Random assaults up in Gramercy

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Following the arrest of a man wanted for a random attack in Union Square Park last week, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said at the 13th Precinct Community Council’s meeting on Tuesday that the neighborhood has seen a slight increase in unprovoked assaults recently.

Hellman noted the uptick after a woman at the meeting said that a homeless woman approached her and punched her in the head while she was waiting for the bus with her granddaughter.

“We’re seeing a lot of this even minor level harassment and assaults but we are making apprehensions,” he said, adding that the arrests have included homeless and emotionally disturbed individuals.

Hellman noted that officers have made an arrest on another random attack that occurred in Union Square Park, in which the suspect fractured the victim’s eye socket. A witness told police that he saw the victim and the suspect, 33-year-old Tyrone George, get into an argument inside the park on Tuesday, March 3 around 9:40 p.m.

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Second suspect arrested for 2019 robbery in Asser Levy Park

The suspect arrested last week was captured on surveillance footage at a nearby 7-Eleven shortly after the robbery.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a second suspect who was wanted for a robbery that took place in Asser Levy Park in the pre-dawn hours of a late September morning last year. In addition to hitting the victim multiple times and stabbing him in the head, police said that the suspect who was arrested last week also forced the victim to remove his clothes and put on a dress.

The 25-year-old man was arrested for the September 30 robbery on Monday, February 24 inside the 13th precinct.

The victim, a 47-year-old Bronx resident, told police that he was walking near the park on East 23rd Street and Avenue C around 4 a.m. when the previously-arrested suspect, a 24-year-old man, grabbed him and pulled him behind the park. The victim said that the two suspects menaced him with a knife before taking his wallet and phone.

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Clinton students sit in after lack of response from admin after sex abuse

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Parents and students at The Clinton School in Union Square were shocked and angry about a lack of communication from the school’s administration after boys in the high school were arrested for sexual abuse last month. Students organized and participated in a sit-in this past Tuesday in response, calling for transparency and action from the administration about this incident as well as additional allegations of racism, sexism and harassment that students said have not been addressed.

Town & Village reported last week that three male students were charged with sexual abuse in the school at 10 East 15th Street on February 11, although the NYPD later said that four students between the ages of 15 and 17 were arrested, confirming what multiple students told Town & Village this week. The victim said that she and the four boys were in a school bathroom, where they allegedly coerced her into taking lewd photos and wrote on her body without her consent.

After the story in Town & Village that was posted on February 24 circulated among parents and students at the school last week, the issue was discussed at a heavily-attended Parent Association (PA) meeting last Friday morning. Multiple parents told Town & Village that Principal Jon Levin claimed at the meeting that the story was inaccurate in some way but did not provide any corrections or clarifications, and Levin did not respond to a request for comment. The victim told Town & Village this Tuesday that the details in the story were accurate, although she said that she felt that she was coerced into taking the photos rather than bullied, as the original story stated.

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Man arrested for robbery near Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 49-year-old man for shoplifting and injuring employees that tried to stop him at the Garden of Eden on East 14th Street near Union Square last week.

An employee at the store, located at 7 East 14th Street, told police that on Thursday, February 20 around 9 p.m., the suspect removed items from the shelves and attempted to leave without paying.

When multiple employees then confronted him, the suspect reportedly said, “I will cut you,” and reached into his jacket pocket. The victim suffered a minor cut to his left hand and a bruise on his left cheek while attempting to stop the suspect. The suspect was arrested in front of the store and had been charged with robbery.

Charges are still pending against the suspect in multiple additional cases related to incidents that took place last year. The man reportedly harassed customers inside a Sprint store in Union Square, exposing himself and groping other customers that were inside.

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Teens arrested for sex abuse at Union Square School

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested four teenagers for sexually abusing another student inside a Union Square school last week.

The three teenage boys were charged with sexual abuse inside the Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street on Tuesday, February 11 at 3:47 p.m. after police said that the boys abused a girl at the school.

According to the victim, four teenage boys, one of whom has not been arrested, coerced her into taking an explicit photo in exchange for a Supreme sweatshirt sometime the previous week. The victim said that she originally agreed to take a photo in exchange for the sweatshirt but the teens later pressured her into saying in a video that she had consented to taking a photo of her buttocks with their faces. The teenage girl said that one of the suspects then grabbed her by the arm and led her to the third floor bathroom, where he took a photo of her.

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Youth crime up in Gramercy, cops say

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Robberies and burglaries committed by teenagers have been increasing since the end of last year, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman reported at the 13th Precinct Community Council’s most recent meeting this past Tuesday.

“Trends [in robberies] that we were seeing at the end of last year carried over into the beginning of this year,” Hellman said.

Hellman said that while the precinct’s apprehension rate is “very good,” he wants the command to be more preventive so that the incidents don’t occur in the first place, part of which requires youth outreach. Robberies overall are up 36% for the year so far.

The NYPD will be rolling out a new youth program in March, partially in response to the increase in youth crime, which will work in conjunction with and under the structure of the neighborhood policing program that was implemented in the 13th precinct in October 2018.

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Peter Cooper Village senior scammed

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding men who scammed a Peter Cooper Village senior out of more than $9,000 last month.

The 77-year-old victim told police that the unidentified men called her between 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 17, telling her that her grandson had been involved in a car accident and he required money for bail. After speaking to the victim by phone, one of the suspects met the victim at her apartment near 2 Peter Cooper Road and got $9,200 in cash from her.

The next day, the suspects called the victim back and said that in order to expunge her grandson’s arrest record, she would have to pay an additional $7,000. The victim had become suspicious, so when the suspects arrived to collect the second payment, she handed them miscellaneous papers in an envelope and not the additional requested sum.

Police said that on both occasions, the suspects fled towards Second Avenue when they left the victim’s apartment building. The victim was not injured as a result of the incident.

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Man’s skull fractured in New Year’s Day assault

The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating these unidentified men who are wanted in connection to an assault that occurred in the East Village just after New Year’s.

It was reported to the police that on January 1 around 4 a.m., a 25-year-old male victim was assaulted by three unidentified males near East 9th Street and Avenue A. The victim was removed to Bellevue Hospital with a fractured skull and broken nose.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of these men 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 or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Teens busted for robbery on First Avenue

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two teenagers for a robbery that took place on Wednesday, January 8 around 11 p.m. on First Avenue between East 18th and 19th Streets. One of the teens was arrested on Wednesday, January 22 at 8 a.m. inside the 13th precinct, and the second suspect was arrested in the precinct on Friday, January 24 at 9 a.m.

The victim told police that he was walking north on First Avenue when the teenagers approached him and asked if he wanted to fight. Police said that the teens then punched the victim in the face and removed his cell phone and keys before fleeing the scene.

Police did not have further information about whether the robbery took place on the east or west side of First Avenue.

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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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 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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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 a 24-year-old man allegedly grabbed him and pulled him behind the park.

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

Police said that the suspect 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 the suspect allegedly punched, kicked and pushed him.

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