Citi Bike docks in Playground 9 to be moved

The new Citi Bike docking station in Playground 9 was installed at the end of last month, resulting in numerous complaints from residents about space from the playground being taken away. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuy Town residents were surprised and not entirely thrilled to see dozens of new Citi Bike docks inside Playground 9 installed at the end of June. After a number of complaints were sent to management, STPCV general manager Rick Hayduk announced last week that Citi Bike would be making adjustments to the docks later this month so that the water feature in the playground would be accessible.

Management had previously announced the arrival of the new docking stations in a June rent insert but residents on local Facebook groups expressed surprise about how much space on the playground that the new docks occupy.

The announcement from Hayduk, which came in the form of a notice posted in buildings throughout the property, said that Citi Bike was on-site last week and that they would soon be moving the docking stations to provide access to the water feature. Management expects this realignment to be completed by the third week of July. As of this week, the docks continue to block the water feature.

Councilmember Keith Powers met with Hayduk after he learned about the installation of the docks and his office has also coordinated with the STPCV Tenants Association, Citi Bike and the Department of Transportation. The DOT usually specifies station siting for Citi Bike but since the placement of these docks is on private property, STPCV and Citi Bike had more authority to pick a location. Powers’ office said that the selection of the site was done without their knowledge or that of the TA.

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Letters to the editor, June 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bike dock will encourage trespassing

The following is an open letter to STPCV General Manager Rick Hayduk regarding the Citi Bike station that was recently installed in Playground 9.

Dear Rick,

I appreciate your keeping the residents apprised of what management is undertaking but I fear with the latest bike related undertaking you are working at cross purposes.

One of the more frequently heard complaints from the resident population is the plethora of bicycles on the premises. You have tried to establish rules governing their use that are blithely ignored. They are honored more in the breach than the observance. I don’t see how providing “quick and easy” access addresses the problem. We are already awash with Citi Bike docking stations along the perimeter of the complex. Why invite the interloper onto the premises?

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Man robbed for his Citi Bike on East 14th Street

Citi Bike robbery suspects

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.

Robbery suspect

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.

Police Watch: Man accused of punching woman during robbery, Woman allegedly assaulted theater employees

MAN ACCUSED OF PUNCHING WOMAN DURING CVS ROBBERY
Police arrested 27-year-old Sean Wagner and 22-year-old Nicholas Caballero for an alleged robbery inside the CVS at 245 First Avenue on Wednesday, March 27 around 11 p.m. Police said that Wagner and Caballero, along with another person who wasn’t arrested, went into the store and took merchandise off the shelves and tried to leave without paying. An employee said that she told them to stop and was going to take a photo of them when Wagner allegedly punched her in the face, causing redness and pain. The suspects fled the store, but Wagner was caught shortly after the incident in front of 7 East 14th Street on Thursday, March 28 at 12:16 a.m. Caballero was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Monday, April 1 at 4 p.m. Wagner was charged with robbery and possession of stolen property. Caballero was charged with petit larceny.

WOMEN ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED MOVIE THEATER EMPLOYEES
Police arrested 22-year-old Treasure Liggins, 24-year-old Brianna Jones and 23-year-old Tyhamrra Newman for an alleged fight that took place inside the AMC movie theater at 890 Broadway on Monday, March 25 around 12:40 a.m. Police said that Liggins hit the manager of the theater in the eye and Jones allegedly punched the victim, punching another employee at the theater and a security guard in the face, causing swelling and pain to the three victims. Newman reportedly sprayed the theater manager, an employee of the theater and a security guard at the theater with pepper spray, causing substantial pain. Jones and Newman were arrested inside the 13th precinct at 2 a.m. No further information was available about what started the dispute.

MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULT AT POST OFFICE
Police arrested 58-year-old George Greenslade for an alleged assault that took place inside the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 335 East 14th Street on Thursday, March 28 at 4 p.m. The victim told police that he was standing in line when Greenslade allegedly shoved him after cutting him in line. The victim said that Greenslade completed his transaction and waited outside the Post Office for the victim.

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Letters to the editor, Nov. 15

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Scofflaw cyclists are out of control

Dear Town & Village,

Please HELP!

