Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace will reopen in October

The site will be included in Open House New York, walking tours of important buildings. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The site will be included in Open House New York, walking tours of important buildings. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace on East 20th Street, which has been closed for renovations for 16 months, will soon be reopening.

An official for the site, which is overseen by the National Parks Service, said there will be a soft opening on Tuesday, October 11.

It will then be included in Open House New York, a series of tours of important buildings in the city, which will take place on the weekend of October 15-16. There will also be a birthday celebration on October 29 although the time and other details are still being worked out.

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Driver plows into cars, synagogue on East 20th Street

The jeep crashed through the building's front gate. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The jeep crashed through the building’s front gate. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A woman seemingly lost control of her jeep and crashed it into the front gate of the Chabad of Gramercy Park synagogue on Wednesday evening.

Minor injuries were reported after the accident, which happened on East 20th Street near First Avenue at 5 p.m.

At least six cars were damaged as a result, with one bystander describing the accident as a “domino effect.”

Andres Gomes, whose vehicle was damaged, said that the incident was confusing because the driver who set off the chain reaction appeared to be driving erratically, pulling her vehicle forward, then putting it in reverse before driving forward again, hitting multiple cars with each change of direction, before she backed into the gate.

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Man arrested for groping woman across from PCV

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man for groping a woman across the street from Peter Cooper Village over the weekend.

The woman was walking north on the west side of First Avenue near East 20th Street with her boyfriend last Sunday at 2:50 a.m. when they crossed paths with 36-year-old Michael McDonald. McDonald allegedly grabbed the victim’s breast and fled north on First Avenue.

Police said that the victim went back to her apartment while her boyfriend flagged down a nearby police officer as he was following McDonald on First Avenue. Police detained McDonald at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street. The victim returned to the street and positively identified McDonald as the man who allegedly groped her.

McDonald was charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse.

His lawyer did not want to comment on the case.

Letters to the Editor: Feb. 4

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Why Garodnick should aim higher

Re: Story, “Garodnick’s $1.M campaign war chest,” T&V, Jan. 21

Your page one article notes a Daily News anonymous source:

Hon. Dan Garodnick, our City Council Member, “may be looking towards the comptroller or attorney general seat if they open up.”

Page 50 of this week’s New York Observer, however, quotes comptroller Tom DiNapoli:

“The secret is that being comptroller is the best job in state government.

“I don’t want people to know that so they don’t come after my job.

“There’s still more work to do here,” he continues.

Accordingly, that job doesn’t seem to be opening up.

This begs two questions:

(i) Who, including the days of Tammany Hall, was ever elected directly to statewide office from the New York City council?

(ii) If Hon. Dan Garodnick wants to make a statewide name for himself, he should challenge Governor Cuomo. If I was his strategist, I’d say strive for the gold.

Dan was preempted from the city comptroller’s primary and, subsequently, had to concede from the speaker’s race. He’s not winning statewide office.

And remember, he balked when considering running a primary against Brad Hoylman because he wanted to be close to home. Therefore, his considering statewide options seems quite a shift from the geographic priorities he set for himself fewer than four years later. After all, he’d have to spend more time in Albany in statewide office than members of the legislature do.

So if I were part of his brain trust, I’d have him make a statewide name for himself by running a gubernatorial primary against Andrew Cuomo.

And if his strategists don’t realize that runners up in Gubernatorial primaries are memorable while runners up in AG and comptroller primaries are not, then they’re not worth their commissions.

Billy Sternberg, ST

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Editorial: Ferry landing can’t come soon enough

Sometimes a problem sticks around for so long that people simply accept it as a fact of life. For residents who live near the East River, like those on the east side of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village as well as Waterside Plaza, one major problem for many years has been a lack of access to public transit, specifically the subway.

As for buses, anyone who’s lived in the area for more than a few years knows that two local routes, the M14 and the M23, have been winners of The Straphangers Campaign’s annual Pokey awards. The Pokeys are given to the most sluggish routes and the M23 has actually won twice.

For this reason, the city’s plan to add a bunch of stops to the East River ferry route, including one at Stuyvesant Cove Park, should be embraced.

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ST-PCV TA will hold meeting on planned E. 20th St. ferry landing

The East River Ferry service that was launched last year recently served a million riders. Mayor Bloomberg announced that he and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will be launching a survey to help improve the service.

The East River Ferry

The city is planning to expand existing ferry service on the East River and citywide, and a new ferry landing is to be built at East 20th Street. The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association has invited officials from the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to fill residents in on the project. The new landing would be part of the Lower East Side route, a stop between an existing stop at East 34th Street and another at Wall Street/Pier 11.

