Man stabbed in Stuy Town, left paralyzed, cops say

Suspect arrested, charged with attempted murder

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man last Saturday who allegedly robbed and stabbed a man in Stuyvesant Town on East 20th Street on December 16 at 8:11 a.m. Arpad West, 21, was arrested at the 13th Precinct at 10:30 p.m. and police said that the victim involved in the stabbing has been paralyzed.

Police said that at the time of the incident, West stabbed the victim with three knives, once in the back of the neck and vertebrae area and another in the side of the neck near the carotid artery, causing permanent paralysis to his lower body.

While West was allegedly stabbing the victim, he yelled, “I am going to kill you! Give me your PIN number! I want you dead!” and took his credit card and cell phone.

West was seen on surveillance video leaving the building at 10:34 a.m. According to the criminal complaint, the victim couldn’t move his arms or legs directly after the incident and he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent surgery to his spinal cord and carotid artery.

Police said that West attempted to use the credit card five times at an ATM inside the Chase Bank location at 333 East 23rd Street at 10:48 a.m., and he was also allegedly in possession of another credit card that didn’t belong to him.

West allegedly admitted to police that he stabbed the victim in the neck and back of the head and that he wanted to kill him, that he had demanded the PINs from the victim, that he took his credit card and attempted to use it at an ATM multiple times, that he took the victim’s cell phone and that he took a credit card from a second victim.

West was officially charged with assault, attempted murder in the second degree, robbery, grand larceny and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Police said that West’s relationship to the victim was unclear but the two appeared to know each other, and noted that the stabbing was a surprise attack inside an apartment.

West’s next court date is this Thursday. His Legal Aid attorney did not respond to a request for comment by T&V’s deadline.

Op-Ed: St. Vartan’s Park should be considered as alternative site for sanitation garage

The Brookdale campus is the city’s proposed site for a sanitation garage. A firm hired by Community Board 6 has recommended Con Ed property. J.G. Collins however suggests a portion of St. Vartan’s Park. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The Brookdale campus is the city’s proposed site for a sanitation garage. A firm hired by Community Board 6 has recommended Con Ed property. J.G. Collins however suggests a portion of St. Vartan’s Park. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By J.G. Collins
Town & Village has recently reported on the alternative proposals that city and East Side public officials are considering for a garage that the Department of Sanitation (“DSNY”) has proposed to serve Community District Six.

In reviewing alternatives, it’s important to give due weight to those suggested by Community Board Six, Community District Six residents, neighborhood groups, and individuals who might propose viable options that officials have not have otherwise considered. Community Board Six has already offered wise alternatives by engaging a planning firm. But officials shouldn’t consider these (to be the “only” alternatives. Instead, they should welcome all practicable alternatives to best accommodate the required garage within District Six. (Local officials might even consider sponsoring a design exhibit, and perhaps even offer a small cash prize, for viable alternatives proposed by anyone wishing to take up the challenge.)

As an example of proposals that should be welcomed, consider the black-top and tennis court on the western portion of St. Vartan’s Park, between East 35th Street and East 36th Street, just east of Second Avenue. The space is nearly 70 percent of the 83,000 square feet the DSNY proposes to build, including the “Tunnel Entrance Street” that bifurcates the tennis court and the black top.

If a garage were built on the site of the St. Vartan’s Park tennis court and blacktop, Tunnel Entrance Street between 35th and 36th Street could be eliminated and made part of the building footprint. Alternatively, if traffic required, the street could be left open through to the Queens Midtown Tunnel entry and the street could be converted as an underpass with the garage built above it. (The underpass would be suspended and joined above a base built on the current blacktop and tennis court.)

The current tennis court and blacktop playing area could be replicated in a “sky park” on the roof of the garage and covered with netting, like the Sol Goldman Y rooftop play area, or permanently enclosed, like the “bubble top” play space above the United Nations School. The facility could be made accessible by an elevator and a stairwell.

St. Vartan’s Park has several advantages. First, it has minimal impact on noise and zoning because the area is not as heavily residential as either the Brookdale or the Con Edison sites. The north border, on East 36th Street, has no nearby residences as it sits above the the Queens Midtown Tunnel. East 35th Street, the southern border, is the rear side of St. Vartan’s Cathedral, as well as some apartment buildings, but traffic could be directed so that sanitation trucks never cross in front of them.

Second, the land is already “city-owned,” so the land to build a DSNY garage would come at no additional cost.

Third, construction of a DSNY garage on the St. Vartan’s Park site with a sky park on the roof would actually increase the footprint of the total park space on the site by the addition 3,500 square feet of “Tunnel Entrance Street.” It might be made into a “rain or shine” play area if it is enclosed.

Traffic for the St. Vartan’s Blacktop location is somewhat a problem, but not overwhelmingly so. South- and west-bound sanitation trucks could exit the garage behind St. Vartan’s Cathedral to avoid Queens-Midtown Tunnel traffic and the few residential apartments on East 35th Street. Northbound trucks would avoid tunnel traffic completely by exiting the garage at East 36th Street, where there are no nearby residential buildings, and turning left onto First Avenue to go uptown.

Ingress to a St. Vartan’s garage when the trucks return from their shifts could be limited to East 35th Street, but west of Tunnel Entrance Street (so that trucks don’t pass in front of the apartment buildings on the block) and to East 36th Street via Second Avenue, so as to minimize disturbance to neighborhood residents and the already heavy traffic on East 36th Street west of Second Avenue.

This traffic arrangement would keep sanitation trucks almost entirely away from the entrances to the St. Vartan’s “kiddy park” that would remain intact on the eastern