Police Watch: Subway mugger convicted, ‘groper’ arrested

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. announced on Wednesday the trial conviction of Anthony White, 44, for the robbery and strangulation assault of six victims in Manhattan subway stations and surrounding areas in August 2011. White was found guilty by a jury in New York State Supreme Court of all of the charges in the indictment: robbery in the first, second, and third degrees and strangulation in the first and second degrees. White is expected to be sentenced on  November 13.
As proven at trial, at approximately 9 a.m. on August 13, 2011, White attacked a 71-year-old man on the platform of the N/R subway station at West 28th Street and Broadway. White approached the victim from behind, choked him until he lost consciousness and stole $150 from his pocket before fleeing. The victim suffered a stroke in the hours following the attack and had to be hospitalized for approximately a month. Over the course of the next thirteen days, White similarly attacked five other men, all between the ages of 38 and 85, choking them from behind and stealing their money and other personal items.
In one instance, on August 16, 2011, White followed a 75-year-old man into a commercial building near the entrance of the West 28th  Street N/R station. The defendant entered the elevator behind the victim, choked him and stole approximately $200 from his wallet. Between August 18 and August 26, 2011, White attacked two more men in the same West 28th  Street station. The August 26  attack at the 28th  Street station was captured on surveillance camera. Three days later, an undercover NYPD transit officer recognized White at the West 28th Street station and placed him under arrest.

Police arrested 29-year-old Christopher Jones for robbery and strangulation last Monday at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street at 5:22 a.m.  Jones allegedly threw the victim to the ground and strangled him by putting his arm around the victim’s neck until he could no longer breathe. He then took the victim’s cell phone from his hand and fled on foot, police said, until he was arrested at Sixth and West 14th.

Police arrested 63-year-olds Michael Taperino and Anthony Giacia for assault over an alleged fight that occurred on the corner of East 23rd Street and Park Avenue South last Friday at 8:20 a.m. The victim, a third person involved in the fight who was not arrested, told police that he was stabbed in the neck at the location after an argument.

Forty-nine-year-old Ernestine Christian was arrested for assault in front of 39 Union Square West last Tuesday at 12:18 p.m. Christian allegedly slashed a man with a box cutter, approximately seven times on the chest, back and arm.

Police arrested 24-year-old Dianrougha Diallo for robbery at the corner of Broadway and West 28th Street last Tuesday at 5:56 p.m. A clerk from a nearby store told police that Diallo was working with someone else and the other person passed something from the store to him and he allegedly concealed it in a plastic bag. The clerk confronted them for stealing and Diallo allegedly punched him in the face, causing bruising to his left eye. They then fled east on East 28th Street and Diallo was arrested. The person that he was working with was not arrested.

Police arrested 24-year-old Nicholas Thompson for petit larceny inside the CVS Pharmacy at 338 East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 1:15 a.m. A cashier at the store told police that Thompson walked over to a cooler of beer and opened a 24-ounce can of Bud Light. Thompson allegedly started to walk out of the store without paying for it and when the cashier asked if he was going to pay, Thompson allegedly said, “I have no money.” The cashier detained Thompson until police arrived.

Twenty-seven-year-old Luis Miranda was arrested for assault and resisting arrest in front of 126 Lexington Avenue last Wednesday at 4:26 a.m. Miranda and another person who wasn’t arrested were allegedly hitting another man in the face, causing bruising to the left side of his forehead. Miranda allegedly flexed and flailed his arms to prevent being handcuffed. The person who wasn’t arrested fled on foot for three blocks and then got into a cab going north on Third Avenue.

Police arrested Robert Jelich, 63, inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street  on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.  for previously menacing someone inside a Duane Reade at 300 East 23rd Street. A cashier at the store told police that Jelich had stolen a drink from the Duane Reade and then allegedly pulled a knife from his pocket and threatened the cashier after he confronted Jelich.

Thirty-one-year-old James Jenkins was arrested for assault in front of 60 West 23rd Street last Thursday at 1:14 p.m. The victim told police that he was walking and texting on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets when he bumped into Jenkins, who then allegedly took a step back and punched the victim in the face. He called 911 and followed Jenkins to the Best Buy at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street. The victim then flagged down a police officer, who found Jenkins in the lobby of the store and arrested him.

