Police Watch: Four busted for BB guns, Fight across from Stuy Town

A number of people posing on Facebook live with fake guns inside the Gramercy Park Hotel were arrested on Tuesday, The Daily News reported. Hotel staff received a complaint about a room in the hotel and when checking on the noise, someone inside reportedly threatened the worker. Hotel staff called the police and Emergency Service Unit officers broke down the door to the room. Four people were arrested and police recovered at least four BB guns.

Police arrested 56-year-old Russell Worthy and 66-year-old Robert Stewart for fighting at the corner of First Avenue and East 14th Street last Saturday at 11:46 a.m. Police said that Stewart’s wife got into an argument with a woman who she didn’t know on the sidewalk on the west side of First Avenue and Worthy reportedly stepped in to defend the woman. Worthy then got into an argument with Stewart, who allegedly picked up a handsaw belonging to a street vendor and hit the victim in the back of the head with it, causing a cut. Police said that Worthy also punched Stewart in the head, causing redness and pain. Worthy and Stewart were both charged with assault. The DA’s office said that the handsaw was recovered from the branches of a nearby tree.

Police arrested 23-year-old Tyriek Branch for forgery at the corner of Broadway and East 18th Street last Friday at 3:06 p.m. Police noticed that a car was parked illegally at the corner and when they scanned the vehicle for summonses, it revealed the car had a stolen vehicle alert. Branch was allegedly sitting inside the car in the passenger’s side and when police searched the vehicle, they found alleged fake credit cards that were possibly used in other thefts in connection with a grand larceny pattern. Police said that Branch was also in possession of five glassine envelopes of alleged pot and he was additionally charged with possession of marijuana.

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5 Stuy Café closed after health inspection

Dec1 5 Stuy Cafe.jpg

5 Stuy Café, pictured over the summer, requested a reopening inspection on Monday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

UPDATE: The cafe is expected to reopen Thursday morning, according to Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk. Hayduk said in an email to residents on Wednesday evening that the cafe was reinspected earlier in the day.

By Sabina Mollot

5 Stuy Café, which opened in Stuyvesant Town last summer, has been closed since Saturday afternoon, following an inspection by the Department of Health.

The café, despite recently scoring an A by the city, managed to rack up 50 violation points from eight violations. They included infractions such as food items being held above the allowed temperature of 41 degrees to having foods that were from “unapproved or unknown source or home canned” to “inadequate personal cleanliness due to an outer garment being soiled with a possible contaminant,” according to details from the inspection. Six of the reported violations were deemed critical.

Others included hot food items not held at or above 140 degrees, a food protection certificate not held by the supervisor of food operations and proper sanitation not provided for utensil ware washing operation.

The department notes on its website that the inspections scores may not be final, since restaurant owners are entitled to challenge them.

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City proposes reconfiguring 2 playgrounds as part of East Side flood protection plan


Asser Levy Playground (pictured) and Murphy’s Brother’s Playground will be impacted by the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. (Photo courtesy of Parks Department)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The city has been exploring options to redesign Asser Levy Playground and Murphy’s Brother’s Playground, since both will be affected by the construction of flood protection along the East Side of Manhattan from East 23rd Street to Montgomery Street.

Earlier in the month, representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency discussed the proposals at a community meeting held at Washington Irving High School.

Carrie Grassi, the deputy director of planning for the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, mentioned how the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project will run adjacent to both parks and construction will disturb activities there.

However, since the city is only in the concept design stage with the project, Grassi said that decisions for all aspects aren’t necessarily final yet. One such instance is the placement of the floodwall as it approaches the Asser Levy Playground. One configuration has the wall bordering the park along the FDR Drive, turning along East 25th Street and connecting with the floodwall that the VA Hospital is working on.

“But some feel that would be too imposing,” Grassi said.

