6 JUNE 24, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
DA establishes new intelligence unit
BY BILL PARRY
Queens District Attorney Melinda
Katz announced the creation
of a new Crime Strategies and
Intelligence Unit to improve public
safety by focusing prosecutorial
resources on proactively reducing
and preventing criminal activity,
particularly violent criminal activities
and gun trafficking.
Katz appointed Shanon LaCorte as
the unit’s director.
By analyzing data and intelligence
from law enforcement and community
partners, CSIU can inform
prosecutorial decisions such as
alternative sentencing, and can
more effectively focus law enforcement
resources on drivers of violent
crime to improve public safety.
“The creation of our Crime Strategies
and Intelligence Unit keeps us
on the cutting edge of modern prosecution
in Queens Count,” Katz said.
“This unit will enhance the way we use
analytic tools and data science to identify
crime trends and opportunities to
reduce violent crime by rooting out
those individuals most responsible
for driving these off enses. At the same
time, we can ensure that appropriate,
nonviolent off enders are aff orded opportunities
for interventions and/or
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz creates a new intelligence unit to improve public safety. QNS fi le photo
The unit will also provide assistance
to individual prosecutions and
investigations by supplying context,
evidence and actionable intelligence
across all divisions within the
district attorney’s office.
Prior to leading the CSIU, Assistant
District Attorney LaCorte was
Special Counsel at the New York
State Attorney General’s Statewide
Organized Crime Task Force.
LaCorte previously served in
the Attorney General’s Criminal
Enforcement and Financial Crimes
Man indicted in murder of homeless acquaintance
in Ridgewood: DA
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
A man has been indicted by a Queens grand
jury for manslaughter in the alleged murder
of a homeless man in Ridgewood, according
to District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Piotr Wilk, a 35-year-old man with no known
address, was arraigned before Queens Supreme
Court Justice Kenneth Holder on an indictment that
charged him with manslaughter in the fi rst degree
on Thursday, June 10.
Wilk allegedly beat the victim, Lukasz Ruszczyk,
who was a houseless community member of Ridgewood,
to death on April 29.
According to the charges, Wilk was seen allegedly
using his fi st and elbow to punch Ruszczyk more
than a dozen times on the corner of Putnam and
Forest Avenues in Ridgewood around 4:30 p.m.
Ruszczyk, who was 38 years old, was left unconscious
during the assault, according to Katz.
Shortly before 6 p.m., Wilk was allegedly seen
choking Ruszczyk and putting him in a headlock.
Ruszczyk was then taken to Wyckoff Heights
Medical Center several hours later with multiple
bruises and bumps, including bleeding on the
brain, according to the district attorney. He was
diagnosed as clinically brain dead and succumbed
to his injuries on May 4, Katz said.
According to a prior police report, Wilk was arrested
at the hospital where Ruszczyk was being
treated on April 30. The police report also noted
both men knew each other and were allegedly
“This was a brutal crime in public view on a
Queens street corner,” said Katz, adding that Wilk
is currently in custody.
QNS fi le photo
The Queens District Attorney’s offi ce did not
comment on the motive behind the fatal assault.
Wilk’s public defender did not respond to
requests for additional comment, citing Queens
Defenders’ policy to not comment on ongoing
If convicted, Wilk faces up to 25 years in
Justice Holder remanded the defendant and set
his next court date for Sept. 20.