Regional Briefs – September 12, 2016

Soon-to-Be NYPD Chief O’Neill’s Replacement Chosen

NEW YORK – Assistant Chief Terence Monahan will become the NYPD’s chief of patrol, replacing the man who will take Jimmy O’Neill’s job as chief of department, the New York Post reported. O’Neill is replacing Commissioner Bill Bratton.

Arson Was Cause of Massive Fire at Recycling Plant

LOCKPORT, N.Y. – A fire that tore through an upstate tire recycling plant earlier this month which killed a teenager was intentionally set, the Niagara Gazette reported. It started Aug. 10 at the sprawling High Tread International recycling plant and burned for nearly three days. About 250 firefighters from dozens of fire companies battled the blaze.

Man Who Forced Statue of Liberty Evacuation Avoids Prison

NEW YORK – A man who forced the evacuation of thousands of people from Liberty Island by calling in a bomb threat last year was sentenced Monday to time served, The Associated Press reported. The judge said that an actual sentence for Jason Paul Smith, 43, would harm the psychological progress he made after his arrest. He lives at a homeless shelter and is deaf.

Woman Attacks Two Muslim Women Pushing Strollers

BROOKLYN – A Brooklyn woman attacked two Muslim mothers Thursday as they were pushing their young children in strollers and tried to rip off one woman’s hijab, The Associated Press reported. Emirjeta Xhelili punched one of them in the head as she screamed obscenities and told her to leave America. She faces hate crime charges.

NYC’s First Case of West Nile Virus Turns Up

BROOKLYN – The season’s first human case of West Nile virus in NYC showed up in Brooklyn, the Health Department said Monday. The man was over 40 and had other underlying medical conditions. The city has done nine rounds of spraying, mainly to prevent the Zika virus.

Jury Selection Begins in Second Etan Patz Trial

NEW YORK – Jury selection began Monday in the second trial of the former bodega clerk accused of abducting and killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979, the Daily News reported. The jury panel groaned when the judge said the Pedro Hernandez trial would last through January, but promised an experience where “you will almost never be bored.”