Man charged with bag snatching and violent mugging on First Ave.

Stuyvesant Town Dunkin Donuts

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man they say punched and robbed a man on First Avenue and also snatched a woman’s bag at the Stuyvesant Town Dunkin Donuts.

Raymond Velez, 23, allegedly walked up to a table at Dunkin Donuts at 266 First Avenue last Wednesday at 9 p.m. where the victim was sitting and grabbed her purse, which contained three credit cards.

Ten minutes later, police said he was walking near 253 First Avenue when he allegedly grabbed the second victim who had cash in his hand. Police said that Velez attempted to throw the victim to the ground and in the scuffle, Velez allegedly punched the victim in the mouth and he sustained a bruise on his lip and a cut on his hand.

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Man charged with lewdness in ST building

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman in a Stuy Town elevator after he followed her into the building early on Saturday morning.

The victim told police that she was entering 610 East 20th Street at 2:16 a.m. when 27-year-old Anthony Ashley allegedly came into the building behind her. She said that when she got in the elevator, Ashley entered the elevator behind her. When they were inside, he allegedly unzipped his pants and exposed himself.

Police said that Ashley is not a resident of the building. He was charged with public lewdness and trespassing.

Police Watch: Teen arrested for Blue Smoke robbery, Driver charged with alleged vehicular assault

The five robbery suspects seen at Blue Smoke restaurant in Flatiron

FIFTH TEENAGER ARRESTED FOR BLUE SMOKE ROBBERY
Police arrested a fifth teenager for the robbery at Blue Smoke restaurant at 116 East 27th Street on March 18. Police said that the teens approached a host in the restaurant around 7 p.m. and claimed they were raising money for a basketball team before grabbing cash from the victim and fleeing. When the victim chased after them, one of them hit him in the back of the head. The fifth teen was charged with robbery for the incident inside the 13th precinct on April 11 at 10:37 a.m. His name is being withheld due to his young age.

DRIVER CHARGED WITH HITTING PEDESTRIAN ON SECOND AVENUE AND 23RD STREET
Police arrested 23-year-old Kenneth Rowe for alleged vehicular assault at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street on April 13. The victim told police that he was crossing East 23rd Street near Second Avenue at around 3:30 p.m. and was in the crosswalk when Rowe allegedly started turning. The victim told police that Rowe saw him and spoke with him, then allegedly revved his engine and struck him, causing an injury, but was arrested a block away from the incident.

MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING OFFICER AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 39-year-old Jamar Moore for alleged assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on April 10 at 1 a.m. Officers were restraining Moore inside the hospital when he allegedly head-butted the officer intentionally, causing minor bruising and swelling to the area above his eye. Police said that Moore has previously been arrested for assaulting an officer, as well as for petit larceny and transit crimes.

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Maybe next year for participatory budgeting

By Sabina Mollot

Over the past week, many City Council members, including Speaker Corey Johnson, have been cheering the fact that this past week, April 7-15, was a window of community voting on how to spend $1 million.

The money, part of allocated funds for different districts, was included in a program called “participatory budgeting,” in which constituents, including children, get a say in how the money gets spent, like improvements to parks, libraries or senior centers.

However, not all districts were included in the program and District 4, spanning from Stuyvesant Town to 98th Street, had no participatory budgeting. Note: This isn’t extra money, just funding set aside from a council member’s budget.

We reached out to City Council Keith Powers’ office to ask why his constituents didn’t get a say, and according to a spokesperson, Liz Peters, the reason is that he would have had to enroll in the program last year, and at that time Powers wasn’t in office yet. However, she said, Powers would look into the process for next year, because he thinks it’s an “innovative idea,” one that was started by the Progressive Caucus, of which he is the vice co-chair.

Rivera talks SBJSA, homelessness, L train shutdown and 14th St. tech hub

Council Member Carlina Rivera speaks about a “21st century” version of the SBJSA as well as other issues at an event at Almond in Flatiron, hosted by the Union Square and Flatiron BIDs. (Pictured) Rivera with NY1 reporter Michael Scotto (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

New Councilmember Carlina Rivera spoke with NY1 reporter Michael Scotto in an event at Almond Restaurant in Flatiron at the end of March, focusing on small businesses, the upcoming L train shutdown, homelessness and the planned tech hub for Union Square.

The event was a community breakfast hosted by two neighborhood BIDs, the Union Square Partnership and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership.

As she previously mentioned in a roundtable with Town & Village, Rivera said that she supports a “21st-century version” of the Small Business Jobs and Survival Act, clarifying further at the recent breakfast that she partially meant taking online shopping into consideration.

“We need to consider how we shop, but we also need to consider that the piece of legislation we introduce, as of last term, was 20 years old,” she said. “The way we’ve shopped has changed dramatically in 20 years so I think giving the small business owner the ability to negotiate is important. (The 21st-century version) is taking into consideration mixed-use buildings, and making sure that Small Business Services does a better job at marketing the resources they have available, along with the Department of Consumer Affairs.”

