Kitten rescued from postal truck engine is still under observation

Melanie, a kitten rescued from a truck parked in Gramercy (Photo by Marilyn Pascarelli)

By Sabina Mollot

Melanie, the mostly blind kitten rescued from the engine of a postal truck last month, is still waiting for her forever home.

Holly Staver, a founding member of rescue organization City Critters, noted that the adorable black and white longhair kitten came close to getting adopted by a Stuy Town resident who wound up not being able to take her for some reason.

Meanwhile, Staver said Melanie may need further observation and specialized veterinary care as her reactions to some cats and other stimuli “are a bit dramatic.” This isn’t due to her limited vision, which hasn’t been a problem as she seems to gets around without problems.

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New commanding officer for 13th Pct.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A familiar face is coming to fill the shoes of Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney at the 13th Precinct, who announced at the most recent community council meeting last Tuesday that he would be transferring to the Midtown South precinct. Timoney, who has been at the precinct for the last three years, said that Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, previously the precinct’s executive officer, would be coming to replace him. Hellman started at his new post last Thursday.

In an interview during his first stint at the precinct in 2014, Hellman told Town & Village that he comes from a police family, with his father, uncle and brother all former or current police captains in the NYPD. Hellman started in the department in 1994 at the 19th precinct, covering the Upper East Side, and spent six years as an officer in Washington Heights. Prior to becoming the executive officer at the 13th Precinct in 2014, Hellman was in the same position at the 9th Precinct, which covers the East Village.

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NYPD MEW: Cops rescue kitten stuck inside truck engine

HEEEEERE, KITTY, KITTY, KITTY–Around a dozen cops were called to the scene where an adorable kitten (pictured) was stuck inside a postal truck parked in Gramercy. (Photo by Marilyn Pascarelli)

By Sabina Mollot

There was no time for kitten around last Wednesday afternoon when police were alerted that a stray feline had somehow ended up in the engine of a postal truck parked in Gramercy.

The kitten, which may have been seeking a warm place to hide from the wind, was seen inside the truck on the southwest corner of Second Avenue and 19th Street by a woman who was walking by. She alerted Ted Weiner, veterinarian and owner of the nearby Gotham Animal Clinic, who then ran to the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street between Second and Third Avenues for help. Fortunately, Weiner later told us, a police officer he spotted outside immediately went with him to the scene to help.

“He came right away, no second thoughts,” said Weiner. “Apparently he was an animal lover.”

Eventually, about a dozen cops from the precinct and Emergency Service Unit responded, with each attempting to follow the kitten’s helpless cries to figure out where in the truck she was.

“They were under the truck, they were all over the place,” Weiner said.

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Man’s head knocked into Q train at Union Square

Dec21 Assault suspect2

Assault suspect 1

By Sabina Mollot

Police are hunting two men they say punched a man so hard his head got smacked onto an incoming Q train at the Union Square subway station.

According to the cops, on Saturday, December 16 at around 3 a.m. the two suspects approached a 41-year-old man who they didn’t know on the platform and the three of them got into an argument. They then began punching him in the head, which caused him to fall to the platform floor and his head to be struck by an arriving southbound Q train. A police spokesperson couldn’t say if the man, who survived, hit the side or the front of the train as it barreled by.

Dec21 Assault suspect 1

Assault suspect 2

The victim was taken to an area hospital where he is being treated for lacerations to the head, multiple fractures to his face and the base of his skull, and bleeding on the brain. A police spokesperson said his condition appears to be stable.

The suspects, if caught, would be charged with assault. They are described as a Hispanic man and an Asian man.

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 for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Phone scammers pretend to be police, con woman out of $30G

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The 13th Precinct is warning residents about a new influx of phone scams after a local woman was conned out of $30,000 when she got a call from who she thought was the police.

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, told people attending a meeting held by the precinct’s Community Council last Tuesday that the woman got a call from what she thought was the 81st precinct. The person calling her told her there was a warrant for her arrest and demanded payment in iTunes cards.

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Police Watch: Man strolls into woman’s apt. to pee, Teen stabs victim on train, slashes another

MAN BARGES INTO WOMAN’S APARTMENT

TO PEE, THEN ALLEGEDLY MAKES THREATS

Matthew Pryblyski, 25, was arrested after allegedly breezing into a woman’s apartment at 149 West 14th Street, where he then headed to her bathroom and began to pee. The woman, who doesn’t know Pryblyski, said she told him to get out, and he responded by picking up a lamp and allegedly waving it around in front of her in a threatening manner. He also told her, “Shut up, you Arabic bitch. I am going to sue you,” according to a criminal complaint. Police said it is unclear how he got into her apartment in the incident, which occurred last Saturday night. He was arraigned on November 5 and his next court appearance on charges of burglary, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon is on December 20. Town & Village reached out to Pryblyski’s attorney, but did not hear back.

