Man charged with package theft in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police caught a man last week believed to be responsible for an alleged package theft in Stuyvesant Town that took place last January.

Carl Cadell, 29, was allegedly seen inside 445 East 14th Street by StuyTown Public Safety on January 5, 2018 around 3 p.m. Police said that Cadell was on the 12th floor of the building with a package that didn’t belong to him. The package was allegedly addressed to a resident in 449 East 14th Street. According to the district attorney’s office, Cadell could be seen on surveillance video entering that building and removing the package before he went inside 445 East 14th Street.

StuyTown Property Services general manager Rick Hayduk said that video showed Cadell “piggybacking” into both buildings.

According to Hayduk, public safety approached Cadell because he was acting suspiciously inside 445 East 14th Street, and police said that he shoved the officer against the wall before fleeing on foot.

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Police Watch: Massage therapist charged with sex abuse, Man busted for alleged attempted purse-snatching

MASSAGE THERAPIST CHARGED WITH SEX ABUSE
Police arrested 36-year-old Omar Walrond for alleged sex abuse that took place on December 3, 2018, at 10 a.m. inside Metassage at 12 West 27th Street. The victim told police that Walrond, her former coworker who is a licensed massage therapist, allegedly groped her numerous times during a massage session. She said that during the session, she was wearing underwear and Walrond allegedly reached inside to touch her vagina. He also reportedly groped her breast excessively during the session, and she said that she felt extremely uncomfortable during the massage. Police said that the victim used to work in the massage parlor with Walrond.

Walrond was arrested on Monday, January 28 at 8:15 a.m. and was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching.

MAN BUSTED FOR ALLEGED ATTEMPTED PURSE-SNATCHING ON EAST 15TH STREET
Police arrested 29-year-old Jerome Richards for an alleged attempted theft in front of 210 East 15th Street on Saturday, February 2 at 7 a.m. The victim told police that she was leaving the Third Avenue L station on 14th Street and headed north towards East 15th Street towards her job when she noticed that Richards was following closely behind her. She then crossed East 15th Street and Richards followed, then allegedly attempted to snatch her bag from her three to four times. Richards failed to get the victim’s bag from her and fled the location, but was arrested when the victim searched the area with officers and spotted him nearby.

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Performance on ice in Stuyvesant Town

man holding woman

On Sunday afternoon, Stuyvesant Town residents gathered at the ice rink for a performance by the Ice Theatre of New York. Following the outdoor show, attendees of all ages headed out onto the ice for some skate time of their own. The (residents and guests only) ice rink will remain open for the season through March 3. Tuesdays are free admission days for residents though this doesn’t include skate rental.

Photos by Sidney Goldberg

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Teens harass elderly couple, assault man at McDonald’s across from Stuy Town

jan31 mcdonalds assault suspect1

First assault suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for three teenagers believed to be responsible for a brutal beatdown at the McDonald’s at 404 East 14th Street.

According to police, on Saturday, December 29 at 8 p.m., the three teens were harassing an elderly couple at the restaurant, located across the street from Stuyvesant Town. At some point, another customer, a 44-year-old man, tried to stop them and the group then turned on him instead, punching and kicking him in his face and on his body. The attackers then ran out, heading east.

jan31 mcdonalds assault suspect2

Second assault suspect

The victim, who had cuts on his face along with pain and bruises on his face and body; was taken to Beth Israel, and later released.

The first suspect is described as male, black, 14 to 17 years old, 5’7″ tall and 140 lbs. He last seen wearing a pink hooded sweater, black sweatpants and black and white sneakers.

The second suspect is described as female, black, 14 to 17 years old, 5’8″ and 135 lbs., with red or light brown hair. She was last seen wearing gray hooded sweater, a black jacket, red and yellow pants and gray and white sneakers.

jan31 mcdonalds assault suspect3

Third assault suspect

The third suspect is male, black, 14 to 17 years old, 5’5″, 170 lbs., and had eyeglasses. He was last seen wearing a red hooded sweater, a beige jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

ST/PCV management warns recent crimes due to ‘piggybacking’

jan17 pcv burglary suspect

Peter Cooper Village burglary suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town management sent a newsletter around to residents earlier this week warning about an increase in building break-ins throughout the complex and warning against allowing non-residents to “piggy-back” inside.

StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk told Town & Village that none of the incidents mentioned in the email were new and had all been reported in the last six months. The incidents included the assault of a woman who had been hired by residents and was attacked after security buzzed her into the Stuyvesant Town building and a man followed her inside, in addition to a teenager who was mugged in a Peter Cooper Village vestibule last fall.

One incident that Town & Village did not learn of at the time was an apartment break-in that occurred within the last few months where a man followed a resident into the building and started checking for open doors. Finding one, he began taking things from an apartment and was leaving as a teenage resident was returning. The resident wasn’t harmed and the suspect hasn’t been arrested.

