Council votes to support low-income tenants’ right to counsel

Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Mark Levine at the vote on the legislation (Photo via Mark Levine’s Twitter page)

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, the City Council voted overwhelmingly to support the right of tenants facing eviction to access free legal representation. In support were 42 Council members with three opposed and one abstention.

The mayor has already indicated his support for the bill, which was sponsored by Council Members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson. The legislation, introduced in 2014, has since been pushed along by the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, which is made up of dozens of civic, tenant and legal assistance organizations.

The legislation likely took three years to get voted on due to the cost, which is estimated at $155 million a year. That figure is based on $93 million to be added to city money that’s already budgeted for similar services, around $62 million, according to Andrew Scherer, the policy director of Impact Center for Public Interest Law at New York Law School, who’s been deeply involved in the coalition’s efforts. Continue reading

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Council candidate focused on housing, mental health services

Jasmin Sanchez (Photo courtesy of Jasmin Sanchez)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Lifelong Lower East Side resident Jasmin Sanchez had already been working in public service for most of her career when she decided to try to transfer those skills to the City Council.

Sanchez, who still lives in Baruch Houses in the Lower East Side where she grew up, has experience in the nonprofit sector, working with community leaders at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) and in State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office, which is where she said she learned how to be a community advocate. She is running for the Council seat in District 2, with City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez being term-limited out next year.

A major focus of Sanchez’s campaign is mental health services, primarily because it’s an issue that ties into not only healthcare, but can affect housing and education as well, and has an impact on homelessness. She added that she feels having affordable housing can sometimes be the lynchpin for communities and families, and that it can be especially detrimental for students if they have a tenuous living situation.

“If you don’t have housing, you don’t focus as much on everything else and your performance suffers,” she said.

“It’s not a stable life for kids from shelters. It can be very stressful for them not to have a stable place to live. Schools have mental health services but they have to be holistic and make sure that families are receiving those services as well.”

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Man who fatally shot teen at Campos Plaza gets 40 years

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.

Police Watch: Man arrested for ‘kicking’ dog, Teen busted for ‘groping’

MAN ALLEGEDLY KICKED DOG OUTSIDE STUY TOWN BUILDING
Police arrested 38-year-old John O’Connor for kicking a dog in front of 430 East 20th Street on Friday, December 19 at 9:30 a.m. Police said that O’Connor got into an argument with the victim over her dog barking at his dog. The victim bent down to check on O’Connor’s dog, who she said seemed scared, when O’Connor allegedly kicked the victim’s dog in the mouth, causing the animal to yelp and cry. The victim said that she brought her dog to the ASPCA Hospital for further examination and her dog didn’t have any life-threatening injuries. Stuyvesant Town surveillance video was able to identify O’Connor and Public Safety worked with the NYPD to arrest him. O’Connor was charged with torturing and injuring an animal at the 13th Precinct last Wednesday at 9:45 a.m.

TEEN BUSTED FOR GROPING AT WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested a teenager for sexual abuse inside the Washington Irving High School building at 40 Irving Place last Thursday. The victim told police that while riding the elevator at school at 4 p.m., she felt the boy touch her back but thought it was because the elevator was crowded, so she shrugged it off. She then felt a hand squeeze her buttocks and when she turned around to face him, the teen put his hands up. When a school administrator asked him what happened, he apologized but didn’t give an explanation as to why he did it. The victim is a student at Gramercy Arts High School and the suspect goes to International High School. The name of the suspect is being withheld due to his young age.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested a teenager for assault inside 40 Irving Place last Friday at 2:34 p.m. Police said that the teen punched the victim in the face, causing a cut on her lip and bruising.

MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUNK DRIVING ON FDR
Police arrested 37-year-old Henry Tinajero for intoxicated driving on the FDR near East 25th Street last Friday at 11:25 p.m. Police were responding to the location because of a collision Tinajero was allegedly involved in. Police said that the suspect was driving and allegedly had an odor of alcohol emanating from his breath.

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

SUBWAY ‘PERV’ TAKES PLEA DEAL
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

CLOSET HIDING BURGLAR WANTED
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 nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are kept strictly confidential.

Burglary suspect

Burglary suspect

MAN WANTED FOR BURGLARY AT BARN JOO
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.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TERRORIST’ THREATS AGAINST VA WORKERS
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.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for Q train groping, Convicted killer arrested in Union Square for ‘groping’

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

MAN WANTED FOR GROPING WOMAN ON Q TRAIN
Police are looking for a man who groped a 54-year-old woman on a downtown Q train near Union Square last Sunday at 7:22 a.m. According to Gothamist, the victim was sitting on the train when the man sitting next to her reached over and rubbed his hand on her leg. She said that the suspect then fell asleep and she took a photograph of him before she got off at Union Square. The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old with an afro. He was last seen wearing a black jacket with grey sleeves, grey jeans and black sneakers.
Anyone with information in regards to either of these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting TIP577 and tips to 274637 (CRIMES). Commuters can also report incidents of improper sexual misconduct online.

