Police Watch: Police looking for Sixth Ave. attempted bank robber, teen arrested for thefts at fast food joints

Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating and identifying a person wanted in connection to a robbery of an HSBC bank located at 800 Sixth Avenue.
On Thursday, February 5 at 8:45 a.m. a man walked into the bank and passed a demand note, but ended up fleeing without money.
The suspect is described as a black man who is approximately 35 years old, 5’7”, with a dark brown complexion and thin mustache. He was last seen wearing a dark colored winter hat with ear flaps, gray scarf, dark colored winter jacket, dark pants and tan boots.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting TIP577 and their tips to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

Samuelle Blakely, 46, was arrested for petit larceny at the corner of Broadway and West 28th Street last Thursday at 4:04 p.m. Blakely was also charged with resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.
The victim told police that she was in a car with her boyfriend and had asked Blakeley if he knew where a nearby bathroom was, then left the vehicle. Her boyfriend was still in the driver’s seat and Blakely allegedly got into the car. When the victim returned to find Blakeley still sitting in the passenger’s seat, she asked him to leave and when she got back in the car, immediately noticed that her cell phone was missing from the seat.
A lieutenant stopped Blakely not long after on suspicion of stealing a cell phone and Blakely allegedly pushed the officer away, causing injury. Police said that he ran north on Broadway towards West 28th Street. He was then stopped at the intersection and arrested. After searching him, police said that he was in possession of a stolen iPhone 4 belonging to the victim that was recovered after it fell out of his pant leg.

Nineteen-year-old Derrick Johnson was arrested in front of 100 East 23rd Street for forgery and fraudulent accosting last Thursday at 5:15 p.m. Johnson allegedly agree to meet an undercover officer to sell tickets to the NBA All Star Game via Craigslist and when the officer met up with him, the tickets appeared to be fraudulent.

Police arrested 53-year-old Jerome Maxwell for assault at the corner of First Avenue and East 25th Street last Saturday at 2:41 a.m. Maxwell allegedly hit the victim with a metal pipe in the left shoulder, causing pain and swelling.

Police arrested 26-year-old Eduardo Garcia for intent to sell a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance at the corner of Asser Levy Place and East 23rd Street last Thursday at 10:10 p.m. Garcia was allegedly selling a quantity of a controlled substance to another person and after searching him, police said that he was in possession of an additional quantity of a controlled substance.

Police arrested a teenager for grand larceny inside School of the Future at 127 East 22nd Street last Thursday at 2:14 p.m. The teen used a stolen credit card inside the Chipotle at 125 East 23rd Street for food totaling $18.25. The teen said that he got the card from his friend, who had stolen it from a teacher.

Police arrested two men who were connected to previous crimes within the 13th precinct last week. James Whiting, 45, and Frankie Blake, also 45, were charged with possession of stolen property and burglar’s tools. Police said that Whiting and Blake, who officers recognized from a “wanted” posted, were seen in front of 69 Fifth Avenue last Thursday at 2:10 p.m. casing the location.
When an officer approached, he saw that they were allegedly in possession of burglar’s tools (a box lined with foil inside a large plastic bag), which contained stolen merchandise with security tags. The two had allegedly previously swiped sweaters from the nearby Gap store.
Police said that Whiting was in possession of suboxone, a drug used to treat dependence on opiates, and was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Nineteen-year-old Roland Thomas was arrested inside the 13th Precinct last Friday at 6 p.m. Thomas was charged with three counts of grand larceny and one count of possession of stolen property. Thomas allegedly entered the Starbucks at 10 Union Square East at an earlier date and stole a bag containing credit cards. On a different occasion, Thomas allegedly swiped a Lenovo laptop from the Chickpea at 210 East 14th Street. Police said that when he was arrested, Thomas was in possession of the Lenovo laptop and a tablet belonging to an unknown victim. Police said that Thomas was responsible for two additional grand larcenies, one of which happened at the end of last year, but no further information was available about where the alleged thefts took place.

Police arrested 49-year-old Christopher Bailey in front of 18 West 29th Street for forgery last Tuesday at 10:10 a.m. Bailey was allegedly in possession of trademark counterfeit sneakers in public view.

