Police Watch: Senior assaulted in Union Square, Man arrested for separate Union Square assault

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING SENIOR ON TRAIN TO UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 26-year-old Jesus Reyes for allegedly assaulting a senior, fracturing a bone in his face, inside the Union Square subway station over the weekend. Police said that on Sunday, June 10 at 10:45 p.m., the 71-year-old victim was riding an uptown 4/5 train from Fulton Street to Union Square when Reyes allegedly began cursing at him and taunting him.
When the train pulled into Union Square, Reyes allegedly continued to taunt the victim and ultimately pushed him to the ground, causing him to fall onto the platform and injure his face. Police said that the victim later learned at the hospital that the fall had caused a fracture in the bones around his left eye.
An attorney for Reyes could not be reached for comment by T&V’s press time.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED UNION SQUARE ASSAULT
Police arrested 24-year-old Gage Quinones for an alleged assault and weapons possession at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street on Friday, June 15 shortly after 11 a.m. The victim flagged down a police officer in Union Square Park, saying he had been assaulted there last night and that Quinones, who was in the park at the time, was the one who did it.
The victim told police that he was talking with a friend in the park the night before around 11 p.m. when Quinones allegedly hit him in the back of the head with something, causing cuts on the left side of his face and head that required stitches. The victim said that he might have been hit with a bike lock and when Quinones was searched, he was allegedly in possession of a key chain to a bike lock, and his bike, the chain and lock were recovered from in front of 31 East 17th Street.

MAN BUSTED FOR BIKE THEFTS
Police arrested 59-year-old William Hernandez for an alleged theft in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Wednesday, June 13 at 5 p.m. Police said that Hernandez could be seen on video surveillance removing a bicycle from in front of the hospital without permission and when he was searched, he was allegedly in possession of bolt cutters, a tool commonly used to steal bicycles. After he was arrested, Hernandez was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly stealing another bike in front of Bellevue on January 18, 2017. He was charged with burglar’s tools and petit larceny for the incident this month.

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Opinion: Fixing rents and making enemies

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

It is said that a good deal is one in which neither party is entirely satisfied. More about that in a moment.

Rent regulations in New York City has been a thorny issue for decades. So a little recent history. The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) was established in 1969 and modified by the passage of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974. There are nine members of the RGB all appointed by the mayor. Of the nine, two are from the real estate industry, two representatives of tenant groups and five “public members.”

The RGB will meet on June 26 to set rent increases for leases that will expire beginning on October 1 through September 30, 2019. Currently, increases are set at 1.25 percent for a one-year lease and two percent for a two-year lease. Based on the proposals that have been recommended for public comment by the RGB, next year’s guidelines will be similar. There have been years where the rent increases rose into the double digits and there have been years that rents have been frozen. Generally speaking whatever the RGB decides, both tenants and owners cry foul. This year will be no different.

The fact is that try as they may, the RGB satisfies nobody. Moreover, it is difficult to do any planning because nobody knows what the rents will be set at from year to year. It is also a very dubious claim that the decision by the RGB is tied to any real economic data in terms of owners’ costs or profits and certainly not taking into consideration the financial burdens on tenants. In short, it is an arbitrary and often political process.

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Pushcart to become Citizens of Gramercy

Rogers (Photo courtesy of Carlina Rivera)

By Sabina Mollot

This week, a reader alerted us to the fact that Pushcart coffee at the corner of 21st Street and Second Avenue, had signage indicating it would be closing on June 14. She then spoke with an employee who said the place was sold and would reopen as a brunch spot.

After we reached out to one of the owners, Jamie Rogers, he responded that this was partly accurate.

“We are converting the shop into a brunch cafe under the new name Citizens of Gramercy, and I will remain an owner,” he said via email.

Rogers added that he and his partners did the same conversion to a Pushcart in Chelsea (Citizens of Chelsea).

