Asian Long-Horned Beetle // Photo by David J. Barber

A Dead Body Floats to Powell’s Cove and Nasty Sexts Spark Women’s Safety Initiative

By Evan Rosen

Dead Body Discovered Near Powell’s Cove

On Thursday morning, the NYPD’s Harbor Unit recovered the unresponsive body of a man who appeared to be in his 40s that was floating on the surface of the East River. The body was discovered near 127th Street and Powells Cove Boulevard in College Point. The man was pronounced dead after being evaluated by EMS at the local College Point Yacht Club. The cause of death was unknown as of Friday evening. Medical examiners will attempt to determine when and how the body ended up there. Police have also opened an investigation.

O’Connell Park Visitors Are Still Holding It In

Regulars at the Daniel M. O’Connell Playground in St. Albans have been holding it in for three years, ever since the Parks Department pledged to renovate the restrooms. Work was supposed to be completed by May 2016, but everything went wrong after the department bundled the contract with two other projects for $1.2 million and the contractor failed to complete the job. The contract was later declared in default, leaving the city to try to recoup the money through a performance bond. Council Member Daneek Miller told the Queens Chronicle that the city has to hold Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and his staff accountable for the delay. “That the community has been forced to endure a lowered standard of services for such a prolonged period is an outrage,” he said during a speech Friday. The new bathrooms will not be ready in time for the park’s 14th annual Jump & Ball Tournament, sponsored by rapper/actor LL Cool J, which takes place this month.

Is That an Asian Longhorned Beetle in Your Pool Filter?

It very well could be, and if so, the state asks that you report it. The invasive insects have been known to burrow into hardwood trees, like maple or willows, and are known to clog pool filters. The Department of Environmental Conservation, in an effort to economically and efficiently protect the city’s trees from has requested that pool owners periodically check their filters throughout August. If you see insects resembling the ALB, email a photo to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov or mail the specimens to the DEC for identification. According to the USDA, the beetles are black with white spots and have long, black and white antennae. Some signs they leave behind in trees include exit holes smaller than a dime, egg sites smaller than a quarter and dead or fallen branches.

Unwanted Sexts Spark Movement to Improve Victims’ Safety

When building worker Jonathan Aviles sent six different women text messages containing pictures of his penis, he lost his job. But police said they could not charge him for his predatory behavior because spamming women with pictures of genitalia is not a crime. State lawmakers learned of the issue and started working to rewrite the aggravated harassment law, which only referred to phone “calls” and had never been updated to mention text messages. “I am working with Sen. [Liz] Krueger to draft legislation which would hold individuals who engage in this kind of disturbing behavior to account,” Assembly Members Edward Braunstein (D-Queens) told the New York Post. However, defense lawyer Mark Bederow believes the police could prosecute right now because at least one of the interactions Aviles had with a woman constitutes as “stalking.” The NYPD responded that the case is not closed, and they are continuing to look into the matter further.

Update on Florida Tourist Who Was Fatally Punched

Last week the Eagle reported on the death of Sabor Szabo, a Florida man who died from a punch after mistaking a car for his Uber ride. Szabo was visiting Long Island City for a wedding. Jamill Jones, an assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest University, was identified as the man who landed the fatal blow.. Witnesses said Szabo was drunkenly banging on multiple cars outside 41-10 29th St. in Long Island City, when a local resident heard the commotion and came outside. Szabo then punched this man, and Jones then approached Szabo and punched him. After falling and hitting his head on the pavement, Szabo was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he would later succumb to his injuries. Jones surrendered, accompanied by his lawyer, on Thursday morning and is awaiting trial at Queens Criminal Court. Read more coverage on page 10.

It’s Movie Monday in Queens

There are two great movie screenings coming up in Queens this week. On Monday night at 7:30 p.m., the movie Wonder is being shown at Lower Highland Playground, located at Jamaica Avenue and Elton Street. The movie is based on the New York Times bestselling book which tells the heartwarming tale of a fifth-grader with facial differences who attends a mainstream elementary school for the first time. Organizers recommend that attended bring blanket or low chair to the screening. Tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m., Alley Pond Park hosts another movie night, this time featuring The Lion King, the timeless Disney classic. The event is sponsored by Council Member Barry Grodenchik.

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