Neighbors rip plan for E. 31st St. shelter

Kips Bay resident Maria Verel expressed concern about crime in the neighborhood, saying there are already problems with loitering and public urination. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Residents of Kips Bay and Murray Hill expressed concern over a new shelter opening on East 31st Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison, especially since the Department of Homeless Services said at a recent meeting on the topic that the commercial hotels being used as shelters in the surrounding neighborhood won’t be closed until 2021.

Many at the meeting were also furious at what they felt was the community being steamrolled because the meeting served as an announcement about a finalized plan rather than a forum that would influence the plan’s outcome. The DHS has already said that the shelter is expected to open at the beginning of January.

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Police Watch: Body found near NYU Langone, ‘Mugger’ arrested on East 23rd

BODY FOUND IN STORM DRAIN NEAR NYU LANGONE
This Tuesday around 11:39 a.m., police found an unconscious man inside a storm drain near East 33rd Street and First Avenue. The man was unconscious and unresponsive, police said. EMS soon arrived and pronounced the man deceased at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing. Police are withholding the man’s name pending proper family notification.

‘MUGGER’ ARRESTED ON EAST 23RD
Police arrested 33-year-old Bryan Fuge for robbery in front of 23 East 23rd Street last Saturday at 9:16 p.m. Police said that Fuge followed a woman along the sidewalk and when she entered a dimly lit area he allegedly charged at her and forcibly snatched her pocketbook, causing the strap to break. Police said that Fuge fled east, which wound up being towards four plainclothes officers.
An officer then identified himself by stating, “Police, don’t move,” and Fuge yelled and allegedly lowered his shoulder, ramming into the officers. Police said that he resisted arrest by shoving, striking and writhing around while maintaining possession of the bag. Police said that Fuge is a suspect in two other robberies in the 13th and 17th precincts and was currently on parole. He was charged with robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and resisting arrest.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘SWIPING’ PURSE AT PARK AVE. SOUTH AND EAST 22ND
Police arrested 31-year-old Jenea Osborne at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street last Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for grand larceny and possession of stolen property. The victim told police that she was eating a salad with her friend when someone came up to her and told her that he saw her bag get taken. She said that she had an iPad inside her bag. A witness told police that he saw Osborne walk into the store with a man who was behaving in a disorderly manner and he saw Osborne take the victim’s bag. The witness said that the man who was with Osborne left the store and came back briefly to make sure that no one was following her.
Officers later searched the area and put a description on the radio. Two officers were canvassing the uptown 6 train station and stopped Osborne since she fit the description. Police said that prior to the stop, they witnessed Osborne throw the black handbag into the train tracks. The witness made a positive ID of Osborne when she was arrested. The victim told police that she didn’t see her bag get taken but when the bag was recovered she said that it was hers.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘GROPING’ WOMAN ON 4 TRAIN
Police arrested 41-year-old Francisco Garcia at the Union Square subway station for sexual abuse last Friday at 12:18 p.m. Police said that Garcia was on a downtown 4 train, allegedly rubbing and pressing his groin area against the victim’s buttocks and hip multiple times.

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