CONVICTED KILLER BUSTED FOR ‘GROPING’ WOMAN
Transit police arrested 48-year-old Phillip Smalls for forcible touching and sexual abuse in the Union Square station around 8 a.m. last Thursday, The New York Post reported. Police said that Smalls rubbed against a 22-year-old woman on a downtown 4 train.
The Post noted that Smalls had recently served 25 years in prison for second-degree murder after fatally shooting a man in Astoria in 1986 and has been serving lifetime parole since being let out in 2013.
Jennifer Rosario, a member of the Transit Manhattan Task Force Anti-Crime Unit who was one of the officers who caught Smalls, was given a special MVP award by Police Commissioner Bratton earlier last week.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULTING’ HOMELESS MAN
Thirty-two-year-old Sandra Zelazny was arrested for allegedly shoving a 70-year-old homeless man into the tracks at the Union Square subway station last Wednesday, The New York Daily News reported. The man was shoved following an argument, although it was not clear what they were arguing about. Police said that Zelazny pushed the man onto the 6 train’s tracks and then boarded the train, where she was later arrested after the man identified her as his attacker. Zelazny was charged with felony assault on a victim 65 years or older and reckless endangerment, and she had a court appearance this past Monday.

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Police Watch: Serial ice cream ‘thief’ busted, ‘Bank robber’ nabbed on East 28th

SERIAL ICE CREAM ‘THIEF’ NABBED
Police arrested 28-year-old Philip Jaudoa last Tuesday evening for allegedly stealing over $3,000 worth of ice cream and energy drinks from multiple stores.
Police said that the pattern began on December 18 when Jaudoa strolled into the Duane Reade at 777 Sixth Avenue and allegedly distracted store employees while the two other people he was with took ice cream without paying for it. Police said that the total amount of treats stolen was $1,470.
On January 14, Jaudoa went to a CVS at 215 Park Avenue South and allegedly swiped $106.03 worth of Haagen Dazs ice cream. Police said that he went into another CVS location at 750 Sixth Avenue on December 20, 2015 and took energy drinks without paying.
Police also said that Jaudoa stole $248 worth of ice cream from that same CVS location on January 14.
Jaudoa was additionally charged in an incident in the 6th Precinct where police said that he and two other people who weren’t arrested stole $1,683 worth of ice cream from the CVS at 20 University Place.
He allegedly also stole merchandise from a CVS at 300 Park Avenue South on November 16, 2015 but police did not specify what was taken that time.
Police didn’t have information on whether the sugary substances were intended for a lifetime of personal use or some other purpose like starting a mid-winter pop-up stand, but it seems that Jaudoa liked the good stuff. In one case, 54 pints of Haagen Dazs were allegedly pilfered along with 90 pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Jaudoa was slapped with four counts of petit larceny and two counts of grand larceny in connection with the aforementioned incidents.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for attempted rape, Dunkin Donuts employee arrested for sex abuse

suspect Dominique Frazier

Dominique Frazier

MAN WANTED FOR ATTEMPTED RAPE
The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect wanted for attempted rape within the confines of the 13th Precinct.
Police said that 31-year-old Dominique Frazier forced the victim, a 48-year-old woman, into the 17th floor stairwell where he forced her to perform a sexual act and then attempted to rape her on Thanksgiving at noon inside of Straus Houses at 344 East 28th Street.
The victim resisted and Frazier allegedly grabbed her handbag before fleeing down the stairwell. The victim chased him to the lobby and, with the assistance of a witness, was able to get her bag back from the suspect. Frazier allegedly fled into an elevator in the lobby. The victim was taken by EMS to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Frazier was previously arrested for robbery on November 9.
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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips and TIP577to 274637(CRIMES). All calls are kept strictly confidential.

MEN ARRESTED IN ‘SHOOTING’
Police arrested 33-year-old Gadell Gibbs and 32-year-old Ronald McPhatter last Wednesday for assault, weapons possession at 3:10 a.m. inside 13th Precinct. Police said that Gibbs and McPhatter engaged in a shootout, resulting in the victim receiving a gunshot wound to her inner right calf.

DUNKIN DONUTS EMPLOYEE NABBED FOR ‘SEX ABUSE’
Police arrested 41-year-old Ahmed Mechebek for allegedly sexually abusing a coworker and endangering the welfare of a child inside the Dunkin Donuts at 818 Sixth Avenue last Wednesday. The victim told police that it was her second day of training at the Dunkin Donuts and Mechebek followed her when she went into the back to check her phone. Mechebek allegedly attempted to hug her and kiss her on the mouth without her consent. The victim said that she told him to stop and attempted to push him away. Mechebek allegedly said, “Just one kiss,” and again tried to hug and kiss her. She said that she pushed him away again.
Police said that video surveillance showed Mechebek grabbing the victim around her waist and trying to kiss her while she attempted to move away.

