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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MSBI nurses protest to keep pensions intact

July19 Beth Israel nurses First Ave2

Nurses and other 1199SEIU employees outside Mount Sinai Beth Israel on First Avenue (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

As Mount Sinai continues its downsizing of Beth Israel’s facilities in preparation for a new hospital to eventually open on Second Avenue, nurses and other employees within the union 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East have been bracing for possible cuts to their benefits.

On Thursday, July 12, union members picketed outside hospitals throughout the city that have employees from 1199SEIU, including Beth Israel on First Avenue and 16th Street and Mount Sinai Downtown in Union Square, formerly Beth Israel’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center.

At each facility, over a dozen nurses and other union employees marched or stood outside while chanting and holding signs starting shortly before noon.

“Up with the union, down with the bosses!” and “union busting is disgusting” were a couple of the chants shouted from behind a barricade on First Avenue.

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Elderly woman assaulted at bus stop near Stuy Town

Assault suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a thug who shoved an elderly woman to the ground as she sat on a bench at a bus stop at First Avenue and 14th Street.

Police said on Sunday, April 22 at 7 p.m., a man approached the 82-year-old victim and shoved her off the bench, knocking her to the ground. The woman landed on her arm and later said she had pain in her arm as a result of the assault, although she didn’t go to the hospital.

Police don’t have a description of the man although he’s been captured in some fuzzy surveillance images.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call detectives at the 13th Precinct at (212) 477-7444.

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Muggers threaten woman with hammers near Waterside: Cops

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A man and a teenager were charged with robbery on Saturday morning, soon after allegedly threatening a woman with hammers near the FDR Drive across from Waterside Plaza.

Police said that 23-year-old Thomas Blyden and a 16-year-old boy approached one of the victims at about 6 a.m. while she was walking west on East 25th Street between the FDR and First Avenue.

The victim said that Blyden and the teenager rushed her from behind, both of them allegedly wielding hammers while telling her, “Don’t say anything. Give me your money.”

The victim told police that she gave them all the cash she had before making a run for it towards First Avenue and headed north, while the suspects fled south on First Avenue. Police, however, caught up with the two suspects on First Avenue near East 22nd Street about 15 minutes later.

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More details (and concerns) on 14th St. ‘Busway’

Stuyvesant Town resident AJ Miller expresses her concerns to transit officials at an open house at the 14th Street Y. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The MTA and DOT released details on the “Busway” coming to 14th Street during the expected L train shutdown at Community Board 6’s transportation committee meeting on Monday. The agencies also gathered feedback on the plans during an open house at the 14th Street Y last Wednesday.

The new Busway will be on 14th from Third to Eighth Avenues going westbound and from Ninth to Third Avenues going east.

In both directions between Third and First Avenues, there will be a painted bus lane on the street but traffic will not be restricted and cars will be able to head across 14th Street, whereas traffic will not be allowed to cross anywhere along the Busway.

Meeting attendees asked DOT representatives why the Busway was not extended all the way to First Avenue or Avenue C and DOT representative Aaron Sugiura explained that it wasn’t ideal, but that the negatives outweighed the positives.

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First Ave. spa employee accused of molesting woman

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 54-year-old man after he allegedly groped and tried to kiss a woman during a massage the Angel Hands Salon at 277 First Avenue.

The 29-year-old victim said she was assaulted by the masseur in the salon across from Stuyvesant Town. The New York Post first reported that Xiagliu Zang was arrested for the incident on Saturday. He was charged with forcible touching and sex abuse.

The victim told police that while Zang was performing the massage, he allegedly began to touch her breast forcibly while massaging them, and police said that he also put his mouth on her and forcibly began to suck on her breast. Zang also allegedly kissed her on the lips while allegedly putting his hand in the victim’s underwear between her legs without her consent.

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Woman rescued from L train tracks

Feb26 L Train

By Sabina Mollot

The MTA temporarily suspended L train service between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue in Brooklyn and First Avenue in Manhattan after a woman either jumped or fell into the tracks.

Police said the victim was seen jumping into the tracks and that no crime is suspected at this time, although an MTA spokesperson said the woman fell into the tracks. The FDNY said she was hit by a train. The Post reported she was pulled out from underneath a train where she was trapped.

Her age is unknown. The victim, who the MTA said was injured at the Bedford Avenue stop at 11:20 a.m., was taken to Bellevue Hospital. Responders do not yet have information on her condition.

At 12:17 p.m., NYCTransit tweeted that train service had resumed. An emailed advisory noted passengers should expect delays. Shortly prior to that service had resumed, bypassing the Bedford stop in both directions.

East Side Diner closes 16 months after opening

East Side Diner pictured on a recent night (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

East Side Diner, which opened at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street on Labor Day of 2016, suddenly closed last Wednesday.

Owner Nick Kaloudis, who opened the business in a space that had previously been home to another diner, the East Side Café, told Town & Village he decided to cut his losses due to a few factors.

Reached on the phone, Kaloudis said the main issue is that he recently learned he was on the hook for about $50,000 in back taxes that were owed by the prior diner. He said he fought the landlord, Magnum Real Estate Group, over this in court and lost, and is now attempting to get out of his lease five years early. Other reasons for his deciding to close are a rent hike and the raising of the minimum wage.

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Three men attack victim for his Beats headphones in Kips Bay

Nov30 First Ave Robbery

Kips Bay Robbery suspects

Cops are on the lookout for three men who attacked another man for his Beats headphones at the intersection of East 29th Street and First Avenue.

