Homeless man accused of smashing over 40 WiFi kiosks in Manhattan

Juan Rodriguez was arrested in connection with the incidents.

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a week-long LinkNYC kiosk smashing spree in different neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Juan Rodriguez, 41, who’d been staying at the East 30th Street men’s shelter, was picked up by police in front of 230 East 21st Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

From April 16-23, a man, who was seen on surveillance video, smashed 42 Wi-Fi hubs with a brick or other blunt objects in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Flatiron and in midtown.

Rodriguez has been arrested a number of times since 2006, mostly for alleged marijuana possession and criminal mischief, police said.

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Gramercy woman reported missing

Apr18 Arlene Drucker

Arlene Drucker

Police are asking the public’s assistance in finding Arlene Drucker, 69, who was last seen at her home at 125 East 24th Street on Saturday morning.

She is described as being 5’7″ tall, 140 lbs., with a thin build, brown eyes, short blonde-grey hair and missing her teeth. She was last seen wearing a blue sun dress and blue sneakers.

Anyone with information 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

March for Mueller report

 

By Sidney Goldberg

On Thursday evening, a protest was held to demand the full release of the Mueller report that began in Times Square and ended in Flatiron outside Madison Square Park.

The protest was organized by MoveOn.org together with the Nobody is Above the Law Coalition and was said to be one of almost 300 similar protests around the country yesterday.

There were protest songs led by the group Sing Out, Louise! and a few speakers, including the NYC public advocate, from a stage that was set up on Broadway.

Despite the large turnout of at least hundreds, the event was hampered by a delay in marching, with the crowd being held at Times Square and a half. This caused some grumbling among the participants about the need for all the stage time commanded by the speakers.

Small biz bills called helpful, but not enough

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, members of the City Council introduced a package of bills aimed at helping small businesses. They ranged from creating a registry of vacant retail spaces to having landlords sign a “certificate of no harassment” before getting construction permits to providing training to help small business owners digitally market themselves.

Since then, Town & Village reached out to operators of three local storefront businesses to ask if they thought the bills would help them — and if not, what would.

In response, Carole Husiak, who owns the Ibiza Kidz clothing shop in Stuyvesant Town, said she liked all the bills.

That said, Husiak doesn’t feel the bills address what she considers to have been her biggest problem as a business owner for the past 30 years — real estate taxes.

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Man steals Chanel purse from woman at Gramercy restaurant

Mar14 Chanel vanity case

Chanel vanity case

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who swiped a $4,600 Chanel purse from a woman who was eating dinner at Gramercy restaurant Farmer & The Fish.

The victim, a 39-year-old woman, was at the restaurant at 245 Park Avenue South at East 20th Street on Friday, March 8 at about 7:30 p.m. when she got up to go to the bathroom. She told police she left her purse, a Chanel vanity case, on her chair, and when she came back it was gone.

Mar14 chanel purse theft

Theft suspect

The vanity case style of bag ranges in price from $3,600-$8,900 on Chanel’s website.

The suspect believed to have taken it was seen on surveillance footage. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Shoplifter threatens employee at Flatiron Coach store

Mar14 Coach robbery

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who shoved an employee at the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue after he was caught trying to shoplift.

It was on Thursday, March 7 at 6:10 p.m., when the man strolled into the store at East 16th Street and picked up a $295 bag and an $1,100 jacket. When he tried to leave without paying, an employee confronted him. The man then shoved him out of his way and said, “Do you want to get punched or do you want to get stabbed?” The thief then fled out a rear door with the luxury label items.

The suspect is described as black, 25, 5 ft. 11 ins. and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black coat and hat and white sneakers. Because of the alleged threat, he is being sought for robbery, rather than theft.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Police Watch: Man accused of exposing himself, Man arrested for theft at bath house

CRIME DECREASE THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY IN FEBRUARY
This February, New York City experienced 10.8 percent less index crime than in February 2018, the NYPD announced this week. Despite the reduction in overall crime, the NYPD will implement a five-point plan targeted at the violent crime in several neighborhoods throughout the city. The plan includes additional uniformed personnel, strengthening gun prosecutions, expanding the CeaseFire Program by providing interventions to known gang members in Brooklyn and the Bronx and domestic violence gun investigations. The NYPD is also launching a new program, Re-EntryStat, which will closely monitor and analyze the resources provided to people who are re-entering their communities upon release from prison.

