nextday, Maebell Mickens couldn’t get through to her granddaughter, so she sent RobertMcCord, Brewer’s brother, to go check on her. They talked for a while and thechildren seemed OK. Source: Newsday, 3/1/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: Westbury, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 23, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, 27, drowned herthree children, Jewell Ward, Michael Demesyeux, and Innocent Desmesyeux Jr. oneby one and then laid them out on her bed in their pajamas. In the hours beforethe incident, Brewer, 27, told her brother that she was ÒfineÓ when he askedher how she was doing. Prior History: Relatives say that the death of LeatriceBrewer’s mother four years opened the most difficult chapter of her life.Interviews with family members and friends as well as court documents yield aportrait of her last few years: an often confrontational woman leading a lifemarked by substance abuse, arrests, an abusive relationship with the father oftwo of her children, financial struggles and mental health issues. Althoughraised by her maternal grandmother, Maebell Mickens, in a strict household, inmore recent years Leatrice Brewer had built a criminal record includingharassment and unlawful possession of marijuana, as she shuttled from onesocial service office to another and struggled to raise three children. Herparents had also struggled: Her father, Larry Brewer, who died in 2001, was inand out of jail during her formative years, said relatives, and her mother,Pearly Mae Mickens struggled with drug addiction and schizophrenia. As a juniorin high school, Brewer was charged with petty larceny and pleaded guilty todisorderly conduct. She didn’t graduate, but later earned her GeneralEducational Development certificate, a family member said. Around that time,Brewer met Ricky Ward, who would father her first child, a daughter namedJewell, who was born in June 2001. Almost two years later, Michael was born, inFebruary 2003. His father was Innocent Demesyeux, who for a time lived withBrewer in New Cassel. In April 2003, Demesyeux took out a restraining order onBrewer after she attempted to slash him with a large kitchen knife, accordingto court documents. That same month, Brewer was first accused of slappingJewell, then 1, and officials opened the first of 10 cases on her over theensuing four years, six of which were deemed unfounded. Complaints were made byBrewer herself, Maebell Mickens, Innocent Desmesyeux and anonymous orundisclosed callers. In August 2006, Innocent Desmesyeux Jr. was born. Lastfall, Brewer got a job at Kohl’s in Westbury. But with the loss of that jobabout a month ago, Maebell Mickens said she saw a dramatic change in Brewer.She walked around in public in pajama pants, a T-shirt and a ragged hair scarf,a relative said. In mid-February, Mickens asked one of Brewer’s cousins tocheck on Brewer. The cousin went to see her a few days later and Brewercomplained that people were watching her but that she was fine. On Friday,February 22, two days before the killings, Maebell Mickens visited hergranddaughter and found her depressed and complaining that her life was indisarray. Brewer again talked of people watching her and voices talking to herfrom the television. Mickens offered to take care of the children for a while,but Brewer said no. That same day, Nassau child protection officials sentcaseworkers twice to visit Brewer, but got no answer at the door. Over the nextday, Maebell Mickens couldn’t get through to her granddaughter, so she sentRobert McCord, Brewer’s brother, to go check on her. They talked for a whileand the children seemed OK. Source: Newsday, 3/1/08

 

Date: 2/2008

Location: Westbury, Nassau, NY

Summary: On February 23, 2008, Leatrice Brewer, 27, drowned herthree children, Jewell Ward, Michael Demesyeux, and Innocent Desmesyeux Jr. oneby one and then laid them out on her bed in their pajamas. In the hours beforethe incident, Brewer, 27, told her brother that she was ÒfineÓ when he askedher how she was doing. Prior History: Relatives say that the death of LeatriceBrewer’s mother four years opened the most difficult chapter of her life.Interviews with family members and friends as well as court documents yield aportrait of her last few years: an often confrontational woman leading a lifemarked by substance abuse, arrests, an abusive relationship with the father oftwo of her children, financial struggles and mental health issues. Althoughraised by her maternal grandmother, Maebell Mickens, in a strict household, inmore recent years Leatrice Brewer had built a criminal record includingharassment and unlawful possession of marijuana, as she shuttled from onesocial service office to another and struggled to raise three children. Herparents had also struggled: Her father, Larry Brewer, who died in 2001, was inand out of jail during her formative years, said relatives, and her mother,Pearly Mae Mickens struggled with drug addiction and schizophrenia. As a juniorin high school, Brewer was charged with petty larceny and pleaded guilty todisorderly conduct. She didn’t graduate, but later earned her GeneralEducational Development certificate, a family member said. Around that time,Brewer met Ricky Ward, who would father her first child, a daughter namedJewell, who was born in June 2001. Almost two years later, Michael was born, inFebruary 2003. His father was Innocent Demesyeux, who for a time lived with Brewerin New Cassel. In April 2003, Demesyeux took out a restraining order on Brewerafter she attempted to slash him with a large kitchen knife, according to courtdocuments. That same month, Brewer was first accused of slapping Jewell, then1, and officials opened the first of 10 cases on her over the ensuing fouryears, six of which were deemed unfounded. Complaints were made by Brewerherself, Maebell Mickens, Innocent Desmesyeux and anonymous or undisclosedcallers. In August 2006, Innocent Desmesyeux Jr. was born. Last fall, Brewergot a job at Kohl’s in Westbury. But with the loss of that job about a monthago, Maebell Mickens said she saw a dramatic change in Brewer. She walkedaround in public in pajama pants, a T-shirt and a ragged hair scarf, a relativesaid. In mid-February, Mickens asked one of Brewer’s cousins to check onBrewer. The cousin went to see her a few days later and Brewer complained thatpeople were watching her but that she was fine. On Friday, February 22, twodays before the killings, Maebell Mickens visited her granddaughter and foundher depressed and complaining that her life was in disarray. Brewer againtalked of people watching her and voices talking to her from the television.Mickens offered to take care of the children for a while, but Brewer said no.That same day, Nassau child protection officials sent caseworkers twice tovisit Brewer, but got no answer at the door. Over the next day, Maebell Mickenscouldn’t get through to her granddaughter, so she sent Robert McCord, Brewer’sbrother, to go check on her. They talked for a while and the children seemedOK. Source: Newsday, 3/1/08