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL ATTACKS TWO WITH

SCISSORS AT UNION SQUARE SUBWAY

Police arrested a teen who, on Halloween night, slashed one teen with a scissor at the Union Square subway station and stabbed another on the train. The victim who was slashed said he was trying to get away from the girl, whose name is being withheld due to her age, when she slashed his wrist, causing a very serious physical injury. On the train, she also stabbed another male victim in the neck, hand and back. The incident may have been part of a larger fight. The alleged assailant attends Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island.

POLICE IMPERSONATION IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested Gerardo Torres, 30, after he allegedly pretended to be a cop to gain entry to a building at 334 East 26th Street last Monday morning. Police said he told a security officer there that he was an officer conducting an investigation at the location and even went as far as providing what appeared to be an NYPD-issued business card. The security officer didn’t buy it, however, and Torres was charged with impersonating an officer and criminal trespass.

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Man arrested for arson at Bellevue

Bellevue Hospital Center (Photo courtesy of HHC)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 24-year-old man was arrested after allegedly setting fires inside Bellevue Hospital.

Police said that a security guard saw Jason Peterson-Ridge on video surveillance starting multiple fires on three different floors shortly after he was discharged as a patient at the hospital on September 24 at 10 p.m.

According to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Peterson-Ridge approached a hand sanitizer stand inside the hospital and filled the catching tray with hand sanitizer, then lit the vapors, causing them to ignite and start a fire.

The FDNY said that the fire caused the dispenser to melt, resulting in damage to the floor and additionally caused charring to the wall and smoke damage to the wall and ceiling.

Police said that he fled to his apartment nearby, where he was arrested a few hours later at 1:46 a.m.

Peterson-Ridge’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

 

Teen worker tells would-be robber to get out of ST Dunkin’ Donuts

Tanzina Haque refused demands for cash from a man believed by cops to have robbed or tried to rob five businesses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a senior citizen who’s had had limited success in a series of robberies, most recently at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Stuyvesant Town.

In that incident, which occurred on Friday, September 8, the man, who’s believed to be 65-70 years old, pulled out a kitchen knife and demanded money from an 18-year-old staffer. However, according to the employee who was reached on the phone this week, Tanzina Haque, the robber didn’t get it.

According to Haque, the interaction started normally with the man asking about prices of the things he wanted, like a doughnut. But then he took out his knife. At first, Haque said she didn’t notice it, so he made a point of telling her he had one while saying, “Give me the money.” However, she refused. The robber asked again, and Haque told him to leave. When he still kept asking, Haque said she got louder, again telling him to leave.

“I said, ‘I’m going to call the cops.’” Finally, the man gave up and left empty-handed.

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NYPD releases descriptions of suspects who maced delivery man in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD released further information on the two suspects wanted for macing and injuring a delivery man in Stuyvesant Town.

As Town & Village first reported, the man was sprayed with mace during a mugging inside 287 Avenue C in Stuyvesant Town on Sunday, September 17.

Police said that the first suspect is described as a black or Hispanic man, approximately 30 years old, 5’5” with a thin build and was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts, black sneakers and a black baseball hat. The second suspect is described as a black or Hispanic man, approximately 30 years old, 5’6” with a medium to heavy build and was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts black sneakers and a black baseball hat.

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Stuy Town gets new public safety chief

New Public Safety Chief Frances Martin is a Stuyvesant town resident.

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, StuyTown Property Services made the surprise announcement that there was a new chief of public safety in the community.

The job has been given to Frances Martin, a Stuyvesant Town resident and a former NYPD officer who has been working as a lieutenant for SPS for the past seven years on the overnight shift. She is the first woman to become head of public safety in the complex.

SPS made the announcement via email, which curiously omitted any reference to the chief of public safety for the past 11 years, William McClellan. McClellan also previously had worked for the NYPD. SPS wouldn’t comment on the reason for the popular employee’s departure, but praised him in a written statement to Town & Village.

“Chief McClellan served the community well over his 11 years and we thank him for his leadership and service,” spokesperson Paula Chirhart said.

