Today’s news:

Roundup of shopping carts clears trash in Dutch Kills

TimesLedger Newspapers

Several western Queens residents are praising police from the 114th Precinct who they said teamed up with the city Sanitation Department to remove more than one dozen shopping carts stuffed with garbage around Dutch Kills.

“This was just trash tied to polls in the neighborhood,” said Community Board 1 member George Stamatiades. “That kind of activity is what brings down the neighborhood.”

Residents said that on Aug. 16, police located and carted away 17 grocery carts in and around Dutch Kills along with the city’s Strongest. In the process, officials encountered a man who neighbors said claimed ownership of the items.

Orlando Martinez, 52, who was using the carts, was arrested, according to sources familiar with the case.

He began screaming and blocking the entrance of the subway at Northern Boulevard and 36th Street, causing a crowd to form, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office.

Police said when they tried to handcuff him, Martinez flailed his arms and twisted his body, according to the complaint. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, the DA’s office said.

“My understanding was there was some personal effects, even some money,” Stamatiades said about the contents of the carts.

An area resident said the contents included hubcaps, a five-year-old People magazine with a $20 bill stuffed into Page 10 as well as plastic bags with scooped dog feces.

Since Martinez’s arrest, residents said they are happy to report no more new trash-filled carts have appeared in the area.

“They are gone. Their garbage is gone. The neighborhood is better,” Stamatiades said. “Every piece of paper that is picked off the street improves the street, improves the community — even one piece of paper.”

Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at timesledgerphotos@gmail.com or by phone at 718-260-4589.

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