Council candidate focused on housing, mental health services

Jasmin Sanchez (Photo courtesy of Jasmin Sanchez)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Lifelong Lower East Side resident Jasmin Sanchez had already been working in public service for most of her career when she decided to try to transfer those skills to the City Council.

Sanchez, who still lives in LaGuardia Houses in the Lower East Side where she grew up, has experience in the nonprofit sector, working with community leaders at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) and in State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office, which is where she said she learned how to be a community advocate. She is running for the Council seat in District 2, with City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez being term-limited out next year.

A major focus of Sanchez’s campaign is mental health services, primarily because it’s an issue that ties into not only healthcare, but can affect housing and education as well, and has an impact on homelessness. She added that she feels having affordable housing can sometimes be the lynchpin for communities and families, and that it can be especially detrimental for students if they have a tenuous living situation.

“If you don’t have housing, you don’t focus as much on everything else and your performance suffers,” she said.

“It’s not a stable life for kids from shelters. It can be very stressful for them not to have a stable place to live. Schools have mental health services but they have to be holistic and make sure that families are receiving those services as well.”

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Police Watch: Senior arrested for threats, Bellevue patient arrested for assault

SENIOR ARRESTED IN KIPS BAY FOR THREATENING MAN WITH KNIFE
Eighty-year-old Sergio Richiez was arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on a man who confronted him for urinating in the street.
Police said that according to the victim Richiez was urinating at the corner of East 28th Street and First Avenue last Monday at noon. When the other man angrily demanded to know why he was doing this, in response, the octogenarian allegedly pulled a kitchen knife out of his pocket and waved it at the victim. He was arrested for menacing and weapons possession. There were no injuries.

BELLEVUE PATIENT ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING OFFICER
Police arrested 55-year-old Harvey Henry for assault of a peace officer in front of 421 First Avenue last Thursday at 12:33 p.m. Police said that Henry was being discharged from the Bellevue Psych ward and an officer was attempting to handcuff him for transport when he allegedly punched the officer, causing an injury that required five stitches.

MAN ATTACKS FEMALE DUANE READE EMPLOYEE
Police arrested a 32-year-old man after he beat up a woman working at a Kips Bay Duane Reade. Police said that the man entered the store at 465 Second Avenue between East 26th and 27th Streets last Sunday and began harassing the employees there, causing alarm. The employees told him to leave multiple times and he refused, then began following one of the employees around the store and allegedly grabbed her hair, punching her in the face and head, and purposely broke the victim’s glasses. Police said that the man refused to give his name or date of birth.
“John Doe” was arrested for assault and criminal mischief

MEN BUSTED FOR HEROIN ON IRVING PLACE
Thirty-year-old Max Goren, 38-year-old Jason Hawk and 32-year-old Igor Pasikov were arrested for possession of a controlled substance at the corner of Irving Place and East 15th Street last Thursday at 3:25 p.m. Police said that the three men were in possession of heroin that was in plain view on a public sidewalk. Goren was also in possession of alleged cocaine and police said that Hawk was in possession of alleged Clonazepam.

MAN ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING AT GUITAR CENTER
Police arrested 42-year-old Dashan Pinckney for criminal trespass inside the Guitar Center at 25 West 14th Street last Thursday at 6:16 a.m. An employee told police that when he was opening the store that morning, he saw Pinckney sitting inside on a staircase without permission to be there. Police said that Pinckney had gained access to the store while it was closed.

MAN ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING AT BETH ISRAEL
Police arrested 32-year-old Jamel Holiday for criminal trespass inside Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital at 281 First Avenue last Wednesday at 4:26 p.m. Police said that Holiday was medically cleared to leave the hospital but he refused to leave after being discharged.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT ON WEST 23RD
Police arrested 21-year-old Issaga Sow for assault in front of 171 West 23rd Street last Thursday at 9:02 p.m. Police said that Sow punched the victim in the face, causing a number of cuts. No further information about what prompted the attack was available.