MAN ACCUSED OF EXPOSING HIMSELF AT PRINCE GEORGE
Police arrested 33-year-old Saad Sethy for alleged public lewdness that took place inside the Prince George at 14 East 28th Street on February 20 at 3:45 p.m. The building, formerly a hotel, now houses people who are formerly homeless. The victim told police that she is a social worker there and was working when Sethy entered the room, unzipped his pants and showed the victim his penis without her consent. Sethy also allegedly asked her to perform a sex act on him. She told police that she asked him to leave and he fled in an unknown direction. Sethy was arrested inside the 13th precinct on Wednesday, February 27 at 1 p.m.

MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT AT GAY BATH HOUSE
Police arrested 26-year-old Joseph Boodoo for an alleged theft inside the West Side Club, a bathouse for gay and bisexual men at 27 West 20th Street on Sunday, March 3 at 6:21 a.m. A witness told police that Boodoo climbed over a wall from one cubicle in the club to another that belonged to the witness’s friend. The witness then saw Boodoo leave the cubicle with items wrapped in a towel.

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Bike-riding thugs knock man down and steal his phone in Flatiron

feb8bikegangrobbery

Some of the robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for 10 or possibly more people who, while on bikes, snatched a man’s cell phone after one of the cyclists ran into him.

It was on January 27 when the victim, a 45-year-old man, was at the corner of East 24th Street and Park Avenue South. The cyclists, who were described as young and may have been teenagers, approached him and one of them spat at the man. Another cyclist then ran into him, knocking the man to the ground. The victim’s iPhone tumbled out of his hand when he fell and when he tried to reach it, realized it was gone. The iPhone was valued a $800. It isn’t clear if the victim was injured.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Police Watch: Man charged with assaulting officers, Office burglary in Flatiron

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING TWO OFFICERS AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 20-year-old Abdul Sweleh for allegedly assaulting officers inside Bellevue Hospital on Monday, January 7 at 9:25 p.m. Police said that Sweleh punched two peace officers who were attempting to subdue him. Sweleh allegedly punched one of the victims in the face, causing pain and swelling, and caused a possible bone fracture after allegedly punching the other officer in the face.

MAN ALLEGEDLY BURGLARIZED OFFICE IN FLATIRON
Police arrested 32-year-old Isaac Logan for alleged burglaries inside 79 Fifth Avenue that took place last year.

Police said that Logan entered the offices of Fahrenheit 212 at the location while the business was closed and allegedly stole a MacBook on August 11, 2018 around 5 p.m. Police said that Logan could be seen on surveillance video removing two MacBooks from the office on November 22, 2018 at 4:16 p.m.

Logan was also charged with criminal trespass because he was allegedly inside the office on November 14, 2018 at 5 p.m. without permission.

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Veterans Day walk will celebrate centennial of end to World War I

On Sunday, November 4, StuyTown Property Services held a now annual event in which residents were invited to plant flags in the Oval lawn to commemorate Veterans Day. Once placed, the flags formed the words “Thank you.” Participants also listened to live music and enjoyed hot chocolate. Those who missed the flag installations can still attend a brief ceremony on Sunday, November 11 from 9-9:15 a.m. All residents are invite to gather at the Oval Fountain for a flag-raising and musical tribute of Taps for veterans and their families. (Photo by Hermann Reiner)

This Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018, commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I, and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) will host a free walking tour to explore this historic moment. The tour will be led by historian, author, and professional tour guide Miriam Berman, and meet at 11 a.m. in front of the Flatiron building.

Flatiron’s Madison Square has been the site of New York City’s annual Veterans Day memorial ceremony and parade since its inception, the largest such observance in the country. The ceremony takes place at the Eternal Light Memorial Flagpole with remarks from city officials after which the parade commences.

Originally established as Armistice Day, November 11, 1918 marked the end of World War I combat on land, sea and air.

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Tickets sold out at Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood

Lady Mendl’s offered tastings of different sandwiches served with the venue’s high tea service, as well as multiple desserts. (Pictured) , Kristine Guialdo, event planner and house florist; Jennie Morgan, general manager; and front desk manager Judi Darling (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, Gramercy Neighborhood Associates held its sixth annual Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood food festival, this time selling out all of its available tickets.

