Queens Courier Year in Review: The top stories from November 2019

Photo by Robb Pozarycki

November proved to be a busy month in Queens. Here are some of the month’s top stories.

Fight at Queens Mall causes shutdowns and heavy cop presence

There was a heavy police presence at Queens Center Mall following a fight between teenagers turned that spiraled out of control and wreaked havoc inside.

A report from the Citizen App stated that a fight broke out at the mall, located at 90-15 Queens Blvd., at around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, resulting in teenagers throwing things and “causing mayhem.” Officers were on scene at the mall afterwards taking crowd control measures. An NYPD Aviation unit helicopter was seen above the mall, but flew away after a short period of time.

Police could not confirm what started the fight or if anyone was seriously injured. A shopper told the Queens Courier that adults were being allowed into the mall shortly after the fight was broken up, while teenagers were denied entry. The shopper also said that stores on the first floor were closed.


College Point raid uncovers weapons and ammo

A man was arrested in College Point after police found weapons and drugs in his home.

Authorities say that at 10 a.m. on Nov. 6, officers from the Queens North Patrol Borough’s Narcotics Squad executed a search warrant at 25-year-old Brandon Bryant’s home on 25th Avenue. According to the NYPD, the search allegedly uncovered four guns, a bullet-resistant vest, ammunition, narcotics, and cash.

The NYPD did not immediately disclose why the search warrant was executed.

Bryant was taken into custody afterwards and charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana. 

It was a busy couple of days for the Queens North Patrol Borough. On Nov. 7, the unit’s Gang Squad busted two people in Long Island City for gun and drug possession.

“Not wanting to be outdone by the @NYPDQueensNorth Gang Squad who recovered 3 firearms this week, the Queens North Narcotics team went out and safely recovered 4 guns, a bullet-resistant vest, and narcotics thanks to their tireless efforts to keep our city streets safe for all.” said the NYPD News on their Twitter account.

Photo via Twitter/@NYPDNews


Reports of Bayside HS shooter unfounded

Bayside High School went into a brief lockdown after a photo circulated on social media of a person with what appeared to be a gun on the school’s campus.

A report from the Citizen app indicated that at around 12:40 p.m. on Nov. 21, a person with a gun was reported at the school, located at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St. A photo from Snapchat indicating a person holding what appeared to be a gun with the geo-location set at Bayside High School was shown to a teacher by a student.

The NYPD confirmed on Twitter that the report of a possible active shooter was unfounded and the lockdown was subsequently been lifted. Capt. John Hall of the 111th Precinct said the lockdown was lifted shortly after 1 p.m. and that several parents arrived to pick up students from school early. However, a heavier police presence stayed at the school for the rest of the day.

Hall said that the photo that circulated on social media showed a fake gun with a rubberized tip that was used in a physics class.

Photo: Jenna Bagcal/QNS


Queens scores first men’s professional soccer team

Queens will soon be the home of its very first professional soccer franchise

The United Soccer League announced on Nov. 12 that it awarded a franchise to the Queensboro Football Club starting in 2021, when the team will play in the USL Championship, the top tier of the league which is one level below Major League Soccer. One of the international soccer’s biggest stars, David Villa, is the lead investor in Queensboro FC, which will play most of its home games at York College in Jamaica, as well as a few games at Citi Field. Villa is a World Cup champion and all-time leading Spanish national team goal scorer who starred with Barcelona and Real Madrid at club level before joining the New York City Football Club that plays at Yankee Stadium.

The club plans to operate a youth academy which Villa will work closely with. Villa is close friends with City Councilman Francisco Moya who has advocated for a professional soccer team in the borough for years.

Photo via Wikipedia Commons

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