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Despite murder, crime drops in 111th – QNS.com

Despite murder, crime drops in 111th

BY M. JUNAID ALAM

Domingo Hernandez, of 251-20 Northern Blvd., was found beaten and stabbed to death in Admiral Park near the intersection of Little Neck Parkway and 42nd Avenue on the morning after Christmas Day, police said.Uniformed police officers and detectives were canvassing the scene around noon on the day the body was found, inspecting a handball and basketball court and gym area and bagging potential evidence.Police were still investigating the incident Sunday and no arrests had been made.Admiral Park lies adjacent to PS 94, an elementary school, which has its own small, fenced-in play area in the rear. The school was closed for the week because of Christmas vacation.Little Neck, a mostly suburban community with spacious single-family homes and twisting side roads, falls within the confines of the 111th Precinct, which has not had a murder since 2004.A source said Hernandez was found in the handball court, face-up, badly beaten. His body contained lacerations, puncture wounds and signs of blunt force trauma, the source said, adding that investigators believe the crime occurred at the park and that the body was not simply dumped there.According to a Dec. 28 report in The New York Times, Hernandez, an El Salvador native, lived in a two-bedroom apartment with eight other immigrant workers who sent money back home.Hernandez was employed at Frank and John's Pizzeria & Restaurant, located at 248 -25 Northern Blvd. in the Little Neck Plaza.On Friday morning, a beleaguered-looking store owner who did not give his name said he had already fielded a barrage of questions from police and press.He said Hernandez had only worked at the small restaurant for two months and that he knew nothing of his life outside of work hours.”It's a sad situation, what happened,” he said, adding only that Hernandez “was a good kid, never gave me any problems, and always showed up on time.”Some area residents said Admiral Park had been known as a prime location for drug dealing about a year ago.One 42nd Avenue resident, who did not give his name, said he was mugged at the park three or four years ago.”It's a big drug park. We used to call the 111th often,” he said. From his observations, he gathered that the people using drugs were in their 20s, with the dealers usually older.”Sometimes the precinct sends cars down, but not often,” he said.Another 42nd Avenue resident who declined to give her name said she was surprised by the murder because she and others had called the precinct to complain about the site more than a year ago.”There used to be some characters hanging around, but we had a huge discussion with the precinct,” she said, adding that it stepped up patrols in the area in response to complaints.”It's a nice neighborhood. This shouldn't be happening here –especially with a school right next door.”111th Precinct Community Affairs Officer William Conway said his office has only received one complaint about the site in more than a year. That involved allegations over someone digging up granite blocks at the park and was unrelated to any drug concerns, he said.Reach reporter M. Junaid Alam by e-mail at malam@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 174.

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