This incident wasn’t publicized at the time because the resident requested that it not be made public, although Hayduk noted that it was reported to the NYPD.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman also noted at the 13th Precinct community council’s most recent meeting on Tuesday evening that package thefts have been up in the neighborhood, with two suspects being arrested for a string of six incidents in Stuyvesant Town on Christmas after they managed to get into multiple buildings. Hayduk noted in the email that package thefts have increased on the property and often occur when non-residents manage to piggy-back into the buildings.
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Stuyvesant Town residents hope for less chaos on 14th St., old layout on 20th St.

Workers remove signs surrounding the L train construction zone on East 14th Street after Governor Cuomo’s announcement for an alternative plan to the shutdown. (Photo by Hermann Reiner)

By Sabina Mollot

With the dreaded L train shutdown no longer in the works, residents along the East 14th Street construction zone are now wondering if this means they can finally get a break from the endless construction, at least on Saturdays, while others are hoping the city will undo the recent reconfiguration of East 20th Street that’s led to a slew of parking tickets and towed cars.

Susan Steinberg, president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, is among those wondering about both.

“What effect will the change have on the construction on East 14th Street?” she asked. “Did the relevant agencies just spend two years doing work they didn’t have to? Will East 14th Street still be a staging area? Will there be impacts on noise, dust and debris? Does that mean the East 20th Street redesign was not required? Can 20th Street be restored to what it was originally?”

Until those questions are answered, Steinberg said the TA has no position on the new plan.

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Producer of Stuyvesant Town documentary dies

Partner on project says he will complete film

Marie Beirne, who had a background in preservation, died on November 26. (Photo from Marie Beirne bio)

By Sabina Mollot

It was over a decade ago when, as part of an effort to get Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village landmarked, the Tenants Association formed a committee to help with this goal, including by potentially making a short film.

Ultimately what happened was that, while the apartment complex still hasn’t been landmarked or even on the waitlist for consideration, the short film turned into a full-length documentary that according to one of its two co-producers, William Kelly, is currently about 85 percent complete.

Sadly, the other co-producer of the film, Stuyvesant Town resident Marie Beirne, died on November 26, 2018. Beirne’s death at age 72 was unexpected, Kelly said, stemming from complications from what was supposed to be a routine hip replacement last May. There wound up being complications including infections that landed her back in the hospital, including for more surgery. Though Beirne seemed in good spirits just four days prior to her death, when family and friends celebrated Thanksgiving with her over Chinese food at her hospital room, she was never able to recover.

She died peacefully in her sleep at New York Presbyterian.

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Update: Bronx Zoo rep thinks lizard’s fake

The Department of Conservation said this lizard won’t be able to survive long in the cold. (Photo by Valerie Nilsson)

Update: We showed the photo of the lizard to a source at The Bronx Zoo who believes it is a fake due to the way it’s positioned.

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier in the week, Valerie Nilsson, a woman walking through Stuyvesant Oval spotted what appeared to be some kind of lizard in a patch of grass. However, the three-foot-long creature appeared to be so still she wondered if it was a toy or prop someone had put there as a prank. Later noticing it was gone, she posted a photo she took of the lizard on the local Facebook group Stuyvesant Moms to ask if anyone else had seen it.

So far, no one had and Stuyvesant Town management has said no one has reported it as a missing pet.

Town & Village sent the photo to the New York State Department of Conservation, where a spokesperson said based on the photo it appeared to be a Monitor Lizard in the Varanidae family of lizards.

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Cuomo calls on MTA to hold public vote on new L train plan

Sept20 L train work site closeup

Part of the L train construction site on East 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who a day earlier had made a bombshell announcement that the dreaded L-pocalypse could be avoided, further argued for his alternative plan, which would limit L service during repairs but not halt it.

Cuomo, during a phone conference with reporters, called on the MTA to hold a public board meeting on the proposal, made by a team of engineers from the universities of Columbia and Cornell, and make a quick decision for it or against it. However, the call may have been more about defending the governor’s change of heart mere months before the 15-month shutdown between Brooklyn and Manhattan was slated to begin, since the MTA had already stated that it accepted the engineers’ findings.

Asked about the governor’s request, a spokesperson for the MTA referred to its statement from Thursday, which said:

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today accepted the recommendations of a panel of engineering experts that determined a complete closure of the L Train Tunnel is unnecessary… Work could be completed on nights and weekends only, with a single tube providing continued service in both directions during work periods.

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Pair arrested for package thefts in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two men for alleged package burglaries from a number of buildings inside Stuyvesant Town during the early morning hours of Christmas Day last week.

Police said that 19-year-old Rahul Cuya and 32-year-old Justin Irizarry broke into six different buildings between the hours of 1 and 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, December 25 and took packages from the lobbies.

Cuya and Irizarry allegedly got inside 245 Avenue C at 1 a.m. and stole packages from inside the building. Shortly after that, the two men reportedly got into 277 Avenue C and stole packages. Police said that Cuya and Irizarry got into 651 East 14th Street around 1:15 a.m. and stole packages from that building before breaking into 271 Avenue C and allegedly stealing packages from inside that building as well. Police said that the two suspects also got inside 281 Avenue C and 645 East 14th Street around 1:40 a.m.

