Week in Rewind: ICC passes on Van Cortlandt Park cricket stadium, fentanyl operation cover-up at NYC day care, uncertainties around Bally’s Throggs Neck shuttle, and Soundview ‘precinct shooter’ pleads guilty

New Courtroom
Robert Williams pleaded guilty on Aug. 31, 2023, to attempted murder charges after shooting up a police precinct and injuring several cops in February 2020.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

The Week in Rewind spotlights some of the editorial work of the Bronx Times for the week of Sept. 15- Sept. 22.

Cricket stadium opponents relieved with ICC’s decision to nix Van Cortlandt Park proposal, opt for Long Island site

Local Bronx organizations and politicians opposed to a temporary 34,000-seat cricket stadium proposal for Van Cortlandt Park rejoiced on Wednesday — after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced it had nixed the park from its list of U.S. locations for next year’s World Cup, instead opting for a site on Long Island. 

“Our initial reaction was excitement and relief that this was not going to happen,” said Christina Taylor, the deputy director of the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, in an interview with the Bronx Times. The alliance, a 501(c)3, aims to preserve and promote recreational, ecological and historical value of Van Cortlandt Park. “From the beginning we were very concerned about this being placed in our park and the damage that it would do.”

According to the ICC’s announcement Wednesday, a new 34,000-seat modular stadium at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County will be the local location for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 instead of the Parade Grounds in the southeast corner of Van Cortlandt Park, which Mayor Eric Adams had been lobbying for.

The International Cricket Council announced on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, that it had selected Eisenhower Park in Long Island as one of three host sites for the T20 World Cup. One of the proposed locations had been Van Cortlandt Park, pictured. Photo ET Rodriguez

NYC day care operator tried to cover up fentanyl operation before 1-year-old’s death, feds allege

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of a New York City day care center where a 1-year-old child died after being exposed to fentanyl took steps to cover up her involvement in a sprawling drug operation, even as medics rushed to treat several children in her care who were poisoned by the opioid, federal prosecutors said.

The day care owner, Grei Mendez, and a man who rented a room from her, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, were hit with new federal narcotics conspiracy charges Tuesday. They were previously charged in state court with murder of “depraved indifference” in the death of 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici.

Authorities said they are currently seeking a third suspect, Mendez’s husband and a cousin to Brito, who fled shortly after learning of the apparent exposure.

Officials say they discovered a kilogram of fentanyl stored on top of playmats used by children who attended the day care, which was run out of a small Bronx apartment. They also found multiple devices for mixing the powder with other narcotics and pressing it into bricks.

The fentanyl is believed to have sickened four children, including Dominici, who died Friday afternoon. Three others — ranging in age from 8 months to 2 years old — were hospitalized.

Mayor Eric Adams and top police brass hold a press conference at Montefiore Hospital during the early hours of Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.Screenshot courtesy X

Long-term plans for Bally’s Throggs Neck shuttle unclear; Fernandez hopes for MTA takeover

Bally’s shuttle bus to and from the Throggs Neck ferry landing isn’t guaranteed for the long run, and one local leader hopes the route will be commandeered by the MTA down the road, the Bronx Times has learned.

The bright red shuttle, which is being fully funded by the Bally’s Corporation, was unveiled at a press conference at Ferry Point Park Monday morning. The corporation is seeking a full casino license to operate beside the public golf course in Ferry Point Park, which the company took over from The Trump Organization last week.

The bus, which will connect several East Bronx stops with the Throggs Neck ferry, was the brainchild of Throggs Neck Business Improvement District Executive Director Bob Jaen and a committee of local leaders he put together with Joe Kelleher, the former chair of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, who died last year.

However, the longevity of the shuttle is unclear.

red and white bus
The length of the trial period for the red and white Bally’s-branded shuttle bus is unclear.Photo Aliya Schneider

Soundview resident dubbed the ‘precinct shooter’ pleads guilty for 2020 attack on NYPD

More than three years after opening fire on a Bronx precinct and injuring two cops during a 12-hour rampage, 49-year-old Robert Williams pleaded guilty to attempted murder charges.

Williams, a Soundview resident, made his plea in Bronx Criminal Court on Aug. 31, in connection with two separate shooting incidents involving police in early 2020. He pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder in the first degree, therefore waiving his right to a trial.

Each count carries a 23 years-to-life sentence — in which both counts would run concurrent, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office.

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