Police arrested 35-year-old Mamamdou Barry at the corner of Broadway and West 28th Street last Tuesday at 11:07 a.m. Barry was charged with resisting arrest, an unclassified misdemeanor, sale of marijuana and possession of marijuana. Police said that he was selling pot at the corner and when they tried to stop him, he fled. When he was searched, he was allegedly in possession of additional marijuana.

Fifty-one-year-old Kenny Smith was arrested for an unclassified violation in front of 52 West 28th Street last Tuesday at 5:25 p.m. Smith was allegedly approaching pedestrians and selling loose cigarettes without a license.

Eighteen-year-old Dayanara Torres was arrested for grand larceny and possession of stolen property last Wednesday in front of KOA at 12 West 21st Street at 12:20 p.m. Torres allegedly took a wallet from a handbag containing multiple credit cards and cash from the location.

Police arrested 41-year-old Pedro Rivera for possession of stolen property in front of 139 Fifth Avenue last Tuesday at 1:45 p.m. Police said that Rivera was hiding inside a public phone booth while he was removing items from their security casing and putting them into a black backpack, then left the location. He was allegedly in possession of stolen property when he was searched.

Police arrested 29-year-old Jeremy Rodriguez for burglar’s tools and petit larceny in front of 60 West 23rd Street last Wednesday at 5:24 p.m. Rodriguez was allegedly yanking on a bicycle lock in an attempt to remove the bicycle from the rack. Police said that Rodriguez was also in possession of a metal rod commonly used in bike thefts.

Michael Groux, 31, was arrested in front of 41 Union Square West last Wednesday at 5 p.m. for forgery and an unclassified misdemeanor. Groux was allegedly displaying for sale six watches with a counterfeit trademark for Rolex, and police said that when they asked Groux to show them a DCA license, he couldn’t.

Police arrested 27-year-old Xavier Veal for grand larceny inside Adorama at 42 West 18th Street last Thursday at 8:35 p.m. Veal allegedly removed $2,400 worth of merchandise from the store, put it into his jacket and attempted to leave.

Fire at Stuy Town Associated supermarket

Associated supermarket (Photo via Foursquare)

Associated supermarket (Photo via Foursquare)

By Sabina Mollot

Now those are some hot peppers!

On Monday, firefighters put out a fire at the Associated supermarket in Stuyvesant Town that had started in the produce section’s pepper display.

Store manager Norman Quintanilla told Town & Village it was a small fire, so small in fact that it was snuffed out just using a fire extinguisher. The cause was apparently a burnt wire that had shorted out behind the produce case.

“It was a small, little fire,” said Quintanilla. “Mostly smoke.”

The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. when the store was closed but an employee who was on duty at the time smelled smoke.

He called the FDNY, and Quintanilla said by the time he got there at 4 a.m., the fire was out. The FDNY had to break the door to gain entry, but by 5 a.m., a worker had arrived to fix the door. Quintanilla said on Tuesday that the only damage to the store was to a four-foot section of the produce case but he said employees have since cleaned it up.

“There was a slight smell, but now it’s gone,” he said.

A spokesperson for the FDNY confirmed that the fire, which was responded to by 30 firefighters, was electrical. The spokesperson added that the fire was actually extinguished before the department’s arrival. Quintanilla noted that the responders checked out the area behind produce section to make sure it wasn’t smoldering anywhere else.

Changes to sanit. garage plan aired

Area residents still against proposal, DSNY shoots down CB6’s suggested alternative sites

The Brookdale campus, the city’s proposed site for the sanitation garage. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The Brookdale campus, the city’s proposed site for the sanitation garage. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and members of Community Board 6 were packed in at an unusually well-attended Land Use and Waterfront committee meeting last Wednesday to hear a presentation from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on some of the new plans for the Brookdale Campus at East 25th Street and First Avenue.

The EDC first became involved in the project last year due to the protesting from the community and elected officials, demanding a more comprehensive plan for the site. EDC is now working with DSNY on the project, but DSNY is still the lead agency for the garage proposal, which encompasses the middle section of the site. EDC is the lead agency on the development of the bookend parcels of the site and will be working with the community to come up with options for the development of that property. The EDC has also formed a working group to address possibilities for the bookend property of the site, consisting of community board members, elected officials, residents and other community advocates, which will first meet on February 23 and it will be holding up to eight additional meetings through the end of April.

