Queens County DA Richard Brown set to retire. Will the 12-year vendetta against Gounden continue?
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is investigating an officer from the 106 precinct who may have colluded with an auxiliary officer in a case where the defendant claims he was framed.
The defendant, Kris Gounden, has been arrested nearly a dozen times in an alleged vendetta extending 12 years by officers from the 106 precinct. The Black Star News has covered many of the cases stemming from these serial arrests and subsequent prosecutions by outgoing Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown’s office.
This new NYPD investigation follows a bombshell revelation by prosecutors in Queens Criminal Court Tuesday that Evaline Orovco, wife of Joseph Adorno the auxiliary officer who pressed charges against Gounden for allegedly hitting him with his car, now says she is prepared to testify that her husband made up the whole thing.
Gounden is currently on trial in Queens criminal court based on his last arrest, on Feb. 5, 2018, stemming from Adorno’s claims.
Adorno claimed Gounden struck him with his vehicle while he was walking, and drove away from the scene on Feb. 5, 2018. Gounden claimed he was the actual victim; that Adorno who had been driving a black BMW –not walking– rear-ended his own car, deliberately, several times, while he’d stopped at a red light in Queens.
Gounden made two 911 calls after the incident, as outlined in my previous Black Star News columns. When officers from the 106 precinct responded to Gounden’s call, they ignored the narrative of the incident that he provided, sided with Adorno’s and Orovco’s accounts –even though they apparently never called 911– and arrested Gounden. The arresting officer, Carlos Bello and his partner, as well as Adorno and Orovco, were unaware that Gounden secretly recorded the entire exchange outside his home.
Adorno, who claimed he’d been struck by Gounden had miraculously managed to drive and chase him back to his house.
Gounden’s recording revealed that: Adorno and Orovco claimed Joseph was struck after he had stepped out of a B.J.’s store, while Gounden can be heard vehemently denying that he had ever been near B.J.’s on that date; and, even though Adorno and Orovco told the responding officers that they’d recorded the alleged hit-and-run on their cell phone, Officer Bello never demands to see this recording and also tells Gounden that he hadn’t seen the video. A copy of a video later provided to Gounden by the district attorney shows an empty road ahead of a moving vehicle –with no automobile or person in view; a male and female voice can be heard saying “There he is! There he is!” In addition to not supporting Adorno’s and Orovco’s claim that they’d recorded the hit-and-run, it’s not even clear when the purported recording of less than a minute was made.
After the Feb. 5, 2018 incident, Adorno filed an insurance claim against Gounden’s insurer, Allstate. He reportedly collected more than $14,000.
The inconsistencies in Adorno’s apparent lies may come back to haunt him and could be the reason why Orovco no longer wants anything to do with the matter.
In his testimony before Allstate lawyer Daniel Gilley on April 26, 2018, during an examination under oath (EUO), Adorno offered testimony that repudiated his own Feb. 5, 2018 police statement to arresting officer Bello. Adorno started off on a slippery slope when, in response to a question by Gilley, he confirmed that he had been driving on the day he claimed he was struck while walking. His own lawyer had to remind him that he had just emerged from his vehicle when he was struck.
Adorno also: gave a different location for where the alleged hit-and-run occurred–this time there was no mention of a B.J.’s hardware store; this time, Adorno claimed he had actually just emerged from his vehicle to go see his mechanic, near his home, when Gounden drove by and struck him; and, even though an intake report Feb. 5, 2018 by Queens County assistant district attorney Bryan Cox, reviewed by The Black Star News, states that Adorno reported being struck in the hand, he now claimed in his Allstate testimony that he experienced pain in his neck and back–no mention of the hand; and, Adorno couldn’t remember the name of the doctor who treated him.
Remarkably, even though Gilley seemed skeptical and also questioned Adorno about previous claims he’d filed as a victim of vehicular accidents, Allstate still paid Adorno’s insurance claim. “I don’t know why Allstate paid Adorno unless they are in on the whole thing,” Gounden said. “Maybe they do too much business with the NYPD?”
Adorno wasn’t alone in building his mountain of lies.
Even though Gounden’s secretly-made recording reveals that Adorno told the arresting officers that Gounden struck him after he’d just emerged from a B.J.’s store, when Officer Bello of the 106 precinct wrote his police report, he changed the address of the incident to match the location that Gounden had provided in his two 911 calls.
The Black Star News previously forwarded a copy of the Gounden recording to the NYPD, Queens DA Brown, and to New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.
The uncoordinated lies seem to be unraveling.
On Tuesday, with both sides appearing before Judge Michelle Johnson, an assistant district attorney told the judge that on Feb. 22, he’d provided Gounden’s court-appointed lawyer Michael Schwed with a “Brady type revelation,” which is a reference to potentially exculpatory evidence. The ADA then said, “The complainant’s wife Evaline Orovco states of complainant ‘I’m just going to go to court and tell them that you’re lying…”
Later, Gounden told The Black Star News, “This is what I’ve been saying for over a year. I hope the judge [dismisses] this bogus case and that police action is taken against Joseph Adorno.” Gounden said Schwed never told him about the revelation and he’d only heard about it while standing before Judge Johnson.
Schwed didn’t respond to a request for comment by publication time.
“We are looking into the matter,” NYPD spokesperson Jessica McRorie confirmed to The Black Star News when contacted for comment regarding Adorno’s police statement and Officer Bello’s apparent role in the incident.
“The Queens district attorney’s office does not comment on pending cases,” spokesperson Ikimulisa Livingston said in a statement when asked whether Adorno is now a suspect and if the Queens DA plans to continue with the prosecution of Gounden.
“Due to this ongoing investigation, we cannot comment at this time,” Christina Kelly, Allstate spokesperson, said when asked about the apparent fraudulent insurance claim by Joseph Adorno that the company paid out.
An NYPD Internal Affairs investigator said “There seems to be a conspiracy.”
Tuesday also Judge Johnson denied Gounden’s motion to dismiss his attorney from the case for ineffective counsel. The Gounden secret recording makes it clear Officer Bello arrested Gounden at his home where Adorno and Orovco had driven after him. Yet in one of the concocted charges Bello claimed Gounden had been driving with a suspended license; in addition to not having been driving at the time of his arrest at home where Bello responded, Gounden has a Florida license. This is one of the many instances of police and prosecutorial misconduct addressed in the motion.
In the past year alone, Gounden has been fired from nearly 10 jobs; when each new employer conducts a background check they discover records of a pending case even though they are based on false arrests as in this Adorno and Bello case.
Gounden says his ordeal with the 106 precinct and the Queens DA’s office began in 2007 after his family, ethnic Indians from Guyana, were victims of a racist attack by a White neighbor, when they first purchased their home –a two-house waterfront property for $800,000– in Howard Beach. An NYPD officer at the time told the New York Daily News in an article under the headline “Family Haunted By Hate,” that the incident was akin to “something out of the Deep South, or the backwoods, circa 1950.”
Gounden claims after publicity from the widely-covered attack died down, and police protection withdrawn, the vendetta from the 106 precinct and the Queens DA’s office started, apparently to drive him from Howard Beach.
At the time of the reported racist attack, then New York City Council member –now State Senator– Joseph Addabbo, Jr., told The Daily News that it was Gounden who’d played the race card.
Gounden eventually lost his Howard Beach home and even his wife, but that’s a column for another day.
Gounden’s next court date is March 22. The trial was postponed on the last two court dates because the assistant district attorney assigned to try the case was purportedly sick. One previous case against Gounden dragged on for over two years and included courtroom shenanigans by an ADA before he was acquitted by Judge Johnson.