Six wanted in gang assault

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for six men wanted in a gang assault that took place in the Flatiron District during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

A 25-year-old man reported to police that he was walking near the corner of West 25th Street and Sixth Avenue on Wednesday, January 1 around 4:15 a.m. when six individuals approached him. The suspects then chased the victim, pushed him into a doorway at 101 West 25th Street and punched and kicked the victim in the head multiple times.

The suspects fled in an unknown direction and the victim was removed to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of these individuals 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @ NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

One arrested as e-bike thefts increase

One of the suspects in multiple recent e-bike thefts

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the theft of an e-bike from a restaurant on East 14th Street over the weekend.

The arrest comes after the New York Times reported last Friday that at least 24 e-bikes have been reported stolen throughout the city since last September. The NYPD told the Times that nearly two dozen delivery workers have been attacked and their e-bikes have been stolen by the same two men, who police said ambushed the riders with pepper spray or at knife point. The bikes stolen from the workers can cost as much as $2,000.

Although not an e-bike, Peter Cooper Village resident Adriana Hammonds also reported the theft of her new cargo bike just after Christmas. The family had taken out a loan to pay for the $3,000 bike and it was stolen the first day they took it out for a ride. The bike was meant for Hammonds to use to bring her 6-year-old son Sebastian to school and after assembling it right after the holiday, she and her son took it to visit a friend and locked the bike on East 18th Street and Irving Place. When they returned two hours later, the bike had been stolen.

The Bronx resident who was arrested for the recent e-bike theft was caught at the corner of Second Avenue and East 15th Street on Sunday, January 5 at 7:53 p.m. after a witness chased him from the restaurant where he took the bike.

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Christmas Eve caroling in Gramercy Park

GPBA President Arlene Harrison and trustee Rev. Tom Pike (center) with officers from the 13th precinct. (Photos by Ira Fox)

Nearly 2,000 people crowded into Gramercy Park for the annual Christmas Caroling sponsored by the Park Trustees and organized once again by the Gramercy Park Block Association. The caroling was led by GPBA president Arlene Harrison and trustee Rev. Tom Pike, with music led by Calvary church music director Kamel Boutros.

“This year, mostly due to media attention, the event was attended by nearly 2,000 people from around the world who were visiting New York for the holidays,” Harrison said.

Harrison thanked the officers of the 13th precinct for policing the event saying, “Thanks to their outstanding police presence, in particular Chief Hughes, Chief Comodo the 13th Precinct and the Neighborhood Coordination Officers the Rodriguez brothers, our caroling event was the best and safest ever.”

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Community Council for 13th precinct celebrates the holidays

Members of the Community Council celebrated the holidays at Hane Sushi on Tuesday. (From left to right) Julia Yepez-Macbeth, Elvie Coutain, VL Swanson, Community Council President Frank Scala, Melanie Hague-Scala, Carol Schachter and Pat Salin (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The 13th Precinct Community Council celebrated the holidays this past Tuesday with a festive dinner in lieu of the regular monthly meeting.

The dinner, at Hane Sushi in Stuyvesant Town, was scheduled for the same evening as a number of “Impeachment Eve” protests across the country, including one that ended in Union Square after a march from Times Square.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the precinct, and Detective Vincent Arlotta both arrived at the dinner on time but left shortly after to provide support for the officers in Union Square, where more than 1,500 protesters were expected on Tuesday evening, the night before the House of Representatives was expected to vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

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NY Waterway cancels giant SantaCon boat party

SantaCon (seen here in 2016) has long faced ire from neighborhood residents because of the public drunkenness often displayed by the event’s participants. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Shortly after announcing last Friday that the infamous SantaCon bar crawl would be sponsoring a handful of party yachts in the East River as part of the event scheduled for this Saturday, the event was canceled on Tuesday.

Councilmember Keith Powers shared a letter to Donald Liloia, Senior Vice President of NY Waterway, on Twitter this Tuesday afternoon also signed by State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein expressing a number of concerns about the event. Mere hours later, the Councilmember confirmed that NY Waterway, which operates the Skyport Marina where the boats would have docked, had canceled the event.