The most recent meeting on the garage, which itself was held inside one of the buildings at the Brookdale Campus, was mainly an opportunity for the DSNY to come before the committee and the public and discuss changes to its proposal for the garage. It is the first time since a previous meeting in June, 2013, also held in the auditorium at Brookdale, that DSNY has publicly spoken about the proposal and it is the first time the EDC has come to one of the committee meetings specifically to address the proposed sanitation garage.

This particular meeting had also been postponed a number of times due to scheduling and weather, but when the two agencies got through their respective presentations, the consensus among the residents was no different than at meetings in the past: we don’t want this garage in our community.

Kate Van Tassel, Vice President of the EDC, wasn’t able to get through much of her presentation before being interrupted by an angry resident who said that he was sick of hearing the same thing from the city about the garage proposal and was upset that the construction of the garage would mean giving up a viable housing facility. Van Tassel explained that this presentation was actually new, and did offer different options for community space on the bookend parcels such as affordable housing, which has not been discussed at previous meetings on the garage, but all of the plans were working under the assumption that the sanitation garage would still be located in the middle portion of the property.

Continue reading

Senate Democrats push ethics reforms

State Senator Brad Hoylman (at podium) discusses his legislation in Albany.

State Senator Brad Hoylman (at podium) discusses his legislation in Albany.

By Sabina Mollot

Amidst growing interest from the media about state lawmakers’ outside incomes and last week’s quick replacement of the longtime leader of the Assembly, Senate Democrats have introduced a package of legislative reforms aimed at cleaning up the Capitol.

Mainly, the new bills, which were introduced on Monday afternoon at an Albany press conference, are aimed at capping politicians’ outside incomes, making it illegal for officials to use campaign cash for any criminal defense fees they incur and stripping corrupt officials of their pensions.

So far, the Democrats have said the Republican majority has blocked its efforts for ethics reform.

However, with the spotlight being firmly planted on state legislators’ outside activities and U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara’s warning the public to “stay tuned,” some Democrats, like Brad Hoylman, are hopeful this might change.

“This is a great Watergate moment for the state legislature,” said Hoylman, “and by that I mean that public confidence is at an all-time low. And it is up to both parties to usher in some reform, much like the Congress did in 1974. We should look at that example.”

Continue reading

Flatiron snowmen are not what they seem

The marble snowmen statues were designed by artist Peter Regli. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The marble snowmen statues were designed by artist Peter Regli. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With the Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza having become a hotspot for businesses looking to promote themselves through events and displays, a more recent use of the space at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue — as the home to a group of 12 snowmen — feels like a breath of fresh air, albeit a below freezing one with a blast of slush courtesy of passing cars.

But upon taking a closer look at the multi-sized Frostys, passersby have been discovering that they aren’t made of snow at all, but marble, and are part of a city-organized art installation. The snowmen are in fact “Snow Monsters,” designed by artist Peter Regli as part of his “Reality Hacking” series of exhibits.

The snowmen, even up close, look pretty close to the real thing, as they’re built to show various stages of melting and are different sizes. They also are all positioned to face south towards the Flatiron Building across the street. They were fabricated in Da Nang, Vietnam, by the Hánh family, who specialize in crafting traditional marble statues for Buddhist temples.

The installation was commissioned by the Department of Transportation, which is working alongside the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership.

Continue reading

ST instructor launches fitness class at Otto’s

Tim Haft leads a MoshFit class at Otto’s Shrunken Head’s concert space. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Tim Haft leads a MoshFit class at Otto’s Shrunken Head’s concert space. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Personal trainer Tim Haft has come up with a solution for New Yorkers who are already dreading the drudgery of the gym memberships from their New Year’s resolutions with a new class called MoshFit.

Haft is no stranger to unconventional fitness classes (or the use of puns for creative class names) as the founder of Punk Rope, which is held at the 14th Street Y every Monday. But MoshFit takes the casual nature of Punk Rope, which he describes as a “throwback to recess,” and puts it in the back room of Otto’s Shrunken Head, one of the last tiki bars in the East Village and in a space that is normally used for concerts.

And in case you forgot you were exercising in a bar, Haft said that MoshFitters can reward themselves afterwards at happy hour, with $4 draft beers.

“You don’t usually see a fitness class in a bar,” Haft admitted, “but I know the space and I know the crowd. It’s very rock and roll but it’s also the East Village so I thought that could work.”