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Kips Bay fire displaces residents on Thanksgiving weekend


A firefighter at the scene (Photos by Michelle Deal Winfield)


By Michelle Deal Winfield

Residents were forced to flee their apartments when a fire broke out at a five-story building on Friday morning.

The blaze began at 238 East 24th Street at around 3:45 a.m. on the fourth and fifth floors, and soon smoke filled the air for blocks.

As firefighters fought to control the blaze, one resident was in front of the building in tears, wondering how she could salvage her clothing and valuables. The building’s owner was at the scene comforting residents concerned about their belongings. A couple visiting a relative said the woman’s cousin and his fiancée lived there but were vacationing in New Hampshire during the holidays.

One of the firefighters at the scene commented, “We were lucky here. Most of the residents were away on vacation. No one was hurt.”

After firefighters vented the roof; the fire was located and shortly before 5 a.m., it was extinguished. A spokesperson for the FDNY said the cause was still under investigation. Over 100 firefighters had responded to the fire.

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Op-Ed: The Election 2016: The fight we had and the battles to come


Council Member Dan Garodnick, his wife Zoe Segal-Reichlin, and their sons Asher and Devin on the campaign trail


By City Council Member Dan Garodnick

Like most New Yorkers, I was extremely disappointed in the outcome of the presidential election. Hillary Clinton won nearly 80 percent of the vote in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, and the nationwide popular vote by more than 2 million votes.  Despite this result, she won’t be occupying the Oval Office in January.  

I am further disturbed and outraged by the uptick in hate crimes and bias incidents that have been taking place across the United States and in our own backyard. A swastika was recently carved into a door in the apartment building our own State Senator, Brad Hoylman. Hate crimes against Muslims in New York City have doubled from 2015 to 2016. A terrifying, homophobic death threat was sent to an openly gay colleague of mine, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens. This is shameful, unacceptable, and not the city I know.

It’s also not the country I saw as I campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

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Letters to the editor, Nov. 24

Bernie bashing is unsubstantiated

Re: Letter, “Hillary pilloried for not being perfect,” T&V, Nov. 10

I’ll never understand why people with strong opinions are not strong enough to sign their names to their letters.

For example, a “Name Withheld” writer confidently states: “I am proud to vote for Hillary Clinton who is intelligent, competent and completely qualified,” but is not proud enough of her views to sign her name. She states that Bernie Sanders “ran on a platform of grandiose ideas that he did not have a hope of getting through Congress.”

How does she know this? Did Bernie tell her, “Hey, Name Withheld, I know these ideas of mine don’t have a prayer for success, but when you run for public office, you gotta say something?” And did she tell Bernie he is “not qualified to head the Executive Office,” to which he replied, “Who is?” Although being a mayor or governor might offer some experience, I doubt that anything prepares one for being the president of the USA. What were Obama’s qualifications? Or W’s? Or (are you sitting down down?) Trump’s?

After trashing Bernie, Name Withheld defends Hillary by writing that voters “struggle to see a woman in office. They find reasons to attack her over not very much. Misogyny, unfortunately, is still alive and well.” But maybe it’s not Hillary’s gender that voters find troubling, but rather the appearance of years of dishonesty and corruption.

I can’t speak for others who find Hill and Bill so untrustworthy there’s not enough space in T&V to list their reasons, but I did vote for a woman. Her name rhymes with Hill. She heads The Green Party and because I want a third party, independent of the two giants in America, I voted for Jill Stein. Stein’s platform was almost identical to Bernie’s.

And maybe she lost like Bernie because she didn’t have a hope for success either.  But I do. We have the knowledge and the ability to clean up all the mess we have created in our society. We just need the will.

John Cappelletti, ST

Editor’s note: At Town & Village, we agree that signed letters have more credibility than anonymous ones. However, in this case, it was the editor’s mistake to sign the author’s letter as “Name withheld,” when in fact, she hadn’t made a request to remain anonymous. The author of the letter is Harriet Gottfried, a retired librarian living in Stuyvesant Town. We regret the error.

