TIMES, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2014 • 14 DRIFTING AWAY IN HANDCUFFS Alleged Drag Racers Rode Through Park Three Queens men and one Manhattan resident have been charged with reckless endangerment and other charges for allegedly drifting—a style of driving that combines highspeeds and sideways skidding in a Flushing Meadows-Corona Park parking lot before a crowd Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendants as Kareem Ali, 26, of 103rd Avenue, and Michael Mahabir, 27, of 131st Avenue, both in Richmond Hill; Joel Santiago, 36, of 69th Place in Maspeth; and Darren Tang, 24, of Monroe Street in Manhattan. They were arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Elisa Koenderman on Oct. 26 on criminal complaints charging them with second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, speed contests and races and failure to comply with directions. Additionally, Ali is also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The defendants, who face up to a year in jail if convicted, were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled to next appear in court on Jan. 13, 2015. Brown stated that the New York City’s 311 system received a total of 66 calls from area residents complaining about excessive noise prior to the arrests. In the more than five weeks since the defendants were arrested there has not been a single noise complaint phone call from the neighborhood. “Cars are not toys. Driving at high speeds and intentionally skidding a roughly 3,000-pound vehicle, especially where spectators are gathered, is dangerous and can result in tragedy,” Brown said. “Following a number of noise complaints from neighborhood residents, the police responded and shut down this illegal and potentially deadly activity. The vehicles have been seized and the drivers have been charged.” “These individuals placed innocent bystanders in danger by operating vehicles recklessly and at high speeds which prompted residents to contact the police,” added Police Commissioner William Bratton. “The New York City Police Department, along with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, will continue to address crime conditions which needlessly endanger lives and threaten the quality of life in our communities.” According to the criminal complaints, the defendants were all driving modified vehicles. Mahabir was in a 1990 Nissan 240SX. Tang drove a yellow Hyundai. Santiago had a 2004 black Subaru Impreza and Ali of spectators. -SEE DRIFTING ON PG. 56- Ridgewood Crash Injures Two Drivers The drivers involved in a two-car crash at a Ridgewood intersection on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, suffered injuries that required hospital trips, Fire Department sources said. Reportedly, the accident occurred at 7:45 a.m. at the corner of Himrod Street and Onderdonk Avenue. Sources said a sports utility vehicle struck a cab, then mounted the sidewalk and smacked into a nearby apartment house and fence. Responding to the scene were members of Engine Co. 271, Ladder Co. 124, Rescue 4, Battalion 28, the 104th Precinct and EMS units. Paramedics brought the drivers to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening. (photo: Allen Epstein) Rebuild Begins At LaGuardia Library The long-anticipated expansion of the LaGuardia Community College library began with a ground-breaking ceremony at the Long Island City campus last Friday, Dec. 5. City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, who secured $2 million toward the project, joined Dr. Gail O. Mellow, LaGuardia’s president, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning Construction and Management Judith Bergtraum and students and faculty for the event. When completed, the new library will include a brighter space and additional technology and capacity to accommodate some 850,000 library users each year. Also pictured at the ground-breaking is Katherine Gutierrez Rios, governor of political awareness for LaGuardia Community College’s student government. Times Newsweekly • Ridgewood Times SPECIAL HOLIDAY DEADLINE NOTICE With Christmas & New Year’s falling on Thursdays, we are shifting our production deadline and publication dates the last two weeks of December. CHRISTMAS ISSUE: On Newsstands Wednesday, Dec. 24 COPY/CLASSFIED/AD DEADLINE: Noon On Monday, Dec. 22 OFFICE CLOSED Christmas Day, Dec. 25 NEW YEAR’S ISSUE: On Newsstands Wednesday, Dec. 31 COPY/CLASSFIED/AD DEADLINE: Noon On Monday, Dec. 29 OFFICE CLOSED New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, & Friday, Jan. 2 Our Office Closes At 1 p.m. On Dec. 24 AND Dec. 31 OUR STAFF WISHES ALL OUR READERS... Merry Christmas Happy Hanukkah Joyous Kwanzaa and A Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!
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