Police Watch: Murderer arrested in Union Square shooting, Man arrested for sex abuse in Union Square

CONVICTED MURDERER ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE SHOOTING
Sixty-year-old Leslie Jiminez was arrested for assault last Sunday at 8:35 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. According to the New York Daily News, the 55-year-old victim, who helps run a custodial company, had just arrived at an office building at 126 Fifth Avenue near West 18th Street around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning to pay her employees when Jiminez approached her in the hallway and allegedly demanded her purse. The victim struggled with Jiminez, who allegedly shot her in the leg before running off with the $2,000 in cash meant for her workers.
Jiminez was also charged with robbery, reckless endangerment, weapons possession and menacing. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
DNAinfo reported that Jiminez has a rap sheet going back decades, with a robbery conviction in 1977 and a conviction for first-degree manslaughter in 1983. He was released in 1997.

MAN BUSTED FOR SEX ABUSE IN UNION SQUARE SUBWAY
Police arrested 23-year-old Charles Cassis for sexual abuse and public lewdness inside the Union Square subway station last Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Police said that Cassis rubbed his groin area on a woman’s buttocks repeatedly while they were on an uptown 5 train. Cassis also allegedly masturbated behind the victim. Police said that Cassis and the victim don’t know each other.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT L’EXPRESS
Police arrested 28-year-old David Richardson for allegedly assaulting an employee at L’Express restaurant at 249 Park Avenue South. The victim said last Sunday at 5 a.m. Richardson was being escorted out of the restaurant, which is when he punched the employee in the face.

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Concert series coming to Madison Square Park

Musician Kate Davis

Musician Kate Davis

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Madison Square Park Conservancy recently announced the lineup for the new music series taking place in the park on Saturdays starting on September 10. The Studio Series focuses on folk, jazz, blues and Americana music and concerts will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Kate Davis, who will kick off the series this year, is a songwriter who has performed with artists such as Alison Krauss, Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban. Davis, known for her double bass, is from Portland, Oregon and has been part of the music scene in New York since 2012.

The Studio Series is supported by public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the City Council, with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature.

The next concert will be held on September 17 and features Rhett Miller, with Bria Skonberg performing on September 24. The series concludes with Jamison Ross performing on October 1.

The free performances will take place at the southern end of the park near the Shake Shack. There will be some seating and café tables available. All shows will be rain or shine.

Cops hunting serial ice cream thieves hitting local drugstores

Surveillance photos of three of the individuals were captured at the time of the incident inside the Duane Reade at 67 Broad Street.

Surveillance photos of three of the individuals were captured at the time of the incident inside the Duane Reade at 67 Broad Street.

Cops are on the lookout for four relentless ice cream thieves who’ve been hitting drug stores in Flatiron, Kips Bay and other Manhattan neighborhoods, in some cases managing to swipe hundreds of cartons at a time.

Recent news reports indicate that there’s a trend in people stealing the treats from stores not for personal use during a particularly scalding summer but for resale to bodegas.

In February, Philip Jaudoa, 28, was arrested for allegedly stealing over $3,000 worth of ice cream and energy drinks from multiple stores.

In this string of thefts — 14 known cases — the male suspects have pilfered the good stuff: Haagen-Dazs, Talenti and Ben & Jerry’s, as well as the occasional haul of Red Bull energy drinks.

According to police, the first incident was on November 16, 2015 when the suspects strolled into the CVS located at 300 Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street and stole 40 cartons of Haagen-Dazs and 25 Red Bulls.

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Maloney: Economy better under Dem presidents

Council Member Ben Kallos, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Assembly Member Dan Quart

Council Member Ben Kallos, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Assembly Member Dan Quart

By Sabina Mollot

On the heels of Republican criticisms of the economy and President Obama’s handling of it, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and a few other elected officials responded with a press conference to argue that the economy has actually done better under Democratic presidents since World War II.

Maloney noted that since the Great Recession, unemployment has been halved from its worst point at 10 percent. Gross domestic product has also grown 1.6 times faster under Democrats on average, she said, with more job growth.

Maloney is a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton and has served as a campaign trail surrogate.