The Tenants Association is holding an open meeting on Thursday, January 14 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the VA Medical Center atrium conference room, 423 East 23rd Street east of First Avenue.

Questions are encouraged, such as:

What impacts will the new facility have on noise and pollution? Will ferry passengers crowd local buses? What effect will the ferry landing have on the new storm barrier design? What impact will the landing have on pedestrians and bicyclists in Stuyvesant Cove Park? What new commuting options will be available to Stuy Town and Peter Cooper residents?



Muggers attacking victims, snatching phones and cash

Robbery suspects (via NYPD)

Robbery suspects (via NYPD)

By Sabina Mollot

Police are hunting a pair of violent muggers who’ve so far struck three times in two days, attacking victims and snatching cash and cell phones. One of the attacks happened near Stuyvesant Town.

The string of robberies started on Friday, November 6, when two men approached a 24-year-old man in the elevator of his apartment building on 18th Street. The suspects hit him repeatedly with a blunt object in the face, head, and neck. Then, they stole $200 in cash from the victim and fled. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

On Saturday, November 7 at 1 a.m., the suspects approached the 36-year-old man as he was walking in front of 346 East 20th Street, west of First Avenue. One of the suspects repeatedly struck the victim, causing injuries to his face, both hands, as well as his right elbow and right knee. The attackers then swiped the victim’s Samsung cell phone and ran off.

An hour later, the suspects approached a man and woman as they were walking together on 21st Street.

One suspect simulated a weapon at the victims, a 30-year-old man and 35-year-old woman, before snatching an iPhone 6 and multiple credit and debit cards from them.

Police declined to share the avenues the first and third incidents took place, because the locations are the victims’ addresses. However, both incidents happened on the West Side.

The suspects are described as being black, between 18 and 25 years old and between 5 ft. 8 ins. and 5 ft. 10 ins. tall. One was last seen wearing all black. The other was last seen wearing a blue Adidas hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Area residents wary of planned ferry landing

Meeting attendees look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Meeting attendees look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents got the opportunity to interact with 3D models showing possibilities for flood protection and access to the waterfront on the East Side at the most recent workshop for the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project last Thursday evening. This meeting was the third in a round of public workshops, held at Washington Irving High School, discussing different options for the area along the East River from East 14th to 23rd Streets in terms of protecting the neighborhood from future storm surges and future Hurricane Sandys.

Since the first public workshop was held in March, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency along with the urban design team working on the project have narrowed the design ideas down into a combination of an elevated park that integrates static floodwalls and deployable features. The break in the elevated park, known as a berm or levee, at East 20th Street is partially to accommodate a ferry landing that the Environmental Development Cooperation is considering developing there. Representatives from the city and the urban designers working on the project said they could not answer specific questions on the ferry landing itself since that project is not under the purview of the ESCR, but some residents at the meeting expressed concern about what the increased foot traffic would mean for the neighborhood.

“We want to see certain lovely things stay but newer, shinier and busier isn’t always better,” Stuyvesant Town resident Laura Koestler said. “Right now it’s small potatoes but it can become commercialized. With the possibility of a ferry over there, I just picture what the insane crowds have become at the Williamsburg Flea.”

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Police Watch: Man arrested for screwdriver ‘assault,’ ‘Drunk’ driver arrested outside Stuy Town

Victor Coronado-Vasquez, 36, was arrested for forgery in front of 601 East 20th Street last Wednesday at 8:40 a.m. Police said that Coronado-Vasquez produced a fraudulently acquired Pennsylvania driver’s license bearing his image along with the information of an identity theft victim. Police said that he used this ID during traffic stops on six different occasions between July 10, 2010 and October 19, 2013, resulting in summonses being made in the victim’s name and causing false entries to be made in the records of the NYPD and the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. He allegedly used the fraudulently acquired license when asked to identify himself at the time of his arrest. Coronado-Vasquez was also charged with identity theft and criminal impersonation.

Seventy-year-old Reginald Salik was arrested for menacing at the FDR and East 20th Street last Saturday at midnight. Police said that Salik took an unknown object out of his pocket and threatened to kill another man with it, causing the victim to fear for his life. Police canvassed the area and when Salik was stopped, he was allegedly in possession of a screwdriver.

Police arrested 26-year-old Frederico Alves for intoxicated driving in front of 520 East 20th Street last Saturday at 2:58 a.m. Alves was stopped at a checkpoint and allegedly had an odor of alcohol on his breath, as well as bloodshot, watery eyes. He was taken to the 7th precinct, where police said he refused to take a Breathalyzer.

