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A borough livery cab driver has been nabbed on a different kind of DWI charge — Driving While Intolerant.
The manhunt for the racist who peppered Brownstone Brooklyn and Bay Ridge with thin strips of paper reading “KILL JEWS” has ended in Long Island with the arrest of 37-year-old Demestrios Apolonides, cops say.
Apolonides, who lives in Bay Ridge, was arrested by Nassau County detectives on Wednesday for disseminating his biased directives in Rockville Centre, Manhasset and West Hempstead.
Nassau County Police Lt. Kevin Smith told 1010 WINS that Apolonides deposited his hate-filled notes wherever he dropped off fares.
“He took small pieces of paper, approximately one inch by three inches, with the words, ‘KILL JEWS’ on it, and he would distribute it wherever his duties would take him,” Smith explained, adding that Apolonides has been linked to at least nine incidents stretching back to September, 2009. He’s facing four years in prison if convicted.
The same strips of paper have littered Brownstone Brooklyn in repeated incidents last October. And in January, they were seen blowing across Sixth Avenue between Fourth and Ninth streets, where they ended up in the hands of school children.
Local officials have not charged Apolonides, despite a promise from Borough President Markowitz last year that this “sick person consumed with self hate” would be “apprehended and receive the proper punishment.”
The connections between the notes found in Brooklyn and Long Island couldn’t be more iron clad.
Besides being a Brooklyn resident, Apolonides also worked for XYZ Luxury Sedan Service, which is headquartered on 20th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, when the notes were distributed throughout Brooklyn and Long Island, police said.
XYZ fired him just before his arrest, police said.
Then there’s this: Lt. Smith told reporters that when his investigators collected the hate messages, they learned the notes had been written on the back of a form used by XYZ.
But Park Slope resident Karen Guilbert knew that months ago after she, too, put the pieces of evidence together — with tape.
“Someone is trying to be a taxi driver,” Guilbert told The Brooklyn Paper, telling us in January that she believed the notes were connected to a taxi school. “I sure hope I don’t end up in his car.”
Attempts to reach a manager at XYZ, as well as Apolonides’s attorney, were unsuccessful by Wednesday night.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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