Tenants at 344 East 28th Street say there’s been no communication from NYCHA about the agency’s plans. (Photo via Google Maps)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Residents of the New York City Housing Authority development at 344 East 28th Street are demanding transparency after the city agency announced that a new program would be implemented for tenants in the building to privatize ownership.
NYCHA hosted a meeting at Bellevue Hospital last week to give tenants information about the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) Unfunded Units program but tenants said prior to the meeting that they weren’t given any information about the program previously or been allowed to give any input about whether or not they want to join.
The program is part of a push by NYCHA to increase revenue for repairs in developments throughout the city that have long been neglected. The plan involves shifting management of NYCHA complexes to private developers through PACT as well as the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD).
A flyer distributed to residents claims that the program will provide funding for necessary repairs, upgrades and renovations, ensure affordability and protect tenant rights.
MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OF WOMAN IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 25-year-old Gage Quinones for an alleged assault in front of 24 Union Square East on Wednesday, November 7. The victim told police that after she smoked meth with Quinones that morning, they got into an argument that escalated into a fight when Quinones allegedly punched her in the mouth, causing a cut on her bottom lip. Quinones was also charged with criminal contempt.
Quinones has been arrested multiple times within the 13th Precinct, usually in or around Union Square, in the last few years. He was charged with assault in 2016 after police said that he hit a man in the back of the head with a brick, breaking four bones. He also allegedly mugged someone in Union Square in 2014 and assaulted someone with a bike lock in the park this past June.
MAN ALLEGEDLY PUNCHES WOMAN ON EAST 22ND STREET
Police arrested 38-year-old Rashawn Duran for an alleged assault in front of 33 East 22nd Street on Sunday, November 11 at 11:04 a.m. The victim told police that she was walking down the sidewalk when Duran allegedly punched her in the face, causing swelling and bruising. The victim said that there was no previous altercation between them before the alleged assault. Duran was stopped in front of 29 East 22nd Street and the victim and a witness positively identified him. The victim was treated on the scene and removed to Bellevue Hospital.
Police arrested two teenagers for shooting multiple people with a BB gun air rifle from an apartment inside the Straus Houses last week.
Rickey White,18, and a 16-year-old boy allegedly fired the air rifle out of an apartment window from 224 East 28th Street on Sunday, August 26 around 1 p.m.
Police said that White’s mother handed the black Daisy Air Rifle BB Gun to the teen and both boys allegedly told police that they used the gun to shoot at four different people on the street from an apartment. Police also said that the 16-year-old could be seen on video using the gun to shoot at individuals on the sidewalk.
TEEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT WITH BASEBALL BAT IN GRAMERCY
Police arrested a teenager for an assault opposite 325 East 22nd Street on Tuesday, April 3. Police said that the boy hit another teenager with a baseball bat, causing a personal injury. The teen was arrested on Wednesday, April 18 at noon inside the 13th Precinct.
MAN CHARGED WITH PUNCHING STORE WORKER OVER STOLEN RED BULL
Police arrested 37-year-old Ray Williams for an alleged robbery in front of the Chelsea Gourmet Deli at 259 Seventh Avenue on Monday, April 16 at 10:37 p.m. Police said that Williams went into the store and grabbed a Red Bull from the fridge, then allegedly attempted to leave without paying when an employee attempted to stop him. Police said that Williams then punched the employee in the face about 10 times and allegedly fled the scene with the Red Bull but was stopped by officers from the 10th precinct soon after.
MAN ACCUSED OF THREATENING STORE EMPLOYEE WITH KNIFE
Police arrested 39-year-old Thierry Diogene for allegedly stealing from Cowboy Wholesale at 28 West 27th Street on Wednesday, April 18 at 2:58 p.m. Police said that Diogene took items from the display shelf and attempted to leave without paying. When an employee confronted him, Diogene allegedly returned the merchandise to the store but police said that he returned to the location shortly after and threatened an employee from the store. Police said they got into an argument and that Diogene allegedly pulled out a knife and said, “I will cut you.” Diogene was arrested for petit larceny and weapons possession.