Daniil Mayer, 21, was arrested for possession of marijuana in front of 346 Third Avenue last Saturday at 3:11 a.m. Mayer was driving north on Third Avenue and allegedly talking on his cell phone, and when after he was stopped police said that he had a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the car. Police said that Mayer admitted that he had a “couple ounces of weed in his trunk.” Police recovered two large jars of alleged marijuana from his trunk, as well as a bottle of alleged marijuana from under the passenger’s seat, a small plastic jar of alleged butane hash oil in the center console, a jar of alleged marijuana from a boot behind the driver’s seat and a bottle with alleged marijuana residue from the center console. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Police arrested two people for prostitution inside a spa at 1162 Broadway last Saturday at 7:25 p.m. Kwang Mckim, 58, was charged with promoting and securing prostitution and allegedly told an undercover officer that he could have sexual intercourse with 35-year-old Jin Guihua, who was charged with prostitution, for $250.

Forty-year-old Jennifer Llanos was arrested for grand larceny last Wednesday at 10 a.m. inside the 13th precinct. Police said that Llanos took cash rents totaling the amount of $47,519 without permission from the period of June 6, 2011 to March 11, 2015. Further details on how she acquired the rent money were unavailable.

Police arrested three people for a robbery in front of 49 West 27th Street last Saturday just after midnight. Moyler Eric, 27, Andres Robinson, 24, and Brooke Dowdell, 34, allegedly caused serious physical injury to the victim and stole his wallet and credit cards. Police said that they fled on foot when officers identified themselves and ordered them to stop. All three were charged with robbery and resisting arrest and Eric, who was allegedly in possession of the victim’s credit cards, was also charged with possession of stolen property.

Police arrested 43-year-old Andrew Wyszkowski in front of 150 West 26th Street last Friday at 9:44 a.m. for leaving the scene of an accident. Wyszkowski reversed his car and police said that he accidentally hit a pedestrian, said sorry and then drove away. The pedestrian sustained minor injuries but refused medical assistance at the scene of the accident.

Police arrested 27-year-old Mauricio Eguez for theft of services at Paddy Reilly’s bar at 519 Second Avenue and East 29th Street. It was last Tuesday at 12:23 a.m. when Eguez allegedly ordered numerous drinks and walked out without paying. Police said that the bill came out to be $204.

Police arrested 22-year-old Madeline Ciprian for weapons possession and possession of a controlled substance last Tuesday at 12:35 a.m. inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue. Ciprian was apprehended on a search warrant and was allegedly in possession of a loaded 9mm Ruger and a quantity of controlled substances.

Monique Walker, 32, was arrested inside the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 12:40 p.m. for grand larceny. Police said that Walker supplied another person with 250 personal identifiers that were used to cause financial losses exceeding $50,000. The incident is related to a city-wide grand larceny pattern from this year. Walker was also charged with identity theft and fraud.

Police arrested 48-year-old Marie Serrano for petit larceny and possession of stolen property inside Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 10 Perlman Place last Wednesday at 2:17 p.m. The victim told police that she left her cell phone on a counter in the bathroom and after she quickly realized that she had left it there she went back to get it, but the phone was gone. She told security at the location, who checked the cameras and identified Serrano, who had entered the bathroom immediately after the victim and allegedly took the phone. Police said that Serrano initially denied having the phone when confronted by the victim and security but she later admitted it and returned the phone after being shown the video footage.

Twenty-year-old David Fonseca was arrested for petit larceny inside the Barnes & Noble at 33 East 17th Street last Wednesday at 5:34 p.m. Fonseca allegedly took books off a shelf, stuffed them in his pants and then tried to leave the store without paying.

Police arrested 47-year-old Mary Riley for an unclassified traffic misdemeanor at the corner of East 28th Street and Park Avenue South last Thursday at 12:54 p.m. Riley was involved in a motor vehicle accident with no injuries and after police requested her license, she allegedly told them that she didn’t have one but that she did have a NYS benefit card ID. A computer check showed that her NYS driver’s permit is suspended.

Police arrested 46-year-old Hector Davila for petit larceny inside Manhattan Wholesalers at 121 West 27th Street last Friday at 12:45 p.m. The victim left her phone on her office counter and walked out the store and when she got back, the phone was missing.
Loss prevention reviewed video that allegedly showed Davila taking the phone without permission and walking out of the store.

