Police officers Colin Dowd, Peter Rodriguez, Joe Sgroi, Kevin Fainer and Manny Rodriguez were honored for their work at the 13th precinct’s most recent community council meeting last month. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Five officers at the 13th precinct were honored as cops of the month at the precinct’s last community council meeting before the summer break on Tuesday, June 18. Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said that crime in the precinct has been steadily decreasing and he said that the community policing program that launched at the precinct last October has helped.
“I attribute that to the cops on patrol and the NCO philosophy that’s driving down crime,” he said, referring to the program that assigns Neighborhood Coordination Officers to different areas in the precinct. “We had a tough year last year but we’ve been doing better.”
The first awards at the meeting went to two officers who work together as NCOs for Sector A, which covers Stuyvesant Town and Gramercy. Officers Peter Rodriguez and Manny Rodriguez caught a man on Avenue C earlier in the month after they suspected him of riding a stolen motorcycle. After the man was arrested, the officers found that he was wanted citywide for stolen motorcycles and had also been arrested for felony assault after molesting his sister.
Police Officer Nicholas Clemente with Executive Officer Ernesto Castro at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Drunk drivers, beware.
Police Officer Nicholas Clemente of the 13th Precinct has arrested so many behind the wheel boozers recently that on Tuesday, he was recognized for his efforts. Clemente was the recipient of the February Cop of the Month award at a meeting held by the 13th Precinct Community Council.
Executive Officer Ernesto Castro, who led the meeting because Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman was out due to a personal matter, said that Clemente had made a significant number of arrests of intoxicated drivers throughout the precinct last year and so far this year.
“(Clemente) has made it his priority to ensure the safety of our motorists and pedestrians every night,” Castro said. “His job is to identify by observation or by accidents whether someone is intoxicated. In 2018, he made it a priority and he arrested 15 people for that, nine of them being from observation alone, either driving in the wrong direction or swerving or taking red lights. This year so far he’s made two valuable arrests for (driving while intoxicated) and he continues to strive toward that.”
Police Officers William Blum and Brendan Bellew with Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, and 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman awarded officers Brendan Bellew and William Blum last Tuesday as Cops of the Month for catching Melvin Collins, 36, the day after the incident occurred.
Hellman said that the woman who was assaulted had been hired by residents of Stuyvesant Town to clean their apartment and had been buzzed in by security as she had in the past when Collins allegedly followed her into the building.
Collins then attempted to sexually assault her while in the elevator, Hellman said, and when the elevator doors opened, he allegedly attempted to pull her into a stairway and rape her. Collins fled down the stairs when the victim started yelling.
Police Officers John McCormick and Mike Migliore with Inspector Steven Hellman, Special Operations Lieutenant Brian Scalise and 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, awarded the officers as Cops of the Month at a community council meeting on Tuesday, September 25.
Hellman said that police officers John McCormick and Mike Migliore were able to track down the suspects believed to be responsible for the death of the homeless man, who was reportedly beaten near Bellevue South Park at the end of August.
“(The officers) were able to make the arrests a few days later after going through the parks, doing surveillance and conducting interviews with people who were there,” Hellman said.
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman gave police officers Angela Villota and Mayela Arthur the Cop of the Month award last Tuesday. The officers are pictured alongside Frank Scala, president of the 13th Precinct Community Council. (Photo by P.O. Vincent Arlotta)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Two 13th precinct cops were recognized last week for their quick actions in saving a man who was choking in Midtown earlier this month. Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman gave police officers Angela Villota and Mayela Arthur the Cop of the Month award at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting last week for their work in the incident that took place on Wednesday, June 13 around 5:15 p.m.
Hellman said that Officers Villota and Arthur were assigned to the Trump detail in Midtown and were traveling north on Third Avenue near East 39th Street in the 17th precinct when a man walked up to their vehicle holding his neck and saying that he couldn’t breathe because he was choking on a piece of chicken.
Arthur immediately requested backup from EMS while Villota began to perform the Heimlich maneuver. The victim ultimately coughed up a small object, allowing him to breathe normally again.