MAN ARRESTED IN THANKSGIVING ‘ASSAULT’
Police arrested 29-year-old Brian Miller for assault on Thanksgiving at 3:16 a.m. in front of 257 Third Avenue. Police said that Miller got into an argument with the victim and he allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing minor pain and bleeding. EMS responded to the incident and the victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital. Police said that Miller, during the arrest, claimed that he punched the victim in the face.

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Men indicted for rape, robbery; Officer assaulted at Bellevue

THREE MEN INDICTED FOR RAPE, ROBBERY

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of Fernando Sandel, 27, Isaias Rivera, 31, and Joey Cruz, 26, for allegedly conspiring to rape and rob prostitutes. The defendants were charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with predatory sexual assault, rape, burglary, and robbery, among other charges, including conspiring together to commit those crimes.

On August 3, Sandel, Rivera, and Cruz contacted a prostituted woman online and met her in a Midtown hotel room, where they allegedly sprayed her in the face with mace and bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties before repeatedly sexually assaulting her. The three defendants are similarly accused of attacking a prostituted woman whom they met online in a Gramercy apartment the next day, spraying her in the face with mace and binding her wrists and ankles before sexually assaulting her. In an earlier incident on June 28, Sandel and Cruz allegedly sexually assaulted a prostituted woman on the roof of a Bronx apartment building after spraying her in the face with mace. The men are also charged with stealing property from each woman, including the purses of two victims.

MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION

WITH SEPTEMBER ROBBERY

Police arrested 25-year-old Mohamed Diaby inside the 13th Precinct last Tuesday at 10 p.m. for a robbery that took place at the corner of West 27th Street and Sixth Avenue on September 26 at 3:05 a.m. Police said that Diaby drove up next to the victim in a black Jeep and told him that he had a gun. He allegedly forced the victim into the back of the vehicle while two other suspects snatched his property. Police said the suspects then pushed him from the vehicle and fled north on Sixth Avenue. The victim tracked his iPhone to West 29th Street and Ninth Avenue but the phone was not recovered. The other two suspects have not yet been arrested.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR

‘THEFT’ FROM FOOD VENDOR

Police arrested a 16-year-old and 18-year-old Xavier Chalas for petit larceny at the corner of First Avenue and East 25th Street last Tuesday at 2:28 a.m. Police said that the teen and Chalas removed cash from a food cart at the corner without permission. Chalas was also allegedly in possession of a scalpel and was charged with possession of a weapon.

OFFICER ASSAULTED AT BELLEVUE

Police arrested 23-year-old Andrew Baker for assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Friday at 7:20 p.m. While he was in police custody, Baker allegedly punched the officer who was guarding him in the face, causing swelling and pain.

TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR

‘MUGGING’ ON SEVENTH AVENUE

Police arrested 28-year-old Spencer Daly and 25-year-old Daniel Maldonado for grand larceny last Tuesday at 3:25 p.m. in front of 333 Seventh Avenue.

Police said that Daly and Maldonado removed property from the victim without permission, and Daly was found to be in possession of the victim’s property. Maldonado allegedly refused to be handcuffed and police said that he kicked out the passenger’s side rear window of a marked Radio Motor Patrol vehicle. He was also allegedly in possession of several credit cards that didn’t belong to him.

Daly was also charged with theft and Maldonado was additionally charged with criminal mischief, possession of stolen property, jostling and resisting arrest.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ WITH JEWELRY BOX

Twenty-year-old Hannah Sperber was arrested for assault last Tuesday at 12:07 p.m. inside 201 East 15th Street. The victim told police that Sperber hit her in the face with a jewelry box, causing broken front teeth and an injury on her head that required two stitches, and also caused a fractured wrist. Police did not have any information about how Sperber knew the victim, but she told police that Sperber is very aggressive.

‘DRUG’ SALE ON THIRD AVENUE

Eighteen-year-old Vincent McLeod was arrested for the sale of a controlled substance in front of 171 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. Police said that McLeod agreed to sell a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover officer for a sum of money. McLeod was also charged with petit larceny and fraudulent accosting. Police said that McLeod is known as an MGZ crew member, which is a gang in Brooklyn known as Marcy Gangstas.

MAN NABBED FOR VERIZON STORE ‘BURGLARY’

Eighteen-year-old Fernando Rodriguez was arrested at the 13th Precinct last Tuesday for burglary. Police said that Rodriguez forcibly entered a Verizon store overnight and removed three cell phones without permission. After he was read his Miranda rights, he allegedly identified himself on surveillance video removing the phones.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’

IN WEST 26TH ST. BUILDING

Police arrested 34-year-old Patrick Gaillard for criminal trespass inside 25 West 26th Street last Wednesday at 8:35 a.m. Gaillard was allegedly in the basement of the building without permission to be there. Police said that he was also in possession of a gravity knife, and he was charged with possession of a weapon.

