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.
Posted in 13th Precinct, Crime, First Avenue, Homelessness, Kips Bay
- Tagged 13th precinct, 30th Street Men’s Shelter, chelsea, crime, criminal mischief, east midtown, First Avenue, Flatiron, Gramercy, Kips Bay, LinkNYC, marijuana, midtown, vandalism
A LinkNYC tower is used on Third Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Sabina Mollot
Last Wednesday, the city yanked the internet from its new wi-fi stations following community outrage and news reports about the kiosks being monopolized by the homeless. As Town & Village recently reported, in Gramercy they’d be used for hours or even days at a time by homeless people who in some cases set up camps and according to one Post report, a Murray Hill resident was even treated to the sight of a man masturbating near her home while using a kiosk to watch porn.
However, even with internet access now scrubbed, some Gramercy residents are saying the kiosks are still hangouts for homeless people who in some cases drink at the sites and remain there for days on end. Their concerns were raised on Tuesday night at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council, where the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney assured neighbors police were responding to such complaints, and increasing homeless outreach efforts.
One woman, Julie Block, complained that homeless people are a round-the-clock presence at 16th Street and Third Avenue. In response, Timoney said those individuals have actually since moved a block north to 17th Street. However, he also said there would be more efforts to get those people into shelters, in coordination with the organizations Breaking Ground and Urban Pathways. “We’ll have to go out there again,” Timoney said.