MAN ARRESTED FOR STALKING, HARASSMENT
Police arrested a 37-year-old man after the victim, his ex-girlfriend, told police that he called, texted and emailed her from December 12, 2017 through January 22 and allegedly said that he would ruin her life if she did not help him with his financial troubles.
She said that she asked the suspect to stop contacting her but he allegedly continued, and she said that she knew the calls and texts were from him because she recognized his phone number and email and recognized his voice in messages.
The victim also told police that around December 12, the suspect allegedly sent an email in which he had attached private photos that showed her fully undressed on a bed and she said that when she didn’t respond to the email, he forwarded the content to her employer. She told police that she had not consented to having the photos posted online or emailed and she said that the man allegedly sent the photos because she didn’t respond and because she wouldn’t help him with his financial troubles.
The suspect was arrested for alleged aggravated harassment inside the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, February 13 and was also charged with stalking, attempted assault and attempted coercion. His lawyer could not be reached for a comment.
This January, the entire country was stunned to watch and hear one young woman after another courageously step up to the microphone to detail their experiences of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, and that they represented hundreds of other women around the country. As each told their story, I was struck by how many people failed to protect these young girls and how many red flags were blatantly ignored, all allowing Nassar to continue his abuse over decades.
These girls and women turned to the adults they should have been able to trust – coaches, school administrators, the police – and each time they were dismissed and ignored, their stories covered up. Each and every organization tasked with their protection made decisions to defend themselves and not the innocent girls whose safety should have been their priority. A system that chooses prestige, power, and gold medals above the health and safety of its athletes has a lot to answer for.
That is why, on January 25, I asked the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, on which I am a senior member, to immediately begin investigating how this could have happened. Chairman Gowdy agreed, and I joined him, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and other members of our Committee in calling upon the US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, Twistars USA, and Karolyi Ranch to explain how Nassar’s crimes were allowed to occur and persist for decades. In light of recent reporting, I have also asked Chairman Gowdy to expand this investigation to include the FBI, NCAA and U.S. Department of Education.
Stuyvesant Town on a recent winter day (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
There’s no question this winter in New York City has been a particularly brutal one, up until last week, anyway.
As always, this has led to some heat complaints in residential buildings across the city. As Town & Village recently reported, a study conducted by RentHop showed that on the week of the “bomb cyclone” snowstorm on January 4, the citywide average for complaints about lack of heat in a neighborhood was 39.5 unique complaints per 1,000 apartments (57.3 including duplicate complaints).
In Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village that week, there were 8.9 complaints per 1,000 units in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village or 93 actual complaints (99 including duplicates). However, based on management’s figures, heat complaints have been decreasing in recent years.
This, StuyTown Property Services spokesperson Paula Chirhart said, is due to a few engineering improvements made to the 70-year-old complex’s heating system as well as nonstop micromanaging of said system.
Second Avenue and East 22nd Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police rescued a man from his car after he suffered from a heart attack while driving south on Second Avenue near East 22nd Street a block away from the 13th precinct last Tuesday morning.
A witness approached police near the intersection just before 11 a.m. and said that the man was stopped at the light just before East 22nd Street and was hunched over in the driver’s seat with the engine running. After the victim didn’t respond when an officer knocked on the window, police broke the driver’s side rear window to get him out of the vehicle and found that he didn’t have a pulse.
When EMTs responded to the scene, workers said that he was still alive and had suffered a heart attack.
Police are hunting a bank robber who got away with over $300 from a Kips Bay Chase branch on Friday.
At about 10:20 a.m., the suspect strolled into a 501 Second Avenue between East 28th and 29th Streets and passed a note to a teller demanding cash. The teller, a 48-year-old woman, complied, turning over $305. The suspect, who is described as black, about 60 years old and 5 ft. 8 ins.-5 ft. 10 ins. tall, fled. He was last seen wearing a red skull cap and carrying a black backpack.
Anyone with information in regards to this male 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. All calls are strictly confidential.
A woman rides the N train, along one of three routes where the site-specific plays are meant to be listened to on a smartphone. (Photo courtesy of Erin Mee)
By Sabina Mollot
A Peter Cooper Village resident who once directed a play designed to be downloaded as an app and listened to on the Staten Island ferry has recently released a series of plays that, like “Ferry Play,” is meant to be experienced on one’s smartphone.
