Lyft car and other vehicles crash on Second Avenue

June6 accident1

Vehicle collision at Second Avenue and 14th Street (Photos by Jefferson Siegel)

By Jefferson Siegel

Just after 7 pm Tuesday, the quiet early-evening atmosphere at 2nd Avenue and 14th Street was shattered by a loud metal-crunching explosion when three app-driven car service vehicles collided.

The crash was followed by screams as people rushed to find a Lyft driver trapped in his car and a cyclist on the curb. The driver appeared to be unconscious as he sat motionless, his body surrounded by front and side air bags. The driver-side door had been smashed by a mini-van which blocked anyone from reaching the driver. Firefighters arrived within minutes and tried smashing the passenger-side window to reach the driver. They were able to enter the car from the rear door and place a neck brace on the driver.

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City tracks where cops are dispatched the fastest

A police vehicle in Flatiron, which is part of the 13th Precinct, where there’s an average dispatch time of 3.42 minutes (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

How long it takes for the police to come to your rescue after you dial 9-1-1 depends on the neighborhood you live in.

The average, citywide, in 2018, was 3.8 minutes. That year, the lowest response time was 1.6 minutes in the Rockaways and the highest was 8.0 minutes in The Bronx’s Wakefield/Woodlawn neighborhoods. The Bronx had much higher dispatch times than the other boroughs, with the average wait time of 5.6 minutes — nearly two minutes higher than the rest of the city.

The stats were released by the city’s Independent Budget Office on May 9, using information from the Mayor’s Office of Management Budget, Fiscal Year 2018 District Resource Statement for the New York Police Department.

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Man wanted for multiple bank robberies

Bank robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a man connected to a number of bank robberies that took place in the 9th and 13th precincts earlier this month.

A man reportedly approached the teller’s window inside the Chase Bank at 69 Fifth Avenue on Friday, May 17 around 1:15 p.m., threatened that he had a weapon and demanded money. The teller complied and gave the man an undetermined amount of cash, after which he fled the location. He didn’t display a weapon during the incident and no injuries were reported.

Not long after this incident at 1:25 p.m., the same man approached a teller’s window inside the Valley National Bank at 111 Fourth Avenue near East 12th Street. He threatened that he was in possession of a weapon and demanded money. The teller complied and the suspect fled in an unknown direction with an undetermined amount of cash. There were no weapons displayed during this incident and no injuries were reported.

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DJ arrested for running illegal club in Flatiron

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

William Mendola, also known as DJ Billy Mendola, was arrested for allegedly running an illegal poker game inside a Flatiron building earlier this month.

Mendola, 51, was charged with running an unlicensed bottle club at 147 West 25th Street on Saturday, May 11 at 2:45 a.m. Police said that Mendola was working as the manager inside the location, where alcohol was being warehoused and allegedly sold illegally. Police said that the space did not have a valid liquor license and Mendola allegedly possessed gambling devices, including poker tables, playing cards and poker chips, which were reportedly used for unlawful gambling activity.

Mendola was indicted in 2003 on federal drug charges in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was charged with conspiracy to violate narcotics law. He pleaded guilty to drug charges in 2005 and was sentenced to almost 12 years in prison, and was ordered to be designated to a facility as close as possible to Las Vegas.

It is not clear how much of his prison sentence he served, but in 2013, Mendola wrote a letter to a judge to request early termination of the three-year supervised release that a judge mandated upon his release from prison. The court denied the request because he reportedly had not shown “exceptionally good behavior,” had not completed two-thirds of the period of supervision and his offense was large in scale.

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Man arrested for pulling emergency brake on 2 train

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 23-year-old Brooklyn resident Isaiah Thompson for reckless endangerment and criminal trespass early Friday morning for pulling a 2 train’s emergency brakes earlier this week.

Thompson reportedly gained access to the rear of a train car while the uptown 2 train was in the West 14th Street/Seventh Avenue station on Tuesday, May 21 at 5:43 p.m. Police said that he opened the rear door and rode for several stops on the outside of the train car, after which he allegedly activated the train’s emergency brakes.