13th Precinct Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, Executive Officer Ernesto Castro, Cop of the Month Officer Carilina Lugo and 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police officer Carilina Lugo was named Cop of the Month at the 13th precinct’s latest community council meeting on Tuesday, May 15 for catching a man who allegedly attacked a woman in an unprovoked assault.
“I don’t have one every month but it’s for those cops who go that little extra step,” Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said of the award.
Hellman said that in the assault, the victim was walking down West 25th Street at the beginning of the month while drinking her coffee when 29-year-old Tyrel Henderson approached her and “knocked her out cold.”
Detective John Santiago was presented with a Cop of the Month award by Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney and Frank Scala, president of the 13th Precinct Community Council. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
While crime was down in the 13th Precinct area for June, both overall and in most of the major areas, grand larcenies have spiked.
Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, said this was partially due to an ongoing spate of scams. He reported on the latest stats at the last Community Council meeting at the end of June.
“Nobody is giving anybody money,” he advised. “No one will arrest you if you don’t pay your bills. The IRS is not going to ask you for iTunes gift cards to pay them. It’s a scam.”
He added that there has also been an increase in apartment scams recently, specifically of criminals posting fake listings about cheap summer rentals in the Hamptons.
“Nobody is renting their shore house at prime time season,” he said. “If it sounds too good to be true it’s probably not true.”
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.
The Cop of the Month for April 2014 was awarded to P.O. Phil McGovern at the meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on April 15. Pictured are Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, Council President Frank Scala, and P.O. McGovern. (Photo by Pat Sallin)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
While crime in the area covered by the 13th Precinct is down overall for the year so far, burglaries and robberies are up. Overall, crime is down 2.4 percent for the year and 8 percent for the month but burglaries are up 37 percent since this time last year and robberies are up 44.8 percent.
The stats were announced by the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, at the 13th Precinct’s April community council meeting on Tuesday, April 15.
He added that there has been a slight increase, 1.9 percent, on felony assaults as well, noting that these assaults often become a problem for the precinct because of incidents in the neighborhood hospitals, and attacks on doctors, nurses and peace officers automatically carry a heavier penalty.
Grand larcenies, meanwhile, are actually down 10.9 percent for the year.
“That was the area that was most up last year,” Ehrenberg noted. Grand larcenies have been featured prominently in T&V’s blotter regularly, with a number of victims reporting every month that their property was stolen while left unattended or snatched out of their hands while on the subway.
The increases that the precinct has seen in burglaries is more unusual than previous months, Ehrenberg said, because they are up in residential as opposed to commercial burglaries. The deputy inspector noted that one criminal was busted trying to climb into someone’s apartment through a fire escape in the 6th precinct and Ehrenberg said that he also matched the description of someone breaking in through fire escapes in the 13th, so he said he is hopeful that the arrest will alleviate the problem somewhat.
The meeting was also attended by a number of neighborhood residents with quality of life concerns due to noisy tenants in their building and aggressive homeless people in the vicinity of area shelters. Public housing residents of 224 East 28th Street in the Straus Houses were frustrated because of constant noise in the middle of the night in multiple apartments. One resident noted that police have come to the building to address the problem but that once the cops leave, the noise just starts up again.
“The noise usually comes from two different apartments and I’ve been told that they actually sell tickets for people to get in,” another resident who didn’t want to be named said. “There is underage drinking going on and pot-smoking that permeates through three floors. Strangers have knocked on my door wanting to buy pot. We’ve been dealing with this problem for the last two years.”
Ehrenberg said that while crime in public housing is down and there were more directed patrols in that specific building added recently, they most likely won’t be able to add more police to the building any time soon but he wanted to assure residents that NYCHA buildings are always on their radar.
“We’re responsible for those buildings so what happens there is definitely a concern for us,” he said. “We don’t want you to think that we’re neglecting these buildings. Noise in the middle of the night absolutely shouldn’t be happening.”
One resident of West 25th Street had complaints about recent activity outside the BRC shelter between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. She said what concerned her the most, aside from the drug deals she saw taking place, was a man who appeared to be dealing drugs while accompanied by a child in a stroller.
The deputy inspector noted that the precinct has been meeting regularly with the shelter’s task force and has pushed the BRC to increase their patrols. He added that they’re only able to put foot posts in the higher crime areas, which doesn’t include this particular shelter, but they will be re-evaluating the situation when they get the five new recruits that are supposed to be coming in.
