Police Watch: Man charged with assaulting officers, Office burglary in Flatiron

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING TWO OFFICERS AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 20-year-old Abdul Sweleh for allegedly assaulting officers inside Bellevue Hospital on Monday, January 7 at 9:25 p.m. Police said that Sweleh punched two peace officers who were attempting to subdue him. Sweleh allegedly punched one of the victims in the face, causing pain and swelling, and caused a possible bone fracture after allegedly punching the other officer in the face.

MAN ALLEGEDLY BURGLARIZED OFFICE IN FLATIRON
Police arrested 32-year-old Isaac Logan for alleged burglaries inside 79 Fifth Avenue that took place last year.

Police said that Logan entered the offices of Fahrenheit 212 at the location while the business was closed and allegedly stole a MacBook on August 11, 2018 around 5 p.m. Police said that Logan could be seen on surveillance video removing two MacBooks from the office on November 22, 2018 at 4:16 p.m.

Logan was also charged with criminal trespass because he was allegedly inside the office on November 14, 2018 at 5 p.m. without permission.

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Nanny gets 15 years for shoving baby wipe down an infant’s throat at Waterside

Waterside Plaza

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, a nanny who was found guilty last month of trying to kill an eight-week-old boy in his family’s Waterside apartment was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

Apparently fed up with the baby’s crying and her salary, Marianne Benjamin-Williams, 47, had shoved a baby wipe down the infant’s throat on May 18, 2017. Despite arguing that the baby’s toddler sister had done it, the jury found her guilty on all charges, including attempted murder, assault and strangulation.

It hadn’t helped her case that she’d lied about her employment history to the family she worked for, including past work and references and had doctored her IDs.

Following the sentencing, District Attorney Cyrus Vance called the former nanny’s actions “gruesome.”

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Man allegedly stole from Walgreens since summer

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man last week for allegedly swiping shampoo and toothpaste from the Walgreens in Stuyvesant Town on more than a dozen occasions since last July. Sam Lee, 32, was arrested on Wednesday, January 3 at 5:30 a.m. for 16 alleged thefts from the Walgreens at 298 First Avenue.

Lee’s alleged spree began on July 8, 2018 around 7 a.m. when he allegedly took shampoo bottles that he stuck in a backpack before leaving without paying. Police said that he returned to the store on July 16, 2018 at 11:15 a.m. when he took shampoo and conditioner that he concealed in a backpack before leaving without paying.

The next time he returned to the store on August 29, police said that he stole multiple Crest toothpaste products.

Police said that he went back to the store almost a month later on September 25 at 2:35 p.m. and took shampoo, allegedly hiding it in a green bag before leaving.

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Pick-pockets preying on customers at local Trader Joe’s markets

Trader Joe’s market on Sixth Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD wants help from Trader Joe’s to stop pickpocketing in their stores but the California-based grocer reportedly does not want to spare the expense. Thirteenth Precinct Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said that the company has been unwilling to install security cameras in their stores to aid the police department in catching sticky-fingered suspects who have reportedly been stealing from other customers in the store.

“They’ve been targeting Trader Joe’s because they know they can get away with it,” Hellman told Town & Village of the suspects. “When we don’t have video, it’s almost impossible to make any arrests on these cases. The lack of cooperation from Trader Joe’s shows a lack of empathy for the victims and the people shopping at their stores.”

Police said that after a handful of unattended property thefts this summer, the NYPD was able to convince the company to install security cameras but the cameras were ultimately removed before officers were even able to get access to the footage through a warrant for one of the recent cases.

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Cabbie punched and robbed in Gramercy

jan17 taxi robbery suspect1

First robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for two men who stiffed a cabbie, stole his phone and punched him in the face on a street in Gramercy.

Cops said that on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:10 p.m., the 31-year-old driver was dropping off the men at Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street, after they’d hailed the cab at 96th Street and Broadway. However, the passengers didn’t pay the fare before getting out and when the driver asked for the money, one of them reached into his window and stole his cell phone. When the driver got out of his car to get it back, one of the two men punched him before they both fled.

jan17 taxi robbery suspect2

Second robbery suspect

The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

The two suspects are described as being black and about 18-20.

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). All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Police Watch: Robbery at Goodwill, Employee assaulted at Washington Irving

ACCUSED SHOPLIFTER AT GOODWILL ALLEGEDLY HIT EMPLOYEE WITH HELMET
Police arrested 38-year-old Nicholas Vandermillen for an alleged robbery inside the Goodwill at 220 East 23rd Street on Saturday, January 5 at 10 a.m. Police said that Vandermillen took a helmet from a display inside the store and attempted to leave without paying for it. An employee then confronted him, and this turned into an argument outside the store.

