MTA to reduce L train shutdown by three months

Straphangers waiting for the L at First Ave.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The MTA announced at the end of last week that the L train tunnel will likely be closed for 15 months instead of the originally-proposed 18 for Hurricane Sandy-related repairs and the shutdown will begin in April 2019 instead of that January.

Transportation blog Second Ave. Subway first noticed the changes to the plan in the board’s materials last Friday and MTA spokesperson Beth DeFalco confirmed via Twitter that the timeline had changed.

Continue reading

Creep masturbates in front of teen on L train

Alleged masturbator

Alleged masturbator

Police are hunting a man who masturbated in front of a 14-year-old girl on the L train going from Union Square to Sixth Avenue.

The victim told police it happened last Monday shortly after she boarded the train at Union Square at 1 p.m. But when she got to the next stop, the man followed her as she left the train and went into the mezzanine area of the station. At that point, the victim left the station while the man got onto another train.

The suspect is described as black, about 35 years old, 5’5″-5’6″ tall, 140-150 lbs., and has a medium build. He was last seen with a goatee, wearing a black coat with fur on the collar.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.


L train breakdancer wanted for phone snatching

Mugging suspect

Phone snatching suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a subway performer in connection with a phone snatching that took place on Christmas Day around 2 p.m. in the 13th precinct.

Police sources said that the 54-year-old victim was traveling on the L train with his wife and son and while the train was between First and Third Avenues, the suspect and others began breakdancing in the car. The victim told police that he asked them to stop because the noise was disturbing his sleeping son. Sources said that the suspect and other performers ignored him, so the victim began filming them. When the train pulled into the station at Third Avenue, the suspect reportedly grabbed the victim’s Samsung Galaxy phone and ran off the train. The victim said that he ran onto the platform after him, tackling the suspect and knocking the phone to the ground. The breakdancer then fled the station and no arrest was made at the time of the incident.

Police described the suspect as a black man around 5’6″ and approximately 160 lbs. 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 or by texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES).

All calls are strictly confidential.

Local pols, Rick Hayduk will speak at Oct. 22 ST-PCV Tenants Association meeting

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association will hold an open tenants meeting on Saturday, October 22, at 1 p.m. in the auditorium of IS 104, 20th Street between First and Second Avenues.Speakers will include: President of the ST-PCV Tenants Association Susan Steinberg, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Rick Hayduk, CEO/General Manager of StuyTown Property Services. The general theme will be the state of the community. Each speaker will briefly address issues as they directly relate to and affect Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, from the L train shutdown to the telephone scams targeting the community, from MCIs to rent-freeze month. An open-mic question-and-answer period will follow.

“Tenants will want to hear from our own elected representatives as to what they have been doing on our behalf,” said Steinberg. “We also plan to provide a summary of TA activities during the year. This is an important meeting, and we hope to see a packed auditorium.”

Man fatally struck by L train at Union Square

Feb26 L Train

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A man was hit by a train and killed at the Union Square station on Wednesday afternoon, causing the MTA to suspend service along the L line from Eighth Avenue to Bedford Avenue just before the evening rush. The FDNY received a call at 4:03 p.m. and a spokesperson for the department said that the victim was dead by the time they arrived. The man was hit by a Brooklyn-bound train but service was suspended in both directions.

The investigation is ongoing but a spokesperson for the NYPD said preliminary information shows that the victim jumped onto the tracks. As of 5 p.m., trains were still not running between Manhattan and Brooklyn but service was restored by 5:20 p.m. with residual delays. Commuters were advised to use M14A and M14D local bus service as an alternative in Manhattan and the A, C, J and M for service into Brooklyn.

This is the second time in two days that a person has been struck by a train, although the man who jumped onto the tracks at the Fulton Street A/C station yesterday morning survived.

Straphangers weigh in on ways to deal with L train shutdown

Paul Steely-White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Paul Steely-White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A transit-focused nonprofit has enlisted the public to come up with ideas to help make the looming L train shutdown less painful, and the first of three workshops on the subject took place on Monday night at Town and Village Synagogue.

There didn’t seem to be any new ideas but rather people stressing options brought up previously, such as the street being shut down to car traffic and beefing up the supply of buses.

Paul Steely-White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said that regardless of the overall plan, the public feedback process could be a good opportunity to improve bus transit in the city.

Meanwhile, he added that the imminent shutdown will be a serious problem if it’s not met with proactive solutions beforehand.

“We’re trying to get our heads around the thought of what happens if there’s no contingency,” he said. “I don’t think anyone thinks it’ll just be ok if we do nothing.”

