Man busted for Kips Bay robbery outside Peter Cooper Village

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town Public Safety helped catch a man wanted for a robbery on Sunday night after the suspect attempted to hide inside a building in Peter Cooper Village, police confirmed this week.

The victim told police that he was standing at the corner of Second Avenue and East 25th Street on Sunday, September 29 around 9:30 p.m. with his bag on the ground near his feet when 23-year-old Mitchell William allegedly reached down and grabbed the bag.

When the victim told William to drop the bag and tried to get it back from him, William allegedly punched him in the face, causing the victim to bleed from his mouth.

Police said that William then fled east and the victim followed him. When the victim confronted William again, police said that the suspect punched him a second time and pushed him to the ground, causing a scrape on the victim’s elbow.

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 5

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Unfair demonization of Trump

Dear editor:

Mr. Sanders is right that President Trump shouldn’t demonize refugees but Mr. Sanders shouldn’t demonize President Trump either. The policy of separation of children from their parents is a result of a ruling Judge Dolly Gee made during the Obama administration. According to that ruling, children could not be held in detention for more than 20 days. As a result, if Obama and now Trump didn’t release entire families within 20 days of being detained, they had to separate those families. It was Trump, not Obama, who issued an executive order to stop this. Trump’s executive order directed Attorney General Sessions to file a request with Judge Gee in the Central District of California to allow detained migrant families to be kept together. Trump also ordered that housing be found or built for these families and that priority be given to their cases. Where was the outrage of Sanders and his fellow Democratic leaders when Obama separated families? Why do they feign outrage at Trump when he is the president who acted to end child separation? Could it be in order to demonize Trump so they get elected?

Sincerely,

Gamaliel Isaac
Stuyvesant Town

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Woman arrested for package thefts

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a woman last week for package thefts in Gramercy, Flatiron and Kips Bay that took place earlier this year.

Diana Anduja, 47, was caught outside 61 Lexington Avenue on Tuesday, August 13 at 3:20 p.m. after police said that she had removed four packages from the building’s lobby.

She reportedly did not have permission to be inside the building and when she was stopped, she was allegedly in possession of the packages, in addition to a crack pipe with alleged drug residue.

After she was arrested, Anduja was charged in connection with three other burglaries that allegedly took place in residential buildings throughout the area.

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Police: Woman accused of stealing phone, Teen arrested for phone thefts

WOMAN ACCUSED OF STEALING PHONE FROM GUARD
Police arrested 28-year-old Antonia Coston for an alleged robbery inside 69 Fifth Avenue on Tuesday, May 21 at 2:40 p.m. Police said that Coston was cleaning an apartment in the building and at the time of the incident, appeared to be inebriated. A security guard in the building told police that Coston snatched his phone from the security desk without permission and when he tried to grab the phone back from her, she allegedly punched him in the face.

Coston allegedly fled the location but the victim said that she returned shortly after to grab her suitcase and police said that she punched him again before leaving for the second time. The victim said that he asked for his phone back multiple times and she didn’t comply but she was caught after police searched the area and police said that the phone was recovered.

Coston was also charged with possession of stolen property.

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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.

Teen reported missing from ACS Center

Karlos Adams

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Karlos Adams, 17, who had been staying at the Administration for Children’s Services Children’s Center at 492 First Avenue.

He was last seen on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the center. He is described as black, 5’10”, and 150 lbs.

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 the CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

New renovation plan for Bellevue South Park gets support from Community Board 6

Bellevue South Park (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Parks committee for Community Board 6 voted to support a new plan to renovate Bellevue South Park in a meeting last Tuesday.

Representatives for the Parks Department returned to the community board multiple times with revisions to the plans for the park, which the Borough Commissioner’s Chief of Staff Steve Simon said in a previous meeting was an unprecedented move since the agency usually only presents to community boards once for such projects before moving forward.

Residents and park advocates had requested that the Parks Department return for revisions to the plan due to what they perceived as safety issues that the original design did not adequately address.

While many attendees mostly approved of the plan presented by the agency, some dog owners at the meeting still had objections to the department’s unwillingness to use the temporary dog run space as part of the permanent dog run.

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Man charged with shooting guard at Target

Kips Bay Court (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 25-year-old Christian Vargas after he allegedly shot a security guard in Kips Bay and later returned to the scene of the crime.

Police said that shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, Vargas kicked and attempted to pry open the front door entrance of a Target store that is under construction in Kips Bay Court at 520 Second Avenue where the victim was stationed.

Vargas allegedly spat on the guard and began grappling with him and in the course of the struggle, the victim’s 9mm pistol fell to the ground. Vargas allegedly grabbed the gun and shot at the guard, hitting him three times.

According to the New York Post, Vargas was arrested at the scene later that morning because he had dropped his wallet and keys during the incident and returned to retrieve them around 7 a.m.

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The Administration for Children’s Services asks community for understanding – and foster parents

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Sabina Mollot

Regular readers of this newspaper know that when the Administration for Children’s Services is mentioned in a story, as it frequently is, it’s because there’s been an arrest of one of the young people staying at the ACS children’s center in Kips Bay. Often, it’s an assault or robbery with multiple youths involved. The children’s center, located on First Avenue and 28th Street, is where individuals age zero to 21 are often placed when they’re removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Another function of the ACS is to place the individuals in their care with foster families.

The need for local people to foster, as well as some new programming at the center aimed at keeping its occupants out of trouble (and ideally into a better future) was recently discussed by ACS Associate Commissioner Rebecca Chew.

