Police Watch, April 24

Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

Cops are seeking the public’s assistance in locating ta man wanted in connection with two attempted and one completed bank robberies.
One of the incidents occurred in the Bronx with another taking place in Inwood. A third happened in the Midtown South precinct last Friday at around 11:25 a.m.
In that incident, the robber walked into a Capital One Bank at 404 5th Avenue by East 37th Street, approached a teller and passed a note demanding money. The teller then handed him approximately $2,800 before he fled the location. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5’7” with a medium build and goatee.

Police arrested 24-year-old Ricky Despiau for assault at the southwest corner of Third Avenue and East 18th Street last Monday at 4:55 p.m.
A 71-year-old man reported that he was walking his dog when Despiau walked nearby with his dog. Despiau allegedly got aggressive and kicked the victim’s dog and the two got into an argument that resulted in a physical fight. Despiau punched the victim in the face and pushed him to the ground, police said.

Police arrested two subway performers last week in separate incidents.
Nineteen-year-old Ainsley Brundage was arrested for reckless endangerment  last Monday at 2:45 p.m. at the First Avenue L station. Brundage was allegedly dancing and flipping on the poles in an Eighth Avenue-bound L train while playing music on a speaker. The teen also panhandled for money afterwards, police said.
Police arrested 19-year-old Yushon Stroughn for reckless endangerment on the same Monday at 3:15 p.m. at the Union Square L station. Stroughn allegedly danced and flipped on a moving Eighth Avenue-bound L train while playing music on a speaker and also asked for money afterwards.

A 75-year-old woman reported that her car was damaged while it was parked at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and East 17th Street last Saturday at noon. She told police that when she returned to her parked vehicle, she noticed that it had been struck.

Police arrested a 14-year-old boy for petit larceny in front of 333 East 14th Street last Monday at 7:20 p.m. The teen rode the bike east on East 14th Street before he was stopped at First Avenue. He told police that it was his bike and that his friend has the key but then he later recanted, saying that it wasn’t his but that he was going to return it. The boy’s name is being withheld due to his age.

Police arrested 35-year-old Dennis Jackson for intoxicated driving last Friday at 1:59 a.m. opposite 827 East 14th Street. Jackson allegedly drove while impaired by alcohol and caused a crash that resulted in his car flipping and blocking oncoming traffic. A field breathalyzer resulted in a .114 BAC, police said.

Police arrested 29-year-old Henry Engroff for petit larceny in front of 5 Peter Cooper Road last Thursday at 12:30 p.m. Engroff allegedly snatched a bag from a cart without permission and walked away. The bag contained a nut driver, an iPad mini, screw driver bits, nut bolts and a small tool channel lock.

A 57-year-old resident of 276 First Avenue in Stuyvesant Town reported last Thursday at 10:30 p.m. that her neighbor has been harassing her. She told police that the woman has been banging on the walls, cursing at the victim and yelling that since she pays rent, she can yell as loud as she wants. The victim said that Stuyvesant Town security has been notified.

A 70-year-old resident of 18 Stuyvesant Oval reported last Thursday at 3:53 p.m. that her identity was stolen at some point between April 1 and April 8. She told police that an unknown person used her Social Security number and filed a tax return dated April 1. She was informed on April 8 by the IRS that her taxes were filed and she needed a report from the police to further investigate the matter.

A 52-year-old man reported that his phone was stolen while he was inside Equinox Gym at 897 Broadway last Wednesday at 1:25 p.m. He told police that he was in the locker room changing and he put his phone on a shelf in a locker. When he went to retrieve his phone about five minutes later, he found that the phone had been stolen. He reported that he never left the front of the locker but there were multiple people next to him during the incident.

A 49-year-old man reported that he was harassed while he was at the New York Racquet Club inside 270 Park Avenue South last Saturday at 1:58 p.m. He told police that an unknown man confronted him while he was swimming in the pool. The man yelled at him in an aggressive manner and the victim said that he was alarmed and annoyed.

The Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance identifying an individual believed to be behind a string of thefts in

Surveillance photo of suspect

Surveillance photo of suspect

the confines of the 6th and the 13th precincts.
According to police, the man, described as black, 25 to 35 years old, 5’9 to 6’0, and wearing a backpack, sunglasses and a dark hoodie, took a 24-year-old woman’s wallet at a Chipotle at 55 East 8th Street in the 6th precinct on Friday, February 28.
On Tuesday, March 18 at 3 p.m., the same man is believed to have walked into Think Coffee at 250 Mercer Street in the 6th precinct and taken a 28-year-old mam’s unattended bag containing a laptop and electronic tablet.
On Saturday, March 22 at 2:15 p.m., the suspect entered the Starbucks located at 45 West 4th Street in the 6th precinct and swiped a woman’s unattended laptop.
He then entered The Pit Stop at 123 East 24th Street in the 13th Precinct and stole a 26 year-old man’s bag on Saturday, April 5.
Two days later on April 7, he grabbed a woman’s bag, containing a wallet and a laptop at Artichoke Pizza, located at 111 MacDougal Street in the 6th precinct.
On April 8 at 6:10 p.m., the suspect entered the NYU Campus located at 5 University Place in the 6th precinct and took a woman’s laptop.
On April 14, he headed to the Pot Belly Deli at 333 Park Avenue in the 13th precinct where he stole a 22-year-woman’s backpack.

A 50-year-old man reported that he got into an argument with someone else over a parking space opposite 430 East 20th Street last Wednesday at 9 a.m. He told police that the person he was arguing with told him that he could take the parking space but that he shouldn’t be surprised if he found damage to his car when he came back. The victim said that he felt threatened. No arrests were made.

Police arrested a 14-year-old boy for criminal possession of stolen property opposite 10 Union Square East last Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. Police approached the teen because he was riding a bike on the sidewalk instead of inside the park. The officer asked him if the bike belonged to him and the boy responded that he found it on the street and just took it.
The bicycle belongs to the bike share program and the boy did not have the authority to use the bike without paying for it. The bike share program told police that the bike was worth $1,200 and was last docked at 8:36 a.m. at West 21st Street and Sixth Avenue. The teen’s name is being withheld due to his age.

Police arrest 50-year-old Ronald Hutt for grand larceny last Wednesday at 9 p.m. inside Rodeo at 375 Third Avenue. Hutt allegedly removed credit cards from inside a 45-year-old man’s jacket without permission. He then took the credit cards and made purchases at the adjacent Duane Reade without permission, police said.

Letters to the Editor, Apr. 24

A few options for adding more parking spots

To the Editor of Town & Village,

This community will lose approximately 60 spaces for six or more weeks because of a management infrastructure project. My question, along with many other residents is just where did management expect some 60 community resident parking vehicles go? Were some magical parking spaces to appear all of a sudden?

Why didn’t management first implement measures to mitigate this community impact? They seem to have enough “policing” resources to prevent parking, but not solve it.

So my suggestions below would maintain current parking supply and create additional permanent parking. This is what they could and should do or if they can implement something better:

1. Create dozens of temporary parking spaces along both sides all of other loop roads. These streets are in fact considerably wider than most local city streets with parking on both sides of the street. Well what do you know!

Specifically, building entrance drop off areas could be maintained, parking maneuvers can continue (or angle adjustments implemented), and safety parking restrictions maintained at non-tangent road sections (this has to do with safe vehicle site lines for pedestrians). Further, emergency vehicles could still travel through without blockage or restriction as other local streets without preventing necessary maneuvers. Thank you very much.

2. Install handicapped parking for all handicapped parkers including visitors and legitimate handicapped users. Management has replaced lost handicapped parking with more restricted NYC permit only handicapped signs below just about at all handicapped spaces, requiring a NYC residency.

May I remind management that the federal ADA Law (handicapped accessibility) is a civil rights law for all physically challenged citizens, not just NYC permit holders. Thus it requires handicapped parking for all citizens. If we need more ADA parking then so be it. Thank you, President Bush (the first).

3. Relocate all Citi Bikes on street parking to city owned islands surrounding our community and wide sidewalk area (cobblestone areas). This has been implemented at other locations throughout the city. That effort alone would regain about 30 to 40 permanent parking space for our community. East 14th, 20th and 23rd Streets all have traffic islands and wide cobblestone public sidewalk areas.