The meeting also included the recognizing of April’s Cop of the Month, Police Officer Phil McGovern.
Police also preparing for upcoming SantaCon pub crawl
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
The 13th Precinct saw a 35 percent spike in crime over the last month, mostly in burglaries and grand larcenies. The stats were revealed by Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday. However, Ehrenberg, the precinct’s commanding officer, noted that part of the reason for the increases is because of the comparison to the low numbers last year due to Hurricane Sandy.
The increases in burglaries are mostly due to residential incidents and, noted Ehrenberg, there were no cases of forced entry in the residential burglaries that had occurred.
“They’re getting in through patios, roofs and doors from adjacent buildings,” he said, adding that the crimes are easier to prevent than they are to solve and he reminded residents to lock their doors as well as windows, especially if they lead to a fire escape or balcony.
There has been an increase in grand larcenies as well and an especially large increase in what the NYPD refers to as “picks and dips,” which is when someone is pick-pocketed or their property is left out somewhere and then stolen. Cell phones and wallets are the most commonly stolen items in these cases and Ehrenberg said that it isn’t necessarily the newest model of cell phones that are getting stolen so regardless of how new the phone is, residents should still be vigilant.
Because these crimes are also difficult to solve after the fact, Ehrenberg advised that people be careful with their bags while on the subway and walking down the street.
“The thing about the 13th precinct is that we have a lot of people on our streets and we have to rely on eyewitnesses for solving these crimes,” he said. “A lot of times, crimes like these are reported late because victims don’t notice until later that their property is missing. They say they remember later that they got bumped and maybe their bag wasn’t zipped. If there’s a big gap in the time between when it happened and when it’s reported, it’s hard to figure out who did it.”
The increases in grand larcenies have also been due to victims leaving their property out and having it stolen. Ehrenberg said that there have been three cases in the past month of this happening in the Starbucks on Union Square West, with all items worth more than $1,000.
“It’s like having $1,000 in cash,” he said. “I’m not going to leave that sitting out on the table so why would I leave a laptop out on the table? These items have to be treated like cash.”
Telephone scams, which are recorded as grand larcenies, have also been a problem for the 13th precinct, and Ehrenberg noted that it isn’t just elderly people who are being targeted but that most of the victims have been between the ages of 20 and 40. “Con Edison is not going to ask for cash or a prepaid card and if they come to your door you should always ask to see their identification,” he advised. “If you’re suspicious, call 911 about it.”
Meanwhile, residents at the meeting have already begun expressing concern about the impending arrival of SantaCon, the annual pub crawl that often results in excessive drunkenness in the neighborhood starting in the morning and escalating throughout the day, and which will take place on December 14 this year.
SantaCon revelers gather in front of an East Village bar at last year’s event. (Photo by Allegra Kogan)
A resident of Stuyvesant Town said that he looked at the website and noticed that there are already 12,000 people who have signed up to participate. Ehrenberg said that police are already planning on increasing their presence on that day and while they try to speak to bar owners and discourage them from participating, he noted that this is difficult since the bars do make money from the event.
“They started earlier than we were expecting last year and last year was ridiculous,” Executive Officer Frank Sorenson added. “Security will be ready earlier this year so we’re more prepared.”
At the beginning of the meeting, Ehrenberg awarded Officer John Dziedzic as Cop of the Month for arresting a man for mugging a 16-year-old deaf boy in October. The boy was on his way to school at PS 347 on East 23rd Street when he was mugged. Ehrenberg said that the officers needed the assistance of two interpreters to communicate with the boy for a description of the man but when they went out with the description, Dziedzic followed him and an arrest was made. He was charged with robbery as well as grand larceny for an incident last year in which he had targeted the same boy.
Last month’s community council meeting was full of residents from buildings on East 28th Street who had complaints about a homeless man who had been causing problems in the neighborhood. As Town & Village reported earlier this month, Ehrenberg said at Tuesday’s meeting that the man, Anthony Lawrence, had been arrested and formally indicted on two high charges, attempted robbery and assault. Ehrenberg noted that his next court date would be November 26 and cops have been working closely with the District Attorney’s office on the issue.