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Machete-wielding man slashes neighbor, sets himself on fire, Wall Street Journal

A Bronx man is in critical condition at Saint Barnabus hospital, after allegedly attacking his neighbor with a machete, dousing himself with flammable liquid, and setting himself and the house he was in on fire, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Police say the man, who is identified as Teddy John, 36, may have been involved in a long-running dispute with the family of the machete attack victim, 65-year-old Hobart Barrow.

The incident happened just before 9 a.m. Sunday on 2447 Southern Boulevard, south of Fordham Road. Barrow was treated in hospital for lacerations, and later released. Police are investigating.


Posted in Newswire0 Comments

Bronx college student found shot in the head

Bedford Park residents on "pins and needles" after the killing of 25-year-old Kennedy Brown.

A 25-year-old college student and father of twins was fatally shot early Saturday morning in the Bedford Park area of the Bronx.

Police said Bronx resident Kennedy Brown was found with a gunshot wound to the head in front of an apartment building on Decatur Avenue off of 197th Street just before 2 a.m. Brown was taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives on the scene of the shooting said that no arrests have been made, and that the investigation is ongoing.

Shocked friends and family said they could find no explanation for Brown’s shooting. Neighborhood residents said Brown was at at a party Friday night that got “out of control.”

Several mourners gathered Saturday around a makeshift memorial a few feet from where Brown was killed said he was studying liberal arts at the College of New Rochelle in the northeast Bronx, and was a father to twins, a boy and a girl.

One woman, who described herself as a close friend, said Brown was a book-smart jokester that was loved by everyone in the neighborhood.

“He was a good boy,” said Justine Valazquez, 25, who grew up with Brown in Bedford Park. “He was funny, he was always making people laugh.”

Many on the street looked visibly shaken. One young man broke down crying in front of the memorial of lit candles, beer bottles, and written messages to Brown.  Most refused to speak about the circumstances around Brown’s killing, saying that everyone in the neighborhood was on “pins and needles.”

Two miles away on 176th Street, several family members and friends grieved inside Brown’s second-floor apartment, where he lived with his mother.

Brown’s mother declined to speak about her son, saying only, “my son is dead.” Other family members called the killing “senseless,” and asked to be left alone.


Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Crime, Featured, North Central Bronx0 Comments

Burned Quran could be a hate crime

Members of the Masjid Hefaz mosque still rattled

On the morning before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Imam Ifa Yahha made a jarring discovery outside the Masjid Hefaz mosque.

An unmarked package stuffed with roast meat, a photo of Osama bin Laden, mysterious white powder, and the burned remains of a Quran was placed in front of the door on East 198th Street off the Grand Concourse, said a mosque member.

“As far as I know, nothing of this magnitude has happened before,” said Fahaam Razack, 27, a nursing student at Lehman College who has attended the mosque since he was 14. Razack said some neighborhood residents had been known to yell at mosque members as they entered the building to pray, but that’s where it ended.

“I am upset that this happened,” said Razack, who sits on the board of the mosque. “But I can understand. Most people don’t understand Islam.”

Deputy Inspector Joseph Dowling of the 52nd Precinct said the police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, and that no arrests have been made. The fact that police have not identified a suspect leaves many in the community on edge.

One resident said he is not surprised by this most recent ugly incident.

“It’s a mad world,” said Edward Froustet, a 62-year-old Roman Catholic who lives a few doors down from the mosque. “The neighborhood in the past 20 years or more has been about gangs, groups and drugs. It will never stop.”

Members of the mosque are taking measures to add more security to the property, such as surveillance cameras. At least a hundred worshippers, mainly immigrants from Ghana and Somalia, attend services and classes at Masjid Hefaz every week including about 30 children.

Razack hopes that with more community outreach about Islam, mosque members will be left in peace.

“It’s a major misunderstanding. We need to do more in the community to fight against wrong information about Islam,” said Razack.

Posted in Bronx Beats, Crime, East Bronx, North Central Bronx0 Comments

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