Gothamist reported on Tuesday that Liloia also confirmed the event’s cancellation, noting that the group organizing the event had only started planning recently and acknowledged that it was too complicated to pull off on such short notice.

The letter signed by Powers, Hoylman and Epstein (which can be read in full here) argued that a free event of that size, attracting people who are likely to be intoxicated, would cause substantial disturbance to tenants in the nearby residential developments of Waterside Plaza and Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village.

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Girls wanted for East Village, Gramercy robberies

Robbery suspects

The New York City Police Department is asking the public’s assistance identifying two women wanted for questioning in connection to robberies that occurred in the East Village and Gramercy in August.

Police said that on Friday, August 16 around 9 p.m., a 24-year-old female victim was walking in front of 138 East 30th Street, when two girls approached her from behind, removing her cellphone from her hand and punching her face causing swelling and bruising on left eye. The victim started screaming and the suspects then fled on foot westbound on East 30th Street. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

Around 10:15 p.m. on the same night, a 28-year-old woman told police that she was walking near Third Avenue and East 16th Street when two girls approached her from behind and pushed her on the ground and grabbed her cellphone from her hand. The suspects then fled on foot eastbound on East 16th Street towards Second Avenue. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

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Man busted for drunk driving after car flips

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested a man for drunk driving after his car reportedly flipped over and burst into flames on the FDR near East 15th Street last week. 

Police said that 38-year-old Cesar Holder was driving south on the FDR on Wednesday, October 9 around 5 a.m. when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle while on the highway and the car flipped over, then bursting into flames. 

Bystanders told police that the driver then crawled out of the vehicle and he was standing nearby when officers responded to the scene because of a call about a motor vehicle collision. 

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Man busted for package thefts

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man last Thursday for multiple package thefts that took place in Peter Cooper Village earlier this month. 

Wayne Wood, 53, allegedly committed two burglaries on East 23rd Street last Thursday afternoon. 

Police said that Wood entered 420 East 23rd Street on Thursday, October 10 at 2:30 p.m. and removed a package from the building that had been delivered and left outside the victim’s apartment door. Wood was allegedly in the building without permission.

Wood then allegedly went over to 510 East 23rd Street around 3 p.m. and reportedly took another package. Police said that he entered the building without permission and removed a package that had been delivered and left outside the victim’s apartment door. 

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Robbery, burglary up in 13th precinct

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman at the recent community council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Robbery and burglary are up in the neighborhood, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman reported at the 13th precinct’s monthly Community Council meeting this past Tuesday. Both crimes are up by 50% in the last 28 day period, Hellman said, with a citywide bank robbery pattern contributing to the increase in the number of robberies for the precinct. 

Robberies have been an issue for the precinct for the last few months as well, particularly ones committed by teenagers who live at the Administration for Children’s Services facility on First Avenue just north of Bellevue, but Hellman said that none of the robberies from the last few weeks have been attributed to ACS kids. Three teens have been arrested in the last month for robberies out of 21 incidents, Hellman specified, but none of them live at the ACS facility. 

Hellman said that there are currently three patterns that are affecting the increase in robberies and burglaries for the precinct. One is attributed to a bank robbery pattern in which a man who doesn’t have a weapon passes a note to tellers and demands cash. Hellman said that the pattern is citywide, with four of the incidents occurring in the 13th precinct. 

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Woman arrested for stealing Stuy Town resident’s phone

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested 33-year-old Anne Delacruz for allegedly stealing a man’s phone in Stuyvesant Town at the end of September. 

Police said that Delacruz was involved in a fight in front of 605 East 14th Street on September 22 at 11:32 p.m. when a Stuyvesant Town resident in his 30s attempted to break up the fight and separate Delacruz and the person that she was fighting with. The victim said that in the process of trying to break the fight up, he was assaulted and Delacruz allegedly stole his cell phone. 

The victim told police that Delacruz punched him in the face, neck and back, causing bruising, redness, scratches and substantial pain, then she allegedly grabbed his phone from his hand. 

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Man arrested for stealing more than $11k during bank robberies

Bank robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested 48-year-old Joseph Rivera last Thursday for bank robberies in Gramercy and throughout Manhattan, allegedly taking a total of approximately $11,000 in 12 different bank robberies.