The new production, “Subway Plays,” is a trilogy of plays that are intended to be listened to on the L, N and 7 trains. Though they can be played anytime, the audio performance should be accompanied by a specific route: either Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens for act one, or Brooklyn or Queens while headed to Manhattan. The site-specific plays, which are told in English, also include other languages such Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, Russian and Colombian Spanish that would typically be heard along the route.
The plays come in the form of an app, which costs $2.99 and can be downloaded on an iPhone or Android.
Erin Mee said she first got the idea to do a downloadable play from a Canadian theater company that specialized in what was referred to as “pod plays.” She ultimately decided to refer to her own project as a “smartphone play,” since iPods have mostly gone out of use and she didn’t want people to get confused. Additionally, she stressed that this type of play is different from an old-time radio play or an audio tour one might hear in a museum. This is because it’s site-specific with the sights, sounds and smells of the environment factoring into the story and overall experience.
Assembly candidate Bryan Cooper believes it’s unfair Republicans are blamed for the lack of affordable housing. (Photo courtesy of Bryan Cooper)
By Sabina Mollot
In New York City, it’s generally understood that whichever Democrat candidate is on the ballot in a general election is going to win, regardless of who the Republican or third party candidate is. And Bryan Cooper, the Republican hoping to fill the Assembly seat vacated by State Senator Brian Kavanagh, knows this.
Nevertheless, he is hoping three time’s the charm. This will, after all, be the third time he’s run for the 74th District Assembly seat. Cooper, now 51, ran against Kavanagh in 2008 and again in 2014. He also ran against then-City Council Member Rosie Mendez in 2009.
While both incumbents were easily re-elected, Cooper said he’s more hopeful this time since the special election on April 24 is an open one.
He’ll be on the ballot along with Democrat Harvey Epstein who last Monday got the nomination from the Democratic County Committee. That same evening, the Manhattan Republican Party announced it was supporting Cooper.
My principal difficulty with Harvey Epstein’s “Living in NYC isn’t a privilege,” opinion, Town & Village, Feb. 1, is his omission of what has brought us an “unprecedented housing crisis.” Mr. Epstein took pains to lay bare the crux, but he did not get to its persistent cause. As we read his letter, it becomes apparent that while he understands the crisis, in the sense that he, like we, can describe it, he does not understand it as anything other than a crisis in housing. It is, in his words, “an alarming trend” whose remedy is “up for debate.” I do not know why Mr. Epstein sees the “unprecedented crisis” as a “trend,” and it bears badly for his future leadership and his constituency that he thinks the remedy is “up for grabs.”
To treat the plight of our most vulnerable, Mr. Epstein would provide them with “subsidies so that they can afford to stay in their rent-regulated housing.” He would require “all developers to set aside a percentage of all future development for affordable housing.” He would “repeal vacancy deregulation… reform the way in which landlords impose exorbitant rent increases based on MCIs,” and he would “end the vacancy bonus which allows landlords to increase rents a whopping 20 percent whenever a tenant [vacates] an apartment.” In the main, covering all of the issues, Mr. Epstein believes that, “It’s time we create new working class housing program that allows working class New Yorkers the ability to work and stay here.”
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The intersection at East 14th Street and First Avenue has recently become a hub for the homeless as well as unsavory characters who’ve been loitering, making neighborhood residents feel unsafe, a number of neighbors have been saying.
The intersection was one of the topics brought up to police at a meeting on Tuesday evening held by the 13th Precinct Community Council.
StuyTown Property Services general manager Rick Hayduk told the precinct commanding officer, Steven Hellman, that management has gotten an uptick in calls about the area.
“We wanted to heighten awareness about First and 14th because there’s been an increase in vagrants,” Hayduk said.
On Tuesday, children enjoyed the first opportunity in months to play comfortably outside. In Peter Cooper Village, kids on scooters could be seen everywhere. (Pictured) Sisters Alice and Sophie Ghalem with their friends Aya and Sakura Donnelly ride outside Playground 2. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
As the weatherman predicted, the sun came out on Tuesday, bringing with it temperatures that went up to the 60s and even higher on Wednesday.
