Man charged with robbery at Flatiron Coach

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 34-year-old Justin Ponder for an alleged robbery at the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue as well as an alleged burglary inside 7 East 19th Street on Friday, March 8 at 1:05 p.m.

It was on Thursday, March 7 at 6:10 p.m., when a man later believed to be Ponder strolled into the store at East 16th Street and picked up a $295 bag and an $1,100 jacket. Police said when he tried to leave without paying, an employee confronted him. Ponder then allegedly shoved him out of his way and said, “Do you want to get punched or do you want to get stabbed?” He then fled out a rear door with the luxury label items.

Because of the alleged threat, the incident is being considered a robbery, rather than theft.

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Stuyvesant Town residents tell cops the biggest problem is Hell on two wheels

Traffic Safety Officer Javier Alvarez and NCO officers Peter Rodriguez and Manuel Rodriguez address Stuyvesant Town residents’ bike-related concerns. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Electric bikes as well as the old-fashioned variety of two-wheelers wound up being the hot topic at the first meeting of the 13th Precinct’s Neighborhood Coordinating Officer program for residents of Stuyvesant Town.

Officers from the 13th Precinct were at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center last Thursday evening for the new NCO program and addressed the bike operations being conducted in the area.

In particular, the NYPD has been cracking down on delivery people who use e-bikes and 13th Precinct Traffic Safety Officer Javier Alvarez said that the precinct conducted over 20 separate operations last year. During that time, 135 e-bikes were confiscated and summonses were given. All the while, officers, perhaps as a warning, would post photos of the confiscated bikes on the precinct’s Twitter feed.

Alvarez said that there is some confusion among residents about what’s legal and what’s not regarding e-bikes, which are a frequent topic of discussion at the regular precinct community council meetings.

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Police Watch: Man charged with slashing coworker, Patient accused of sexual abuse at MSBI

MAN CHARGED WITH SLASHING COWORKER AT ELEVEN MADISON PARK
Police arrested 65-year-old Nigel McClean for an alleged assault inside Eleven Madison Park at 11 Madison Avenue on Tuesday, March 5 at 8:50 a.m. The victim told police that he and McClean, who are coworkers, got into an argument inside the restaurant. McClean allegedly picked up a chef’s knife and pointed it at the victim and the victim said that in an act of self-defense, he punched McClean in the face. Police said that during the fight, McClean slashed the victim in the back, cutting him. McClean was also charged with menacing.

PATIENT ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE OF BETH ISRAEL EMPLOYEE
Police arrested 52-year-old Frankie Serrano for alleged sexual abuse inside Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital at 281 First Avenue on Sunday, March 10 at 11:52 a.m. The victim told police that she was leaning over while tending to another patient when she felt something hard on her buttocks. When she turned around, she saw Serrano standing behind her and he allegedly had his penis exposed from his hospital gown.

MAN CHARGED WITH PHONE THEFT AT KIPS BAY SHELTER
Police arrested 58-year-old Tony Roman for an alleged theft inside the men’s shelter at 400 East 30th Street on Monday, March 4 at 7:45 p.m. The victim told police that while he was sleeping, Roman ripped open his pants and took his cell phone from his pocket.

After he was arrested, Roman was also charged in connection with a robbery that took place on Thursday, February 28 at 10:50 p.m. Police said that he pulled out a knife and mugged the victim inside the lobby of 148 East 30th Street. He was also charged with weapons possession. Roman was charged with grand larceny for the alleged theft at the shelter.

TWO BUSTED FOR ASSAULT OUTSIDE DELI
Police arrested two people for an alleged assault in front of the deli at 353 East 14th Street on Thursday, March 7 at 4:40 p.m. A teenager and 20-year-old Luis Rios allegedly punched the victim in the head and back while the victim was on the ground. Rios was caught in front of 309 East 14th Street and the teen was busted at the corner of Second Avenue and East 14th Street. Police said that the suspects and the victim did not know each other.

