Police Watch: M&M ‘thief’ busted, ‘Drunk’ driver arrested

DRIVER WITH SICK DOG ARRESTED AFTER HITTING TWO MEN AT CONSTRUCTION SITE
Police arrested Jair Freire, 53, for leaving the scene of an accident in front of 38 East 22nd Street last Thursday at 10:06 a.m. Freire was rushing to the veterinary hospital with his sick dog and while stopped in traffic on East 22nd Street, he approached the men doing construction on the street and requested that he be allowed to go through due to an emergency. When they refused, Freire allegedly proceeded anyway and in the process, struck one of them with the passenger’s side of his vehicle, knocking him to the ground and causing a back and neck injury.
Police said that Freire also struck another man at the construction site with the driver’s side of the vehicle, knocking him to the ground and causing a scrape on his right elbow. He allegedly fled the scene of the accident and was later found at the veterinary hospital at 1 West 15th Street.

M&M ‘THIEF’ BUSTED AT BELLEVUE SOUTH PARK
Police arrested 54-year-old Bernard Santiago for robbery inside the 7-Eleven at 395 Third Avenue last Saturday at 8:20 p.m. The victim told police that Santiago went into the store, grabbed 19 bags of M&Ms candy bags and walked out without paying.
Store employees ran after Santiago and brought him into the back office, telling him that they were going to call the police. Santiago then allegedly took out a sharp object, which the victim said was a knife, and slashed her on the hand, causing a cut. Police said that Santiago then fled the store.
After canvassing Bellevue South Park, police found Santiago, who matched the employees’ description. One of the employees positively identified him and he was arrested. Police said that no knife was found on him.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘DRUNK’ DRIVING AFTER ACCIDENT
Police arrested 26-year-old Christoph Dumont for intoxicated driving on East 14th Street and the FDR last Saturday at 6:28 a.m. Dumont, who was driving on the FDR, was in a car accident that only involved him and his passengers. Police said that the accident occurred on the FDR service road on the jogging path.
Upon further investigation, police found that Dumont was allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Police said that he had the scent of alcohol on his breath and seemed very excited. He was given a Breathalyzer at the scene and allegedly tested a BAC of .159. When he was arrested, police found that he was also in possession of alleged marijuana, and he was charged for that as well.
Three of the passengers in the vehicle were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries.

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Garodnick bill would close stores selling K2

A packet of synthetic marijuana or K2, labeled “spice”

A packet of synthetic marijuana or K2, labeled “spice”

By Sabina Mollot

K2, or synthentic marijuana, a new drug associated with the growing homeless population that they city has recently declared war on, is now facing combat legislatively.

On Monday morning, the City Council held a hearing to discuss new bills to fight the epidemic, including one, by Council Member Dan Garodnick, that would shut down bodegas that have been selling the product cheaply and openly.

“Until they clean up their act,” he said. This would be by recognizing synthetic drug violations as a nuisance that could be declared under the Nuisance Abatement Law.

The problem currently, explained Garodnick, that despite the store owners’ brazen behavior, those hawking the product have been able to stay one step ahead of the law by routinely altering the chemical mix of ingredients.

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ST Associated owner worried about renewal

The Associated’s owners recently closed a Third Avenue Met Foods supermarket. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The Associated’s owners recently closed a Third Avenue Met Foods supermarket. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The owners of Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket are worried that theirs could be the next local supermarket to disappear.

While the end of the store’s 15-year lease is still two years away, one of the owners said they have been trying to confirm that there would be an opportunity to renew at that time for over a year.

According to Joseph Falzon, the principal owner of the Associated, he’d been asking because he wants to renovate the store.

But, he explained to Town & Village, he wanted to make sure the store had a future before making the investment, which he feels is necessary given competition from places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Union Square.

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Harvest in the Square, now 20, raises $350K

Lillie’s Chef Thomas Contessa (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Lillie’s Chef Thomas Contessa (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Union Square neighborhood gave fall an early welcome last Thursday at Harvest in the Square, the annual culinary event that raises funds for the park’s maintenance and programming, this year bringing in $352,000 and over $5 million since the event began.

The event celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and Coffee Shop co-founder Eric Petterson, who worked with restaurateur Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group to launch the event in 1995, said he was happy with what it’s become.

“It’s just an amazing event as far as raising money for Union Square Park,” he said. “It’s weird how time flies. This was really hard work when we started.”