MAN NABBED FOR SELLING ‘DRUGS’

Police arrested 24-year-old Kyle Ayala for sale of a controlled substance and intent to sell a controlled substance in front of 125 West 26th Street last Saturday at 11:40 p.m. Police said that Ayala exchanged a quantity of a controlled substance with another person who wasn’t arrested. When police stopped him, he allegedly fled and once he was detained, he began to flail his arms to prevent being handcuffed. He was also charged with resisting arrest. When he was searched, police said he was also in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance and packaging for drugs.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’

IN NYCHA BUILDING

Two men were arrested for trespassing in a NYCHA building at 224 East 28th Street in separate incidents last week.

Police arrested 43-year-old Juan Nieves last Tuesday at 2:42 p.m. Police said that Nieves entered and remained unlawfully on the roof landing at the building even though a sign in the stairwell clearly states that roof access is not permitted except by authorized personnel.

Nineteen-year-old Kaliel Frazier was arrested last Thursday at 9:47 p.m. Frazier was allegedly trespassing on the second floor of the building.

MAN BUSTED FOR TRESPASSING

IN EAST 27TH ST. BUILDING

Vincent Querrazi, 48, was arrested for criminal trespass inside 243 East 27th Street last Wednesday at 8:58 p.m. Police said that Querrazi was trespassing in the sixth floor stairwell in the building. After he was searched, police found that he was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

NYCHA buildings getting energy efficiency upgrades

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Nearly 300 New York City Housing Authority developments will be upgraded and retrofitted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate cost savings with at least $100 million in work through a series of Energy Performance Contracts, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced last Thursday.

Facilitated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the upgrades are part of the mayor’s commitment to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The reduction in consumption will also help NYCHA mitigate the impact of rising utility costs to save funds for other building upgrades and repairs.

Utility costs for water, electricity and heat in NYCHA developments have increased 64 percent over the last ten years even though consumption has only increased 9 percent, so the upgrades planned include energy-saving measures for heating plants and distribution, as well as the installation of energy efficient lighting.

The Request for Proposal, released today, will try to find energy services companies that maximize energy savings and cost savings throughout 50 percent of NYCHA’s properties, 89 developments encompassing 87,000 apartments and representing more than 200,000 residents. Currently, the annual utility cost for these developments is almost $300 million. Subsequent RFPs will seek bids for additional properties, for up to 300 NYCHA developments. In the mayor’s green buildings plan, the city has committed to retrofitting all public buildings with significant energy use by 2025 and public housing is a key component to the plan.

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Police Watch: Woman wanted for hot coffee assault, men behind ‘speakeasy’ busted

Assault suspect

Assault suspect

WOMAN WANTED FOR ASSAULT BY COFFEE
Police are looking for a woman who threw hot coffee at the face of a 45-year-old MTA bus driver at the intersection of Broadway and West 23rd Street on Tuesday. The scalding attack took place on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 at 11 a.m.
The suspect is described as a female, white, mid 20’s with long hair.
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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

PENNSYLVANIA FUGITIVE ARRESTED AT VA HOSPITAL
Last Tuesday, police arrested a man who allegedly hit a 16-year-old in the head, tied her to a motel bed and sexually assaulted her last June in Lehigh, Pennsylvania.
Michael Burdo, 58, was collared at the VA Hospital 423 East 23rd Street at 1:30 p.m. Police said that Burdo was to be extradited for Pennsylvania because a warrant was issued for his arrest on March 4 in Lehigh, charging him with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, aggravated indecent assault without consent, indecent assault, forcible compulsion, aggravated indecent assault-forcible compulsion and three counts of assault. Burdo was also charged with being a fugitive from another state.
A local Lehigh newspaper reported at the beginning of March that authorities were looking for Burdo after he missed a court hearing. The paper found that he had gone to New York to visit his sister instead of going to the hearing and overdosed on pills. He was brought to the VA Hospital and couldn’t be immediately removed because the hospital is on federal property.

MEN BUSTED FOR RUNNING ‘SPEAKEASY’ ON EAST 15TH STREET
Police arrested two people involved in an alleged illegal after-hours operation last Sunday at 1:35 a.m. inside 117 East 15th Street.
Guy Jacobson, 53, was allegedly running the illegal bar/nightclub at the location and selling alcohol without a license. Police said he’d been working the door at the entrance to the club, and was previously the owner of a bar called Belmont Lounge. The allegedly illegal club was in the basement of the former Belmont Lounge, according to the District Attorney’s office, who also said Jacobson owns the building but couldn’t produce an active State Liquor Authority license.
James Hill, 31, was also arrested for possession of a controlled substance, which police said was found after an inspection at the location.
Police said that there were 444 cans of beer, 66 bottles of beer and 158 bottles of liquor that were being sold to patrons, who were being charged $5 per beer and $8 for mixed drinks. Police recovered $2,331 at the premises.