 

Date: 3/2008

Location: Queensbury, Warren, NY

Summary: On March 2, 2008, Michael J. Butler, 62, repeatedlyrammed a police car with his truck. Butler is a Vietnam War veteran with anextensive history of mental illness who told investigators he was upset abouthis arrest by police days earlier. He told Warren County sheriff’s officers hewas angry with police about his arrest on February 24 after an alleged attackon members of VFW Post 3754 in Warrensburg, during which he broke the postcommander’s nose and threatened patrons with a knife. He was charged in thatcase with the misdemeanors of third-degree assault, second-degree menacing andresisting arrest and was jailed overnight before being released on $1,500 cashbail. Butler’s anger resulted in a wild scene on Gurney Lane, when he allegedlyrammed a Warren County sheriff’s patrol car with his pickup at least threetimes, sending it into a snowbank before the officers shot at least twicethrough their car’s windshield into the truck. Neither Butler nor the deputieswere seriously injured. The deputies who fired the shots are patrol officersScott Rawson and William St. John. Rawson was driving the patrol car at thetime of the altercation. Prior History: Michael J. Butler has had a number ofrun-ins with police over the years, including a May 1995 arrest for using achain saw to vandalize the lobby of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albany.The former U.S. Marine was found not guilty of the criminal charges in thatcase by reason of insanity, and he was treated for several years in a militarymental hospital in North Carolina. Source: Post Star, 3/4/08

 

Date: 3/2008

Location: Queensbury, Warren, NY

Summary: On March 2, 2008, Michael J. Butler, 62, repeatedlyrammed a police car with his truck. Butler is a Vietnam War veteran with anextensive history of mental illness who told investigators he was upset abouthis arrest by police days earlier. He told Warren County sheriff’s officers hewas angry with police about his arrest on February 24 after an alleged attackon members of VFW Post 3754 in Warrensburg, during which he broke the postcommander’s nose and threatened patrons with a knife. He was charged in thatcase with the misdemeanors of third-degree assault, second-degree menacing andresisting arrest and was jailed overnight before being released on $1,500 cashbail. Butler’s anger resulted in a wild scene on Gurney Lane, when he allegedlyrammed a Warren County sheriff’s patrol car with his pickup at least threetimes, sending it into a snowbank before the officers shot at least twicethrough their car’s windshield into the truck. Neither Butler nor the deputieswere seriously injured. The deputies who fired the shots are patrol officersScott Rawson and William St. John. Rawson was driving the patrol car at thetime of the altercation. Prior History: Michael J. Butler has had a number ofrun-ins with police over the years, including a May 1995 arrest for using achain saw to vandalize the lobby of the Veterans Administration Hospital inAlbany. The former U.S. Marine was found not guilty of the criminal charges inthat case by reason of insanity, and he was treated for several years in amilitary mental hospital in North Carolina. Source: Post Star, 3/4/08

 

Date: 4/2008

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: On April 2, 2008, Felipe Velasquez wielded a macheteslashing a stranger and tossed Molotov cocktails at cops from his roof. Accordingto Velasquez’s family, he is a schizophrenic who was off his meds at the timeof the incident. During the rampage, Velasquez hit Bernard Hoffman, 45, in thehead with a machete in front of the Richmond Hill home Velasquez shares withhis uncle. Hoffman fended off his attacker with his umbrella, disarmed him,grabbed the weapon and called cops. Velasquez then climbed onto his roof andthrew the handmade combustibles, hitting an unmarked police car that erupted inflames. The 90-minute standoff ended when cops persuaded Velasquez to comedown. Hoffman was taken to New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens for a cuton his head and was subsequently released. Prior History: Felipe Velasquez’suncle said his nephew recently spent a month at Elmhurst Hospital Center andwas diagnosed with mental illness. Source: New York Daily News, 4/3/08

 

Date: 6/2008

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On June 9, 2008, Orangetown police used a Taser to subduethe Rev. Patricia Ackerman, a peace activist suffering a mental crisis who hadbarricaded herself and an employee inside her Broadway apartment, holding offpolice for nearly two hours. The police were trying to take Ackerman for amental health examination based on a commitment letter. Her friends said Ackerman,an Episcopal priest, is bipolar and had stopped taking her medication. Herbehavior had been erratic and she had been acting out, causing alarm among herfriends and associates. “Patty hasn’t been acting like herself,” saidPhyllis Frank, a top official with the Volunteer Counseling Service and asocial activist. “People knew she needed help.” She and FrankMancione were called to the building by police, along with Mayor John Shields.Ackerman specifically asked to speak with them and police thought they couldhelp end the standoff. Several other friends and supporters spoke from thestreet to Ackerman, who leaned out a second-floor window. The woman was beingheld against her will because Ackerman had barricaded herself inside theapartment. Police Chief Kevin Nulty said criminal charges would be filedagainst Ackerman. Source: Journal News, 6/10/08, 6/15/08

 