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Stein Center could be model for Thai and Japanese senior centers

Jane Barry

Jane Barry

By Sabina Mollot

Gramercy’s Stein Senior Center may end up being used as a model for similar centers to open in Thailand and Japan, Stein’s administrators said this week.

On Friday, September 25, the nonprofit center will be hosting Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s wife, Naraporn Chanocha and her retinue, to give a tour and explain Stein’s operations. Naraporn Chanocha is a former associate professor at Chulalongkorn University.

“They want to start services for seniors in Thailand,” said Stein Executive Director Jane Barry, “and they want to know how we do it. Specifically, in our role as an independent senior center.”

Although Stein, located at the Firefighters’ Building on East 23rd Street, is one of many senior centers to get some funding from the city for its meals and programming, it’s independent in that it’s not part of a larger organization like the Educational Alliance’s Sirovich Center.

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Paddy Maguire’s bar turning 20

Patrick Maguire inside his horse racing themed bar in Gramercy (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Patrick Maguire inside his horse racing themed bar in Gramercy (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Paddy Maguire’s owner Patrick Maguire originally came to New York when he was 21 it was only supposed to be for three weeks, but he liked it so much he ended up staying. Since then, Maguire opened up the bar at 237 Third Avenue and the spot is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend.

Although he did have prior bartending experience before opening Paddy Maguire’s Ale House at the Water Club, his career change was more drastic than that of most bar owners.

“I was an apprentice jockey for about five years,” he said, explaining that he moved from his native Kilmallock, Ireland to England for the experience. “But I started growing my legs and soon they were three feet longer than they should’ve been, so I said the hell with it. You can only be so tall as a jockey. You either hurt yourself trying or you get out.”

Out of his 12 other siblings, it had been Maguire whose father singled out as the one son who would be involved in horses. But it wasn’t pushed on him. Maguire said that he genuinely enjoyed the experience.

“I loved every minute of it,” he said. “And it was good discipline. They were very strict. It was like being in a convent, to be honest.”

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Subway vigilante takes aim at MTA

Goetz blasts $40M projected cost of First Ave. L station’s Ave. A entrance

Bernie Goetz says Donald Trump could do a better job than the MTA at getting the  Avenue A entrance built at the First Avenue L station. (Pictured) Goetz gestures to the long walk down from the platform’s east end to First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Bernie Goetz says Donald Trump could do a better job than the MTA at getting the Avenue A entrance built at the First Avenue L station. (Pictured) Goetz gestures to the long walk down from the platform’s east end to First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Over 30 years ago, a man named Bernie Goetz would become known as the subway vigilante for shooting four men who tried to mug him on the train.

These days, Goetz, who lives on West 14th Street, leads a much quieter existence running his own small business, Vigilante Electronics, and on his own time, rescuing and rehabilitating injured squirrels in the neighborhood.

But one issue he felt the need to talk about recently is the First Avenue L subway station, where the MTA wants to add an Avenue A entrance as part of an overall upgrade project along the line.

Goetz is in support of this idea, but suggested that the reason it still hasn’t happened is the $40 million estimated price tag the MTA has put on it.

“Donald Trump could do it for five million and do it in one year,” said Goetz, although he then doubled that figure to account for entrances on each side of East 14th Street. Asked if he’s a supporter of the GOP presidential candidate, Goetz shot back, “I don’t even want to talk about it.”

He added that he would like to hear an estimate from an independent contractor. “I think it could be done for a small fraction of that,” he said.

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Alleged subway grinder messes with wrong straphanger

On Wednesday, September 23, cops arrested an alleged subway grinder who apparently targeted the wrong woman — an undercover transit police officer.

Police said it was at 5:50 p.m., when the female officer and a sergeant assigned to the Transit Manhattan Task Force Anti-Crime Unit, working in plainclothes, were on the southbound 4,5 and 6 line.

After they boarded a 5 train at Grand Central, a man, later identified as Javier Monroy, 39, also got on the train. As the train traveled to 14th Street, police said he made his way over to the officer. She then noticed as Monroy allegedly brushed up against her left hip and press his groin against her. The officer put her arm out to keep him away and once the train arrived at 14th Street and Union Square, she told her team that she’d been the victim of a sex crime. The cops then kept the train from leaving the station and identified themselves to Monroy as police officers.

