Police Watch: Man arrested for Lillian Wald Houses murder, Man busted for bank break-ins

MAN ARRESTED FOR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER’S MURDER
Police arrested 23-year-old Gary Biaz for the murder of 82-year-old Ella-Mae Biaz inside 711 FDR Drive at the Lillian Wald Houses last Friday. Police responded to a 911 call about two women assaulted around 5:35 p.m. and found the senior, who the New York Post reported was Biaz’s great-grandmother, with her wrists and ankles bound with tape.
A 39-year-old woman had also been tied up in the apartment and had managed to free herself and alert the police. The 82-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and the second victim was brought to Bellevue Hospital for her injuries.
Biaz reportedly stole cash from his great-grandmother and drove off in a car belonging to the younger victim, the Post said. He was arrested later that night after being caught near Bedford Avenue and South Second Street in Williamsburg.
Biaz was charged with murder and attempted murder.

MAN ARRESTED FOR FLATIRON BANK BREAK-INS
Police arrested 39-year-old Daniel Bertini for Flatiron bank burglaries that took place early Monday morning. The New York Daily News reported that Bertini was caught with $915 in stolen coins at 5:35 a.m. inside the Chase Bank at Sixth Avenue and West 18th Street. Police said that Bertini got cuts on his head when he resisted arrest and an officer hit him with a collapsible baton. He later told officers that he has a cocaine habit and had taken money from his mother. He allegedly burglarized that Chase branch, in addition to two other banks, to pay back his mother before she noticed that the money was missing. The Daily News reported that Bertini worked with a crowbar and a change of clothes and tried unsuccessfully to break into a Key Bank on East 22nd at 4:25 a.m. He allegedly managed to break into a Bank of America on Park Avenue South around 4:51 a.m. but didn’t take any money. Police said that Bertini, who lives with his mother in Chelsea, is also a suspect in eight bank jobs in Brooklyn, in addition to four thefts from a Manhattan bar and from a bodega.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for 2015 murder, Woman mugged in Union Square

MAN ARRESTED FOR 2015 MURDER AT LILLIAN WALD HOUSES
Police arrested 22-year-old Shaquille Fuller for murder and criminal possession of a weapon last Thursday for a homicide that took place in 2015. Police responded to an assault in front of the Lillian Wald Houses at 20 Avenue D near East 3rd Street last February 23 around 4:33 p.m. and discovered that a 33-year-old man had been shot four times. EMS responded to the scene and took the victim to Beth Israel Hospital, but he couldn’t be saved. The victim was later identified as Shemrod Isaac.

WOMAN MUGGED, BEATEN WITH SKATEBOARD IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 22-year-old Brittany Middlebrooks last Thursday after she allegedly attacked another woman at Union Square Park on September 12 around 7 p.m. Middlebrooks allegedly hit the victim in the head and body with a skateboard, causing her pain, bruising and swelling. The victim also noticed that her cell phone was allegedly missing after she was attacked. Middlebrooks was arrested for assault and robbery.

TEEN BUSTED FOR ROBBERY AT THIRD AND EAST 14TH
Police arrested a teenager for robbery and possession of stolen property at the corner of Third Avenue and East 14th Street last Wednesday at 3:49 p.m. The teen approached the victim and said, “Give me your phone or I’m going to hurt you.” The victim complied and handed his phone over, and the suspect made the victim reset his phone. The teen then fled but police searched the area and arrested him. Police said that the teen attends the Green School and his name is being withheld due to his age.

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Gang member charged with murder in Flatiron

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Brooklyn gang member Frank Smith, 31, was recently charged in connection with the murder of two men in 2010 who were reportedly in a rival crew on Park Avenue South and East 19th Street.

According to the indictment, Smith and other members of Rival Impact began conspiring to murder members of a rival crew, Thirty-O, specifically Terrance Serrano and Rashawn Washington, in October 2009. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District said that Smith and other members of the gang planned and carried out the murders in retaliation for the victims’ perceived involvement in the 2009 drive-by shooting of Rival Impact member Vincent Carmona.

On Monday, October 4, 2010 at around 4 a.m. police arrived on East 19th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway after getting a call about a person shot. Serrano and Washington were getting into their car after leaving a nightclub and Smith, who had been lying in wait in a nearby vehicle, allegedly approached their car, opened fire and fled.