CAB RIDER SCAMMED NEAR UNION SQUARE
A user on the website Reddit posted photos online of his encounter with a man who was scamming people with a fake taxi. Gothamist reported that the victim got a ride in the cab to Union Square last Thursday and the credit card machine in the backseat was broken.
When he handed his card to the driver, he noticed that there were two machines, one of which he said looked like a credit card skimmer. After seeing the second swiper, he also noticed that there was no information about the driver in the backseat and when he got out of the car, he saw that the medallion had been removed.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission told CBS that the car was likely a retired cab that was bought at an auction and had been seized twice, in 2006 and 2007.

MTA WORKER HALTS STABBING
Police arrested 27-year-old Donald Cheatham for assault and possession of a weapon inside the Park Avenue South/28th Street station last Sunday at 8:22 a.m. Police said that Cheatham slashed the victim with a folding knife on the back of the neck and right side of the head, causing cuts.
Gothamist reported on Sunday that an MTA worker had intervened in the fight between Cheatham and the 30-year-old victim, who were arguing about a phone in front of the MetroCard booth. Richard Singleton, who has worked for the MTA for 18 years, grabbed Cheatham’s arm, causing him to drop the knife, and Singleton said he got on top of Cheatham to hold him there until police arrived.

‘DRUG DEALERS’ BUSTED ON EAST 15TH
Police arrested two men involved in a drug deal in front of 105 East 15th Street last Tuesday at 2:20 p.m. Tony Ray, 29, was charged with the sale of marijuana and 25-year-old Lewis Emmerson was charged with the sale of marijuana and possession of marijuana. Police said that Ray and Emmerson sold marijuana to an undercover officer and Emmerson was allegedly in possession of more marijuana.

MAN ASSAULTED BY TEENS
Police arrested a teenager for assault at the corner of Second Avenue and East 28th Street last Sunday at 7:27 p.m. The victim told police that he was crossing the street when he was pushed to the ground and punched in the back of the head by four boys, causing substantial pain and swelling to his neck and head. Three of the boys were not arrested and the name of the teen who was arrested is being withheld due to his age.

‘BAIL-JUMPING’ ROLLERBLADER NABBED IN SUBWAY
Police arrested 21-year-old Ricky Cabrera for bail jumping inside the Union Square subway station at Union Square East and East 14th Street last Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. Police said that Cabrera was skating at a high speed on rollerblades inside a crowded subway station, creating a hazardous condition, swerving in and out of other people. When he was stopped, police found that he had an open warrant. Cabrera was also charged with an unclassified violation of New York State laws and disorderly conduct.

SENIOR ARRESTED FOR ‘PUNCHING’ EMS
Police arrested 65-year-old William Miller for assault at the corner of First Avenue and East 16th Street last Saturday at 10:57 p.m. Police said that Miller punched an EMS worker in the face, causing swelling. He was also charged with assault of a peace officer.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘XANAX’
Three men were arrested for drugs last Thursday at 6:36 p.m. on the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street.
Jonathan Sehring, 29, and Keith Ronquillo, also 29, were charged with possession of a controlled substance and 43-year-old Unice Jinks was charged with sale of a controlled substance. Police said that Jinks sold Xanax pills to an undercover officer and Sehring and Ronquillo were allegedly in possession of a controlled substance.

MEN BUSTED FOR ‘LIGHTING UP’ ON SUBWAY
Police arrested several people for smoking inside the subway system last week, who were charged with unclassified violations of New York State laws.
Yan Rakhamimov, 25, was allegedly smoking a cigarette on the platform at the Union Square subway station last Thursday at 8:38 p.m.
Thirty-six-year-old Yomar Portalatin and 33-year-old Sainlouis Moore were arrested at the Union Square station last Saturday at 1:20 a.m. Portalatin and Moore were allegedly smoking on an uptown 6 train.

WOMAN NABBED FOR NYCHA ‘TRESPASSING’
Twenty-year-old Brianne Amaker was arrested for criminal trespass inside 344 East 28th Street last Friday at 12:52 a.m. Amaker was allegedly inside the public housing development without permission and police said that she was also on the 13th floor, arguing and acting aggressive towards one of the tenants.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR POT OUTSIDE STUY TOWN
Police arrested two teenagers for possession of marijuana at the corner of Avenue C and East 16th Street last Friday at 1:20 p.m. The teens were smoking marijuana inside the park in public view. The names of the teens are being withheld due to their age.

