Teens beat man with hockey sticks outside PCV

Mar31 Peter Cooper sign

Peter Cooper Village

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested three teenagers on Monday for a robbery outside Peter Cooper Village that took place earlier this month.

A 47-year-old man told police that a group of kids with masks over their faces approached him on the sidewalk outside 531 East 20th Street on Wednesday, July 12 around 11:50 p.m. The victim said that the teens whacked him in the head and body with hockey sticks and took his cell phone before fleeing the scene.

Police said that teens were stopped and frisked shortly after the crime but the victim could not positively identify them at the time because the suspects had been wearing face masks.

According to police, the victim lives in the neighborhood but could not confirm if he is a Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village resident.

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Garodnick says he’d work with NYPD on surveillance bill

Councilmember Dan Garodnick

By Sabina Mollot

In March, Council Member Dan Garodnick, along with Council Member Vanessa Gibson of the Bronx, introduced a police oversight bill that’s aimed at making the technology the NYPD uses for its anti-terror efforts and the policies under which they are used more transparent.

But it was last Wednesday, when the Council members held a rally and hearing to push the bill, dubbed the POST Act, when the NYPD as well as the mayor responded to slam it, arguing that it would put too much sensitive information in the hands of terrorists.

Garodnick has since reiterated an earlier claim that he was willing the work with police to tweak the bill, adding that police’s bashing of the act as “a blueprint for harm” has amounted to fear-mongering.

Other opinions have already varied just as widely. A Wall Street Journal editorial with the headline “A Terrorist’s Guide to New York City” cited last year’s bombing in Chelsea while calling Garodnick and the bill’s supporters “anti-anti-terror stalwarts.” Meanwhile, an opinion piece in the Daily News called the legislation a much needed step considering previously reported incidents of NYPD surveillance incidents of students and activists.

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Man slashed on the back outside Union Square subway

June22 slashing

Slashing suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who slashed a stranger on his back near the Union Square subway station on Saturday.

According to police, at 11:40 a.m., the victim, a 29-year-old man left the station with his fiancée when the other man snuck up behind him and slashed him with an unknown object. The victim chased his attacker back into the subway but the suspect managed to get away by darting onto a northbound 6 train.

Prior to the incident, the suspect was seen at the Myrtle/Wyckoff subway station, cursing at random passengers, cops said.

The victim was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment to his injury, which wasn’t serious.

The suspect is described as Hispanic with a light complexion, approximately 35-40 years of age, and was last seen wearing a camouflage shirt and dark sunglasses.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

 

Man found dead in East River

East River

The East River (pictured in 2012). (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel.)

By Sabina Mollot

A man was found floating in the East River at around East 14th Street on Sunday afternoon, and as of Monday morning, police said they believe they know who it is.

While they wouldn’t release the name of the individual prior to his being officially identified by a family member, police said they are pretty certain it’s a 24-year-old homeless man with a history of depression.

A police source added that no criminality is suspected at this time. However, the investigation is ongoing and the NYC Medical Examiner is looking into the cause of death.

The man, after being pulled out of the water by the NYPD’s Marine and SCUBA Units at around 2:30 p.m., was taken to the Skyport Marina on East 23rd Street, where he was pronounced dead.

UPDATE on Tuesday: A woman who said she was the man’s mother told Town & Village her son “was a good person.”

The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, added that she last saw her son a month ago. “He was always helping everyone. I raised him to be a gentleman and he was a goodhearted person. We will all miss him.”

Homeless man arrested for violent Kips Bay mugging

Darnell Williams

By Sabina Mollot

A homeless man from the 30th Street men’s shelter has been arrested for allegedly bashing a woman over the head with an unknown object multiple times in an attempt to get her bag.

Police say Darnell Williams, 29, was picked up at the shelter, known locally as Bellevue, on Thursday night, after being recognized by police from surveillance footage.

Cops said Williams has a lengthy criminal history and was released from prison two months ago after a five year stint for a robbery upstate.

He also has arrests for grand larceny in upstate areas as well as an arrest for criminal trespass in the city.