Chew made her appeal for foster parents as well as for the understanding of the community while speaking at a recent meeting organized by the NYPD’s new Neighborhood Coordination Officers program for the 13th Precinct. The meeting, held on February 5 at the Alexandria Center’s Apella event space on East 29th Street, was geared towards people living in the northeast quadrant of the confines of the precinct, the neighborhoods of Peter Cooper Village and Kips Bay.

With more than a few people in attendance residents of Kips Bay — who complained about crime in the area perpetrated by young people they believed to be ACS residents — Chew began her presentation by pointing out that those in the agency’s care are often there “because of emergency circumstances.

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City sues over $20M Airbnb scheme

Three buildings in Kips Bay, including 207-215 East 27th Street, were named in a lawsuit against a Manhattan brokerage firm, with the city alleging they were being marketed as short-term rentals. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, the city sued a Manhattan brokerage firm, Metropolitan Property Group, as well as real estate agents and entities currently or formerly associated with Metropolitan, accusing them of running a $20 million illegal short-term rental scheme.

The rentals, arranged mostly through Airbnb, were spread across 130 apartments in 35 buildings, the city said. Five of the buildings were listed in the lawsuit, three of them located in Kips Bay at 207-215 East 27th Street, 230 East 30th Street and 218 Third Avenue. Another was in Midtown East at 123 East 54th Street and another building in Harlem, 200 East 116th Street, was completely transformed into an illegal hotel, according to the lawsuit filed by the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE).

OSE said it was also able to determine that 18 entities affiliated with MPG and its employees received at least $20.7 million for short-term rental transactions made through Airbnb alone from 2015 to 2018. Named in the suit were Metropolitan CEO Sami Katri, his wife Shely Katri, Maxim Beckman, Simon Itah and Alon Karasenty.

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Community Board 6 refuses to give blessing for all-night permit at Kips Bay bar on New Year’s Eve

ER Bar and Lounge on Second Avenue

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee for Community Board 6 has blocked an application from a Kips Bay bar to operate for an all-night party on New Year’s Eve. ER Bar and Lounge at 605 Second Avenue, between East 33rd and 34th Streets, closes at 3 a.m. on a regular basis but a representative for the bar told the committee that they were hoping to capitalize on the holiday and stay open for just a couple more hours. The committee, however, wasn’t having it.

“I don’t like the idea that there isn’t a specific deadline,” said committee member Julie Block, before instead proposing that the community board limit the bar to a 4 a.m. closing time. Block said that she was concerned about the bar’s laissez-faire attitude about a potential closing time on the holiday, since the application didn’t include a specific closing time other than “for a couple more hours.”

Other committee members were worried about the idea of a bar serving alcohol without the option of food for the entire time. Member Dan Devine said he wasn’t sure if the flexibility of the bar’s policy was a great idea since the venue isn’t planning to make the event ticketed but he said that he’s open to it.

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Homeless man charged with rape of homeless woman in Kips Bay

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a homeless man for allegedly raping and robbing a homeless woman behind a building in Kips Bay early last Tuesday. Police said that 54-year-old Karl Dozier raped the 46-year-old woman outside 362 Third Avenue, which is home to a pinball arcade, after they got into an argument at around 4:45 a.m.

According to a criminal complaint, Dozier punched the victim in the head and face multiple times, got on top of her while continuing to hit her and then raped her.

After he was arrested, Dozier allegedly told police that he hit the victim repeatedly because she was “being annoying” and that in addition to hitting her with his fists, also reportedly bashed her with a lead pipe.

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Man smashes message board at Kips Bay synagogue

Congregation Adareth El at 133 East 29th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a man who smashed the glass of a Kips Bay synagogue’s message board in the wee hours of the morning.

The incident occurred on Saturday, November 10, but the information was only released by the NYPD on Tuesday night.

Police said that at around 3 a.m., the man broke the board at Congregation Adareth El, located at 133 East 29th Street and Lexington Avenue, with his elbow, then proceeded to keep walking down the street, heading east.

Vandalism suspect

The suspect is described as a light-skinned man with a beard; last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweater, a dark colored jacket, dark colored pants and light colored sneakers.

Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police say teens behind two Kips Bay muggings

Robbery suspects 2 and 3

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a team of teenage muggers who they say violently robbed two people on the same evening.

On Tuesday, November 20 at 6:10 p.m., two teen boys and two girls approached a flower stand vendor in front of 390 Third Avenue at East 28th Street. They asked the vendor for change for a five-dollar bill, only to forcibly swipe the cash from the 37-year-old victim after slamming him against a wall.

Then, 20 minutes later, the group (without one of the female suspects) strolled up to 428 Third Avenue at 30th Street, where they approached a delivery man on his bike. They asked the 19-year-old victim for change but then pushed him into a wall while trying to grab money from his pocket. However, they ended up fleeing empty-handed.

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Boy missing from ACS facility in Kips Bay

Nov22 Jeremi Carangui

Jeremi Carangui

Police are looking for a 13-year-old boy who was last seen on Sunday at 11 a.m., leaving the Administration for Children’s Services building at 492 First Avenue.

Jeremi Carangui was in the care of ACS at the time and left on his own, police said.

He is described as Hispanic, 5’2″ tall, 102 pounds, with a thin build, medium complexion, black hair and brown eyes. His clothing description is unknown.

Anyone with information in regards to his whereabouts 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.