Soapbox: Support the homeless with Safe Haven

By Keith Powers

Two weeks ago, the city revealed its plan to open a “Safe Haven” transitional housing facility on East 17th Street. The plan is causing some consternation among those that live in the neighborhood, but the community should remain open-minded while the city presents its plan.

Many communities raise concerns about the siting of homelessness facilities. In Maspeth, Queens, the community fought against the siting of a shelter and defeated the proposal. None of these efforts solve the important and necessary issue of ending homelessness in the city. Here’s what does: a small facility for the chronic homeless operated by a high-quality provider that has social services included within the facility to permanently transition people out of homelessness.

There is often an immediate reaction of asking, “how can I stop this?” rather than “what are the facts and how can I help?”

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Letters to the editor, July 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Why I welcome new homeless shelter

Re: “Neighbors demand answers on planned E. 17th St. shelter,” T&V, July 27

I welcome any facility and program that helps the homeless. I welcome the day that there is a home for every person. And was also happy to learn that the topic of housing our local homeless was raised at the BRC community meeting.

We have Gene living on 14th Street and First Avenue on and off for the past two years.  And John who lives in a wheelchair on First Avenue for more years than that. Several homeless who reside on 15th Street by the Con Ed building and many more neighborhood regulars panhandling in front of our local banks and stores. Homelessness affects the person that is struggling with their life and it also affects every one of us who pass them on the street while shopping or enjoying our neighborhood. It’s sad and upsetting and lessens the daily experience of our community and our city.

Therefore I strongly encourage BRC to welcome in the homeless that inhabit this area. It makes it a win-win.

With blessings,

Susan Turchin, ST  Continue reading

Police Watch: Senior stabbed in store robbery, man arrested for flipping table

Police are on the lookout for three robbers, one of whom stabbed a 63-year-old man working at Xcellent DVD store at 515 Sixth Avenue before the trio made off with the cash register.
The men entered the Sunday at 4:40 a.m. and one of the suspects stabbed the victim in his left side before taking the cash register, which contained an undetermined amount of cash. The suspects fled the store West 13th Street towards heading west towards Seventh Avenue. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was treated and released.
One of the suspects was described as a black man, approximately 5’8” tall, 160 lbs., and was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt and a surgical mask. The second suspect was described as a white or Hispanic man, approximately 6’0” tall, 170 lbs., and was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket. The third suspect is described as a white man who was last seen wearing a red and black flannel jacket. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the website or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are kept strictly confidential.

Police arrested 33-year-old Anthony Williams after he allegedly flipped a table and injured an employee inside Bistango at 415 Third Avenue last Friday at 11:15 p.m. Police said that Williams walked into the restaurant and demanded a Miller Lite. An employee told Williams that the restaurant doesn’t sell Miller Lite and asked him to leave. In response, Williams allegedly flipped a table over, causing bruising to the victim’s ribs. Police said that multiple glasses and plates broke when Williams knocked the table over. Williams allegedly fled the restaurant and when he was stopped by police, he allegedly swung a bag containing two beers at the officer. He was ultimately arrested in front of 535 Second Avenue. He was charged with resisting arrest, assault and criminal mischief.

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Police Watch: Robbery at Old Navy, Stuy Town trespassers arrested

Old Navy robbery suspect

Old Navy robbery suspect

Police are looking for a man who slashed another man on the torso and robbed him at the Old Navy store at 610 Sixth Avenue.
Police said the 44-year-old victim had strolled into the store last Friday at 5:20 p.m. when the suspect used an unknown object to cut him before snatching $80 from his pants pocket. The robber then fled in an unknown direction and the victim was taken to Bellevue for his injuries.
Police said that the suspect is a man in his late 20s to early 30s with a light complexion and a beard, and was last seen wearing a two-tones grey sweatshirt, black pants 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). All calls are strictly confidential.

Police arrested two men for trespassing inside a Stuyvesant Town building and sleeping there last week.
Alberto Benavidez, 63, was arrested for criminal trespass inside 321 Avenue C last Tuesday at 9:25 a.m. Police arrested 36-year-old Michael Crayton for criminal trespass inside the same building last Friday at 7:07 a.m. Police said that both men were sleeping inside the building but there was no further information about how they got inside or which area specifically they were sleeping in.