MAN CHARGED WITH HIT-AND-RUN
Police arrested 40-year-old Robert Maltese for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury in front of 132 West 31st Street on a previous date. Police said that Maltese struck a 25-year-old woman with his car, causing an injury, then left the scene. Maltese was arrested last Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. inside the 13th Precinct.
TEEN CON ARTIST ARRESTED FOR KNIFE IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested a teenager for weapons possession inside the Union Square subway station last Sunday at 8:58 p.m. Police said that the teen had strolled into a handful of businesses attempting to raise money for a fraudulent youth football team, then entered the subway station by jumping over the turnstile. When he was searched, police said that a knife was recovered from his backpack. Police said that the teen was not connected to the group wanted for committing robberies while soliciting donations for a fake local sports team.
SUSPECT ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH VIOLENT ROBBERY AT KIPS BAY HOTEL
Police arrested 39-year-old Jose Rivera on Monday, March 5 for allegedly violently robbing a woman at a Kips Bay hotel last November 23.
According to the district attorney’s office, Rivera and 30-year-old Eric Moyler, who was arrested last December, punched a woman at the Evelyn Hotel at 7 East 27th Street. Police said that they also took the victim’s Louis Vuitton bag containing her wallet and cell phone. Moyler allegedly hit another victim with a glass and snatched his wallet from his pocket.
TEEN ARRESTED FOR STALKING EX-GIRLFRIEND
Police arrested a teenager for aggravated harassment, assault and harassment inside the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 10:40 a.m. Police said that the suspect and the victim were in a relationship but broke up and the suspect repeatedly sent messages to the victim, so she blocked him. The victim also told police that multiple friends of the suspect told her that while he was playing with knives, he said he was going to get her and hurt her.
Police said that the suspect has also been seen multiple times waiting outside the victim’s school to the point where the school had to keep her inside the building and ask the suspect to leave the block. The teen also reportedly posted a photo online of her building to warn her that he’s watching her.
The teen’s name is being withheld due to his young age. Police had no further information about where specifically the incident took place.
MAN ACCUSED OF MAKING THREATS AT CLUB
Police arrested 35-year-old Adam Torres for alleged weapons possession, menacing and harassment in front of 39 West 21st Street last Sunday at 4:05 a.m. Police responded to the location because of a call about a man with a gun. The victim said that Torres threatened to kill the staff and patrons at a nearby nightclub and she told police that she was in fear for her and her patron’s safety. Police said that Torres was in possession of an ice pick when he was arrested. No further information was available about which nightclub the incident occurred in.
PREGNANT WOMAN ASSAULTED NEAR UNION SQUARE
Police recently arrested 23-year-old Jennifer Kryzinski for an alleged assault that took place at the corner of East 18th Street and Broadway last Thursday at 1 p.m. Police said that Kryzinski and the victim, who is pregnant, got into an argument that turned into a physical fight and the suspect allegedly pushed the victim into a rock and threw her to the ground, causing pain to her stomach. Police said that Kryzinski and the victim were friends. Kryzinski was arrested at the 13th precinct later the same day at 2:32 p.m.
MEN ARRESTED FOR FIGHT IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 36-year-old Elsayed Elshafy and 58-year-old Robert Romero for allegedly assaulting each other in front of 10 Union Square East last Thursday at 7:03 p.m. Romero called the police to report an incident that had happened the previous night and said that he and Elshafy got into an argument that turned into a physical fight. Romero said that when he was attempting to walk away, Elshafy hit him in the back of the head with a pipe, causing cuts and bruises. Romero allegedly swung a shopping cart at Elshafy, causing shoulder pain and cuts.
Police said that Romero was transported to Bellevue Hospital for treatment but Elshafy refused medical assistance. A number of businesses reside at the incident location and police did not have further information about where specifically the fight occurred.
SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR VIOLENT MUGGING IN KIPS BAY LAST YEAR
Police arrested 22-year-old Jonathan Rivera last Thursday for a robbery that allegedly took place at the corner of East 29th Street and First Avenue last November 22. Police said that Rivera, along with two other people who weren’t arrested, punched the victim several times and broke his eyeglasses before swiping his Beats headphones and fleeing.