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Con Ed to begin work on gas plant remediation wells

The gas works and storage tanks of Con Ed’s predecessor company in 1890. (Photo courtesy of Con Ed)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents appeared more concerned about communication regarding Con Edison’s plan to dispose of toxic waste left behind from the property’s days as a manufactured gas plant than about the project itself during an information session hosted in Stuy Town last Thursday evening.

“We understand that it has to be done,” resident Sherry Kirschenbaum said. “Rick (Hayduk, the property’s general manager) said they will be working with Con Edison throughout the project. Our concerns were allayed.”

Con Ed expects the wells to remain in place for the foreseeable future but representatives said the most disruptive part of the project will be the drilling.

“We’ll be starting the drilling (during the day) once people are already at work and at school and the sonic drill rake we use is more of a hum,” Con Edison engineer Ken Kaiser said. “If there are complaints about noise, we could use some kind of baffling to muffle the sound.”

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Man murdered in Kips Bay, suspect arrested

Friends House on East 25th StreetFriends House on East 25th Street (Photo via Wikimedia)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 40-year-old homeless man on Sunday for the stabbing death of a 54-year-old man, Moses Ybarra, inside an apartment complex on East 25th Street over the weekend.

Ashraf Ahmed allegedly stabbed Ybarra inside his apartment at 130 East 25th Street in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 9. Ybarra had multiple stab wounds to his chest, forehead, arms and leg, and there was blood all over the room, the district attorney’s office said.

Police also reportedly recovered two bloody knives next to where Ybarra was laying. EMS pronounced Ybarra dead at 2 a.m.

Police said that surveillance video showed Ahmed entering the building at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8 and leaving around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, and no one else was seen entering of exiting the building during that time. Continue reading

Maloney touts experience in bid for reelection

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, pictured outside her home on the Upper East Side (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While hardly an open seat, the race for candidates hoping to represent the 12th Congressional District (most of Manhattan’s East Side as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens) is proving to be a competitive one. While the Democrat primary on June 26 has just two candidates, the only reason there are just two names on the ballot is that one of them, Suraj Patel, sued successfully against another candidate, Sander Hicks, claiming he didn’t have enough valid signatures. He did the same to an additional candidate, Peter Lindner, though he’d already been booted off the ballot by the Board of Elections. This leaves Patel, a hospitality executive who also worked on both election campaigns for the Obama administration, and Carolyn Maloney, the 25-year incumbent.

On this, Maloney, while interviewed at her home on the Upper East Side last week, mused, “For someone who said he wants more participation, I’m mystified why he’s throwing his opponent off the ballot.”

Meanwhile, Patel has also been fundraising like crazy, outpacing Maloney in recent months and trying to engage people who wouldn’t normally vote.

As for Maloney, perhaps in part due to her history of clobbering challengers at the polls, she has managed to rack up just about every endorsement there is to be had from elected officials, unions, women’s organizations and local clubs. She’s also gotten the nod from Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem.

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Rivera doesn’t want busway to be 24/7

Council Member Carlina Rivera (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Council Member Carlina Rivera is hoping to limit the hours of the planned busway on 14th Street during the L train shutdown that is beginning next year.

The Council Member sent a letter to NYC Transit President Andy Byford earlier this month, arguing that the busway should only operate between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Instead of banning private vehicles throughout the whole shutdown, Rivera said they should just be off the road for the aforementioned hours.

Rivera said she agreed with transit advocates who’ve said that a busway operating only during rush hours would not be sufficient but she argued that the busway didn’t need to be in effect overnight because vehicular traffic along the corridor is significantly lower on weeknights anyway.

John Blasco, a community liaison for Rivera, gave an overview of the letter at the June meeting of the Community Board 6 transportation committee, which supports both extending the busway to Avenue C and giving buses priority at all times instead of limiting the hours.

