Homicides plummet in SE Queens

By Courtney Dentch

The 103rd Precinct, based in downtown Jamaica, recorded a 46.1 percent decline in murders through June 20 compared with the same time last year, but rape reports rose by 52.9 percent, the police statistics indicated.

The 113th Precinct, headquartered in South Jamaica, posted similar figures. Murder rates fell 55.5 percent from last year while rapes rose by 76.4 percent, the statistics showed.

The figures, posted on the NYPD's Web site, tally crimes reported through June 20 in seven major categories of crime, including murder, rape, robbery, assault, car theft and others.

The 103rd Precinct covers Jamaica and stretches from Hillside Avenue to 110th Avenue and from the Van Wyck Expressway to Francis Lewis Boulevard.

The precinct is still rebounding from last year, when it had one of the worst murder rates in the city. Through June 20 this year seven murders have been reported, a 46.1 drop from the 13 reported during the same time last year.

Among this year's murders was the shooting death of Gregory Goff, a Rikers Island guard who was hit when a gunman opened fire at a party in South Jamaica in February. Three others were also injured. Two men have been arrested in connection with that shooting, police said.

Another man, Terrence Neal, 19, was stabbed at his home within the 103rd Precinct when he tried to stop another man from starting a fight with a person on the street, police said. Andre Shobey was arrested later that day after a 12-hour crime spree that crossed three boroughs.

The precinct also recorded a 52.9 percent hike in rape reports, up to 26 through June 20 as compared with the 17 posted for the same period last year. The increase could be attributed to more women who have been raped reporting the crime to the police rather than keeping silent, one officer at the 103rd said.

The 103rd Precinct also reported double-digit declines in robberies and car thefts, but recorded increases in burglary and grand larceny cases through June 20. Overall, crime in the precinct fell 2.7 percent.

The 113th Precinct also saw drops in five of the crime categories and a 12.9 percent fall in the overall crime rate.

The 113th in South Jamaica covers the area bounded by 110th Avenue to the north and Kennedy Airport to the south and runs from the Van Wyck to Springfield Boulevard.

The precinct recorded its largest decline in murder rates, where it posted a 55.5 percent drop, from the nine killings logged through June 20 last year to four in the same time this year, the statistics showed.

Two of this year's homicides were reported in April when Colin Myles, 24, and his pregnant girlfriend, Nicole Wheeler, 19, were shot at their St. Albans apartment. Wheeler had been slated to testify against a man charged with robbing and beating Myles a few months before the shooting, the Queens district attorney said.

The precinct's 76.4 percent spike in rape reports represents 30 incidents through June 20 this year, from the 17 recorded in the same time period last year.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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