Aside from the location, the class itself will also have a “rock and roll” feel, since the music playing will be less like the top-40 tracks normally found at a gym and more punk rock, ska, metal and other related genres. The workout itself will combine creative and traditional calisthenics, as well as partner and group conditioning drills designed to improve stamina, agility, balance and strength.

Haft isn’t worried about having enough room for all the people who want to participate, because he noted that about 50 people were able to fit into the back room for a previous event. But if it does become a tight squeeze, he wouldn’t mind that so much.

“If it becomes a huge hit, then that’s a nice problem to have,” he said.

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 12

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bare floors create worse noise in converted apts.

Kudos to “Whatever happened to the carpet rule?”! (letter, T&V, Feb. 5)

I would like to add that when apartments are sub-divided and the dining area and another three feet becomes the new living room area and when there are several people in that area (as is often the case), the noise volume is exponentially increased because of the small enclosed space and the echo created when there is no carpeting.

It is sad and unfair that we (I am a lifelong tenant) are unable to enjoy peaceful days or nights in our apartments anymore. I am surrounded both next door and above, with new tenants who either stomp all of the time, drag furniture across the bedroom floor (between midnight and 3 a.m.) and/or who frequently have noisy company, in the “mini living area” during the day and late at night.  And I won’t even mention the constant loud slamming of the apartment doors!

In fairness, I have called security several times and they did speak to the offending tenants and remind them that they are supposed to have carpeting as well as that the noise level was unacceptable. One time, when the stomping and noise level did not abate, security retuned again and spoke with them. They also assured me that they would file the requisite reports.

Although I am a lifelong tenant, I have had several apartment inspections, which I was told were normal protocol – to verify that we did not put up an illegal wall, which we had not.

How are these other apartments not having the same inspection, including for carpeting?

Perhaps the solution is for management to inspect new tenant apartments for compliance and install commercial carpet remnants (cheap enough) when a violation of the carpeting rule is discovered. Since many tenants are transient, they are not motivated to comply with the rules, if there is no penalty imposed.

Name withheld, ST

Continue reading

Pols cheer Fashion Week’s impact on city’s economy

Eric Gertler of the EDC, Polish Consul General Urszula Gacek, fashion designer Karolina Zmarlak, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilmember Dan Garodnick, FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown and State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Eric Gertler of the EDC, Polish Consul General Urszula Gacek, fashion designer Karolina Zmarlak, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilmember Dan Garodnick, FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown and State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Ahead of the beginning of New York’s spring Fashion Week today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney released a report with the Joint Economic Committee detailing the economic benefits of both Fashion Week and the fashion industry as a whole for the city. The report highlighted the $887 million economic impact of Fashion Week, which makes it one of the largest industries in New York.

Maloney presented the report at FIT while wearing a dark mauve-colored dress designed by Polish-born designer and FIT graduate Karolina Zmarlak, stepping out from behind the podium and giving a quick spin.

“It would look much better on a model I’m sure,” Maloney joked. “But the point is that it was made in New York.”

Zmarlak is the first Polish-born designer to be sold in a US luxury retailer with Saks Fifth Avenue and she was an early recipient from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Fashion Production Fund, a new program that was launched by EDC and provides bridge loans to fashion designers to assist them in moving their products to market.

Maloney said she was surprised by the economic impact that Fashion Week has on the city, noting that it had a higher impact than the US Open and the 2014 Super Bowl, and more than twice that of the New York City Marathon. The fashion industry employs over 180,000 people in the city, including 16,000 manufacturing jobs. Jobs in the industry are paying approximately $11 billion in wages, generating almost $2 billion in tax revenue each year.

Continue reading

Stuy Town resident-owned gallery showing rare works by Dr. Seuss

Jeff Jaffe, who owns Pop International with wife Nanette, stands by one of the pieces in the exhibit. (Photo by Frances Sinkowitsch)

Jeff Jaffe, who owns Pop International with wife Nanette, stands by one of the pieces in the exhibit. (Photo by Frances Sinkowitsch)

By Sabina Mollot

When people think of Dr. Seuss, detailed oil paintings and taxidermy-inspired sculptures aren’t necessarily what come to mind. But the world-famous children’s book author and illustrator known for his whimsical creatures like Cat in the Hat and the Grinch did create other types of art, which he called his “midnight art.” And a number of those midnight art pieces are now part of an exhibit at a gallery in midtown owned by a Stuyvesant Town couple. The husband and wife team, Jeff Jaffe and Nanette Ross, own Pop International Galleries, which has two locations, the flagship in SoHo, and another in midtown’s Citicorp Building. The latter venue will be the site of the Seuss exhibit, called “The Cat Behind the Hat,” which will also feature some of the more well-known images from the artist’s beloved books.

Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, enjoyed a nearly seven-decade-long career and his midnight art, along with the other pieces, are being made available courtesy of his widow Audrey. This was in accordance with Seuss’s wishes that his secret works be shared with the public after his death. No originals will be available for sale but limited edition prints and artist proofs, which are museum quality, will be. Prices on the works range from $500-$35,000 depending on their rarity, and Jaffe, who spoke with Town & Village on Monday afternoon, said five pieces had already been sold that morning alone.

The exhibit, which opens today, Thursday, February 12, will run through the end of the month. It’s timed to coincide with Seuss’s birthday and the 25th anniversary of his last book, Oh the Places You’ll Go.

For Jaffe, the best part of the exhibit is the midnight art, since it shows a side of the artist that most of his fans have never seen.

“What’s great about his personal art is that he loved to do it more than anything,” Jaffe said. However, this is not to say Seuss didn’t enjoy the work he did for his children’s books. Rather than feel stifled as an artist by the illustrative style he was best known for, “he was quite humble that his books had such a profound effect.”

As for how he came to be known as Dr. Seuss, this was his mother’s maiden name “and she always wanted him to become a doctor,” said Jaffe. “That’s how he was. He had a diabolical sense of humor.”

Seuss’s style and the kinds of art he did evolved over the years. He did graphic art and advertising design in his early years and later on children’s books. He also did what he called “unorthodox taxidermy” pieces throughout his career though mostly early on, and ten of them will be on view at Pop International. Jaffe noted how the sculptures, in materials like resin, were fashioned from real bird bills and other parts from animals that had died that Seuss would get from his father who worked at a zoo. No actual animal parts are in the final art pieces, which have the artist’s distinctive style through details like googly eyes on a walrus. “They’re absolutely hilarious,” said Jaffe.

So far, the reaction to the exhibition has been, as expected, huge.

“We get avid, avid art collectors and we have people who just love Dr. Seuss,” said Jaffe. One illustration that’s been especially popular is “Kid, You’ll Move Mountains,” which is from the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

“It’s the sort of thing you’d buy for a graduation,” said Jaffe. “It’s been really quite amazing to see the reaction and emotion.”

As the gallery’s name suggests, Pop International features works by pop artists from newcomers to the most well known like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. A show coming up at the SoHo location in March will feature five street artists with the focus on the Brazilian female artist Panmela Castro. Much of her work has had the theme of awareness of violence against women. Her works will be joined by works by four male artists in an exhibition titled, “We’ve Got Your Back, Girl.” The other artists are Dom, Pattinson, Chris Stain and Joe Ivato, and the show will be done in association with Creative Arts Works.

The Dr. Seuss exhibition will have its official opening at Pop International, 153 East 53rd Street (Citicorp building Atrium), with a reception taking place on February 12 from 5-8 p.m. To RSVP (required), call (917) 302-8404. A catalogue with prices can be requested online at popinternational.com.

Jaffe and Ross have owned the midtown gallery for two and a half years and the SoHo one at 473 West Broadway for 18 years. They’ve lived in Stuyvesant Town, where they’ve raised two children, for 25 years.

Police Watch: Teens arrested for First Ave. robberies, Man busted for multiple ‘burglaries’

Police arrested three teens at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street last Thursday at 2:50 a.m. for two different robberies.
One of the victims told police that he was walking south on First Avenue at the northeast corner of East 23rd Street when three unknown boys surrounded him and demanded his phone.
The victim said that one of the teens took a wooden stick and started to hit him on the face and body. While he was trying to run away, his phone fell out of his pocket and police later recovered the victim’s phone from the right pants pocket of one of the teens.
A second victim told police that she was waiting for the bus at the northeast corner of East 23rd Street and First Avenue when the three teens tried to snatch her phone from her hand. She said that she was texting when they walked up behind her, reached over her shoulder and tried to grab her phone. She told police that she started running away and as she was running, the teens threw large chunks of ice at her, which hurt her lower back.
The names of the teens are being withheld due to their age.

