Year in Review: Top stories from May 2022

Perp walk for the alleged gunman who fatally shot the 51-year-old mother of an NYPD officer. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

As we look forward to 2023, QNS is looking back at the top stories throughout 2022.

Below are the top stories from the month of May, which include a Bayside restaurant owner awarded for her bravery in chasing away a group of thieves; the arrest of a suspect in the fatal shooting of an NYPD officer’s mother in Ozone Park; a Laurelton family charged with multiple crimes; and a dead body discovered at Alley Pond Park in Oakland Gardens.

Bayside restaurant owner awarded for bravery 

Cathy Lu with Senator John Liu’s chief of staff, Lisa DellAquila (Photo by Ethan Marshall)

The owner of Bayside’s Amy’s Chinese Restaurant, Cathy Lu, was presented with a Bravery Award by the Asian American Voters Alliance (AAVA) in May after she chased a group of young thieves and stood in the way of the bus they jumped into until the police arrived to arrest them. Lu was presented with certificates for her bravery by local elected officials. 

On April 26, more than a dozen Bayside High School students entered the restaurant, where they allegedly harassed customers before stealing drinks. As they attempted to leave the restaurant with the drinks, Lu’s husband tried to stop them. They pushed him to the ground, injuring him. Lu quickly followed them as they boarded a bus, standing in front of the vehicle so that it couldn’t leave and told the driver to keep them locked in there as they waited for police from the 111th Precinct to arrive and arrest them. After the incident, Councilwoman Vickie Paladino requested more law enforcement to patrol the area in order to protect the many small businesses in the community. 

Suspect charged after allegedly shooting police officer’s mother inside Ozone Park home 

Ozone Park
Perp walk for the alleged gunman who fatally shot the 51-year-old mother of an NYPD officer. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Giuseppe Canzani, 41, of Howard Beach, was arrested for fatally shooting the 51-year-old mother of an NYPD officer inside her Ozone Park home on May 4. 

Canzani was charged with murder in the second degree and possession of a firearm. According to police, Canzani walked up to the house at 94-59 109th Ave., one block east of Cross Bay Boulevard, just before 2:30 p.m, and knocked on the door. When Anna Torres opened the door, Canzani allegedly fired three shots, hitting her twice, and drove off in a black Chevy Traverse. Upon their arrival, officers discovered Torres inside the two-story brick home unconscious and unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds.

EMS responded to the crime scene and pronounced Torres dead. 

A short time later, the vehicle pulled up in front of the 106th Precinct and Canzani pulled out a loaded Taurus .45-caliber handgun and placed it on the sidewalk, authorities said. Homicide detectives were working to determine the relationship between the suspect and the victim, as well as the motive behind the fatal shooting.

Laurelton family of alleged scam artists charged with numerous crimes for roles in decadelong scheme 

The house in Laurelton at the center of the schemes pulled off by the Bailey family. (Photo via Google Maps)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that three members of a Laurelton family were charged with multiple crimes, including grand larceny, forgery, perjury, identity theft, defrauding the government and official misconduct for their roles in multiple scams over the past decade.

Stephanie Bailey, 50, of 225th Street in Laurelton and Latonya Bailey Dostaly, 45, of West 28th Street in Brooklyn, were arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judges Denise Johnson and Anthony Battisti on felony complaints charging them with multiple crimes. A warrant was issued for Stephanie Bailey’s daughter, Chianti Bailey, 31. 

According to Katz, the family members pulled off illegal scams, including taking control of a $700,000-plus home of a longtime Laurelton resident who died in 2020. They stole people’s identities — including the identities of at least 20 children — to use in a large-scale tax fraud scheme, ripped off Section 8 and COVID relief funds, and filed $200,000 worth of false unemployment insurance claims. 

Dead body found at Alley Pond Park 

Alley Pond Park
Alley Pond Park (Photo courtesy of NYC Parks)

In May, police officers from the 111th Precinct discovered a dead body on the ground at Alley Pond Park with a plastic bag over the man’s head. 

Officers had responded to a 911 call in the morning regarding a man lying unconscious in the park. EMS arrived and pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The man was later identified as Khiron Anderson, a 24-year-old who had been missing since September. 

Back in October 2021, police were investigating the identity of a man who was found dead at Alley Pond Park’s Oakland Lake. Authorities allegedly found a man’s body floating in the lake on Sept. 30, 2021, and emergency personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.