Continue reading

Man made false bomb threat on L train

sept22-false-bomb-threatPolice are looking for a man who made a false bomb threat on the L train on Saturday. At around 5:45 p.m., the man, who was on the L after it left the Bedford Avenue station, yelled out “Bomb!”, then counted down from five and yelled out “boom!”

This was prior to the bomb going off in Chelsea at around 8:30 p.m.

A passenger took a picture of the suspect with her cell phone before she made an exit at the First Avenue station.

The individual is described Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, 5’10”; and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue pants.

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

MTA will conduct study on a traffic-free 14th Street during L train shutdown


State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The MTA will be conducting a study on a plan to close 14th Street to traffic for the duration of the planned 18-month L train shutdown.

The feasibility study was announced by State Senator Brad Hoylman on Wednesday, who, along with quite a few other elected officials, had requested the study.

“More than 50,000 people cross Manhattan daily on the L train below 14th Street,” Hoylman said. “It’s crucial that we have a plan in place to accommodate these riders given the L train will be closed for 18 months starting in January, 2019.”

He added that the study includes a proposal for a dedicated bus lane and expanded cyclist and pedestrian access.

Continue reading

L train will close for 18 months in Manhattan in 2019, MTA says

Straphangers waiting for the L at First Ave. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Straphangers waiting for the L at First Ave.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The MTA announced this morning that the L train will be completely shut down between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 18 months beginning in January, 2019.

According to social media, email surveys and testimony from public meetings, 77 percent of respondents were in favor of the 18-month full shutdown, the MTA said.

The 11 community boards in the affected areas along the L, which hosted meetings about the two options prior to the decision, were also more in favor of a full closure than of a partial shutdown. In the joint meeting hosted by Community Boards 3 and 6 at the end of last month, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expressed her strong support of the full closure, basing her decision on a number of meetings with the community that she had attended previously.

“During this process, it quickly became clear to many in affected communities that a shorter, full closure will be less painful than a longer period with minimal service, as long as there are broad and varied alternative ways to get to work while the line is closed,” Maloney said following the announcement. “I’ve argued that most people will accept full closure, as long as it takes them no more than 20 extra minutes to reach their destinations, and I look forward to working with the MTA to make sure this happens.”

The New York Times first reported the news on Monday morning, noting that officials hope to finish the repairs, made necessary because of damage from Hurricane Sandy, as quickly as possible to limit the impact on riders.

Continue reading

Police Watch: Man busted for up-skirt photo near Stuy Town, Pair wanted for assault on senior

Police arrested 33-year-old Lamberty Sabriel for obscene material and sexual abuse near Stuyvesant Town last Thursday at 8:50 p.m. The victim told police that she was walking on East 18th Street towards First Avenue when she noticed Sabriel walking closely behind her. She then felt someone touch her under her skirt on her buttocks. When she turned to see who was touching her, Sabriel allegedly had his phone under her skirt and took a picture.

Assault suspects

Assault suspects

Police are looking for two people believed to be behind an attack on a 75-year-old man on West 14th Street last Wednesday.
According to police, a man punched the victim in the back of the head and knocked him to the ground at 2:12 p.m. in front of 120 West 14 Street, home to a Salvation Army. The suspect then kicked the victim in the face, knocking him unconscious. The second suspect, a woman, stood by as a lookout and the suspects then fled eastbound on West 14th Street. The victim had a cut on his head and was brought to Lenox Hill Hospital in stable condition.
The first suspect is a black man who has black hair with a red streak in it. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, beige pants and a black and gray backpack. The second suspect is a black woman who was last seen wearing a green dress with a hood over her head 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). All calls are strictly confidential.

Continue reading

More buses promised during L train shutdown

For Stuyvesant Town and East Village residents, a bright spot of the looming L train shutdown is a new subway entrance on Avenue A, as pictured here in a newly released rendering.

For Stuyvesant Town and East Village residents, a bright spot of the looming L train shutdown is a new subway entrance on Avenue A, as pictured here in a newly released rendering.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Residents affected by the imminent L train closure got a visit from New York City Transit officials last Wednesday in a meeting organized by Community Board 3 and 6, held at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

At the meeting, NYC Transit reps promised a beefed up bus fleet around Stuyvesant Town to deal with the planned L train shutdown.

Agency Operations Planning Chief Peter Cafiero said, “If there is no service in Manhattan, then we need to build up the bus fleet. We could be implementing what I’m calling the M14 SBS. It would serve Stuyvesant Town more directly by looping up to East 20th Street.”

This was the second of what the agency has said would be a number of meetings to both get feedback and inform the community about the planned shutdown, which won’t start until 2019. The agency also said at this recent meeting that they will be hosting a meeting some time in the fall just for Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village residents.

