Man busted for drunk driving after car flips

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested a man for drunk driving after his car reportedly flipped over and burst into flames on the FDR near East 15th Street last week. 

Police said that 38-year-old Cesar Holder was driving south on the FDR on Wednesday, October 9 around 5 a.m. when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle while on the highway and the car flipped over, then bursting into flames. 

Bystanders told police that the driver then crawled out of the vehicle and he was standing nearby when officers responded to the scene because of a call about a motor vehicle collision. 

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Safety concerns about new Kips Bay bike lane

Waterside Tenants Association President Janet Handal expressed concern last week that the new shared bike path underneath the FDR at the heliport is too narrow for both bikes and pedestrians. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Waterside Plaza tenants rallied last Thursday to protest the newly-installed shared bike/pedestrian path for the East River Greenway that runs adjacent to the heliport at East 34th Street that the Department of Transportation installed within the last month.

Waterside Tenants Association President Janet Handal told Town & Village this week that there are a number of issues with the new configuration, primarily around the newly-painted lane by the heliport.

“It is a major thoroughfare for parents with children in strollers going to the United Nations International School and the British International School,” she said, noting that before the lane was painted recently it was a pedestrian path, but the new lane between 33rd and 34th Streets designates it as a shared bike and pedestrian path, making it cramped when both cyclists and pedestrians are there at once.

“It’s certainly not room for bikes going both directions and people walking,” she added.

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Man murdered in Kips Bay, suspect arrested

Friends House on East 25th StreetFriends House on East 25th Street (Photo via Wikimedia)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 40-year-old homeless man on Sunday for the stabbing death of a 54-year-old man, Moses Ybarra, inside an apartment complex on East 25th Street over the weekend.

Ashraf Ahmed allegedly stabbed Ybarra inside his apartment at 130 East 25th Street in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 9. Ybarra had multiple stab wounds to his chest, forehead, arms and leg, and there was blood all over the room, the district attorney’s office said.

Police also reportedly recovered two bloody knives next to where Ybarra was laying. EMS pronounced Ybarra dead at 2 a.m.

Police said that surveillance video showed Ahmed entering the building at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8 and leaving around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, and no one else was seen entering of exiting the building during that time. Continue reading

Police Watch: Gunpoint robbery at Pinkberry, Teen arrested for groping classmate

One of two robbery suspects

Cops are looking for two men believed to be behind a gunpoint robbery at a Pinkberry near West 14th Street.
Police said that the suspects turned a gun on employees at a Pinkberry at 523 Sixth Avenue last Wednesday and ordered them to the back of the shop. The men assaulted the employees, forced them to open the safe and remove $1,600 in cash as well as their personal property. The suspects then fled south on Sixth Avenue and the victims were taken to Lenox Hill Hospital to be treated for bruising and cuts. The first suspect is a black man who was wearing a jacket with a hood and a backpack and the second suspect is a Hispanic man who was wearing a jacket with a red symbol on it.
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 or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police arrested a teenager for sexual abuse inside the Washington Irving building at 40 Irving Place last Wednesday at 12:59 p.m. The victim told police that while she was standing on the platform in Union Square waiting for a Queens-bound N train two days earlier, the suspect forcibly kissed her, as well as groped her breasts and vagina over her clothing. She told police that she repeatedly asked him to stop but he continued to grope her on and off for the entire ride into Queens. Police said that the victim and the suspect knew each other and are both students of a school at the Washington Irving campus. The suspect’s name is being withheld because of his age.
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Solar One replacement building breaks ground

City Council Dan Garodnick, Solar One Executive Director Chris Collins and Manhattan Borough Preident Gale Brewer hold hard hats at a ceremony for Solar 2 on Tuesday. (Brewer’s forehead bandage was due to a recent car collision, though she said it looked worse than it was.) (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

After 10 years of planning, environmental non-profit Solar One announced a timeline for the construction of the new, replacement educational center known as Solar 2 on Tuesday, ideally to be completed by the end of next year.

Dina Elkan, communications director for Solar One, said that the incentive to finish within that time frame is partially because city budget is fixed so the funding from elected officials needs to be used by then. One of the challenges will be the overlapping East Side Coastal Resiliency project but Elkan said that since it’s the same architectural firm working on both, the two projects will be coordinating throughout the process.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking on Tuesday, Solar One also acknowledged outgoing Councilmember Dan Garodnick’s commitment to the project from the beginning of his tenure at City Hall.

