Cop recognized after homeless man charged with attacking woman on street

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.”

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Thirteenth Precinct to join NYPD Community Policing Program

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

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The 13th Precinct will soon be joining in an NYPD program that assigns officers to be liaisons to specific neighborhoods.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, announced at last month’s community council meeting that the precinct would join the Neighborhood Policing program by October and the policy is expected to be instituted in precincts citywide by 2019.

“It’s going to allow us to talk to the right people through social media and interact with the community,” Hellman said. “It’ll help with a lot of different issues like traffic and noise complaints because the officers will get to know the community on a personal basis.”

The program will break the precinct into different sectors that are each assigned neighborhood coordination officers (NCOs) who work as liaisons between the NYPD and the community. Sectors in each precinct are designed to correspond to the boundaries of established neighborhoods as much as possible. NCOs will be familiarizing themselves with the residents and problems in the neighborhood by attending community meetings and following up on previous incidents.

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Two cops recognized for arrests of robbers

Officer Brendan Bellew (pictured at left) was presented with a Cop of the Month award by Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman and 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala. Officer Nicholas Clemente (not pictured) was also given an award for his service. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A pair of cops were recognized for their work in catching multiple robbers over the last month at the 13th Precinct’s community council meeting on Tuesday evening.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, the precinct’s commanding officer, praised Police Officer Brendan Bellew for spotting a man on April 11 in front of 8 Gramercy Park South and recognizing him from a wanted poster about a robbery inside a Duane Reade at 333 Seventh Avenue earlier this month.

“This guy has 35 arrests and has been on the job for six months,” Hellman said. “This was an incident of shoplifting gone wrong in a Duane Reade and there was an image captured with surveillance. Brendan recognized him from the photo and arrested him. He’s a great example for the kids.”

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Thieves preying on victims at coffee bars around Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man this past Monday who is suspected of snatching unattended bags from the Starbucks at 10 Union Square East, which police say has been a hotbed of thefts for the last few months. The precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, said at last week’s Community Council meeting that the precinct has especially been struggling with thefts from the chain throughout the city because the company has been reluctant to provide surveillance video.

“One of the main ways we can catch these guys is with video and Starbucks has not been very cooperative,” Hellman said. “We’ve followed up with subpoenas and we’ve still never been able to retrieve a single video from them.”

Starbucks did not return a request for comment by T&V’s press time.

Despite the lack of cooperation from the coffee chain, the man who was arrested, 60-year-old Prince Wright, was picked up inside the Starbucks location at 25 Union Square West this past Monday by officers who recognized him from a photo. Police connected him to two grand larcenies at the 10 Union Square East location on March 2 and 12, as well as thefts from two more at Starbucks locations in the Midtown South precinct.

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First Ave./14th St. a seedy intersection, neighbors tell cops

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The intersection at East 14th Street and First Avenue has recently become a hub for the homeless as well as unsavory characters who’ve been loitering, making neighborhood residents feel unsafe, a number of neighbors have been saying.

The intersection was one of the topics brought up to police at a meeting on Tuesday evening held by the 13th Precinct Community Council.

StuyTown Property Services general manager Rick Hayduk told the precinct commanding officer, Steven Hellman, that management has gotten an uptick in calls about the area.

“We wanted to heighten awareness about First and 14th because there’s been an increase in vagrants,” Hayduk said.

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New commanding officer for 13th Pct.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A familiar face is coming to fill the shoes of Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney at the 13th Precinct, who announced at the most recent community council meeting last Tuesday that he would be transferring to the Midtown South precinct. Timoney, who has been at the precinct for the last three years, said that Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, previously the precinct’s executive officer, would be coming to replace him. Hellman started at his new post last Thursday.

In an interview during his first stint at the precinct in 2014, Hellman told Town & Village that he comes from a police family, with his father, uncle and brother all former or current police captains in the NYPD. Hellman started in the department in 1994 at the 19th precinct, covering the Upper East Side, and spent six years as an officer in Washington Heights. Prior to becoming the executive officer at the 13th Precinct in 2014, Hellman was in the same position at the 9th Precinct, which covers the East Village.

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Community, 13th Precinct celebrate National Night Out Against Crime

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise (more photos inside)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and local law enforcement celebrated National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday evening, marking the 31st year for the annual event. At Simon Baruch Middle School’s playground, police officers from the 13th Precinct on the next block over manned the grill, including the precinct’s former executive officer, Frank Sorensen, who was recently promoted to commanding officer for Specialty Units in Manhattan South.

The event, organized by the 13th Precinct Community Council, is aimed at raising crime awareness and building working relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities. In recent years though, it’s also become just as much about having a block party on a usually sweltering day.

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