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Family Moves to Greenburgh, Son Arrested Next Day

GREENNBURGH, N.Y. — Deryck Mckenzie said he moved to Greenburgh because he believed it was safer than Mount Vernon or New York City, the places he lived before.

“I just want to live in peace and quiet,” said Mckenzie, sitting on a couch inside his two-story house on Gibson Avenue.

He moved into his new home last Wednesday. His first two days in town, however, weren’t exactly peaceful. Thursday evening, his 18-year-old son Jakeem was arrested and charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Shauntae Aponte, 21, Greenburgh police said.

Deryck Mckenzie said his son doesn’t have a violent nature and that he will let the court decide his fate.

“He is a good kid,” he said. “He was just caught up in a situation.”

Mckenzie, 48, an emergency medical technician (EMT) in New York City, raised his nine children on his own. Five of them are already independent, he said, while Jakeem and three daughters ages 17, 16 and 4, plus a 1-year-old granddaughter, live him at Gibson Avenue, he said.

“I took custody of them,” he said.

A 9/11 first responder, Deryck got trapped by debris after the World Trade Center collapsed, suffering fractures in his hands and feet, he said.

“After 9/11, I am just terrified by New York City,” said Deryck, who was born in Brooklyn, adding that he found Greenburgh entirely by accident.

“I just got on Metro North one day and just started searching,” he said.

He seemed unfazed by the incident with his son, calling it only “unexpected.”

“Kids are going to be kids,” he said. “I want to take a day at a time and keep saving lives.”

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