Both Washington and Serrano were shot in the head and died at the scene.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for East 6th Street murder, NC man killed in car accident

MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER ON EAST 6TH STREET
Police arrested 24-year-old Terrance Pugh on Monday, a suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Michael Ayala-Rodriguez. On Friday, June 3 at around 2 a.m., police had responded to a 911 call about a man who was shot in the courtyard area of the Lillian Wald Houses at 890 East 6th Street.
When police arrived at the scene, they found Ayala-Rodriguez with gunshot wounds to his torso. He was transported to Beth Israel, where he was pronounced dead.
Pugh was also charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

MAN KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN AT EAST 23RD AND MADISON
Twenty-one-year-old North Carolina resident Elliot Copeland was killed after being hit by a car at the intersection of Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street on Thursday, June 16 at 10:19 p.m. Police responded to the scene after getting a call about a motor vehicle accident and found Copeland lying in the roadway, unconscious and unresponsive, with severe body trauma. EMS transported Copeland to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead the following Sunday. The investigation squad for the NYPD determined that a vehicle was driving along East 23rd Street at the Madison Avenue intersection when Copeland stepped into the road outside the marked crosswalk and was hit by the car. The investigation remains ongoing and no arrests have been made.

June23 public lewdness

Public lewdness suspect

MAN WANTED FOR PUBLIC LEWDNESS ON 4 TRAIN
The NYPD is looking for a man who allegedly exposed himself on the 4 train near Union Square last week. Police said that the 55 to 65-year-old white man was on a downtown 4 train approaching the Union Square subway station on Sunday, June 12 around 7 p.m. with his private parts exposed.
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 at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

Suspect behind string of shades thefts

Suspect behind string of shades thefts

POLICE LOOKING FOR SUNGLASSES THIEF
Police are looking for a man responsible for 10 thefts throughout Manhattan from December 8 to May 19. The suspect reportedly targeted sunglasses stores and stole 57 pairs of sunglasses in total, primarily from stores in the Financial District, West Village and Midtown South.
Police suspect that in one of the incidents that took place in Flatiron, the man stole four pairs of sunglasses from the Solstice Sunglasses location at 168 Fifth Avenue between West 21st and 22nd Streets on Friday, March 25 around 8 p.m.
The suspect has a shaved head and is black, 45 to 55 years old, 5’7” and 180 lbs. Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

TEENS BUSTED FOR RESTAURANT BURGLARY
Eighteen-year-old Isaiah Douglas and another teenager were arrested for burglary inside Mexico Lindo at 459 Second Avenue and East 26th Street last Monday at 4:47 a.m. Police said that the second teenager, whose name is being withheld due to his young age, broke a window to get into the restaurant and broke into the cash register, taking a handful of cash. After police searched the area, they found that the teen was working with Douglas and the younger boy was found in possession of burglar’s tools and credit cards that didn’t have his name on them. The younger teen was also charged with grand larceny, burglar’s tools and possession of stolen property.

MAN BUSTED FOR FORGERY AT TONIC
Police arrested 28-year-old Ryann Lyde for forgery and theft of services inside Tonic at 411 Third Avenue last Thursday at 11:16 p.m. Police said that Lyde ordered drinks from the bar and allegedly attempted to use a forged credit card to pay for them. Lyde allegedly attempted to flee the location but he was arrested and when he was searched, he was allegedly in possession of two additional fraudulent credit cards.

MAN ARRESTED FOR BURGLAR’S TOOLS
Police arrested 43-year-old Santos Vazquez for burglar’s tools in front of the Human Resources Administration building at 109 East 16th Street last Saturday at 2:09 p.m.
Police said that Vazquez was seen casing the location with a screwdriver sticking out of his pants pocket. Vazquez then entered a garage and allegedly removed copper piping that police said he had hidden there earlier. Vazquez was also charged with theft of services, possession of stolen property and criminal trespass.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT ACS FACILITY
Eighteen-year-old Martinique Bumbray was arrested for assault and harassment inside the Administration for Children’s Services Facility at 492 First Avenue last Sunday at 4:38 a.m. Police said that Bumbray threw a yellow and white padlock, hitting the victim in the right cheek and causing severe pain. Police said that the victim was treated at the Bellevue emergency room.