Fifty-year-old Samuel Garcia was arrested for burglar’s tools and petit larceny at the corner of West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue last Tuesday at 2:37 p.m. Police said that Garcia was casing a bicycle rack on the corner when he used a knife to remove a bicycle light that was secured to the bike with plastic ties.

Police arrested 21-year-old William Feimer for drug impaired driving at the corner of Irving Place and East 14th Street last Thursday at 2:07 a.m. Feimer was pulled over after he was driving south on Second Avenue at East 14th Street and allegedly failed to signal after making a right turn. Police said that he was also driving between two lanes of traffic. When he was stopped, he allegedly had bloodshot eyes and a smell of marijuana emanating from him. He blew a 0.00 on a Breathalyzer and refused urine testing. Feimer was also charged with possession of marijuana and fail to signal.

Man stabbed in Stuy Town, left paralyzed, cops say

Suspect arrested, charged with attempted murder

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man last Saturday who allegedly robbed and stabbed a man in Stuyvesant Town on East 20th Street on December 16 at 8:11 a.m. Arpad West, 21, was arrested at the 13th Precinct at 10:30 p.m. and police said that the victim involved in the stabbing has been paralyzed.

Police said that at the time of the incident, West stabbed the victim with three knives, once in the back of the neck and vertebrae area and another in the side of the neck near the carotid artery, causing permanent paralysis to his lower body.

While West was allegedly stabbing the victim, he yelled, “I am going to kill you! Give me your PIN number! I want you dead!” and took his credit card and cell phone.

West was seen on surveillance video leaving the building at 10:34 a.m. According to the criminal complaint, the victim couldn’t move his arms or legs directly after the incident and he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent surgery to his spinal cord and carotid artery.

Police said that West attempted to use the credit card five times at an ATM inside the Chase Bank location at 333 East 23rd Street at 10:48 a.m., and he was also allegedly in possession of another credit card that didn’t belong to him.

West allegedly admitted to police that he stabbed the victim in the neck and back of the head and that he wanted to kill him, that he had demanded the PINs from the victim, that he took his credit card and attempted to use it at an ATM multiple times, that he took the victim’s cell phone and that he took a credit card from a second victim.

West was officially charged with assault, attempted murder in the second degree, robbery, grand larceny and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Police said that West’s relationship to the victim was unclear but the two appeared to know each other, and noted that the stabbing was a surprise attack inside an apartment.

West’s next court date is this Thursday. His Legal Aid attorney did not respond to a request for comment by T&V’s deadline.

Delivery man allegedly tried to rape woman in Stuy Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested Luis Corpeno, 27, for an alleged attempted rape that occurred in Stuyvesant Town at 510 East 20th Street on Saturday after midnight. The victim told police that Corpeno was delivering food from the deli Fraiche Maxx, located at 213 Park Avenue South, to her apartment and asked to use her bathroom after he brought the food up.

After using the restroom, he allegedly threw her on the couch and attempted to rip off her clothes. According to the criminal complaint, he grabbed the woman’s face and told her to kiss him. When she refused, he allegedly pushed her onto the couch and tried to rape her.

However, the woman managed to push him away and Corpeno fled down the stairs.

The victim then called police and Corpeno was arrested at the deli soon after. He was also charged with sexual abuse.

A call to Corpeno’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Police Watch, July 17

Assault suspect

Assault suspect

The New York City Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a man who assaulted an off-duty NYPD detective in the confines of the 13th Precinct.
Last Saturday, a 29-year-old off-duty NYPD detective was standing on the southbound 6 train platform at the 23rd Street and Park Avenue station at 6:23 p.m. when the other man punched him. The blow knocked the detective down onto the platform, where he hit his head and sustained a severe head injury. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition. The suspect, who was accompanied by two women, fled the subway station on foot.
According to the Daily News, the detective had gotten into an argument with the man before the suspect punched him in the face. Gothamist reported on Sunday that the cop is now in a medically-induced coma.
The suspect is described as a black man in his early 40s, approximately 5’9” and 200 lbs. He is described as wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Police arrested 36-year-old Shi Chen for reckless endangerment at 344 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 12:25 p.m. Chen was riding his bicycle on Third Avenue approaching East 25th Street. He was allegedly speeding and went through a steady red light. When he was going through the intersection, he almost hit a woman who was crossing the street in the crosswalk with her baby, police said.

After responding to a complaint from a pedestrian about man exposing himself on the sidewalk, police arrested Jason Ecnatiowicz, 33, last Tuesday, in front of the Foundry building at 310 East 23rd Street. Police said upon searching him, they found that he was allegedly in possession of a pipe with unknown drug residue and an unlabeled bottle of pills. He was arrested for alleged possession of a controlled substance, but not public lewdness.

