(UPDATED: Suspect arrested) Man chokes, sexually assaults woman in Stuy Town

Update: Police have arrested a man who was staying at the Armory Men’s Shelter on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. Melvin Collins, 36, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with burglary, sexual abuse, criminal obstruction of breathing, forcible touching and assault.

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who followed a woman into a building in Stuyvesant Town on Monday morning.

The victim, a 42-year-old woman, had entered 315 Avenue C when a man followed her inside at about 8:10 a.m.

Once inside an elevator, the man started groping and kissing her, police said. The woman then ran out of the elevator and the man chased her, and tried to pull her into a stairwell. The attacker then got on top of the woman and choked her. He took off however, fleeing down the stairs when the victim started screaming.

The victim suffered scratches to her neck and was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

The suspect is described as being black, 30-35 years old and about 5’7″ to 5’9″, with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a dark long sleeve shirt, dark sneakers with white soles, and a baseball hat.

Neither he nor the victim are residents of Stuyvesant Town, according to management, and security has been beefed up in response to the incident.

“StuyTown Property Services has provided NYPD with video and is fully cooperating in the apprehension of the suspect,” said Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. “Public Safety presence has been heightened around the two communities. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.”

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Suspect arrested for robbery at Mona’s Bar and others

Oct11 Mona's

Mona’s Bar

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a 29-year-old man in connection with four armed robberies, including a holdup at a bar near Stuyvesant Town.

Police said the suspect, Sanjay McBayne of Carroll Street in Brooklyn, was arrested on Saturday after police received a tip through the Crime Stoppers hotline.

Police said the most recent incident was on Thursday, October 4 at around 2 a.m., when McBayne strolled into Mona’s Bar and Grill at 224 Avenue B between East 13th and 14th Streets, and turned a gun on an employee, demanding cash. After getting away with $700, he allegedly fled towards 14th Street.

The other incidents were all in Brooklyn. From September 26 to October 3, McBayne allegedly hit three businesses, a Duane Reade, Kilo Bravo nightclub and a Metro PCS store. Police said in those three alleged robberies, he approached an employee and then threatened the victim with a gun, netting a total of $815.

McBayne has been charged with four counts of robbery.

Thief steals credit card from building on E. 13th St., then shops at Target

Oct11 Target theft suspect

Theft suspect at Target

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a thief who stole a Visa credit card from a building on East 13th Street and First Avenue and then spent $327, using the card at Target.

Police released the information this week although the incident occurred on Sunday, September 14 at 8 a.m. Police say the man got into the lobby of the building where the 31-year-old victim lives and took the credit card although it wasn’t clear how he got in or if he swiped the card from a mailbox or an open area where mail was lying around. He then headed to the Target store at East 14th Street and Avenue A.

The suspect is a light-skinned man who appears to be in his 20s and tall. He was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, a black tee-shirt with “thumbs up” written on the front and light gray jeans and white 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) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at Nypdcrimestopppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Robbers force Kips Bay spa worker into back room

Oct3 Kips Bay robbery suspects

Two of the robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for three men who forced a spa worker into a back room during a robbery.

On Thursday at 4 a.m. the robbers strolled into Wood Spa at 133 Lexington Avenue at East 29th Street where a 30-year-old woman was working. Despite the early hour, they were able to enter the business by posing as customers, police said. However, the men then started asking for money and opening drawers. After snatching the employee’s cell phone, they forced her into a back room. It isn’t known if they took anything else before fleeing the scene. Police said the victim had bruising but no serious injuries.

Oct3 Kips Bay robbery suspects2

Robbery suspects

A phone number for the business had no option to leave a message when Town & Village called.

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

Nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Cops say man tried to rape woman in East 13th Street building

Julio Mendez

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who allegedly tried to rape a woman in a residential building at 620 East 13th Street between Avenues B and C.

Police said the suspect, who has since been identified as Julio Mendez, 43, approached the victim, a 46-year-old woman on Saturday at 11:15 p.m. while she was in the building’s laundry room.

While police said it’s unknown what the man’s relationship was to the woman, he has been known to frequent the building, Tanya Towers, which offers low-income housing as well as being home to an organization that offers supportive housing and other services to people who are hard of hearing and have vision impairments.

Mendez, police said, started talking to the victim and convinced her to follow him outside. He then grabbed her by the arm and neck and the victim, in her struggle to get away from him, fell to the ground. Mendez allegedly then covered her mouth and tried to pull of her clothing. The victim continued to try to fight him off as he sexually assaulted her, police said, eventually running off when the victim screamed.

The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she has since treated and released.

Mendez is described as a male Hispanic, 5’6″, 160lbs, with an average build, medium complexion, short black hair and brown eyes. Police are unsure of where he lives.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Creep grabs six-year-old boy’s crotch at Union Square Barnes & Noble

Sept6 forcibletouching1

Forcible touching suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a man who groped a six-year-old boy in front of his mother at the Union Square Barnes & Noble.

Police said that on Wednesday, August 29 at 4 p.m., the man approached the victim on the second floor of the bookstore at 33 East 17th Street and grabbed his buttocks as well as his groin area. The mother caught him as he leaned in to touch the boy’s leg and his hip and when she confronted him, the man said, “I was trying to help him. I’m sorry.” He then fled the location.

The victim wasn’t injured.

Sept6 forcibletouching2

Forcible touching suspect

The suspect is described as black, 18-20 years old, about 5’8″ tall, and 170 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. He was last observed wearing a multi-colored short-sleeved shirt, dark jeans and white 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) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Letters to the editor, Aug. 9

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Thinking like a New Yorker

Regarding Town & Village’s question from July 26, Do thoughts of crime affect your daily routine and do you avoid certain streets or going out at certain times?