Continue reading

Man punched after taking photo of suspect on L train

L train suspect

L train suspect

Cops are looking for a man who repeatedly punched another straphanger in the face while they were on an L train approaching First Avenue.

It was on Friday, June 3 at 1 p.m. when a 49-year-old man got into an argument with the suspect on the southbound train. When the first man snapped a photo of the other on his phone, the suspect tried to grab the phone. He also then punched the phone’s owner in the face and head several times, police said. At First Avenue, the victim was able to get out of the train and was treated and released at the scene.

His attacker is described as Hispanic, approximately in his 20s, 5’10” tall and wearing a black hat with lettering on top, headphones and a dark hooded sweater.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident, which has been classified as a robbery, 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 CrimeStoppers or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

MTA explores options at meeting on L train repairs and shutdown

A public meeting on the planned L line repairs and accompanying shutdowns was held last Thursday at the Salvation Army Theatre.

A public meeting on the planned L line repairs and accompanying shutdowns was held last Thursday at the Salvation Army Theatre. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

L train riders got the chance to voice their opinions on the impending closure of the line during a meeting hosted by the MTA last Thursday, with straphangers divided on what would be less disruptive, a full closure or a partial one that takes twice as long while the agency conducts repairs.

Donna Evans, chief of staff for the MTA, said at the beginning of the meeting at the Salvation Army Theatre that there were two important facts to consider about the repairs: the tracks must be closed whether one at a time or together, and regardless of which plan is chosen, the closure won’t take place until 2019.

A two-track closure would be the shorter option at 18 months, but there would be no service between Bedford Avenue and Eighth Avenue with this plan. The MTA said that train service would be fairly regular in Brooklyn with trains running between Bedford Avenue and Rockaway Parkway every eight minutes.

During a three-year closure, the MTA said that service through the tunnel wouldn’t be frequent or reliable but in Brooklyn, service would be near normal with trains running every eight minutes. The MTA would be running extra trains on the G, J and M to supplement service in Brooklyn and the B39 over the bridge would provide an alternative for service into Manhattan. The L train would operate a shuttle between Eighth Avenue and Bedford Avenue at a 12 to 15-minute frequency and would not stop at Third Avenue. There would also be no service between Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street, but service would operate between Lorimer Street and Rockaway Parkway.

Continue reading

Police Watch: ‘Perv’ takes plea deal, Burglars wanted

The New York Post reported that 46-year-old Daniel Galantter pleaded guilty on Monday to attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a woman on August 8, 2015 while she was waiting for the train at the 23rd Street N/R station. Galantter will need to complete an intensive one-year long sex addiction program and register as a sex offender as part of the no-jail plea deal. Galantter had wrapped one arm around the victim’s shoulder while slipping his other hand under her skirt and penetrating her. Police said that at the time of his arrest, he told them he was sexually repressed because women wouldn’t date him and he doesn’t like going to prostitutes.

Office burglary suspect

Office burglary suspect

Police have released details about a burglary in which an office prowler conned a building security guard.
As Town & Village reported last week, 13th Precinct Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney spoke about the burglar at the latest meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council. At the time, Timoney seemed shocked at the reaction of the guard, who, upon discovering a man inside a building closet and claimed he was looking for somewhere to charge his phone, showed the man a spot where he could do so instead of calling the police. The unknown man then went to another floor, hid again and ended up stealing numerous laptops.
Police have since said that the man entered the offices of Gravity Advertising at 114 West 26th Street on Friday, April 22 around 6:09 p.m. and removed an undetermined number of laptops from the office. Police said that the man is black, approximately 25 years old, 5’10” tall and 185 lbs. with brown eyes, a bald head and dark complexion, and was last seen wearing a white baseball hat, multi-colored sneakers and a black shirt. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at All calls are kept strictly confidential.

Burglary suspect

Burglary suspect

Police are on the lookout for a burglar who swiped alcohol and a laptop from Barn Joo, a Korean bar/restaurant located at 893 Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets.
On Sunday, April 17 at 4:30 a.m., the suspect is believed to have gotten onto the premises, where he took the computer and four bottles of liquor.
The individual is a black man, 35 to 40 years old, 6’, 200 to 220 lbs., with a beard. He was last seen wearing a two tone jacket, a du-rag and light blue jeans. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police arrested 32-year-old Dmitriy Ulanov for a terrorist threat last Saturday at 11 a.m. inside the 13th Precinct. Police said that Ulanov made threats by telephone and social media posts to injure Veterans Administration workers at the VA Hospital, and also allegedly made threats against his psychiatrist.