However, she insisted the announcement, made at Columbus Circle on July 22 wasn’t in response to anything that was said by Donald Trump, who’d just told America during the Republican National Convention that he was the country’s voice.

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Opinion: Time to nix these six

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Before you know it, the 2016 presidential election campaign will be (mercifully) over and then the political focus in New York City will almost immediately shift to the mayoral and other city elections in 2017. Aside from the mayor, there are elections including those for comptroller, public advocate, five borough presidents, district attorneys and all 51 members of the City Council. Each will be elected for four year terms of office. At least six of them are unnecessary.

But first a little recent history: Prior to 1989 this city was governed essentially by a body known as the Board of Estimate. It consisted of the three citywide elected officials: the mayor, the president of the City Council, the comptroller and each borough president.

The citywide officials had two votes on the board and each borough president had one vote.

The City Council was virtually powerless since most of the real decision making occurred at the Board of Estimate, including virtually all fiscal matters. After a lawsuit and changes to the New York City Charter much of that changed. The Board of Estimate was abolished and the City Council was empowered to make all legislative decisions. The office of the president of the City Council was also abolished and instead a speaker of the council was created, elected by the other members of the council.

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Elderly man fatally struck by ambulance at 14th St. and Second Ave.

Accident1 cropped

A man was hit by this ambulance as it turned left onto East 14th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

An 81-year-old man died after being hit by an ambulance on Monday afternoon as he crossed the street at the 14th Street and Second Avenue intersection.

According to police, the man, who was later identified as Gen Zhan, a resident of East 29th Street, was crossing as the ambulance was on Second Avenue, making a left turn onto 14th.

Zhan suffered severe body trauma after being hit and was taken to Bellevue, but doctors were unable to save him.

Later at the scene the ambulance’s emergency lights were still flashing although police didn’t have information on whether there had been a patient inside at the time of the accident.

One emergency responder said Zhan had actually gone against the light and hit the side of the ambulance, a blind spot, after it turned. He then fell back and hit his head. A police spokesperson said she didn’t have any information on whether he was going against the light. However, she said he had tried to run across the street, but didn’t make it and was hit while on the crosswalk.

Around two dozen cops and FDNY emergency officials responded to the scene and part of the intersection was closed to traffic for the remainder of the afternoon.

A rep for police said the matter was still under investigation, but no criminality was suspected. The ambulance driver, 22, remained at the scene. The case is being handled by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Zhan was a resident of Renwick Gardens, an apartment complex for seniors in Kips Bay.

Medicaid office at Bellevue closed

By Sabina Mollot

A Town & Village reader alerted us last week to some outdated information online with regards to Medicaid services that ended up causing her to go to the wrong address for help on one of the summer’s hottest days.

The reader, a Stuy Town resident, said she’d read online that the most nearby Medicaid office was at 462 First Avenue inside Bellevue Hospital. But when she got there, she was informed that the location had been closed for two years.

“Not two days, not two weeks, two years,” she said. She was then redirected to the Medicaid office at 115 Chrystie Street on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

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Get to know your native plants, one streetside planter at a time

Boy Scout Baird Johnson, Epiphany Church custodian Fidel Rivera, and Solar One employees Diana Grueberg, Stuyvesant Cove Park gardener, and Liza Mindemann, park manager

Boy Scout Baird Johnson, Epiphany Church custodian Fidel Rivera, and Solar One employees Diana Grueberg, Stuyvesant Cove Park gardener, and Liza Mindemann, park manager

By Liza Mindemann, Stuyvesant Cove Park manager

In an effort to add some green to Second Avenue, Stuyvesant Cove Park, which is managed by Solar One, recently partnered with Epiphany Church to fill unclaimed street planters at the corner of Second Ave and 22nd Street.

Stuy Cove supplied the plants, carefully dug and potted by community volunteers from areas where the park’s plants were spreading too aggressively, while the church offered to take over the maintenance and watering of the planters going forward. The two parties jointly organized a volunteer event around planting day and with the help of Baird Johnson, a volunteer and also a member of the Boy Scouts, the soil in the planters was replenished with compost from Stuy Cove and filled with an array of native plants, curated to bloom throughout the season.