Police said on Wednesday, November 22 shortly after 1 a.m., the three men approached the 23-year-old victim and punched him in the face and body several times. They then ripped the headphones off him and fled on East 29th Street. The victim, who suffered redness to the left side of his face, refused medical attention.

The suspects are described as black and 18-25 years old. A surveillance photo of the men was taken from a local business prior to the incident.

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.

Embattled First Ave. speakeasy, Visana, closes

Visana/Pisa pizzeria (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Visana, the speakeasy style cocktail lounge that operated behind a pizzeria across from Stuyvesant Town, has closed.

Opened two summers ago at 321 First Avenue, serving gluten free pizza in the front and cocktails with organic spirits in the back, business was rocky from nearly the start due to quality of life complaints from neighbors over noise. Police were also called to the scene over an incident of underage drinking in 2016.

In January, the business lost its liquor license, according to a document from the State Liquor Authority. The SLA cited several reasons, in a decision that was issued last November. Reasons included allowing the business to become noisy and “disorderly” enough to attract police attention, allowing dancing without a cabaret license and not conforming with regulations regarding the employment of security guards.

Meanwhile, according to David Jaffee, Visana’s owner, the business is now sold. Reached via email on Monday, he said he closed the lounge due to problems he was having with neighbors. He said he thought Visana might have succeeded elsewhere but said two neighbors in particular “made it their mission to always call police.”

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Cops investigate suspicious package at First Avenue L train station

Aug17 bomb scare

By Sabina Mollot

At around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the NYPD Bomb Squad cordoned off First Avenue near the L train station on East 14th Street and the station itself after getting a 911 call about a suspicious package. However, by 5:40 p.m., the NYPD gave the all clear. As for what the package, which had been seen under a bench on the southbound platform was, a spokesperson for the department said he didn’t know other than “It wasn’t a bomb.” The photo, taken by Stuyvesant Town resident Henry Beck shows a traffic-free First Avenue at around 15th Street at 5:30 p.m. today.

 

Man rubs against woman on L train at First Avenue

Forcible touching suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who rubbed himself against a female straphanger on the L train last Wednesday.

Police said the victim, a 33-year-old woman, was on the train at the First Avenue station when a man who was standing behind her forcibly rubbed himself against her buttocks. The victim then snapped a photo of the man who was sticking out his tongue before he fled the train. Police said it isn’t clear if the man was grinding against the woman with his crotch.

Update: The victim told DNAinfo he was gyrating his hips repeatedly and she could feel he was aroused.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, approximately 5’6″ with brown eyes and black hair and was last seen wearing an orange t-shirt.

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Gas finally back on at Frank’s

Frank’s Trattoria on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Frank’s Trattoria on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Frank’s Trattoria, the First Avenue restaurant and pizzeria that had been operating without gas for eight weeks, finally got it switched back on. The gas came back on last Wednesday afternoon, which meant that once again the owners, the Pino family, were able to make pizza and other foods that couldn’t be prepared efficiently using just electric stoves.

Restaurant manager Marcello Vasquez told Town & Village once the gas came back on at around 2 p.m. word quickly got around and the restaurant got busy again.

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Creep steals bag from 80-year-old woman in Stuy Town

ST buildings

Stuyvesant Town

By Sabina Mollot

Police are on the lookout for a man who snatched a bag from an 80-year-old woman in Stuyvesant Town on Monday.

At around 12:30 p.m., the woman was approached by the man on the sidewalk in front of 278 First Avenue. He asked her which way Fifth Avenue was and when she pointed in that direction, he grabbed her purse, which had been in a basket in her walker, and fled towards East 18th Street.

The thief got away with $400 in cash and various credit cards. The woman was unharmed.

The suspect is described as being white and six feet tall.

On Tuesday, police from the 13th Precinct stopped by the Stuyvesant Town Community Center to drop off some fliers listing safety tips like not hanging bags in walkers.

Paula Chirhart, a spokesperson for StuyTown property Services, said management has surveillance footage of the incident and has beefed up security in the area.

‘Jew man’ graffiti seen across from Stuy Town

Council Member Dan Garodnick, who took this photo, said this is the first time he's seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community.

Council Member Dan Garodnick, who took this photo, said this is the first time he’s seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community.

By Sabina Mollot

As local elected officials have pointed out, bias crimes are on the rise since the election nationwide.

The community has been seeing its fair share too. Yesterday, Council Member Dan Garodnick snapped a photo of anti-semitic graffiti across from Stuyvesant Town.

“Hate crimes spiking since the election,” Garodnick tweeted on Monday. “This graffiti now appears across from StuyTown & local synagogue (Town and Village). We can’t let this become the new normal.”

Garodnick later said he had never before seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community. He also said this was the only recent incident he was aware of.

The graffiti, above the Papaya hot dog storefront on First Avenue and 14th Street, depicts the spray painted words “Jew man” accompanied by crude drawings of smiley faces with side locks, which are worn by religious Jewish men. It was spray painted large enough to be easily seen from across the street.

The incident comes three weeks after State Senator Brad Hoylman saw two swastikas scratched into the door of the building where he lives in Greenwich Village.

Additionally, a Muslim Baruch College student was harassed on the train at 23rd Street last weekend by men who were trying to grab her hijab and yelling “Donald Trump” and anti-Muslim slurs, according to a Daily News report.

UPDATE: According to a Stuy Town resident, the graffiti didn’t happen post-election. The tipster told T&V she first spotted the spray-painted sentiment in the middle of October.