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.

 

 

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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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Three men attack victim for his Beats headphones in Kips Bay

Nov30 First Ave Robbery

Kips Bay Robbery suspects

Cops are on the lookout for three men who attacked another man for his Beats headphones at the intersection of East 29th Street and First Avenue.

Police said on Wednesday, November 22 shortly after 1 a.m., the three men approached the 23-year-old victim and punched him in the face and body several times. They then ripped the headphones off him and fled on East 29th Street. The victim, who suffered redness to the left side of his face, refused medical attention.

The suspects are described as black and 18-25 years old. A surveillance photo of the men was taken from a local business prior to the incident.

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. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police Watch: Man strolls into woman’s apt. to pee, Teen stabs victim on train, slashes another

MAN BARGES INTO WOMAN’S APARTMENT

TO PEE, THEN ALLEGEDLY MAKES THREATS

Matthew Pryblyski, 25, was arrested after allegedly breezing into a woman’s apartment at 149 West 14th Street, where he then headed to her bathroom and began to pee. The woman, who doesn’t know Pryblyski, said she told him to get out, and he responded by picking up a lamp and allegedly waving it around in front of her in a threatening manner. He also told her, “Shut up, you Arabic bitch. I am going to sue you,” according to a criminal complaint. Police said it is unclear how he got into her apartment in the incident, which occurred last Saturday night. He was arraigned on November 5 and his next court appearance on charges of burglary, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon is on December 20. Town & Village reached out to Pryblyski’s attorney, but did not hear back.

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL ATTACKS TWO WITH

SCISSORS AT UNION SQUARE SUBWAY

Police arrested a teen who, on Halloween night, slashed one teen with a scissor at the Union Square subway station and stabbed another on the train. The victim who was slashed said he was trying to get away from the girl, whose name is being withheld due to her age, when she slashed his wrist, causing a very serious physical injury. On the train, she also stabbed another male victim in the neck, hand and back. The incident may have been part of a larger fight. The alleged assailant attends Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island.

POLICE IMPERSONATION IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested Gerardo Torres, 30, after he allegedly pretended to be a cop to gain entry to a building at 334 East 26th Street last Monday morning. Police said he told a security officer there that he was an officer conducting an investigation at the location and even went as far as providing what appeared to be an NYPD-issued business card. The security officer didn’t buy it, however, and Torres was charged with impersonating an officer and criminal trespass.

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Kips Bay man faces child porn charges

June1 Jacob Schwartz

Jacob Schwartz (Photo via Facebook)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

New York City employee and Democratic activist Jacob Schwartz, 29, was arrested on child pornography charges inside the 13th Precinct last Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

According to the district attorney’s office, the Kips Bay resident has been under investigation since last November.

Police said that Schwartz gave officers his signed consent to search his laptop on March 29 inside his Third Avenue apartment.

When police searched the computer, they found that he had more than 3,000 images and 89 videos of nude girls as young as six months through age 16 engaging in “sexual conduct” with men, including sexual intercourse and oral sex.

CBS New York reported last Friday that Schwartz had been working in the Department of Design and Construction for the last two years and was the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats.

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Police looking for men behind two attempted bank robberies

May11 Chase robber number two

Kips Bay Chase Bank attempted robbery suspect

Police are looking for two men who attempted to rob local Chase Banks in separate incidents.

On Tuesday at around 5:30 p.m., a man strolled into a bank at 501 Second Avenue and 28th Street, approached a teller and passed a note demanding money. The teller didn’t comply, though, and the suspect fled the scene. He was last seen walking southbound on Second Avenue.

The would-be robber of the Kips Bay bank is described as being white, 35-40 years old, approximately 5’5″ tall, with a slim build. Police also said he had a light complexion with blisters around his mouth and a tattoo on his neck. At the time of the incident he was wearing blue jeans, a beige baseball cap, a gray sweatshirt and a black hooded jacket.

Police are also looking for a man who tried to rob a Chase Bank in NoMad on Friday, but left emptyhanded.

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Child staying at Administration for Children’s Services building goes missing

 

Apr6 Missing

XAVIER REYES

 

A 12-year-old named Xavier Reyes, whose current residence is the Administration for Children’s Services at 492 First Avenue, has been missing since Tuesday evening at 8 p.m., police said.