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ST mayoral candidate focused on charters, affordable housing

Stuyvesant Town resident Joshua Thompson, formerly an employee of the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, recently ditched a City Council campaign to run for mayor instead. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town resident Joshua Thompson, formerly an employee of the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, recently ditched a City Council campaign to run for mayor instead. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Back in February, Town & Village interviewed the first person to officially become a candidate for the City Council seat currently occupied by a term-limited Dan Garodnick. That individual was Joshua Thompson, a resident of Stuyvesant Town who previously worked for then-mayor Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey as well as for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. His platform, he admitted, was still in the works, but he considered education and affordable housing priorities. Then, in May, as T&V first reported, Thompson dropped out of the race, because he was running for mayor instead.

On a recent afternoon, Thompson met with a reporter to discuss his campaign and his surprising decision to run against an incumbent mayor (albeit an embattled one), as an unknown in the world of New York politics.

Asked if running for mayor was the plan from the beginning, Thompson said no. He’d been interested in running for the Council but later felt he wanted to help more under-served communities than those in the 4th District (which runs in a crooked, gerrymandered way from Stuyvesant Town to 96th Street along the East Side of Manhattan).

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Stuy Town’s sports tent won’t return next year

Management cites environmental reasons, but will partner with PSLL on alternate practice location

The sports tent at Playground 11 a.ka. The Courts at Stuy Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The sports tent at Playground 11 a.ka. The Courts at Stuy Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Courts at Stuy Town, the name given to the tented basketball courts open during colder months at Playground 11, will not be returning this coming winter. ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk made the announcement in an emailed newsletter last Wednesday, noting that analysis showed that “the actual usage of the basketball courts did not contribute to the overall quality of life” for residents.

The newsletter noted that the decision not to bring back The Courts after just two seasons was because of environmental factors, but Hayduk clarified that this explanation had two meanings. The first related to Stuy Town’s “Good Neighbors” campaign aimed at reducing noise and other complaints related to quality of life.

“This was almost a three story tent and we got a lot of complaints about that,” Hayduk said.

STPCV Tenants Association president Susan Steinberg said that the TA also received a number of noise complaints about The Courts when they were open.

“From the perspective of tenants who were unhappy, we’re pleased for them,” Steinberg said on the decision to not reopen the tent. “We agree it’s an environmental issue in terms of noise. There were too many tenants around the tents who were suffering.”

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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

T&V letter could give sick people ideas

Dear Ms. Mollot,

In response to your July 21 issue letter to the editor regarding squirrels (“Bushy tailed beasts have taken over” by William Kelly), and with all due respect to freedom of speech, I can’t believe you printed this letter. I’m hoping he had nothing better to do and was just kidding, although it wasn’t such a funny letter if so.

To put such vicious actions into the minds of our children — and yes even adults — living in and enjoying our beautiful oasis is insane.

First of all there are strict rules on the books in New York City regarding animal cruelty — with serious fines and jail consequences.

But, additionally, can you visualize children, teens and adults walking around with bats and killing these living creatures on our property?

I’m sending a copy of Mr. Kelly’s letter to: the mayor, the ASPCA, Bideawee and the Humane Society of the USA in Washington, DC. I am sure that the 13th Precinct is already aware of this. In short, Mr. Kelly needs to be watched very carefully and taken very seriously!

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Police Watch: Terrorist threat to Bellevue, Heroin deal at First and East 14th

MAN ARRESTED FOR TERRORIST THREAT TO BELLEVUE
Police arrested 63-year-old Laron Vinson last Friday morning after he allegedly threatened to “blow up” Bellevue Hospital. Vinson called Bellevue Hospital on Wednesday, August 3 inquiring about his missing property. An employee informed him that his case was closed due to lack of evidence and Vinson allegedly became enraged, stating, “This is why people get shot, because property is stolen. I am coming tomorrow. I am going to blow the place up.” Vinson was charged with making a terrorist threat, aggravated harassment and harassment.

