Police Watch: Man wanted for Q train groping, Convicted killer arrested in Union Square for ‘groping’

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

MAN WANTED FOR GROPING WOMAN ON Q TRAIN
Police are looking for a man who groped a 54-year-old woman on a downtown Q train near Union Square last Sunday at 7:22 a.m. According to Gothamist, the victim was sitting on the train when the man sitting next to her reached over and rubbed his hand on her leg. She said that the suspect then fell asleep and she took a photograph of him before she got off at Union Square. The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old with an afro. He was last seen wearing a black jacket with grey sleeves, grey jeans and black sneakers.
Anyone with information in regards to either of 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). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting TIP577 and tips to 274637 (CRIMES). Commuters can also report incidents of improper sexual misconduct online.

CONVICTED KILLER BUSTED FOR ‘GROPING’ WOMAN
Transit police arrested 48-year-old Phillip Smalls for forcible touching and sexual abuse in the Union Square station around 8 a.m. last Thursday, The New York Post reported. Police said that Smalls rubbed against a 22-year-old woman on a downtown 4 train.
The Post noted that Smalls had recently served 25 years in prison for second-degree murder after fatally shooting a man in Astoria in 1986 and has been serving lifetime parole since being let out in 2013.
Jennifer Rosario, a member of the Transit Manhattan Task Force Anti-Crime Unit who was one of the officers who caught Smalls, was given a special MVP award by Police Commissioner Bratton earlier last week.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULTING’ HOMELESS MAN
Thirty-two-year-old Sandra Zelazny was arrested for allegedly shoving a 70-year-old homeless man into the tracks at the Union Square subway station last Wednesday, The New York Daily News reported. The man was shoved following an argument, although it was not clear what they were arguing about. Police said that Zelazny pushed the man onto the 6 train’s tracks and then boarded the train, where she was later arrested after the man identified her as his attacker. Zelazny was charged with felony assault on a victim 65 years or older and reckless endangerment, and she had a court appearance this past Monday.

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Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood returns

Staff with Florian, a participating restaurant; Beth Tominello from the Fireman’s Hospitality Group, the restaurant’s parent company; James King, general manager; Brando D’Oliveira, executive chef and Emil Holzwarth, cook, serving the restaurant’s Sunday meatballs (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Staff with Florian, a participating restaurant; Beth Tuminello from the Fireman’s Hospitality Group, the restaurant’s parent company; James King, general manager; Brando De Oliveira, executive chef and Emil Holzwarth, cook, serving the restaurant’s Sunday meatballs (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, the annual food tasting festival and fundraiser, took place under a sunny sky on Irving Place.

This year, 20 restaurants participated and the event’s organizer, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, sold 325 tickets. GNA President Alan Krevis said it was the best year so far — this was the third time the event was held — though he declined to share how much money the event raised. Net proceeds will be going to two neighborhood schools, PS 40 and School of the Future.

Meanwhile, the crowd of mostly neighborhood residents sampled dishes like rabbit meatball sliders from Ichabod’s, lobster rolls from Burger & Lobster, house cured Tasmanian sea trout from Barbounia and yellow tomato gazpacho from Adalya.

At the event was Claude and Shelley Winfield, residents of East Midtown Plaza, who said they’re regulars at many Gramercy restaurants, like Ponty Bistro and Casa Mono, and always on the lookout for new ones to try.

“Shelley and I try to support the neighborhood restaurants, otherwise you lose them,” said Claude, also the second vice chair of Community Board 6.

“If you use places in your area, all your streets are lit,” added Shelley. “A lot of people don’t know that.”

At TOGN for the first time was another couple who live in a building on the block where the event was taking place, between 17th and 18th Streets.

After sitting down at one of the streetside tables, both Liz and Mark Mindlin said they were impressed with all the options.

“The food is delicious so far,” said Liz, who added that while they often go to restaurants in the neighborhood, the event was the first time they’d heard of The Stand, a nearby comedy club and restaurant. “The food was very good,” she added.

A few of this year’s participating eateries also said the festival has been helpful in getting the word out about their businesses.

A returning restaurant was Ichabod’s, where Courtney Oakley, the director of events, said the event sometimes attracts foodies visiting from out of town (the W Hotel is nearby) as well as people from other neighborhoods.

She added, “This is something Brooklyn has always done very well, different festivals with great food. It’s wonderful that we’re having more of them in Manhattan.”

Greg Azzollini, one of the owners at the family-run Paul & Jimmy’s, agreed. “Just a few minutes ago I met someone who said he’d been in the neighborhood for 10 years and never tried us and now they’re going to come for dinner,” he added. “Plus it’s a nice way to meet other restaurant owners.”

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Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood event to return on September 26

Paul & Jimmy’s, pictured at Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood in 2013, is one of 20 participating restaurants this year. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Paul & Jimmy’s, pictured at Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood in 2013, is one of 20 participating restaurants this year. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, an annual food festival/fundraiser organized by the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, is returning this year on September 26.

This is only the third time the event’s been held, but it’s already become a yearly event due to popular demand of both local foodies and neighborhood restaurants.

Ironically, when first presented with the idea for a food festival by a group member, Alan Krevis, president of the GNA, was against it, thinking it would be too big for the organization to pull off.

On the decision to go for it and then keep doing it, Krevis said, “Truthfully the neighbors like it. The restaurants like it. The restaurants would not come back if they didn’t feel it helped their business. And that’s what it’s about. Promoting our local businesses, promoting the GNA and our love of the neighborhood.”

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