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Stuy Town detective on the case of murder mystery penned by former tenant

Thomas Cassidy was inspired by true crime tales he’d hear from his father and a friend who both had careers in the NYPD. (Photo courtesy of author)

By Sabina Mollot

The year is 1981, the place, a crime-ridden New York City and Stuyvesant Town resident and cop is tasked with finding out who murdered a famous actor — also his best friend — at a Manhattan hotel. On top of that, the mayor is up for reelection and since a high-profile murder can’t help his chances at the polls, the cop is warned to keep a lid on media leaks, or be thrown off the case.

The scenario is fortunately fictional. However, it has come to life in 2018 the form of a new novel, Damage Control, written by a former Stuyvesant Town resident, Thomas Cassidy.

Damage Control ($26.95) was released on June 12 by Cedar Forge. However, it has been in the works for last 25 years by Cassidy, who recently retired from a 20-year career as a special investigator for the New York State attorney general and whose father Hugh Cassidy served in the NYPD for over 30 years.

As for its title, Cassidy explained, “What they’re trying to do is damage control, trying to deflect attention from the crime wave. Everyone, including the mayor’s office, the corporate office of the flagship hotel, the Police Department, everyone is doing some form of damage control. Everyone’s trying to put a positive spin on it and that makes it difficult for the detective trying to solve the crime.”

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Woman robbed in building on East 13th Street

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a man who robbed a woman in her East Village building on Sunday.

The victim, 20, was entering her building in the vicinity of East 13th and Second Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. when an unknown man grabbed her from behind.

He then demanded her bag, and when she turned it over, he ran out. The victim is believed to have lost $1,100 worth of property, including an iPhone and cash, as well as personal items.

The suspect is described as black and in his twenties; and last seen wearing a baseball cap, black hooded shirt and blue jeans.

Police don’t suspect a pattern at this time.

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Former roommate charged with stealing $40G from ST golf player

Stuyvesant Town resident Bernie Rothenberg, pictured at his 100th birthday party last year at his apartment (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

The family of Bernie Rothenberg, a Stuyvesant Town centenarian well-known to neighbors for his daily golfing at a playground by his apartment has recently appealed to the community to help recoup some of the tens of thousands of dollars they said was stolen from three of his bank accounts.

The money, his son Don told Town & Village, totaled $40,000 and was taken over the past two years, until Don happened to notice the disappearing funds on a third account, since that was a joint account he had access to.

Chloe Garcia, a 26-year-old woman who lived with the elder Rothenberg for over five years until April when she was confronted by his family and thrown out, has since been arrested and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. According to the criminal complaint, which doesn’t name the victim, the withdrawn funds come to around $50,000. In it, Garcia allegedly said she got the pin number to Rothenberg’s debit card in his mail and used it for various charges and also wrote checks to herself from his bank account. She was arrested on May 24.

Her Legal Aid attorney, Rebecca Heinsen, declined to comment on the case.

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Letters to the editor, June 14

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Watch and learn from The Challengers

The final game of STLL’s Challenger Division was played on Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m. on the Con Ed west field. The sun wasn’t shinning and drops of rain drizzled upon the players who were undaunted by the less than perfect weather conditions.

The game started out with some fashionable femininity when Anna, wearing the number 1 over a tiered flounce skirt and guided by Red Team Coach Katie, hit the first homer of the game. Number 19, Jonathan, gave the ball a powerful whack before removing his cap, showing off his natural red hair, and rounding the bases with the stride of a long distance runner. Neil, always handsome in shirt number 6, toured the bases, with his own unique style, pausing only to consider a career in photography.

Jamison, number 14, wowed the crowd (especially the pitcher) when she slammed the first ball tossed part way to The East River! Robbie, a tough guy to the finish, made his way to second base wearing jersey number 10 and displaying a true sense of sportsmanship. Jaden, who traveled south from Bronx, N.Y., to wear number 17 with pride has a good-natured mom to run him around the bases. Rory donned the number 8 and a good-looking pair of glasses, before demonstrating his skill and speed.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for Dunkin Donuts robbery, Man arrested for CVS robbery

MAN WANTED FOR DUNKIN DONUTS ROBBERY
Police are looking for a man involved in a robbery at a Chelsea Dunkin Donuts at the end of May. The suspect reportedly threatened a 20-year-old employee inside the 225 Seventh Avenue location on Monday, May 28 at 3:45 p.m. and demanded the contents of the register. Police said that he got away with approximately $500 and fled east on West 23rd Street. No injuries were reported.
The suspect is described as a black man in his 40s-50s who was last seen wearing all dark clothing. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are strictly confidential.

