From the archives: Former Town & Village editor Linda O’Flanagan covered the World Trade Center attacks for T&V when they occurred, taking these photos showing first responders in front of the ambulance entrance of Beth Israel on East 16th Street, traffic in the neighborhood following the attacks and memorials that popped up in the neighborhood following, as well as photos from Ground Zero.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Speakers emphasized the ongoing effects of 9/11-related illnesses on members of law enforcement and first responders during the 13th precinct’s annual remembrance ceremony of the 2001 World Trade Center terror attacks this past Wednesday.
Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison, who assisted the 13th precinct in the aftermath of 9/11 and for months following, noted that more than ten times the number of NYPD members have died from 9/11-related illnesses since 2001, compared to the 23 NYPD members who died on the day of the attacks.
“Eighteen years later, hundreds of first responders continue to die on a regular basis of 9/11 related illnesses. Here are the numbers of the second tragedy that continues each day,” she said. “There were 400 toxic chemicals at the site. The number of first responders and survivors enrolled for monitoring or treatment is nearly 100,000. All the families ever ask is that we never forget. We can continue to honor those who died that day by being the ones who remember. It’s the very least we owe to the victims and the families they left behind.”
Patrick Lynch, President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, emphasized that many members of the NYPD have died from related illnesses and many others are currently suffering.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police arrested 32-year-old James Wilmarth last Tuesday in connection with the death of a Chelsea resident after a vehicle collision earlier this month. Police charged Wilmarth with failure to yield to a pedestrian or bicyclist, an administrative charge, and failure to use due care on August 20 at 9:41 p.m.
Melissa McClure, 67, was killed less than a block from her apartment on West 15th Street at the corner of Sixth Avenue when Wilmarth allegedly hit her with his pick-up truck on Saturday, August 10 around 9 p.m.
Police said that Wilmarth was driving north on Sixth Avenue and was attempting to make a left turn onto West 15th Street heading west. Two women, who Gothamist later identified as McClure and her younger sister, Dorry Chitwood, were attempting to cross the street with the white pedestrian walk signal.
As Wilmarth was making the turn, the front of his vehicle allegedly hit both pedestrians, knocking them to the ground. Police responded to a 911 call about the collision at 9:07 p.m. When officers arrived, they found two women in the roadway with head trauma.
Last week, the Gramercy Park Block Association welcomed 7-year-old Freeport, TX Honorary Police Chief Abigail Arias (badge# 758), her father Rueben, mother Eileen, brother Ethan and Freeport Police Chief Raymond A. Garivey to Gramercy Park.
Blue Lives Matter NYC co-founders Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice, Det. Carlos Delgado and PO Chris Brinkley organized a trip to New York City for Arias, who dreams of becoming a police officer, but suffers from a incurable form of kidney cancer.
To welcome Arias to Gramercy Park, GPBA President Arlene Harrison and Kathleen Scupp organized a pizza party, and invited local NYPD, including Manhattan South Chief Salvatore Comodo, Det. Greg Welch and Emergency Service Truck 1, and 13th Precinct Neighborhood Coordinating Officers. The party was co-hosted by the Gramercy Park Hotel and Maialino Restaurant.
By Sabina Mollot
Cops are looking for a group of teenagers who robbed a man for his Citi Bike on East 14th Street.
The victim, a 23-year-old man, told police he was riding his Citi Bike on June 4 at around 9 p.m. on First Avenue when he stopped on 14th Street to get something to eat.
When he left his bike to go inside Halal Guys at 307 East 14th Street, he saw a group of teens try to take the bike. The victim confronted them and was able to grab the bike back at first, but was struck on the head by one of the teens and he dropped it. The group then fled with the bike, heading west on East 15th Street towards Second Avenue. Police later found the Citi Bike nearby.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.
By Jefferson Siegel
Just after 7 pm Tuesday, the quiet early-evening atmosphere at 2nd Avenue and 14th Street was shattered by a loud metal-crunching explosion when three app-driven car service vehicles collided.
The crash was followed by screams as people rushed to find a Lyft driver trapped in his car and a cyclist on the curb. The driver appeared to be unconscious as he sat motionless, his body surrounded by front and side air bags. The driver-side door had been smashed by a mini-van which blocked anyone from reaching the driver. Firefighters arrived within minutes and tried smashing the passenger-side window to reach the driver. They were able to enter the car from the rear door and place a neck brace on the driver.