Two people were arrested for violating tax law and selling “loosies” this week in unrelated incidents.
Police arrested 42-year-old Andrew Walden at the corner of Mount Carmel Place and East 27th Street last Thursday at 2:22 p.m. Walden was allegedly selling five Newport cigarettes with a Tennessee tax stamp for 25 cents each. Walden wasn’t in possession of a tax stamp and he was allegedly in possession of untaxed cigarettes.
Thirty-three-year-old Hafedh Alkablani was arrested in front of 203 Third Avenue last Friday at 6:35 p.m. Alkablani allegedly sold a pack of Newport cigarettes with a Virginia tax stamp to an undercover officer for $8.

Police arrested 23-year-old Nicole Vivieros for criminal mischief and posting graffiti in front of 23 West 20th Street last Thursday at 9:25 p.m. Vivieros allegedly told police that she and another person used aerosol blue chalk spray and a stencil saying, “why does the NRA have so much power?” and “#unzippedtruth.” She did not have authority to post advertisements on the sidewalk and the graffiti was not easily removed, causing damage on the sidewalk estimated to be less than $250.

Twenty-year-old Barry Hamadou was arrested for sexual abuse at the 13th Precinct last Thursday. Hamadou allegedly followed a woman into an elevator to the sixth floor of a building and into a hallway restroom where he then forced her into a stall and attempted to grab her chest. A second complaint notes that in a separate incident, he followed a woman into 18 West 27th Street and grabbed her buttocks before fleeing the scene. Police didn’t disclose the address of the first incident.

Police arrested 28-year-old Tao Xu for grand larceny last Friday at 1:32 a.m. inside the bar Boxers NYC at 37 West 20th Street. Xu allegedly removed property from someone’s pants, which were hanging in an unlocked employee locker. After searching Xu, police found that he was also in possession of alleged crystal meth and a pipe and straw containing alleged crystal meth residue.

Amidst some reductions, Players reopens

By Sabina Mollot

Players President Arthur Makar with Michael Barra, the club’s managing committee chair on the night of the club’s post-summer reopening party (Photo by Nicole Donje)

Players President Arthur Makar with Michael Barra, the club’s managing committee chair on the night of the club’s post-summer reopening party (Photo by Nicole Donje)

Prior to the reopening of The Players after its traditional summer hiatus, club brass was focused on money-saving moves, such as a couple of key employees being let go, including the general manager, and paring down the club’s dining service, which is now for events only. Otherwise only the bar will remain open for business on a regular basis.

Reached earlier this week, Club President Arthur Makar said the club is still trying to dig its way out of the serious financial hole it’s been in, and is also considering selling a valuable John Singer Sargent painting of actor Joseph Jefferson to raise money.

Makar said the current debt is around $3.5 million, but said the club was also re-evaluating its profit and loss on events, both for members and external ones in which hosts pay rent to the club for the space. Additionally, in recent months, the club’s event organizer was fired, with Makar explaining the club just couldn’t afford to keep him.

“One of the reasons The Players has been in such bad shape over the years is that we’ve never looked at, as well as we should, what it costs to run the events we were holding,” said Makar. “We have to at least break even on the member events and we have to at least make a little bit of money on the events run by people from the outside. In that case, we’re not different from any other club.”

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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 11

Owning won’t end problems with students

To the Editor:

I fully support Larry Edwards’ demand for a conversion “that is affordable to all the tenants who live here today and to those who have been living here for 30 to 40 years or more.” (Town &  Village, Sept. 4).

However, assuming that owning an apartment will prevent transient college students from noisy partying at all hours is unrealistic in today’s real estate market. The neighboring universities will merely buy up blocks of apartment condos or co-ops as investments and turn them into student dorms with the same “howling in the courtyards,” and “waking up their neighbors at 3 or 4 in the morning.”