Police arrested 28-year-old Elijah Johnson for the sale of marijuana in front of 515 East 14th Street last Friday at 4:59 p.m. Police said that Johnson sold a quantity of marijuana to an undercover officer. Johnson was also charged with possession of marijuana.

Police arrested 36-year-old Ping Du and 26-year-old Yun Lu for prostitution inside Moon Boy Spa at 101 West 25th Street last Friday at 5:15 p.m. Police said that Du massaged an undercover officer and agreed to engage in sexual intercourse for $160. Lu massaged the same undercover officer and allegedly agreed to engage in anal sex in exchange for $160. Du and Lu could not produce valid massage licenses.

Police arrested 67-year-old Ira Goldberg for burglary, grand larceny and petit larceny inside the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Police said that Goldberg entered the fifth floor of the Adorama camera store at 42 West 18th Street without permission and opened a locked door with a credit card. He also allegedly went to the sales floor of the location and removed camera equipment valued over $15,000. He was charged with two counts of burglary in the 13th Precinct this year, one count of grand larceny in Midtown South last year, one count of grand larceny and two counts of petit larceny in the 13th precinct last year and one count of grand larceny and petit larceny in the Midtown North precinct this year.

Police arrested 28-year-old Christopher Marcano inside Bellevue at 462 First Avenue last Thursday at 2:20 a.m. Marcano was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police said that Marcano was acting loud and aggressive inside an ER patient holding area, causing alarm and a hazardous environment to other patients. Marcano also allegedly pulled his arms away as officers attempted to put him in handcuffs, causing a struggle.

Police arrested 44-year-old Jamel Lee for an unclassified felony and fraud inside 444 Second Avenue last Friday at 12:20 p.m. Lee is a registered New York State level 2 sex offender after having been convicted of attempted rape in the first degree on September 3, 1991. Lee allegedly gave a written statement containing false information and intending to defraud the state as to his true residence or living status.
He allegedly failed to notify New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services of an address change within 10 calendar days by September 11, 2012 as required by New York State corrections law.
Police said that he also failed to return the signed annual verification forms to New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services after they were mailed to his last registered address in 2013 and 2014 as required by corrections law and he allegedly failed to appear at his local law enforcement agency to provide a photo within 20 days after his annual registration date, by July 18, 2014, as required every three years by NYC corrections law.

Police arrested 31-year-old Tiffany King and 38-year-old Antonne Frazier for criminal trespassing inside 224 East 28th Street last Wednesday at 10:50 p.m. King and Frazier allegedly entered and remained unlawfully on the roof landing at the building even though signs in the stairwell state that there is no access to the roof and roof landing except for authorized personnel.

Police arrested 57-year-old vendor Young Yang for forgery in front of 37 West 28th Street last Tuesday at 1:45 p.m. Police said that Yang was displaying 36 bracelets with a trademark counterfeit logo for I Love NY.
Police arrested 43-year-old Prakash Dasani for forgery in front of 1201 Broadway last Friday at 2:25 p.m. Dasani was allegedly displaying 107 pieces of costume jewelry which bore a trademark counterfeit logo for I Love NY.

Police arrested 27-year-old Iasia Purcell for endangering the welfare of a child inside 4 East 28th Street last Tuesday at 12:33 p.m. Purcell allegedly left her daughter and son alone and unsupervised for almost two hours.

Police arrested 22-year-old Abdoully Kane for possession of marijuana last Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the corner of Broadway and West 29th Street. Police said that Kane had a small plastic bag of marijuana in his right hand. He was brought back to the stationhouse and issued a summons.

Police arrested two men for the sale of marijuana and possession of marijuana on the corner of Broadway and West 28th Street last Tuesday at 5:50 p.m. Alexander Henson, 27, and Stephon Pierre, also 27, allegedly sold a quantity of marijuana to an undercover officer. Police said that Henson was also in possession of a controlled substance and that Pierre was in possession of additional marijuana.

Two men were arrested for criminal trespassing inside ATM vestibules this past week.
Cleon Vondothard, 46, was arrested inside 225 Fifth Avenue last Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Vondothard was allegedly inside the Chase ATM vestibule and was not conducting any bank business and did not have permission to be inside the location.
Police arrested 55-year-old Christopher Schafer for criminal trespassing inside the Bank of America at 399 Third Avenue last Friday at 6:31 a.m. Police said that Schafer did not have permission to be inside the location and a sign at the facility says that it may only be used to conduct banking business.

