Justice for Junior Law Proposed

Legislation Would Require Small Businesses to Offer 'Safe Haven' to Endangered Minors

NEW YORK- State Senator Luis Sepulveda and Assemblyman Victor Pichardo announced introduction of “Safe Havens for Endangered Children” legislation that would require all small businesses to call police when an injured or endangered child or young person seeks help from them.  

The proposed law, to be known as “Junior’s Law,” comes after Bronx 15-year-old Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Felix was dragged from a bodega where he had sought refuge and was stabbed to death by members of a violent street gang that had been chasing him, all caught on video.

Assemblyman Victor Pichardo and Senator Luis Sepulveda flank Lisando Guzman, father of teen Lisandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz, dragged out of a bodega and stabbed to death by a pursuing street gang in a case of mistaken identify. The two legislators held a press conference outside the Belmont bodega Tuesday, July 10, to publicize proposed legislation named "Junior's Law" that would require small businesses to offer aid and call police in cases involving endangered minors seeking refuge. (Photos by Bob Kappstatter)[/caption]   Joined by the slain youth’s family members, clergy and community leaders at a press conference outside the bodega where the teen was murdered, Senator Sepulveda and Assemblyman Pichardo said the Safe Havens bill would also amend the education law to help create “Safe Walking Home Zones” by having school officials work with local chambers of commerce to create safe pathways to and from schools.

 A second piece of legislation would also require small businesses to keep first aid kits.

 “While the bodega owner where the incident occurred DID try to help, and did call 911 twice, according to police, we want to make sure that any business owner or their employees who encounter a situation involving a minor who has been abused or may be in danger has a duty to try to help,” said Senator Sepulveda. “Community businesses should be safe havens for our youth. They should promptly notify police.”   

"The murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz has devastated our close-knit Bronx communities,” said Assemblyman Pichardo. “While I applaud the New York City Police Department for swiftly apprehending the suspects, we as legislators must do more to address the scourge of gang violence that has claimed far too many lives here in the Bronx and across our state. The safety of our children and families is always paramount and I’ll do everything I can to get violent gang members off our streets.”

The slain teen’s father, Lissandro Guzman, speaking in Spanish said, “I feel very content, and with all my heart, I hope this bill that carries son’s name gets passed so it can prevent situations like this from happening again, and so we can create more security for our beloved children.”

Depending on the situation, if a business with fewer than 50 employees fails to “provide a safe refuge for a child who had physical injury inflicted upon him or is in imminent danger of such injury until authorities arrive,” the business would be subject to penalties to be determined by the commissioner of the state Office of Children and Family Services.

 Sepulveda said that he and Assemblyman Pichardo are still looking at what potential fines or other sanctions might be imposed.

 The bill to require first aid kids in small businesses would amend state labor and public health laws to require small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to have and maintain a first aid kit on the premises at all times. Compliance would be checked during regular health or safety inspections of the building and business.


“We need to ensure that businesses are equipped to help those who are injured to save lives,” said Senator Sepulveda.

Twelve alleged members of the Trinitarios gang are now under arrest in connection with the June 20 attack. They face charges of murder, manslaughter, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to police.

 The terrified teen was chased for blocks after a convoy of four vehicles carrying the gang members mistook Guzman-Feliz for their intended target, a rival from a sub-set of the gang.

 The teen ran into the bodega at E. 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue and hid behind the counter, but was dragged outside and stabbed several times.

 He staggered to nearby St. Barnabas Hospital, where he collapsed on the sidewalk. He died a short time later.

 Joining the press conference, David Aviles, community leader and founder of PR Flags Up, stated: "Junior died because we failed as a community. Many could've help him at any given point in this horrific attack, but choose to stand down and not provide any human compassion to him We the people have vowed to let no other child in danger go without help. We must be every child’s keeper!"  

Educator and community leader Luis Torres said: "The death of Junior was a tragedy. We need to ensure this never happens again. Parents cannot continue to bury their children. We as a community must work together to find solutions to problems the plague our community.