TEENS BUSTED FOR ‘BOOSTING’ BIKE SEAT
Nineteen-year-olds Matthew MacConnoran and Jean Pineda were arrested for petit larceny at the corner of Asser Levy Place and East 25th Street last Saturday at 11:49 p.m. Police said that MacConnoran and Pineda were trying to remove a bicycle seat from a bicycle that didn’t belong to them. MacConnoran was also charged with burglar’s tools.

FIGHT ON WEST 16TH ST.
Police arrested two people involved in a fight in front of 37 West 16th Street last Sunday at 11:42 a.m. Tristan Wilson, 32, and Pasqual Vargas, 62, were charged with assault. Police said that the two men got into a fight and both sustained injuries.

‘PANHANDLER’ ARRESTED ON 2 TRAIN
Sixty-year-old Cesar Bracamonte was arrested for an unclassified violation of New York State laws at the 14th Street and Seventh Avenue subway station last Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. Bracamonte was allegedly panhandling and asking for money after playing music on a downtown 2 train.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR BATHROOM FIGHT
Police arrested a teenager for assault last Monday at 11:19 a.m. inside the High School for Health Professions and Human Services at 345 East 15th Street. There was a fight and the boy who was arrested punched and kicked the victim, causing contusions and bruising. The fight took place inside the school’s bathroom and the teen attends the Institute for Collaborative Education High School. The teen’s name is being withheld due to his age.

Community Boards 3, 6 create task force on waterfront resiliency

Kayakers fill the East River by Stuyvesant Cove Park during an event last June. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Kayakers fill the East River by Stuyvesant Cove Park during an event last June. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community Board 6 and 3 recently formed a joint task force to offer guidance on how new features along the East Side waterfront can be incorporated into a recently-funded project focused on waterfront resiliency. The new task force met for the first time this past Monday to discuss preliminary ideas for the project and is composed of 11 representatives, including members of CB3, CB6 and various community stakeholders.

CB6 chair Sandro Sherrod, who is also chairing the task force, said that while construction isn’t expected to begin until at least 2017 and the project is currently in the conceptual design phase, the task force is planning to have additional meetings and invite the public to look at different options and various design elements.

The project, which is spearheaded by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), is known as the BIG U and is the result of a design competition that was held by Housing and Urban Development in which participants came up with ideas on how to fix areas that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. HUD approved $335 million in funding for the project last October.

The BIG U in the project refers to a ten-mile long protective barrier to be built along the east side of Manhattan from East 42nd Street down to the Battery, then looping in a U shape up to East 57th Street. Instead of typical flood barriers and walls, the project proposes to include seawalls, raised pathways, parks, locally appropriate berms and mechanized operable barriers. The plan splits the project into three distinct zones, one of which is the area between Montgomery Street on the Lower East Side and East 23rd Street.

The “zone” from Montgomery Street on the Lower East Side along the waterfront extends to East 23rd Street but this area is split into two different parts. The first project area includes the region below East 14th Street, which includes a number of NYCHA developments on the Lower East Side that were badly damaged by flooding, currently has more concrete design plans than the second project area but the task force will be working with the BIG U team to solidify ideas for the area north of East 14th Street.

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Police Watch: Teen iPhone ‘snatchers’ busted, ‘reckless’ driver arrested

CITI BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 32-year-old Monica Lang for possession of stolen property last Tuesday at 12:51 a.m. in front of 370 Third Avenue. Police saw Lang littering on a public sidewalk and upon further investigation, police found that she was allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike.

CAR BURGLARIZED IN GRAMERCY PARK
Police arrested 42-year-old Adalerto Soto for burglary in front of 10 Gramercy Park South last Tuesday at noon. Soto was seen casing several cars before opening the passenger side door of a commercial vehicle parked on Gramercy Park South and taking a cell phone, police said. He was also charged with possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

ARREST FOR ‘MENACING’ ON EAST 28TH
Miguel Rivera, 58, was arrested for menacing on the corner of Second Avenue and East 28th Street last Tuesday at 12:01 p.m. Rivera got into a fight with another person and allegedly pulled out an 8.5-inch knife, which the victim said made him fear for his life.

‘MISCHIEF’ AT JAY-Z’S CLUB
Thirty-year-old Safid Bakar was arrested for criminal mischief inside the 40/40 Club at 6 West 25th Street last Tuesday at 10:40 p.m. Bakar allegedly punched a mirror in the bathroom of the club. The manager, Sheldon Robinson, told police that the mirror is worth approximately $1,500.

‘BAG SNATCHER’ NABBED AT PLUG UGLIES
Eighteen-year-old Angel Valentin was arrested for grand larceny inside Plug Uglies at 257 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 11:09 p.m. The victim told police that she was sitting on a barstool with her bag hanging underneath the bar. Valentin then leaned down and while pretending to tie his shoe, allegedly took her bag and fled from the bar. The victim noticed a few minutes later that her bag was missing and witnesses said they saw Valentin leave the bar. When he was stopped, he was in possession of stolen property, police said.