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ST-PCV Tenants Association to fight video intercom MCI

By Sabina Mollot

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is seeking neighbors’ help in an effort to challenge the recently announced video intercom MCI.

The major capital improvement rent increase, if approved, will impact the following Peter Cooper Village buildings: 420 and 440 East 23rd Street, 350, 360, 360 and 390 First Avenue, 2 and 3 Peter Cooper Road and 431 and 441 East 20th Street.

Susan Steinberg

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, said this particular MCI, one of four on the horizon, is expected to cost tenants $2.13-$2.50 per room per month.

At a meeting last month, Steinberg said the four MCIs would be challenged for different reasons, including issues with paperwork.

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New Kips Bay building includes housing for the disabled

Adam Weinsten, president of Phipps; Aaron Humphrey, Community Board 6 member; Claude L. Winfield, CB6 vice chairman; Jill Schoenfeld, representative of Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh; Pedro Carrillo and Gene Santoro, CB6 members; Council Member Rosie Mendez; Raj Nayar, CB6 Housing Committee chair; and Howie Levine, representative of Council Member Dan Garodnick (Photos by Michelle Deal Winfield)

Adam Weinsten, president of Phipps; Aaron Humphrey, Community Board 6 member; Claude L. Winfield, CB6 vice chairman; Jill Schoenfeld, representative of Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh; Pedro Carrillo and Gene Santoro, CB6 members; Council Member Rosie Mendez; Raj Nayar, CB6 Housing Committee chair; and Howie Levine, representative of Council Member Dan Garodnick (Photos by Michelle Deal Winfield)

By Michelle Deal Winfield

A new building in Kips Bay, which includes some housing for disabled residents, is now ready for occupancy. The completion of the project comes seven years after it was first discussed by Community Board Six’s Manhattan’s Housing Committee and Full Board.

Henry Phipps Plaza South Development — now referred to as 325 KB — is located at 325 East 25th Street, between First and Second Avenues.

The newly constructed building was built on a vacant lot that had been used as a basketball court. Phipps is awaiting a Certificate of Occupancy which the owner expects to receive in two weeks. It consists of 55 rental apartments: 10 studios, 18 one-bedrooms, 27 two-bedrooms, and the superintendent lives on the first floor. Forty percent of the apartments are affordable, which in this case means under 80 percent of the NYC area median income (AMI). The other 60 percent of the units range from 20 percent at 120 percent of the AMI, 20 percent at 145 percent of the AMI and 20 percent at 165 percent of the AMI.

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Police Watch: Woman arrested for slashing, Arson at Bellevue

Police arrested a 37-year-old woman after she allegedly cut another woman in the face multiple times at Union Square Park with a double-edged blade, and also cutting her on the neck.
Police said that Makeba Elizabeth Grimes allegedly yelled at the victim, “I’m going to kill you,” multiple times while reportedly attacking her. Police recovered a blade underneath a bench in the park. No further information was available about what caused the dispute.
She was arrested for assault and weapons possession at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street last Monday at 2:42 p.m.

Police arrested 35-year-old Lacharles Bell for arson inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Thursday at 9 p.m. Police said that Bell intentionally started a fire inside the hospital in an attempt to cause damage to the building. According to a criminal complaint, Bell could be seen on video surveillance lighting matches and throwing them into a garbage can.

Police arrested 26-year-old Laisha Carter for weapons possession inside the 13th Precinct last Wednesday at 9 p.m. Police said that Carter was arrested in regards to a gun found inside the Latham Hotel at 4 East 28th Street inside a room on the ninth floor. Carter allegedly admitted that she was keeping the firearm in a bag with ammunition in the magazine. Police said that the weapon didn’t have a serial number.

Police arrested 57-year-old Vincent Pelzer for allegedly fracturing another man’s jaw by hitting him in the face with a blunt object in front of 230 East 23rd Street. The incident happened last Wednesday at 11 a.m. and police said that the victim needed surgery to repair his jaw. No further information was available about why Pelzer allegedly attacked the victim.

