Kips Bay man, 83, dies after being hit by car

Mar8 343 E 30th

343 East 30th Street (Photo via Google Maps)

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, an elderly Kips Bay man died after being hit by a car as he crossed the street a day earlier.

The victim, later identified as Gilberto DiBernardo, 83, had been crossing the street Wednesday afternoon on Second Avenue and East 30th Street when he was struck by a driver in a Chevrolet Silverado. DiBernardo, who lived nearby at 343 East 30th Street, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

According to police, the 53-year-old driver, who was going south, had a steady green traffic signal when DiBernardo was attempting to cross Second Avenue from east to west in the crosswalk. The driver told police he tried to stop the car from hitting DiBernardo, but was unable to do so, and he was knocked to the pavement. The driver remained at the scene and wasn’t arrested. Police later said no criminality is suspected.

Bum deal for officer in Union Sq. drug arrest

Sept14 Union Square subway

Union Square (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A man arrested for selling loosies in Union Square wound up facing far more serious charges when he didn’t do a good enough job hiding his stash and almost 60 envelopes of heroin fell from his butt crack when he bent over to be searched, police said.

Levon Huggins, 43, had initially been stopped at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street at 12:49 p.m. last Wednesday because he was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the sidewalk.

Once Huggins was brought to the precinct, police said that they suspected he was hiding additional drugs. He was strip-searched inside a cell at the precinct and when he bent over, a ziplock bag containing the 59 glassine envelopes of heroin fell from the suspect’s “intergluteal cleft,” police said.

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Historic tree removed from park after being deemed hazardous

“Old Stumpy” at Madison Square Park, which has actually been around longer than the park has, was considered by arborists to be a falling hazard. (Photo courtesy of the Madison Square Park Conservancy)

By Sabina Mollot

A nearly 300-year-old tree at Madison Square Park that had been popular with visitors has finally faced the chopping block.

It had technically already been dead for years but was kept carefully preserved until recently being deemed a falling hazard.

“We loved that tree but because of pedestrian safety we had to bring it down,” Eric Cova, a spokesperson for the Madison Square Park Conservancy, told Town & Village. “The arborists told us the tree was hollow and had become a danger.”

The English elm had been known as “Old Stumpy” since it was really just the remnants of a tree, a trunk with a few limb stubs remaining.

The relic’s heart-wrenching removal occurred on Valentine’s Day after the conservancy got the nod from the Parks Department.

Cova said some planters will be put in the tree’s place in about 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, the now smoothed-over, empty spot is surrounded by a barrier.

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