Man smashes message board at Kips Bay synagogue

Congregation Adareth El at 133 East 29th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a man who smashed the glass of a Kips Bay synagogue’s message board in the wee hours of the morning.

The incident occurred on Saturday, November 10, but the information was only released by the NYPD on Tuesday night.

Police said that at around 3 a.m., the man broke the board at Congregation Adareth El, located at 133 East 29th Street and Lexington Avenue, with his elbow, then proceeded to keep walking down the street, heading east.

Vandalism suspect

The suspect is described as a light-skinned man with a beard; last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweater, a dark colored jacket, dark colored pants and light colored sneakers.

Anyone with information in regard 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). 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.

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Man sentenced to five months for bodega robbery, lawsuit alleges sex abuse at spa

MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE MONTHS FOR 14TH STREET BODEGA ROBBERY

The Manhattan District Attorney has announced the quick sentencing of 36-year-old Eutano Bernard to five months in jail for a robbery inside the bodega at 353 East 14th Street on Wednesday, November 14 at 6:53 a.m. Bernard pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree and was sentenced on Monday. He had entered the store, Community Candy, west of First Avenue, on Wednesday morning and told the cashier, “Give me the money,” before he tried to get behind the counter. He then attacked the store employee, causing cuts to the victim’s head and mouth.

MAN FILES SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT AGAINST FLATIRON SPA WORKER

The New York Post reported that a man who said he was sexually abused while getting a massage in the Living Fresh Men’s Spa at 44 West 22nd Street is suing the person he accused of the crime. As Town & Village reported in September, 47-year-old Pei Tian was charged with sexual abuse after he allegedly removed the towel from the victim during a massage and used his hands to touch the victim’s genitals and buttocks. The suit says that the victim, New Jersey resident Ronnie Arnau, went to the spa with his husband to get a massage and facial but 10 minutes into the session, Tian began focusing “exclusively” on Arnau’s buttocks, making him uncomfortable. The suit seeks unspecified damages and Arnau’s lawyer said that the spa ignored her client when Arnau first reported the assault.

MAN CHARGED WITH EXTORTION OVER PHONE STOLEN FROM GYM

Police arrested 40-year-old Sefu Sieka for an alleged theft in front of 4 Union Square East on Tuesday, November 13 at 11:19 a.m. The victim previously went into the 13th Precinct and told police that his wallet had been stolen from his locker while he was working out at a Blink Fitness.
He said that after it was taken, an unknown woman contacted him and said that she had his wallet and credit cards and wanted a reward from him in exchange for returning the wallet. She also reportedly told the victim that she had used the money in his wallet to buy food.
The victim and special operations officers from the 13th Precinct set up a meeting with the victim and Sieka, at which point Sieka was allegedly seen with the victim’s wallet before handing it over in exchange for cash. He was arrested shortly after. Sieka was charged with grand larceny by extortion, possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

WOMAN ALLEGEDLY LIED HER WAY INTO A FLATIRON APARTMENT

Police arrested 66-year-old Constance Gibbons for allegedly trespassing inside an apartment at 1107 Broadway this summer. Police said that Gibbons went inside the building on July 17 around 5 p.m. and gave the doorman her name, allegedly telling him that she was a representative of Eaton Properties, a property management company. Police said that the doorman gave her a key to one of the apartments, which she then reportedly entered unlawfully. Gibbons was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Friday, November 16 at 5:34 p.m. Police said that Gibbons gained entry into an apartment by use of deception and remained there without permission.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER CRASHING INTO SCAFFOLDING

Police arrested 25-year-old Einne Bunting after he was involved in an accident in front of 49 West 20th Street on Saturday, November 17 at 2:39 a.m. Police said that Bunting was driving east on West 20th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, allegedly speeding, when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle, spun out of control and crashed into the scaffolding in front of the building on West 20th. When police arrived, Bunting allegedly had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Bunting was taken to Bellevue Hospital for blood testing after he was arrested. He was charged with criminal mischief and intoxicated driving.

