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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Man charged with attempted murder for attack on Kips Bay tailor

jan26-robber

Police picked up the suspect at the 30th Street men’s shelter.

By Sabina Mollot

A 53-year-old man who’d been staying at the 30th Street men’s shelter was arrested late Wednesday night for allegedly stabbing and robbing an elderly tailor in Kips Bay.

John Franklyn, who has five prior arrests starting in 1982, a police spokesperson said, was picked up by Staten Island police, and charged with attempted murder.

The arrest comes after the Department of Homeless Services, which oversees the Kips Bay shelter, also known locally as “Bellevue,” told neighbors the shelter would become a place for employed or employable men. This change in policy was made in 2015 after a woman was raped by a shelter resident at a nearby bar.

Police believe Franklyn strolled into Apel tailor shop on East 27th Street on Monday afternoon and demanded cash from the 78-year-old owner. The two men fought and at one point, the victim managed to chase the suspect out of the business with a chair. However, the suspect stabbed the business owner multiple times, fracturing his skull, puncturing his lung and causing other stab wounds. The victim then gave the robber $80 in cash and he fled.

The victim was described as being in critical but stable condition at a nearby hospital. It wasn’t clear by Thursday morning if Franklyn had an attorney.

 

Robber fractures elderly victim’s skull, punctures lung in Kips Bay tailor shop

jan26-robber

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a thug who stabbed an elderly tailor in his Kips Bay shop on Monday afternoon.

According to cops, the 78-year-old victim put up a fight when the unknown man walked into his shop, Apel Tailor at 203 East 27th Street, demanded cash, and began stabbing him. The men struggled and the attacker stabbed the victim a total of three times, once in the head, two in the torso. Eventually, the business owner gave the robber $80 and he fled in an unknown direction.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where police later reported his condition as stable. The man suffered numerous stab wounds to his chest, cuts to his face, a fractured skull and a punctured left lung.

It’s unclear if the suspect was injured, although video footage obtained by ABC7 shows that the victim at one point actually managed to chase him outside the business between Third and Broadway with a chair.

Apel’s Yelp page has almost entirely positive reviews for its service and the owner’s can-do attitude.

The suspect is described as being Hispanic with a beard, between 40 and 50 years old and 160-190 lbs. He was last seen wearing a blue hooded coat, blue jeans and black 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 online at http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Teen nabbed in connection with brutal robbery at Kips Bay spa

The suspect allegedly punched a woman and tried to make her strip.

The suspect allegedly punched a woman and tried to make her strip.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested an 18-year-old suspect in connection with the robbery at a Kips Bay spa at the end of last month.

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, told neighborhood residents at the community council meeting this week that the teen is suspected in a number of other robberies, and he was caught by officers on patrol while committing a robbery in the 46th precinct in the Bronx. Timoney said that the suspect never showed a gun during any of the robberies but told all the victims that he was armed when demanding cash.

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Man drops pants and pees in view of kids across from PS 116

Parent Mitch Horowitz said this man urinated on the street and then lingered by a schoolbus, smiling at the kids inside.

Parent Mitch Horowitz said this man urinated on the street and then lingered by a schoolbus, smiling at the kids inside.

By Sabina Mollot

Residents of Kips Bay have long complained about homeless men in the area being out of control but on Friday morning, the antics of one bum managed even to shock locals when he dropped his pants and peed across the street from a school.

Around two dozen fourth graders were outside the school on East 33rd Street, PS 116, when it happened, as was one boy’s father, who was there to chaperone a class trip.

The parent, Mitch Horowitz, watched as the man exposed himself and urinated, not bothering to face away from the kids outside. “He was not even standing next to a wall,” said Horowitz. “He was in full view of passersby and kids who were lined up outside.”

Fortunately, Horowitz said, he didn’t think any of the kids happened to see this, since they were busy talking amongst themselves about Pokemon and other matters.

“Thank God for childhood,” said Horowitz. “They weren’t scrutinizing things going on across the street like I am.”

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Kips Bay fire that killed two dogs was electrical

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A fire in Kips Bay that killed two dogs but left no residents injured was electrical, the FDNY said.

A spokesperson for the FDNY told Town & Village there was a problem with the electrical wiring in the ceiling of a fourth-floor apartment.

The fire had broken out in a four-story building at 122 Lexington Avenue on Monday, the day after Christmas.

The New York Post reported that the blaze started in a fourth floor apartment of the building, which is near East 28th Street, and spread to the third floor and roof, also damaging a restaurant on the ground.

Officials told the Post that residents were not able to return to their apartments on the third and fourth floors on Monday night but apartments on the second floor may still have been habitable.

The FDNY said that the fire started around 6 p.m. and was under control about 20 minutes later. Three firefighters were sent to Bellevue with non-life-threatening injuries.

Robber punches woman at Kips Bay spa

dec22-kips-bay-robber

Kips Bay robbery suspect (Photo via NYPD)

By Sabina Mollot
Cops are hunting a brute who robbed a 40-year-old woman, punched her multiple times and then demanded she strip.

Police said this happened on Wednesday, shortly before 1 p.m. at a Kips Bay acupuncture center/spa. The man strode into the business, Green Tea acupuncture wellness, at 240 East 28th Street, before demanding money from the cash register. He then punched a female employee repeatedly in the face and on her body. While grabbing her by the neck, he also told her to take off her clothes, police said. She didn’t although she did at that point give $500 to the man who fled in an unknown direction.

The woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released.

The suspect is described as black-Hispanic, 6’2″ tall and 220 lbs., with blotchy skin, brown eyes and short curly black hair. He was last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, blue jeans, black sneakers and a multi-colored back pack.

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.

 

Kips Bay fire displaces residents on Thanksgiving weekend

fireman-in-store

A firefighter at the scene (Photos by Michelle Deal Winfield)

 

By Michelle Deal Winfield

Residents were forced to flee their apartments when a fire broke out at a five-story building on Friday morning.

The blaze began at 238 East 24th Street at around 3:45 a.m. on the fourth and fifth floors, and soon smoke filled the air for blocks.

As firefighters fought to control the blaze, one resident was in front of the building in tears, wondering how she could salvage her clothing and valuables. The building’s owner was at the scene comforting residents concerned about their belongings. A couple visiting a relative said the woman’s cousin and his fiancée lived there but were vacationing in New Hampshire during the holidays.

One of the firefighters at the scene commented, “We were lucky here. Most of the residents were away on vacation. No one was hurt.”

After firefighters vented the roof; the fire was located and shortly before 5 a.m., it was extinguished. A spokesperson for the FDNY said the cause was still under investigation. Over 100 firefighters had responded to the fire.

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