Teen arrested for attempted knifepoint robbery in Stuy Town

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 15-year-old was arrested for attempting to rob a deliveryman at knifepoint in Stuyvesant Town last week.

Police said that the teen, along with another suspect who was not arrested, approached the victim as he was leaving 653 East 14th Street last Wednesday at 8:24 p.m. after making a delivery.

After the teen pulled a knife, the pair demanded cash from the deliveryman, but he managed to push them away without getting injured. The failed muggers then fled the location.

At that point, a bystander who saw the incident activated the emergency phone station connected to Stuy Town’s Public Safety department, and officers from the property as well as NYPD arrived at the scene.

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When Stella came to Stuyvesant Town

A nor’easter that hit New York on Tuesday wasn’t as bad as initially predicted in terms of actual snowfall, but since the storm named Stella had already been declared a weather emergency, this meant no shortage of caution was taken. In Stuyvesant Town as in the rest of the city, the snow melting efforts began before the snow and hail actually began to fall, and shoveling soon after, though Stuy Town management sent out several emails warning black ice was still inevitable due to the below freezing temperature. In one email, management noted that over five inches of snow had come down on the Oval just by 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday. Meanwhile, residents made the best of the near-blizzard conditions and a day off from school and work, hauling out their sleds and snowman making skills.

Photos by Maya Rader

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Stuy Town woman: Handy cleaner stole from my apartment

Jennifer Kops (pictured in 2013 at a Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade) (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Jennifer Kops (pictured in 2013 at a Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade) (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier this month, the NYPD sent out an email blast, noting that police had become aware of 50 complaints of theft that were traced back to Handy, an app that allows users to hire people who clean their apartments and do handyman type work. The cops added that there has been one arrest within the past month related to such an incident.

However, despite the memo being picked up by a few news outlets, including this one, thefts from apartments have apparently continued. Handy, like Uber, is a platform connecting workers to those in need of service, with customers listing dates and times they would like the work done and contractors responding to accept the job.

And, as one resident of Stuyvesant Town who utilized the company’s services on five occasions told us, she was definitely cleaned out when an estimated $5,000 in cash and jewelry went missing from her apartment.

The resident, Jennifer Kops, a mom of two, said after the first cleaner came and did a “fantastic job,” she didn’t have a problem letting in future cleaners (there were two others) into her home while she was at work.

“To me it seemed like a great plan; I come home to a nice smelling house.”

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StuyTown to offer self-defense classes after attempted rape

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

StuyTown Property Services will be offering self-defense courses to residents in the wake of the sexual assault in Stuyvesant Town early last Sunday morning, and the management has installed new lighting along the 14th Street corridor. General Manager Rick Hayduk made the announcements in an emailed newsletter to residents on Thursday night.

In addition to new lighting, Hayduk noted that perimeter lighting, particular along Avenue C, as well as interior lighting, is currently being reviewed. SPS will also be working with security consultants to identify areas where new and additional equipment should be placed, including improvements to the configuration of the surveillance system, since the assault on Sunday was not fully visible to the property’s security cameras.

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Teen arrested in connection with attempted sexual assault of woman in Stuy Town

June23 sign

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

UPDATE: Police have filed charges of attempted rape, assault, strangulation, sex abuse, burglary against the suspect, identified as Aaron Kish of Piscataway, New Jersey. Police didn’t have information on if the victim was injured, although she had been taken to the hospital for treatment and observation and police said there was a “physical confrontation.” Police also said Kish has been arrested before though it wasn’t clear how many times or what the charges were. In the alleged assault, he suffered some facial injuries when the victim fought back.

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a 17-year-old who’s suspected of trying to sexually assault a woman inside the vestibule of her building in Stuyvesant Town.

Police said that at around 4:45 a.m. the victim, a 22-year-old woman, was walking into her building when the suspect entered the vestibule behind her. He then started talking to her before pulling off her clothes and trying to sexually assault her. At that point, a resident of the building came into the vestibule, and the attacker fled.