Police said that Vandermillen then spilled coffee in the victim’s face and both he and the victim fell to the ground. Vandermillen allegedly stood up while the victim was still on the ground and grabbed the helmet with his left hand, then swung it and hit the victim in the face with the intention of causing physical harm.

Vandermillen was also charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

TEEN ASSAULTS EMPLOYEE AT WASHINGTON IRVING BUILDING
Police arrested a teenager for assaulting a Department of Education employee inside the Washington Irving campus at 40 Irving Place on Thursday, January 3 at 11:53 a.m. Police said that the teen punched a DOE parent coordinator in the head, causing pain to the left side of her face. The coordinator was removed to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment.

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Burglar swipes tools, iPad from restaurant

Burglary suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a burglar who swiped an iPad and other things from Bazar, a tapas bar/restaurant in NoMad on Saturday, December 22.

Police said he was seen entering the restaurant located at 31 West 26th Street through a front door at about 6:10 a.m. and then proceeded to take an iPad Touch worth $200, and tools including a drill, bottles of Windex and a box of gloves. There was no sign of forced entry. The suspect, based on a fuzzy surveillance photo, is a black man last seen in a blue beanie hat.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

Man charged with assaulting bus driver

An M34A bus at Waterside Plaza (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 42-year-old Sharif Pasha for allegedly assaulting an MTA bus driver at Waterside Plaza in Kips Bay on Friday, December 21 around 10 p.m.

According to Patch.com, Pasha, who is homeless, walked over to the driver’s side window when he got off the bus at Waterside Plaza and grabbed the 28-year-old driver, repeatedly punching her in the face and chest. Police said that Pasha fled the scene but was arrested about an hour later near the 30th Street Men’s Shelter near First Avenue, where he lives.

Police said that the driver was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and is in stable condition. Pasha was charged with assault. The Manhattan district attorney’s office did not have any further information about the case.

2018: A year of L hell, ferry launch and more

Vehicles and pedestrians squeeze between construction barriers along East 14th Street. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The year 2018 didn’t lack for major changes in the community from the transformation of East 14th Street into a (potentially full-time) construction zone to the maiden voyage of a ferry with a stop at Stuyvesant Cove to the axing of a courtyard full of beloved trees in Stuyvesant Town. There was also what appeared to be an uptick in crime perpetrated by youths and homeless men in Kips Bay as well as some political intrigue, with Congressional fixture Carolyn Maloney seeing her first serious competition in nearly a decade.

For more on the year that was, as covered by this newspaper, read on:

  1. There is no doubt at this point that 2018 was the year of L hell. (The day after Town & Village went to press, Governor Cuomo announced his alternative proposal.) Long before the dreaded L train shutdown even would begin, residents of the street have been impacted by the loss of 60 parking spaces, constant noise and clouds of dust from the vehicles going in and out of the construction area along the north side of the street, all while construction on developments goes on along the south side of the street. Local elected officials have been pushing the MTA for some concessions and have won a few so far, like better lighting along the construction barriers, sound reducing blankets and the installation of air quality monitors. But the effort has remained to reduce evening and weekend hours of work to give neighbors — some suffering from respiratory problems — a break. At one point, a lawsuit that had been filed to stop or delay the L train work due to accessibility and congestion issues was expanded to include the misery felt by residents whose apartments face the construction zone between Stuyvesant Town and the East Village.

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Pair arrested for package thefts in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two men for alleged package burglaries from a number of buildings inside Stuyvesant Town during the early morning hours of Christmas Day last week.

Police said that 19-year-old Rahul Cuya and 32-year-old Justin Irizarry broke into six different buildings between the hours of 1 and 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, December 25 and took packages from the lobbies.

Cuya and Irizarry allegedly got inside 245 Avenue C at 1 a.m. and stole packages from inside the building. Shortly after that, the two men reportedly got into 277 Avenue C and stole packages. Police said that Cuya and Irizarry got into 651 East 14th Street around 1:15 a.m. and stole packages from that building before breaking into 271 Avenue C and allegedly stealing packages from inside that building as well. Police said that the two suspects also got inside 281 Avenue C and 645 East 14th Street around 1:40 a.m.

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Teen mugged on East 14th Street

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two people who mugged a 19-year-old as he walked past the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office on December 21.

The victim was headed to get a slice of pizza at around 5:20 p.m. when the two suspects, male and female, approached him in front of 335 East 14th Street and asked him for the time.

When the victim pulled out his iPhone to check, they pointed an unknown object into his back and demanded his belongings. The victim complied, dropping his phone and bookbag, which the muggers snatched before fleeing west on East 14th Street.