TEEN ARRESTED FOR LEWDNESS AT WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested a teenager for public lewdness inside the Washington Irving Campus at 345 East 15th Street last Friday at 4:08 p.m. Police said that the teen pulled down his pants and exposed himself to a female student inside the school. The teen’s name is being withheld due to his young age.
WOMAN ARRESTED FOR THEFT ALSO CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED BANK ROBBERY
Police charged a 35-year-old woman with a 2015 attempted bank robbery in the Lower East Side last Wednesday after she was arrested for an alleged grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
Police said that Sheena Bellinger was employed by the MADE Hotel at 44 West 29th Street and while she was working on November 2, 2017, she allegedly took someone’s wallet containing a debit card, MetroCard and ID that had been left on a bar stool. After she was in custody for the theft, police found through further investigation that she allegedly tried to rob an HSBC at 307 Grand Street on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 4:08 p.m. She allegedly passed the teller a demand note underneath a black plastic bag but the teller didn’t comply with the request and Bellinger allegedly fled the scene with the note.
TEEN ARRESTED FOR SNATCHING PHONE
Police arrested a teenager for petit larceny in front of 71 Lexington Avenue last Wednesday at 12:07 a.m. The victim told police that the teen approached him on the street and asked to use his cell phone so that he could call his mom. Once the victim handed the teen his phone, the suspect reportedly ran off with the device. Police said that the teen is a student at Metropolitan High School. The teen’s name is being withheld due to his young age.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT 230 FIFTH
Police arrested a 27-year-old man last Sunday at 3:13 a.m. inside the bar 230 Fifth at 230 Fifth Avenue after a witness told police that he hit the victim in the back of the head with a beer bottle. The blow caused a cut on the victim’s head.
Police arrested Lirim Sopi for the alleged assault as well as possession of a controlled substance he allegedly had on him.
MEN BUSTED FOR DRUG DEALS AT STRAUS HOUSES
Twenty-year-old Carlos Garcia was arrested for intent to sell a controlled substance inside 344 East 28th Street last Wednesday at 6:05 a.m. Police said that officers had a warrant to search Garcia’s apartment and when they arrived, they allegedly found marijuana and crack cocaine. Garcia allegedly attempted to throw the narcotics out the window of his 21st floor apartment when police arrived.
Police also arrested 38-year-olds Carl Atkinson and Peter Guigress for an alleged drug deal in front of 224 East 28th Street last Thursday 11:58 p.m. Police said that Atkinson was in front of the building attempting to exchange two small ziplock bags of alleged crack cocaine for cash. When police approached them, Atkinson allegedly threw both bags to the ground and police said that Guigress shoved the cash into his pocket. Police recovered both the bags with alleged drugs and the cash. Guigress was allegedly in possession of a crack pipe that was in his left coat pocket. Atkinson was charged with intent to sell a controlled substance and Guigress was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
The Edition Hotel (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
PAIR CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION, STOLEN CREDIT CARDS AT EDITION HOTEL
Police arrested a man and a woman for a variety of alleged controlled substances after the pair reportedly refused to pay for hotel room services inside the Edition Hotel at 5 Madison Avenue inside the Met Life building last Thursday at 10:21 p.m.
When 36-year-old Sarah Reitz and 38-year-old Andrej Marecek refused to pay for the services, police said, officers searched their room and found alleged heroin and crystal meth. Macerek and Reitz were also allegedly in possession of numerous credit account numbers with expiration dates and security codes as well as credit cards belonging to other individuals.
At Straus Houses, a man was arrested in October for allegedly killing his girlfriend, who had recently moved in. (Photo via Google Maps)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A resident of the Straus Houses on East 28th Street is pushing NYCHA to re-implement a program that he feels could have helped a victim of domestic violence who was killed in the building at the end of October.
Aaron Humphrey, who is also a member of the Housing, Homeless and Human Rights committee of Community Board 6, helped to research and write a resolution for the committee in 2015 that would create an orientation program offering meetings for tenants who are new to the building who have also been victims of domestic violence. However, the Residents Association hasn’t yet been able to coordinate with the Housing Authority to implement the program.