Man arrested for shelter stabbing

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 53-year-old William Smith in connection with a fatal stabbing at the 30th Street Men’s Shelter on Monday morning. The New York Post reported that William Smith, who was also wanted in the attempted robbery and slashing of a livery driver in Queens, was caught by police after getting off the train at Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street in Astoria.

Marcus Guerreio, the 56-year-old man who was killed, was found inside the shelter at 400 East 30th Street last Friday at 8:26 a.m. Police were responding to a 911 call from the shelter about an unconscious man and when they arrived, they found that Guerreio was unresponsive and had a gash on his neck. An EMS team pronounced him dead at the scene.

In related news, Michael Durham, 49, was arrested the next day at 11 p.m. for a burglary at the 850-resident shelter following the stabbing.
Police said that Durham entered the deceased person’s room and stole some of his property.

Cops warn of spike in scams, larcenies: Crime down overall, but scam calls, pick-pocketings and assaults are up

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

At the 13th Precinct Community Council’s most recent monthly meeting this past Tuesday, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg told residents about the slight decrease in overall crime for the area in the last month, although there has been a spike in larcenies.

The number of grand larcenies jumped by 7.7 percent in the last month, although Ehrenberg noted that the precinct is still down 4.9 percent for the year. He said that there has been an increase in pickpockets, as well as an increase in cons.

“There’s a new scam that criminals have been trying, where they use information about people’s family and medical conditions,” the commanding officer said. “There have been phone calls from people that the victims know.”

He noted that the phone calls are not actually from people known to the victim but are criminals who have managed to fake a phone number and manipulate the caller ID.

Ehrenberg added that there has also been an increase in ransom call scams, where criminals will call a victim and demand money for a ransom, but he noted that this was a known scam and that anyone receiving such a call should notify 911 immediately.

The commanding officer also noted that there has been a specific increase in grand larcenies of unattended property in restaurants and despite the recent arrest of suspects thought to be responsible for some of these crimes, he warned residents not to be careless with their property while sitting in restaurants in the neighborhood, specifically in eating establishments around Union Square.

“You have to be aware of your personal belongings,” he said.

There has also been an increase in murder for the precinct, which Ehrenberg said was due to the shooting that took place at Home Depot at the end of January ahead of the season’s first big snow storm. A former employee had gone in to confront one of the store managers, shot him and ultimately shot himself.

Inspector Ehrenberg said that the scene was especially chaotic because the store was so busy with people who were preparing for the snow, but commended both civilians and officers for their quick response. Before police arrived, witnesses had taken it upon themselves to perform CPR on the shooting victim and police continued until EMS arrived.

Felony assaults also increased 18.2 percent in the past month, and Inspector Ehrenberg said this was especially notable because half of these incidents were domestic violence. In two of the cases, Ehrenberg said that the suspects had been involved in domestic violence previously with other partners. He added that the increases were also due to an assault on a lieutenant and on nurses at Bellevue who were assaulted while attending to patients.

Robberies were down 14.3 percent for the precinct in the last month and burglaries were down 63 percent.

Inspector Ehrenberg honored the Cop of the Month from both last month and this month, since the officer last month wasn’t able to attend the meeting to be recognized for his work. Officer Phil McGovern was given the award for January for work that he did last December when a child was choking at Blue Smoke on East 27th Street. He was able to dislodge what was blocking the child’s airway before the EMS arrived by using the version of the Heimlich maneuver that is performed on children.

The commanding officer noted that some of the bad press the police department has been receiving in the last few months has overshadowed the officers who have been working hard, so he wanted to acknowledge the good work that McGovern had done.

Officer Jason Negron was given the honor for this month for making an arrest on a suspect who had been noted on a “wanted” poster and was responsible for a number of grand larcenies in various precincts throughout the city.

Detective Ray Dorrian announced at the meeting that the Citizens Police Academy would be starting up soon and the precinct is now accepting applications. He noted that anyone interested in the program can get an application by contacting him at (212) 477-7427.

Community Council President Frank Scala encouraged those at the meeting to take the course, saying that he had taken it before and had found it very useful.

“For that week you are a police officer and you learn a lot of things in it,” he said.