“When he was elected 12 years ago, he came here with his campaign manager and asked how he could help,” Solar One Executive Director Chris Collins said. “His vision and willingness to examine thorny problems makes him unique to the community.”

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Baby born on FDR Drive

Police officers with the newborn (Photos courtesy of NYPD)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

It’s a boy! A baby was born on the FDR Drive after police received a call about a woman in labor near East 20th Street early Tuesday morning.

Detective Michael Sharpe of the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad was heading north on the FDR when he heard the dispatch call but when he arrived at the location, he didn’t see anyone in need of assistance. He continued to look around on the northbound side of the FDR and eventually found the family on the highway near East 47th Street.

Sharpe approached the vehicle and found that the woman was in labor and the baby’s father was receiving detailed instructions on child delivery from the 911 dispatcher. Sharpe and the father assisted the pregnant woman in the delivery of a baby boy.

They then wrapped the newborn in a blanket to keep him warm and Detectives Robert Mirfield and Joe Conway, who arrived shortly after his birth, cleared the baby’s airway and cut the umbilical cord.

The newborn

The newborn

Mirfield and Conway work with NYPD Emergency Service Unit Truck 1, which is stationed at the 13th Precinct and the detectives are trained New York State Emergency Medical technicians.

After highway patrol officers flagged down a nearby ambulette, the mother and newborn were taken with an escort to New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. The mother and baby, whose names weren’t released by police, were reported to be in stable condition.

Police Watch: Man shot at FDR apartment, Police looking for bank robber

Knife recovered from the scene

Knife recovered from the scene

A police officer shot a man on Tuesday after responding to a call about an emotionally disturbed person at 911 FDR Drive. Police arrived at the scene just after midnight, but by then the man had left the location and fled to 765 FDR Drive near East 8th Street. A sergeant and a police officer in uniform assigned to Police Service Area 4 arrived at 765 FDR Drive and headed to the sixth floor, where they believed the man ran to. Once on the sixth floor, the officers heard a loud commotion on the seventh floor and went up to investigate. The officers went to an apartment on the seventh floor, where they encountered a 25-year-old man armed with a knife. After repeated calls for the man to drop the knife, police said he advanced towards the officer in a threatening manner. The sergeant then fired his gun, the single shot striking the man in the chest. EMS responded and took the man to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition and he was arrested. Both officers were taken to Beth Israel Hospital for evaluation. A knife was recovered at the scene and the investigation is ongoing. The man’s name has not been released.

Police arrested 22-year-old Gage Quinones last Friday at 7:45 a.m. for an assault that took place on November 5, 2015 at the corner of Union Square East and East 16th Street. The victim told police that he felt a hard object hit him in the back of the head. When he turned to face the direction of the blow, he reported that Quinones was standing there holding a brick and the suspect allegedly used the brick to hit the victim in the face as well. Police said that the assault caused the victim to suffer cuts on his head and face, as well as four broken bones, swelling and substantial pain.
Quinones was also previously charged with assault in October 2014 after he allegedly mugged someone in Union Square. That incident took place at the same intersection and police said that Quinones punched a man who was talking on the phone, causing him to drop it, after which he allegedly grabbed $100 in cash from the victim’s pocket as well as his phone from the ground.

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Man arrested for fatal hit-and-run on FDR Drive

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man for allegedly leaving the scene after a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive that killed Anthony Pham, a 29-year-old San Francisco resident.

Mirsad Dzaferovic, 34, was collared on Saturday morning for the accident that occurred a day earlier, in the early morning, on the northbound side of the FDR near East 28th Street. The FDNY received a call around 12:35 a.m. and police responded to the scene at about 1:05 a.m.

When they got there, officers discovered Pham lying in the roadway with head trauma. Dzaferovic had allegedly left the scene without waiting for police and allegedly continued to drive north on the FDR. Pham was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police tracked down Dzaferovic through vehicle parts, including a mirror and door handle with grey paint, that were scattered in the street close to the victim. A check on the serial number of the parts showed that they were from a Toyota Camry and police recovered a car matching that description that was also missing a side mirror and door handle that was registered to Dzaferovic.