Thompson was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespass in connection with the incident in the First Precinct at 12:25 a.m. on Friday.

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Teens arrested for mugging senior outside Stuyvesant Town

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman at the 13th precinct’s most recent Community Council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have caught two teenagers who were wanted for robbing an elderly woman outside Stuyvesant Town earlier this month. Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman told neighbors that the pair had been caught during the 13th Precinct Community Council’s most recent meeting this past Tuesday.

Hellman said that the victim, who is in her 70s, was walking to her apartment on East 19th Street between Second and Third Avenue on Saturday, May 11 around 10 p.m. when the 17-year-old boy punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground before stealing her bag.

“We went to see her and she had a significant black eye,” he said. “Luckily nothing was fractured. I spoke to the woman when we went to visit her and she said she walks around the neighborhood all the time and has lived here for 20 plus years, sometimes walking around later at night. It really hurts me to think that people can feel unsafe like that. We don’t have that often but it’s very concerning.”

The teens were caught at the corner of First Avenue and East 14th Street on Saturday, May 18 around 1 a.m. by plainclothes officers who were patrolling the area, Hellman said.

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Senior killed by delivery truck in Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police reported that a 76-year-old man was killed by a delivery truck in Union Square on Tuesday morning.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said at the 13th Precinct Community Council’s meeting this past Tuesday that the victim, James Buzzell, was outside his apartment on East 16th Street near Union Square West when he was struck.

Police said that the truck was attempting to park in the parking lane when the driver struck Buzzell. Hellman said that the driver was delivering flour to one of the nearby bakeries when he hit Buzzell while backing up. Hellman noted that the driver was not at fault, although the NYPD noted that the investigation is still ongoing.

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Kips Bay residents still concerned about ACS teens

Administration for Children’s Services Deputy Commissioner Winette Saunders (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Earlier this year, representatives from the Administration for Children’s Services facility on First Avenue told the Kips Bay community that the agency is working to do more to keep the young people in its care motivated to stay onsite (and incidentally, out of trouble) through new and expanded programming.

However, as of this week, area residents said teenagers staying at the center have continued to wander the neighborhood at night, causing trouble.

Neighbors voiced their concerns on Tuesday night at the most recent meeting held by the 13th Precinct’s Neighborhood Coordinating Officer program for the precinct’s Sector D — the area that covers Kips Bay and Peter Cooper Village.

Eddie Ocasid, the building superintendent for 485 First Avenue, said that teens staying at the ACS building appear unsupervised after 9 p.m. and are often disruptive to residents until 4 in the morning on some nights.

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Woman, 73, mugged near Stuyvesant Town

May16 Mugging suspect

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who pushed a 73-year-old woman to the ground on East 19th Street and stole her purse.

The victim was walking at the southwest corner of 19th Street and First Avenue on Saturday at around 9:45 p.m. when the man came up to her and shoved her, police said.

The mugger then took off with her purse, which contained $300 in cash, an iPhone and various credit cards and IDs.

The woman, whose forehead was cut when she fell and also suffered bruising, was taken to Beth Israel.

The suspect is described as being black, in his teens or 20s and roughly 5 ft. 8 ins.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Alleged serial pharmacy shoplifter arrested

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested an alleged serial shoplifter for multiple thefts from pharmacies on First Avenue since January who had previously been arrested that same month for more than a dozen other alleged thefts last year.

Town & Village previously reported that Sam Lee, 32, was arrested in January after he reportedly stole from the Walgreens in Stuyvesant Town more than a dozen times since last summer. Police said that Lee stole shampoo and toothpaste from the store at 298 First Avenue.