He was last seen in Kips Bay in the vicinity of 28th Street and First Avenue.

He is Hispanic, 5’1″ tall, 174 pounds and has red hair, brown eyes and a light complexion. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, a gray shirt and gray sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

 

In new book, Bellevue doctor says physicians need to listen to patients

Feb23 Danielle Ofri

Bellevue Doctor Danielle Ofri (photo courtesy of author)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Dr. Danielle Ofri, PhD, MD, a Kips Bay resident and Bellevue Hospital doctor who’s authored four nonfiction books, has just released her fifth, on the need for better communication between patient and doctor.

The book was inspired by a number of her own patients’ inability to tell someone else what their concerns are coupled with doctors’ habits of not listening as carefully as they should.

She gave one example of how after a while she began tuning out a patient “who was very demanding of my time,” Ofri said. He’d annoy her by leaving multiple, angry messages on her answering machine demanding to see her right away. His habit of panicking and the constant messages wore on Ofri, and while she knew he had a bad heart, she was surprised when one day he actually collapsed in her office.

“He was nervous about his heart and the terror of dying animated him,” she said. “I’m hearing obnoxious and angry demands and was not recognizing his fear of death,” Ofri admitted.

This example is mentioned in the book, What Patients Say; What Doctors Hear ($25, $24 as an e-book).

Ofri, who’s worked at Bellevue for 20 years, said often patients are too embarrassed to discuss their deeper concerns with their doctor like the real reasons they’re not taking their prescribed medication. Affordability is often, though not always a factor.

“Patients are very shy about saying it costs too much or they’re splitting it in half or there’s an eating disorder or domestic violence.”

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New leader for embattled ACS

ACS Commissioner David Hansell, with Mayor Bill de Blasio Photo by Sabina Mollot)

ACS Commissioner David Hansell, with Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

After a particularly troubling year for the city’s child welfare agency, Mayor Bill de Blasio last Tuesday announced a new pick for commissioner of the Administration of Children’s Services.

David Hansell, who was previously the chief of staff at the New York City Human Resources Administration from 2002-2006, was named as the replacement for Gladys Carrion. Carrion resigned after the high-profile death of an abused six-year-old named Zymere Perkins who’d been under the ACS’s radar.

The introduction was made at a packed press conference at the ACS’s First Avenue headquarters in Kips Bay, with reporters asking about systemic failures at the agency, which the mayor to some degree denied. De Blasio said many of the problems at the agency during the Perkins case had to do with individual employees not doing their jobs and that those individuals had either been fired or “reprimanded in another way.”

Hansell, meanwhile, said he had not yet taken a “deep dive” into the agency’s past failures, but said he hoped his managerial experience would help fix any lingering problems in policy.

De Blasio praised Hansell for his “compassionate leadership,” adding that his takeover comes at a time when the agency is facing up to 60,000 cases a year.

“Often complex and painful situations that don’t present themselves obviously in a lot of cases,” the mayor said. “There are times we don’t have an indication that a family is in danger. Our job, our mission is to save every child. David Hansell understands that.”

The mayor’s statement is a contradiction of Carrion’s, who once reportedly said that not every child could be protected.

Hansell, who also worked for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis during the height of the AIDS epidemic, said he felt there was “no greater calling” than the opportunity to serve vulnerable communities.

“I worked on the front lines at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and it’s shown me what happens when the government takes a callous attitude to those who need help the most and also showed me what can happen when the government cares.”

More recently, he spent five years as managing director of the Global Human & Social Services Center of Excellence at KPMG, a tax advisory and auditing firm. Before that, he served as acting assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He’s also held other government positions.

As for the ACS, he said he planned to take a “top to bottom” look to “protect what’s working and change what is not,” using “metrics-based” management. Hansell added that he welcomed working with an independent monitor that’s been assigned by the state to oversee the ACS and looked forward to working more closely with the NYPD to protect children as well as ACS staff from dangerous situations.

Hansell also said he was a “great admirer” of Carrion, saying they’d worked together in Albany, though, he added, “There are things we’ll do differently.”