The suspect allegedly told police that he was driving that car at the date, time and location of the crash.

A preliminary investigation found that the victim was either standing on the FDR or attempting to cross the highway when he was hit by the car, but no further information about how he got into the roadway was available.

Man killed in hit-and-run on the FDR

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 29-year-old man was hit by a car and killed in a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive near East 28th Street early on Friday. FDNY received a call around 12:35 a.m. and police responded to the scene, the northbound side, at about 1:05 a.m. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation found that the victim was either standing on the FDR or was attempting to cross the highway when he was hit by the car, but no further information about how he got into the roadway was available. Police said that he was struck by a dark grey vehicle that did not remain on the scene and continued north. The NYPD said that the investigation is ongoing by the department’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Identification of the victim is pending family notification.

Police Watch: Mother arrested for ‘orchestrating’ fight, Woman arrested for bus stop ‘assault’

Kiana Johnson, 34, was arrested for reckless endangerment and assault in front of 117 East 14th Street last Monday at 11:08 a.m. Police said that Johnson orchestrated a fight between her daughter and her friends as well as the victim. Johnson can allegedly be seen on video stating, “You better hit this b—- before I do.” Police said that Johnson also had her daughter and her friends jump the victim and kick the girl while she was on the ground.

Twenty-year-old Brendon Alleyne was arrested for robbery and weapons possession near the National Arts Club in front of 14 Gramercy Park South last Tuesday at 11 p.m. Alleyne allegedly approached the victim from behind while holding an object in his right hand. When he saw a police officer nearby, he allegedly put the object into his right pants pocket and backed into a dark shaded area. Upon further investigation, police said that Alleyne was in possession of a knife. No injuries were reported.

Police arrested 56-year-old Derrick Barnett for intoxicated driving, being an unlicensed operator and impaired driving last Sunday at 7:41 a.m. at the corner of Second Avenue and East 23rd Street. Police said that Barnett was driving the car and was behind the wheel when he accidentally hit another vehicle.
When police approached his vehicle, they could smell a very strong odor of alcohol on Barnett’s breath. He also allegedly had watery, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Police said that he was uncooperative and unable to follow simple instructions. He allegedly blew .140 on a Breathalyzer.
Police said that further investigation showed that Barnett didn’t have a license to drive and had a prior DWI conviction. He was also charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

Police arrested 58-year-old Mans Rezaeilipaei at the FDR and East 25th Street last Thursday at 9:28 a.m. for being an “aggravated unlicensed operator.” Police said that he has been arrested multiple times for driving without a license and the most recent charge is a felony.
Rezaeilipaei was allegedly involved in a motor vehicle accident in the southbound right lane. When police arrived, Rezaeilipaei was in the car with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. Police said that Rezaeilipaei is also diabetic. His blood sugar was 34 and he was close to losing consciousness while police were at the scene.

Karen Parr, 52, was arrested for assault at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 23rd Street last Wednesday at 2:33 p.m. The victim told police that she was sitting at the M23 bus stop when Parr came up to her and asked if she could have her seat. The victim gave Parr the seat but then Parr accused her of kicking her repeatedly in the leg. Parr then allegedly jumped up and grabbed the victim’s wrist, telling her to stop kicking her and leaving fingernail scratches on her wrist. Police said that Parr had no visible injuries on her leg and there were no other arrests in connection with the incident.

Twenty-year-old Canseco Steven and a teenager were arrested last Thursday at 1 p.m. for burglary, criminal mischief, possession of stolen property and criminal trespass. Police said that Steven and the teenager entered the Choza Taqueria at 66 Madison Avenue and stole $860 in cash. They also allegedly damaged $3,000 worth of food. The teenager’s name is being withheld due to his age.

Police arrested 32-year-old Bernard Castillo for assault of a peace officer at Union Square West and East 14th Street last Friday at 5:38 p.m. Two officers approached Castillo to issue him a citation for having an open container of alcohol in the park and police said that he began to walk away.
When one of the officers grabbed him to stop him from walking away, Castillo allegedly threw a punch at the officer and began fighting with the officer by punching and kicking at him. Police said that Castillo also kept trying to pull away while they were attempting to handcuff him. He was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Police arrested 65-year-old Steven Robinson for assault of a peace officer in front of Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 10 Union Square East last Tuesday at 5:50 p.m. Police said that the victim was an on-duty EMT and was helping Robinson into the ambulance when he hit her in the face, causing pain and scratches on her neck that started bleeding.