Twenty-six-year-old Cikizwa Nkonzombi was arrested for assault at 112 East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 1:16 p.m. The victim told police that Nkonzombi was upset about the amount of money she was being charged in lawyer fees. She allegedly became enraged and began to throw paper around and strike the victim, who sustained small scratches to his hands.

Police arrested 20-year-old Shadi Torres for grand larceny last Wednesday at 12:24 a.m. in front of 601 East 20th Street. Torres allegedly entered a utility vehicle that had been left unattended and then went joyriding, hitting three vehicles and causing damage to those vehicles and the truck that he was driving.

Police arrested 28-year-old Duraiarasan Arivudai for sexual abuse in front of 161 West 15th Street last Monday at 6:49 p.m. The victim told police that she was walking east on the sidewalk when Arivudai ran up to her and pushed her against a UPS truck, causing her to hit her head on the truck. Arivudai also allegedly grabbed her head and tried to kiss her.

Thirty-six-year-old Ping Du was arrested for violating New York State law in front of 101 West 25th Street last Friday at 4 p.m. Du allegedly gave a massage to an undercover officer and could not produce a valid New York State massage license when asked.

Police arrested 55-year-old Mark Gaffney and 17-year-old Tairyn Rosario for possession of marijuana at 3 East 15th Street last Monday at 8:23 p.m. Gaffney and Rosario were allegedly each holding a joint in plain view on a public sidewalk.

Police arrested 57-year-old Marcos Cardenas at Sixth Avenue and West 26th Street after Cardenas was seen allegedly smoking synthetic marijuana.

A fourteen-year-old boy was arrested for grand larceny in front of 22 East 17th Street last Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. A man told police that he had left his Under Armour bookbag under the seat unattended at McDonald’s while walking his friend out to the front. After he returned to his seat, he saw that his bag was gone. A little while later, an NYPD lieutenant saw the teen at 22 East 17th Street. The teen was looking through the bag and seemed excited that there was a laptop in it. After the teen was arrested and brought to the precinct, the victim confirmed that the bag was his. The value of his stolen property was $1,655.

Police arrested 46-year-old Adolphus Ward for trespassing at the Chase bank at 501 Second Avenue last Wednesday at 6:57 a.m. Ward was allegedly inside the bank’s ATM area without permission.

Police arrested 45-year-old Kenneth Finch at 60 West 23rd Street last Wednesday at 2:57 p.m. for possession of burglar’s tools. Finch was allegedly cutting a lock that secured a bicycle at the above location and the victim confirmed that it was his bike. Finch was also in possession of a knife that was bigger than four inches, police said.

Forty-nine-year-old Gabriel Blake was arrested for weapons possession last Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. in front of 177 West 25th Street. Blake was suspiciously looking into the plastic bag that another man was carrying and he was allegedly carrying a gravity knife in public view. He also had a small gravity knife in his wallet, police said.

Police arrested 27-year-old Rosemary Lee for intoxicated driving at Sixth Avenue and West 26th Street last Thursday at 1:19 a.m. Lee was allegedly operating the vehicle with an obstructed license plate and when she was stopped, police found that she appeared to be driving under the influence of alcohol. She was tested at the scene with a portable Breathalyzer and recorded a level of .134.

Police arrested 50-year-old Garry Boake for possession of a controlled substance at Broadway and West 28th Street last Thursday at 3:45 p.m. Boake was allegedly purchasing marijuana from another unapprehended person at the corner and when police searched him, they found that he was in possession of a controlled substance.

Police have been regularly making arrests of people sleeping or lying on benches in public parks or being in the parks after hours. Last Tuesday morning, police arrested 38-year-old Jose Orta for lying on a bench at Stuyvesant Cove Park at East 23rd Street and the East River.

Twenty-three-year-old Emmalyn Sharf was arrested for grand larceny at 412 Third Avenue last Sunday at 5:47 a.m. Sharf allegedly swiped an iPod from someone’s pocket

Power shutdown at 531 East 20th Street

Residents who live in 531 East 20th Street have been alerted, via, a notice in the lobby, that the power in the building will be shut down from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This is due to scheduled repair work on the elevators with Con Ed and an electrical contractor, following three power outages in the building last week.

According to management, public safety officers will be assigned to the building during the hours of the shutdown to assist with any emergencies. The elevators will be out of service. Residents who require medical assistance or have special needs should contact Public Safety directly at (212) 598-5233. Stairwells have emergency lighting, as do all common hallways.