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San Juan Police helicopter shot down, co-pilot dead
Puerto Rico Daily Sun ^ | 5/06/2010 | Jose Alvarado Vega

Posted on 05/06/2010 5:33:01 AM PDT by cll

The civilian co-pilot of a San Juan municipal police helicopter attacked by gunmen Tuesday night died of his wounds Wednesday afternoon at the Río Piedras Medical Center, a Daily Sun source said.

The co-pilot, Jesús Fernando Quiñones Santiago, was injured Tuesday night along with Municipal Police officer Eduardo Meléndez Alvelo, when gunmen fired at least 31 shots at the helicopter they were riding during a high-speed chase over the San José sector of Río Piedras.

Doctors had to remove a bullet lodged in Quiñones Santiago, who was shot in the back. Meléndez Alvelo, who police said had bullet fragments near his armpit, was reportedly in stable condition and recovering at the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

The 11 people who were arrested by municipal police in connection with the incident, however, were set free after a San Juan prosecutor found that there was insufficient evidence to charge them. The FBI as well as state and municipal police are investigating the incident.

Police spokesman Damaris Pereira said the co-pilot and the police officer were hit when they helped pursue a driver after running a traffic stop on Blanes Street in Barriada Israel around 9:21 p.m. Tuesday.

Pereira said that as the suspect, José Gutiérrez Santana, was arrested and found with ammunition in his 2008 red Toyota Yaris vehicle, a group of men nearby began firing at the helicopter.

Quiñones Santiago and Meléndez Alvelo were wounded by the shots. The pilot, José Rivera, who was unhurt in the incident, was forced to land in the San José baseball field.

Municipal Police officer Shakira Báez, who gave chase and arrested Gutiérrez Santana, was unhurt.

Police Homicide Director Lt. José Rivera Alicea told the Daily Sun that municipal police found 33 bullet casings from a 223 caliber rifle on Aranjuez Street, from where police said the shots had came from. He said that police found munitions in vehicles in the area and detained 11 people as a result. Police Spokesman Eduardo Rodríguez said three were suspected of having fired the shots.

A San Juan prosecutor determined Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to charge the 11 people, who were set free, said Rivera Alicea, adding that the FBI is investigating the incident because attempting to destroy an aircraft is a federal crime. He said that FBI agents and officials from the Federal Aviation Administration had questioned area residents on Wednesday.

He said that the joint investigation had turned up some leads on the suspected shooters.

“It could have been much worse had the helicopter lost control and crashed,” said Rivera Alicea, who added that a softball game was taking place at the San José baseball field where the helicopter made the emergency landing.

Gov. Fortuño said during a press conference earlier in the day that “this type of act is unacceptable in Puerto Rico.”

“There already are 11 individuals in custody at this time, who we believe are responsible for this act. To these and others who believe they can have their way, we want to them to know that we will not permit this,” the governor said of the helicopter incident, unaware that no charges would be filed against any of them in connection with the incident.

In fact, the governor did not explain how law enforcement officials would prevent a similar incident from happening.

“As far as I know [something like this] has not happened before, but it may have and I did not know about it. We are simply not going to permit this level of violence,” Fortuño said.

Daily Sun staff writer Xavira Neggers Crescioni contributed to this story.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: aviation; leo; pr; puertorico
Low and slow = sitting duck.
1 posted on 05/06/2010 5:33:02 AM PDT by cll
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To: rrstar96; AuH2ORepublican; livius; adorno; wtc911; Willie Green; CGVet58; Clemenza; Narcoleptic; ...
Puerto Rico Ping! Please Freepmail me if you want on or off the list.


2 posted on 05/06/2010 5:34:13 AM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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To: cll

Yes, they are ready for statehood...


3 posted on 05/06/2010 5:35:11 AM PDT by johnandrhonda (have you hugged your banjo today?)
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To: cll

Wow. Puerto Rico is part of the United States how long before this happens in Calipornia? Texas?


4 posted on 05/06/2010 5:36:02 AM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: cll

Sit on a second vest when in a chopper?