In each incident, Rivera reportedly entered a bank and passed a demand note while demanding cash from the teller.

One of the robberies that took place in Flatiron occurred on Tuesday, September 10 around noon when police said that Rivera entered the Chase Bank at 71 West 23rd Street and allegedly passed a demand note while making a demand for cash. The teller reportedly complied, and Rivera allegedly for away with $3,700.

Police said that Rivera passed a note to a teller inside the Amalgamated Bank at 301 Third Avenue near East 23rd Street on Thursday, September 19 at 1 p.m. and got away with $89. He also allegedly robbed the HSBC Bank at 800 Sixth Avenue and West 28th Street, passing a note to a teller to demand cash, but police said that he fled before the teller complied.

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Man arrested for robbery at Asser Levy Park

A second suspect, seen here in a nearby 7-Eleven following the robbery, has not yet been arrested.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a homeless man for a robbery that took place inside Asser Levy Park during the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning.

The 47-year-old victim told police that he was walking near the park on East 23rd Street and Avenue C around 4:15 a.m. on September 30 when 24-year-old Rahkeem Williams allegedly grabbed him and pulled him behind the park.

The victim said that Williams was working with another person, who has not been arrested yet, and Williams allegedly menaced the victim with a knife before taking his wallet and his phone.

Police said that Williams and the other suspect also searched the victim further and kept him at the location against his will, then both fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim suffered injuries to his face after Williams allegedly punched, kicked and pushed him.

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Man busted for Kips Bay robbery outside Peter Cooper Village

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town Public Safety helped catch a man wanted for a robbery on Sunday night after the suspect attempted to hide inside a building in Peter Cooper Village, police confirmed this week.

The victim told police that he was standing at the corner of Second Avenue and East 25th Street on Sunday, September 29 around 9:30 p.m. with his bag on the ground near his feet when 23-year-old Mitchell William allegedly reached down and grabbed the bag.

When the victim told William to drop the bag and tried to get it back from him, William allegedly punched him in the face, causing the victim to bleed from his mouth.

Police said that William then fled east and the victim followed him. When the victim confronted William again, police said that the suspect punched him a second time and pushed him to the ground, causing a scrape on the victim’s elbow.

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Teen arrested for Stuy Town robbery charged with previous murder

Suspect David Young

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested 17-year-old David Young in connection with the robbery of a Stuyvesant Town senior on September 16 around 7:40 p.m. in front of her apartment at 430 East 20th Street and have also charged him with a homicide that occurred in the Lower East Side this summer.

Young was charged with robbery inside the 13th precinct on Tuesday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. and following his arrest, was charged in connection with the homicide, which police said occurred at the Lillian Wald Houses at 20 Avenue D on July 13.

The robbery in Stuyvesant Town occurred in front of 430 East 20th Street on the M level adjacent to Playground 1. Police said that Young and a teenage girl were outside the building when the victim was walking towards the door attempting to get inside. Young reportedly told her that his phone was dead and wanted the victim to help them get inside, and when she said that they needed to call security, one of the teens allegedly said that she wouldn’t help them because they were black.

The victim then turned to walk away from the building and the teens allegedly grabbed her from behind, knocking her to the ground before grabbing her purse and fleeing the scene. The teenage girl, a resident of Good Shepherd Services on East 17th Street, was arrested the following day. Young was caught last Tuesday.

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Teens arrested for bag, phone snatching in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two teenagers for a bag theft that occurred outside one of the playgrounds in Stuyvesant Town last week.

According to the NYPD and Stuy Town management, the victim was sitting on a park bench outside Playground 1 behind 330 First Avenue around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 18 when the one of the teens came up to the victim and grabbed her bag, which contained credit cards, and the other teen snatched her phone before running from the location.

Police said that both suspects entered the subway at First Avenue and East 14th Street, where one of the teens was arrested at 11:29 a.m., but the other suspect fled from the station and ran south on First Avenue. He was later arrested inside the 13th precinct on Thursday, September 19 at 6:12 p.m.

The bag containing the victim’s wallet was recovered when the first teen was arrested. It was not clear if the teen who allegedly grabbed the victim’s phone had it on him when he was arrested, and the device was turned off and unable to be tracked.

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