MAN ACCUSED OF DAMAGING LYFT DRIVER’S CAR IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested 28-year-old Youssouf Konate for allegedly damaging a car at the corner of First Avenue and East 28th Street on Saturday, November 17 at 8:45 a.m. The victim told police that he received a call to pick up Konate from his Lyft app. When he arrived, Konate and five other men tried to get into the victim’s car. The victim told Konate that he wasn’t allowed to have that many people in the car, after which Donate allegedly kicked the passenger’s side rear door, leaving a dent.

TEEN WORKER ARRESTED FOR STEALING CASH FROM BED BATH & BEYOND

Police arrested a teenager inside the bed Bath & Beyond at 620 Sixth Avenue for petit larceny on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:30 p.m. Police said that the teen, an employee at the store, was observed swiping cash from the store’s register on various occasions between November 5 and 12. The total value lost was under $1,000. The teen’s name is being withheld because of his young age.

Boy missing from ACS facility in Kips Bay

Nov22 Jeremi Carangui

Jeremi Carangui

Police are looking for a 13-year-old boy who was last seen on Sunday at 11 a.m., leaving the Administration for Children’s Services building at 492 First Avenue.

Jeremi Carangui was in the care of ACS at the time and left on his own, police said.

He is described as Hispanic, 5’2″ tall, 102 pounds, with a thin build, medium complexion, black hair and brown eyes. His clothing description is unknown.

Anyone with information in regards to his whereabouts 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 Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Kips Bay tailor, 80, charged with groping woman customer

Tamagoglu’s shop in Kips Bay (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

An 80-year-old tailor in Kips Bay who was violently robbed in his East 27th Street shop last year has been arrested for allegedly groping a customer at his business last week.

The victim told police that while owner Apel Tamagoglu was hemming her pants inside Apel’s New Day Tailor Shop at 203 East 27th Street on Wednesday, October 3 at 2:20 p.m., he allegedly grabbed her buttocks twice and put his hand over her genital area.

As Town & Village reported last year, Tamagoglu was stabbed during a robbery in his Kips Bay shop in January, resulting in a fractured skull, a punctured lung and other injuries. Video footage of the incident showed Tamagoglu attempting to chase the robber out with a chair but he ultimately gave the suspect $80 in cash after being stabbed multiple times. John Franklyn, 53, was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing Tamagoglu. Franklyn was reportedly a resident of the 30th Street Men’s Shelter at the time of the incident.

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Robbers force Kips Bay spa worker into back room

Oct3 Kips Bay robbery suspects

Two of the robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for three men who forced a spa worker into a back room during a robbery.

On Thursday at 4 a.m. the robbers strolled into Wood Spa at 133 Lexington Avenue at East 29th Street where a 30-year-old woman was working. Despite the early hour, they were able to enter the business by posing as customers, police said. However, the men then started asking for money and opening drawers. After snatching the employee’s cell phone, they forced her into a back room. It isn’t known if they took anything else before fleeing the scene. Police said the victim had bruising but no serious injuries.

Oct3 Kips Bay robbery suspects2

Robbery suspects

A phone number for the business had no option to leave a message when Town & Village called.

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).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at

Nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Homeless man beaten to death in Kips Bay

Sept13 murder seating area

Seating area on East 27th Street seen from Mount Carmel Place (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two homeless men for allegedly beating a third homeless man to death in Kips Bay at the end of August. Police arrested 42-year-old Joshua Sutherland and 58-year-old Ernesto Aparicio, who are now facing a murder charge in connection with the incident.

According to the district attorney’s office, a witness told police that Sutherland and Aparicio repeatedly kicked and punched the third man, who appeared to be lying unconscious on a park bench at the northwest corner of East 27th Street and First Avenue on Thursday, August 30 around 8 p.m.

A second witness told police that a short time later, he saw the victim on the ground a short distance from the bench and that Sutherland and Aparicio were still standing nearby.