I don’t think of crime geographically; I can’t name any specific areas I avoid, fearing for my personal safety. As a teacher, I’ve traveled all over Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn and I’ve developed confidence about my bearings and familiarity with the variety of neighborhoods my students come from. I am more conscious of situations and the possibility of interaction and communication.

Twelve years ago, I was badly beaten by a group of gang members only two blocks from Stuy Town; the police later told me I was one victim of a serial attack, most likely part of an initiation routine.

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Reader opinions: Crime in the city

In our last issue, Town & Village asked readers if thoughts of crime in this city affect their daily routines. We also asked, “Do you avoid certain streets or going out at certain times?”

Here are a few responses:

Martha Wolberg says, “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 40 years. I have never felt safer. When I moved here, it was quite dangerous. Now, I can come home at 2 or 3 in the morning and there is no problem. I live on 14th Street between Second and First Avenues. All the bars in the neighborhood make it very safe – there are always people hanging out late at night.”

Kay Vota says, “It is always wise to be cautious. Once I was being followed in subway facility and I led guy straight to a cop! Once I was followed on the streets of NYC and I ducked into a building with a doorman and told him I was being followed. Once I started out of my garage back door and a giant man was on the steps and I slammed the door, called Public Safety and an officer arrived in a matter of minutes. I do not answer phone calls that I do not recognize the number. A lot of seniors live in our community and we are harassed by spoofing (an official phone number that is faked by some techie device) pretending to be the IRS with threats about being arrested if we don’t call right back. Stuy Town Public Safety when under William McClellan offered a course to tenants, teaching ways of protecting oneself when attacked. The same people taught us that taught Public Safety officers. I thought it was very valuable. Finally, if someone comes to your door claiming to be some kind of inspector, do not open your door. Tell them you will call public safety to escort them in to your home. Also, if you have home aids, be sure to have a closet key to lock valuables so there will be no temptation for anyone to steal what is too easily accessible. Better safe than sorry! And another thing, always trust but verify.”

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Woman steals credit cards at Taproom

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a woman they said stole credit cards from an employee’s purse at Taproom, a Gramercy bar, and then proceeded to use them to make purchases. Another employee at the bar at 307 Third Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets told Town & Village the theft happened on Saturday during brunch time when the thief sat down near where some employees were sitting.

Police tweeted a picture of the woman on Tuesday, who the employee said appeared to be light-skinned black with braided hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Question for readers: What can straphangers do when witnessing violence?

Menacing suspect

Photo of suspect

Earlier this week, police released portions of a video showing a man threatening a fellow straphanger with a knife after he tried to intervene when seeing the other man hit his toddler. The suspect, seen on the E train in Greenwich Village, has since been arrested.

Town & Village is asking readers for their thoughts on what sensible actions can be taken by straphangers who witness acts of violence. This can include a parent disciplining a child or an argument between two people if it appears to cross the line into abusive behavior. Calling the police isn’t always an option if passengers don’t have phone service due to where they are in a subway system.

We welcome reader feedback at editor@townvillage.net or as comments here. Names will be withheld upon request.

Thief throws wallet in train tracks when victim tries to get it back

July26 Robbery suspsect

Robbery suspect

Cops are looking for a pickpocket who stole a man’s wallet at the Union Square Subway station and then hit the victim on the head when he tried to get it back.

Police said that on Friday, July 13 at around 10 p.m. the victim was in the station when he realized his wallet was gone. He then asked passersby if they’d seen it, and was told that someone had picked it up from the floor. When he confronted the man, the victim saw the wallet in the other man’s hand. The two men struggled over the wallet and the thief then hit him, before throwing the wallet in the train tracks. The pickpocket then ran off and the victim was able to get his wallet back from the track bed.

The suspect, wanted for robbery, is described as white, in his 30s, 5’6″, 165 lbs. and had glasses. He was last seen wearing a gray shirt, black and white shorts and he had on a black 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

ACS teen assaults woman in Kips Bay

May31 ACS facility

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Sabina Mollot

A 13-year-old girl who’s been staying at the Administration for Children’s Services building at First Avenue and 29th Street has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman on that street corner, breaking the victim’s nose.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman, told Town & Village that on Sunday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m., she was walking on First Avenue and East 29th Street when she saw a group of teenagers. Not thinking they looked especially intimidating, she kept walking. However, one of the female members of the group then approached her. She said, “Do you want to fight?” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, recalled. But before she could answer, the girl punched her in the face, breaking her nose and knocking out her contact lens. The force of the blow knocked the woman down and the teen then began punching her and pulling her hair, while the woman, in a fetal position, tried to block. This went on until a couple pulled up to the scene in a car, which scared the group off.

Later, the victim said she was able to find the suspect with police and learned the girl’s age, which surprised her since the suspect, who was about 5 ft. 4 inches tall, looked about 18.

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Man steals purse from woman, 81, in East Village building

July19 Burglary suspect

Burglary suspect

Police are looking for a man who stole a purse from an 81-year-old woman after convincing her he needed to get into her apartment to fix a leak.

The man, who was Hispanic and casually dressed in a t-shirt and beach hat, knocked on the woman’s door in the vicinity of East 13th Street and Second Avenue on Friday afternoon. After tricking her into letting him inside, he helped himself to her purse and left the building. The victim’s purse contained $100 and her IDs.

Anyone with information in regards to 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). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Man committed lewd act on train in Union Square: Cops

May3 Lewdness

Public lewdness suspect

Police are looking for a man who was masturbating on a northbound E train as it got to Union Square and 14th Street.

The victim, a 27-year-old woman, said the man committed the lewd act after reaching under his coat on the evening of March 9 at around 9 p.m.

The suspect, who the victim got a photo of, is black, about 30 to 40 years of age and has a medium build. He was last seen wearing dark-colored clothing and glasses.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.