As for affordability, only stronger rent stabilization laws can keep apartments within the middle class, not “ownership.” Today’s “market rate” for two-bedroom Manhattan co-ops ranges from $750,000 to over a million. Families earning under $300,000 a year will be shut out.

This has nothing to do with building owners, the Tenants Association, or elected officials – all  are powerless against the so-called “free market.”

And for wealthier people who can afford to “own,” they might still find themselves living next door to howling students. They might as well join the party.

Elliot Markson, ST

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Residents close to construction site on First Ave. Loop fed up with delays

A view of the  future management office on September 2 (Photo by Michael Alcamo)

A view of the future management office on September 2 (Photo by Michael Alcamo)

By Sabina Mollot

Residents on Stuyvesant Town’s First Avenue Loop, who’ve been dealing with construction noise for months, are now asking if the new management office will ever be finished. Along with the noise, other gripes from residents have included dust and debris blowing into their windows, the walkway between several buaildings being off limits and the continued closure of the nearly Playground 8, which is also getting a facelift. Residents at 272 and 274 First Avenue also recently saw flooding in their storage rooms.

However, “The biggest concern at this point is the timetable,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick, who, in response to the complaints, wrote a letter to CWCapital Managing Director Andrew MacArthur to ask about the holdup. “It looks like there are a bunch of loose ends,” he said.

In the letter, Garodnick mentioned how he’d previously been told by CW that the construction on the office would be complete in August and that the playground would be done in May.

In mid-August, however, a newsletter from CompassRock emailed to tenants said there would be delays, with work on the office building expected to continue through the month of September. An explanation wasn’t given on the delay, but CompassRock said the final phase of construction had begun. The work included infrastructure being put into place and the space being wired. This week, a resident in a surrounding building said skylights were recently installed. In August, CompassRock said the next phase would be work on the green roof. As for the playground delay, management said the reason for that was “abandoned underground infrastructure encountered during excavation.”

But the end of the month deadline now seems unlikely since a photo, snapped by a resident in a building overlooking the construction shows that the project doesn’t look too close to being done.

Garodnick referred to the photo in his letter and also suggested that CW compensate tenants in the affected buildings with a one-month rent abatement for the inconvenience.Garodnick had brought up the possibility of a rent abatement to CW earlier in the year, though apparently, the owner didn’t agree. In the letter, Garodnick said he thought CW should “revisit the issue” due to the extended construction.

“Alternatively, (tenants) may be entitled to a rent reduction claim before the state housing agency,” he said. The letter was dated September 3 and Garodnick said so far there’s been no response. A spokesperson for CW also didn’t respond to T&V’s request for comment.

Still, the resident who’d taken the photo from his apartment on September 2, Michael Alcamo, said he appreciated Garodnick’s quick response to the issue. “All of us who face this construction site have experienced dust, dirt, exceptionally high cleaning costs and noxious construction smells,” he said. “We have not had access to our courtyard for nearly nine months.”

Additionally, said Alcamo, who heads an organization devoted to local tree planting, the work has led to the removal of healthy trees.

“CompassRock destroyed ten mature and healthy pin oak trees, in order to make room for its construction equipment.”

Another neighbor, who’s been having trouble walking, said a big inconvenience for a while had been how the gates put up on different sides of the Loop was confusing to the car service drivers she relies on, with them not knowing they were allowed in.

“I also had the use of benches taken from me for the summer outside Playground 8,” said the resident, who didn’t want her name used. “We were told construction would be completed months ago. The next set of benches are too far for me to walk to. It was a beautiful summer and I missed being out because I don’t feel ill enough to be in nor want to be in a wheelchair yet can’t walk far with or without the help of a person to hold on to.”

Another resident in an impacted building said that she’s been dealing with the noise by keeping the windows closed and the air conditioner on. She’s had to change the unit’s filter pretty frequently though due to all the dirt flying in despite being on a higher floor. The noise from the work was audible as she spoke on the phone.

But, she said, “It’s nowhere near as bad as it was over the summer. I’d say they’re in the last stages, but who knows what that means. They have a tendency to take a Pollyanna approach. You’ve still got a lot of uncovered dirt and a lot of banging and hammers going on.”