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Friday, December 28, 2012

Top Stories For New York In 2012


10. Scandal hit close to home for

 NYPD's top cop when news broke 

that his son, Fox 5 anchor Greg 

Kelly, was accused of rape. Kelly's 

accuser claimed she shared drinks 

with him at a South Street Seaport 

bar the previous October before the two went to her Wall Street 

office, where he raped her. The woman told police she became 

pregnant from the encounter and later had an abortion. The NYPD 

handed the case to the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which 

reviewed text messages between Kelly, who maintained his 

innocence, and his accuser after the night of the alleged incident. 

The DA declined to file charges against Kelly, stating "the facts 

established during our investigation do not fit the definitions of 

sexual assault crimes under New York criminal law."


9. Terror struck outside the Empire State Building when a 

disgruntled former worker opened fired on the morning of Aug. 23. 

Jeffrey Johnson had lost his job at Hazan Imports, located within 

the building, in the past year. He encountered former co-worker 

Steven Ercolino outside the building, shooting him in the head and 

close range, killing him. Johnson turned the gun on police when the 

confronted him and officers shot and killed him. Nine other people 

were injured in the crossfire. 


8. A Bronx teenager was followed into his home on Feb. 2 and shot 

by an NYPD officer in his bathroom. Ramarley Graham, who was 

unarmed, was reportedly trying to flush a small amount of 

marijuana down the toilet. He died from a single gunshot. Officer 

Richard Haste pleaded not guilty in June to manslaughter in the 

death of the 18-year-old. Haste was in an undercover narcotics unit, 

and officers reportedly said they thought Graham had a gun. 

Graham's death sparked outrage in the community from those who 

insisted minorities are unfairly targeted by the NYPD.


7. New York is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which 

claimed 43 lives in the five boroughs. The superstorm blew ashore 

on Oct. 29, bringing death and destruction with it. Hundreds of 

thousands of homes were left without power. Subway service was 

snarled for months and the MTA estimates it will take $4.75 billion 

to fully restore the subway to the state it was in before Sandy 

ravaged the tunnels and flooded stations. The immediate aftermath 

at the storm prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cancel the 

much-anticipated New York City Marathon. 


6. The NYPD foiled a potentially deadly plot to blow up the Federal 

Reserve Bank. 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan 

Nafis, a Bangladeshi national, was arrested on Oct. 17 after 

investigators said he parked a van containing what he believed to be 

a 1,000-pound bomb outside the Federal Reserve Bank. Nafis is 

accused of conspiring with an undercover agent to detonate the 

bomb from a downtown hotel. This was the 15th foiled terror plot 

by the NYPD since 9/11. 


5. Occupy Wall Street, between periods of hibernation, made 

several comeback-style splashes, including a May Day protest that 

turned out thousands of supporters. 86 people were arrested during 

a full day of pickets and marches. On the movement's Sept. 17 

anniversary, activists once again filled the streets, this time with 

181 of them ending up in cuffs. The movement reemerged in 

November with its Occupy Sandy campaign, organizing supplies 

and sending volunteers to NYC's hardest hit areas by Hurricane 

Sandy. 


4. A 33-year-old cold case reemerged in the headlines when a 

suspect was charged in the murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz. Pedro 

Hernandez, 51, confessed to police that he lured Patz into a SoHo 

basement on May 25, 1979, by offering him a soda. Hernandez, a 

bodega clerk, said he strangled the boy before wrapping his body in 

plastic wrap and putting it in the trash. He eventually moved to 

New Jersey, where he reportedly told family members multiple 

times over the years that he had "done a bad thing and killed a child 

in New York." Hernandez's attorney insists his confession should 

not stand because his client suffers from schizophrenia and 

hallucinations. 


3. Just hours after news of the so-called cannibal cop broke, the city 

was shocked again when two children were brutally murdered. Six-

year-old Lucia Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim were fatally stabbed 

in their family's Upper West Side apartment. Their nanny, Yoselyn 

Ortega, was discovered in the same room with self-inflicted stab 

wounds, police said. The children's mother, Marina Krim, came 

home to horrific scene with another one of her children. Ortega, 50, 

was taken to the hospital where she remained for weeks after the 

incident. She was charged with the murders of the children and 

pleaded not guilty on Nov. 27. 


2. In a story that shocked the entire country, an NYPD cop was 

charged in a twisted plot to cook and eat women he kidnapped in 

October. Gilberto Valle, 28, is accused of having graphic online 

conversations detailing his plans to abduct women, some of whom 

he knew personally, and cook them while still alive. Investigators 

said Valle, of Queens, kept a file of photos and addresses for at 

least 100 women, some of whom he had recorded surveillance. 

Valle pleaded not guilty in November, his defense arguing the 

conversations were just fantasy. He is set for trail on January 22. 


1. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's so-called soda ban shook things up 

on both sides of the aisle when it was overwhelming approved by 

the Board of Health on Sept. 13. The decision means New Yorkers 

will be limited to sugary drinks in 16-ounce containers or less in 

restaurants, bodegas, food carts and theaters. Critics blasted the 

plan as yet another infringement on personal liberties by 

Bloomberg's "nanny state." But health advocates herald the ban as 

a key weapon in the fight against obesity. New Yorkers will feel the 

effects in the new year, when the ban goes into effect in 2013.
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