Police Watch: Man busted for assault at Associated, Police looking for men targeting cab drivers

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING EMPLOYEE IN STUYVESANT TOWN ASSOCIATED
Police arrested 23-year-old Thomas Commender for assault in front of the Associated Supermarket at 409 East 14th Street last Monday at 11:12 p.m. An employee at the store told police that she got into an argument with Commender because he was refusing to leave the store. Commender then allegedly ripped the employee’s pants. Police said that he was also flailing his arms and scratched the victim’s neck and left arm. The incident caused her to fall to the ground and bruise her knee, but she refused medical assistance.

MEN WANTED FOR CAB DRIVER ROBBERIES
Police are looking for a group of men believed to be responsible for multiple robberies throughout Midtown and Union Square, specifically targeting cab drivers. The most recent known incident was on Friday, July 22 around 10:30 a.m., when two men approached a cab that was stopped in traffic in front of 853 Broadway just south of Union Square Park. One of the men approached the driver’s door and asked to go to Brooklyn and while he was distracted, the second man opened the passenger’s side door and snatched cash from the center cup holder. The driver attempted to stop him but the first man punched him in the face and both men fled on foot west on 14th Street.
On the same day not long after, around 11:20 a.m., the two men reportedly stole a cab driver’s backpack when they entered his cab in front of 894 Sixth Avenue at West 34th Street.
The first in the string of robberies took place on Sunday, July 10 at 4:40 p.m. when two men got into a cab at 400 Fifth Avenue near West 36th Street asked to be taken to the Bronx. They stole the driver’s iPhone 6S from the seat and cash from his shirt pocket and fled.
One of the suspects hit another cab driver on Fifth Avenue at West 35th Street on July 14 at 2:30 p.m. when the driver was dropping passengers off at the intersection. The man got into the front seat of the cab and grabbed the driver’s wallet, and fled north on Fifth Avenue towards West 36th Street.
The two suspects reportedly entered a cab at Sixth Avenue and West 38th Street on Saturday, July 16 just after 10 p.m. and grabbed cash that was on the armrest. They fled south on Sixth Avenue.
Two days later, three men reportedly robbed a driver who was dropping off passengers around 11 a.m. in front of 349 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. Police said that one of the men entered the cab on the passenger’s side and took cash off the center console, fleeing west on 34th Street. The two other men fled south on Fifth Avenue.
The men are described as black, in their late teens to mid-20s, with slim builds and medium complexions. One of the men has a tattoo of the Batman logo on the inside of his left arm.
Anyone with information in regard to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

MAN ARRESTED IN FLATIRON FOR COCAINE, HEROIN AND MARIJUANA GUMMIES
Police arrested 37-year-old Kevin Aviles for intent to sell a controlled substance at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 17th Street last Tuesday at 8:21 p.m. Aviles was driving at the intersection and when he was stopped, there was allegedly a strong odor of marijuana coming from his car. Police said that Aviles had an open bottle of alcohol in his car, along with a large bag of alleged marijuana gummies that were individually packed. Police said that Aviles was also operating rental vehicle with a suspended New York State driver’s license and was allegedly in possession of a large amount of alleged narcotics, including cocaine and heroin, as well as a ziplock bag of alleged marijuana. Aviles was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

WOMAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT AT GOOD SHEPHERD SERVICES
Police arrested 19-year-old Vontae Canon for assault inside Good Shepherd Services, a residence for girls at 337 East 17th Street last Wednesday at 1:47 a.m. Police said that Canon got into an argument with someone and hit her on the head with an empty liquor bottle, causing swelling and pain to the victim’s head.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KNIFE IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 27-year-old Hasan Castillo for weapons possession on East 14th Street and Union Square West last Wednesday at 9:17 p.m. According to the District Attorney’s office, Castillo pulled a knife out of his waistband during an argument with another person. Police said that they ordered Castillo to the ground after seeing the bulge on his waistband. He was frisked and police found an alleged bayonette with a five to six-inch blade.

MAN BUSTED FOR THEFT FROM CAR ON EAST 17TH STREET
Police arrested 39-year-old Felix Casteillon for petit larceny at the corner of Irving Place and East 17th Street last Tuesday at 10:59 a.m. Police said that Casteillon was casing a Ford Explorer in front of 284 Third Avenue and was seen leaning on the side of the car, pulling on the driver’s side door in an attempt to get inside. He then headed to 141 East 17th Street where he allegedly stole property from another car. Casteillon was also charged with possession of stolen property.

MEN ARRESTED FOR DICE GAME OUTSIDE STRAUSS HOUSES
Police arrested 45-year-old Michael Williams and 22-year-old Michael McCants for possession of a gambling device, promoting gambling and loitering for gambling in front of 344 East 28th Street last Thursday at 1:03 a.m. Police said that Williams and McCants were in front of the NYCHA building rolling dice in exchange for cash for the purpose of gambling. There was one other man involved in the game who wasn’t arrested.

‘DRUG DEALER’ ARRESTED ON SIXTH AVENUE
Police arrested 47-year-old Jorge Rodriguez for intent to sell a controlled substance in front of 620 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 3:10 p.m. Police said that Rodriguez was inside Union Square Park at a drug prone location, then got on the M14 crosstown bus to Sixth Avenue. He then walked up Sixth to 620 and allegedly engaged in a hand to hand transaction with a woman who was standing in front of the building. Police said that Rodriguez was in possession of a quantity of heroin that was individually packaged for distribution and a sum of cash. He was also charged with sale of a controlled substance.

MAN NABBED FOR FENCING STOLEN BIKES
Police arrested 51-year-old Gilberto Figueroa for possession of stolen property in front of 471 East 14th Street last Saturday at 10:46 a.m. Figueroa was allegedly carrying two bicycles that police said he attempted to sell to two plainclothes officers. Figueroa allegedly had red pliers sticking out of his rear pants pocket. He allegedly told police that he took the bicycle from Broadway and Lafayette and had waited for the owner to return but no one did so he took them. He was also charged with burglar’s tools and petit larceny.

MAN ARRESTED FOR THREATS MADE DURING STOP FOR PUBLIC URINATION
Police arrested 26-year-old Tazarianul Islam last Thursday at 3:31 a.m. in front of 15 West 21st Street after Islam allegedly interfered with another arrest. Police said that they were issuing a summons to Islam’s friend for urinating in public when he approached the officer. He was told to step back but allegedly continued to interfere, reportedly saying that he had a powerful relative in the finance industry. “It would be in your best interest to let my friend go,” he allegedly threatened. Police said that Islam made the statement multiple times with the intent to intimidate the officer and prevent him from performing his duties. Islam allegedly refused to provide the officer with identification and he reportedly flailed his arms to prevent being handcuffed. He was charged with resisting arrest and an unclassified misdemeanor.

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