With the muggy morning a distant memory, on Tuesday afternoon families headed outside to local playgrounds. In Stuyvesant Town, rows of strollers could be seen double parked at the tower playground while at the ice rink the chiller worked overtime for unbundled up skaters. Tee-shirt wearing basketball players took over the First Avenue playground in Peter Cooper while kids, donning helmets, whizzed by on the paths on their scooters outside a packed Playground 2. Over by the fitness playground, neighbors Lisa Chin and Anne Fischbach, who sometimes utilize the equipment there, seemed more content on this tropical day to just relax on a bench.
“There were even more people before,” said Fischbach while gesturing to where a few men were training in a corner of the playground. As for her own plans that evening, Fischbach quipped, “I’m going to watch television at 8 and have dinner.”
Former Mount Sinai Beth Israel Chief of Palliative Care Division Ricardo Cruciani
By Sabina Mollot
A former high-ranking doctor at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, who recently pleaded guilty to committing numerous sexual assaults of female patients at another hospital he worked at, is now facing charges of assaulting six other patients at Beth Israel.
The allegations include rape, forceful kissing and groping during the time Ricardo Cruciani, now 63, served as Beth Israel’s Chief of the Palliative Care Division. He was employed at the hospital from 2002-2014.
At that time, he was responsible for administering treatment to patients afflicted with chronic and debilitating pain disorders that are hard to find treatment for.
After leaving Beth Israel, Cruciani worked at Capital Health Medical Center in New Jersey and later Pennsylvania’s Drexel University neurology department.
MAN CHARGED WITH DAMAGING CARS WITH PIPE IN KIPS BAY
Police arrested 26-year-old Damien Emory on Monday after he allegedly walked through traffic, hitting multiple vehicles — which all had drivers in them at the time — with a metal pipe.
Police said this caused damage to the cars. He was charged with alleged criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and weapons possession at the corner of East 24th Street and First Avenue at 4 p.m. None of the drivers sustained any injuries.
MAN ARRESTED FOR BREAKING INTO CAR ON EAST 28TH
Police arrested 28-year-old Gaber Algalal last Tuesday at 5 a.m. for allegedly using a metal object to try to break into a vehicle parked in front of 23 East 28th Street at 5:24 a.m.
Police said they witnessed this when they went to the scene to respond to a call about an unrelated incident and saw that there was damage to the driver’s side door and scratches on the driver’s side window. Algalal was charged with criminal mischief and possession of burglar’s tools.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ROBBERY IN DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Police arrested a 50-year-old man for robbery at the corner of Second Avenue and East 14th Street last Wednesday at 7:28 p.m. The victim told police that while she was driving with the suspect, who was sitting in the passenger’s seat, they got into an argument over money. She said that the suspect became irate and kicked her in the hand, causing an injury. She told police that the man also forcibly took her credit cards and made four unauthorized purchases on one of the cards. When she and the suspect returned to their home, he allegedly damaged a lamp and threw other items all over the apartment before leaving. The victim then went to the precinct to report the incident and the suspect was stopped at Second Avenue and East 14th Street, where he was identified by the victim and arrested. Police said that he was also in possession of marijuana. The suspect was also charged with assault, criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance. The name of the suspect is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim.
Landlord stories superabound in our city. So do we really need another one?
Well, this particular tale might hit closer to home for T&V readers than most. As a Stuy Town resident for the past 31 years, having lived in a two-bedroom on Avenue C before moving to a three-bedroom on 20th Street — and having been born and raised through secondary school in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper, then raising my own two kids here (and a dog!) — I have a pretty expansive yet highly personal perspective on the succeeding iterations of Stuy Town management and how they’ve treated tenants throughout the decades.
After its Stuy Town experiment went belly-up, Tishman Speyer thankfully departed the premises. There followed too many years of receivership, which saw a further erosion of services and upkeep. A new landlord, Blackstone partnered with Ivanhoé Cambridge, purchased the development. Last month marked the two-year anniversary of the new management being fully in place, and that’s enough time to get a sense of what’s going on.
Cops are looking for a pair of thieves who snatched a woman’s iPhone X at the 23rd Street subway station.
On Friday, February 2 at 9:15 p.m., the 54-year-old female victim was walking along the R platform, looking at her phone, when the two men grabbed it from her before fleeing.
Both suspects are described as being black, about 20 years old, 5 ft. 7 ins. and 170 lbs. One was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, the other a black hooded jacket.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.