In the most recent incident, on February 26, the victim, a 37-year-old woman was walking along Second Avenue at 34th Street when a man approached her from behind and struck her on the head. He then pulled on her bag, knocking her down in the process. While the victim was still on the ground, her attacker continued to hit her in the head with the object before fleeing empty-handed. The woman was taken to NYU Hospital for treatment.

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13th Precinct remembers 9/11 on 15th anniversary

Officers of Emergency Service Truck #1, the 13th Precinct, the K9 unit and NYPD retirees who returned for the WTC Remembrance Ceremony along with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street (Photo by William Baker/Courtesy of the PBA of the NYPD)

Officers of Emergency Service Truck #1, the 13th Precinct, the K9 unit and NYPD retirees who returned for the WTC Remembrance Ceremony along with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street (Photo by William Baker/Courtesy of the PBA of the NYPD)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Officers of the 13th Precinct and residents of Gramercy commemorated the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center this past Sunday.

Officers gathered outside the precinct at 8:30 a.m. and observed a moment of silence at 8:46, the time that the first plane collided with the north tower.

Calvary Church on East 21st Street hosted one service at 11 a.m. on the day of the anniversary and invited Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, to speak about the parish’s partnership with the community in the days and weeks following the attacks.

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Elderly man fatally struck by ambulance at 14th St. and Second Ave.

Accident1 cropped

A man was hit by this ambulance as it turned left onto East 14th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

An 81-year-old man died after being hit by an ambulance on Monday afternoon as he crossed the street at the 14th Street and Second Avenue intersection.

According to police, the man, who was later identified as Gen Zhan, a resident of East 29th Street, was crossing as the ambulance was on Second Avenue, making a left turn onto 14th.

Zhan suffered severe body trauma after being hit and was taken to Bellevue, but doctors were unable to save him.

Later at the scene the ambulance’s emergency lights were still flashing although police didn’t have information on whether there had been a patient inside at the time of the accident.

One emergency responder said Zhan had actually gone against the light and hit the side of the ambulance, a blind spot, after it turned. He then fell back and hit his head. A police spokesperson said she didn’t have any information on whether he was going against the light. However, she said he had tried to run across the street, but didn’t make it and was hit while on the crosswalk.

Around two dozen cops and FDNY emergency officials responded to the scene and part of the intersection was closed to traffic for the remainder of the afternoon.

A rep for police said the matter was still under investigation, but no criminality was suspected. The ambulance driver, 22, remained at the scene. The case is being handled by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Zhan was a resident of Renwick Gardens, an apartment complex for seniors in Kips Bay.

Community celebrates National Night Out

Genesis Parra gets behind the wheel of a police car at the 13th Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Genesis Parra gets behind the wheel of a police car at the 13th Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

National Night Out Against Crime, an annual event aimed at growing relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, took place on Tuesday night.

The event organized by the 13th Precinct and the precinct’s Community Council, went off without a hitch at the M.S. 104 Playground, despite some blustery wind and clouds that looked to be threatening rain. Fortunately, after two weeks of scorching heat and rain, many attendees from the neighborhood commented that they enjoyed the rare breeze. Families from the surrounding neighborhoods mingled with the local cops and business owners who had booths at the event while chowing down on chicken and rice from the Halal Guys, as well as burgers and dogs cooked up on the grill by officers from the precinct.

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Former Gramercy police precinct to be auctioned off

June30 21st Precinct

327 East 22nd Street, originally home to the 21st Precinct (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Two years ago, a Gramercy building that was once home to the NYPD’s 21st Precinct was sold to developer Sam Suzuki, who planned to convert the building to luxury condos.

However, the building, located at 327 East 22nd Street, is now scheduled to be sold at a public auction on Thursday, June 30 at 11 a.m. The upcoming sale, which was mentioned in a public notice in the New York Times, will take place at the New York County Courthouse and is being facilitated by Mission Capital Advisors. In the notice, the property is referred to as “SCPD Gramercy 1 LLC.”