Police arrested 47-year-old Kevin McNicholas at the Union Square subway station last Friday at 3:30 a.m. for an unclassified violation of New York State laws. McNicholas was allegedly completely outstretched on a downtown 4 train, occupying multiple seats and with his feet up.

Police arrested 48-year-old Wendell Foston for an unclassified violation of New York State laws in front of 100 West 24th Street last Saturday at 1:33 a.m. Foston was allegedly urinating on a public sidewalk in public view.

Cops arrest box-cutter attack suspect

Surveillance photos of box-sutter attack suspect

Surveillance photos of box-cutter attack suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a man they say used a box-cutter to slash two men across the face and punch and smack other victims, all in one morning on the street and on the subway.

Twenty-four-year-old Derrick Mcleod of 82 Macon Street, Brooklyn, has been charged with five counts of assault and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Cops said the pattern began on Wednesday at around 1:10 a.m. when Mcleod allegedly punched another straphanger in the face on a northbound 4 train at Broadway/Lafayette.

Then at 1:18 a.m., he punched another random stranger in the face at the Bleecker stop. McLeod had a metal object in his hand at the time, the victim said, and as a result of the punch, he got a cut on his face.

At Union Square, McLeod fled the location where he allegedly slapped a 20-year-old woman on the right side of her face, causing her injury.

He then made his way up the stairs near the Food Emporium, where a 46-year-old man was standing by the elevator. He then asked the other man for $2, and when he refused, McLeod slashed him on the right side of his face, police said. Minutes later, McLeod crossed 14th Street where a 59-year-old man was waiting for the M14 bus. That man was then asked for a dollar, and when he refused, McLeod allegedly slashed on the right side of his face.

All victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

Police said they found the box-cutter at a nearby location and that McLeod later admitted (in substance) to all the attacks except the slap.

His attorney, Karen Funk, declined to comment on the arrests.

Pols, tenants weigh in on Silver, Skelos

State Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman say reports of corruption in Albany make people think all politicians are the same. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

State Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman say reports of corruption in Albany make people think all politicians are the same. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Just eight days after the arrest of one of Albany’s famed three men in a room, came the news that another one in the power trio, Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, was also being investigated. U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara, whose investigation into Sheldon Silver led to his stepping down as Assembly speaker on Monday, is looking into Skelos’ ties to real estate and outside income from a law firm, the New York Post reported.

Skelos, of Long Island, has since reportedly laughed off the allegations.

Meanwhile, at the ribbon cutting for the new Asser Levy Playground in Manhattan on Friday morning, Town & Village cornered a couple of local state senators as well as a few community leaders to ask for their thoughts on the latest scandals from the Capitol.

Senate Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman both told Town & Village that it’s a shameful day in Albany any time there’s news of alleged criminal activity.

“Everyone who’s in elected office knows that they’re supposed to be held to a higher standard,” said Krueger. “The vast majority of us believe in good government, and when this happens, people think, ‘A pox on all your heads.’ Who’s going to want to run for office if everybody thinks you’re a criminal?”

When asked if she was just relieved it was a Republican on the hot seat this time, the Democrat senator insisted she wasn’t.

“No. I think any time there’s an elected official in Albany that gets indicted, the general public believes ‘they’re all corrupt and there’s no point in government.’”

Continue reading

$100G destruction spree at Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception Church (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Immaculate Conception Church (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Brooklyn resident Michael Torres is being charged with burglary and criminal mischief to be prosecuted as hate crimes after police said that the 20-year-old vandalized Immaculate Conception Church at 414 East 14th Street last Wednesday night.

Local blog Bedford and Bowery originally reported the vandalism last Thursday, noting that Torres was caught on camera leaving an AA meeting at the church earlier that day and reportedly returned later in the evening, forcing the front door open. John Matcovich, the parish manager at the church, said that the side doors of the church were also badly damaged, but from the inside.

“He must have thought those were rooms but they’re just other doors that lead back outside, to the courtyard,” Matcovich said.

Torres had allegedly used the end of an incense holder as a battering ram to break through the side doors. Although the church is in the process of sorting out the cost of the damage, Matcovich said that the administrators made sure to fix and secure the doors as soon as possible.

In addition to the doors, the vandalism was originally reported to cost $100,000 in damage but Matcovich said that once everything is finalized with the insurance company, it will likely be more. He noted that all 14 of the Stations of the Cross had been destroyed and those alone were worth more than $3,000 each.

