Police Blotter: November 30, 2016


(17th Precinct)
Police arrested two men and charged them with the murder of Joseph Comunale, whose body was found in Oceanport, New Jersey, on November 16. The two male suspects, James Rackover, a 25-year-old Upper East Side resident, and Lawrence Dilione, a 28-year-old New Jersey resident, face prosecution for second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse, and tampering with physical evidence. Dilione was additionally charged with the hindering of prosecution. Rackover is known as the “surrogate son” of prominent jeweler Jeffrey Rackover. Police said that on November 15 Connecticut law enforcement contacted the NYPD regarding the missing 26-year-old Comunale, who lived in Stamford. According to police, he was last seen at Rackover’s residence at 418 East 59th Street, on November 13 at around 7:30 a.m. Police said Comunale was stabbed 15 times in Rackover’s apartment, where it looked like the two tried to cover up the blood with bleach. Police did not identify a motive for the killing.

(24th Precinct)
A 59-year-old Upper West Side cyclist was hit and killed by the driver of a white box truck at West 88th Street and Broadway on November 17 at around 11:30 p.m., according to police. The preliminary investigation showed that the 30-year-old truck driver was going north on Broadway when he swerved to avoid a parked vehicle at West 88th Street and hit the cyclist, Jing Yin Jiang, who was riding an electric bicycle. When police arrived, they found Jiang unresponsive and unconscious and had EMS transport him to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was declared dead. The driver had remained on the scene of the tragedy, and police said the investigation is still ongoing.

(20th Precinct)
Two guys yelled anti-white sentiments at a pair of victims before hitting one of them with a skateboard and stealing his jacket on November 18 at around 6:30 p.m., police said. According to police, the two victims were on West End Avenue between West 76th and 77th Streets when they were approached by the slur-slinging suspects. One of the suspects hit a male victim in the face with a skateboard and pushed a female victim to the ground, police said. Afterward, they stole the man’s jacket and fled to an unknown location, according to police. Both victims were attended to by EMS and transported to St. Luke’s Hospital.

Police released the video above of the suspects, whom they describe as a male with dark complexion, 5’10”, and last seen wearing dark clothing and a black helmet and holding a skateboard, and a male with a light complexion, 6’4”, possibly a pink Mohawk, and last seen wearing dark-colored clothing.

Atanasiu Bogdan-Valentin. | DCPI
Atanasiu Bogdan-Valentin. | DCPI

The police are looking for two suspects in connection with citywide incidents of skimming devices placed on hospital ATMs. According to police, the devices were installed between August 24 and November 1 and allowed the suspects to create copies for making unauthorized cash withdrawals. Skimming devices were installed at Memorial Sloan Kettering at 1275 York Avenue, between East 67th and 68th Streets, at New York Presbyterian Hospital at 525 East 68th Street, and at hospitals in Brooklyn and Queens.

Suspect #2. | DCPI
Suspect #2. | DCPI

Police identified one suspect as Atanasiu Bogdan-Valentin, 36, and are looking for another man. Police released photos of Bogdan-Valentin and the second suspect, whom they describe as a mustached man last seen wearing a green hat, green shirt, green jacket, and dark frame glasses.


(24th Precinct)
A 19-year-old was shot in his left shoulder on September 4 at around 12:30 a.m. in front of 845 Columbus Avenue, between West 101st and 102nd Streets, police said. The victim was transported to Harlem Hospital in stable condition, and the police are looking for an individual who entered the location with what looked like a gun in his waistband. Police released photos of that individual, whom they describe as a black male in his early 20s, 5’11” and last seen wearing a two-toned blue sweater and blue jeans.

(Midtown North Precinct)
Six victims between May 25 and November 6 had their property stolen as they waited for the actors of the famous hip-hop musical “Hamilton” outside of the Richard Rodgers Theater at 226 West 46th Street, police said. According to police, an individual used the victims’ credit cards for a shopping spree of more than $2,200 at various locations including Macy’s, Junior’s, Rite Aid, Target, DSW, Burlington Coat Factory, and Duane Reade.

Police released the videos above of the suspect, whom they describe as a black female with black hair and glasses, last seen wearing a black jacket, a grey sweater, black pants, and a grey scarf.

(23rd Precinct)
Police discovered an unconscious Philip Erby inside his 325 East 106th Street home on November 27 at around 8:30 p.m. According to police, the 72-year-old victim was seen with a cut to the head and was transported to Metropolitan Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead. Police said there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

Midtown North Precinct
306 West 54th Street

Midtown South Precinct
357 West 35th Street

17th Precinct
167 East 51st Street

19th Precinct
153 East 67th Street

20th Precinct
120 West 82nd Street

23rd Precinct
162 East 102nd Street

24th Precinct
151 West 100th Street

26th Precinct
520 West 126th Street

Central Park Precinct
86th Street and Transverse Road