Police arrested an 18-year-old man for allegedly raping a teenage girl inside a stairwell at the Straus Houses. Elijah Mclendon, 18, allegedly forced himself on a girl while they were inside the building at 344 East 28th Street on Nov. 10. He was arrested there on Nov. 15 at 3 a.m.
The district attorney’s office said that Mclendon held down the victim and pulled off her pants. He allegedly began to have sex with her while she repeatedly told him to stop, the victim told police.
The victim said that she told Mclendon that she had a sexually transmitted disease in an effort to get him to stop raping her.
According to the district attorney’s office, the victim was 14 years old at the time of the incident and Mclendon was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said that neither the victim nor Mclendon live in the NYCHA complex and it was unclear how they got inside. Mclendon’s attorney did not respond to a call for comment on the case.
TEENS ARRESTED FOR ATTACK ON MAN WITH BOX CUTTER OUTSIDE STUY TOWN
Police arrested four people for assault at the northeast corner of East 14th Street and First Avenue last Friday between 6:45 and 8 p.m. Police said that 19-year-old Yale Garner-Lowery, 20-year-old Jasmine Reyes, a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl attacked another man, causing cuts and bruising. Garner-Lowery allegedly slashed the victim with a box cutter, which was recovered from the scene. The names of the younger suspects are being withheld due to their young age.
An attorney for Garner-Lowery told Town & Village he couldn’t comment on the case because his client was in the process of getting a new attorney. It wasn’t clear if he had a new attorney by T&V’s press time.
MEN WANTED FOR BANK BURGLARY
The New York City Police Department is asking the public’s assistance identifying suspects in regards to a burglary from the Bethpage Federal Bank at 109 West 26th Street. Police said that the suspects entered the bank last Sunday, May 21 at 12:15 a.m. by breaking a basement window. Once inside, they disarmed the security system and attempted to open the bank’s vault. They were reportedly unsuccessful so they fled empty handed. The men are described as white, last seen wearing a green hat, black sneakers, a blue jacket and black jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. 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.
MAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT OF EMT AT BETH ISRAEL
Thirty-year-old Robert McClelland was arrested for allegedly assaulting an EMT inside Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 281 First Avenue. Police said that last Friday at 9 p.m. McClelland slapped a uniformed EMT in the face, causing substantial pain and bruising.
MAN ARRESTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER IN DEATH OF TRANSGENDER WOMAN
Joseph Griffin, 26, was indicted last Friday for fatally striking 59-year-old Brenda/Kenneth Bostick with a metal object in Chelsea in April. Griffin is charged in a New York Supreme Court indictment with manslaughter in the first degree. He is also facing a separate charge of criminal mischief for breaking the windshield of a taxi cab later in the evening of Bostick’s death.
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, Griffin approached the victim, who identified as transgender and was alternately known as Brenda and Kenneth Bostick, or simply “Bostick,” on Seventh Avenue between West 27th and 28th Streets at approximately 10 p.m. on April 25 and struck her over the head with a long, metal object. The victim immediately fell to the ground and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. She were declared braindead on May 4 and died on May 7. Meanwhile, Griffin had fled the scene. About an hour and a half after assaulting the victim, Griffin was seen running through traffic in the middle of the street. When a taxi driver stopped his car to avoid hitting Griffin, he allegedly climbed onto the front of the car, smashing the windshield.
SEX OFFENDER NABBED FOR ASSAULT AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 37-year-old Jamele Manning for assault and harassment last Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue. Police said that Manning punched the victim in the face, causing a cut over the victim’s eye that required stitches, as well as swelling.
As of T&V’s press time, the district attorney’s office said that the suspect had not yet been arraigned, but Manning is listed in the New York State sex offender registry as a level 3 violent sex offender. According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Manning forcibly sodomized a teenage girl who he threatened at gunpoint, choked and physically overpowered on February 12, 1999. He was convicted on December 10 of that year. He was sentenced to one day to six years in state prison, although it was unclear how much time he actually served.