TEEN NABBED FOR WALLET THEFT AT UNION SQUARE MOVIE THEATER
Police arrested a teenager last Thursday for a theft that took place in a movie theater near Union Square earlier this year. The victim told police that he went to the theater at 890 Broadway on January 22 and while he was watching a movie between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., his wallet went missing. As Town & Village previously reported, 18-year-old Noel Carr was also arrested in connection with this alleged theft. Carr was charged with grand larceny on February 12. The name of the teen arrested most recently is being withheld due to his young age.

MAN ARRESTED FOR SWITCHBLADE IN KIPS BAY
Police arrested 21-year-old Javier Hernandez for alleged weapons possession at the corner of East 26th Street and Second Avenue on Thursday, March 7 at 7:17 p.m.

Police saw Hernandez driving south on Second Avenue with excessively tinted windows and when he was stopped, he allegedly had a switchblade in plain view in the center cup holder of the car. When police searched his vehicle, they also found that he had a small bag of alleged marijuana and a partially smoked alleged marijuana cigarette from the driver’s side air conditioner vent.

MAN ARRESTED FOR DUANE READE THEFT, ROBBERY
Police arrested 46-year-old Martin Negron for alleged possession of a controlled substance at the corner of Second Avenue and East 27th Street on Wednesday, March 6 at 1 a.m. Police recognized Negron at the intersection because he fit the description from a previous alleged theft in which he reportedly stole items from the Duane Reade at 777 Sixth Avenue on Wednesday, February 27 at 10:17 p.m. When he was stopped, police found that he was in possession of an alleged controlled substance.

Upon further investigation, police found that he was a suspect in a previous robbery that took place inside the same Duane Reade on February 23 at 4:13 a.m. Police said that Negron and two other people who weren’t arrested removed beer from the store without paying and caused an injury to the store employee as a result of the alleged theft.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR RESTAURANT BURGLARY
Police arrested 26-year-old Ibrahim Jalloh for an alleged burglary that took place at PN Wood Fired Pizza inside 2 West 28th Street on December 23, 2018, at 9:30 p.m. Police said that the front door of the business was damaged and the glass had been cracked. Jalloh allegedly broke into the restaurant while the business was closed and took electronics. Jalloh was arrested on Tuesday, March 5 at 8:45 a.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

Man charged with shooting guard at Target

Kips Bay Court (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 25-year-old Christian Vargas after he allegedly shot a security guard in Kips Bay and later returned to the scene of the crime.

Police said that shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, Vargas kicked and attempted to pry open the front door entrance of a Target store that is under construction in Kips Bay Court at 520 Second Avenue where the victim was stationed.

Vargas allegedly spat on the guard and began grappling with him and in the course of the struggle, the victim’s 9mm pistol fell to the ground. Vargas allegedly grabbed the gun and shot at the guard, hitting him three times.

According to the New York Post, Vargas was arrested at the scene later that morning because he had dropped his wallet and keys during the incident and returned to retrieve them around 7 a.m.

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Bike ride memorializes cyclist who was killed

Dozens of cyclists pedal up First Avenue from 14th Street (pictured) passing 35th Street. (Photo by Jefferson Siegel)

By Jefferson Siegel

On Saturday a bike memorial ride was held to honor bike messenger Aurilla Lawrence, 25, who was killed on the night of February 28 in Williamsburg when she was hit by a truck. The truck driver did not stop.

A large mass of cyclists pedaled east along 14th Street from Union Square Park to First Avenue before turning uptown.

At one point the ride split into two parts, with one group of about 30 heading uptown into Harlem before eventually crossing the river into the Bronx, while a second group of about 50 cyclists criss-crossed downtown streets before heading up University Place, past Union Square and then up Broadway against traffic.

Police in cars and on scooters followed the cyclists as they moved throughout town. There was at least one arrest at 46th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Lawrence was the fifth cyclist to die so far this year, compared with ten bike fatalities in all of 2018.

 

 

Man steals Chanel purse from woman at Gramercy restaurant

Mar14 Chanel vanity case

Chanel vanity case

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who swiped a $4,600 Chanel purse from a woman who was eating dinner at Gramercy restaurant Farmer & The Fish.

The victim, a 39-year-old woman, was at the restaurant at 245 Park Avenue South at East 20th Street on Friday, March 8 at about 7:30 p.m. when she got up to go to the bathroom. She told police she left her purse, a Chanel vanity case, on her chair, and when she came back it was gone.

