Police Watch: Man arrested for jumping into L tracks, Stabbing on Sixth Ave.

MAN ARRESTED FOR JUMPING INTO TRACKS WHILE RUNNING FROM COPS
Police arrested 32-year-old Jose Vijay for reckless endangerment and criminal trespass inside the First Avenue L station last Tuesday at 6:46 p.m. Police were responding to a call about Vijay about a previous sex abuse case while he was at the Third Avenue station on the L train. Police said that he matched the description of a man who was wanted for sex abuse and escorted him off the train. Officers then identified him as a suspect for the earlier incident, but while he was being held at the station, Vijay allegedly jumped onto the tracks and fled down the tunnel. Police said that he was seen passing between the tracks as a train was pulling into the station. No further information was available about the sex abuse case for which he was originally pursued.

MAN NABBED FOR STABBING ON SIXTH AVENUE
Police arrested 28-year-old Cedric Toon for assault and weapons possession last Sunday at 3:30 a.m. in front of 686 Sixth Avenue. Police said that Toon stabbed the victim in the back near his right shoulder with a knife, causing a puncture wound. Police searched the area and found Toon nearby, and two witnesses positively identified him.

MAN NABBED FOR ASSAULTING COP ON BROADWAY
Police arrested 25-year-old Mohamed Thiam for assault of a peace officer last Friday at 4:34 p.m. in front of 1165 Broadway at 27th Street. Police said that they approached Thiam because he was drinking beer out of a cup on the sidewalk and he allegedly refused to show the officer his ID. When they attempted to place him in handcuffs, he allegedly started flailing his arms to prevent being handcuffed. Police said that in the struggle, he punched the arresting office in the face.

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Police Watch: ‘Groper‘ arrested in Union Square, Senior mugged on West 28th

‘GROPER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE SUBWAY
Police arrested 27-year-old Leon Miller for sexual abuse inside the Union Square subway station last Thursday at 6:07 p.m. Miller allegedly grabbed a woman’s buttocks on the subway and police said that Miller and the victim don’t know each other.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MENACING AT PARK AVE. SOUTH AND EAST 22ND
Police arrested 48-year-old Jody Herman for menacing and weapons possession at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street last Tuesday at 6:52 p.m. Police said that Herman pulled a knife out of his front pocket and waved it towards the victim, causing him to become alarmed and in fear for his personal safety.

Still from surveillance video of suspect

Still from surveillance video of suspect

COPS ON LOOKOUT FOR THUG WHO GRABBED PURSE FROM 72-YEAR-OLD WOMAN
Police are hunting a man who snuck behind a 72-year-old woman and snatched her purse, causing the woman to fall to the ground. The victim suffered injuries to her face and knees, but refused medical attention.
The victim’s purse contained her cell phone and $100.
The incident happened last Thursday, at around 5 a.m. in front 8 West 28th Street with the perp then fleeing east on East 28th Street.
The suspect is described as black, 20 to 30 years old, 5 ft.7 ins, and weighing 140 to 160 lbs. He was last seen wearing a baseball cap, backpack and long sleeved shirt with a skull logo on front.
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 by visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls will be kept confidential.

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Police Watch: M&M ‘thief’ busted, ‘Drunk’ driver arrested

DRIVER WITH SICK DOG ARRESTED AFTER HITTING TWO MEN AT CONSTRUCTION SITE
Police arrested Jair Freire, 53, for leaving the scene of an accident in front of 38 East 22nd Street last Thursday at 10:06 a.m. Freire was rushing to the veterinary hospital with his sick dog and while stopped in traffic on East 22nd Street, he approached the men doing construction on the street and requested that he be allowed to go through due to an emergency. When they refused, Freire allegedly proceeded anyway and in the process, struck one of them with the passenger’s side of his vehicle, knocking him to the ground and causing a back and neck injury.
Police said that Freire also struck another man at the construction site with the driver’s side of the vehicle, knocking him to the ground and causing a scrape on his right elbow. He allegedly fled the scene of the accident and was later found at the veterinary hospital at 1 West 15th Street.