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Pols, Bellevue doctors push for speed camera legislation

Aug9 speed cameras Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman blamed his own chamber for the camera shutoffs. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Surgeons and local elected officials gathered at Bellevue Hospital last Thursday, urging the State Senate to pass legislation that would preserve speed cameras around schools.

Speed cameras in 120 school zones lost their ability to issue speeding violations last month because the State Senate did not extend the program by the July 25th deadline. Advocates at Bellevue were pushing Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to call a special session so Senators could vote on legislation that has already passed in the Assembly, where it was sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

Glick’s bill in the Assembly allows for speed cameras in 50 additional school zones a year for the next three years and extends the program through 2022. Democrats had originally proposed expanding the program to 750 school zones but said they reduced the number to appease Republicans.

“We reduced the number of cameras and reduced the radius the cameras cover,” Glick said. “We added signage so people know that there are cameras. We’ve given so much deference to speeders. We could give at least a modicum of the same concern for school children.”

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Bellevue South Park users ask for ADA-compliant dog run

Christopher Crowley, landscape architect for Parks, pictured with Kips Bay residents involved in planning for the temporary dog run (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

At a meeting aimed at getting community feedback, Kips Bay residents told city officials what they want in a redesign of Bellevue South Park is a permanent, fully accessible dog run. They also want to separate the play equipment from where adults congregate.

The Parks Department’s meeting was held last Thursday, when the landscape architect for the city agency, Christopher Crowley, told neighbors this is the first step in the process for the project.

“We don’t have a concept plan in mind,” Crowley said. “That’s what this meeting is for, to find out what the community wants in this park.”

Steve Simon, the chief of staff for the Manhattan Borough Commissioner at the Parks Department, said that the input from the meeting will help the agency create a preliminary plan that will be presented to Community Board 6 in the fall.

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ACS teen assaults woman in Kips Bay

May31 ACS facility

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Sabina Mollot

A 13-year-old girl who’s been staying at the Administration for Children’s Services building at First Avenue and 29th Street has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman on that street corner, breaking the victim’s nose.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman, told Town & Village that on Sunday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m., she was walking on First Avenue and East 29th Street when she saw a group of teenagers. Not thinking they looked especially intimidating, she kept walking. However, one of the female members of the group then approached her. She said, “Do you want to fight?” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, recalled. But before she could answer, the girl punched her in the face, breaking her nose and knocking out her contact lens. The force of the blow knocked the woman down and the teen then began punching her and pulling her hair, while the woman, in a fetal position, tried to block. This went on until a couple pulled up to the scene in a car, which scared the group off.

Later, the victim said she was able to find the suspect with police and learned the girl’s age, which surprised her since the suspect, who was about 5 ft. 4 inches tall, looked about 18.

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Missing elderly woman last seen in Kips Bay

July12 Herrera

Eliam Herrera

Police are looking for an elderly Harlem resident who was last seen at a friend’s home in Kips Bay on Tuesday at 11 p.m.

Police said Eliam Herrera, who lives on East 115th Street and 2nd Avenue, has Alzheimer’s and may be in need of medical attention.

She is described as being 93 years old, Hispanic, 5’2″ tall and 100 lbs., with gray hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue nightgown at her friend’s building at East 28th Street and 1st Avenue.

Anyone who sees Herrera is asked to call 9-1-1.

Flatiron, Kips Bay subway stations to close for 5 months

May10 station closure 23rd st rendering

Rendering of entrance at the 23rd Street F/M station (Renderings courtesy of MTA)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The MTA confirmed with little fanfare at the end of April that two stations in the Flatiron and Kips Bay neighborhoods would be closing this summer until the end of the year as part of the Enhanced Station Initiative program. The 28th Street station on the 6 will be closed starting on July 16 and the 23rd Street station on the F/M will be closed beginning on July 23, with both expected to reopen sometime in December.

The agency presented the plan to Community Board 5 on April 23 but specific information about the closures is not available on the MTA’s website. Photos included in the presentation to the community board show significant rusting and water damage in both stations and one of the MTA’s stated goals for the project is to “address structural and cosmetic deficiencies,” as well as improve wayfinding services, navigation and communication to customers.