MAN BUSTED FOR HEROIN DEAL AT FIRST AND EAST 14TH
Sixty-year-old Mark Serrano was arrested for possession of a controlled substance at the corner of First Avenue and East 14th Street last Saturday at 1 p.m. Serrano was seen allegedly making a hand to hand transaction exchanging a quantity of heroin for cash with another person who fled on foot. Police said that Serrano was found in possession of cash, heroin and a gravity knife, and he was also charged with possession of a weapon.

ARREST FOR HEROIN USE ON EAST 15TH
Police arrested 25-year-old Christopher Burns for possession of a controlled substance in front of 25 East 15th Street last Tuesday at 6:40 a.m. Police said that Burns was injecting heroin into his left forearm and was also in possession of several decks of alleged heroin.

THIEF BUSTED WITH 50 CONTAINERS OF ICE CREAM
Police arrested 36-year-old Daniel Hernandez for petit larceny inside 10 Union Square East, home to the Food Emporium, last Monday at 1:29 p.m. Police said that Hernandez took 50 containers of Haagen Daz ice cream from the freezer and put them into his book bag. He then allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for any of them.

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Opinion: Winning at any cost

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

There are things said in the heat of a political campaign battle that you shrug off. There are other things which are said that can be taken as hyperbole. But Donald Trump twice crossed a line last week that is both dangerous and distorted and entirely unprecedented in modern American political campaigns.

First Trump claimed (incorrectly) that Hillary Clinton wishes to abolish the Second Amendment which provides protection for gun ownership. He then went on to say that if Clinton is elected president and appointed justices to the Supreme Court who concur in her point of view, the Second Amendment would be done away with “and there will be nothing that you can do about that, but maybe the Second Amendment people can… I dunno.”

This “joke” about people who possess weapons “doing something about it” can surely be interpreted and processed by sick minds as a call to take action against Hillary Clinton to preserve the Second Amendment and their guns. The Trump people say that their candidate was only talking about voting. But the candidate did not actually say that but rather implied something much differently. Responsible and mature people don’t even joke about things like that. We have witnessed too many mentally disturbed people taking cues to commit violence and we have seen too many American politicians slain in our own lifetimes to be so cavalier about that. Oh and by the way, a president cannot repeal the Second Amendment. That can only happen with a 2/3 majority vote in both houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then the approval by at least three quarters of the individual states. But details, details, details.

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Shake Shack gives away burgers to promote 100th location

The line before 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Madison Square Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The line before 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Madison Square Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack empire offered free ShackBurgers to customers at the restaurant’s various locations in celebration of the opening of the 100th Shack at the Boston Seaport. However customers were warned to come early as only the first 100 burgers would be free.

So, by 9:55 a.m., at the original Shake Shack at Madison Square Park, the line had already snaked around the park’s south end to over 50 people long, each individual clutching a flier advertising the promotion. The shack wouldn’t open until 10:30. Meanwhile by 12:45 p.m., the line was still about as long, which is a typical lunchtime line the shack, the promotion having ended.

The Shake Shack, which is now a publicly traded company, started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to support the park’s first art installation, “I (Heart) Taxi.” It officially became the shack in 2004 when the Union Square Hospitality Group won a bid to open a permanent kiosk in the park.

The company has since opened locations in 15 states and the District of Columbia as well as overseas, including in London, Tokyo, Moscow and Dubai.

Whole Health holds dog adoption event

Guests at the adoption event (Photos by Maya Rader)

Guests at the adoption event (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Whole Health Veterinary Hospital usually isn’t open on Sundays, but on Sunday, July 24, it unlocked its doors from 1-4 p.m. for a dog adoption event.

The event at the First Avenue health clinic was facilitated by Waggytail Rescue, an organization that finds homes for dogs (and occasionally cats) in need.

Throughout the day, people came to the clinic to visit the rescued dogs available for adoption. If someone wanted to adopt, they filled out an application and then left for a couple hours to think about their decision. If adopting seemed like too big of a commitment, they also had the option of fostering instead.

One person who became a foster parent at the event was David Chambers, who explained, “I can’t have a dog because I work too much.” Another fosterer, Yasmin Fodil, explained, “I wanted to adopt a dog and thought (fostering) was a good first step.”

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