Continue reading

Police Watch: Man arrested for cat ‘abuse,’ ‘Perv’ nabbed at L station

Police arrested 58-year-old Steven Loftin at 14 East 28th Street last Wednesday at 11:47 a.m. Loftin allegedly kicked his cat several times, causing the animal to slide down the hallway. Police said that upon further investigation, it was determined that the living conditions were unsanitary for a cat, with feces and urine all over the apartment. Loftin also allegedly leaves the cat in the hallway for hours at a time and refuses to let the animal inside. He was charged with an unclassified violation of an agriculture and markets law.

Police arrested 23-year-old Mario Andrades for sexual abuse inside the First Avenue L station last Friday at 6:58 p.m.
Police said that Andrades was standing alone on the L platform at Union Square, pacing from end to end of the platform, allegedly checking out women who were also waiting for the train. He then allegedly positioned himself behind a woman and followed her onto a Brooklyn-bound train. Police said that Andrades pushed his groin against a woman and repeatedly rubbed against her, and noted that there was enough room behind the woman such that he didn’t need to be so close to her. He also allegedly placed his hand on the woman’s buttocks.
Andrades was also on the L train at the Union Square station last Wednesday and followed a woman onto a Brooklyn-bound train, allegedly rubbing his groin on her buttocks and touching her buttocks with his hand.

Thirty-year-old Pedro Vazquez was arrested for robbery at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 24th Street last Saturday at 6:16 a.m. for an incident in an adult video store on the west side of Sixth Avenue. The owner said that Vazquez entered his store and without permission, placed a pair of Hauty lace underwear into his waistband and allegedly attempted to leave without paying. When the store owner tried to stop the suspect, he allegedly punched the owner in the face, causing bleeding and swelling. The owner flagged down someone to help him and they detained the suspect until police arrived. When Vazquez was searched, police found that he was allegedly in possession of metal knuckles. Vazquez was also charged with petit larceny, resisting arrest, assault and weapons possession.

Police arrested 23-year-old Hector Lema for assault in front of Flatiron’s Equinox gym at 897 Broadway last Friday. The victim told police that Lema was trying to force her into giving him a kiss and while she was trying to get away, he allegedly scratched her neck. The victim said that she and Lema are coworkers.

Police arrested 37-year-old Carlo Trotto for assault at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 27th Street last Thursday at 11:02 p.m. Police said that a cab driver flagged down police and said that he had picked up Trotto and another man in the Midtown South Precinct and agreed to drive them home.
The driver told police that while Trotto was in the backseat of the cab, he was intoxicated and allegedly began punching the back of the driver’s seat. The driver then pulled over at the southeast corner of Fifth and 27th and Trotto allegedly proceeded to punch the driver in the back of the head and his face, causing pain and swelling.
Police said that Trotto and the man he was with fled the scene but a witness told police that he saw Trotto screaming at a food vendor, using racial slurs, at which point the witness intervened. Trotto then allegedly charged at the witness, attempting to attack him, but he was soon arrested at the location without incident.

Police arrested 51-year-old Brian Best for possession of stolen property last Friday at 11:02 a.m. at the corner of Third Avenue and East 28th Street. Police said that Best was seen throwing out the contents of a purse into a garbage can in a suspicious manner. Police approached him and asked if the bag belonged to him, and he allegedly said that he found the bag and that it isn’t a crime to go scavenger hunting. The owner of the bag said that it went missing from in front of 248 East 28th Street.

Police arrested 22-year-old Sieun Hwang for prostitution inside a spa at 350 Third Avenue last Friday at 7:10 p.m. Police said that Hwang agreed to have sex with an officer in exchange for cash. Police said that Hwang was questioned in regards to human trafficking but she did not provide them with further information.

Police arrested 42-year-old Alpha Fadika for forgery in front of 1167 Broadway between 27th and 28th Streets last Thursday at 5:47 p.m. Police said that Fadika was displaying trademark counterfeit sunglasses and had a case containing additional sunglasses that were also allegedly counterfeit.

Police arrested 61-year-old Jerry Mills for sale of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance last Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. on the corner of East 29th Street and First Avenue. Police said that Mills exchanged a quantity of a controlled substance for cash with an undercover officer. He was also in possession of an alleged controlled substance.

Police arrested 46-year-old Willie McCray for a public health law misdemeanor in front of 397 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 12:19 a.m. Police said that McCray was on the sidewalk smoking an alleged synthetic marijuana cigarette. When police approached him, he allegedly admitted that it was K2. Police found that he was also in possession of a bag of K2.