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UPDATED: Two attempted robberies on Oval

Dec7 ST Christmas security booth

Security booth at Stuyvesant Oval (pictured December 2017)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuy Town’s Public Safety department is on the lookout for two male suspects who attempted to rob an older man as well as a couple in the Oval early on New Year’s Eve morning.

A Town & Village reader alerted us that as he was walking around the Oval at around 12:30 a.m., an older man was mugged by two people. Fortunately, the victim was able to get help from a couple of other people who happened to be around. The reader noticed this happened near the security booth, which was unmanned at the time.

Asked about this, Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk confirmed the incident, but said the victim wasn’t touched by the suspects.

According to Hayduk, they’d approached the man on the Oval and said, “Give us your money.” The resident refused and continued to walk away and they didn’t chase him. However, the pair then tried the same thing with a nearby couple, who also declined to turn over their money, and the would-be muggers fled empty-handed towards First Avenue.

“The first resident immediately reported it to Public Safety who canvassed the area (officers on foot and by video) to no avail,” Hayduk said, adding that the resident asked management not to call the NYPD.

Hayduk added, “The Oval booth is only occupied when the officer is seeking shelter, otherwise that officer is patrolling the Oval or the immediate vicinity.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect management’s statement that there was no physical contact between the suspects and the victim.

Letters to the editor, Dec. 20

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Transparency needed on NYCHA ‘fix’

The following is an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio:

On Wednesday evening, December 12, Mayor de Blasio announced on TV that he’s getting $24 billion to fix apartments in public housing or New York City Housing Authority. Funding, he said, will come from federal, NY State, NY City, as well as from city land and air rights sold to developers.

I’ve been writing and talking to elected politicians for years about not selling our NY City land because they are only temporary employees elected to administer our property and all necessary services for the well-being of the real persons who reside in NYC.

The land should be rented to developers for 80 to 100 years and air rights should be very well-studied; then, the elected mayor selects qualified persons to verify and/or be sure that all is working well, according to signed contracts before the jobs have been performed.

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L train neighbors slam MTA over noise, debris and mysterious goo

Dec13 L train Epstein

Assembly Member Harvey Epstein with L train construction zone neighbors and disability advocates in front of the MTA’s headquarters (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While most New Yorkers are approaching April with a sense of dread because of the start to the 15-month L-pocalypse, for those who live around the East 14th Street construction site, the nightmare has been going on already for quite some time.

Recently, local elected officials were able to secure some concessions from the MTA in response to neighbor concerns like additional lighting along the sidewalks where views of the street are obstructed by construction barriers, a commitment to install air quality monitors along the street and reopening of the sidewalk on the East Village side of the street, where stores have been cut off from foot traffic.

However, many concerns have remained, such as noisy work that goes on from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., as well as on weekends, clouds of debris that have caused some neighbors to fear for their respiratory health and equipment-packed streets that have led to an obstacle course for the disabled. Residents have also been left to wonder about the presence of an unidentified, glowing green substance in one of the many dumpsters that regularly get trucked in and out of the site.

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Tiny owl spotted in Stuyvesant Town

Northern Saw-whet owl in Stuyvesant Town

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

Guess whooooo recently visited Stuyvesant Town?

A resident spotted this brown and white owl on Monday as it perched on a railing by the mezzanine of 525 East 14th Street. He told Town & Village that he’s seen lots of different birds in the neighborhood but the owl was an unusual find in the city. The resident, Mario, who didn’t want his last name mentioned, also noted that he wasn’t expecting to capture this little guy on camera in broad daylight but pulled out his phone and managed to get some shots of the obliging raptor.

Upon seeing the photos, Anne Lazarus, a longtime birder who leads bird watching tours in Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant Cove, identified this visitor as a Northern Saw-whet Owl, noting the lack of ear tufts.

“The Northern Saw-whet Owls have been showing up this year,” said Lazarus, adding that a few have been spotted in Central Park. Additionally, despite its size, the owl seen in Stuy Town is not a baby, but an adult, with Northern Saw-whets being one of the smallest owl species in North America. They are comparable, size-wise, to robins.

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Teen mugged in Peter Cooper Village building

Dec6 Robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By  Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two muggers who held a resident of Peter Cooper Village up at gunpoint on Tuesday night.

Police said the victim, who is 16 years old, was walking home at about 11:10 p.m. when he was confronted by the pair in the vestibule of 510 East 23rd Street.

One of the robbers pulled out what appeared to be a real gun while demanding his property. The victim then turned over $90 in cash and his iPhone and the muggers fled towards the FDR Drive.

The suspects were described as male and black, one wearing a blue hoodie and black sweatpants and the other wearing grey shoes gray sweatpants and a black coat.

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