Mar14 chanel purse theft

Theft suspect

The vanity case style of bag ranges in price from $3,600-$8,900 on Chanel’s website.

The suspect believed to have taken it was seen on surveillance footage. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Shoplifter threatens employee at Flatiron Coach store

Mar14 Coach robbery

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who shoved an employee at the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue after he was caught trying to shoplift.

It was on Thursday, March 7 at 6:10 p.m., when the man strolled into the store at East 16th Street and picked up a $295 bag and an $1,100 jacket. When he tried to leave without paying, an employee confronted him. The man then shoved him out of his way and said, “Do you want to get punched or do you want to get stabbed?” The thief then fled out a rear door with the luxury label items.

The suspect is described as black, 25, 5 ft. 11 ins. and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black coat and hat and white sneakers. Because of the alleged threat, he is being sought for robbery, rather than theft.

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

Police Watch: Man accused of exposing himself, Man arrested for theft at bath house

CRIME DECREASE THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY IN FEBRUARY
This February, New York City experienced 10.8 percent less index crime than in February 2018, the NYPD announced this week. Despite the reduction in overall crime, the NYPD will implement a five-point plan targeted at the violent crime in several neighborhoods throughout the city. The plan includes additional uniformed personnel, strengthening gun prosecutions, expanding the CeaseFire Program by providing interventions to known gang members in Brooklyn and the Bronx and domestic violence gun investigations. The NYPD is also launching a new program, Re-EntryStat, which will closely monitor and analyze the resources provided to people who are re-entering their communities upon release from prison.

MAN ACCUSED OF EXPOSING HIMSELF AT PRINCE GEORGE
Police arrested 33-year-old Saad Sethy for alleged public lewdness that took place inside the Prince George at 14 East 28th Street on February 20 at 3:45 p.m. The building, formerly a hotel, now houses people who are formerly homeless. The victim told police that she is a social worker there and was working when Sethy entered the room, unzipped his pants and showed the victim his penis without her consent. Sethy also allegedly asked her to perform a sex act on him. She told police that she asked him to leave and he fled in an unknown direction. Sethy was arrested inside the 13th precinct on Wednesday, February 27 at 1 p.m.

MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT AT GAY BATH HOUSE
Police arrested 26-year-old Joseph Boodoo for an alleged theft inside the West Side Club, a bathouse for gay and bisexual men at 27 West 20th Street on Sunday, March 3 at 6:21 a.m. A witness told police that Boodoo climbed over a wall from one cubicle in the club to another that belonged to the witness’s friend. The witness then saw Boodoo leave the cubicle with items wrapped in a towel.

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Cops arrest suspect for assault, then connect him to a robbery in Madison Square Park

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man for an assault in Kips Bay last week and later charged him in connection with an assault that took place in Madison Square Park last year.

James Beard, 31, allegedly assaulted a man at the corner of Second Avenue and East 25th Street on Monday, February 18 at 2:36 p.m.

The victim told police that he was walking north on Second Avenue between East 24th and 25th Streets on Monday when he got into an argument with Beard, at which point Beard allegedly punched him in the face, causing redness and pain.

Police said that Beard repeatedly said that his name was Jaquan Thomas despite multiple warnings, and was also charged with impersonation, as well as harassment.

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Woman tracks down phone thief using app

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A woman whose phone was stolen inside a Pret a Manger near Union Square on Friday was able to get it back by tracking it through an app.

The victim told police that she was inside the café at 821 Broadway when a man who was later arrested, 44-year-old Bension Mamedov, came in and put his bag on top of her phone and phone case, which contained her driver’s license, MetroCard and a credit card and when he left, her phone was gone.

She told police that she used the Find My iPhone application to track her device and the app located her phone at 109 East 16th Street, which houses the offices of the Human Resources Administration. She flagged down two police officers who were at Union Square East and East 16th Street and went inside the building, where she spotted Mamedov.

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Police Watch: Teen arrested for Flatiron burglaries, Man arrested for assaulting ex-girlfriend

TEEN BUSTED FOR BURGLARIES IN FLATIRON

Police have arrested a teenager they believe was behind a pattern of burglaries in Flatiron.

