Glendale man shoots at cops, then himself

As Glendale residents sat down for dinner Sunday night, the sounds of helicopters, sirens and other law enforcement vehicles filled the air in their dining rooms and kitchens.
At 6:40 p.m., police received a call of a domestic dispute on 68th Street between 70th and Central avenues. Upon arrival, they found 31-year-old Mark Vasquez, who was holed up in his second-floor apartment with a loaded gun, according to police.
Published reports said that the gunman’s wife called the police after he became enraged in an argument.
When officers arrived at the home, Vasquez fired three times through his closed front door. Cops said no one was injured and officers did not fire back.
The ordeal ended at 10:10 p.m., when police entered his apartment and found him dead in the bathtub with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
Confusion soon spread around the area, as neighbors heard gunshots and saw law enforcement agents camped out in front of a house for 3 1/2 hours. Recent crimes in the Maspeth and Glendale area leave residents wondering if a crime spike is in the midst.
But Gary Giordano, district manager for Community Board 5, said “this is certainly not normal for Glendale and hardly normal for virtually any neighborhood,” referring to the incident Sunday night.
“I think that too high a percentage of crime involves husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends,” he said. “Generally speaking from my experience, there are issues of the male wanting control and issues regarding pride.”
Therefore, Giordano said, the incident does not appear to correlate with a local crime spike.
According to Captain Michael Cody from the 104th Precinct, felony assaults in the area were down 5 percent in February, and most that were reported pertained to a domestic violence issue.
“Fortunately, homicides and suicides are, from what I know, low in our community,” Giordano said.

Program to stop teen violence faces cuts

When Jackeline Muniz was 16 years old, she sought counseling at Martin Luther King High School, where she was a student, to help her get out of an abusive relationship.
The fighting caused her to miss class, get bad grades, and nearly cost her high school graduation.
For help, Muniz turned to the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) in her school, which helps teenagers combat relationship abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and bullying.
“The way that the RAPP program helped me was it helped me to work through that relationship,” she said. “It helped me work through things on my own, to get to know myself better, to build up my self-esteem so I could get out of that relationship.”
However, for several years in a row, including in the 2012/13 fiscal year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed cutting the program’s $3 million in funding out of his executive budget.
Now the organizations that put the program together, including the Center Against Domestic Violence, STEPS to End family Violence/Edwin Gould Services for Children & Families, and CAMBA, a non-profit agency that helps New Yorkers improve their quality of life, are urging the City Council to once again restore its funding
“To have a place where kids could go and just talk, it was something that was just beautiful,” Muniz, who now lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn, said of her experience with RAPP. “To have someone who was always there, you know you can always count on, it was such a good thing.”
Muniz said she started out receiving individual counseling through RAPP and eventually moved on to help her peers.
Part of RAPP, which currently serves 50,000 students in 62 middle and high schools throughout the city, is a summer program in which students are trained to be peer counselors.
As a peer counselor, Muniz took trips with her classmates around the city, such as to go bowling or see a Broadway show. The students also hosted holiday parties.
In addition, Muniz spoke in classrooms and community centers about her experience getting out of an abusive relationship.
However, she said the most important part of going to RAPP was that it enabled her to graduate high school on time, succeed in college, and become a professional teen counselor.
She graduated from City College with honors in 2009, with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Women’s Studies, and then pursued her Master’s degree in social work, which she finished last June.
Now, Muniz is a RAPP coordinator at Franklin K. Lane High School on the border of Queens and Brooklyn in Cypress Hills.
Muniz teaches students about problem-solving and communicating in relationships. The program also holds sexual assault and rape workshops at the school.
“We teach about healthy relationships,” she said.
“I’m also a role model for them,” Muniz said, because she shares a similar background with her students and is now a successful adult.
One thing that she sees as a RAPP counselor is the cycle of domestic violence. Kids experience it at home, and then perpetuate the behavior because it’s what they’ve been taught, Muniz said.
“A lot of these kids think that these things are okay,” she said, “that these things are normal.”
If the program is cut, the government would have to spend more money helping domestic violence victims and RAPP coordinators could lose their jobs, she said.
“I think that a lot of kids would probably end up in abusive relationships in the future,” Muniz said.

New web site helping New Yorkers “Choose a Family”