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Three men arrested for package thefts in Stuy Town

Packages at 441 E 20

Three men were arrested for allegedly stealing packages from Stuy Town (not the ones pictured from a past pileup).

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested three men for stealing packages in a Stuyvesant Town building this past Tuesday afternoon. Emicel Basurto, 29, Damon Barnes, 40, and Jemal Martin, 42, were busted inside 435 East 14th Street at 2:52 p.m. while allegedly going through packages that had been delivered to the building.

A representative for StuyTown Property Services said that a janitorial supervisor noticed a man fitting the description of an alleged package thief walking near East 14th Street and Avenue A with two other men. Management knew what the suspect looked like because of surveillance video taken at buildings where thefts had previously occurred.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Basurto could be seen on video surveillance entering 453 East 14th Street on December 27 around 4:30 p.m. He allegedly took an elevator upstairs and left shortly after, but police said that a package that had been confirmed delivered was not at her apartment when she got home.

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Airbnb apts. still an ongoing issue in ST

By Sabina Mollot

In October, Governor Cuomo signed a law that will impose steep fines on Airbnb hosts who break local housing regulations. The short-term rental listings giant sued over the law though the company recently settled with the city of New York once it was made clear that hosts and not Airbnb were the target.

Short-term rentals in apartments were already illegal in many cases in New York City if the stay is under 30 days and the apartment’s tenant of record isn’t also staying there. Additionally, the practice also violates lease terms at some properties, including Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, though this hasn’t stopped tenants from listing their homes on Airbnb and other sites.

In recent years, this has been a worry for tenants who are concerned about problems like the spread of bedbugs as well as safety in an environment where they don’t know who’s staying next door. Four years ago when there was an uptick of bedbug sightings in the complex, then Tenants Association President John Marsh suspected that might be the reason. At one point, representatives from the ST-PCV Tenants Association and management met with representatives from Airbnb. The meeting resulted in the company agreeing to issue a pop-up notice on its website stating that rentals are illegal if the site’s user tries to advertise a Stuy Town or Peter Cooper address.

Yet, the practice has persisted.

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PCV porters catch cell phone ‘thief’

Peter Cooper Village

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

An attempt to steal a Peter Cooper Village resident’s cell phone on Wednesday evening was cut short thanks to the quick actions of two porters on the property who ran after the suspect and caught him. The man was then held for Stuyvesant Town’s Public Safety department and later the police.

According to the District Attorney’s office, 19-year-old Joseph Small approached the victim in front of 370 First Avenue around 5:30 p.m. and demanded her iPhone before grabbing it from her hands and running away.

Small was charged with grand larceny and theft and was arrested in front of 375 First Avenue around 6:21 p.m.

The porters who nabbed the suspect are Joel Quezada and Jose Paredes. The Public Safety officer who was also involved is Kerron Safe. The DA’s office said that Safe recovered the victim’s phone from Small’s pocket.

Two cars splashed with paint thinner or acid outside PCV

The corrosive substance peeled the paint down to the metal on Cailin Krogman’s car door. (Photo courtesy of Cailin Krogman)

The corrosive substance peeled the paint down to the metal on Cailin Krogman’s car door. (Photo courtesy of Cailin Krogman)

By Sabina Mollot

While most drivers have experienced the delight of walking outside to find that their car’s tires have been slashed or the doors keyed by a random jerk, two cars owned by residents of Peter Cooper were recently on the receiving end of a splash attack by either paint thinner or some kind of acid.

One of the car owners, Cailin Krogman, said other cars may have been damaged by the substance, too, which caused the paint to peel back down to the metal all along the passenger door.

The perp, she believes, must have done it last Saturday night at some point after she parked her car at 6:45 p.m. near a Peter Cooper Village entrance on East 20th Street. Krogman didn’t discover the damage herself until the following Monday morning when leaving for work, but said a neighbor who’d been out walking her dog on Sunday morning saw the cars damaged at that time. Because of this, Krogman doesn’t believe she was personally targeted by anyone.

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Kid on bike hits woman on PCV path

By Sabina Mollot

While normally the sight of speeding bikes in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper is blamed on deliverymen from nearby restaurants, recently it was an eight-year-old child whose speeding resulted in an accident that left one woman in a cast.