Date: 6/2008

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On June 9, 2008, Orangetown police used a Taser to subduethe Rev. Patricia Ackerman, a peace activist suffering a mental crisis who hadbarricaded herself and an employee inside her Broadway apartment, holding offpolice for nearly two hours. The police were trying to take Ackerman for amental health examination based on a commitment letter. Her friends saidAckerman, an Episcopal priest, is bipolar and had stopped taking hermedication. Her behavior had been erratic and she had been acting out, causingalarm among her friends and associates. “Patty hasn’t been acting likeherself,” said Phyllis Frank, a top official with the Volunteer CounselingService and a social activist. “People knew she needed help.” She andFrank Mancione were called to the building by police, along with Mayor JohnShields. Ackerman specifically asked to speak with them and police thought theycould help end the standoff. Several other friends and supporters spoke fromthe street to Ackerman, who leaned out a second-floor window. The woman wasbeing held against her will because Ackerman had barricaded herself inside the apartment.Police Chief Kevin Nulty said criminal charges would be filed against Ackerman. Source: Journal News, 6/10/08, 6/15/08

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: On July 12, 2008, Donelle Dumunn was fatally shot by EricHutchinson after Dumunn shot Hutchinson’s wife, Tawana Simmons. Dumunn, 28, hadburst in and shot Simmons in a fit of rage, police said. Hutchinson thenfatally shot Dumunn and fled – taking both his gun and the boarder’s, accordingto police. Hutchinson was in custody yesterday but had not been charged with acrime. “It was a landlord-tenant dispute,” said a police source ofthe bizarre firefight. “They want this guy out, so he shoots her. And thehusband hears the shooting and gets his rifle.” Simmons, 38, a mother of three,was in critical but stable condition at Mary Immaculate Hospital. She and herhusband, Hutchinson, 41, had been trying to evict Dumunn, their boarder ofthree months, for nonpayment of rent. “Donelle was bipolar and off hismedication,” said his godsister Renee Spikes, 30, of Jamaica. “He wasusually a kind and generous person who was trying to get his life back ontrack.” Source: New York Daily News, 7/13/08

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: Queens, Queens, NY

Summary: On July 12, 2008, Donelle Dumunn was fatally shot by EricHutchinson after Dumunn shot Hutchinson’s wife, Tawana Simmons. Dumunn, 28, hadburst in and shot Simmons in a fit of rage, police said. Hutchinson thenfatally shot Dumunn and fled – taking both his gun and the boarder’s, accordingto police. Hutchinson was in custody yesterday but had not been charged with acrime. “It was a landlord-tenant dispute,” said a police source ofthe bizarre firefight. “They want this guy out, so he shoots her. And thehusband hears the shooting and gets his rifle.” Simmons, 38, a mother ofthree, was in critical but stable condition at Mary Immaculate Hospital. Sheand her husband, Hutchinson, 41, had been trying to evict Dumunn, their boarderof three months, for nonpayment of rent. “Donelle was bipolar and off hismedication,” said his godsister Renee Spikes, 30, of Jamaica. “He wasusually a kind and generous person who was trying to get his life back ontrack.” Source: New York Daily News, 7/13/08

 

Date: 1/2008

Location: Peekskill, Westchester, NY

Summary: On January 3, 2008, LaTonya Fisher fatally stabbed17-year-old Justin Woodward. Woodward had gone to Fisher’s apartment that nightto break off their relationship. She stabbed him once in the back with a10-inch kitchen knife. Peekskill police said Fisher left Woodward mortallywounded for 90 minutes before calling for help. Officers arrived to find herholding his body on her living-room floor. In June 2008, LaTonya Fisher, the16-year-old Peekskill girl who killed Justin Woodward, her boyfriend, when he brokeup with, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and weapon charges in exchange for a10-year prison sentence. State Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler said he chosethe prison term partly due to the girl’s horrific upbringing, saying she wasabused by her stepfather and was a victim of gang assault. Adler said Fishersuffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, also known asmanic depression. But Deborah Alston, Woodward’s mother, Janet Fisher, said theterm was too lenient. “She took a treasure from me,” cried Alston.”He was my other half.” Alston said her slain son helped care for hisbrother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. She sobbed after telling areporter that she would never have grandchildren. “God gave me an angel -he did,” she said. “Who knew the biggest threat to him was standingin front of me?” Subsequent History: On August 28, 2008, WestchesterCounty Judge Lester Adler handed down a 10-year sentence that to JustinWoodward’s killer, 17-year-old LaTonya Fisher. Deborah Alston, Woodward’smother, was not happy with the sentence. Alder said he understood Alston’sfrustration, but added that there were several factors behind the sentence,including that Fisher was convicted of manslaughter, not murder, had no priorrecord, suffers from mental illnesses and was sexually abused for years by astepfather. Prior History: Fisher, who suffers from bipolar and post-traumaticstress disorders, stabbed Woodward, a 17-year-old Hendrick Hudson High Schoolstudent, on January 3 in her family’s apartment in Peekskill. Woodward went toFisher’s apartment that night to break up with her and tell her he was movingout of state. She stabbed him in the back with a 12-inch knife, whichperforated his heart and a lung, then left him on the floor to die, authoritiessaid. She called 911 at 8:12 p.m. after stabbing him, but hung up. When apolice dispatcher called back, Fisher told them that she had misdialed whiletrying to dial 914 so police did not respond. Fisher called 911 again at 9:47p.m., and police arrived to see her holding Woodward on the floor, where he waspronounced dead. Source: Journal News, 6/20/08; Hudson Valley Journal News,8/29/08

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On July 17, 2008, police fatally shot Spencer Parris, 39,in the chest. The officer, whom the Police Department would not identify, hadbeen on patrol with a partner when they were flagged down by a taxi drivercarrying a female passenger. The woman, 28, whom the police did not identify,told them she had been assaulted by Parris and needed to return to theirapartment to retrieve belongings before going to stay with a friend. PoliceDepartment’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne said police went with her, knockedon the door to their apartment, and identified themselves. Parris said he wasnot coming out, but suddenly flung open the door, with a knife in his hand.Browne alleged that Parris told police several times that he was going to killthem. The officer, who had backed down the hallway was backed against aneighbor’s door when he shot Parris. Parris was pronounced dead atNewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital. Allegedly, Parris had punched hiscompanion in the face and had pulled her hair after they argued over plans tosee a midnight movie. The woman had filed a report in February, soon after theymoved into the apartment, complaining that he had assaulted her. The policehave reports of two domestic incidents there in March. The woman told thepolice that they met over the Internet, and that she later found out that hehad bipolar disorder and had once tried to commit suicide. Source: New YorkTimes, 7/19/08

