This week in T&V history: Police presence upped in Stuy Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years, so here is a snapshot of what was happening in the neighborhood 50 years ago this week.

Police presence upped in Stuy Town

Considering the violent incident of attempted rape that occurred recently in Stuy Town, an article on the front page of the October 22, 1964 issue is especially relevant. The story noted that the area’s assemblymembers and the police were working together to increase security around the complex due to muggings, holdup and beatings that had been happening The Commanding Officer of the 13th precinct at the time, William Rockwell, agreed to have police officers go into Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village more often during their tours, particularly at night.

Assemblymember John Sullivan, a resident of 6 Stuyvesant Oval, and Assemblymember Paul Curran also suggested that members of the Auxiliary Police force who live in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper be deployed within the property and the commanding officer said that he would take action to implement the idea.

Gunman escapes in taxi

Another crime-related story in this issue described an incident in which a gunman escaped via cab after firing shots in a Chinese restaurant on Park Avenue South. Cab driver Arthur Brantman drove wildly in an unsuccessful attempt to attract police’s attention to the fact that he had an armed gunman as a passenger, the story said.

The shooter had just wounded the owner of the restaurant with one of four shots fired in the building. The proprietor managed to hit the gunman in the head with a glass ashtray but he ran out of the restaurant and, with blood streaming from his head, hailed Brantman’s cab, ordering the driver to take him to the 14th Street subway.

Brantman drove wildly to the station at Union Square where the gunman leapt out and disappeared into the subway.