5 posted on 05/06/2010 5:38:16 AM PDT by Paladin2 (to satisfy the social justice requirement)
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To: cll

I’m kind of surprised it doesn’t happen more often.


6 posted on 05/06/2010 5:41:46 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( - Free Men will always be armed with the Truth. -)
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To: cll

Very sad what has happened to the island. My husband’s family is from there and I have visited many times over the last few decades and couldn’t believe how it has deteriorioted since the 70’s and 80’s. If it wasn’t for the high crime rate, drugs and high unemployment, it might have been a nice place to retire. This is a shocking story.


7 posted on 05/06/2010 5:47:08 AM PDT by jersey117
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To: cll

Set them up? Red car, runs from stop, leads chopper past ambush point...

Does not sound random.


8 posted on 05/06/2010 5:48:56 AM PDT by JimRed (To water the Tree of Liberty is to excise a cancer before it kills us. TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: GeronL

The culture and Law Enforcement in Texas is quite different than California. I have known a couple of Texas Rangers, and they are very capable.

That said, there have been incidents along the border that no one can ignore. Generally against Border Patrol, but even some civilians have been held or shot.


9 posted on 05/06/2010 5:49:15 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.)
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To: smokingfrog
“I’m kind of surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”
Me too. Especially in cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles.

One of the contributers, Daily Sun staff writer Xavira Neggers Crescioni probably should think about dropping or changing his middle name. It probably is OK in Puerto Rico, but if he has any plans of forwarding his career stateside, he is in deep doodoo.

10 posted on 05/06/2010 5:51:16 AM PDT by Tupelo
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To: GeronL

Wow. Puerto Rico is part of the United States how long before this happens in Calipornia? Texas?

4 posted on Thursday, May 06, 2010 8:36:02 AM by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)-———————————In the incident ofThe officer that was shot the other day in Arizona, articles said they were shooting at police helicopters...


11 posted on 05/06/2010 5:53:29 AM PDT by Freddd (CNN is down to Three Hundred Thousand viewers. But they worked for it.)
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To: cll

I didn’t realize that the Amish had made it to PR!


12 posted on 05/06/2010 6:31:38 AM PDT by Redleg Duke (RAT Hunting Season started the evening of March 21st, 2010!)
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To: smokingfrog
I’m kind of surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
Despite their relatively slow speed Helicopters are not an easy target to hit, especially if the shooter has no experience shooting at flying objects and does not know how to lead one
13 posted on 05/06/2010 6:36:02 AM PDT by usmcobra (Your chances of dying in bed are reduced by getting out of it, but most people still die in bed)
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To: cll

Hey! Let’s make them a state!


14 posted on 05/06/2010 6:39:01 AM PDT by Royal Wulff
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To: Redleg Duke

Actually, I disagree with the governor. This type of behavior is not only acceptable for Puerto Rico, it’s what we’ve come to expect.

There has to be a joke in there somewhere if it weren’t so darned serious I mean, what does the driver of the get away vehicle hope to accomplish with a high speed escape? I mean aren’t they on an island? There is a limited amount of space before the road dead ends or do they just ride around in circles until either the car or the helicopter runs out of gas?


15 posted on 05/06/2010 6:39:32 AM PDT by johnnycap
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To: usmcobra

I saw this helicopter on target from about a 1/4 of a mile before it made the forced landing. He was at a stationary hover of about one hundred feet AGL.


16 posted on 05/06/2010 6:40:40 AM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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To: johnnycap
This island is the size of Connecticut.
17 posted on 05/06/2010 6:41:42 AM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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To: johnandrhonda


Yes, they are ready for statehood...

Well, it does look like they are ahead of some our gangs in Los Angeles!
At least I don’t recall any of our gangs yet downing an actual helicopter.

(But I suspect the LAPD knows better than to fly their helis in
some areas of Los Angeles!!!)


18 posted on 05/06/2010 6:45:48 AM PDT by VOA
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To: cll

RIP.


19 posted on 05/06/2010 6:51:10 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: cll

Then it is the pilot’s fault.