 

Date: 7/2008

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On July 17, 2008, police fatally shot Spencer Parris, 39,in the chest. The officer, whom the Police Department would not identify, hadbeen on patrol with a partner when they were flagged down by a taxi drivercarrying a female passenger. The woman, 28, whom the police did not identify,told them she had been assaulted by Parris and needed to return to theirapartment to retrieve belongings before going to stay with a friend. PoliceDepartment’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne said police went with her, knockedon the door to their apartment, and identified themselves. Parris said he wasnot coming out, but suddenly flung open the door, with a knife in his hand.Browne alleged that Parris told police several times that he was going to killthem. The officer, who had backed down the hallway was backed against aneighbor’s door when he shot Parris. Parris was pronounced dead atNewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital. Allegedly, Parris had punched hiscompanion in the face and had pulled her hair after they argued over plans tosee a midnight movie. The woman had filed a report in February, soon after theymoved into the apartment, complaining that he had assaulted her. The policehave reports of two domestic incidents there in March. The woman told thepolice that they met over the Internet, and that she later found out that he hadbipolar disorder and had once tried to commit suicide. Source: New York Times,7/19/08

 

Date: 6/2010

Location: Elmont, Nassau, NY

Summary: On June 23, 2010, 24-year-old Dario Ormejuste fatallyshot his brother, Guerby Ormejuste, a Rikers Island correction officer, withhis automatic service weapon. He used the same gun to kill their father, Bob,police said. 30-year old Guerby Ormejuste and his 65-year-old father BobOrmejuste were found dead inside a home on Long Island, according to NassauCounty police. The gruesome discovery was made by police who responded to thehome to check on the status of Guerby Ormejuste when he didn’t show up forwork. When police arrived they found two bodies inside the home. One victim wasfound in the kitchen, while the other was found in the basement of the home.Law enforcement officials said Dario Ormejuste has emotional problems that mayinclude schizophrenia. In addition, police were looking for his mother, Rose”Maryse” Ormejuste, who is in her 60’s. She, along with a gray 1998Lexus, had been missing since June 19. Dario Ormejuste was arrested outside hishis home, puffing on a cigarette as his brother and father lay dead inside. Source: WPIX.com, 6/23/10; NYDailyNews.com, 6/24/10; LongIslandPress.com,6/24/10

 

Date: 6/2010

Location: Elmont, Nassau, NY

Summary: On June 23, 2010, 24-year-old Dario Ormejuste fatallyshot his brother, Guerby Ormejuste, a Rikers Island correction officer, withhis automatic service weapon. He used the same gun to kill their father, Bob, policesaid. 30-year old Guerby Ormejuste and his 65-year-old father Bob Ormejustewere found dead inside a home on Long Island, according to Nassau Countypolice. The gruesome discovery was made by police who responded to the home tocheck on the status of Guerby Ormejuste when he didn’t show up for work. Whenpolice arrived they found two bodies inside the home. One victim was found inthe kitchen, while the other was found in the basement of the home. Lawenforcement officials said Dario Ormejuste has emotional problems that mayinclude schizophrenia. In addition, police were looking for his mother, Rose”Maryse” Ormejuste, who is in her 60’s. She, along with a gray 1998Lexus, had been missing since June 19. Dario Ormejuste was arrested outside hishis home, puffing on a cigarette as his brother and father lay dead inside. Source: WPIX.com, 6/23/10; NYDailyNews.com, 6/24/10; LongIslandPress.com,6/24/10

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Poestenkill, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2010, 70-year-old Robert Pryor Sr. called hisdaughter, 49-year-old Laurie Fisher, and his granddaughter’s boyfriend,24-year-old Anthony Delgado, home from a trip to a local grocery store and thenshot them both in the chest as they came through the front door. Pryor thenturned the revolver on himself, and inflicted a fatal gunshot wound to thehead, police said. Authorities had no motive other than that they believe Pryormay have battled mental illness. Following the shootings, Delgado was incritical condition and Fisher was in serious condition at Albany Medical CenterHospital. Police were called to the house by Fisher, who was able to call 911after being shot. Delgado had been living with Pryor to help him with hismedical condition. Source: TimesUnion.Com, 7/14/10; cbs6albany.com, 7/14/10

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Poestenkill, Rensselaer, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2010, 70-year-old Robert Pryor Sr. called hisdaughter, 49-year-old Laurie Fisher, and his granddaughter’s boyfriend,24-year-old Anthony Delgado, home from a trip to a local grocery store and thenshot them both in the chest as they came through the front door. Pryor thenturned the revolver on himself, and inflicted a fatal gunshot wound to thehead, police said. Authorities had no motive other than that they believe Pryormay have battled mental illness. Following the shootings, Delgado was incritical condition and Fisher was in serious condition at Albany Medical CenterHospital. Police were called to the house by Fisher, who was able to call 911after being shot. Delgado had been living with Pryor to help him with hismedical condition. Source: TimesUnion.Com, 7/14/10; cbs6albany.com, 7/14/10