On two separate occasions I have been knocked down by bicycles going the wrong way against the light! This has led me to look both ways on one-way streets and in all directions when crossing the street. Now I have come so close to having had been run over on sidewalks with bicycles riding on sidewalks, going the wrong way! Stuy Town is pretty strict about the rules regarding bicycles riding around the Oval (riders are approached by Public Safety Officers to dismount) but of course, they cannot be everywhere.

No one should be riding on sidewalks or riding the wrong way against traffic.

Something has to be done!

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Police Watch: Teens arrested for robbery, assault in separate incidents

TEENS ARRESTED FOR BELLEVUE PARK SOUTH ROBBERY
Police arrested three teenagers for robbery at the corner of Third Avenue and East 24th Street on Tuesday, September 25 at 6:16 p.m. Police said that the two girls and one boy were working together to steal multiple cell phones from victims while inside Bellevue South Park near 260 Mount Carmel Place earlier that day at 3 p.m. Police said that the teens also grabbed one of the victims by the throat and threw him to the ground before fleeing. The teens were caught after officers searched the area and the victim positively identified them at Third and East 24th.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT ASSER LEVY
Police arrested three teenagers for assault that took place at the Asser Levy playground at East 23rd Street and Avenue C on Tuesday, September 25 at 4 p.m. The victim told police that she was playing football in the park when the three suspects walked up to her and started punching her in the face. The victim said that the teens attacked her because she “snitched” on them in regards to an incident from the day before. The teens were arrested inside the 13th precinct on Tuesday, September 25 at 5:58 p.m.

MEN CHARGED WITH STEALING CAR IN EAST VILLAGE
Police arrested 24-year-old Ishmill Jordan, 36-year-old Chris Bazaar and 41-year-old Juan Gonzalez for allegedly stealing a car in the East Village last week. Police said that the victim was putting money in a meter for his car that was parked in front of 153 Avenue A near East 10th Street on Friday, September 28 at 2:50 p.m. when Jordan allegedly jumped into the unlocked vehicle with Bazaar and Gonzalez and drove away. The three were caught at the corner of Irving Place and East 15th Street at 6:03 p.m. and were charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and unauthorized use of vehicle, and Jordan was additionally charged with grand larceny of auto.

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 20

Sept20 Toon Cuomo deluge

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

More bikes than ever so why none left?

Re: “Two Citi Bike valet stations arrive in ST,” T&V, Aug. 30

You recently published an article about the Citi Bike racks at 20th and the FDR and First Avenue and 16th Street being made valet racks. This was great news except the rack at 20th and the FDR has been empty four of the last eight mornings I’ve gone out for a bike.

I joined Citi Bike when it first came into Manhattan. Over the last five plus years I’ve not had a bike about 95 percent of the time I’ve wanted one on weekday mornings. I’ve never understood why an area as big as PCV/ST is so underserved by Citi Bike. There are four racks now in the entire complex since the removal of the rack at 14th and B. Other areas in the city have racks every other street. Go across 13th Street and there are racks at almost every avenue.

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Citi Bike seeking larger storage space

City Council Member Keith Powers, pictured with representatives from Citi Bike, helped facilitate the arrival of two valet stations in Stuyvesant Town. (Photo courtesy of Council Member Keith Powers)

By Sabina Mollot

As Town & Village reported last month, two new Citi Bike valet stations have arrived at Stuyvesant Town. Together, the two docks, one on First Avenue and 16th Street and the other on East 20th Street, increased the number of bikes available to residents by 160.

The new bikes came at the request of Council Member Keith Powers, who’d been hearing from residents that there were never any bikes at the docks in the morning.

As it turns out, this may be due in part to the fact that a space in Stuyvesant Town that was leased to Citi Bike for the storage of about 500 bikes, was reutilized to become a new gym. Since then, Citi Bike has leased a smaller space on the property, but according to Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town, management is trying to find a larger space onsite for the bikes’ storage, possibly on Avenue C.