Monroy of 1888 West 9th Street in Brooklyn has since been charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse 3.

Letters to the Editor, Sept. 24

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

In cases of bed bugs, just inspect the building

Recently, my Peter Cooper Village neighbor (who is in her nineties) discovered that her apartment has a bed bug infestation. She is now going through the same horrible situation that many others have gone through to exterminate bed bugs.

When I spoke to management about this situation and expressed my concerns over the possibility of bed bugs spreading to other apartments, I was informed that their policy is to inspect the two adjacent apartments and the apartment above and below the infested apartment. The Tenants Association Bed Bug Registry, which lists the building and floor (but not apartment number) where tenants have reported being infested, refers to this on their website (www.stpcvta.org/bedbug-registry) as the Cloverleaf Inspection.

Several months before my neighbor’s apartment was infested, the apartment adjacent to my neighbor was inspected and she did not have bed bugs. That indicates one or both of the apartments above and below the apartment next to my neighbor’s apartment must have been infested with bed bugs. If management knows that there have been at least two instances of bed bugs in 531 East 20th Street in Peter Cooper Village, why are they not inspecting the whole building? There are many apartments in both Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town that are having bedbug infestation problems. Bed bugs go through the walls into other apartments.

On many websites that discuss bed bug problems it is recommended that caulking from the baseboard to the floor should be done in apartments that have bed bugs. To the best of my knowledge, management is not doing this simple procedure.

We are all in this together and the next apartment might be yours. We need management to give all tenants in Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town full disclosure on which buildings now have, or have had, bed bug infestations.

These entire buildings need to be inspected, which only involves a five-minute walkthrough by a trainer and a bed bug sniffing dog in each apartment. Caulking also needs to be done in apartments that are or have been infested. This is being proactive and saving all of us from going through the nightmare that our neighbor and many others are going through.

Sheila O’Connor, PCV

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Police Watch: Men arrested for phone ‘snatching,’ man arrested with dildo

‘MASTURBATOR’ ARRESTED NEAR UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 44-year-old Reggie Frank for public lewdness at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Union Square East last Tuesday at noon. Frank allegedly exposed his erect penis through a hole in his shorts and started masturbating in front of the victim.

MAN CAUGHT WITH PANTS DOWN AND DILDO
John Pheffer, 69, was arrested for public lewdness in front of 3 East 27th Street last Wednesday at 2:49 p.m. Police said that he was in front of the building with his pants down, showing his private parts on a public sidewalk while holding a dildo in his left hand.

TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR PHONE ‘SNATCHING’
Police arrested 21-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and 26-year-old Cornell Williams for petit larceny at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street last Saturday at 3:40 a.m. Police said that the two men were working together to steal property from the victim. Williams allegedly swiped a black Samsung cell phone from next to the victim’s hand and police said that Rodriguez was standing as a lookout. Rodriguez was also charged with possession of marijuana and Williams, who police said was in possession of the phone that the men allegedly swiped, was also charged with possession of stolen property.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘GAMBLING’ DURING DICE GAME
Police arrested six people for promoting gambling in front of 344 East 28th Street last Saturday at 12:10 a.m. Forty-year-old Quammie Logan, 21-year-old Michael McCants, 46-year-old Zadie Morris, 38-year-old Ian Shillingford, 25-year-old James Paige and 48-year-old Sean Shillingford were allegedly in front of the building playing Cee-lo, a dice game, for cash. Police said that Logan was in possession of the dice and $80 in cash when he was stopped by the officer.
Morris and Ian Shillingford were also charged with possession of a gambling device and possession of marijuana. Morris was allegedly in possession of a grinder with marijuana residue and police said that Shillingford was in possession of 36 glassine envelopes of alleged marijuana.
McCants, Paige and Sean Shillingford were also charged with possession of a gambling device.

MAN BUSTED FOR ATTEMPTED BIKE ‘THEFTS’ ON E. 14TH ST.
Police arrested 32-year-old Angel Rivera for bribery and possession of stolen property in front of the Stuyvesant Town Associated Supermarket, 409 East 14th Street last Tuesday. At 10:19 a.m., Rivera was allegedly carrying a screwdriver and police said they observed him removing a bicycle and bike parts without permission. He allegedly threw the screwdriver on top of a van in an attempt to conceal the evidence. Police said that he was found in possession of stolen property.