MAN NABBED FOR BURGLARY AT CLEANERS
Police arrested 22-year-old Philyaw Najre for burglary inside Apple Cleaners at 149 West 24th Street last Friday at 1:23 a.m. Police said that Najre could be seen on surveillance video through a live feed inside a closed business without permission to be there. Police said that Najre could be seen walking away from the store and when he was searched immediately afterwards, he was allegedly in possession of items stolen from the store.

MEN ARRESTED FOR UNION SQUARE BURGLARY
Police arrested 24-year-old Blake Cummings and 25-year-old Sow Alioune for burglary and possession of stolen property last Friday at 1:43 a.m. at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 15th Street. Police said that Cummings and Alioune entered the basement of a nearby building and took items without permission. Police said that the basement is a restricted area, but no further information was available about the specific building.

MAN BUSTED FOR HEINEKEN THEFT
Police arrested 24-year-old Gary Williams for petit larceny at the corner of Union Square West and East 14th Street last Friday at 2:32 a.m. Police said that Williams took a 12-pack case of Heineken beer in a nearby store and attempted to walk out without paying. While police were attempting to place Williams in custody, he allegedly resisted by pulling his arms away, tensing up his body and refusing to be handcuffed. He was also charged with resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
Thirty-year-old Reginald Wilson and 24-year-old Shaquille Urgent were arrested for a fight in front of 37 West 24th Street last Sunday at 5:17 a.m. Police said that Wilson and Urgent got into a fight with another person, causing swelling to the victim’s head and face, as well as a bloody lip and cuts to his neck and chest.

DRIVER ARRESTED AT FIRST AND EAST 23RD
Police arrested 53-year-old Aurelio Romero for allegedly intoxicated driving at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street last Friday at 1:41 a.m. Police said that Romero was driving north on First Avenue towards East 23rd Street and was allegedly driving erratically, swerving in and out of the lane. Police conducted a vehicle stop and while talking with Romero, police found that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, along with slurred speech, bloodshot, watery eyes and an unsteady gait.

Artist with MS protests Trumpcare by playing dead

june15 Solimanto in coffin

Rosary Solimanto in a handmade coffin in East Midtown (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

A chronically ill artist with a portfolio full of medically-themed performances protested Trumpcare on Tuesday by lying in a coffin on an East Side sidewalk.

For Rosary Solimanto’s newest installation, “Dead Without Health Care,” the performer, who has Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis and a rare condition called hypothyroidism, told Town & Village that she’d be in the coffin for 24 hours. When a T&V reporter got to the scene after 1 p.m. when she began, it was already 94 degrees out, but Solimanto remained in character, lying corpse-like as confused passersby tried to make sense of what they were seeing.

In an initial press release, the address given was Third Avenue in Kips Bay but the event wound up taking place about a mile north. The location was chosen because it was outside the building where New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have offices.

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Kips Bay man faces child porn charges

June1 Jacob Schwartz

Jacob Schwartz (Photo via Facebook)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

New York City employee and Democratic activist Jacob Schwartz, 29, was arrested on child pornography charges inside the 13th Precinct last Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

According to the district attorney’s office, the Kips Bay resident has been under investigation since last November.

Police said that Schwartz gave officers his signed consent to search his laptop on March 29 inside his Third Avenue apartment.

When police searched the computer, they found that he had more than 3,000 images and 89 videos of nude girls as young as six months through age 16 engaging in “sexual conduct” with men, including sexual intercourse and oral sex.

CBS New York reported last Friday that Schwartz had been working in the Department of Design and Construction for the last two years and was the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats.

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Man arrested for bank robberies in Kips Bay, Upper East Side

Robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 50-year-old Jon Waulters on Wednesday in connection with seven bank robberies throughout the city, including one in Kips Bay.

Waulters allegedly got away with cash after passing a demand note to a teller inside a Kips Bay Chase Bank at 450 Third Avenue between East 31st and 32nd Streets on March 13 around 1:10 p.m.

Police said that Waulters’ spree began on March 9 on the Upper East Side and he allegedly robbed another bank on the Upper East Side on May 11.