He said he was looking into the “child-stat” program that’s similar to the NYPD’s Crime Stat program for tracking crime. “My job will be to make sure it’s as effective as it can be,” Hansell said, adding that he was also planning on making sure ACS employees had proper training. The mayor said $49 million was being spent on improvements, including in training.

When reporters asked the mayor about how recently caseloads have gone up at the ACS, de Blasio responded that this was typical after a high-profile case like Perkins’.

After months of physical abuse, Perkins died after being beaten with a broomstick by his mother’s boyfriend, who then hung him by his shirt on a door.

De Blasio said he expected he would “not be surprised” if caseloads would start to decline with Hansell’s hiring.

He also disagreed with a reporter who’d heard that preventative services were not available enough, although he admitted, “It’s not where we want it to be.” He also said he would make sure the ACS was supported in getting resources. Asked about a recent state report about the the agency, the mayor said he thought it was “simplistic” to expect a report to be completely accurate.

Dr. Herminia Palacio added, “We need to be cautious about making some extrapolations. We need to be judicious and informed about the way we move forward.”

De Blasio said he had seen the agency when he agreed there were in fact system-wide problems, which came under a spotlight after the fatal beatdown of Nixzmary Brown. Seven-year-old Brown died at the hands of her stepfather, who also had sexually abused her, in 2006.

“Every New Yorker felt the loss personally because there were many chances to save her,” the mayor said. “One of the things that became clear after that was that there weren’t enough communications between the NYPD and the ACS. A lot was done in the aftermath to change that. No one disagreed that the two agencies were missing an opportunity to work on a common cause but we constantly see a need for more.”

He also pointed to cases in the more recent past where the ACS has pushed for removal of children from homes only to have a court not approve the request.

“The challenge is how do we get that agreed upon by a judge?” said de Blasio. “That’s one of the big challenges here.”

Another goal, he said, was to lower foster placements, with the mayor saying placing a child who’s been removed from parents with nuclear family members was preferable, and reduced reports of abuse.

Hansell, asked why he was taking the job considering the risks of being called a failure should there be another child death, answered, “I know it won’t be easy.”

Palacio also pointed out that New Yorkers could also play a role in saving abused or neglected children by speaking up. “If you feel a child’s life is in danger, pick up a phone,” she said.

This pair has been stealing wallets from women at bars since October

Feb23 wallet theft woman.jpg

Female suspect

Police are looking for a man and woman who’ve been working together to steal women’s wallets at bars in Union Square, Kips Bay, Greenwich Village and the East Village. In numerous cases, the thieves have then withdrawn money from victims’ bank accounts at banks in the Bronx or made fraudulent purchases at stores.

The strings of thefts started in October, and according to police, the pattern is as follows:

On Friday, October 14 at 10:30 p.m., one or both suspects approached a 27 year-old female victim at Fiddle Sticks at 56 Greenwich Avenue near Seventh Avenue and swiped her wallet. Later, $800 from her account was withdrawn at a Chase Bank at 90 East 170 Street in the Bronx.

On Friday, October 21 between 6 and 10 p.m., one of the suspects stole a wallet from a 27-year-old woman inside V-Bar at 132 First Avenue and St. Marks Place. One or both of the thieves then later withdrew $1,200 in cash from her account inside Wells Fargo Bank, located at 3709 Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx. They also charged $357 to the victim’s credit cards.

On Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m., a 35-year-old woman at Banc Café, located at 431 Third Avenue near East 30th Street had her wallet stolen from her purse, which had been hanging on a chair. The wallet contained $140 in cash and three credit cards. Police believe the male suspect later charged $136 to one of the victim’s credit cards at a Starbucks.

feb23-wallet-theft-man

Male suspect

On Wednesday, December 7 at 10:40 p.m., one or both suspects struck again at Republic Bar at 37 Union Square and East 17th Street, taking a wallet from a bag that had been on the floor. The victim later discovered that $1,100 was stolen from her bank account.

On Monday, December 12 at 7 p.m., a 28-year-old woman at Peter McManus Cafe at 152 7th Avenue at West 19th Street had her wallet stolen. The wallet only contained $14 in cash and a credit card, which was later charged for $520 inside a Duane Reade at 161 East 23rd Street.