‘MUGGER’ NABBED AT FIFTH AND WEST 22ND
Police arrested 19-year-old Albert Mizrahi for possession of stolen property at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 22nd Street last Sunday at 1:29 a.m. A woman told police that an unknown man with brown hair and a jacket grabbed her and snatched her handbag containing her cell phone and personal property. She called her cell phone in the presence of police and the person who answered told her that he would meet her at West 22nd and Fifth and would return her property in exchange for money.
Mizrahi met the victim at the stated location and allegedly had her phone in his possession. Upon a show-up, the victim told police that Mizrahi looked like the person who stole her bag, but at the precinct she became irate and refused to cooperate in the investigation, police said. She then told police that Mizrahi wasn’t the person who stole her bag and she wouldn’t press charges but said that he looked like the person who had stolen her bag.

TEENS BUSTED IN 6 TRAIN CELL PHONE SNATCH
Police arrested four teenagers for grand larceny from a person at the corner of East 30th Street and Lexington Avenue last Thursday at 2:32 a.m. The victim told police that while she was riding a downtown 6 train and using her cell phone, the four teens were working together and snatched her phone from her hands, then ran out of the station at East 28th Street and Park Avenue South. The victim flagged down police and the teens were arrested at East 30th Street and Lexington. The names of the teenagers are being withheld due to their age.

‘RECKLESS’ DRIVER BUSTED AT WEST 26TH
A cop pulled a driver from his car by force last Thursday after the motorist, 57-year-old Antonio Pimental, refused to get out during an arrest for reckless driving.
It was at 11:30 a.m. when a pedestrian told police of an accident near the intersection of West 26th and Fifth Avenue and the officer then saw the vehicle involved in the accident driving west on East 26th Street. Pimental allegedly tried to drive onto the sidewalk but then stopped because another vehicle was in his way. The officer told Pimental to roll down his window but the driver refused. Police said that Pimental looked “spaced out” and the officer asked Pimental repeatedly to open his car door. Pimental then took the key out of the ignition and sat with his hands folded. The officer then broke the car window after telling Pimental to get out, and removed him from the vehicle. There was also a passenger in the car who observed Pimental hit a black SUV. It was discovered later that Pimental suffers from seizures.

‘MUGGER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 21-year-old Gage Quinones for robbery at the corner of Union Square East and East 16th Street last Thursday at 7:55 p.m. The victim told police that he was walking on Union Square East talking on his cell phone when he was mugged. Quinones allegedly punched the man, causing him to drop his phone. Quinones then grabbed $100 in cash from the victim’s pocket and the victim’s phone from the ground, police said.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ BIKE
Police arrested 36-year-old Wilson Perez for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 102 East 22nd Street last Wednesday at 1:59 p.m. Perez was allegedly walking a stolen bike that he had removed from Fifth Avenue. Police said that he was found in possession of burglar’s tools and he was also charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER BUSTED ON THIRD
Police arrested 27-year-old Oscar Aponte for intoxicated driving last Saturday at 4:03 a.m. inn front of 364 Third Avenue. A witness saw Aponte driving the wrong way on Third Avenue. He was driving south, while Third Avenue is a northbound street. When police stopped him, he was allegedly intoxicated with bloodshot watery eyes, a flushed face and slurred speech. He refused a breath test at the scene and at the Seventh Precinct.

THREE MEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
Police arrested 27-year-old William Maye, 23-year-old Wilson Alvarez and 27-year-old Kevin Harris for assault in front of 235 East 14th Street last Sunday at 5:01 a.m. The victim told police that the three men punched him in the face, causing substantial pain and some cuts.

‘TRESPASSERS’ ON NYCHA BUILDING ROOF
Delano Broadus, 33, and Necola Fowler, 45, were arrested for criminal trespassing last Monday at 8:40 p.m. inside 224 East 28th Street. Broadus and Fowler allegedly went on the roof of the building even though there were signs on the stairwell which said that there was no access to the roof and roof landing except for authorized personnel.

MAN ARRESTED FOR UNTAXED CIGS
Sixty-year-old Diomedes Nunez was arrested for violating tax law last Tuesday at 11:50 p.m. in front of 4 Union Square South. An officer recognized Nunez as a person of interest wanted for a prior incident by the 24th and First Precinct squads. He was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Union Square when he was arrested.

Mayor’s housing plan has tenant protections

By Sabina Mollot

Mayor de Blasio, then a candidate, was endorsed by TenantsPAC in Stuyvesant Town last August. Pictured with de Blasio is Tenants PAC Treasuer Mike McKee on the mayor's right and ST-PCV Tenants Association President John Marsh (also a TenantsPAC member) to his left.