The first incident was when he broke into Madison Reed Color Bar at 11 West 18th Street on Thursday, January 10 at 9:30 p.m. Police said that he forced open the door at the salon while it was closed and swiped cash from the register.

Later that night at 2:30 a.m. on January 11, the teen allegedly forced open the door of Boqueria at 53 West 19th Street when the business was closed, but he left without taking anything.

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Man charged with burglaries in Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man for multiple alleged burglaries that occurred inside a building on West 17th Street just west of Fifth Avenue on February 11.

Police said that 56-year-old Anthony Dunn forced open an apartment door inside the building and took electronics and cash. Dunn allegedly forced the door in another apartment in the building and police said he took electronics from that unit as well, in addition to silverware.

Dunn allegedly attempted to break into a third apartment in the building but while he was attempting to force open the door, another resident heard him went outside his apartment to ask Dunn what he was doing. Dunn reportedly said that he was from maintenance and was there to fix the apartment door, but then said he was at the wrong apartment and he fled the scene without getting inside.

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Police suspect bodegas re-selling stolen goods

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

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have been surveilling local bodegas where stolen goods are suspected to be sold.

Responding to a question about a spike in the number of thefts from neighborhood pharmacies, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said at the 13th Precinct Community Council’s January meeting that shoplifting in pharmacy chains like Duane Reade and CVS is problematic throughout Manhattan. So is the reselling of those items to other stores, and Hellman said undercover officers have been on it.

“It’s a slow process because they start to recognize our undercover guys but we’re still watching them,” he said of one local bodega suspected of selling stolen merchandise. “We think there are other bodegas where they’re fencing things so we’re trying to track those, too.”

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Cop cracking down on drunk drivers in 13th Precinct

Police Officer Nicholas Clemente with Executive Officer Ernesto Castro at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Drunk drivers, beware.

Police Officer Nicholas Clemente of the 13th Precinct has arrested so many behind the wheel boozers recently that on Tuesday, he was recognized for his efforts. Clemente was the recipient of the February Cop of the Month award at a meeting held by the 13th Precinct Community Council.

Executive Officer Ernesto Castro, who led the meeting because Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman was out due to a personal matter, said that Clemente had made a significant number of arrests of intoxicated drivers throughout the precinct last year and so far this year.

“(Clemente) has made it his priority to ensure the safety of our motorists and pedestrians every night,” Castro said. “His job is to identify by observation or by accidents whether someone is intoxicated. In 2018, he made it a priority and he arrested 15 people for that, nine of them being from observation alone, either driving in the wrong direction or swerving or taking red lights. This year so far he’s made two valuable arrests for (driving while intoxicated) and he continues to strive toward that.”

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Police Watch: Man charged with newsstand robbery, Bouncer accused of assault

MAN CHARGED WITH UNION SQUARE SUBWAY NEWSSTAND ROBBERY
Police arrested 27-year-old Nicholas Labasta for an alleged robbery that took place inside the Union Square subway station on Tuesday, February 12 at 4 a.m. The victim told police that he was working behind the counter at the newsstand inside the station when Labasta allegedly reached over the counter into the open cash register. The victim said that he attempted to stop Labasta from taking the cash, and Labasta allegedly punched the victim in the face. Police said that he then grabbed cash in singles and fled the station. The victim later identified Labasta outside and police stopped him in front of 841 Broadway, where they recovered the cash in singles in his pocket. Labasta was also charged with grand larceny and petit larceny.

BOUNCER AT BOUNCE ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
Police arrested 35-year-old Modesto Morales for an alleged assault in front of Bounce nightclub at 55 West 21st Street on Saturday, February 16 at 2:56 a.m. The victim told police that Morales, who is a bouncer at the club, punched him in the mouth unprovoked, causing swelling and bleeding.

MAN ACCUSED OF SNATCHING PHONE
Police arrested 32-year-old Alexandre Teixeira for an alleged theft at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street on Friday, February 15 at 4:41 p.m. Police heard the victim shouting, “Police, help, he took my phone!” while running after Teixeira. Police said when they caught up with Teixeira and he was arrested, he had the victim’s phone. Teixeira was charged with grand larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.

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