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Police Watch: ‘Reckless’ driver arrested, Men wanted for Midtown bank robberies

Police arrested a man after he tried to flee the scene of an attempted arrest for prostitution.
Police said that Yu Yuesheng, 53, was driving with a woman who left the vehicle and engaged in conversation with an undercover officer. According to the DA’s office, she offered and agreed to perform oral sex in exchange for $250. When police attempted to arrest the woman for prostitution, Yuesheng allegedly fled while ignoring police vehicles that were following him.
He was nabbed last Thursday at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 20th Street at 3:37 a.m.
Police said that Yuesheng drove recklessly by failing to obey numerous steady red lights, endangering the safety of himself and others. At the time of his arrest, he allegedly flailed his arms to avoid being handcuffed. The DA’s office said that Yuesheng had about $700 in cash in his vehicle and the woman who was arrested reportedly referred to Yuesheng as her “friend.” Yuesheng was also charged with promoting prostitution, reckless driving and resisting arrest. No further information was available about the woman Yuesheng was with who was reportedly arrested for prostitution.

Police arrested a teenager for promoting sexual performance by a child inside Simon Baruch Middle School at 330 East 21st Street last Thursday at 1:20 p.m. Police said that the teen sent multiple female teenagers photos of his penis through Snapchat and coerced multiple girls into sending photos back in fear that he would expose them. He would additionally FaceTime with girls while he was masturbating. He also intimidated a girl into stroking his penis on a park bench during a lunch break from school.
The teen was also charged with sexual abuse, coercion and performance of an obscenity. His name is being withheld due to his age.

Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

Police are looking for a man who robbed a Chase Bank in Kips Bay earlier this month. Police said that the suspect strolled into the bank at 2 Park Avenue between East 32nd and 33rd Street and demanded cash from the teller. The teller complied and the suspect fled. The unknown man is white, in his late 40s to mid-50s and is 5’7” with a slim build. He had grey stubble and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood worn tightly around his face, dark-rimmed eyeglasses, dark pants and a backpack.
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 All calls are strictly confidential.

Santander Bank robbery suspect

Santander Bank robbery suspect

Police are looking for a man in connection with two Manhattan bank robberies. The first incident took place at the Santander Bank at Lexington Avenue between East 34th and 35th Streets, when the suspect approached a teller and demanded money on Tuesday, March 8 at 3 p.m. Police said that the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money.
The second incident occurred inside another Santander location, this one at 711 Third Avenue between East 44th and 45th Streets. Police said that on Thursday, May 12 at 5:30 p.m., the man approached a teller and demanded money. This teller also complied and the man fled with an undetermined amount of cash.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are strictly confidential.

Police arrested a teenager for snatching a phone out of a straphanger’s hand as he sat waiting for the 1 train at the 23rd Street station last Monday.
The victim said after the suspect grabbed his phone, he ran out of the subway station. The victim then chased the teen down West 22nd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and got his phone back, at which point he hit the teen. Neither the suspect or the victim had any visible injuries and both refused medical assistance. Police said that when the suspect was placed under arrest, he resisted by locking his arms and legs. The teen was charged with grand larceny, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property and his name is being withheld due to his age.

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Robberies, K2 busts up in 13th Precinct

Cops also address noise complaints at new First Avenue pizzeria/lounge

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney giving crime stats at the meeting (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney giving crime stats at the meeting (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Robberies and felony assaults have increased significantly in the past month in the 13th Precinct, with crime overall increasing only slightly, police said this week.

The crimes, which included bank robberies, a K2-related assault on an officer and attacks on Bellevue staffers, were discussed by Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney at a 13th Precinct Community Council meeting this past Tuesday. Additionally, residents at the meeting expressed concern over noise at the new pizzeria and bar/lounge on First Avenue that recently replaced Adriatic.

At the meeting, Timoney also mentioned that a recent arrest made for K2, the synthetic cannabinoid that has started to be a problem for the precinct, especially around the shelters, contributed to the increase in felony assaults this month. This is after a man who was arrested for K2 managed to get his hands to the front of his body while he was handcuffed and punch an officer in the face.

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