M&M ‘THIEF’ BUSTED AT BELLEVUE SOUTH PARK
Police arrested 54-year-old Bernard Santiago for robbery inside the 7-Eleven at 395 Third Avenue last Saturday at 8:20 p.m. The victim told police that Santiago went into the store, grabbed 19 bags of M&Ms candy bags and walked out without paying.
Store employees ran after Santiago and brought him into the back office, telling him that they were going to call the police. Santiago then allegedly took out a sharp object, which the victim said was a knife, and slashed her on the hand, causing a cut. Police said that Santiago then fled the store.
After canvassing Bellevue South Park, police found Santiago, who matched the employees’ description. One of the employees positively identified him and he was arrested. Police said that no knife was found on him.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘DRUNK’ DRIVING AFTER ACCIDENT
Police arrested 26-year-old Christoph Dumont for intoxicated driving on East 14th Street and the FDR last Saturday at 6:28 a.m. Dumont, who was driving on the FDR, was in a car accident that only involved him and his passengers. Police said that the accident occurred on the FDR service road on the jogging path.
Upon further investigation, police found that Dumont was allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Police said that he had the scent of alcohol on his breath and seemed very excited. He was given a Breathalyzer at the scene and allegedly tested a BAC of .159. When he was arrested, police found that he was also in possession of alleged marijuana, and he was charged for that as well.
Three of the passengers in the vehicle were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries.

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Police Watch: Protesters arrested, One protester assaulted

DOZENS ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE PROTEST
Police arrested almost 60 people throughout the 13th precinct in connection with the Freddie Gray protests in and around Union Square last Wednesday evening.
Arrests took place at various intersections and streets throughout the precinct, including Broadway and East 17th Street, Broadway and East 20th Street, Park Avenue South and East 23rd Street, Union Square West, West 26th Street, Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue and West 24th Street from 6:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. The 57 people arrested were charged with at least one count of disorderly conduct and many were charged with two counts. Police said that they gave multiple orders for the crowds to disperse and for protesters to stop blocking vehicle traffic on the street, and those who allegedly refused were arrested.
Two of the people arrested were also charged with assault.
Khalil Vasquez, 24, was arrested at East 20th Street and Broadway at 8:15 p.m. He allegedly refused Sergeant McCarrer’s orders to return to the sidewalk and police said that he punched the sergeant in the head. Vasquez was charged with assault, resisting arrest and two counts of disorderly conduct.
Amador Rivas, 58, was arrested at East 17th Street and Broadway at 6:30 p.m. and was charged with assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and three counts of disorderly conduct.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ OF PROTESTER
Police arrested 49-year-old Savario Pugliese for assault and criminal mischief at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 21st Street last Wednesday at 9:17 p.m. The victim told police that she was walking north on Seventh Avenue when an argument occurred between her and Pugliese. She told police that she put her camera in front of Pugliese’s face, trying to take a picture of him, when he allegedly shoved it back into her face, causing redness on her nose and causing the camera to fall to the ground, cracking the screen.

TEEN BUSTED FOR DUANE READE ‘THEFTS’
Seventeen-year-old Erick Oleaga was arrested inside the 13th Precinct last Monday at 2:30 p.m. for petit larceny. Police said that Oleaga shoplifted from multiple Duane Reade locations in the last month, including the store at 71 West 23rd Street on April 6 and March 27, 873 Broadway on March 29 and April 14, and 401 Park Avenue South on March 29 and April 11.

‘BURGLAR’ BUSTED
Police arrested 25-year-old Luke Terry at the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 1 a.m. for burglary. Police said that Terry broke into the victim’s apartment without permission and removed a credit card, ID card and iPad. Terry was also charged with possession of stolen property.

TEEN NABBED FOR ‘ASSAULT’
Eighteen-year-old Dominque Etheridge was arrested for assault last Tuesday at 9:55 a.m. Etheridge allegedly punched and kicked the victim inside a school bathroom on March 16, causing contusions and bruises to the victim’s face and body. Another person was arrested previously in connection with this incident.

ARRESTS FOR ALCOHOL
Police arrested 58-year-old Mark Alexander for a violation of New York State laws at the corner of Second Avenue and East 29th Street last Tuesday at 10:24 a.m. Alexander was allegedly drinking an open container of alcohol (a 200 ml bottle of Georgi Vodka) in open view to the public on the sidewalk.
In a separate incident, police arrested 61-year-old Marvin Hill at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 28th Street last Wednesday at 3:21 p.m. Hill was allegedly holding an open 24-ounce Steel Reserve beer can in open view to the public.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘METHADONE’
Billy Ramirez, 62, was arrested for possession of a hypodermic instrument and possession of a controlled substance last Tuesday at 2:05 p.m. in front of 350 East 30th Street. Captain Brendan Timoney informed Police Officer Michael Migliore that Ramirez was seen with a loaded hypodermic needle on a public sidewalk and Ramirez is not a diabetic. After Ramirez was searched by Department of Homeless Services police, he was allegedly found in possession of two hypodermic needles with alleged heroin residue, as well as a pill container with no label containing a red liquid that smelled like fruit punch and was known to be methadone.