 “What I hope to accomplish with
Junior’s Law is to better prepare small business for emergencies. Similar to the training school personnel receive, businesses need to be equipped with first aid equipment and training. “We also want children to have safe spaces to and from school. So, from the tragedy we will bring about positive changes."


Push to Hire New Yorkers for Tech Jobs

New York’s Silicon Alley Expands Hiring Help

NEW YORK– NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop announced new commitments from industry leaders to launch models for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding qualified local tech talent. 

Associate Engineer programs, created by industry partners with support from the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline (TTP), provide a pathway for companies to fill the demand for entry-level talent from nontraditional sources.

Through tools and resources supported by TTP, companies can more easily build out tailored programs, including fellowships and apprenticeships, which offer opportunities for employment for New Yorkers who are qualified but may lack professional experience.

With the launch of the Associate Engineer Playbook – a new guide authored by the tech industry, along with a peer-network, and new free recruitment services, companies across the city can jumpstart their own programs that develop local tech talent.

Foursquare, MediaMath, StackOverflow, Spotify and Betterment are also committing to launching or expanding Associate Engineer programs. Existing programs have already connected New Yorkers to these positions with an average annual salary of $70,000.

Associate Engineer programs are supported by ApprenticeNYC, a central part of Mayor de Blasio’s goal of creating 100,000 good-paying jobs.

“The City is committed to ensuring that New Yorkers can access over 320,000 jobs our local tech ecosystem has to offer,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Together with companies who are already harnessing high-potential local talent, we’re empowering more NYC businesses to create opportunities for New Yorkers to enter a growing industry.”

“Our fellowship members are a valuable part of our team, bringing diverse perspectives that support our business,” said Chris Angove, Chapter Lead, Spotify. “This is exactly what the NYC Technology Fellowship was designed to do – bring on qualified, local tech talent from all backgrounds.”

“The Apprenticeship program allows us to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of experiences and background of the community of developers we support,” said Jon Chan, Engineer, Stack Overflow. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity to emerging talent and pioneer efforts to support a more diverse tech ecosystem here in NYC.”

The Associate Engineer Playbook was developed by members of the TTP Peer Network, an employer community dedicated to developing creative solutions to fill the demand for qualified Associate Engineers. The network, including engineering and hiring managers from LinkedIn, Spotify, MediaMath, Betterment, and StackOverflow, offers resources and supports to help companies implement similar models.

With the assistance of a new SBS team composed of industry professionals, TTP is also helping companies to fill their open positions with diverse, qualified local talent.

To view the Associate Engineer Playbook, learn more about the TTP Peer Network, or connect with the Talent Team, interested companies should visit http://www.techtalentpipeline.nyc/associate-engineer-programs.

Queens native Susan Lovaglio spent over 10 years in the U.S. Navy as a jet engine mechanic and served in the Middle East. After the military, she pursued a career in accounting.

Due to the struggling economy, Susan lost a succession of jobs to downsizing. Following these experiences, Susan set out to pursue her passion for building. She enrolled in TTP’s Mobile Dev Corps training program and, upon completion of the program, was connected to the Spotify New York City Technology Fellowship, Spotify’s Associate Engineer program. Participants in the fellowship program operate as a team within Spotify for 16 weeks while receiving mentorship and personal and professional development from a broad set of employees to help them reach their full potential and learn what it’s like to work at Spotify. Today, she is a full-time iOS engineer at Spotify’s growing New York City office.

Launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014, the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline is the City’s tech Industry Partnership, designed to support the inclusive growth of the NYC tech sector by delivering quality jobs for New Yorkers and qualified talent for the City’s businesses. The Tech Talent Pipeline works with 225 companies, 17 local colleges, and additional public and private partners to define employer needs, develop training and education models to meet these needs, and scale solutions throughout the City, delivering quality talent for the City’s businesses and quality jobs for New Yorkers. http://www.techtalentpipeline.nyc/

Summer Violence Explodes Across the Bronx

Bronx Gang Violence Surges

(Photos by David Greene)

By David Greene

NEW YORK- The NYPD has released startling new statistics that show the boroughs homicide rate is more than 92% higher than last year after the first 6 months of the year-- and that was before a 2-week rampage that includes several disturbing cases that have generated national headlines.