The woman, a resident of Stuyvesant Town, said it was on July 13 at around 6 p.m. when she was walking her dog along a path in Peter Cooper near 541 East 20th Street and was knocked down from behind when a child on a bike crashed directly into her. Instinctively, she put out her arms to protect her head and ended up landing on them, fracturing her left wrist. Then, adding insult to injury, she said, was that the boy’s father berated her for being there. The woman, who asked that her name not be published, added that soon after she was hit, Public Safety officers were at the scene and when she gave her name and address to them, the boy’s father, a resident of PCV, asked what she was doing there.

“He said, in front of me, ‘You don’t belong here; you live in Stuyvesant Town,’” she said. She added that he initially resisted giving his own information to the officer, but ultimately admitted that when the accident occurred he was distracted by something on his phone. Meanwhile, the boy, she noticed was frozen in shock.

Fortunately, another man who lives nearby and saw her was friendlier, helping her into a cab so she could get treatment at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The woman, a longtime resident, said she contacted T&V for a couple of reasons. First, she said, she wants parents to make sure their kids’ bikes have bells or horns, and she also wants to make sure parents whose kids are learning to ride bikes actually do supervise them.

“If I was an older person, or a more frail person, I could have died,” she said. “This is a busy community.”

Fire in PCV injures 5

A firefighter gets ready to enter a fourth floor apartment at 601 East 20th Street. Photo via FDNY)

A firefighter gets ready to enter a fourth floor apartment at 601 East 20th Street. (Photo via FDNY)

By Sabina Mollot

An older resident was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in a Peter Cooper Village apartment on Friday. The blaze, which the Fire Department got the call about at 5:13 p.m. took 29 minutes to get under control, with 20 units and 78 firefighters at the scene.

The resident, James Masterson, has been treated and released and is now fine, according to a woman who works for the couple as a caretaker. She wasn’t working at the apartment that day but said Masterson and his wife Bernadette were both home at the time the fire broke out.

“He inhaled smoke, but he’s fine now; they’re both fine,” she said.

The address where the fire broke out was on the fourth floor at 601 East 20th Street, which is on Avenue C.

The FDNY said that after the fire, four firefighters were taken to different local hospitals with minor injuries and one civilian was also taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition. The FDNY said it couldn’t confirm that it was Masterson or even the age of the patient.

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Letters to the Editor, Apr. 9

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Thanks, TA for speaking up for neighbors

Re: ST-PCV Tenants Association’s Al Doyle gives testimony at rent regulation extension signing,” T&V, Apr. 2

We are very fortunate to have such well-spoken leaders in our Tenants Association as Alvin Doyle and Susan Steinberg to voice our concerns to our representatives in the City Council and those in Albany.

Having had lived in Stuyvesant Town during my entire married life and now as a widow, I am grateful for the community spirit and have appreciated the warm neighborliness that PCVST has provided. It is all well and good to strive to provide for new affordable housing as this city was built by and maintained by a strong middle class. It would be tragic to lose PCVST, which has served this city so remarkably, while politicians are promising and possibly not delivering new affordable housing. A little common sense should prevail please!

And why should Albany, who takes so much from NYC, have anything to do with our homes! We should have home rule!

I once invited Bruno to tea…no, he did not come but I wanted to have a little sit-down with him! Look where he is now. Why is he not in jail? Why did he have anything to do with trying to get me out of my home? And I’m still here…

I am thankful to the leaders of our Tenants Association, Dan Garodnick, Mark Thompson, (State Senator) Brad Hoylman and his predecessor Tom Duane, (Assembly Member) Brian Kavanagh, District Leader Louise Dankberg and others who have fought for the rights of the middle class! I know I have left many out but you know who you are. All politics are local and we all need to continue to fight for what is right.

Finally I am grateful for Town & Village who has covered our community since day one and helps keep us all informed and provides a mouthpiece for our concerns.

Kay Vota, ST

Note: This letter was first published as a comment on the Town & Village Blog, town-village.com.