Police arrested 43-year-old Karl Williams and 26-year-old Ashley Mekeel for assault in front of 420 Park Avenue South last Sunday at 2:49 a.m. The victim told police that she got into an argument with Williams and Mekeel, and Mekeel allegedly punched her in the head and arm, causing pain and swelling, as well as a bruise. Police said that Williams also kicked her in the head.

Police arrested 21-year-old Clarence Bradley for criminal trespass and aggravated harassment inside a building on East 21st Street between Broadway and Park Avenue South last Monday at 7:35 a.m. Police said that Bradley repeatedly followed the victim for multiple blocks and into her building, causing her to be in fear for her safety. Police said that Bradley has been previously convicted of harassment.

Police arrested 21-year-old William Winfield for grand larceny inside Barn Joo at 893 Broadway last Tuesday at 5:21 p.m. Surveillance video allegedly showed Winfield, who works at the restaurant, going inside an open safe and removing cash. Police said that Winfield left with the stolen cash and it wasn’t recovered when he was arrested.

Police arrested a 36-year-old “John Doe” for criminal mischief in front of 15 East 21st Street last Saturday at 12:49 a.m. The man allegedly approached the victim after fighting in the street and punched the man’s passenger side mirror. The victim then stopped his vehicle to check what the damage was and asked the suspect if he was going to pay for it. In response, the man grabbed the victim’s cell phone and threw it into the street. The phone landed in traffic and was completely destroyed. The suspect fled on foot and was arrested on East 21st Street.

Police arrested 26-year-old Alice Zu for criminal mischief in front of 54 West 21st Street last Saturday at 3:02 a.m. Police said that Zu got mad at her Uber driver and punched the car’s passenger side mirror several times, causing it to break and fall to the ground.

Police arrested 46-year-old Adela Alonso for theft of services inside the Orion Diner at 395 East 23rd Street last Saturday at 3:37 a.m. Police said that Alonso ate at the diner but then refused to pay the bill.

Police arrested 23-year-old Elizabeth Lalin for criminal trespass and unnecessary noise inside 4 East 20th Street last Saturday at 12:15 p.m. Police said that Lalin entered the building and remained there without permission, and allegedly refused to leave. When she was told to leave, she allegedly refused, flailing her arms and screaming obscenities, causing annoyance and alarm.

Police arrested 54-year-old Aldo Guerrini for criminal trespass inside the Dunkin Donuts at 355 Third Avenue last Friday at 6:15 a.m. Police said that Guerrini was sleeping inside the store. An employee asked him to leave multiple times but he allegedly refused.

HS students: Trump is scary, Clinton was less corrupt


The Clinton School (photo by Maya Rader)


They may not be able to vote, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have political opinions.

Town & Village intern Maya Rader interviewed fellow students at The Clinton School for Writers and Artists in Union Square about the presidential election, and the teenage perspective was far from indifferent. Like most New Yorkers, those interviewed seemed stunned by Trump’s victory and most were concerned.

Fifteen-year-old Bernardo Malatesta shared the view of most people interviewed when he said he prefers Secretary Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.
“Even though she’s corrupt at times, her moral values are a lot better than Trump.” He then added, smiling, “but Bernie will always be in my heart.”

Ava Rosenbaum, 14, remarked that although she dislikes Trump as a person, she isn’t as worried about him as a president. “I’m more afraid of Pence and Trump supporters.”

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Former city councilwoman: London buses better than SBS

Workers stand by a newly built bus stop for the M23, which now has Select Bus Service, at 23rd Street and Broadway. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Workers stand by a newly built bus stop for the M23, which now has Select Bus Service, at 23rd Street and Broadway. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Carol Greitzer, a former City Council member representing Peter Cooper Village, reached out to T&V this week to respond to the story, “Select Bus Services arrives along M23 route,” in T&V, November 10.
The article cited city data claiming SBS has sped up service on participating routes by 10-30 percent. Its launch on 23rd Street was cheered by local officials, who pointed out the M23 crosstown’s infamous pokiness.