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Manhattan, New York C, NY

Summary: On July 19, 2010, 33-year-old Julian Kurita fatallystabbed his father, 70-year-old Fumitaka ÒFrankÓ Kurita in the neck in thefamily’s apartment and then slashed his own wrist, police said. Julian wastaken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, police said. Policedid not release any details about the events that lead to Frank Kurita’s death,other than to say his son appeared to be mentally disturbed, and neighbors wereat a loss to describe what could have sparked a confrontation between fatherand son. Joan Morrow, a retired preschool teacher who lived one floor below theKurita family, said Julian Kurita left college after a bout with mentalillness. She said she believed he had struggled with schizophrenia since hisearly 20s. He faced murder and weapons charges. Subsequent History: On May 21,2012, the 30-year-old Kurita was convicted of murder. Source: DNAinfo.com,7/19/10; NYDailyNews.com, 7/20/10, 5/2/12, 5/21/12

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: West Seneca, Erie, NY

Summary: On April 19, 2009, 31-year-old Corey P. Cochran stabbedhis 6- year-old son Dalton in the chest. The incident ended when Cohran’s wife,Rebecca, managed to get the knife from him, stab him several times, and fleethe house with their four children to a neighbor’s home. Corey pursued his wifeand children but was apprehended without further incident. Dalton was taken toWomen and Children’s Hospital where he was listed in stable condition. Coreywas admitted to Erie County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.Rebecca was treated at ECMC and released after sustaining defensive wounds onher hands while wresting two knives away from her husband. Subsequent History:On March 7, 2011, Corey P. Cochran, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia,pleaded not guilty to because of mental disease or defect to attempted murdercharges. A judge ordered him to undergo further mental examination. Bothdefense and prosecution mental health experts found that Cochran was sufferingfrom auditory hallucinations and ideas about gaining immortality by cutting outhis son’s heart when he attacked his son. Subsequent History: On July 7, 2011,33-year-old Corey Cochran was sentenced to a secure facility after a judgeruled he had a dangerous mental disorder. Two doctors issued reports sayingtheir psychiatric examinations of Cochran revealed signs of paranoidschizophrenia. As a result of the ruling, Cochran was to be taken to a securefacility as a danger to himself and others, rather than to a regularpsychiatric hospital ward. Cochran’s attorney said Cochran attacked his sonwhen he was off medication. The boy was hospitalized with a stab wound to thechest but recovered. Source: Buffalo News, 4/21/09, 3/7/11, 7/8/11

 

Date: 4/2009

Location: West Seneca, Erie, NY

Summary: On April 19, 2009, 31-year-old Corey P. Cochran stabbedhis 6- year-old son Dalton in the chest. The incident ended when Cohran’s wife,Rebecca, managed to get the knife from him, stab him several times, and fleethe house with their four children to a neighbor’s home. Corey pursued his wifeand children but was apprehended without further incident. Dalton was taken toWomen and Children’s Hospital where he was listed in stable condition. Coreywas admitted to Erie County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.Rebecca was treated at ECMC and released after sustaining defensive wounds onher hands while wresting two knives away from her husband. Subsequent History:On March 7, 2011, Corey P. Cochran, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia,pleaded not guilty to because of mental disease or defect to attempted murdercharges. A judge ordered him to undergo further mental examination. Bothdefense and prosecution mental health experts found that Cochran was sufferingfrom auditory hallucinations and ideas about gaining immortality by cutting outhis son’s heart when he attacked his son. Subsequent History: On July 7, 2011,33-year-old Corey Cochran was sentenced to a secure facility after a judgeruled he had a dangerous mental disorder. Two doctors issued reports sayingtheir psychiatric examinations of Cochran revealed signs of paranoidschizophrenia. As a result of the ruling, Cochran was to be taken to a securefacility as a danger to himself and others, rather than to a regularpsychiatric hospital ward. Cochran’s attorney said Cochran attacked his sonwhen he was off medication. The boy was hospitalized with a stab wound to thechest but recovered. Source: Buffalo News, 4/21/09, 3/7/11, 7/8/11

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Katonah, Westchester, NY

Summary: On July 31, 2010, 39-year-old Lisa Turkki stabbed her twonieces several times while babysitting them in their parents’ home. Turkkicalled police and told authorities what he had done. When police arrived at thehome, Turkki was outside while the the 7- and 9-year-old girls were sprawled onthe kitchen floor, bleeding but conscious and responsive. They survived theattack and and were in stable condition and improving following surgery.Turkki, the girls’ aunt and their mother’s sister, sustained a minor injury toher leg that was possibly self-inflicted. Subsequent History: On April 18,2011, 40-year-old Lisa Turkki was found not responsible because of mentalillness. Turkki was to be committed to a psychiatric institution. Her case willbe reviewed every two years and if she is ever found to have recovered, shecould be released, the district attorney’s office said. Turkki said she wasdiagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and may have missed some medications.Subsequent History: On June 2, 2011, Turkki was committed to a secure facility.Turkki had no history of violent behavior, even though she had battled mentalillness since she was 15. Psychologists determined Turkki suffered fromschizoaffective disorder of a bipolar type. Source: CBSNews.com, 8/2/10;MSNBC.com, 8/2/10; Wall Street Journal, 4/18/11; lohud.com, 6/3/11

 

Date: 7/2010

Location: Katonah, Westchester, NY

Summary: On July 31, 2010, 39-year-old Lisa Turkki stabbed her twonieces several times while babysitting them in their parents’ home. Turkkicalled police and told authorities what he had done. When police arrived at thehome, Turkki was outside while the the 7- and 9-year-old girls were sprawled onthe kitchen floor, bleeding but conscious and responsive. They survived theattack and and were in stable condition and improving following surgery.Turkki, the girls’ aunt and their mother’s sister, sustained a minor injury toher leg that was possibly self-inflicted. Subsequent History: On April 18,2011, 40-year-old Lisa Turkki was found not responsible because of mentalillness. Turkki was to be committed to a psychiatric institution. Her case willbe reviewed every two years and if she is ever found to have recovered, shecould be released, the district attorney’s office said. Turkki said she wasdiagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and may have missed some medications.Subsequent History: On June 2, 2011, Turkki was committed to a secure facility.Turkki had no history of violent behavior, even though she had battled mentalillness since she was 15. Psychologists determined Turkki suffered fromschizoaffective disorder of a bipolar type. Source: CBSNews.com, 8/2/10;MSNBC.com, 8/2/10; Wall Street Journal, 4/18/11; lohud.com, 6/3/11

