New York Knicks second year forward Cleanthony Early was shot and robbed toward the end of December 2015 as he left CityScapes strip club in Maspeth, Queens, NY. The incident made front pages and was a major talking point on sports programs across the country. Early was shot in his right knee, relieved of his jewelry, gold teeth caps, money and iPhone and interestingly enough, police traced the stolen phone to Bedford-Stuvyeasant, Brooklyn before it was deactivated.
Today, police believe that a man that had been arrested for a different armed robbery months earlier outside of a nightclub in Queens might be connected to the Early incident, this based on similar tactics used in both crimes.
Kareen Brown, 27, is charged with participating in a Sept. 6, 2015 robbery of three persons at the Purlieu Club in Astoria, according to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Brown is not charged with the Dec. 30 attack on Early, nor is it mentioned in his court papers, but there are similarities between the two crimes, sources noted.
Brown and his accomplices allegedly boxed in the victims’ car with their vehicles — just like the Uber cab occupied by Early and his gal pal Iliana Douge was surrounded in Maspeth after they left the CityScapes strip joint. A team of four robbers carried out the Purlieu Club robbery and as many as six bandits wearing ski masks accosted Early, police said.
Brown’s crew may have had inside help on the Purlieu Club job — when the three victims tried to retrieve their car from the valet parking lot around 6 a.m., they were told the keys had been lost, according to the complaint.
While they waited for a locksmith, Brown allegedly drove up in front of their car and asked if they were looking for their keys. A second car pulled in behind the victims’ car and Brown announced a robbery, cops say.
The silver lining in all of this is that Early may be able to return to the court as soon as March according to reports.