Waulters allegedly conducted two bank robberies on the Upper East Side about 15 minutes apart last Wednesday, reportedly pointing a gun at a teller while passing a demand note inside the HSBC at 1165 Third Avenue at East 68th Street and getting away with cash from a Capital One at 1295 Second Avenue, also at East 68th, at 4:17 p.m. He fled south on Second Avenue but was arrested about a half an hour later at 4:49 p.m.

Waulters was charged with seven counts of robbery.

Police looking for men behind two attempted bank robberies

May11 Chase robber number two

Kips Bay Chase Bank attempted robbery suspect

Police are looking for two men who attempted to rob local Chase Banks in separate incidents.

On Tuesday at around 5:30 p.m., a man strolled into a bank at 501 Second Avenue and 28th Street, approached a teller and passed a note demanding money. The teller didn’t comply, though, and the suspect fled the scene. He was last seen walking southbound on Second Avenue.

The would-be robber of the Kips Bay bank is described as being white, 35-40 years old, approximately 5’5″ tall, with a slim build. Police also said he had a light complexion with blisters around his mouth and a tattoo on his neck. At the time of the incident he was wearing blue jeans, a beige baseball cap, a gray sweatshirt and a black hooded jacket.

Police are also looking for a man who tried to rob a Chase Bank in NoMad on Friday, but left emptyhanded.

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Child staying at Administration for Children’s Services building goes missing

 

Apr6 Missing

XAVIER REYES

 

A 12-year-old named Xavier Reyes, whose current residence is the Administration for Children’s Services at 492 First Avenue, has been missing since Tuesday evening at 8 p.m., police said.

He was last seen in Kips Bay in the vicinity of 28th Street and First Avenue.

He is Hispanic, 5’1″ tall, 174 pounds and has red hair, brown eyes and a light complexion. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, a gray shirt and gray sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

 

Man gropes woman inside East 24th Street building

Mar30 groperCops are on the lookout for a man who followed a woman into her building on East 24th Street and Lexington Avenue and groped her before taking off.

According to police on Monday, March 20 at around 6 a.m., the suspect followed the woman into the building and into the elevator. Once inside he grabbed her breasts over and under her shirt. The victim managed to push him off though, and he ran out of the building, heading east on 24th Street.

The victim, 54, wasn’t injured.

The suspect is described as black, 45 to 50 years old and 5’6″ to 5’7″ tall. He last seen wearing a green hat, a green jacket, black and white sweatpants and black and white sneakers.

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 www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Man wanted for East Side bank robberies

Robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted for two bank robberies on the East Side.

Most recently, the suspect went into a Chase Bank at 450 Third Avenue between East 31st and 32nd Streets yesterday around 1:10 p.m. and passed a demand note to a bank teller. Police said that the teller complied and gave the suspect an unspecified amount of money. He then fled in an unknown direction.

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Homeless man arrested for violent Kips Bay mugging

Darnell Williams

By Sabina Mollot

A homeless man from the 30th Street men’s shelter has been arrested for allegedly bashing a woman over the head with an unknown object multiple times in an attempt to get her bag.

Police say Darnell Williams, 29, was picked up at the shelter, known locally as Bellevue, on Thursday night, after being recognized by police from surveillance footage.

Cops said Williams has a lengthy criminal history and was released from prison two months ago after a five year stint for a robbery upstate.

He also has arrests for grand larceny in upstate areas as well as an arrest for criminal trespass in the city.

In the most recent incident, on February 26, the victim, a 37-year-old woman was walking along Second Avenue at 34th Street when a man approached her from behind and struck her on the head. He then pulled on her bag, knocking her down in the process. While the victim was still on the ground, her attacker continued to hit her in the head with the object before fleeing empty-handed. The woman was taken to NYU Hospital for treatment.

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In new book, Bellevue doctor says physicians need to listen to patients

Feb23 Danielle Ofri

Bellevue Doctor Danielle Ofri (photo courtesy of author)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Dr. Danielle Ofri, PhD, MD, a Kips Bay resident and Bellevue Hospital doctor who’s authored four nonfiction books, has just released her fifth, on the need for better communication between patient and doctor.