I have photo documented that these options exist and have sent them to our councilman to convince him of the need for more community parking. As they say, a squeaky wheel gets fixed. So neighbors, start contacting those responsible. In all fairness, his staff did reply with a city DOT standard (weak) excuse why it was difficult in our case. However, they seem to be unaware of already existing Citi Bike parking options at other city locations.

These are real, doable solutions that most could be installed immediately and others with just a bit more time deserve our councilman’s support. Once again though management isn’t seeking input from the community.

Respectfully submitted,

William Oddo, ST
Resident and
community activist

Continue reading

Residents mixed on MCI settlement

Those interviewed also question
necessity of improvements made

By Sabina Mollot
Following the announcement last Thursday that the ST-PCV Tenants Association had reached an agreement with CWCapital to reduce the cost of MCIs for some tenants and eliminate them completely for others, tenants have been able to talk about little else. When questioned about their thoughts by Town & Village, a few residents who got the 5 percent reduction of the monthly portion of the MCIs naturally said they wished they’d gotten more shaved off their rent bills. However, mainly what they expressed was their disgust at the system that allows owners to pass the costs of building upgrades onto renters.
“It seems very unfair,” said Katie Bernard, who’s lived in Stuy Town for 10 years. She was especially annoyed that MCIs were charged for the video intercom system, which she said was unnecessary. “I can’t tell you how little it works. I miss the old system. I don’t need a screen.”
Another resident also said she didn’t understand the need for the security upgrades that qualified for MCIs.
“It didn’t make my life any safer,” said Carol Szamtowicz. “These capital improvements, I’m sorry I have to pay for them.” As for the settlement, she thought it was good that the Tenants Association fought the increases, “but,” she added, “five percent isn’t very much.”
Meanwhile, another resident, Bob Novick, said he was glad to hear the retroactive portion of the increases had been eliminated. “They did get the retroactive off and that is significant,” said Novick. However, he too said he didn’t get why the intercom system needed replacing on the tenants’ dime. “We got new intercoms 8-10 years ago,” he recalled, adding that he thought the new ones were “essentially the same. The new ones are more sophisticated, but I’m wondering what the purpose was other than to increase the rents.”
And Bill Oddo, a longtime resident, said he wasn’t impressed with the settlement at all. “I don’t see where the success is when

Tenants Association President John Marsh, pictured last fall (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Tenants Association President John Marsh, pictured last fall (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

we’re only getting 5 percent off on all those items,” he said. “I have to pay $15 a month for video cameras and they don’t do anything. The security cameras don’t make us safe. They only help after the fact. You can’t possibly monitor 1,200 cameras 24/7.” Besides, he added, “For 65 years, this has been one of the safest communities in the city. It’s safer than St. Patrick’s Cathedral.” Oddo added that together he’ll be paying over $50 a month in MCIs, for improvements he thought his existing base rent should cover. “I can’t figure out why tenants have to pay for them,” he said. “I know (the Tenants Association) tried hard, but they’re losing this battle. People are leaving. Older people are dying and they’re just turning these apartments over. I love young people, but it’s a dormitory.”
In contrast, a “Roberts” tenant interviewed said of course he was glad he wouldn’t have to pay the increases following the settlement. “Less is more,” quipped Henry, who asked that his last name not be published. “Obviously if you’re paying less for your apartment, you’re better off.” But Henry added he wouldn’t be celebrating just yet since he’s been dealing with a lack of heat in his apartment. “I’m in the living room with two comforters and sweatpants,” he said.
On the TA’s Facebook page this week, the TA received heaping praise as well as a few complaints about the settlement.
In response, TA President John Marsh said that, though not part of the recent round of negotiations, tenants’ increases had already been reduced by 23 percent as a result of TA action. This was after the TA presented the DHCR with “detailed explanations of deficiencies” on a building-by-building basis for each MCI application, Marsh explained to T&V. This was when the work was done in 2009. After the agency reviewed the TA’s concerns as well as Tishman’s responses to them, “the total of all DHCR Orders were 23 percent less than the total of MCI rent increase applications filed by Tishman Speyer.”