In April, 2014, Suzuki bought the four-story building between First and Second Avenues for $11.5 million, securing an $18 million mortgage. As a condition of the sale, Suzuki also got 7,000 square feet of air rights. In February of 2015 the owner got a permit to demolish the property. However, today it still sits — at least the outside of it — boarded up and covered by a scaffolding. The permit to fully demolish the building expired this February, and the owner hasn’t since filed for a new one.

Prior to this, the building was used as a home for LGBT young people, and run by Green Chimneys, a nonprofit based in Brewster, New York, that owned the building.

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Ray Kelly recalls life as New York’s top cop

Ray Kelly

Ray Kelly

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly joined his son, Fox5 anchor Greg Kelly, in a discussion about his life and career at the National Arts Club on Tuesday, May 10.

The pair discussed Kelly’s service as the city’s longest serving police commissioner, but Greg also said that he wanted to highlight parts of his father’s story that people might not know about during the discussion, such as the fact that his father was first in his class at the police academy, receiving a commemorative weapon for the honor.

“Just to illustrate the power of Bloomingdale’s in those days, that was known as the Bloomingdale’s trophy,” Kelly said. “Bloomingdale’s had a lot of juice in those days.”

The event at the Arts Club in Gramercy Park was in promotion of Kelly’s newly released memoir, Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City.

“We rehearsed nothing for this and he has a history of trying to submarine me,” Kelly joked about his relationship with his son before the conversation started.

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Hoppy ending: Bunnies rescued from hoarder’s home are put up for adoption

One of the bunnies at an adoption event held at the former Police Academy building (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

One of the bunnies at an adoption event held at the former Police Academy building (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

About a dozen bunnies that were rescued from the home of an animal hoarder found new homes during an adoption event in the former Police Academy building on Saturday.

The 50 bunnies up for adoption at the event were just a small portion of the nearly 200 rabbits that had been rescued last January in Brooklyn from bunny hoarder Dorota Trec, who was arrested for animal cruelty. When the rabbits were rescued, Ani-Care Hospital in Pennsylvania took custody of 150 of the bunnies and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey became responsible for 77. The total count of rabbits from the seizure was ultimately around 230 because some of the rabbits were pregnant at the time; the event last Saturday had at least one mother-daughter pair up for adoption.

The adoption event was hosted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Ani-Care Hospital and the NYPD.

Natasha Whitling of the ASPCA said that the use of the former Police Academy space was made possible through the ASPCA’s partnership with the NYPD, which still uses the building on East 20th Street as a candidate assessment center.

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Man leaps to his death at Straus Houses

The incident worried some residents of 344 East 28th Street about roof accessibility. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The incident worried some residents of 344 East 28th Street about roof accessibility. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 29-year-old resident of the Straus Houses at 344 East 28th Street was found dead outside the building in apparent suicide early last Thursday morning. The Daily News reported that the victim was found in the building’s courtyard around 3:08 a.m. A representative from the NYPD said that the man’s injuries were consistent with a fall and the incident is currently being investigated as a suicide.

Tenants Association President Aaron Humphrey said that he was still awake when the man fell, and he called 911 to report the incident. The Daily News had reported that the man jumped from his apartment on the ninth floor. Humphrey noted, though, that based on the location of the victim’s apartment windows and where he was found, it would be impossible for him to have jumped from that window, meaning that he may have jumped from the roof. However, the NYPD could not confirm to Town & Village before press time from where the victim had jumped.

The incident incited concerns about roof accessibility among some tenants, and one resident said that officers from the 13th Precinct informed tenants at a recent meeting that the motion sensor for the roof door had not been on.

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Men indicted for rape, robbery; Officer assaulted at Bellevue

THREE MEN INDICTED FOR RAPE, ROBBERY

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of Fernando Sandel, 27, Isaias Rivera, 31, and Joey Cruz, 26, for allegedly conspiring to rape and rob prostitutes. The defendants were charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with predatory sexual assault, rape, burglary, and robbery, among other charges, including conspiring together to commit those crimes.