From January 1 thru June 24, the NYPD had so far logged 50 homicides, compared with just 26 logged during the same time in 2017.

The new statistics do not yet show a series of incidents including the killing of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, 15, who was dragged out of a bodega and murdered in the Belmont section on June 20. The following day 2 men and a woman were shot to death after an early morning shooting in Castle Hill.

Castle Hill resident Grace Heyaime lives 2 blocks from the shooting and recalled paying her respects at the makeshift memorial, "There were candles in front of the projects and I said a prayer. These people wore bandannas and I don't know who they were. I was the only one dressed who didn't have their pants down and without a bandanna on my head. They looked like really hardened thugs, the ladies and the men. But as soon as I started my prayers and I prayed for them to stop this genocide... they became so humbled.”

Heyaime said she felt so "traumatized" by the airing on Facebook of the surveillance video leading up to Guzman-Feliz' death that she attended a candlelight vigil and prayer service for the young man she did not know and feels the NYPD needs assistance from the Federal government to combat gangs, much like when the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuted members of infamous gangs like 'Sex, Money and Murder,' which was smashed by the feds in 2000. 

Heyalme asks, "What's going on in the Bronx?”

Police have so far identified 7 of the 8 suspects as Daniel Fernandez, Joniki Martinez, Jose Muniz, Manuel Rivera, Santiago Rodriguez, Jose Taverez. Police would also announce the arrest of Kevin Alvarez and another unidentified young man, all charged with murder, manslaughter and gang assault.

Police were reportedly still looking for two men in the June 21 homicide of Mustafa Tarver, Christopher Alleyne and innocent bystander Arileida Jimenez.

In other recent incidents, three people were stabbed and three others were struck on the head with unknown objects along Daily Avenue on June 17, just days after the NYPD announced 300 administration officers would be hitting the streets as part of its "Summer All Out" program.

Before the crime scene on Daily Avenue was taken down, police were called to East 178 Street, for a 23-year-old female who was stabbed multiple times. Cops charged 21-year-old Tachiana Dancey in that crime.

Other violent incidents reported include an unidentified male reported shot behind Harry S. Truman High School on June 17. A person shot on Cromwell Avenue on June 18. A teen chased down, beaten and stabbed on the Bronx River Parkway at East Gun Hill Road on June 18. This incident has been tied to the same Dominican Republic gang implicated in Guzman-Feliz' death.

A victim was reported shot at University Avenue and West Burnside on June 19. Also June 19, a gunshot victim walked into Lincoln Hospital after being shot along Third Avenue. Hours later a victim was shot and killed along Baker Avenue in the Van Nest section. June 19th ended with another person shot on Willis Avenue and East 136 Street.

Other notable incidents included a false report of an "active shooter" at the University Heights High School on St. Ann's Avenue, a person stabbed on East 183 Street on June 20. Two people reported shot at East 159 Street and Park Avenue on June 22 and an 18 year-old shot dead at Watson and Ward Avenue on June 23.   

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#JusticeforJunior - Cops Seek Man in Acura

Gang Leaders Busted as Cops Seek Even More Suspects in Junior’s Murder 

By Dan Gesslein

NEW YORK- Finding a late model Acura TL may lead cops to the latest suspects in the murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz. 

Police released surveillance video of a dark colored Acura TL that is believed to have been made in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The car has signs of damage to its rear passenger door.

Cops say the suspect fled the murder scene in the Acura. The latest manhunt comes as police perp walked high-ranking members of the Trinitarios gang after arresting them in connection with the murder.

Cops arrested Diego Suero, 29, and Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion, 26. Suero is suspected of being the head of the local chapter of the Trinitarios. Cops believe he ordered the hit. However, the gang members got the wrong guy. Guzman had no affiliation with the gang or any crimes. 

The 15-year-old was a member NYPD Youth Explorers and wanted to become a cop. 

