Brooklyn Crime Blotter – May 21st

Brooklyn Crime Blotter – May 21st
(Image: Zainab Iqbal/Bklyner)

Concerns about an increase in crime continue to play a central role in the city’s mayoral race.  New NYPD data shows crime across the city jumped 30% in April compared to the same month last year, when the pandemic was at its early peak in the city. The latest spike includes a continued uptick in shooting incidents, as well as a 66% jump in grand larcenies and a 36% rise in felony assaults.

Here’s a rundown of some reported criminal activity this week in the borough of Brooklyn.

Fatal stabbing near Bed-Stuy hotel

Just after 9:00pm on Tuesday, May 18th, police responded to an assault near 9 Malcolm X Boulevard on the border of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick, within the confines of the 81st Precinct. Officers found a 47-year-old male lying inside the building’s lobby with a stab wound to his chest. The victim was knifed near the Artel Hotel and ran inside the building, where he collapsed, according to police.

The hotel has been serving as a homeless shelter for much of the COVID-19 pandemic, though it remains unknown whether the victim was a resident there.

EMS transported the victim to NYC Health & Hospitals/Kings County, where he was pronounced dead. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing.

Off-Duty cop charged with criminal contempt

35-year-old Nicholas Nelson, an NYPD officer, was arrested and charged with criminal contempt for calling his ex-girlfriend in violation of a restraining order, police said. The arrest took place at 1:30am on Wednesday, May 19th within the confines of the 68th Precinct in southwestern Brooklyn.

It was Nelson’s third arrest in four years. In August 2018, he was charged with drunk driving after he smashed into a guardrail near a Staten Island expressway. In March 2019, he was arrested and charged with assault for a domestic incident, according to the Staten Island Advance.

Nelson was hit with 30-day suspensions from the police department for each of the two priors, but it remains unclear what repercussions Nelson will face within the Department for the new arrest.

Woman killed in drive-by shooting while attending friend’s vigil

32-year-old Shalimar Birkett was fatally shot in the head at a vigil for a friend who had himself been killed by gunfire less than a day earlier.

Birkett was standing with a group of people near 1769 Park Place in Weeksville when someone in a white sedan fired into the crowd before fleeing the scene. She was taken to Brookdale Hospital where she was pronounced dead, cops said.

State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, who had been visiting her mother near shooting, told the New York Post that the street was covered in blood.

“Nobody’s last breath should be lying on the concrete needing blood,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep last night.”

Birkett had been attending a memorial event for Miles Bobbsemple, 31, a Brownsville resident who was shot in the chest by a stray bullet at a house party on Remsen Avenue in East Flatbush on Monday, after an argument between two other attendees escalated. Bobbsemple was driven to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests have been made in either case.

Two Found Dead at Ingersoll Houses

Police responded to a 911 call at the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene at approximately 3:45pm on Tuesday, May 18th, where they found 51-year-old Lisa Petty and 64-year-old Dandre Brown unconscious in their apartment. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.

A cause of death has not yet been determined. Police said there were no immediate traces of trauma or drug use or signs of forced entry into the apartment.

Pedestrian killed in Greenpoint hit-and-run

Public school teacher Matthew Jensen who was fatally struck by a Rolls Royce driver while crossing McGuinness Boulevard near Bayard Street shortly after midnight on Tuesday, police said.

Jensen, 58, taught at P.S. 110, in the school’s English as a Second Language program, reports Gothamist.

A police investigation determined Jensen was crossing McGuinness against the traffic signal when he was struck by the black Rolls Royce sedan traveling southbound. The driver fled the scene, according to police, and no arrests have been made.

McGuinness Boulevard, a five-lane arterial roadway, is a notoriously dangerous corridor for pedestrians and cyclists. The city designated the boulevard a “slow zone” in 2014, retiming traffic signals and increasing enforcement efforts.

Nevertheless, at least two dozen people have been injured in crashes on the roadway in the years since, including a cyclist killed by a box truck driver in 2019.

Jensen’s death comes as pedestrian fatalities have surged across the city this year; to date, there have been 47 pedestrian deaths in 2021.

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