Mayor de Blasio, then a candidate, was endorsed by TenantsPAC in Stuyvesant Town last August. Pictured with de Blasio is Tenants PAC Treasurer Mike McKee on the mayor’s right and ST-PCV Tenants Association President John Marsh (also a TenantsPAC member) to his left. Photo by Sabina Mollot

On Monday, Mayor de Blasio unveiled his long-awaited plan that would create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing throughout the city over the next decade. The proposal, with its $41 billion pricetag, would mostly preserve existing affordable units –120,000 — while building 80,000 new ones. There would be a focused effort on city agencies using “every tool at their disposal to protect tenants in both subsidized affordable housing and rent-regulated housing from the tide of deregulation,” the mayor announced.

To accomplish this, the city would work with the state as rent regulation comes up for renewal in 2015 “to prevent abuses of the vacancy and luxury decontrol provisions and capital improvement rules.” The city would also more closely scrutinize situations of landlord harassment or neglect and possibly step in with legal action. There would also be increased support for seniors through Section 8 vouchers if they have declining incomes, working with NYCHA to implement more senior housing in its developments and expanding eligibility for SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent increase Exemption).

De Blasio also promised to work with communities to develop housing on vacant lots, create “quality” construction jobs and cut down on red tape that would slow down development or raise construction costs. Additionally, any rezoning aimed at building bigger to accommodate more housing would require that some of that housing would be affordable. The city would also launch a mixed-income program where 50 percent of units in these “projects” would be set aside for middle-income households, and the remaining 20 and 30 percent, respectively, set aside for low and moderate income households. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) would see its budget doubled.

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Burglaries, robberies up in 13th Precinct

The Cop of the Month for April 2014 was awarded to P.O. Phil McGovern at the meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on April 15.  Pictured are Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, Council President Frank Scala, and P.O. McGovern. (Photo by Pat Sallin)

The Cop of the Month for April 2014 was awarded to P.O. Phil McGovern at the meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on April 15. Pictured are Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, Council President Frank Scala, and P.O. McGovern. (Photo by Pat Sallin)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel
While crime in the area covered by the 13th Precinct is down overall for the year so far, burglaries and robberies are up. Overall, crime is down 2.4 percent for the year and 8 percent for the month but burglaries are up 37 percent since this time last year and robberies are up 44.8 percent.
The stats were announced by the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, at the 13th Precinct’s April community council meeting on Tuesday, April 15.
He added that there has been a slight increase, 1.9 percent, on felony assaults as well, noting that these assaults often become a problem for the precinct because of incidents in the neighborhood hospitals, and attacks on doctors, nurses and peace officers automatically carry a heavier penalty.
Grand larcenies, meanwhile, are actually down 10.9 percent for the year.
“That was the area that was most up last year,” Ehrenberg noted. Grand larcenies have been featured prominently in T&V’s blotter regularly, with a number of victims reporting every month that their property was stolen while left unattended or snatched out of their hands while on the subway.
The increases that the precinct has seen in burglaries is more unusual than previous months, Ehrenberg said, because they are up in residential as opposed to commercial burglaries. The deputy inspector noted that one criminal was busted trying to climb into someone’s apartment through a fire escape in the 6th precinct and Ehrenberg said that he also matched the description of someone breaking in through fire escapes in the 13th, so he said he is hopeful that the arrest will alleviate the problem somewhat.
The meeting was also attended by a number of neighborhood residents with quality of life concerns due to noisy tenants in their building and aggressive homeless people in the vicinity of area shelters. Public housing residents of 224 East 28th Street in the Straus Houses were frustrated because of constant noise in the middle of the night in multiple apartments. One resident noted that police have come to the building to address the problem but that once the cops leave, the noise just starts up again.
“The noise usually comes from two different apartments and I’ve been told that they actually sell tickets for people to get in,” another resident who didn’t want to be named said. “There is underage drinking going on and pot-smoking that permeates through three floors. Strangers have knocked on my door wanting to buy pot. We’ve been dealing with this problem for the last two years.”
Ehrenberg said that while crime in public housing is down and there were more directed patrols in that specific building added recently, they most likely won’t be able to add more police to the building any time soon but he wanted to assure residents that NYCHA buildings are always on their radar.
“We’re responsible for those buildings so what happens there is definitely a concern for us,” he said. “We don’t want you to think that we’re neglecting these buildings. Noise in the middle of the night absolutely shouldn’t be happening.”
One resident of West 25th Street had complaints about recent activity outside the BRC shelter between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. She said what concerned her the most, aside from the drug deals she saw taking place, was a man who appeared to be dealing drugs while accompanied by a child in a stroller.
The deputy inspector noted that the precinct has been meeting regularly with the shelter’s task force and has pushed the BRC to increase their patrols. He added that they’re only able to put foot posts in the higher crime areas, which doesn’t include this particular shelter, but they will be re-evaluating the situation when they get the five new recruits that are supposed to be coming in.
The meeting also included the recognizing of April’s Cop of the Month, Police Officer Phil McGovern.