 

Date: 5/2011

Location: Syracuse, Onondaga, NY

Summary: On May 5, 2011, 55-year-old Benjamin Campione was fatallyshot by police near the Regional Transportation Center. According to police,when Campione was confronted by Officers, he pulled a pellet gun that lookedexactly like a Smith & Wesson revolver from his waistband and pointed it atOfficers prompting them to open fire. Campione’s two cousins said he sufferedfrom mental illness and was often homeless, wandering the streets of Syracuse.The cousins confirmed that Campione would sometimes carry a pellet gun, whichwould be used for show. They say he was “never violent.” Prior History:Campione’s brother said he’d been to police three times in the past year,alerting them that his younger brother wasn’t taking his medication and wasslipping deeper into paranoid schizophrenia. According to the brother, Campionewas diagnosed while serving in the Army in the late 1970s. He said Campione hada history of stopping his medication and acting bizarrely. Source:CYNcentral.com, 5/5/11, 5/8/11; The Post-Standard, 5/7/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: New York, New York, NY

Summary: On July 3, 2011, 41-year-old Jonathan Schwartz fatallystabbed his 67-year-old mother, Barbara Schwartz, in the neck and torso.Jonathan Schwartz called 911 twice after killing his mother, first to admit thecrime, then to retract the confession. Jonathan Schwartz who suffers fromschizophrenia, may not have been on his meds. Source: CBSNewYork.com, 7/3/11;New York Post, 7/4/11

 

Date: 2/2011

Location: Syracuse, Onondago, NY

Summary: On February 1, 2011, 19-year-old Ravaun Mitchell was shotby Syracuse police after he refused to drop a knife. Mitchell walked into theKingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Fayette Street, pulled out a knife, andwhen he refused to drop it, police shot him in the arm and shoulder. While inthe ambulance on his way to the hospital, Mitchell told police he had hopedthey would shoot him because he “wanted to die.” Subsequent History:On June 29, 2011, a judge ruled that Mitchell was still mentally ill anddangerous. The judge ordered Mitchell held in the secure custody of state mentalhealth officials for the next six months until another evaluation can beconducted. Mitchell’s defense attorney said the February 1 incident was theonset of mental health problems for his client and that Mitchell had respondedwell while on anti-psychotic medication following the incident. Source:9WSYR.com, 2/24/11; The Post-Standard, 6/29/11

 

Date: 11/2009

Location: Valley Cottage, Rockland, NY

Summary: On November 29, 2009, 32-year-old Jami Erlich was wasbeaten and stabbed to death inside her condo. Two days later, 32-year-old EricLau was arrested and charged with her death. Police had been searching for Lau,who lived in the same condo and disappeared after Erlich’s death. Several ofErlich’s friends said she told them that Lau constantly called her and asked herout on dates. The friends said Erlich referred to Lau as her “creepyneighbor.” Subsequent History: In July 2011, psychologists reported thatLau was mentally fit to stand trial on charges of murdering Erlich. In March, ajudge had ordered Lau to be evaluated for at least 90 days after hearingtestimony on Lau’s mental health. He had a long history of mental illness andviolence beginning in childhood. Lau had attended schools for children withmental issues. On September 26, 2011, Lau’s murder trial was tentativelyscheduled for November. Subsequent History: On January 24, 2012, a stateSupreme Court justice authorized Lau to undergo another round of psychiatricexams to determine if he was mentally fit to stand trial in the killing ofErlich. Those exams could lead to a second competency hearing. The decisioncame with a new indictment charging Lau for the second time with a felony countof second-degree assault on a Rockland correction officer at the county jail.Lau was accused of slamming a jail seargeant’s hand into a cell door opening inSeptember, leading to the officer needing several stitches. In March 2010, Lauattacked an officer from behind at the jail, leading to his first indictment onan assault count. Subsequent History: On April 23, 2012, Lau pleaded guilty tomurdering Erlich. Lau’s guilty plea came after a judge ruled on April 19 thathe was fit to stand trial and assist in his own defense. The dispositionincluded his guilty plea to two counts of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor,for attacking two correction officers inside the Rockland County jail. Theattacks came December 24, 2009, and September 26, 2010. Lau originally wasindicted on a charge of second-degree assault, a felony, in each case. Source:Zimbio.com, 11/30/09; NYDailyNews.com, 12/2/09; LoHud News, 7/7/11, 11/11/11,1/25/12, 4/20/12, 4/24/12; The Journal News, 9/26/11

 