As for Martin, the newsletter states: “She served the city of New York for 27 years and retired as commander of the Detective Squad in 2010. She was an appointee of the then police commissioner and has worked task forces with the FBI, Secret Service, and just about every other federal agency including Homeland Security in the aftermath of 9/11. At the time of her departure, Martin was one of the highest ranking female officers in the NYPD.”

Another Stuyvesant Town resident, Joseph Gamba, will be taking on the role of deputy chief of public safety.

Man who fatally punched victim in Union Square for being white gets 25 years

Union Square (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, a black man who attacked three people in Union Square for being white, including one person who died as a result of his injuries, was sentenced to 25 years in a state prison.

The lengthy sentence for LaShawn Marten, 44, was in part due to the fact that the assaults were considered hate crimes.

He was found guilty on July 5, nearly four years after the incidents on September 4, 2013.

That afternoon, Marten, a regular chess player at Union Square Park, had stated he would “knock out” the next white person who passed him. Not long after this, a 62-year-old man, Jeffrey Babbitt, who was white, walked by, and Marten punched him in the face. Babbitt, who got knocked down to the ground from the blow, hit his head hard on the pavement.

Moments later, when a 19-year-old bystander (also white) tried to help Babbit, Marten punched him in the face as well. When a third Good Samaritan, a 47-year-old man tried to help, Marten hit him in the head so hard that he was knocked unconscious.

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Cops investigate suspicious package at First Avenue L train station

Aug17 bomb scare

By Sabina Mollot

At around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the NYPD Bomb Squad cordoned off First Avenue near the L train station on East 14th Street and the station itself after getting a 911 call about a suspicious package. However, by 5:40 p.m., the NYPD gave the all clear. As for what the package, which had been seen under a bench on the southbound platform was, a spokesperson for the department said he didn’t know other than “It wasn’t a bomb.” The photo, taken by Stuyvesant Town resident Henry Beck shows a traffic-free First Avenue at around 15th Street at 5:30 p.m. today.

 

Candidate threatened with arrest while calling for reform of the city’s privately owned public spaces

Marti Speranza said she tried but was unable to get a permit to hold her press conference at the Trump Tower Atrium, which is supposed to be publicly accessible. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Marti Speranza, a Democrat running for City Council, risked but ultimately evaded arrest on Monday while calling for reform of Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS).

Ironically, the threat of arrest came because of the venue of her press conference, one of the city’s so-called POPS located in the atrium of Trump Tower.

As Speranza and supporters gathered at the space before the press conference, which was on a level below the ground floor, they were told they’d be arrested if they didn’t leave, her campaign staffers later said. However, Speranza and a couple of other speakers went on to make their arguments anyway, uninterrupted, as a few suit wearing men hovered at the room’s entrance. Afterwards, they stepped forward to ask the candidate and staffers if they’d be dispersing. Speranza’s campaign manager said the men later identified themselves as police from the NYPD’s Intelligence Unit. While no voices were raised, one of the men said he would normally turn the matter over to the legal department, but then added, “We don’t want to go that route.” He also asked if the campaign was planning any similar events in the future. When a staffer responded that doing so would be the campaign’s right, the man disagreed, but ultimately no one was kicked out.

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Thieves working together to steal phones from Manhattan stores

Cell phone theft suspects 1, 3 and 4

Police are looking for a group of five thieves who’ve been working in groups as well as alone to hit cell phone stores, including one in Union Square.

Cops said the most recent incident was on July 2 at an AT&T store at 31 East 17 Street west of Park Avenue South. One of the aforementioned individuals posed as a customer and then ripped a cell phone off the display case, where it had been attached by a security cable. He then fled the store.

The first known incident was on June 12 at an AT&T store at 33 Park Place near City Hall. Three men, or possibly teenagers, posed as customers and ripped three cell phones off the display case, after cutting through security cable.

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Man rubs against woman on L train at First Avenue

Forcible touching suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who rubbed himself against a female straphanger on the L train last Wednesday.

Police said the victim, a 33-year-old woman, was on the train at the First Avenue station when a man who was standing behind her forcibly rubbed himself against her buttocks. The victim then snapped a photo of the man who was sticking out his tongue before he fled the train. Police said it isn’t clear if the man was grinding against the woman with his crotch.

Update: The victim told DNAinfo he was gyrating his hips repeatedly and she could feel he was aroused.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, approximately 5’6″ with brown eyes and black hair and was last seen wearing an orange t-shirt.

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