Mayor Bill de Blasio said finding the killer of Menachem Stark is a priority and condemned the New York Post’s coverage of the incident.
De Blasio, who was criticized in the Orthodox media for his silence in the case, ripped the Post for its Jan. 4 front page blaring “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?” next to a photo of Stark, 39, sporting a large shtreimel and graying side curls.
“It was unfair. It was hurtful. And there is really no place for that kind of thing in New York City,” de Blasio told the WMCA’s Orthodox-interest “Community Matters” radio program hosted by Leon Goldenberg, who was a supporter of de Blasio’s campaign for City Hall. “I know a lot of people are outraged, and I share their outrage.
“And I know that for many, many people in the Jewish community this has been a very painful moment and I want to say: First of all, we are going to get to the bottom of it. We will find who did this to him and who robbed children of a father and a wife of a husband.”
Meanwhile, the 2002 Dodge Caravan van with Pennsylvania plates used by the two people who snatched Stark from outside his Williamsburg office late on the evening of Jan. 2 was found by police who are searching it for clues, the Daily News reported. Sources told the paper a man using the van, which has been cleaned, was questioned but not charged,
WABC-TV reported over the weekend that a cellphone used as a tracking device was found taped under Stark’s car. Police are trying to identify the phone’s owner. Cops are reportedly operating under the theory that the captors wanted to scare Stark, who was heavily in debt, but killed him by mistake.
Stark’s body was found Jan. 3 in Great Neck 16 miles away from his office in Williamsburg, from where he was kidnapped the previous evening.
“The NYPD and other law enforcement personnel are to be commended for their tireless efforts in this case,” said State Sen. Simcha Felder in a statement. Felder represents Flatbush, Borough Park and other Brooklyn areas.
“The police and federal authorities have made solving this murder a top priority from the beginning. While Mr. Stark’s murderer(s) remain at large, the recent developments seem very promising. I am cautiously optimistic that the discovery of the van will prove to be a turning point in the case, and will ultimately lead police to the perpetrator(s) responsible for this vile and heinous act.