The book was inspired by a number of her own patients’ inability to tell someone else what their concerns are coupled with doctors’ habits of not listening as carefully as they should.

She gave one example of how after a while she began tuning out a patient “who was very demanding of my time,” Ofri said. He’d annoy her by leaving multiple, angry messages on her answering machine demanding to see her right away. His habit of panicking and the constant messages wore on Ofri, and while she knew he had a bad heart, she was surprised when one day he actually collapsed in her office.

“He was nervous about his heart and the terror of dying animated him,” she said. “I’m hearing obnoxious and angry demands and was not recognizing his fear of death,” Ofri admitted.

This example is mentioned in the book, What Patients Say; What Doctors Hear ($25, $24 as an e-book).

Ofri, who’s worked at Bellevue for 20 years, said often patients are too embarrassed to discuss their deeper concerns with their doctor like the real reasons they’re not taking their prescribed medication. Affordability is often, though not always a factor.

“Patients are very shy about saying it costs too much or they’re splitting it in half or there’s an eating disorder or domestic violence.”

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Police Watch: Man arrested for swinging crowbar at McDonald’s, Man wanted for cell phone store thefts

MAN NABBED FOR SWINGING CROWBAR AND MAKING THREATS MCDONALD’S
Police arrested 38-year-old George Boone for menacing inside the McDonald’s at 26 East 23rd Street last Thursday at 8:58 a.m. The victim told police that he was waiting in line at the restaurant when Boone allegedly came up behind him and began swinging a metal crowbar at him. The victim said that Boone said, “Who wants to die today?”

Cell phone theft suspect

Cell phone theft suspect

MAN WANTED FOR MULTIPLE CELL PHONE STORE THEFTS
The NYPD is looking for a man believed to be behind a string of thefts from cell phone stores in Gramercy, Midtown and the Upper West Side.
The suspect reportedly swiped two cell phones from a Verizon Store at 395 Third Avenue on Sunday, January 22 at 5:15 p.m. by cutting the security devices. Police said that he fled in an unknown direction.
Earlier in the month on Saturday, January 7 at 3:25 p.m., the suspect took two cell phones from an AT&T Store located at 2066 Broadway near West 72nd Street and fled without paying. Twenty minutes later, he reportedly cut the security devices on two cell phones inside a Metro PC store located at 664 Ninth Avenue at West 46th Street and fled without paying.
On January 18 at 6:35 p.m., the suspect reportedly entered a T-Mobile store at 610 Ninth Avenue near West 43rd Street and removed two cell phones by cutting the security devices, then fled north on Ninth Avenue.
The suspect is described as 5’10”, 165-175 lbs. and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a quarter-length over coat. He has a distinctive scar on the left side of his head right above the ear.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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.

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This pair has been stealing wallets from women at bars since October

Feb23 wallet theft woman.jpg

Female suspect

Police are looking for a man and woman who’ve been working together to steal women’s wallets at bars in Union Square, Kips Bay, Greenwich Village and the East Village. In numerous cases, the thieves have then withdrawn money from victims’ bank accounts at banks in the Bronx or made fraudulent purchases at stores.

The strings of thefts started in October, and according to police, the pattern is as follows:

On Friday, October 14 at 10:30 p.m., one or both suspects approached a 27 year-old female victim at Fiddle Sticks at 56 Greenwich Avenue near Seventh Avenue and swiped her wallet. Later, $800 from her account was withdrawn at a Chase Bank at 90 East 170 Street in the Bronx.

On Friday, October 21 between 6 and 10 p.m., one of the suspects stole a wallet from a 27-year-old woman inside V-Bar at 132 First Avenue and St. Marks Place. One or both of the thieves then later withdrew $1,200 in cash from her account inside Wells Fargo Bank, located at 3709 Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx. They also charged $357 to the victim’s credit cards.

On Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m., a 35-year-old woman at Banc Café, located at 431 Third Avenue near East 30th Street had her wallet stolen from her purse, which had been hanging on a chair. The wallet contained $140 in cash and three credit cards. Police believe the male suspect later charged $136 to one of the victim’s credit cards at a Starbucks.

feb23-wallet-theft-man

Male suspect

On Wednesday, December 7 at 10:40 p.m., one or both suspects struck again at Republic Bar at 37 Union Square and East 17th Street, taking a wallet from a bag that had been on the floor. The victim later discovered that $1,100 was stolen from her bank account.

On Monday, December 12 at 7 p.m., a 28-year-old woman at Peter McManus Cafe at 152 7th Avenue at West 19th Street had her wallet stolen. The wallet only contained $14 in cash and a credit card, which was later charged for $520 inside a Duane Reade at 161 East 23rd Street.

On Monday, December 19 between 7:45 hours and 10:21 hours, a woman’s wallet went missing at Brazen Fox, located at 106 Third Avenue at East 13th Street. The wallet contained four credit cards and one debit card, one of which was used at a Duane Reade at 4 West 4 Street for $336.49 in goods.

On Friday, December 23 at approximately 7:15 p.m., one or both suspects stole a wallet from a woman’s pocketbook at Suite 36, located at 16 West 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The wallet contained $80 and two of the victim’s credit cards were later used to make multiple purchases.

On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24 at approximately 9:15 p.m., a 33-year-old woman was notified that approximately $5,000 was charged to her credit cards by one or both of the aforementioned individuals.

The suspects are described as a white woman with long, blonde hair and a man.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Kips Bay dog run delayed due to city budget errors

Bellevue Park South (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Bellevue Park South (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A dog run for Bellevue Park South has been stymied by bureaucratic funding woes and miscommunications between the City Council and the Parks Department, Town & Village learned last week.

The Kips Bay Neighborhood Association had been working with City Councilmember Rosie Mendez on the project and last year, Mendez allocated $1.2 million for the new dog run. However, Mendez said she was later told by the Parks Department that the project would ultimately cost closer to $6 million.

She said officials at the city agency told her last May that the project wouldn’t be able to move forward unless it was fully funded and in the meantime, she learned that McKinley Playground on Avenue A and East 3rd Street needed about the same amount that had been allocated to the Bellevue South project, so before the city’s budget was approved in June, she decided to move the money to the McKinley project instead.

“I figured that I could either put the $1.2 million into the Bellevue South Park and have no projects move forward, or I could have another project get completed,” Mendez said. “I decided to move forward with the other project and that’s the decision I would make again today.”

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Tailor in Kips Bay who was stabbed has been shot before

A recovering Apel Tamagoglu receives a $2,500 check from a crowd-funding campaign. (Photo by Evan Rofheart)

A recovering Apel Tamagoglu receives a $2,500 check from a crowd-funding campaign. (Photo by Evan Rofheart)

By Sabina Mollot

Apel Tamagoglu, the 78-year-old tailor who was stabbed repeatedly during a robbery at his Kips Bay shop, has been in tough spots before. In fact, he was once shot in the hand during another holdup, he said this week.

Tamagoglu, a Turkish citizen as well as a citizen of the United States, said the other robbery happened 15-20 years ago; he can’t quite remember exactly when. But he did recall how the gunman had come in and asked if he could fix a velvet suit. The robber later went to prison, Tamagoglu said, adding that the man had also robbed many other people.

Asked if he’d thought about calling it quits after that incident, Tamagoglu, a native of Istanbul, said no. In his heavily accented English, he explained, “I have to work. I have to help the kids.”

Apel (pronounced Ah-pell) has two grown daughters as well as three grandchildren ages 10, 15 and 22.

He also downplayed the previous armed robbery, saying, “The hand is no problem.”

Tamagoglu said since the recent stabbing, during which he had his skull fractured, his lung punctured and suffered other injuries, he’s been receiving care at Bellevue Hospital, though he’s now at home. He also said he’s trying to do some work at the shop, albeit slowly, since he lives upstairs. “I feel good, thank God,” he said.

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