Two cops from the 114th Precinct in Astoria who answered a 911 call ended up arresting a man who had been locked up 20 times for a variety of offenses.
Sergeant Vincent Dima and Officer Richard Gili were honored for that arrest with the Cop of the Month award for September at a 114th Precinct Community Council meeting in Astoria on Oct. 24.
On Sept. 27, Dima and Gili responded to a dispute with a firearm call at approximately 6 p.m. within the confines of the 114th Precinct.
At the residence, they encountered a woman who seemed distraught and began to interview her, according to Executive Officer of the 114th Precinct Roger Sankerdial.
The woman was hesitant to speak so Dima separated her from her partner.
“Vicitms are often reluctant or intimidated to speak with police as they’re usually threatened by their assailants,” Sankerdial said.
The victim admitted that the defendant had assaulted her and that he was carrying a firearm. Police found a loaded glock semi-automatic 9 mm handgun, which was reported stolen from Virginia.
Officers also found that the defendant had 20 prior arrests for narcotics possession, rape and various misdemeanors. For this incident, the defendant was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, loaded firearm, criminal possession of stolen property.
“Sergeant Dima and Police Officer Gili provided the right balance of care and concern for the victim at hand and also demonstrated proper department tactics when recovery a loaded firearm, which we all know in this room if they would have not done a thorough investigation that victim could have possibly paid the ultimate price with her life,” Sankerdial said.
At the meeting, Sankerdial also broke down crime statistics from Sept. 25 through Oct. 22. Overall, crime for the 28-day period is down 4.3 percent.
The number of robberies in the command are down 13 percent and grand larcenies are also down 33 percent.
The 114th Precinct has seen a 38 percent spike in burglaries during this period and Sankerdial attributes this to a string of incidents in which people have been breaking into rear windows of apartments with alleyways.
Plainclothes officers have been dispatched to areas in the precinct where this has been an issue and the department is also checking in on recidivist burglars who live in the neighborhood.
The executive officer also warned that they saw a spike in stolen bicycles in the precinct, especially in busy thoroughfares like Steinway Street. Officers have been offering free bicycle registration events where the NYPD engraves a serial number and an NYPD decal.
If the perpetrator tries removing the decal, the word void appears on the bike, alerting officers that the bicycle is stolen. The serial allows officers to match the bike to the individual owner.
Overall, crime is down 15.7 percent year-to-date, according to Sankerdial.