By Sabina Mollot
Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a week-long LinkNYC kiosk smashing spree in different neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Juan Rodriguez, 41, who’d been staying at the East 30th Street men’s shelter, was picked up by police in front of 230 East 21st Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
From April 16-23, a man, who was seen on surveillance video, smashed 42 Wi-Fi hubs with a brick or other blunt objects in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Flatiron and in midtown.
Rodriguez has been arrested a number of times since 2006, mostly for alleged marijuana possession and criminal mischief, police said.
Police are asking the community’s help in identifying a woman who has been admitted to Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 281 First Avenue.
The woman was found on the street disoriented by passersby, who then walked her over to the hospital on Thursday, April 18 at around 4 p.m.
She is described as white, about 55-65 years of age and 180 lbs. She was wearing all dark clothing.
Anyone with information 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. All calls are strictly confidential.
Stats show where bikes are a problem
The 13th Precinct has said that they view bike violations seriously but with limited resources, they do targeted enforcement based on data.
While NYC Opendata for Vehicular Accidents shows that 6th Avenue from 14th to 29th is quite a problem, our area has its problems too. Pedestrians were injured in bike incidents in 2019 at 1st Avenue and 15th Street in 2018 at 2nd Ave and 22nd Street and in 2016 at 1st Avenue and 18th and at 1st Avenue and 27th Street.
With an aging population in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village and so many bikers breaking laws on 1st and 2nd Avenues, our situation is likely to get worse. In addition to seeing red lights cut constantly from 15th Street to 22nd, from 21st to 23rd, we’ve seen motorized and non-motorized bikes, skateboards and scooters being ridden right on the sidewalks.
Police are asking the public’s assistance in finding Arlene Drucker, 69, who was last seen at her home at 125 East 24th Street on Saturday morning.
She is described as being 5’7″ tall, 140 lbs., with a thin build, brown eyes, short blonde-grey hair and missing her teeth. She was last seen wearing a blue sun dress and blue sneakers.
Anyone with information 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.
Police arrested a Bronx man on Thursday in connection with an attempted robbery of the Citibank at 262 First Avenue last month.
Robert Balsano, 47, of 1146 Ogden Avenue, allegedly strolled up to a teller on Saturday, March 23 with an encyclopedia that had a note inside demanding cash. However, the teller refused and he ended up fleeing without any money.
Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Karlos Adams, 17, who had been staying at the Administration for Children’s Services Children’s Center at 492 First Avenue.
He was last seen on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the center. He is described as black, 5’10”, and 150 lbs.
Anyone with information 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. All calls are strictly confidential.
Losing the battle on bikes (cars, too)
To the editor:
T&V has recently featured articles on residents complaining about cyclists’ behavior and the NYPD’s 13th Precinct enforcement activities towards cyclists. None of these articles point out that the real danger to pedestrians and cyclists are automobiles.
Motor vehicle crashes killed 200 people in NYC in 2018 including 114 pedestrians and 10 cyclists and left 60,000 injured. Between July 2012 and January 2019, 887 pedestrians were killed by automobiles. Generally, when the DOT installs protected bike lanes or other infrastructure to make cycling safer and easier, pedestrian safety also increases.
All too frequently whenever there is a serious crash involving a cyclist being hit a motor vehicle, they initiate ticketing activity against cyclists often at intersections and bike lanes in which little dangerous behavior is exhibited by cyclists rather drivers who block and drive in bike lanes, drivers who cut off cyclists at intersections or drivers that block the box causing cyclists to go out into traffic.
By Sabina Mollot
Police are looking for a man who tried to rob the Citibank in Stuyvesant Town on Saturday.
Police say the man strolled into the bank at 262 First Avenue at 10 a.m. and, after approaching the teller, opened an encyclopedia he was holding to a page with a handwritten note demanding cash.
However, the teller did not comply and the man ran off.
The suspect is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, 6’1″ tall and 180 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, a grey hoodie, black hat, grey gloves, and black sweatpants with red stripes.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or log onto nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.
Update: Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town, said StuyTown Property Services has provided video to the NYPD and will continue to provide assistance to police. Additionally, the Public Safety department has beefed up patrols along First Avenue with officer patrols as well as cameras.
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.
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).