The annual event is a fundraiser with proceeds going to two local schools, PS 40 and School of the Future. This year, 23 restaurants, some new to the community, offered tasting of popular dishes on their menus, with additional food businesses as sponsors.

Alan Krevis, president of the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, didn’t say how much the event raised, but ticket prices ranged from $30-$80. Ticket sales were capped at 400 to make sure the participating restaurants would have enough food. Unserved portions of food were brought to the homeless via the Bowery Mission.

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Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood returns on September 29

Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, pictured in 2016 (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Sabina Mollot

Back for its sixth year, Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, hosted by Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, Inc., will return to Irving Place on Saturday, September 29. This year, the food festival and fundraiser will offer tastings from 25 eateries.

Each year the event has grown in popularity, with the restaurant owners often the ones to reach out to the event’s organizer to participate, the GNA’s president, Alan Krevis, said.

“We’re happy to have the restaurants back with us and we appreciate all the people who’ve been supporting us for the past six years,” he said.

Over the years, the event, which takes place under an open sky, rain or shine, has been frequented by tourists but mostly attended by local foodies.

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Police Watch: Senior arrested for ‘extortion,’ Man busted for Ainsworth burglary

SENIOR CHARGED WITH HOLDING PHONE FOR RANSOM NEAR STUY TOWN
Police arrested 71-year-old El Shaday Yova for alleged grand larceny by extortion at the corner of Avenue C and East 20th Street on Tuesday, August 14 at 5:53 p.m. The victim told police that he left his phone in a taxi and when he called his number, Yova allegedly answered and said that he wanted a reward for finding the phone. Police said that Yova agreed to meet the victim in front of 321 Avenue C to claim a reward, and prior to getting arrested, the victim said that Yova refused to give him his cell phone back until he had the money. Yova was also charged with possession of stolen property.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR AINSWORTH BURGLARY
Police arrested a second suspect in connection with an alleged burglary at the Ainsworth at 111 East 18th Street that took place in July. Police arrested 26-year-old Hnsel Devron for the burglary on Monday, August 13 at 3:30 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

Police said that Devron and one other person who wasn’t arrested pried open a side door at the bar and entered the building without permission on July 12 around 9 p.m. They reportedly walked out of the bar with two bags containing property. Police did not have further information about what property was taken. The bar was reportedly closed to the public but still contained several liquor bottles. Police also said that technicians were able to lift fingerprints from the door and matched them to Devron.

Town & Village previously reported that 34-year-old Hector Rosario was arrested for the burglary at the time of the incident. Rosario was allegedly acting as the lookout while Devron and a third suspect reportedly broke into the bar. Police caught Rosario three blocks away at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street and charged him with possession of stolen property.

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Impacted businesses advised to file claims with Con Edison or insurance

Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joe Esposito speaks to building owners at a meeting held on Monday. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Flatiron businesses owners impacted by last week’s steam blast were told on Monday night that they may have some recourse for their losses in the form of insurance claims or claims with Con Edison.

Representatives from the utility, the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Health, Small Business Services and the Department of Environmental Protection offered updates on the ongoing investigation and clean-up effort during a meeting at the Clinton School in Union Square on Monday night.

Joseph Esposito, the commissioner for the Office of Emergency Management, said that as of Monday night, 17 buildings had been cleared for reoccupancy and the OEM announced that 16 additional buildings had been cleared by Wednesday morning, with 12 still needing to be cleaned and checked before they can be reoccupied.

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City putting Flatiron evacuees in hotels

Fifth Ave looking south on Monday

Con Ed crew at work at the explosion site (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

As of Tuesday afternoon, the city said it is working with the Hotel Trade Council and Hotel Association of New York City to help displaced Flatiron residents, and that 10 families and one dog had so far been assisted.

Residents seeking a temporary room were advised to visit the reception center at the Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street, which has remained open. It’s open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. each day and according to the city, has seen 362 visitors since Thursday.

Hotel 17 in Stuyvesant Square, which now has an extended stay model and offers emergency housing, is one of the hotels housing evacuees, an employee there said. However, he said he couldn’t reveal how many individuals were staying there as a result of the blast.

Out of the 49 buildings evacuated for asbestos testing, 27 have been cleared for residents to return. Twelve contained some sort of debris that must be cleaned before they can be reoccupied.

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