ASSAULT NEAR MADISON SQUARE PARK
Police arrested 31-year-old Adrian Holliday for assault in front of 46 Madison Avenue last Tuesday at 3:10 p.m. Police said that Holliday punched the victim in the face, breaking his nose.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘URINATING’ NEAR STRAUSS HOUSES
Ace Sharma, 26, was arrested for a violation of health code in front of the Strauss Houses at 224 East 28th Street last Wednesday at 2:49 a.m. Sharma was in front of the NYCHA building and was allegedly urinating on the sidewalk. Police said that he had no identification on him when he was stopped.

BETH ISRAEL EMPLOYEE ASSAULTED
Nancy Johnson, 54, was arrested for assault inside the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center 281 First Avenue last Thursday at 6:42 a.m. Police said that Johnson bit an employee in the left bicep while he was restraining her and trying to prevent her from leaving the hospital.

EMS WORKER ASSAULTED ON WEST 27TH
Police arrested 42-year-old Michael Sewell for assault of a peace officer in front of 127 West 27th Street last Thursday at 10:18 p.m. Sewell was being treated as an aided case when he allegedly jumped on the EMS worker and attacked him, causing cuts and pain to the victim’s left elbow and right shin.

CYCLIST AND DRIVER DISPUTE ON BROADWAY
Police arrested 39-year-old Diamond Dabo for assault at the corner of Broadway and West 25th Street last Thursday at 2:35 p.m. The victim told police that he was eating lunch at Country Hill when he saw a van trying to park in front of his bike. The vehicle was having trouble getting into the spot because the bike was in the way.
The victim came out of the restaurant and got frustrated with Dabo, the driver, and said, “I’m just trying to have my lunch.” He told police that he and Dabo then got into an argument and Dabo allegedly punched him in the head, causing injuries to his forehead.

MAN ARRESTED FOR CELL PHONE ‘THEFT’
Twenty-year-old Dewayne Tripp was arrested for grand larceny and criminal mischief at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 21st Street last Friday at 1:47 a.m. Tripp was in a cab with the victim when they got into an argument and while they were fighting, Tripp allegedly grabbed the victim’s cell phone and left the cab, attempting to run south on Sixth Avenue. Police said that Tripp then threw the phone to the ground and attempted to get into a second cab before he was stopped by police. The phone was recovered and it was found to be damaged.

ASSAULT ON EAST 27TH
Thirty-year-old Charles Haynes was arrested for assault last Saturday at 3:08 a.m. in front of 150 East 27th Street. Haynes got into an argument with the victim and allegedly punched him in the face, causing swelling and a cut near the victim’s right eye.

Police Watch: Bust for burglary on E. 23rd St., senior charged with selling pot at Union Square

‘BURGLAR’ NABBED ON EAST 23RD
Fifty-year-old Robert Jones was arrested for burglary inside 145 East 23rd Street last Friday at 7:29 a.m. Jones allegedly entered the victim’s apartment on East 23rd Street without permission and took a watch and wallet, which contained $190 and credit cards.

THEFT AT WEST 26TH ST. OFFICE
Cesar Bernacet, 44, was arrested at the 13th Precinct last Tuesday at 12:56 p.m. for burglary. Police said that Bernacet had entered the offices of Trigger Media at 135 West 26th Street last Sunday and swiped seven laptops and tablets, and also caused damage to the fire door.

MAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT
Police arrested Nathaniel Roberts, 31, for assault at Lexington Avenue and East 25th Street last Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. The victim said that he got into a fight with Roberts, who allegedly punched the victim in the face and bit him on the shoulder, causing visible bite marks. Police said that Roberts resisted arrest by pushing the officer and flailing his arms, refusing to be handcuffed. Roberts also allegedly kicked the window of the police van, causing $250 worth of damage and was in possession of two ziploc bags of marijuana, police said.

MAN ARRESTED FOR FALSE THEFT REPORT
Police arrested 52-year-old Jeffery Vascimini for perjury at the Union Square subway station last Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. Vascimini had previously told police that he was on a downtown 6 train at the 23rd Street station when a man snatched his bag. He reported that one man had asked him what time it was and then as the train doors closed, a second man grabbed his bag, which contained nine bottles of medication. Upon further investigation, police found that he had also falsely reported the same crime in a different precinct.

FIGHT ON SECOND AVENUE
Police arrested 21-year-old Destiny Baez for assault last Wednesday at 4:53 p.m. in front of 250 Second Avenue. Baez got into an argument with the victim and the fight escalated, after which Baez allegedly scratched the victim on the forearm, leaving a visible cut.

MAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT
Stanley Mui, 29, was arrested for assault at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and East 14th Street last Wednesday at 9:54 p.m. Mui allegedly punched a man in the face, causing pain and redness to the left side of his jaw.

‘PERV’ ARRESTED AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 38-year-old Adel Ismail for sexual abuse in the Union Square subway station last Thursday at 9:05 a.m. Ismail was allegedly rubbing his groin area against a woman’s buttocks while on a downtown 4 train. The victim told police she tried to get away from him but he wouldn’t leave her alone. “When I first entered the train, this guy seemed a little too close,” she said. “He rubbed up against my butt so I automatically moved away. He kept bumping into me so I kept trying to move away. He made me feel very uncomfortable. He tried to move any way so that he would be touching me.”

SKATEBOARDER ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE 
Thirty-year-old Naoki Aimoto was arrested for violating New York State laws in the Union Square subway station on Tuesday at 4:05 a.m. Aimoto was allegedly riding a skateboard erratically in the mezzanine area of the subway, which police said caused a dangerous and hazardous condition for the public and was in violation of transit rules.

ASSAULT AT GOOD SHEPHERD SERVICES
A 17-year-old girl was arrested for assault inside the Good Shepherd Services facility and home for girls at 337 East 17th Street last Friday at 7:26 a.m. She got into a fight with another girl, police said, pulling her hair and scratching the right side of her neck, causing pain and visible injury.

SENIOR ARRESTED FOR SELLING POT 
Police arrested 70-year-old Frederick Spruill at Union Square West and East 14th Street for the sale of marijuana last Friday at 6:15 p.m. Spruill was allegedly working together with another man, 36-year-old Darrell Henderson, and they sold a small quantity to an undercover officer, police said. Henderson was also arrested.

TWO BUSTED IN METHADONE SALE ON LEX
Police arrested two people in connection with a drug deal in front of 23 Lexington Avenue last Saturday at 7:55 a.m. Johnie Lonardo, 57, was arrested for allegedly selling methadone to 47-year-old Orlando Martinez, who was then arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

DWI ARREST NEAR UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 31-year-old Bassam Richard for intoxicated driving at Union Square West and East 16th Street last Sunday at 4:01 a.m. Richard was involved in a car accident at the location which resulted in property damage and on the scene, he allegedly had a strong odor of alcohol on him, as well as watery eyes, a flushed face and was unsteady on his feet.

NINE ARRESTED IN PROTEST ON THIRD AVENUE
Police arrested 23-year-old Julia Salazar for criminal last Monday at 11:20 a.m. Police said that Salazar was protesting with eight other demonstrators, who entered a government building on Third Avenue and sat down in front of the desk at the lobby. They were ordered to leave by the building’s head of security and they were warned that they would be arrested if they did not leave the building, and Salazar and the other protestors allegedly refused.
The exact location of the protest is unclear, as the report notes that Salazar originally entered 633 Third Avenue, home to an office of the governor, but was arrested at 333 Third Avenue.

WEAPON BUST AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 23-year-old Zaid Aftisse for possession of a weapon at the Union Square subway station last Thursday at 10:45 a.m. Aftisse allegedly left an Eighth Avenue-bound L train with a black metal clip attached to the front right side of his pants pocket. Upon further investigation, police found that it was a gravity knife.

PLAYGROUND SLEEPER ARRESTED
Police arrested 33-year-old Michael Crayton for violating New York State laws in Murphy’s Brothers playground at East 17th Street and Avenue C last Monday at 9 a.m. Crayton was allegedly lying down on a bench and sleeping inside the playground without the accompaniment of a child, in violation of park rules and regulations. A sign at the entrance of the park states that says adults must be accompanied by a child inside the park.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KICKING CAB
Twenty-four-year-old Abdoulaye Sow was arrested for criminal mischief in front of 230 Fifth Avenue last Saturday at 5:04 a.m. Sow got into an argument with passengers in a nearby cab and he allegedly kicked the cab forcefully a number of times, causing damage to the side of the car.

BUSTED ON BROADWAY FOR FAKE VERSACE
Police arrested 34-year-old Sanjay Nakarmi for forgery in front of 1201 Broadway last Tuesday at 7:29 a.m. Nakarmi was allegedly selling costume jewelry that had counterfeit trademarks for Versace.

Stuy Town’s unofficial mayor about to retire

Substance abuse counselor John "Butch" Purcell outside Beth Israel Medical Center by Stuyvesant Square Park Photo by Sabina Mollot

Substance abuse counselor John “Butch” Purcell outside Beth Israel Medical Center by Stuyvesant Square Park
Photo by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot

John “Butch” Purcell, a longtime resident of Stuyvesant Town affectionately known to some as the “mayor of Stuyvesant Town,” is getting ready to retire from a career in drug abuse counseling.