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Police Watch: Senior arrested for ‘extortion,’ Man busted for Ainsworth burglary

SENIOR CHARGED WITH HOLDING PHONE FOR RANSOM NEAR STUY TOWN
Police arrested 71-year-old El Shaday Yova for alleged grand larceny by extortion at the corner of Avenue C and East 20th Street on Tuesday, August 14 at 5:53 p.m. The victim told police that he left his phone in a taxi and when he called his number, Yova allegedly answered and said that he wanted a reward for finding the phone. Police said that Yova agreed to meet the victim in front of 321 Avenue C to claim a reward, and prior to getting arrested, the victim said that Yova refused to give him his cell phone back until he had the money. Yova was also charged with possession of stolen property.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR AINSWORTH BURGLARY
Police arrested a second suspect in connection with an alleged burglary at the Ainsworth at 111 East 18th Street that took place in July. Police arrested 26-year-old Hnsel Devron for the burglary on Monday, August 13 at 3:30 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

Police said that Devron and one other person who wasn’t arrested pried open a side door at the bar and entered the building without permission on July 12 around 9 p.m. They reportedly walked out of the bar with two bags containing property. Police did not have further information about what property was taken. The bar was reportedly closed to the public but still contained several liquor bottles. Police also said that technicians were able to lift fingerprints from the door and matched them to Devron.

Town & Village previously reported that 34-year-old Hector Rosario was arrested for the burglary at the time of the incident. Rosario was allegedly acting as the lookout while Devron and a third suspect reportedly broke into the bar. Police caught Rosario three blocks away at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street and charged him with possession of stolen property.

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Officials say traffic enforcement and bus volume should make L train shutdown less hellish

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYC Transit President Andy Byford with Manhattan and Brooklyn elected officials (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday morning, transit officials and local elected officials told reporters they don’t expect the dreaded L train shutdown will be the L-pocalypse of doom everyone else is pretty sure it will be for the 15 months it will take to do repairs.

Reasons for this declaration include plans to run 80 shuttle buses an hour over the Williamsburg Bridge during peak times and “aggressive” enforcement to make sure private vehicles don’t jam traffic along high occupancy vehicle lanes. The soon-to-launch Lower East Side ferry schedule will also be timed to coordinate with bus arrivals.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYC Transit President Andy Byford, along with the politicians, had hopped out of a shiny, new electric bus — one of 25 that will be implemented during the L shutdown – on 14th Street and Union Square, before announcing a few updates to the mitigation plans.

One is that the NYPD is working on a plan for enforcement of traffic in HOV lanes so they don’t get crowded with private vehicles, including mini-bus services that have popped up.

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Citi Bike to expand before L shutdown

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Citi Bike will be increasing the number of bikes and docking points, as well as the number of valet stations, around transit points near 14th Street starting next spring to help mitigate the L train shutdown.

The plan, announced by the mayor’s office last Thursday, will add 1,250 bikes and 2,500 new docking points to the network to increase coverage in some of the city’s busiest neighborhoods for the bikeshare and added valet stations will increase service during peak hours. The process of offering denser coverage, known as “infill,” will involve enlarging current Citi Bike stations as well as the addition of new docking stations.

The 10 percent expansion of service will begin in Manhattan for the first stage of its plan, focusing on the neighborhoods from Canal to 59th Streets, a DOT spokesperson told Town & Village. Specific locations for the new docks have not yet been announced.

Valet stations are docking points near transit hubs in Midtown and Lower Manhattan that are staffed by Citi Bike employees who can corral extra bikes during peak hours when docks fill up and empty quickly and the bikeshare is planning to add up to 10 new valet stations in preparation for the shutdown.

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Stuy Town gets new temporary bus stop shelter

The new shelter at the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Avenue B (Photo by Lawrence Scheyer)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, a temporary bus stop shelter was installed on the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Avenue B as preliminary work continues along 14th Street for the looming L train reconstruction.

A rep for City Council Member Dan Garodnick told Town & Village the shelter’s installation is unusual for a couple of reasons. First, because the city had initially said that temporary shelters aren’t normally installed at stops that get relocated due to construction. However, Garodnick was able to convince the city to install this one as well as another at a different stop on Avenue A over the summer.

The new shelter is also unusual because it had to fit alongside the L train construction site and still have an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk.