The gang members stabbed him in the neck with a machette. Guzman collapsed outside St. Barnabas Hospital and later died.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Another Arrest in Bronx River Parkway Stabbing

Group Beat, Stomped and Stabbed Teenager

NEW YORK- Another member of the gang that viciously beat, stomped and stabbed a teenager on the Bronx River Parkway, during rush hour, was arrested, cops say. 

Police arrested 21-year-old Ramon Paulino. He was charged with attempted murder, gang assault and assault.

The horrendous attack was captured on cell phone video by drivers on the parkway as they witnessed the large group attack one teenager.

The attack took place at around 5:30 pm on June 18 at the East Gun Hill Road exit of the Bronx River Parkway.

In the video a large group of young men are seen stomping, punching, stabbing and beating with poles the 14-year-old. The attack took place inside an area on the parkway closed off for construction.

The attack horrified drivers stuck in the rush hour traffic who witnessed the mob chase down and then viciously beat and stab the teen.

According to published reports the teen lost a kidney as a result of the attack. The victim’s mother told the NY Daily News that the near fatal attack stemmed from the fact that her son broke up with his girlfriend. She claims the ex girlfriend had ties to a street gang and that led to the attack.

Police are not commenting on the claims that the girl had influenced the gang members to attack her ex boyfriend. 

The horrifying Bronx River Parkway attack comes on the heels of the fatal teen attack by another gang which shocked the city. 

Leasandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz was fatally stabbed in the neck outside a Belmont bodega. The 15-year-old was wrongfully targeted by the gang over claims he slept with a teenage girl and posted the video. Not only was Guzman not involved but he was a member of the NYPD youth explorers with dreams of becoming a police officer.

The recent gang attacks on teenagers has led one Bronx lawmaker to call on the state legislature to pass bills to stop teen violence. 

Car Strippers Strike Again

Car Thieves Target 1 Bronx Nabe

By Dave Greene 

NEW YORK- Thieves are once again stripping cars in Pelham Bay leaving owners shocked and nervous. 

Two weeks ago, one car owner awoke to find her Mercedes sedan on blocks. All four tires were taken. Residents taking their children to school looked as shocked as the car owner.

The thieves had managed to jack up the car and remove the tires on the brightly lit block on the corner of Zullette and Hollywood Avenue.

A similar case happened up the block one year ago, when an SUV was robbed of its tires in the middle of the night on Zullette and Jarvis Avenues. Another Honda sedan was stripped of its tires last year on Hollywood and Coddington Avenues.

And another sedan was stripped of its tires last year a short walk away in front of Our Lady of Assumption Church.

It is unclear if the recent rash of thefts are the work of the same crew from last year or why the tire nappings have started again.

Police last week released suveillance video of yet another car stripping. In this case all four tires and rims were stolen but it is unclear if it is the work of the same crew.

Police are seeking the public's help in identifying a couple of car thieves, who are wanted for a June 5 car stripping incident in Pelham Bay.

Police are searching for two tire thieves who boldly pulled up alongside a parked vehicle and within minutes, sped away with the vehicle’s four tires.

It is not yet known if the pair is responsible for similar incidents in the area, dating back to last year.

According to NYPD spokeswoman, detective Reilly, the latest incident was reported at just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5 at the intersection of Edison Avenue and Harrington Avenue.

Reilly told the Bronx Voice, "One of the individuals, a male approached a parked and unoccupied vehicle and removed its four rims and tires, the individual then placed the rims into his car with the help of a second individual, a female.”

Police say the pair fled in a 4-door sedan, heading eastbound on Edison Avenue.

Police offered a brief description obtained by the grainy surveillance video. The male was wearing a baseball cap and a windbreaker with reflectors on it. The second suspect was only described as a female, with her hair tied up in a bun.

Anyone with any information on the pair's identity are urged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Justice for Junior Law Proposed

Legislation Would Require Small Businesses to Offer 'Safe Haven' to Endangered Minors NEW YORK - State Senator Luis Sepu...