However, in Greitzer’s view, the city came up short in its response, and would have done better if it had followed a fare payment system similar to one in London.

There, she noted, there are two ways to pay a fare, one with a pre-paid card called an “oyster,” bought ahead of time, while another option is paying with a credit card, as long as the card has a readable chip in it, and getting billed monthly.

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America’s Parade 2016

Photos by Maya Rader

Photos by Maya Rader

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, the Veterans Day Parade, also known as America’s Parade, took place with around 25,000 marchers making their way from Madison Square Park up to midtown.

This year’s parade commemorated the 15th anniversary of 9/11, with special recognition of Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Post-9/11 veterans, as well as first responders. It also marked the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm. The Coast Guard was this year’s featured military branch.

Town & Village’s own advertising representative Sal Governale, who served as a member of the Coast Guard and is now a reservist, attended the festivities and noticed that among marchers there was some discontent. A number of veterans in attendance, Governale observed, were complaining bitterly about the president-elect. One concern was over Donald Trump’s widely reported critical remarks to the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier, made during the campaign.

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Players celebrates ‘Founder’s Day’

A member of The Players Club looks at the Booth statue after laying a wreath on the side. (Photo by Michael Gerbino)

A member of The Players Club looks at the Booth statue after laying a wreath on the side. (Photo by Michael Gerbino)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Members of the Players got a unique opportunity on Monday night when Gramercy Park opened its gates for the annual celebration of Edwin Booth’s birthday. The occasion, known as Founder’s Day because of Booth’s role in establishing the club, is one of the park’s oldest traditions and is one of the rare times of year when park-goers are allowed inside after dark.

The celebration for the actor’s 183rd birthday started inside the Players along Gramercy Park, with readings from members about Booth and his contribution to the arts. A group of members also performed a piece of a musical they’ve been working on about Booth’s life. The musical, called “Edwin, The Story of Edwin Booth,” debuted off-Broadway this summer.

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New Yorkers protest election results at Union Square

Protesters made their way to midtown, starting from Union Square. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Protesters made their way to midtown, starting from Union Square. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Steady rain didn’t keep protesters out of Union Square Park last Wednesday evening, with the results of the presidential election drawing crowds of New Yorkers opposed to President-elect Donald Trump. Many gathered in the north plaza of the park held signs that both protested the outcome of the election and called for unity, and protesters started various chants throughout while on their way to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue just south of Central Park.

The crowds of people walked from Union Square towards Madison Square Park and up Fifth Avenue, at one point being diverted to Broadway by police but remaining peaceful. Gothamist reported that there were 65 arrests as a result of the protests, with most receiving desk appearance tickets for charges like disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstruction.

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Internet trolls accuse Hoylman of lying about swastika

State Senator Brad Hoylman with other elected officials representing the Greenwich Village area, the heads of two universities and local clergy members (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

State Senator Brad Hoylman with other elected officials representing the Greenwich Village area, the heads of two universities and local clergy members (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Meanwhile, pols denounce hate crime in Village

By Sabina Mollot

Following State Senator Brad Hoylman’s posting of a swastika found in his building on Twitter, which was picked up by a few news outlets, Hoylman’s Twitter was been hit with a number of trolling tweets, including a few that called the senator a liar.

“It is obvious who is facilitating this nonsense. When we find the evidence, you will be replaced for #LYING,” wrote one.

User “Slavic Harvest” wrote, “You carved it yourself you Jew hahahahaha.”

A user with the handle “Otto Hofler” chimed in, “Probably your local rabbi did it.”

When another user shot back at this comment to say, “It makes me happy my atheist dad killed so many Nazis,” “Hofler” tweeted, “Sad? We in the White House now.”

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