2010-01-13 / Front Page

Hunt Suspects In Livery Murder

By Liz Goff

Detectives at the 114th Precinct Squad are searching for two suspects who shot and killed a 62-year-old livery driver in a botched robbery on 11th Street in Long Island City on January 8. The incident marks the first homicide of 2010 in the 114th Precinct.

Police sources said Jaroslaw Bielawski, a father of two, was found slumped in the front seat of his Lincoln Town Car at about 8 p.m. on Friday, just steps from the headquarters of Crosslands Corporate Transportation, the livery firm he drove for.

Sources said Bielawski was parked across the street from the livery firm, where he worked a night shift. Bielawski was waiting to pick up his boss when he was shot.

Investigators believe Bielawski was ambushed by two men who attempted to rob him, but left empty-handed. “He didn’t know what hit him,” sources said. “He didn’t stand a chance of fighting back.”

Local residents reported hearing two shots. “It was like, pop, pop,” said a woman who lives on 11th Street. “It was really fast.”
Police said one of the rounds fired by the gunman shattered the driver’s side window and struck Bielawski in the head.
Both suspects fled in a car with Pennsylvania license plates, sources said.

Police are urging anyone with information on the suspects to call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. The Hotline is offering a $2,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

Recently released statistics show overall crime has plummeted 9.7 per cent in the 114th Precinct since this time last year, while the murder rate remained the same as 2008.

The Astoria precinct reported four homicides in 2009, including the murder of Carmen Saldana-Mundo, 23, whose body was found by her mother in their 30th Avenue apartment in July. Police are still searching for a suspect in the murder.

A second murder occurred on August 8 at the intersection of 35th Avenue and 21st Street where a 33-year-old man was struck and killed by a black Range Rover. The driver was arrested at the scene, police said.

A third homicide took place on October 18, when Michael Chatfield, 31, of Long Island City, was shot twice in the torso as he sat idling his car on 24th Street and 20th Avenue. Chatfield managed to drive himself to Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens, where he died shortly after his arrival. No arrests have been made in the murder.

The 114th Precinct’s last homicide of 2009 took place on December 24 when 16-year-old Cyan Brown stabbed ex-con Thomas Winston, 29, following an argument between Brown, Winston and several other men outside the F train subway station on 21st Street and 41st Avenue.

Brown surrendered to detectives at the 114th Precinct Squad several days after the stabbing, and was charged with manslaughter.

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