On Monday, December 19 between 7:45 hours and 10:21 hours, a woman’s wallet went missing at Brazen Fox, located at 106 Third Avenue at East 13th Street. The wallet contained four credit cards and one debit card, one of which was used at a Duane Reade at 4 West 4 Street for $336.49 in goods.

On Friday, December 23 at approximately 7:15 p.m., one or both suspects stole a wallet from a woman’s pocketbook at Suite 36, located at 16 West 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The wallet contained $80 and two of the victim’s credit cards were later used to make multiple purchases.

On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24 at approximately 9:15 p.m., a 33-year-old woman was notified that approximately $5,000 was charged to her credit cards by one or both of the aforementioned individuals.

The suspects are described as a white woman with long, blonde hair and a man.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Tailor in Kips Bay who was stabbed has been shot before

A recovering Apel Tamagoglu receives a $2,500 check from a crowd-funding campaign. (Photo by Evan Rofheart)

A recovering Apel Tamagoglu receives a $2,500 check from a crowd-funding campaign. (Photo by Evan Rofheart)

By Sabina Mollot

Apel Tamagoglu, the 78-year-old tailor who was stabbed repeatedly during a robbery at his Kips Bay shop, has been in tough spots before. In fact, he was once shot in the hand during another holdup, he said this week.

Tamagoglu, a Turkish citizen as well as a citizen of the United States, said the other robbery happened 15-20 years ago; he can’t quite remember exactly when. But he did recall how the gunman had come in and asked if he could fix a velvet suit. The robber later went to prison, Tamagoglu said, adding that the man had also robbed many other people.

Asked if he’d thought about calling it quits after that incident, Tamagoglu, a native of Istanbul, said no. In his heavily accented English, he explained, “I have to work. I have to help the kids.”

Apel (pronounced Ah-pell) has two grown daughters as well as three grandchildren ages 10, 15 and 22.

He also downplayed the previous armed robbery, saying, “The hand is no problem.”

Tamagoglu said since the recent stabbing, during which he had his skull fractured, his lung punctured and suffered other injuries, he’s been receiving care at Bellevue Hospital, though he’s now at home. He also said he’s trying to do some work at the shop, albeit slowly, since he lives upstairs. “I feel good, thank God,” he said.

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Robber fractures elderly victim’s skull, punctures lung in Kips Bay tailor shop

jan26-robber

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a thug who stabbed an elderly tailor in his Kips Bay shop on Monday afternoon.

According to cops, the 78-year-old victim put up a fight when the unknown man walked into his shop, Apel Tailor at 203 East 27th Street, demanded cash, and began stabbing him. The men struggled and the attacker stabbed the victim a total of three times, once in the head, two in the torso. Eventually, the business owner gave the robber $80 and he fled in an unknown direction.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where police later reported his condition as stable. The man suffered numerous stab wounds to his chest, cuts to his face, a fractured skull and a punctured left lung.

It’s unclear if the suspect was injured, although video footage obtained by ABC7 shows that the victim at one point actually managed to chase him outside the business between Third and Broadway with a chair.

Apel’s Yelp page has almost entirely positive reviews for its service and the owner’s can-do attitude.

The suspect is described as being Hispanic with a beard, between 40 and 50 years old and 160-190 lbs. He was last seen wearing a blue hooded coat, blue jeans and black sneakers.

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 online at http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Kips Bay fire that killed two dogs was electrical

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A fire in Kips Bay that killed two dogs but left no residents injured was electrical, the FDNY said.

A spokesperson for the FDNY told Town & Village there was a problem with the electrical wiring in the ceiling of a fourth-floor apartment.

The fire had broken out in a four-story building at 122 Lexington Avenue on Monday, the day after Christmas.

The New York Post reported that the blaze started in a fourth floor apartment of the building, which is near East 28th Street, and spread to the third floor and roof, also damaging a restaurant on the ground.

Officials told the Post that residents were not able to return to their apartments on the third and fourth floors on Monday night but apartments on the second floor may still have been habitable.

The FDNY said that the fire started around 6 p.m. and was under control about 20 minutes later. Three firefighters were sent to Bellevue with non-life-threatening injuries.