Today’s news:

Major crime declines in 110th, 115th precincts

Overall major crimes for the year were down from 2007 levels in the 110th and 115th precincts, but robberies were on the rise in the 115th and felony assaults were more plentiful in both precincts, police statistics through Dec. 21 showed.

In the 110th, which covers Elmhurst and Corona, the number of major index crimes was down 2.4 percent. The Police Department tracks murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft.

The number of assaults in the 110th climbed to 272 from 255 in 2007, a 6.6 percent increase. There were four murders in the 110th in 2008, the same as 2007.

One of the victims was a bailarina, a girl paid by men to dance with her at Latino clubs in Corona and Jackson Heights. Adrena Valderrama, 24, was shot dead Jan. 17, 2008, when a patron who had been thrown out after a fight came back and opened fire from the doorway of the club, police said. The suspect, identified as Cruz Garcia, was still at large, police said.

Another victim was a 7−week−old baby whose mother allegedly shook him to death, police said. Corona resident Kiana Paez, 22, was charged with murder after taking her son, Pablo, to Elmhurst Hospital with severe injuries, police said. Pablo died April 25.

A third victim in the 110th died on 98th Street after an apparent shooting, police said. Corona resident Mario Rei, 31, was initially thought to have been hit by a car until police arriving at the scene found that he had been shot twice in the torso. Police were still looking for Rei’s killer.

The 115th, which covers Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst, also saw a 2.4 percent drop in the major index crimes. However, assaults rose to 249 from 216 in 2007, a 15.2 percent increase. The 115th also had 370 robberies in 2008, compared with 334 in 2007, an increase of 10.7 percent.

Murders were down in the 115th, with three in 2008 compared with five in 2007.

In the 115th, the first murder of the year was a dispute between employees at the restaurant Pio Pio at 84−13 Northern Blvd., police said. On Jan. 4, 2008, Corona resident Josue Susano, 23, was accused of fatally stabbing 37−year−old Marcos Escobar, also of Corona, according to police.

On July 10, 2008, 22−year−old Jose Fuentes allegedly stabbed 17−year−old Carlos Rios in front of a Laundromat on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, police said. Fuentes was apprehended a short distance away and charged with murder, police said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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