Union Square (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday, a black man who attacked three people in Union Square for being white, including one person who died as a result of his injuries, was sentenced to 25 years in a state prison.
The lengthy sentence for LaShawn Marten, 44, was in part due to the fact that the assaults were considered hate crimes.
He was found guilty on July 5, nearly four years after the incidents on September 4, 2013.
That afternoon, Marten, a regular chess player at Union Square Park, had stated he would “knock out” the next white person who passed him. Not long after this, a 62-year-old man, Jeffrey Babbitt, who was white, walked by, and Marten punched him in the face. Babbitt, who got knocked down to the ground from the blow, hit his head hard on the pavement.
Moments later, when a 19-year-old bystander (also white) tried to help Babbit, Marten punched him in the face as well. When a third Good Samaritan, a 47-year-old man tried to help, Marten hit him in the head so hard that he was knocked unconscious.
By Sabina Mollot
A man who fatally gunned down a teenager in Campos Plaza five years ago was finally sentenced to 40 years behind bars last Wednesday.
Hockeem Smith got a 25-year sentence for manslaughter and an additional 15 for criminal possession of a weapon, according to the district attorney’s office. Both terms are to run concurrently.
On the evening of October 16 in 2011, Smith, then 25, shot Donovan “Keith” Salgado, a 17-year-old resident of the NYCHA complex. Salgado, a senior at Washington Irving High School, was hanging out with his friends outside when shots rang out on East 12th Street and Avenue C.
At the time, the victim’s death spurred community outcry about ongoing violence and gang activity in the community. In response, youth programs were introduced onsite and promises made to enhance security at NYCHA complexes. But things didn’t go that smoothly. There was another shooting the night of the youth center’s opening. Security upgrades took a long time to come to Campos Plaza and the youth programs were discontinued by 2013, according to The Lo Down. The local blog also reported at the time that Smith’s trial had been delayed again and again due to teenagers with knowledge of the situation refusing to talk.
MAN ARRESTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER
Police arrested 35-year-old Devon Givens for manslaughter on Tuesday in connection with an incident that took place in front of 432 Park Avenue South around 12:12 p.m. Police said that Givens got into an argument with the victim, 58-year-old Roger Balan, and punched the man in the head numerous times. The victim collapsed into a parked car and police found him unconscious and unresponsive at the scene. EMS also responded and transported him to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. Witnesses said that Givens fled the scene on a bike, and police said that he was apprehended without incident in front of 60 Wall Street at 2:30 p.m. after he delivered a package.
SECOND MAN ARRESTED IN BURGLARY PATTERN
Police arrested 39-year-old Jesse Jones last Friday for multiple burglaries that have taken place throughout Manhattan since May. The incidents are part of a pattern in which two suspects entered commercial locations and removed laptops and other assorted electronics. Jones was charged with nine counts of burglary, as well as grand larceny and four counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Police said that Jones was arrested in connection with nine of the 13 incidents, including one on May 7 at 6 p.m. that took place at 270 Fifth Avenue, one on July 25 at 3 p.m. inside 10 East 33rd Street, one on July 27 at 6 p.m. inside 38 West 32nd Street and other incidents in the 19th, 20th, Midtown North and Midtown South precincts.
Tracey Mckeever, 27, was arrested for burglary last week in connection with an incident at West 46th Street, for which Jones was also arrested.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting TIP577 and their tips to 274637(CRIMES).
MAN WANTED FOR ASSAULT AT DSW
Police are asking the public’s assistance identifying a man wanted for assaulting a police officer last Friday.
At 4 p.m., police responded to a 911 call of a shoplifter at DSW Shoes located at 40 East 14th Street. Upon arrival, responding officers were met by store officials who said that the suspect attempted to take several items from the store. Officers tried to arrest him when he began to fight with them. The suspect then punched one of the two officers in the face. All three continued to struggle, falling into one of the clothing racks. The suspect was able to get to his feet and flee the store. Both officers were taken to Lenox Hospital Healthplex, one officer with bruising to his face and the other with a complaint of pain from falling into the rack. The suspect is a black man with short braids wearing a yellow plaid shirt, brown hat and glasses.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting TIP577 and their tips to 274637(CRIMES).
WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘PROSTITUTION’ AT B.L. SPA
Police arrested 48-year-old Hong Xin Chen for prostitution inside B.L. Spa at 156 West 20th Street last Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Police said that Chen performed a massage on an undercover officer and allegedly agreed to perform sexual intercourse in exchange for $120.
MAN BUSTED FOR CAR ‘BREAK-IN’
Police arrested 36-year-old Roman Blaea for grand larceny auto in front of Bellevue Hospital last Monday at 6:02 a.m. Police said that Blaea intentionally broke the driver’s side window of a car to gain entry to the vehicle. Once inside, he allegedly broke the plastic housing around the steering column and shifted the lever in an attempt to steal the vehicle. Police said that he also stole property from the car and the damage done would cost more than $250 to fix. He was also charged with criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.
Posted in Police Watch
- Tagged 7-Eleven, Assault, Burglary, car break-in, Clonazepam, Home Depot, mace, manslaughter, marshall's, McDonald's, prostitution, robbery, sex offender, staples, theft, union square