Renderings of the entrances at 23rd and 28th Streets show inconspicuous improvements, with the most noticeable changes being the addition of new electronic signs announcing service changes and updates, as well as maps to help with navigation.

The interior of the stations will be getting upgrades as well, with renderings showing improvements in lighting, new turnstile areas and wayfinding screens on the platforms.

In addition to the two local stations getting the improvements, 57th Street on the F will also be closed for about six months from July to December for similar cosmetic upgrades and both the 1/2/3 and A/C/E areas in Penn Station will be renovated as well, but work there will be phased and the station will not be fully closed.

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Kips Bay senior reported missing

Apr12 Kalanzi

James Kalanzi

Police are looking for a Kips Bay man who was last seen on Tuesday, March 27 at 1 p.m., leaving his home at 14 East 28th Street.

James Kalanzi, 74, is black, 5’5″ tall, around 130 pounds and has short black hair. He was last seen wearing dark pants, a dark jacket with lettering on the back, and a hat.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing 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). All calls are strictly confidential.

 

 

UPDATED: Kips Bay Ricky’s shop robbed at gunpoint

Mar15 rickys robbery

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who robbed a Ricky’s beauty supply store in Kips Bay at gunpoint.

Police said that on Wednesday night, the man walked into the business at 369 Third Avenue and 27th Street, turned a gun on a worker and demanded cash. The employee turned over $217 and the robber fled north on Third Avenue. No one was injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as being black, in his 40s and about 5 ft. 8 ins. tall.

Representatives for Ricky’s, which has 19 locations, declined to comment.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 13th Precinct Detective Squad at (212) 477-7444.

UPDATE: Police have linked the suspect to two other robberies.

On Sunday, February 18 at approximately 10:35 p.m., police believe the same man turned a gun on an employee at a Harlem 7-Eleven at 1400 5th Avenue.  He then jumped over the counter and helped himself to $100 from the register before fleeing.

On Sunday, March 11 at almost 9 p.m., the man robbed a 47-year-old woman in  her car in Brooklyn. Police say he opened the door of a Ford Explorer that was double parked in front of a Brooklyn bakery at 139 Smith Street and turned a gun on the driver.  The victim was able to escape the car, but the gunman got away with her purse, which contained $200 in cash, four credit cards and four debit cards. The suspect fled east on Dean Street.

Police looking for Kips Bay Chase Bank robber

Mar1 Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

Police are hunting a bank robber who got away with over $300 from a Kips Bay Chase branch on Friday.

At about 10:20 a.m., the suspect strolled into a 501 Second Avenue between East 28th and 29th Streets and passed a note to a teller demanding cash. The teller, a 48-year-old woman, complied, turning over $305. The suspect, who is described as black, about 60 years old and 5 ft. 8 ins.-5 ft. 10 ins. tall, fled. He was last seen wearing a red skull cap and carrying a black backpack.

Anyone with information in regards to 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 Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

 

Kips Bay dog run opens unofficially

Pooches play at an unfinished dog run at Bellevue South Park. (Photo by Aaron Humphrey)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Pooch owners in Kips Bay celebrated the opening of a temporary dog run in Bellevue South Park earlier this month after having pushed for the run for years. Neighborhood group KBK9 announced on its Facebook page on December 16 that the temporary run had been opened since the double gate was fully installed that week. The spot for the temporary run is an already fenced-in area adjacent to the basketball courts near the East 26th Street end of the park. Community advocates have been pushing for a fully ADA-compliant dog run in the space and while the temporary version is not accessible, the completed run will be once renovations are finished.

Dog owners using the park on Wednesday morning said they were grateful for the run’s opening, since they don’t want to have to take their dogs too far from home now that winter’s begun. Karen Keavey lives two blocks from Bellevue South and said that the next closest dog run is Madison Square Park, which is at least a 20-minute walk, whereas Bellevue South is a four-minute walk for her and her puggle, Louis.

“This has changed my life,” Keavey said. “It’s good for the park that this has opened up. It brings a different element in.”

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