Photo by Brianna Ellis/QNS

Though crime and shootings are at a historic low in the city, Queens has experienced its fair share of peculiar and heartbreaking crime stories in 2016.

From drug busts in tire shops to illegal massage parlor takedowns and murders, the borough has experienced several incidents that seem like they were concocted in a Hollywood studio.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most bizarre and heavily read crime stories in Queens this year:

City’s first homicide of 2016

A Queens man was arrested for the city’s first homicide in the new year. Fabian Maliza, 24, was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Joceline Romo, 19, of Woodhaven. Maliza was charged with second-degree murder on Jan. 5 after Romo was found dead with bruises to her face, head and body.

Maliza was also taken to Jamaica Hospital for psychiatric evaluation after police found self-inflicted cuts on his arms.

Photo via Google Maps

Photo via Google Maps

Suicide in Bayside 

In March, a 67-year-old woman was found lying in front of the entrance of Beauty Forever salon at 36-36 Bell Blvd. with a bullet wound to her head. She was pronounced dead at the scene. An eyewitness noted that an apparent suicide note was left on the dashboard of the victim’s vehicle, a late-model Buick sedan parked in front of the location.

The woman had been involved in a Small Claims Court case against the Beauty Forever salon.

suicide-in-bayside

Photo by Katarina Hybenova/QNS

Astoria man kills one, slashes another and throws acetone at homeless man

Police were led on a wild chase in March when 23-year-old James Dillon committed several violent crimes in Astoria. He made headlines on March 6 after he slashed a 39-year-old woman’s face on 36th Street near 28th Avenue.

Dillon then walked into a liquor store at 38-18 Astoria Blvd. where he stabbed to death 55-year-old store owner George Patouhas. He also burned a 61-year-old homeless man by throwing acetone at him.

It was later discovered that he slashed a 43-year-old man in Jackson Heights earlier that day and a 26-year-old man on March 4.

As police were searching for him, Dillon tried to break into a FDNY vehicle on 35th Street, around the corner from the 114th Precinct. Police cornered him on a roof near his house and asked him to drop his knife. He refused and threw Corona bottles at two officers who were trying to apprehend him.

Officers shot Dillon seven times and he suffered a gunshot to the leg. He was taken to the hospital along with two officers who suffered burns to their hands.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Inset courtesy of NYPD

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Inset courtesy of NYPD

Fiery crash in Bayside

A high-speed pursuit involving an alleged car thief and two police officers came to a fiery end near a fast food restaurant on Northern Boulevard in June. The suspect’s car collided with a vehicle belonging to victim, Thomas Smith, near the Burger King parking lot located at 222-10 Northern Blvd.

The sedan smashed into a police car, in which two officers from the 111th Precinct in Bayside were injured, according to eyewitnesses. The stolen car burst into flames upon striking Smith’s vehicle, and the suspect took off on foot. According to an eyewitness, the perpetrator was apprehended a few blocks away.

fiery-crash

Photo by Brianna Ellis/QNS

Roommate Murder in Ridgewood

An argument between two roommates in a Ridgewood apartment in September led to a tragic death. The victim, 25-year-old Carolyn Bush, got into an argument with her 26-year-old male roommate, Render Stetson-Shanahan, at the residence on Stanhope Street. Shanahan pulled out a knife and lunged at Bush, prompting her to call 911.

Police found Stetson-Shanahan with a self-inflicted knife wound to the leg and Bush was found dead, with stab wounds to the neck, back and arm.

Photo by Robert Stridiron

Photo by Robert Stridiron

Stabbing in Woodhaven

A group of teenagers repeatedly stabbed and beat a 24-year-old man on a Woodhaven street for no apparent reason this March.  The teenagers, who were between the ages of 15 and 17, punched and kicked the man, then stabbed him in the neck and torso.

The attack occurred at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue near 85th Street. Police said the victim had no connection to the group and the motive of the stabbing was unknown.

Photo via Project Woodhaven

Photo via Project Woodhaven

Ozone Park Imam and assistant brutally murdered in Ozone Park

The murder of two respected leaders in the borough’s Muslim community were gunned down on an Ozone Park street in August.

Imam Maulama Akomjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, the respective leader and assistant at the nearby Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque on Glenmore Avenue, were shot at the corner of 79th Street and Liberty Avenue on Aug. 13.

The gunman, Oscar Morel, approached them and, without saying a word, shot them both in the head. The double homicide sent shock throughout the community, which has a large population of Bangladeshi Muslims. Hundreds took to the streets to call on the NYPD to investigate the murders as a hate crime.

Morel faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News/Bryan Pace

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News/Bryan Pace

Flushing woman kept Korean children in her home as slaves 

A Flushing woman held two Korean children as slaves in her home, forcing them to perform household chores, sleep on the floor and pamper her with massages and manicures.

Sook Yeong Park, 42, of 196th Street in Flushing held the two children — now aged 16 and 14 — hostage in Park’s home after she seized their passports. The children were brought from Korea to Park in January 2010 by one of her relatives; they were cut off from any contact with their parents in their home country.

One teenager, who attended Francis Lewis High School, came to school with bruises and the physical abuse was reported to police. In January, Park was charged with labor trafficking, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Photo via Google Maps

Photo via Google Maps

Tire Shop in Queens Village becomes synthetic marijuana factory

Law enforcement agents uncovered a synthetic marijuana (K2) factory inside the Excellent Tire Shop Services on Springfield Boulevard in March, recovering more than 200 pounds of the dangerous narcotic.

The synthetic marijuana had an estimated street value of at least $200,000 and most of it was already been packaged for immediate sale. Owners were also processing the drug in a makeshift facility on the premises.

Photo via Google Maps

Photo via Google Maps

Karina Vetrano murdered while running in Howard Beach

Perhaps the borough’s most high-profile murder of the year occurred in Howard Beach when 30-year-old Karina Vetrano was found dead in a marshy area of Gateway National Recreational Area. Vetrano went for a run and when she didn’t come home, her father called the police.

Police found her body in the vicinity of 161st Avenue and 78th Street and said she was sexually assaulted and strangled to death. Though police have led extensive searches, the murderer has not been found.

Photo: Josef Pinlac/QNS, with inset via Instagram

Photo: Josef Pinlac/QNS, with inset via Instagram

Small Bayside apartment fire leads to major drug bust

More than 110 packages of marijuana and $150,000 in cash were found inside an apartment on 1 Bay Club Dr. in Bay Terrace after police and firefighters responded to a fire there on Nov. 8.

Yong Choi, 27 — who resides at the location — appeared at the door of the home. When the officer asked about the marijuana inside the apartment, according to the criminal complaint, Choi allegedly said that “he needed to make money.”

Photo via 109th Precinct Twitter

Photo via 109th Precinct Twitter

Crackdown in illegal massage parlors lead to 17 arrests 

Queens is filled with illegal massage parlors dolling out more than massages and cops cracked down on several establishments this year. Seventeen employees at massage parlors in Whitestone and Flushing were arrested in March when police raided 10 unlicensed massage parlors.

The arrests were a response to community complaints during a town hall meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio and a We Love Whitestone civic association meeting in February.

Photo via Facebook/We Love Whitestone

Photo via Facebook/We Love Whitestone

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