The male suspect is black and was wearing a blue jacket, hoodie, blue jeans, black and white sneakers and a black skullcap. The female suspect is black and was wearing white sneakers, blue jeans, and a camouflage and black hooded jacket.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call 1-800-555-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

This article has been updated to include descriptions of the suspects.

Police Watch: Man arrested after fatal car wreck, Teens assault officer at ACS

MAN ARRESTED AT BELLEVUE AFTER FATAL CAR WRECK
Police arrested 37-year-old Sherman Harrison for alleged manslaughter inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Saturday after police said that he attempted to flee the scene of a fatal car accident earlier that day.

Police brought Harrison to the hospital after an accident that took place on Saturday, December 29 at 7:23 a.m. at the corner of West and Laight Street in Tribeca. An investigation found that he allegedly attempted to walk away from a car crash in which another driver was killed. Police said that Harrison was driving when he lost control and slammed into another car, causing a crash that left the other driver dead. Responding officers also allegedly recovered a .40 caliber magazine in plain sight inside the car. Harrison was charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

TEENS ASSAULT OFFICER IN BRAWL AT ACS
Police arrested three teenagers for assault of a peace officer inside the ACS facility at 492 First Avenue on Saturday, December 29 at 2 a.m. Police said that the teens were kicking and banging on the building’s door, so an ACS sergeant tried to escort the teens out of the building when they reportedly became physically aggressive. The sergeant reportedly tried to restrain the teens when a brawl broke out and he was punched and kicked in the head by all three of the teenagers. The sergeant received a bruise on his head as a result of the assault.

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UPDATED: Two attempted robberies on Oval

Dec7 ST Christmas security booth

Security booth at Stuyvesant Oval (pictured December 2017)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuy Town’s Public Safety department is on the lookout for two male suspects who attempted to rob an older man as well as a couple in the Oval early on New Year’s Eve morning.

A Town & Village reader alerted us that as he was walking around the Oval at around 12:30 a.m., an older man was mugged by two people. Fortunately, the victim was able to get help from a couple of other people who happened to be around. The reader noticed this happened near the security booth, which was unmanned at the time.

Asked about this, Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk confirmed the incident, but said the victim wasn’t touched by the suspects.

According to Hayduk, they’d approached the man on the Oval and said, “Give us your money.” The resident refused and continued to walk away and they didn’t chase him. However, the pair then tried the same thing with a nearby couple, who also declined to turn over their money, and the would-be muggers fled empty-handed towards First Avenue.

“The first resident immediately reported it to Public Safety who canvassed the area (officers on foot and by video) to no avail,” Hayduk said, adding that the resident asked management not to call the NYPD.

Hayduk added, “The Oval booth is only occupied when the officer is seeking shelter, otherwise that officer is patrolling the Oval or the immediate vicinity.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect management’s statement that there was no physical contact between the suspects and the victim.

Police Watch: Bus driver arrested after hitting pedestrian, Suspect arrested for alleged CVS robbery

Robbery suspect

BUS DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER HITTING PEDESTRIAN ON EAST 22ND STREET
Police arrested 54-year-old Damion Seeley for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury in an incident on August 17 around 10 p.m. near the intersection of East 22nd Street and Second Avenue. Seeley was driving a bus near the intersection allegedly hit a man in his 40s who was crossing the street. Police said that Seeley then left the scene without waiting for police to arrive, and the victim was transported to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries. Seeley was arrested on Monday, December 10 at 6:40 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. Police did not have further information about whether the bus was owned by the MTA or a private company.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED ROBBERY WITH HYPODERMIC NEEDLE AT CVS
Police arrested 41-year-old Alan Betances for an alleged robbery that took place inside the CVS at 253 First Avenue on Wednesday, November 14 around 8 p.m.

As Town & Village reported at the time, a man strolled into the store and began throwing items from the shelves into a garbage bag. When an employee confronted him in the aisle, the man allegedly pulled out a needle and told the worker to “step back.”

Betances was arrested on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

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Sergeant arrested after crashing into cyclist outside Stuy Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested an off-duty NYPD sergeant for allegedly hitting a cyclist while driving drunk outside Stuyvesant Town last week. Police said that 42-year-old Louis Guglielmo was driving a Jeep Wrangler north on First Avenue on Thursday, December 6 at 2:23 a.m. when he drove through a red light, hitting a 35-year-old cyclist who was heading east on East 16th Street across the avenue with the right of way.

The victim told police that when the vehicle struck him, it knocked him off the bike and onto the street, causing pain to his head, neck, knee and ankle.

Police said that the jeep was partially on top of the bike after the collision. Guglielmo allegedly exited the vehicle and told the victim that he was a member of law enforcement.

“I had a few drinks, and I just did not see him in the crosswalk,” Guglielmo said at the time, according to the criminal complaint.

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