Not long after he was arrested for the first string of alleged thefts, Lee reportedly stole from the same Walgreens again later the same month. Police said that Lee entered the Walgreens on January 16 and took multiple bottles of shampoo.Shortly after that, Lee went into the CVS at 253 First Avenue and allegedly removed multiple Clif bars. On February 8, police said that Lee went into the First Avenue CVS and  stole multiple body hygiene products and multiple Dove products from the store on March 12. Police said that Lee went into the Walgreens at 298 First Avenue on March 20 and took multiple bottles of shampoo.

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Man fights off sexual assault in East Village apartment

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who tried to sexually assault another man in the victim’s apartment on East 13th Street and Avenue B.

The victim, a 37-year-old man, and the other man met at a bar on Monday at about 2:30 a.m. and the victim invited him home. Once there, the other man tried to sexually assault the victim, who managed to push off his attacker and kick him, and the man left the apartment.

At some point, the guest also stole the victim’s laptop, a tablet, around 25 computer hard drives, a jacket, a wallet, an ID and keys before fleeing on Avenue B.

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Woman groped on train in Union Square

Forcible touching suspect

Police are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s crotch on a 5 train at Union Square.

On Thursday, April 11 at 8:20 a.m., in the vicinity of the Union Square, a 28-year-old woman was riding a southbound train when a man who was standing next to her grabbed her. The victim remained on the train and they both got out at the Fulton Street subway station where the man fled.

The person wanted for questioning is described as black, 20-30 years of age, 5’8″ and 200 lbs.; last seen wearing a camouflage jacket and dark pants.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police Watch: Man charged with office thefts, Men accused of CVS robbery

MAN CHARGED WITH FLATIRON OFFICE THEFTS
Police arrested 28-year-old Amir Johnson on Wednesday, May 1 at 6 p.m. for multiple alleged thefts from various office buildings in Flatiron, including from 28 West 25th Street and 151 West 26th Street.

Police said that Johnson looted eight different locations since the beginning of this year. Johnson was caught after he allegedly stole a woman’s laptop and cell phone from an office inside the West 26th Street building between 4 and 4:30 p.m. on the day he was arrested.

The victim told police that she had left her cell phone and laptop on a bench in a hallway to use the bathroom and when she returned, both were gone. She said that she noticed an unknown man in the hallway and asked him if he had seen a laptop and cell phone and he said no.

When the victim asked a co-worker if he had seen her laptop, the coworker said he had seen an unknown man with a laptop and described the man that the victim had first asked about the phone and laptop.

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Police Watch: Man charged with apartment burglary, Teens arrested for fight

MAN CHARGED WITH GRAMERCY APARTMENT BURGLARY
Police arrested 52-year-old Santiago Ferreira for an alleged burglary inside 125 East 17th Street at Irving Place on Sunday, April 28 at 2 a.m.

The victim told police that he was out at a diner when an unknown person broke into his apartment by forcing the front door open. He said that when he returned home around 12:45 a.m., his door was open and the apartment was a mess with a number items having been taken. The victim said that the deadbolt had been broken and was on the floor, and there were also items in the apartment that didn’t belong to him. He told police that he spoke to his neighbor, who said that he heard noises around 6 p.m. that evening.

While waiting for the NYPD evidence collection team, the victim was pinging his MacBook so that it would make an audible noise when Ferreira allegedly came into the apartment with the victim’s stolen items. It was unclear why Ferreira went to the victim’s apartment with the allegedly stolen property but police said that he also lives in the building.

Ferreira allegedly told police that a friend gave him the victim’s stolen items, so police are still looking for a second possible suspect in connection with the actual apartment break-in.

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Homeless man accused of smashing over 40 WiFi kiosks in Manhattan

Juan Rodriguez was arrested in connection with the incidents.

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a week-long LinkNYC kiosk smashing spree in different neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Juan Rodriguez, 41, who’d been staying at the East 30th Street men’s shelter, was picked up by police in front of 230 East 21st Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

From April 16-23, a man, who was seen on surveillance video, smashed 42 Wi-Fi hubs with a brick or other blunt objects in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Flatiron and in midtown.

Rodriguez has been arrested a number of times since 2006, mostly for alleged marijuana possession and criminal mischief, police said.