In May, Purcell, was one of several dozen employees of Beth Israel to be honored in a low-key, midday ceremony for those who’d worked at the hospital for 20 years, 25 years, 30 years or even longer. In the case of Purcell and just two others at the ceremony, it was actually a recognition of 45 years of service in the methadone treatment program. The other two being honored were Martin Berger, MD, and Marie Marciano, an administrator of the methadone program.

Purcell, who earned his “mayor” nickname over the years for somehow managing to get to know countless neighbors in Stuy Town, where his was only the fifth black family to move in during the 1960s, as well as becoming just as well-recognized in the Beth Israel community and through his work counseling NBA players, said he wasn’t sure what he’s going to do with his free time yet. He plans to retire this month.

Meanwhile, during the May 3 ceremony celebrating Purcell’s day job, fellow honoree Marciano had some kind words for her coworker. “If you want the official word on local politics, sports, music or the best dog park on the Lower East Side, then you’ve got to hang with John Butch the Mayor of Stuyvesant Town Purcell,” she said.

She went on to say he always knew how to promote a positive image of the methadone treatment program and deal with patients “with the style of a seasoned politician.”

Following the ceremony, Purcell received a bouquet and a few gifts from the hospital and coworkers (including a framed photo of him with his prized yorkie mastiff mix pooch, Ginger).

He also spoke with T&V about the steps that led to his career in drug counseling and his unofficial mayoral status.

Purcell, the first person in his family to graduate from college, began counseling at Beth Israel’s then-new methadone program in 1967, shortly after graduating. He had considered becoming a pro basketball player, but ended up taking a very different path. Before moving on to counseling, Purcell also worked briefly for Stuyvesant Town’s recreation department in 1965. As for being one of the first black residents in the complex, Purcell said it wasn’t weird. Because, he explained, “I knew everybody.”

He soon moved on though to Beth Israel, noting how his family had a history of social service work. His mother worked for the V.A., and his father, a veteran who died when Purcell was 10, had worked as a custodial engineer for the Pentagon. His aunt was a social worker and his uncle worked for the Parks Department. Another uncle was a housing cop.

It was through Beth Israel that Purcell met his wife Mary who’s been married to him for 45 years. The couple has one grown son, John Purcell IV.

It’s difficult to say how the “mayor” nickname originated, though it seemed to stick after coworker Patty Juliana, PhD, started calling him that after noticing that everyone on the street seemed to know Purcell when they walked around Harlem, between two of Beth Israel’s facilities.

“What should have been a short walk took a half an hour because he knew everyone,” she said. The same is true when he walks his dog on First Avenue. “And it’s not because the dog’s legs are only four inches long.”

Late Stuyvesant Town community activist Granville Leo Stevens also used to refer to Purcell as the mayor, cementing that as his nickname at home too.

Purcell also made a name for himself in the NBA, when he counseled between 20 and 30 players from 1981 to 1983. He also continued counseling pro basketball players on and off over the years as well as those in many other professions at Beth Israel.

There have also been a number of neighbors in Stuy Town he’s counseled, both kids and adults, over the years. The drug problems in the complex, he noted, are more prevalent than most people would like to believe.

However, things were especially bad in Harlem and the South Bronx when he first got into the field and at that time, methadone treatment wasn’t seen as the solution for the heroin epidemic.

“It was looked at as black genocide,” recalled Purcell, “switching one drug for another.”

Still, over the decades, Purcell said there have been many success stories.

“I’ve seen grandchildren of my patients finish college and doing really well,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of addicts really turn their lives around.”

But, he added, “Mostly it’s up to them. I’m like hamburger helper. The best success stories are the patients who graduate to a point where we hire them to be counselors. That touches my heart.”

Additionally, about three years ago, Purcell also started representing athletes as a sports agent in the firm Waldon & Associates, and said he may start to focus more on that.

Another plan is to try to get more acting work, something he got into several years ago through a neighbor, assistant director Sean Furguson, who got him his first job as an extra. Since then, Purcell has had multiple TV appearances on shows like “Third Watch” and “Law & Order.” This led to an extra role in the film, “Something’s Gotta Give.” On “Third Watch,” he had larger roles playing characters like a bodega owner and a Santeria dancer. In another, particularly challenging episode, a 70-yard sprint he had to run was filmed in 17 different takes, which he definitely felt in his knees later.

Therefore, yet another retirement plan is just to relax, with Purcell saying he’d give a report on how that’s going “when I don’t have to get up.”