Nabe bias attack ignites political battle


Thursday, August 30th 2007, 4:00 AM

An alleged bias attack in Howard Beach has reignited a political rivalry and spawned calls for City Councilman Joseph Addabbo's resignation.


Albert Baldeo, a declared state Senate candidate and head of a southern Queens community group, is demanding that Addabbo step down for televised remarks he made after a Guyanese American family was allegedly threatened by a white neighbor screaming racial epithets.


"Councilman Addabbo is reckless and perverted," said Baldeo. "He should set a better example and not pit people of different races against each other."


But Addabbo said yesterday his quotes were taken out of context, and accused Baldeo of a politically motivated attack.


"When an unfortunate situation is used for political gain, it's sad," said Addabbo, who is considering a run for  the 15th Senate District seat.


At issue is a WABC-TV newscast in which Addabbo seemed to suggest the family brought on the attack themselves by committing a series of building code violations.


Addabbo said WABC reporter Jim Dolan jumped into the middle of an interview with other reporters and asked the councilman a question while he was responding to another issue.


"It was unprofessional of Jim Dolan," Addabbo said.


Dolan did not respond to calls seeking comment.


Kris Gounden's story made headlines last week when a neighbor allegedly attacked him with a baseball bat while yelling racial epithets.


Gounden said he was repeatedly harassed by neighbors and city officials since his family moved into the Hamilton Beach section of Howard Beach 17 months ago.


Neighbors regularly urinated on his lawn, and called city agencies to file false complaints against him because of his race, Gounden said.


"Hamilton Beach is like the Wild, Wild West," he said. "We're thinking about selling and moving to a more minority-friendly neighborhood."


Gounden's house is now monitored 24 hours a day by a squad car from the 106th Precinct parked outside.


He said he reached out to Addabbo for help in 2006, but never received any.


"I worked and tried my best to help Mr. Gounden," Addabbo countered. "I went to his house, and said, 'Let's try and work this out with the neighbors.'"


Baldeo said his calls for Addabbo's resignations are not politically motivated.


"The family is being held hostage, and the elected official has failed to do the right thing," Baldeo said.


In 2005, Baldeo was charged with aiming a gun at a political rival's wife and threatening to kill her family if her husband, Robert Mahadeo, did not withdraw from a City Council race. The charges were later dropped.


Baldeo ran for the 15th Senate District seat last year but narrowly lost to incumbent Serphin Maltese.

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