GYM ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 24-year-old Christopher Lafontant for petit larceny inside the New York Sports Club at 10 Irving Place last Tuesday at 12:55 a.m. Police said that Lafontant removed property worth over $1,000 from lockers at the gym without permission.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘DRUGS’ IN NYCHA STAIRWELL
Police arrested two men for the sale of a controlled substance inside 344 East 28th Street last Tuesday at 10:10 p.m. Police said that 36-year-old William Glen and 54-year-old Gerald Beatty sold a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover detective in the staircase of a housing development. Police said that when they were stopped, Glen refused to be handcuffed by placing his hands inside his pockets and stiffening his arms. Police said he was in possession of a controlled substance that was in his left front pants pocket and he had a ziplock bag of alleged PCP in his right front pants pocket. He was also charged with resisting arrest, intent to sell a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

‘POT’ SMOKER TO COP: LEAVE ME ALONE
Adrian Cevallos, 24, was arrested at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 26th Street last Thursday at 3:32 p.m. Police said that Cevallos was smoking marijuana on a sidewalk and when an officer approached him, he allegedly tried to punch the cop, telling the officer to leave him alone. After a short chase, Cevallos allegedly resisted arrest by flailing his arms, going limp and forcefully pulling his arms away in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed. Cevallos was charged with resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct.

BIKE ‘THIEF’ BROKE LOCKS WITH TEETH
Police arrested 53-year-old Nathaniel Gaines for burglar’s tools in front of 130 East 25th Street last Wednesday at 11:08 a.m. Gaines was allegedly casing several bicycles near Sixth Avenue and West 26th Street. Police said he then proceeded to 130 East 25th Street where he was seen physically breaking bicycle locks with his teeth. He was also charged with petit larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.

CVS EMPLOYEE ASSAULTED
Police arrested 46-year-old Keith Morris for assault in front of the CVS Pharmacy at 750 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 10:10 p.m. The victim told police that while he was cleaning at work, Morris came up to the door of the store and started pulling on the handle. When the employee told him that they were closed, Morris allegedly grabbed him by the shirt, causing scratches on his chest. Two people walked out of the store, after which Morris allegedly punched the victim in the face multiple times, causing bruising and redness. The fight was broken up by a witness who was in the store.

‘PANHANDLER’ ARRESTED FOR BLOCKING TRAFFIC
Police arrested 46-year-old Rafael Cepeda for a New York State law unclassified misdemeanor and disorderly conduct at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 29th Street last Friday at 6:03 p.m. Police said that Cepeda was begging in a public street, walking over to moving vehicles and causing traffic to be impeded.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘CASING’ CARS
Sixty-year-old Louis Rosario was arrested for petit larceny at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street last Saturday at 5:46 p.m. Rosario was allegedly casing over 20 vehicles in a car break-in prone location and police said that they observed him for 45 minutes, walking around Gramercy Park and looking into vehicles while allegedly trying to gain access by pulling on the car door. Police said that when they searched him, he was in possession of merchandise that he could not explain how he acquired. Police said that the vehicle where he stole property from was parked at East 17th Street and Second Avenue.

Documentary on ST/PCV nearing completion

Filmmaker William Kelly

Filmmaker William Kelly

By Sabina Mollot

It was in 2008 when the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, realizing the vulnerability of the community as its new owner set to work at deregulating as many apartments as possible, decided to push for its preservation via landmarking.

Seven years later, that application for a landmark designation has still not been completed. However, this is only because the effort has shifted towards the creation of a documentary about the complex aimed at arguing its significance both architecturally and socially, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

At this time, according to its two producers, William Kelly and Marie Beirne, the project is around 75 percent finished.

It was over the past three years that Kelly has been doing research that’s included interviews with numerous community leaders of Stuy Town’s past and present.

“The biggest coup,” he shared in an interview with Town & Village last week, “is Lee Lorch. It was the last interview he did.” Lorch, who was the leader in the fight to desegregate Stuyvesant Town in its early years, died last year. The interview was conducted at the former activist and professor’s home in Toronto. Other people interviewed include local elected officials such as Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Dan Garodnick, New York Times reporter Charles Bagli, who wrote a book about the catastrophic sale of the property to Tishman Speyer called Other People’s Money, civil rights expert Maria Biondi, architects weighing on the property’s structural issues and various tenants.