20 posted on 05/06/2010 6:53:56 AM PDT by usmcobra (Your chances of dying in bed are reduced by getting out of it, but most people still die in bed)
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To: johnandrhonda

What a great area which needs to get statehood....sarc/


21 posted on 05/06/2010 7:35:31 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: cll

Scratch Puerto Rico off the list of stops next time around..


22 posted on 05/06/2010 7:47:05 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Chuck DeVore - CA Senator. Believe.)
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To: Redleg Duke
I didn’t realize that the Amish had made it to PR!

just the cockfighting congregants

23 posted on 05/06/2010 8:01:32 AM PDT by wardaddy (never been particularly pious but I stand with Franklin Graham...bigtime...you betcha...ya'll)
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To: johnnycap; Redleg Duke; cll
I believe that San Juan has the highest murder rate of any city over 100K in the United States (if it is included with the mainland). Even charming Old San Juan is has some scary neighborhoods nearby, kinda like the Casco Viejo in Panama City or the French Quarter in New Orleans for that matter.

Of course, the Commonwealth government seems to believe that allowing average citizens to carry firearms to defend themselves against the thugocracy in SJ would be "uncivilized." The elites in both major political parties in PR still maintain a delusional attitude toward the level of violent crime (or the Potemkin-like economy for that matter), and I think PR is long overdue for the Bourgeois mainland wannabes to be thrown out.

24 posted on 05/06/2010 9:10:42 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: cll

Makes me sick............

It’s like the friggin’ “O.K. Corral” down there.........

Sick.........


25 posted on 05/06/2010 10:48:11 AM PDT by SilvieWaldorfMD
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To: cll
I recommend trading in that bird for an Apache with Hellfire missiles. Just a thought. :-)
26 posted on 05/06/2010 10:52:38 AM PDT by verity (Obama Lies - Obongo must go!)
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To: SilvieWaldorfMD

If it’s any consolation, the community turned the rifle used in the shooting over to the police. The FBI made a positive match with the impacts. The neighbors also ran the perp out of the barrio and ID him to the police.


27 posted on 05/18/2010 6:34:01 AM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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To: cll

Wow... qué milagro!

I’m glad people are starting to speak up and report this to the police.


28 posted on 05/18/2010 11:52:23 AM PDT by SilvieWaldorfMD
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To: SilvieWaldorfMD

http://www.elnuevodia.com/acusanjovenpormuertedepilotojesusfernandoquinones-706626.html

18 Mayo 2010
2:41 p.m.
Acusan joven por muerte de piloto Jesús Fernando Quiñones
Edwin Bernard Astacio no ha sido arrestado, pero las autoridades mantienen conversaciones con su abogado para tramitar su entrega

POr ELNUEVODIA.COM

Las autoridades federales acusaron hoy a un joven identificado como Edwin Bernard Astacio por la muerte del piloto Jesús Fernando Quiñones, ocurrida el pasado 4 de mayo mientras patrullaba con un helicóptero de la Policía Municipal de San Juan por la comunidad San José en San Juan.

Bernard Astacio no ha sido arrestado, pero las autoridades mantienen conversaciones con su abogado para tramitar su entrega. De ser encontrado culpable, Bernard Astacio podría ser sentenciado a la pena de muerte, indicó la fiscal federal, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez.

Bernard Astacio enfrenta tres cargos relacionados al incidente.

Se ofrecieron $25,000 de recompensa a las personas que brinden detalles sobre el sujeto.

El asesinato del piloto de 38 años ocurrió cuando el helicóptero municipal acudió a dar apoyo a una patrulla municipal que perseguía un auto Yaris rojo, entre las barriadas Israel y San José de Río Piedras. Agentes municipales y estatales arrestaron a José Gutiérrez Santana con cinco cargadores y municiones, pero al menos otro sujeto escapó a pie.

El helicóptero se posó sobre la barriada a unos 300 pies de altura para alumbrar y localizar a los que huían cuando varios individuos le dispararon desde la calle Aranjuez, según la Policía. Dos disparos de rifle atravesaron el fuselaje de la nave y uno de ellos hirió mortalmente por la espalda a Quiñones Santiago, mientras que otro hirió levemente al policía municipal Eduardo Alvelo.


29 posted on 05/18/2010 12:05:53 PM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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