On August 3, Sandel, Rivera, and Cruz contacted a prostituted woman online and met her in a Midtown hotel room, where they allegedly sprayed her in the face with mace and bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties before repeatedly sexually assaulting her. The three defendants are similarly accused of attacking a prostituted woman whom they met online in a Gramercy apartment the next day, spraying her in the face with mace and binding her wrists and ankles before sexually assaulting her. In an earlier incident on June 28, Sandel and Cruz allegedly sexually assaulted a prostituted woman on the roof of a Bronx apartment building after spraying her in the face with mace. The men are also charged with stealing property from each woman, including the purses of two victims.

MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION

WITH SEPTEMBER ROBBERY

Police arrested 25-year-old Mohamed Diaby inside the 13th Precinct last Tuesday at 10 p.m. for a robbery that took place at the corner of West 27th Street and Sixth Avenue on September 26 at 3:05 a.m. Police said that Diaby drove up next to the victim in a black Jeep and told him that he had a gun. He allegedly forced the victim into the back of the vehicle while two other suspects snatched his property. Police said the suspects then pushed him from the vehicle and fled north on Sixth Avenue. The victim tracked his iPhone to West 29th Street and Ninth Avenue but the phone was not recovered. The other two suspects have not yet been arrested.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR

‘THEFT’ FROM FOOD VENDOR

Police arrested a 16-year-old and 18-year-old Xavier Chalas for petit larceny at the corner of First Avenue and East 25th Street last Tuesday at 2:28 a.m. Police said that the teen and Chalas removed cash from a food cart at the corner without permission. Chalas was also allegedly in possession of a scalpel and was charged with possession of a weapon.

OFFICER ASSAULTED AT BELLEVUE

Police arrested 23-year-old Andrew Baker for assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Friday at 7:20 p.m. While he was in police custody, Baker allegedly punched the officer who was guarding him in the face, causing swelling and pain.

TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR

‘MUGGING’ ON SEVENTH AVENUE

Police arrested 28-year-old Spencer Daly and 25-year-old Daniel Maldonado for grand larceny last Tuesday at 3:25 p.m. in front of 333 Seventh Avenue.

Police said that Daly and Maldonado removed property from the victim without permission, and Daly was found to be in possession of the victim’s property. Maldonado allegedly refused to be handcuffed and police said that he kicked out the passenger’s side rear window of a marked Radio Motor Patrol vehicle. He was also allegedly in possession of several credit cards that didn’t belong to him.

Daly was also charged with theft and Maldonado was additionally charged with criminal mischief, possession of stolen property, jostling and resisting arrest.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ WITH JEWELRY BOX

Twenty-year-old Hannah Sperber was arrested for assault last Tuesday at 12:07 p.m. inside 201 East 15th Street. The victim told police that Sperber hit her in the face with a jewelry box, causing broken front teeth and an injury on her head that required two stitches, and also caused a fractured wrist. Police did not have any information about how Sperber knew the victim, but she told police that Sperber is very aggressive.

‘DRUG’ SALE ON THIRD AVENUE

Eighteen-year-old Vincent McLeod was arrested for the sale of a controlled substance in front of 171 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. Police said that McLeod agreed to sell a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover officer for a sum of money. McLeod was also charged with petit larceny and fraudulent accosting. Police said that McLeod is known as an MGZ crew member, which is a gang in Brooklyn known as Marcy Gangstas.

MAN NABBED FOR VERIZON STORE ‘BURGLARY’

Eighteen-year-old Fernando Rodriguez was arrested at the 13th Precinct last Tuesday for burglary. Police said that Rodriguez forcibly entered a Verizon store overnight and removed three cell phones without permission. After he was read his Miranda rights, he allegedly identified himself on surveillance video removing the phones.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’

IN WEST 26TH ST. BUILDING

Police arrested 34-year-old Patrick Gaillard for criminal trespass inside 25 West 26th Street last Wednesday at 8:35 a.m. Gaillard was allegedly in the basement of the building without permission to be there. Police said that he was also in possession of a gravity knife, and he was charged with possession of a weapon.