MAN NABBED FOR CVS ROBBERY
Police arrested 58-year-old Joseph Green for robbery on June 9 at 3:30 p.m. inside the 13th precinct. Green was allegedly shoplifting in the CVS at 300 Park Avenue South on May 27 at 4:25 p.m. when he got into a fight with an employee while leaving the store. Police said that Green was attempting to steal deodorant.

FOOD VENDORS ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
Police arrested 49-year-old Reda Badawy and 20-year-old Karim Badawy for assault at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 21st Street on Saturday, June 9 at 8:08 p.m. Police said that the two suspects, food vendors, intentionally pushed a food cart into her body, causing pain to her back and neck.

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Search underway for source of rotten deliveries

By Sabina Mollot

Talk about a rotten neighbor.

Last week, Town & Village heard from a man who’s been getting a not-so-special delivery: spoiled food left at his door.

The longtime resident of Stuyvesant Town, who asked to be kept anonymous, said this has been happening since last November or December, a total of six times. The most recent time, last week, the person who brought the spoiled food chose to gift him with a plastic plate of old rice.

While not exactly a death threat, the man said he considers the vile move harassment and has been left wondering what the person will do next to get a rise out of him. He also doesn’t know who’s behind the stomach-churning prank.

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More ACS teens charged with robbery

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Another group of teenagers living at the Administration for Children’s Services building on First Avenue has been arrested for a violent robbery in the neighborhood, following multiple robberies the week before that were reported by Town & Village.

Police arrested ten teenagers for the most recent incident in Kips Bay, which took place in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Tuesday, May 29 around 2 a.m. Police said that the teens punched and kicked a man in his 30s and stole his phone.

Shortly after the incident, three of the teens were arrested at Third Avenue and East 29th Street, one was arrested at Second Avenue and East 28th Street and the fifth teen was caught at First Avenue and East 25th Street. The sixth teen was arrested inside the ACS facility later the same day at 12:30 p.m. Another teen and 18-year-old Dondre Parker were arrested inside the 13th precinct on Wednesday, May 30 at 11:35 a.m. Another teen was arrested at the precinct later that day at 4:10 p.m. The last suspect was busted at precinct on Thursday, May 31.

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Stuy Town author hoping to crowd-fund children’s book

Fran Alongi

By Sabina Mollot

While a trip to the chiropractor’s office might not be too many people’s idea of fun, one Stuyvesant Town resident recently found the experience worthy of writing a book.

Longtime resident Fran Alongi, who frequently sees a chiropractor for adjustments, said it was seeing how inviting the office has been for children and families, in no small part due to the presence of a mascot dog who humors young patients that want to chase him, that inspired her to write a story about it.

The book, her second, is called Max Gets Well-Adjusted and it’s intended for children ages 2-5. Her first book was a novel with fantasy aspects called The Moons of Koda, that she self-published in 2016. This time around she’s also self-publishing, only in this case, she’s hoping to get the associated costs crowd-funded. She currently has a GoFundMe page that’s seeking $3,000 for printing, illustration, advertising and other costs.

According to Alongi, the motivation for the book was to make children who might be scared of going to a chiropractor for a back problem or other issues more confident about the experience. She said she’d noticed while waiting to see the doctor that children who were there alongside their parents never seemed to be uncomfortable. What she soon realized was that this was because their parents didn’t seem nervous, especially since they were often patients themselves. Meanwhile, the office pooch, Cooper, was almost like a therapy dog in his willingness to run and hide from children, then letting them almost catch him.

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