Tuesday, November 18, 2008

After fatal crash, families fuming that Daryush Omar, eyed in slay was on loose, the Pakistani illegal murdered a man 2 years ago in NYC

Outraged relatives of three people allegedly killed by the same man - one two years ago and the others over the weekend - demanded to know Monday why he had been free. BY NICOLE BODE and CORKY SIEMASZKO DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS Tuesday, November 18th 2008, 1:11 AM, The anger came as Daryush Omar was jailed for plowing his SUV into the cab of Bessy Velasquez on Sunday, killing her and her passenger, Panayiota Demetriou.

"Justice has to start kicking in," the cabbie's pal, Ivonne Maldonado, said at her friend's home in Brooklyn. "If they would have stopped that man from the beginning maybe this wouldn't have happened." Omar left Velasquez's daughters without their mother. "He took all that the little girls had left," she said.

In Astoria, Demetriou's angry friends demanded answers. "A loved one is gone as a result of someone who shouldn't have been on the street in the first place," said Christos Kontos. "It's just unfair at the end of the day." Another friend, Chrystalla Toumarides, said, "I know that New York doesn't have the electric chair, but they should lock that man up and throw away the key."

Thomas Whitney Sr., whose 24-year-old banker son, Thomas, was Omar's first victim - prosecutors say - said he has felt that same frustration for two years. "Hopefully he gets convicted on this DUI crime and he does his time," said Whitney, whose son was killed in 2006. "They shouldn't let him back out on the streets."

At least this time he'll stay put, officials said. Immigration officials put a hold on Omar after the drunken driving arrest, meaning the feds would take custody of him if he makes bail in the DUI case. A 24-year-old resident alien who lived in Plainview, L.I., Omar was born in a Pakistani refugee camp. Sources said they believe he is an Afghan.

Omar was charged with Whitney's May 2006 murder, but the case stalled because prosecutors could not locate witnesses. The US tried to deport Omar, but neither country would take him. Under a 2001 Supreme Court ruling, the feds couldn't kick Omar out of the U.S. So he was released in April, fitted with an ankle bracelet and ordered to check in regularly.

"He had complied appropriately" with all ICE supervisory regulations, said Kelly Nantel, spokeswoman for Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Until Sunday. At 3:58 a.m., Omar ran the red light at 31st Ave. and 34th St. in Astoria and rammed his Range Rover at 45 mph into Velasquez's cab, police said. Reeking of liquor and slurring his words, Omar at first denied he was behind the wheel, a criminal complaint charges.

Omar was arraigned on vehicular manslaughter charges and a raft of other counts. He faces 15 years in jail if convicted. Arraigned with him was the almost as detestable 42-year-old Evangelos Fotiou, who ghoulishly tried to snatch the victims' wallets as they lay dying. He was released and ordered to perform community service.
FEDS MIGHT SPRING 'KILLER' DARYUSH OMAR, DESPERATE HUNT FOR WITNESSES; NYP By JEANE MacINTOSH, September 21, 2007, A Pakistani immigrant, suspected of robbing and murdering a young financial analyst who innocently asked him for directions outside a Chelsea club last year, will walk free unless eyewitnesses to the coldblooded crime come forward, investigators told The Post. Daryush Omar, 21, a resident alien, and two cohorts were charged with murdering Thomas Whitney, Jr., 24, outside the West 19th Street hot spot Spy Lounge on May, 21, 2006, after allegedly stealing his wallet and pounding him with a steel pipe into the ground.

Immigration has been detaining Omar in an out-of-state lockup for the Manhattan DA's Office while investigators build a case in the brutal killing.

"It's unbelievable," said the victim's frustrated father, Thomas Whitney Sr. "If you're an alien, you're in this country as a guest. If you abuse that privilege, you shouldn't get to stay here. "

According to Whitney and investigators, Omar's lawyer has found "a legal loophole" that will allow him to stay in the country - whether or not he's indicted. "They can't deport him. We've been told somewhere along the line he renounced his original citizenship. No country will take him," Whitney said.
Omar, Najob Noor, 20, and Williullah Hashimi, 23, were nabbed after cops released video surveillance footage of them using Whitney's credit cards to buy gas, clothing and sneakers. Three others - Jaweed Farhadai, 25, Abdullah Khan, 21, and Salem Qurbani, 22 - were also arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property. A seventh suspect, Haron Gholam, 18, was sentenced in July to eight years in prison, convicted of gang assault for goading on the actual attackers in the case. Of the seven total suspects (Muslim Gang), all but one are immigrants, from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

Bill Warner
Private Investigator