The blog noted that a number of statues at the church were destroyed, including a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary that was over a hundred years old and had been moved from Mary Help of Christians shortly before it was demolished in 2013. An icon depicting the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus was also destroyed.

Matcovich noted that due to the mess from the vandalism, mass had to be held in the parish basement on Thursday but he said that partially due to the quick work of the insurance company in documenting the damage, the church was able to reopen on Friday.

“That was really important to us,” Matcovich said.

Matcovich will be putting a list together for the insurance company once church officials know what can’t be salvaged, but he said that a fund is being set up if community residents or parishioners want to contribute. Checks can be made out to Immaculate Conception Church but with a note in the memo that the donation is for the vandalism relief fund.

Bedford and Bowery noted that Torres was caught by police after he found himself locked inside the church’s cloister and he was arrested shortly before 11 p.m. He was being held on $10,000 bail or bond but the Department of Corrections said that he was released on Tuesday because his bail had been paid.

Torres’ attorney Steve Hoffman said that his client was currently being psychiatrically evaluated and since Torres made bail, his family has been taking care of him.

“We’re hopeful that he gets the help that he clearly needs,” Hoffman said.

Ribbon cut at newly expanded Asser Levy Playground

Feb5 Asser Levy Garodnick equipment

Council Member Dan Garodnick tries out the adult fitness equipment. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Friday morning, in near-freezing weather following the second snowfall in a week, local community leaders and politicians cut the ribbon on the newly expanded Asser Levy Playground.

Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver joked that “It’s a pleasure to cut a ribbon on this warm and sunny day,” as the politicians on either side of him sat bundled up for the cold. He then went on to say the project had been successful in terms of being both “on time and on budget and that gets a double round of applause.”

New features along the two-block-long park that was formerly a street include a track, adult fitness equipment, a synthetic turf field, drinking fountains, lighting, trees, tables and benches.

The work was funded with allocations of $1,175,000 from Council Member Dan Garodnick, $500,000 from the UN Development Corporation, and $670,000 from the mayor.

While at the podium, Silver joked that Garodnick was so enamored with project, “he named his son Asher.”

In response Garodnick confided that he’d actually told his son that the playground had been named after him.

“There are no limits to my deception,” he quipped. “I told him it was a typo on the sign.” He added that since he also has another son, “We’ll have to see what we can do for Devin.”

While construction had been underway at the site, the Council member said he and both of his young sons would pop by each day from their apartment in Peter Cooper Village and ask the project supervisor for status updates. And, he added, the supervisor was very nice about it.

The playground work was tied to a land deal that would allow the United Nations to put a building on space occupied by Robert Moses Park.While naturally the plan to remove that park space has been met with some opposition from neighbors, Garodnick said Robert Moses Park is underutilized, as the space now occupied by Asser Levy Playground was when it was a street.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

Mayor focuses on housing in State of the City address

Mayor Bill de Blasio referenced Stuyvesant Town during his speech on affordable housing gone wrong. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Mayor Bill de Blasio referenced Stuyvesant Town during his speech on affordable housing gone wrong. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his second State of the City address at Baruch College at Lexington Avenue and East 23rd Street on Tuesday morning, making affordable housing the focus of the speech and his agenda for the next year. He outlined a number of new programs, including housing for targeted populations like seniors and veterans and said that he would be working to protect tenants against predatory landlords and institute mandatory inclusionary zoning to require affordable housing in new developments.

The mayor singled out Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in the address, praising the complex as a bastion of affordable housing and an example that his administration will follow, but acknowledged that there are lessons to be learned when building a new development planned for Sunnyside, Queens.

“Stuy Town, when it opened in 1947, provided our city with 11,250 affordable apartments, a community where trees and parks, and shops dotted a landscape from which residents could actually see the sky,” the mayor said. “We’re bringing that same kind of scale, and a real sense of urgency, to Sunnyside Yards and setting the same exact goal of 11,250 affordable units, as part of a neighborhood that anyone would be proud to call home. And in contrast to the recent history of Stuy Town, we’re going to make sure that affordable housing at Sunnyside Yards stays that way.”

The mayor noted in the address that one of the problems with housing for middle class New Yorkers has been is that the city did not have strong enough laws or rules in place that limited what developers were allowed to build.

Continue reading