“I believe family is based on love, loyalty, trust and support,” said Kim Parshley, Astoria resident and founder of
“Blood and genes have nothing to do with it,” she added. “Even a small group of friends can easily morph into a small family network.”
This is the theory behind her social networking Web site, designed to foster family-oriented platonic relationships, as opposed to romance and dating.
Parshley launched the site in the beginning of December, at the start of the holiday season, and collected roughly 500 members in its first three months.
“Some of these people have no where to go during the holidays, they’re feeling very lonely,” she said. “And it’s harder for adults to make new friends. It’s really difficult.”
Kids can go to their neighbor’s house and ask another child, whom they may not know, to “come out and play,” Parshley said, but adults are trained to be wary of strangers. is free to join and allows its members to register as a family member and search for another by zip code.
Options include parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, friends and mentors.
“I cannot believe how many people have been thirsting for this,” said Parshley, who advertises the site on television and the Internet. “Every little exposure of the Web site, I end up having so many people signing up.”
People from all over the world signed up so far, from Canada to California, and England to Greece, she said.
But the site has a particular significance in New York City, since although the five boroughs have eight million residents, many come from other places with no familial connections nearby.
“New Yorkers definitely know first-hand about loneliness,” Parshley said, and specified that “coming from a really small town into a big city, if you don’t have family around, you don’t have anyone you feel safe and comfortable with.”
Often, she said, members are looking to fill a void. Only-children look for the siblings they never had, or a grandfather to play chess with. Some, however, have a healthy family life and want to show support for the less fortunate.
Others are searching for someone with traits similar to a loved one they recently lost.
“When you find people who have the same exact issues and the same story,” she said, “it makes you feel a lot better and you can connect with them.”
Parshley knows first-hand how it feels to lose a loved one in a big city.
After the tenement building on the upper east side of Manhattan that her parents lived in was torn down, shortly after the Valentine’s Day holiday they were married on, Parshley’s family moved across the then-Triboro Bridge to Astoria, where her sister was born in 1973.
Then, when Parshley was 13, their father passed away from skin cancer. After going to college, she became a real-estate agent, with the hopes of buying her mother a new home.
However, in a sad turn of events, her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007 and passed away 12 days later.
But, she recovered from the loss with the help of her best friends – a support network that inspired her to develop
“I think the three of them really, really stepped up to the plate when I had that empty feeling, that void in my life,” she said, and added that she wants to give the same opportunity to her site’s users.
However, Parshley warned that like on all social networking sites, people can post whatever information they want on their profiles, whether it’s genuine or not.
She recommended meeting in a public place, and doing background checks on people before inviting them into a home.
“I always tell everybody that you have to follow your gut instinct and your best judgment when you’re meeting someone,” Parshley said. “You’ve got to listen very, very closely.”
Because the site is not intended for sex and dating, it invites less predators, Parshley believes. It’s about building familial and mentoring relationships based on trust and understanding, she said.
“Over time and getting to know someone and developing that comfort and that safety that we all long for in these people,” Parshley said, “you can develop an unconditional love for someone.”

104th Precinct weekly blotter

Monday, Mar. 5

Merrill Villanneva was arrested at Maurice Avenue and the Long Island Expressway for driving while intoxicated by Officer Fenton.
Krysztof Korytkowski was arrested at 79-80 77th Road for assault by Detective Geis.
Krysztof Szelzgowski was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for filing a false report by Officer Cadavid.

Tuesday, Mar. 6

Jose Baez was arrested at 861 Cypress Avenue for robbery by Detective Murray.
Rodolfo Molina was arrested at Myrtle Avenue and Saint Nicholas for criminal possession of a weapon by Officer Sciame.
Joseph Montalto was arrested at 75-33 67th Road for criminal trespass by Officer Lodato.
Yu Fang was arrested at Fresh Pond Road and Bleecker Street for trademark counterfeiting by Officer Wynter.
Dylan Morganstern was arrested at 64-02Catalpa Avenue for obstruction of governmental administration by Officer Friedrich.

Wednesday, Mar. 7

Nora Donavan was arrested at 57-11 Myrtle Avenue for petit larceny by Officer Oliveri.
Christopher Barbara was arrested at 20-12 Harman Street for assault by Officer Florio.
Steven Lazzarz was arrested at Flushing Avenue and Troutman Street for outstanding warrants by Officer Rodriguez.
Christopher Maley was arrested at 19-49 Troutman Street for assault by Officer Lodato.

Thursday, Mar. 8

Kevin May was arrested at 57-11 Myrtle Avenue for criminal possession of stolen property by Officer Ricottone.
Pedro Montes De Dea was arrested at Grove Street and Woodward Avenue for unauthorized use of a vehicle by Officer Varecka.
Shawn Hines was arrested at Forest Avenue and Greene Avenue for forgery by Officer Sciame.
Lubov Pavskyy was arrested at 19-37 Woodbine Street for assault in the third degree by Officer Rogers.
Jian Qi was arrested at 58-89 56th Street for driving while intoxicated by Officer Miller.

Friday, Mar. 9

Antonio B. Wright was arrested at 59-36 Cooper Avenue for assault by Officer May.
Michael Rund was arrested at Hart Street and Onderdonk Avenue for criminal possession of a weapon by Officer Peart.
Ergys Fundo was arrested at Fresh Pond Road and 68th Road for criminal possession of a weapon by Officer Wynter.
Jason Goyco was arrested at Palmetto Street and Forest Avenue for grand larceny by Officer Saoler.

Saturday, Mar. 10

Richard Deno was arrested at Clove Place and Cypress Avenue for a forged instrument by Officer Sunden.
Felix Roman was arrested at Rust Street and Flushing Avenue for driving while intoxicated by Officer Fox.

Saturday, Mar. 11

Raymond Bardroff was arrested at 62nd Street and 74th Avenue for criminal mischief by Officer Reyes.
Matthew Moya was arrested at 69th Street and Myrtle Avenue for criminal mischief by Officer McElligott.

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