Most Memorable Moments of 2012

By Ben Fractenberg on December 28, 2012 1:52pm 

NEW YORK CITY — From the agony of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath to the ecstasy of the Giants Super Bowl victory, 2012 took New Yorkers on an emotional roller-coaster ride.

DNAinfo.com New York looks back at some of the year's most dramatic photos to remember the highs and lows of the year.

JANUARY

After barely making it into the playoffs, Big Blue started 2012 with a bang by once again earning an improbable Super Bowl title by defeating the New England Patriots for the second time in four years. It set the stage for a jubilant February homecoming parade in the Canyon of Heroes, followed by a ceremony in which Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the team the keys to the city.

FEBRUARY

NYPD officer Kevin Brennan, who survived being shot in the head in Bushwick by a man wanted for questioning in a murder, received a standing ovation from fellow officers as he left Bellevue Hospital. Brennan was later promoted to sergeant during a NYPD ceremony in June.

Hundreds of Bronx residents protested the killing of unarmed teen Ramarley Graham, who was shot to death inside his own home. Police said they believed Graham was part of a drug buy and feared Graham was hiding a weapon in his waistband. Narcotics officer Richard Haste was later charged with two counts of manslaughter for shooting Graham in the chest.

MARCH

Throngs of paradegoers marched down Fifth Avenue in celebration of the 251st anniversary of the St. Patrick's Day parade.

DNAinfo.com New York broke the story about "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina, who was accused of running an escort service out of an Upper East Side apartment.

Gristina later pleaded guilty and has said she will pen a tell-all book, possibly outing moguls, sports stars and celebrities who used her services.

APRIL

Warm early-spring weather brought an unusually large number of bee swarms to the city. NYPD bee expert Anthony "Tony Bees" Planakis responded to many of them, bringing some swarms back to his Queens home.

The legendary unsolved case of missing child Etan Patz, who disappeared in 1979 after walking to his SoHo school bus stop for the first time alone, was reopened when investigators searched a basement on Prince Street looking for clues in his disappearance.

While the search did not yield any new evidence, police later arrested New Jersey resident Pedro Hernandez, who worked near the bus stop when Patz went missing, after he confessed to kidnapping and murdering the child.

His defense attorney, Harvey Fishbein, said Hernandez suffers from schizophrenia and that is statements are "not reliable."

MAY

Occupy Wall Street celebrated May Day — an international celebration of workers rights on May 1 — by organizing a march with labor unions that stretched from Union Square to lower Manhattan.

JUNE

Temperatures soared into the upper 90s during the first official day of summer, sending New Yorkers in search of ways to try and cool down.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama visited the World Trade Center to thank construction crews working to rebuild it.

Obama later looked over the 9/11 Memorial from the 22nd floor of One World Trade Center, sharing a quiet moment with his wife.

JULY

A Harlem couple who filmed police performing stop-and-frisks were dubbed "professional agitators" on an NYPD wanted poster that included their photos, names and home address in Harlem's 28th Precinct.

The NYPD later said it would remove all posters of Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 26. They were later acquitted or had all of the charges against them dropped, including felony assault and disorderly conduct charges stemming from confrontations with the NYPD.

Harley Flanagan, a founding member of the influential hardcore band Cro-Mags, was arrested and charged with stabbing and biting two members of the band backstage during a CMJ event at Webster Hall.

Flanagan claimed he was the one who was attacked and the charges against him were later dropped.

AUGUST

Mourners of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, who was shot and killed by a stay bullet in a Bronx playground, gathered for his funeral in Harlem.

Speaking passionately during the service, Rev. Al Sharpton called for community leaders to "Occupy the Corner" by being out in public to help make their neighborhoods safer.

Less than a month after Morgan's funeral, 13-year-old Ronald Wallace was gunned down in Brownsville.

SEPTEMBER

Firefighters and family members gathered at their Red Hook firehouse to remember seven of their colleagues killed 11 years before on Sept. 11, 2001.

Family and friends gathered across the street from a Bronx bodega to protest the accidental killing of 20-year-old Reynaldo Cuevas, who was shot by a police officer while fleeing armed men robbing the store where he worked.

Occupy Wall Street marked the one-year anniversary of their movement through marches and acts of civil disobedience around Zuccotti Park.

OCTOBER

Hurricane Sandy slammed the city, flooding low-lying areas from lower Manhattan and Red Hook to Staten Island and the Rockaways.

Dozens of New Yorkers died in the hurricane, including those who drowned in their homes in  Midland Beach and New Dorp. Emergency workers found the bodies of people who tried to ride out the storm for weeks after the hurricane.

Scores of homes in Breezy Point were destroyed by a fire that ripped through the beachfront community during the hurricane. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of residents were left in the cold and dark due to power outages.

NOVEMBER

Despite many buildings still being without power, relocated polling stations and long lines, New Yorkers still turned out to vote in large numbers, sending President Barack Obama back to the White House for a second term.

An 80-foot Norway spruce sparkled with 30,000 multicolored LED lights during the annual Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.

A Brooklyn Supreme Court jury convicted Hasidic Jewish counselor Nechemya Weberman of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl starting when she was 12, sending shockwaves through the insular Orthodox Satmar sect. The trial was riddled with alleged attempts to intimidate the victim in the case. Several men were arrested in advance of the trial after allegedly trying to pay her $50,000 to drop her allegations, and several more were arrested during the victim's testimony after taking photos of her on the stand, at least one of which ended up on Twitter.

DECEMBER

More than 100 people packed into a Queens funeral home to mourn the death of 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han, who was pushed into the subway tracks at 49th Street and Seventh Avenue and then crushed by an oncoming train while he tried to climb back on the platform.

Shocking surveillance footage showed 31-year-old Brandon Lincoln Woodard seconds before an assassin shot him in the back of the head on a busy midtown street in broad daylight.

A 60-foot finback whale that was found beached in Breezy Point later died and will be buried on the same beach it was discovered.

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