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Robbers steal victim’s hat, threaten him with knife at Union Square Park

Sketch of the second suspect

Police are looking for a pair of muggers who pulled a knife on a teenager at Union Square Park.

On Thursday, April 12 at 5:40 p.m., the 18-year-old victim was about to go into the subway when one of the men grabbed from behind and pulled off his red baseball cap. The two began to argue and struggle over the hat when the second suspect pulled out a knife and menaced the victim with it before he and the other man fled with the cap.

The first suspect is described as a white male. The second suspect is male, white, in his 20’s to 30’s with very short hair and facial hair and about six feet tall. He was last seen wearing a tan or brown jacket, dark pants and a baseball cap.

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 the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Update: The Post reports the cap was a “Make America Great Again” hat worn by a Danish tourist.

Opinion: Great American Pastime

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

On Saturday morning, a great community is tradition will be renewed. Led by President Seth Coren, the Peter Stuyvesant Little League baseball season kicks off its 62nd year. It will be preceded by the parade of players and their parents starting from First Avenue at 20th Street and finishing at the Con Ed baseball facility at Avenue C and 16th Street.

In the early 1960s I played in our Little League organization. But in those days, we were homeless. We did not have a field to call our own. We played on the West Side of Manhattan and on Randall’s Island in the middle of the East River. But thanks to the partnership with Con Edison, land adjacent to the East River was developed into ball fields and became home to our local teams which have grown to over 60 teams more than 700 youngsters and scores of adult volunteers coaching, umpiring and taking care of the grounds.

Baseball is the Great American Pastime. It connects families and generations to each other. To underscore that point, when World War II began in the dark days of 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote to the baseball commissioner and asked him not to suspend Major League Baseball games while this country fought for the salvation of civilization. Roosevelt believed that baseball was that important to the American spirit.

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Reminder: Little League parade this Saturday

The PSLL girls’ championship team members at Con Ed Field for last year’s parade. (Pictured) Olivia Sheh, Julianna Fabrizio, Sarah Acocelli, Camile Bernard, Dorie Levine, Amanda Haspel and Jordan Hayduk (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

REMINDER: The Peter Stuyvesant Little League will hold its annual parade and opening day ceremony on Saturday, April 14. Players and their families gather at 8:15 a.m. and begin marching at approximately 8:30 a.m., starting from 18th Street and First Avenue to the Con Edison Field located at East 16th Street and Avenue C. A brief ceremony will be held at the Con Edison Field from approximately 9-9:30 a.m.

Police Watch: Man charged with robbery in Stuy Town, Arrest for trespassing in Stuy Town

Robbery suspect

MAN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY IN STUY TOWN
Police arrested 18-year-old Davin Quirindongo for allegedly stealing from a woman on Avenue C in March. According to the district attorney’s office, Quirindongo bumped up against her and grabbed her wallet while she was walking in front of 319 Avenue C on March 22 at 10:10 p.m. Town & Village reported on this incident last week when police were still looking for the suspect and Stuy Town management clarified at the time that the incident actually occurred on the Avenue C Loop Road.
Police said that officers tracked down Quirindongo because he used one of the victim’s credit cards. Quirindongo was arrested for grand larceny from a person and possession of stolen property on April 5 at 5:30 p.m. and the DA’s office charged him with robbery and grand larceny. An attorney for Quirindongo declined to comment.

ARREST FOR TRESPASSING IN STUY TOWN
Police arrested 55-year-old James Curry for burglars tools and criminal trespass inside 310 First Avenue last Wednesday at 8:04 p.m. Police said that Curry entered the building by walking behind a resident to gain access and proceeding to the basement into the laundry room. Curry was allegedly carrying bolt cutters when he was approached by security.
Curry pled guilty at a pre-arraignment deposition on April 5 and was given a conditional discharge, meaning he would not be sentenced for the offense unless a further offense is committed within a year.

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Opinion: Creating commercial waste zones in NYC would be a mistake

By Jessica Walker

A troubling situation taking place in Los Angeles should be setting off alarm bells across Manhattan, especially for small businesses. LA recently implemented a new system for handling trash pickup at businesses that, despite several years of planning, has resulted in skyrocketing bills and inefficient service.

This matters to Manhattan because the de Blasio administration is planning to implement a similar system right here in New York. You may not know that large businesses and commercial establishments in our city currently pay private carters to remove their garbage and recyclables and they rely on competitive bidding to get the best contracts. However, the mayor’s proposal would limit choice by allowing only one company to pick up commercial garbage and recyclables in each large geographic zone – with no input from the businesses themselves.

This plan would do away with the current competition that drives down prices and improves service from efficient and well-regulated private companies. What has happened in Los Angeles demonstrates just why this is so problematic.

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Idea floated for buses on barges during L shutdown

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said she feels the alternatives presented by the MTA and DOT are not sufficient. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Just call it another L-ternative.