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Stuy Town Citi Bike users frustrated by empty racks

Aug10 Citibike rack empty

An empty Citi Bike rack on East 20th Street on Tuesday morning (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, the Department of Transportation announced that bike ridership in New York City had reached a record high. This spike in cycling is due to, in large part, the arrival of Citi Bike as well as the addition of many new miles of bike lanes during the Mayor Bloomberg administration. However, this news likely didn’t come as a surprise to residents of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village who, for the past few months, have been finding their Citi Bike racks empty when hoping to ride to work in the mornings.

“They take (the bikes) away at night and they bring them back in the morning but they stop at a certain time,” said Christopher Simonetti, a frustrated Citi Bike member told us recently.

Simonetti, who heads straight for the rack near his Stuyvesant Town building on East 20th Street each morning, said it’s always empty from 9-10:15 a.m.

He’s been calling the bike share service regularly throughout the summer about this issue and has also asked for more racks.

“It’s the forgotten area of Citi Bikes,” he said. “This area is not being serviced.”

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Cops see pattern of burglaries, car, motorcycle thefts

Deputy Inspector  Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Overall crime has seen a 20 percent decrease in the last month of summer in the 13th Precinct although Commanding Officer Brendan Timoney stressed that community residents need to be aware of some recent crime patterns, including apartment and office burglaries and a car theft ring.

Timoney reported the stats at the first community council meeting after a summer break this past Tuesday, a day after the former captain was promoted to deputy inspector.

Timoney noted that in terms of general crime, the summer months have seen a small spike in robberies and although burglaries haven’t increased, he said that the incidents seem to correspond to the city’s bouts of warm weather.

“There have been lots of fire escape entries where they’re getting into apartments and stealing jewelry,” he said. “They’re crimes of opportunity. They’re only in there a couple minutes then they’re out the door.”

Timoney added that a man arrested for one of these fire escape burglaries this summer was busted after the officers secured the area and were able to catch him when he was trying to leave the building.

The two officers who apprehended the thief had been honored with the Cop of the Month award for September but since they were both on vacation at the time of the meeting, they will be presented with the award in October.

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Police Watch: ‘Trespassers’ busted, Man found with ‘stolen’ purse and Citi Bike

TWO MEN ARRESTED AFTER CELL PHONE SNATCHING
Police arrested two people following the investigation of a cell phone snatching last Tuesday at 10:18 p.m. at the corner of First Avenue and East 28th Street. Police stopped 23-year-old Shawn Lee at the intersection in regards to the phone snatching and Lee allegedly admitted that he was in possession of a knife.
Police said that the knife recovered measured 7 1/4 inches and Lee allegedly told them that he used it for protection. He was charged with possession of a weapon.
Kevin Hawkins, 22, was charged with possession of burglar’s tools and resisting arrest at First Avenue and East 28th Street at 10:25 p.m.
When police attempted to stop Hawkins, he allegedly fled down First Avenue on a bicycle going the wrong way and riding on the sidewalk, refusing to stop. Police said he then made a right turn down East 26th Street heading west, pulled a U-turn and rode the bike on East 26th Street towards Bellevue Hospital. Hawkins allegedly dumped the bike and police said he was found hiding in the parking lot at Bellevue Hospital. He allegedly flexed and flailed his arms in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed.
Police said that the two men were not charged with the theft because the phone was not recovered and the victim could not positively identify the men as the ones who stole her phone. Police said that they were pursued because they matched the description, as two black men with bicycles, but the thieves grabbed the woman’s phone from behind her while riding a bike and she did not see their faces.

MCDONALD’S ‘TRESPASSER’ ARRESTED
Police arrested 32-year-old Matthew Bowman at Bellevue Hospital inside 462 First Avenue last Wednesday at 1:29 a.m. for criminal trespass at a McDonald’s. Police said that Bowman jumped behind the counter at the McDonald’s and after the manager on duty escorted him out, he allegedly jumped over the counter again and wouldn’t leave.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ PURSE AND CITI BIKE
Police arrested 55-year-old Kevin Strong for possession of stolen property at the corner of Levy Place and East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 3:34 a.m. Strong was allegedly in possession of a stolen handbag and a stolen Citi Bike worth $1,200.

