June 16, 2024

NYPD links East Elmhurst shooting suspect to 80 robberies

 

The New York Police Department NYPD has identified the suspect involved in last night’s officer-involved shooting in East Elmhurst as Bernardo Raul Castro Mata, a 19-year-old with no prior arrests in New York City. However, he is suspected in a series of robberies across Queens, part of a disturbing new trend involving motorized scooters and motorbikes.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny provided a detailed account of the incident and the broader implications for city crime. Castro, currently residing at the former Courtyard Marriott Hotel—now a shelter for migrants—at 90-10 Ditmars Boulevard, was caught illegally operating an unregistered motorbike the wrong way down a one-way street.

This activity was part of a broader pattern of scooter and motorbike-related crimes plaguing the city.

“The investigation is still ongoing, but what we know so far is that our shooter has been identified as Bernardo Raul Castro Mata,” said Chief Kenny. “He has no prior arrest in New York City. However, he is the suspect in several robbery patterns currently going on in the borough of Queens.”

Watch the broadcast of the Chief Kenny.

 

Chief Kenny highlighted a significant uptick in crimes involving motorized scooters and motorcycles. “From January 1st to June 1st, 2022, there were zero robbery patterns involving these vehicles. The same period in 2023 saw 20 robbery patterns. Year to date so far this year, January 1st to June 1st, 2024, we have over 80 robbery patterns citywide involving incidents where the perpetrators are riding motorized scooters or motorcycles.”

This dramatic rise in scooter-related crimes, including shootings, robberies, and phone snatches, represents a major challenge for law enforcement. “That’s over 80 robbery patterns alone, encompassing hundreds of incidents,” Kenny emphasized.

During the incident, Castro was observed driving an unregistered motorbike, contributing to the growing trend of crime facilitated by such vehicles.

He was shot by police and is currently receiving treatment for a gunshot wound to his right leg at New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital. He is expected to survive.

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