Date: 8/2009

Location: Schenectady, Schenectady, NY

Summary: On August 1, 2009, 25-year-old James Tomlin, diagnosedwith schizophrenia, was fatally shot by a Schenectady police officer. Policesaid the incident occurred when Tomlin first approached a woman on her porchand demanded a cigarette at knifepoint. He also attempted several carjackings,threatening people with a large butcher knife. When officers caught up withhim, they tried to get him to drop the knife. When Tomlin lunged at Officer EdRitz, Ritz shot him. Subsequent History: On July 1, 2011, Ritz was cleared ofany wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Tomlin by the Schenectady CountyDistrict Attorney. In the aftermath of the shooting, the DA had raised thepossibility of presenting the case to a grand jury. Tomlin’s mother told the DAthat her son, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was not on his medication at thetime of the incident, according to the report. Source: CapitalRegion.ynn.com,8/4/09; Times Union, 7/7/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: White Creek, Washington, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Slocum, a paroleewith a history of mental illness, fatally shot his mother, Lisa Harrington, herhusband, Dan Harrington, and Harrington’s son, Josh O’Brien in their home, thenignited the house to cover it up. Officials said all involved, the Harringtons,Slocum, Colegrove and their son, lived at the home. Slocum then took hisfour-month-old Raymond Slocum, and the boy’s mother, Loretta Colegrove,Slocum’s girlfriend, and held them against their will initiating an AmberAlert. Slocum turned himself in to authorities that evening in Gilsum, N.H.,after a four-hour standoff. The infant and mother were safe. Prior History:Slocum’s criminal history includes a sexual misconduct arrest for allegedlyhaving sex with an underage girl in 2005,as well as involvement a 2005-2006burglary and larceny cases for which he was sentenced to state prison. Slocumwas paroled in 2009 but violated parole twice and was returned to state prisonboth times. At the time of the killings, there was a pending harassment chargein Greenwich Town Court against him for allegedly making a threat towardanother person. Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said it was commonfor Slocum’s mother to intervene on her son’s behalf during his run-ins withthe law – beyond what police typically see with parents whose childrenrepeatedly get arrested. Source: North County Gazette, 7/13/11; CBSBoston.com,7/13/11; timesunion.com, 7/15/11; PostStar.com, 7/15/11, 7/19/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: White Creek, Washington, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Slocum, a paroleewith a history of mental illness, fatally shot his mother, Lisa Harrington, herhusband, Dan Harrington, and Harrington’s son, Josh O’Brien in their home, thenignited the house to cover it up. Officials said all involved, the Harringtons,Slocum, Colegrove and their son, lived at the home. Slocum then took hisfour-month-old Raymond Slocum, and the boy’s mother, Loretta Colegrove,Slocum’s girlfriend, and held them against their will initiating an AmberAlert. Slocum turned himself in to authorities that evening in Gilsum, N.H.,after a four-hour standoff. The infant and mother were safe. Prior History:Slocum’s criminal history includes a sexual misconduct arrest for allegedlyhaving sex with an underage girl in 2005,as well as involvement a 2005-2006burglary and larceny cases for which he was sentenced to state prison. Slocumwas paroled in 2009 but violated parole twice and was returned to state prisonboth times. At the time of the killings, there was a pending harassment chargein Greenwich Town Court against him for allegedly making a threat towardanother person. Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said it was commonfor Slocum’s mother to intervene on her son’s behalf during his run-ins withthe law – beyond what police typically see with parents whose childrenrepeatedly get arrested. Source: North County Gazette, 7/13/11; CBSBoston.com,7/13/11; timesunion.com, 7/15/11; PostStar.com, 7/15/11, 7/19/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: White Creek, Washington, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Slocum, a paroleewith a history of mental illness, fatally shot his mother, Lisa Harrington, herhusband, Dan Harrington, and Harrington’s son, Josh O’Brien in their home, thenignited the house to cover it up. Officials said all involved, the Harringtons,Slocum, Colegrove and their son, lived at the home. Slocum then took hisfour-month-old Raymond Slocum, and the boy’s mother, Loretta Colegrove,Slocum’s girlfriend, and held them against their will initiating an AmberAlert. Slocum turned himself in to authorities that evening in Gilsum, N.H.,after a four-hour standoff. The infant and mother were safe. Prior History:Slocum’s criminal history includes a sexual misconduct arrest for allegedlyhaving sex with an underage girl in 2005,as well as involvement a 2005-2006burglary and larceny cases for which he was sentenced to state prison. Slocumwas paroled in 2009 but violated parole twice and was returned to state prisonboth times. At the time of the killings, there was a pending harassment chargein Greenwich Town Court against him for allegedly making a threat towardanother person. Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said it was commonfor Slocum’s mother to intervene on her son’s behalf during his run-ins withthe law – beyond what police typically see with parents whose childrenrepeatedly get arrested. Source: North County Gazette, 7/13/11; CBSBoston.com,7/13/11; timesunion.com, 7/15/11; PostStar.com, 7/15/11, 7/19/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: White Creek, Washington, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Slocum, a paroleewith a history of mental illness, fatally shot his mother, Lisa Harrington, herhusband, Dan Harrington, and Harrington’s son, Josh O’Brien in their home, thenignited the house to cover it up. Officials said all involved, the Harringtons,Slocum, Colegrove and their son, lived at the home. Slocum then took hisfour-month-old Raymond Slocum, and the boy’s mother, Loretta Colegrove,Slocum’s girlfriend, and held them against their will initiating an AmberAlert. Slocum turned himself in to authorities that evening in Gilsum, N.H.,after a four-hour standoff. The infant and mother were safe. Prior History:Slocum’s criminal history includes a sexual misconduct arrest for allegedlyhaving sex with an underage girl in 2005,as well as involvement a 2005-2006burglary and larceny cases for which he was sentenced to state prison. Slocumwas paroled in 2009 but violated parole twice and was returned to state prisonboth times. At the time of the killings, there was a pending harassment chargein Greenwich Town Court against him for allegedly making a threat towardanother person. Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said it was commonfor Slocum’s mother to intervene on her son’s behalf during his run-ins withthe law – beyond what police typically see with parents whose childrenrepeatedly get arrested. Source: North County Gazette, 7/13/11; CBSBoston.com,7/13/11; timesunion.com, 7/15/11; PostStar.com, 7/15/11, 7/19/11

 