The operator for NYC Ferry has a mitigation plan for the L train shutdown: buses on boats. Hornblower, the company that runs the ferry service that will soon include a route stopping at Stuyvesant Cove Park, presented the preliminary plan to Community Board 6’s transportation committee, whose members were hesitantly supportive of the idea.

Skye Ostreicher, a representative for Hornblower, said at the meeting that the plan, known as “B-link,” could mitigate up to 50 percent of the ridership needing alternatives in the absence of the L train. The plan would allow riders to get on a bus near the Lorimer Street L station and stay on until different stops in Manhattan, primarily on the usual route of the L train. The buses would be loaded onto barges that Ostreicher said would take the three-minute trip across the river before letting commuters off in Manhattan.

The presentation showed the buses arriving in Manhattan at East 20th Street and Avenue C before heading down Avenue C, west on East 14th Street and turning at Union Square East to do a loop back to the docking point at East 20th Street. The route would operate as a closed loop, backtracking in the opposite direction for service to Brooklyn.

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Easter egg hunt gets an early start in Stuyvesant Town

Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The snow held off for Easter Sunday but the enthusiasm of young Stuy Town and Peter Cooper residents couldn’t be contained during the egg hunt on the Oval, prompting management to send out an apology Monday morning because the hunt started earlier than scheduled, causing some families to miss out.

Moms on a local Facebook group complained they arrived to the hunt on time and were disappointed to learn that it was already over.

The email included an apology from general manager Rick Hayduk, who noted that management attempted to avoid this very problem by segmenting the hunt into specific age groups but a miscommunication resulted in the older kids starting the hunt before the scheduled time.

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Police Watch: Teen arrested for Blue Smoke robbery, Man charged in 7-Eleven robbery

FOURTH TEEN ARRESTED FOR BLUE SMOKE ROBBERY
Police arrested a 16-year-old in connection with a robbery inside Blue Smoke at 116 East 27th Street on March 18. Police said that a host at the restaurant was approached around 7 p.m. by five teenagers who claimed they were raising money for a basketball team before grabbing cash from the victim and fleeing the restaurant. When the victim chased after the teens, one of them hit him on the back of the head.
Four teens have been arrested in connection with the incident. The teen was charged with robbery inside the 13th precinct for the robbery last Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and his name is being withheld due to his young age.

MAN CHARGED WITH 7-ELEVEN ROBBERY
Police arrested 53-year-old Chris Sanachez for an alleged robbery that took place in the 7-Eleven at 239 East 14th Street on March 7 around 10 p.m. Police said that a customer in the store left his property on the counter and Sanachez grabbed it, then fled the location. The victim, a man in his 50s, reportedly chased after Sanachez and when he caught up with him, the suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain and swelling. Sanachez was arrested inside the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 7 p.m.

WOMAN ACCUSED OF PUSHING MAN INTO TRACKS AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 57-year-old Marjorie Chambers for alleged reckless endangerment at East 14th Street and Union Square West inside the Union Square subway station last Friday at 12:17 a.m. Police said that Chambers recklessly pushed the victim into the roadbed of the train, creating a substantial risk of injury, although no train was approaching at the time of the incident. The victim did not have any visible injuries.

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Man wanted for package thefts, vandalism in Stuy Town

Package theft suspect (Photo courtesy of StuyTown Property Services)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

In what seems to be an ongoing battle to stay a step ahead of local package thieves, a couple of buildings in Stuyvesant Town were hit recently by a man who management also believes is responsible for some graffiti.

StuyTown Property Services notified residents in an email this week that a man has been stealing packages and vandalizing apartment doors, most recently “piggybacking” into 649 East 14th Street on Monday. Packages were subsequently reported missing from the hallway and management believes that the man also vandalized a number of doors in 17 Stuyvesant Oval.

A resident confirmed to Town & Village last Friday that a delivery man had been running loose in the building, staying inside for 40 to 50 minutes last Wednesday, during which he drew penises on three apartment doors on two different floors and “trashed” the second floor, ripping open multiple packages, although it was unclear if anything was stolen from the boxes. The resident noted that the doors had been cleaned and repainted by Thursday.

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Opinion: Make the justice system work for all

By Harvey Epstein

For too long, the scales of justice in New York have been weighted in favor of the rich and powerful and the promise of equal justice has gone unfulfilled. Our courts and our laws consistently disadvantage low-income people, people of color, immigrants (especially those with limited English proficiency), the elderly and the disabled.

New York’s civil justice system handles the cases that affect our fundamental human needs – our homes, our family life, our economic concerns. Yet the system is pay-to-play. If you have the means and can afford a lawyer, you can get a fair shake in court. If you can’t afford a lawyer and can’t get legal help from New York’s underfunded legal services programs, you are left on your own to face dire consequences in courts that are impossible to navigate on your own. A recent state commission report found that each year, 1.8 million low-income New Yorkers are forced to appear in court without counsel in cases that involve life’s essential aspects.

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