MAN NABBED FOR SELLING ‘DRUGS’

Police arrested 24-year-old Kyle Ayala for sale of a controlled substance and intent to sell a controlled substance in front of 125 West 26th Street last Saturday at 11:40 p.m. Police said that Ayala exchanged a quantity of a controlled substance with another person who wasn’t arrested. When police stopped him, he allegedly fled and once he was detained, he began to flail his arms to prevent being handcuffed. He was also charged with resisting arrest. When he was searched, police said he was also in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance and packaging for drugs.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’

IN NYCHA BUILDING

Two men were arrested for trespassing in a NYCHA building at 224 East 28th Street in separate incidents last week.

Police arrested 43-year-old Juan Nieves last Tuesday at 2:42 p.m. Police said that Nieves entered and remained unlawfully on the roof landing at the building even though a sign in the stairwell clearly states that roof access is not permitted except by authorized personnel.

Nineteen-year-old Kaliel Frazier was arrested last Thursday at 9:47 p.m. Frazier was allegedly trespassing on the second floor of the building.

MAN BUSTED FOR TRESPASSING

IN EAST 27TH ST. BUILDING

Vincent Querrazi, 48, was arrested for criminal trespass inside 243 East 27th Street last Wednesday at 8:58 p.m. Police said that Querrazi was trespassing in the sixth floor stairwell in the building. After he was searched, police found that he was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

National Night Out Against Crime

Peter Cooper resident Sam Mednick is ready for action behind the wheel at a police car at the event. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Peter Cooper resident Sam Mednick is ready for action behind the wheel at a police car at the event. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

National Night Out Against Crime, an annual event aimed at strengthening relations between law enforcement agencies and communities that has, over the years, morphed into becoming block parties for different police precincts, was held on Tuesday night. At the event organized by Stuy Town resident Jo-Ann Polise and the 13th Precinct Community Council, it was a mix of local organizations and businesses exhibiting, offering free food and other giveaways as well like caricature portraits. Cops from the 13th Precinct manned the grill, cooking countless burgers and hot dogs.

Representatives from various local organizations, businesses and city agencies had tables at the event, including Community Board Six, the District Attorney’s office, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, the Board of Elections, M&T Bank, thrift shop Cauz for Pawz, the Bellevue Community Advisory Board, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates and others. New to the event this year was Cub Scout Pack 422.

Cubmaster Maureen Riley said that assistant Cubmaster Kim Salvo had been coming to National Night Out for the 13th Precinct with her kids in previous years and suggested the event as a way to get interest up in the community about scouting.

“It can be really difficult getting people involved because they don’t think of it as something they can do in the city,” Riley said. “We want kids to know that it’s not just something that exists in the suburbs.”

Salvo was manning the event table with Riley and both were in uniform, trying to entice passing children with activities.

“How could you not love this?” Salvo said as enthusiastic kids swarmed their table to make necklaces.

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Shelter to soon be for employable men

The 30th Street shelter at Bellevue’s “Old Psych” building (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The 30th Street shelter at Bellevue’s “Old Psych” building (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Neighbors of the 30th Street men’s shelter, who for years have complained about homeless men aggressively panhandling, using the corner pay phones as toilets and just generally being nuisances, may soon see some relief.

The Department of Homeless Services, which runs the shelter that’s located at Bellevue Hospital, is planning to turn it into a shelter for men who are employed or considered employable and seeking job training.

Ken Ryan, the property manager of 350 East 30th Street, a mixed rental and condo building across the street from the shelter, said he was told this at a recent private meeting he had with DHS Deputy Commissioner of Adult Services Jody Rudin.

“That’s promising,” Ryan told Town & Village. “I am all for a homeless men’s shelter where men have jobs, or are being trained for jobs and live in the shelter. I am not for bums who get a bed and food and do nothing but harass the people in the neighborhood.”

Town & Village reached out to the DHS and press secretary Nicole Cueto confirmed the plan, which the department hopes to implement by the end of the calendar year. The shift in services won’t change the amount of men the shelter currently serves — around 850 — and while the unemployable residents would be sent elsewhere, the intake center and assessment processes would remain in place.

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