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Stuy Town kid calls 911, keeps his cool when dad has violent spasm

Dylan and Terence Hoey (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dylan and Terence Hoey (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For Stuyvesant Town resident Terence Hoey, intense and unpredictable spasms, as well as crippling back pain, are simply facts of life. They’re both a result of chronic condition resulting from a back injury, which, on a recent morning, sent Hoey to the hospital for emergency treatment.

“People who have lower back pain — that’s a joy compared to what a spasm does to your body,” Hoey said in a recent conversation with Town & Village. And on the morning of Wednesday, March 18th, the day he went to the hospital, Hoey had about 50.

Hoey, who has since recovered from March 18th incident, said it was fortunate that his nine-year-old son, Dylan, was around at the time when he began having a spasm. Dylan, he said, called 911, when he was completely unable, due to feeling like he was going to pass out.

Hoey added that the severe spasms he had in the shower came just three days after another emergency hospital visit. That time, he’d been out of town with his family and a friend was the one to call 911 for his spasms. The more recent time, however, he was back home, and Dylan was the only other person at home when Hoey called out for help.

He recalled how, despite the pain, he managed to climb out of the shower. Dylan, a third grader at Immaculate Conception, quickly rushed to his dad’s side.

Hoey then instructed him to call 911. When Dylan asked if he should use his cell or the apartment phone, his father told him to use the apartment phone.

Dylan then did as instructed but soon found himself in the somewhat frustrating position of having to explain Stuyvesant Town’s street layout, specifically the lack of cross streets, to the 911 operator. “And that’s the first thing they ask you,” said Hoey. “Dylan said, ‘I’ll say it again, there are no cross streets, I’m telling you.’ I could almost hear him saying, ‘Google it.’”

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Letters to the editor, Mar. 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

This one’s a job for PCV/ST Public Safety

Re: “Feeling helpless over neighbor’s noise,” T&V letter, Feb. 26

Mr. Weiner writes, “I didn’t call up security because I heard from other people they don’t do much or were told not to.” Since he has lived here for over 20 years, he should have known to seek help from our wonderful Public Safety department. These hard-working men and women are doing their best to keep everyone happy, not an easy task. We should support them and respect their efforts by trusting that they will do everything that can to keep this place safe and peaceful. They are responsible for enforcing management’s rules for maintaining a high quality of life here in our community, including management’s noise policy.

If your neighbors are not as considerate as they should be, don’t hesitate to call upon Public Safety to come to the rescue. They are here to protect us, not only from thieves, muggers and thugs, but also from each other. They have and they will. Call them.

John Cappelletti, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Mar. 12

Upstairs neighbors making my life hell

Re: Recent letters on noise from neighboring apartments due to a lack of carpeting

Dear Editor,

No carpet = hell, pure hell!

To annoy, torture, harass and bully me, my upstairs neighbors have been:

Slamming/throwing heavy furniture against the floors during their wild parties around 1 a.m. or 3 a.m.

Dragging/moving furniture against wooden floors day and night constantly.

Making loud footsteps with shoes with high heels day and night and doing it deliberately and enjoying it, every step.

Dropping, striking, rolling metals and heavy objects against wooden floors constantly.

Tap dancing against the wooden floors early in days and late nights.

Jogging back and forth inside the apartment regardless of the time of the day and night.

Every day after work, I must spend countless hours staying in McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts or in my church praying and staying in my friends’ houses — just to avoid hearing those unbearable nuisances from my upstairs neighbors.

My doctor had to increase the dosage of my high blood pressure pill. I had to seek professional help/counseling to deal with my anger management because my landlord, security, my local politicians and my neighbors cannot help me and I feel I am about to snap.

I can hardly afford to pay my rent but now I have to pay legal fees to my lawyer to help me.

Whatever happened to the golden rule: “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you” and the Christian rule, “Love thy neighbors as you love yourself”? It is hard for me to believe — being a tenant in Stuyvesant Town — I am having nightmares and I have to fight for myself to have a decent, good quality of life.

Sincerely,

Jovenal Arboleda, ST

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