GRAMERCY PARK TOWERS ‘TRESPASSER’ BUSTED
Police arrested 24-year-old Alexander Schupnick for criminal trespass inside the Gramercy Park Towers at 205 Third Avenue last Wednesday at 7:33 a.m. Police said that Schupnick was seen inside of the building without permission to be there.

MAN NABBED FOR ‘STEALING’ BAG
Police arrested 35-year-old Roger Labady for petit larceny and possession of stolen property at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street last Wednesday at 11:21 a.m. Police said that Labady took a woman’s bag from the ground while she was using her cell phone. After searching the area, police found Labady a block away and when he was questioned, he allegedly told police, “Yes, I took the bag but I was looking for money. There was no money so I dropped the bag across the street.”

MAN CHASED BY COPS, ARRESTED FOR JUMPING SUBWAY TURNSTILE
Willie Kelland, 55, was arrested for theft of services outside 300 Park Avenue South last Wednesday at 2:53 p.m. Police were responding to a report of a larceny at the location and when they arrived, the victim pointed Kelland out. When they approached him, Kelland allegedly fled on foot into the subway station at the northeast corner of East 22nd Street and Park Avenue where police said he hopped the turnstile. He was not charged with larceny because police said they did not have enough evidence to prove that he committed the theft.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘ROBBERY’ AT D’AGOSTINO
Police arrested 31-year-old Jorge Escobar for robbery inside the D’Agostino grocery store at 341 Third Avenue last Wednesday at 5:57 p.m. A store employee saw Escobar trying to leave the store with stolen merchandise allegedly inside his bag. When the employee stopped him at the door, Escobar allegedly began fighting with the employees in an attempt to flee. Police said that the employee was injured when Escobar flailed and then kicked and punched the victim.

MAN NABBED FOR MCDONALD’S KNIFE ‘ASSAULT’
Police arrested 42-year-old Jemar Banks for assault inside the McDonald’s at 541 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 6:47 a.m. The victim told police that he knocked on the door to use the restroom and when Banks came out, he allegedly started a fight with the victim, throwing punches at him. The victim said that Banks then removed a knife from his waistband and allegedly proceeded to slash at him. The victim was able to grab the knife, which caused a cut on his hand. He held onto the knife and bent it and Banks allegedly fled the location. He was apprehended around the corner at 100 West 15th Street.

HOUSEKEEPER ARRESTED FOR ‘STEALING’ FROM EMPLOYER
Police arrested 47-year-old Maria Demo for grand larceny inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street last Thursday at 1:20 p.m. Police said that Demo stole items from the apartment where she was employed as a housekeeper. The value of the property stolen was greater than $3,000. Demo also allegedly swiped items from inside another apartment in the same building while being employed as a babysitter. Demo was also charged with possession of stolen property.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT’
Police arrested 37-year-old Eran Modan for reckless endangerment in front of 5 West 21st Street last Friday at 5:59 p.m. A police officer was stopped in traffic on East 21st Street close to Broadway when he heard the throttle of a motorcycle coming from behind his police vehicle. Modan was allegedly riding his motorcycle in a clearly marked bike lane on the south side of the street. The officer signaled for Modan to slow down but he allegedly continued, passing five vehicles while still in the bike lane. Once Modan saw another officer on foot signaling him to pull over, he allegedly crossed in between vehicles to pass another five cars, including a marked police car on the right side. The officer began following Modan with lights and sirens, crossing over Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Modan finally stopped when the officer boxed him in with a large delivery truck and a construction site off of Fifth Avenue. East 21st Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway is a single lane roadway with a marked bike lane close to the south side of the street.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ INSIDE DHAKA FASHION INC.
Police arrested 43-year-old Ambia Khairul for assault and menacing inside Dhaka Fashion Inc. at 1167 Broadway last Sunday at 6:17 p.m. Khairul, an employee there, allegedly hit a co-worker in the head with a packaging tape dispenser and chased him out of the store with a baseball bat. The victim was left with a red knot on the left side of his forehead. Police did not have any information about why the fight started.