Police arrested 28-year-old William Ryan for theft of services last Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. Police said that Ryan had previously gone to County Restaurant at 34 East 20th Street with other people who weren’t arrested, ordered food and left without paying.

Police arrested 29-year-old Gulchera Sheralshoeva for grand larceny and forgery last Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. Police said that Sheralshoeva took a check from the victim, wrote it out in her own name in the sum of $15,000 and signed the victim’s name on the check. She then allegedly deposited the check into her personal bank account without permission or authority to do so.

Police arrested three people for drugs outside 322 East 30th Street last Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Juan Sicard, 36, and Sammy Velez, 37, were charged with intent to sell a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance and allegedly sold a quantity of controlled substance to a 41-year-old woman, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Police arrested 29-year-old Heather Brown for petit larceny and possession of stolen property last Tuesday at 12:55 p.m. in front of the CVS Pharmacy at 215 Park Avenue South. Brown allegedly took seven ice cream containers and concealed them in a black shopping bag, walked by the register and attempted to leave without paying.

Anthony Persaud, 38, was arrested for petit larceny outside the Joe Fresh at 110 Fifth Avenue last Friday at 7:11 p.m. Police said that Persaud strolled into the store, swiped some clothes, then fled on foot.
After he was arrested, he was found in possession of an Air-O-Swiss travel humidifier with no receipt. He allegedly said that he bought it with a credit card on Bleecker Street but he was not in possession of a credit card. After contacting the Basics Plus store at 194 Third Avenue, the manager told police that a man with a similar description stole that item at around 6 p.m. that day.
Persaud was also charged with weapons possession and possession of stolen property.

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Remembering the Ave. C sanitation garage

Dear Town & Village,

I am writing about your October 9 page one article, “CB6 offers proposal: sanitation garage could go near Con Ed.”

It went on to say, “(there’s) a plan that presents the possibility of building the facility near the Con Edison plant at East 14th Street and Avenue C.” (That’s where the big gas tanks used to be; Stuyvesant Town was – out of what used to be known as “The Gashouse District” and is now a sports field for Little League baseball and soccer.) For Community Board 6 it would be an alternative to building a garage the Department of Sanitation wants to build at East 25th Street between First Avenue and the FDR.

Once upon a time, there was a sanitation garage on Avenue C between 16th and 17th Streets and it was there before STPCV was built. It was enormous, taller than ST buildings and it was large enough to hold several ST buildings with space to spare. From my parents’ window, you could see ST buildings, Playground 4, the FDR Drive, the East River and “the building.”

It was referred to as “The Sanitation Garage” or “the building” because there was nothing designating its name. That was just one of its mysteries. All anyone knew was that sanitation trucks (called “garbage trucks” then), snow plows and other snow removal equipment and other vehicles for various city uses parked there. You rarely saw a vehicle enter and never saw a vehicle leave. They made very little noise entering the building’s steep ramp. No one I knew ever saw a vehicle leave it. There was never a light on in any of its windows.

The only sign of life in it ever were yellow painted block letters on 23 of its many thousands of windows spelling out “Welcome, Colonel John Glenn.” This was in 1962, after he became the first American to orbit the earth. He was in New York for a ticker-tape parade and the FDR Drive overpass by it. My guess is he didn’t see it while playing handball in Pat’s Park.

The sign stayed on its windows until the building was town down in the 1980s.

I remember thinking, “they shouldn’t tear this building down because they don’t build them like this anymore and they’ll need it sometime in the future.” It would have solved the problem of building a new one on East 14th and Avenue C (and eliminating the sports field there now) or building a new one on East 25th Street.

If a new sanitation garage is built on East 15th and Avenue C, it might outlive STPCV. In 2065, there may not be an STPCV. Who knows what the future holds?

STPCV might be bought up, leveled and replaced by higher-priced high rises. Its tenants may find the sanitation garage not “befitting” their neighborhood and pressure the powers that be into building one some place else (possibly East 25th Street). Then they would have a lovely field at East 15th and Avenue C worthy of their children’s need for a large sports field.

A cautionary tale,

Richard Luksin
Minneapolis, MN

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