Date: 7/2011

Location: White Creek, Washington, NY

Summary: On July 13, 2011, 23-year-old Matthew Slocum, a paroleewith a history of mental illness, fatally shot his mother, Lisa Harrington, herhusband, Dan Harrington, and Harrington’s son, Josh O’Brien in their home, thenignited the house to cover it up. Officials said all involved, the Harringtons,Slocum, Colegrove and their son, lived at the home. Slocum then took hisfour-month-old Raymond Slocum, and the boy’s mother, Loretta Colegrove,Slocum’s girlfriend, and held them against their will initiating an AmberAlert. Slocum turned himself in to authorities that evening in Gilsum, N.H.,after a four-hour standoff. The infant and mother were safe. Prior History:Slocum’s criminal history includes a sexual misconduct arrest for allegedlyhaving sex with an underage girl in 2005,as well as involvement a 2005-2006burglary and larceny cases for which he was sentenced to state prison. Slocumwas paroled in 2009 but violated parole twice and was returned to state prisonboth times. At the time of the killings, there was a pending harassment chargein Greenwich Town Court against him for allegedly making a threat towardanother person. Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said it was commonfor Slocum’s mother to intervene on her son’s behalf during his run-ins withthe law – beyond what police typically see with parents whose childrenrepeatedly get arrested. Source: North County Gazette, 7/13/11; CBSBoston.com,7/13/11; timesunion.com, 7/15/11; PostStar.com, 7/15/11, 7/19/11

 

Date: 9/2011

Location: Homer, Cortland, NY

Summary: On September 21, 2011, 30-year-old Geoffrey J. Thompsonattacked 36-year-old Abdul M. Mumin, a cab driver, as Mumin was driving himfrom New York City to Buffalo. Thompson choked Mumin so hard his eyes began tobleed. Before the incident, Thompson’s mother had reported him missing toAmherst police. She told police that Thompson is bipolar and might be headed toNew York City. That night, Thompson called a relative to say that he was in NewYork and staying at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. That same night, Thompsonapproached Mumin and asked Mumin to drive him to John F. Kennedy InternationalAirport. After Thompson found that all flights to Buffalo that night werealready booked, he asked Mumin to drive him all the way to Buffalo. Thompsonsaid he was willing to pay the $800 cab fare. Thompson attacked Mumin afterthey stopped for gas. Thompson, who had gone to an ATM machine, told Mumin hecould only pay $300. After discussion, Thompson told Mumin he would pay thefull amount. A few minutes later, Thompson suddenly pounced on Mumin and beganscreaming: ÒYou’re not going to get your money. You have to be dead.Ó Astruggle ensued which ended when the car crashed into a traffic sign. Thompsonran into a nearby cemetery, where a Homer police officer chased him down. Bothmen were taken to an area hospital and treated. Neither had to be admitted. Source: Buffalo News, 9/24/11

 

Date: 3/2011

Location: Buffalo, Erie, NY

Summary: During the period between March 28 and 29, 2011,50-year-old Brian Rossel fatally beat and strangled his 84-year-old father,Donald Rossel. The elder Rossel’s body was found by police. In July 2011, BrianRossel was arrested and charged after a police investigation. SubsequentHistory: On October 18, 2011, a judge ruled that Brian Rossel was mentallyincapacitated and should be committed for up to a year based upon two mentalhealth evaluations. Rossel was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Source: WIVB.com,7/8/11; Buffalo News, 10/19/11

 

Date: 5/2010

Location: Manhattan, New York, NY

Summary: On May 11, 2010, 33-year-old Devi Silvia threw her19-month-old child into the Hudson River before jumping in herself. The pairwere spotted bobbing in the water by passers-by who came across an emptystroller on a pier. Rescuers were called to an area of the river near 82ndStreet. The pair were pulled out of the river about 10 blocks south of there.The fire department rescued the woman, who was face-down in the water, andpolice rescued the child, who was face-up. Both were resuscitated. The girl washospitalized in critical but stable condition. Silvia was charged withattempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare ofa child. Her arraignment was conducted via video link from a hospital where washeld for a psychological evaluation. Subsequent History: On February 10, 2012,a judge ruled that the 34-year-old Silvia could go back to her native India andbe reunited with her children. Silvia had been undergoing treatment and enteredinto an insanity plea deal in December with prosecutors. The judge told Silviashe must continue treatment, stay on her medication and provide status reportsto the court. Silvia’s baby, Jessica, who was 19 months old when she was throwninto the frigid river off a West 70th Street pier, was rescued by authorities,who quickly responded and saved both Silvia and the child after the motherjumped in too. She has not been allowed to see her two children, including thedaughter she nearly drowned, since her arrest after the May 11, 2010, incident.The children have been staying with family in India after Silvia was ordered bythe court to stay away from them. The family had been living on the Upper WestSide after Silvia’s husband took a job in New York. Source: Associated Press,5/12/10; WABC-TV NY, 6/21/10; New York Post, 6/22/10; DNA Info, 11/21/11,2/10/12

 

Date: 11/2011

Location: Brooklyn, Kings, NY

Summary: On November 27, 2011, 20-year-old Renado Ward fatallystabbed his mother, 47-year-old Chruminline Ward, in front of hergrandchildren. The children were not hurt in the incident. Renado Ward, who hada history of mental illness, had been released from a psych ward of KingsCounty Hospital six days before the incident. Following the incident, he wasreturned back to the hospital. Source: New York Post, 11/28/11

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ABOUT THE DATABASE: This database includes summariesof news articles in which an individual with a neurobiological brain disorder(usually untreated) is involved ina violent episode, either as a victim orperpetrator. The stories come from published reports in the newspapers; thedatabase can therefore never cover all the countless unreported tragedies thatoccur every day. And sadly, most of the stories in which the ill individual isa victim rarely make it into the newspaper. One notable exception these days isincidents in which a person with a serious brain disorder is shot by police.

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