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CW gets tougher with guest key-card policy

By Sabina Mollot

Recently, a Stuyvesant Town resident, who often has a friend from out of town stay with him, learned that guest key-card status for the woman would be rejected — that is, unless she agreed to register with the owner as an occupant. However, the resident, who didn’t want his name published, told Town & Village she doesn’t live in the apartment, and therefore has so far refused to register as an occupant. Along with friendship, she also fills an occasional role of caretaker for some of his health issues, he said. Management, meanwhile, said the tenant, hasn’t budged and has refused to issue a guest card.

A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to a comment on this issue, but Council Member Dan Garodnick told Town & Village that he has heard from “a handful” of residents who said CW has become more selective about issuing guest cards lately. Garodnick said this practice seems to run contrary to the key-card policy.

“The rule is that there is no limit to the number of key-cards a tenant can get,” said Garodnick. “Guests should be provided with permanent key-cards and guests include friends who come to visit on a regular basis or as needed to care for a tenant or their apartment. That’s the rule.”

After a tenant acquires four guest cards, additional ones come with a fee of eight dollars, but, stressed Garodnick, “you can get an unlimited number.”

He believes management’s reason for the recent denials has to do with weeding out illegal, short-term rental activity.

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Con Ed settles over accusations of sexual harassment, inequality

Con Edison building at 4 Irving Place

Con Edison building at 4 Irving Place

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Con Edison has agreed to a settlement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to resolve accusations of ongoing discrimination and sexual harassment against women working in field positions for the company.

The agreement requires that Con Ed reserve up to $3.8 million that will be distributed to over 300 female workers employed in field jobs through a claims process administered by the EEOC and the attorney general. A representative from Con Edison said that the utility had voluntarily entered into the settlement agreement to resolve the investigations that began in 2007 and the agreement resolves the investigation without findings of wrongdoing. However, complaints alleged that the company failed to take effective action to improve or prevent the discriminatory conditions. The women in field positions even reported that they faced retaliation when they complained to supervisors or to Con Edison’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion about their work conditions.

“I worked at Con Edison for thirteen years, primarily as an Inspector in the field,” Con Ed Inspector Kawana Howard said. “I loved my job, was good at what I did and took pride in the fact that I was helping to keep our city running. Yet over the years I faced gender-based discrimination from my some of my male supervisors and co-workers and was retaliated against when I complained, ultimately culminating in my recent termination.”

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Thirteenth Precinct holds 9/11 ceremony

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney of the 13th Precinct and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney of the 13th Precinct and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD gathered with community residents last Friday morning to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and honor the officers of the 13th Precinct, Moira Smith and Robert Fazio, who lost their lives.

The ceremony began at 8:30 and there was a moment of silence held at 8:46 a.m., the time that the first plane flew into the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

Reverend Tom Pike, former rector of Calvary Church, gave an invocation for the memorial, first reflecting on the dedication of the men and women of service who were working that day.

“Someone here was telling me earlier that there were two things he would never forget,” Pike said. “One was walking down those stairs out of the tower. The second thing he said was, ‘I’ll never forget that I saw people walking up those same stairs, the men and women in uniform, and I’ll never forget those faces.’ We’ll never forget these people.”

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No primary for 74th District, but no one tells voters about it

Signs at a Stuyvesant Town polling place in a prior election year

Signs at a Stuyvesant Town polling place in a prior election year

By Sabina Mollot

On Primary Day, which this year was on September 10, voters living in the 74th Assembly District were left without a chance to vote — not that anyone bothered to tell them this.

A primary wasn’t held in the district due to a lack of contested races, a spokesperson for the Board of Elections told Town & Village, but with no warnings about a cancellation, some die-hards still went out to cast their votes. One voter, Stuyvesant Town resident Susan Schoenbaum, told Town & Village she ended up wandering through much of the complex — after seeing that her assigned polling site, 10 Stuyvesant Oval, was closed with no sign of activity. The usual white and blue “Vote Here” signs in English and Spanish that get placed near polling sites on election days were also nowhere to be found.

Schoenbaum said she had not received anything in the mail about a polling site change, and an online check later of where her polling site should have been, on the city Board of Elections website, also showed it as being 10 Oval.

After walking around a while, and asking contractors on site in a golf cart if they knew where she could vote — they didn’t — Schoenbaum popped into the Public Safety office. There, an employee told her the department had received word the primary had been postponed until November.

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