Police Watch: Camera pervs, groping and pick-pocketing arrests at Union Square subway

Compiled by Maria Rocha-Buschel

CAMERA ‘PERVS’ BUSTED AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested two men for “obscene material” in unrelated incidents at Union Square station last week. Rubio Patricio-Palaguachi, 37, was arrested last Tuesday at 2 p.m. Patricio-Palaguachi was allegedly walking directly behind a woman with his Samsung Galaxy phone camera lens facing upward under her dress and while she was walking up the stairs out of the station, recording her underwear as she walked. She told police that she did not know him and did not give him permission to film her.
Oscar Torres, 31, was arrested last Sunday at 4:35 p.m. Torres allegedly placed a recording device under the skirt of a girl as she was walking up the stairs out of the station.

‘GROPER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested Carlos Hernandez Saavedra, 50, arrested for groping a woman at the Union Square subway station last Friday at 5:45 p.m. Hernandez Saavedra was allegedly touching and rubbing a woman’s butt while on the train without her permission.

MAN BUSTED FOR SNATCHING WALLET
Police arrested 50-year-old James Davis in Union Square for grand larceny last Monday at 10:40 a.m. Davis allegedly reached into a woman’s purse while on an Eighth Avenue-bound L train and removed her wallet. Police said that he used a dry cleaning bag with a pink shirt to cover his left arm while removing the wallet. He allegedly fled onto a downtown express train to avoid being arrested. Police arrested him on the 4/5/6 platform and he was allegedly in possession of a Samsung Galaxy phone and two MetroCards that belonged to someone else.

PHONE SNATCHER NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Thirty-two-year-old Billy Decaneo was arrested for grand larceny at Union Square East and East 14th Street last Tuesday at 7:41 a.m. The victim said that he was sitting in Union Square Park on the steps by the fountain. He had his bag on his lap and was looking for his wallet when Decaneo allegedly reached into the bag and took his cell phone with charger attached. The victim alerted a nearby officer and the victim’s phone was in Decaneo’s hand when he was arrested, police said.

ARREST FOR PHONY MUGGING STORY
Police arrested 27-year-old Jennifer Fleischer arrested for perjury last Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. at the Union Square subway station. Fleischer allegedly told police that while she was getting off an uptown M train at the Broadway-Lafayette station, an unknown black man mugged her and stole her purse, containing her MetroCard and $20 in cash. Upon further investigation, she recanted her story, allegedly saying that she made it up as an excuse to not go to work and that her property was in the garbage.

MAN ADMITS HAVING GUN
Police arrested 27-year-old Bobby Robinson for weapons possession inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street last Sunday at 12:30 a.m. Police said that Robinson freely walked up to an officer, while not in custody, and spontaneously said, “that’s my car and I left a gun in the trunk.” A handgun was recovered from the car.


‘DRUNK DRIVER’ AT THIRD AND EAST 15TH
Police arrested 40-year-old William Mack arrested for intoxicated driving last Tuesday at 2:53 a.m. at Third Avenue and East 15th Street. Police saw him swerving in traffic and he allegedly had a smell of alcohol on his breath when police stopped him. He blew a .157 on a Breathalyzer, police said.

MAN GRABS AND ‘THREATENS’ WOMAN
Police arrested 29-year-old Kevin Newton arrested for criminal mischief in front of 717 Sixth Avenue last Tuesday at 1:50 a.m. The victim told police that she was walking on the sidewalk when she felt Newton grab her wrist. She pulled free and began to walk away from him but he allegedly followed her for about two blocks and began to verbally threaten her. She attempted to call 911 when he smacked the phone from her hand, causing the glass screen to shatter, police said. She also told police that he spit in her face.

BIKE ‘BURGLAR’ BUSTED ON WEST 25TH
Police arrested 54-year-old Lindsay Thomas arrested for possession of burglar’s tools last Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. in front of 40 West 25th Street. Thomas was walking east with two other unknown men when they were seen stopping at a Citibike rack. The first unknown man pointed at the rack while the second unknown man was seen attempting to remove the bike by pulling on the tire. The men then fled in unknown directions and when police stopped Thomas, he was allegedly in possession of burglar’s tools.

SUBWAY BUSKER BUSTED FOR FORGERY
Claudio Soto, 32, was arrested for forgery last Wednesday 6:25 p.m. inside the Union Square station. Soto was allegedly playing an electric guitar with an amplification device on the L platform in violation of transit rules. When asked to produce identification, he gave a forged US permanent resident card and forged Chilean driver’s license

MAN ARRESTED FOR KICKING DOOR
Police arrested 22-year-old Vincent Florido for criminal mischief last Thursday at 12:45 a.m. in front of Friend of a Farmer at 77 Irving Place. Florido allegedly damaged the front lobby door by kicking the glass intentionally.

ATTEMPTED BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 19-year-old Anthony Barahona for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 10 Union Square East last Thursday at 2:20 p.m. Barahona was allegedly using wirecutters to open a bicycle lock which didn’t belong to him. Police said that he was in possession of another pair of wirecutters, which were in his backpack.

MAN ARRESTED FOR POT
Ibrahima Jalloh, 23, was arrested for marijuana possession last Wednesday at 6:23 p.m. at Broadway and West 28th Street. Police said he had it in plain view on a public sidewalk.

TEEN RIDING BIKE ON SIDEWALK ARRESTED FOR BRASS KNUCKLES
Police arrested a 17-year-old for weapons possession at West 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue last Monday at 5:35 p.m. Miller was allegedly riding a black bicycle recklessly on the sidewalk of Seventh Avenue, causing about 15 people to move out of the way. He was also in possession of brass knuckles in his left shorts pocket, police said.

MAN HIT OVER THE HEAD WITH BOTTLE
James Quinn, 23, was arrested for assault last Saturday at 3:34 p.m. in front of 101 West 25th Street. Quinn got into an argument with the victim and allegedly hit him over the head with a bottle.

TEENS ACROBATS ARRESTED
Police arrested two teens for reckless endangerment last Saturday at 8:10 p.m. at the Union Square subway station. A 16-year-old and 18-year-old Kyle Solomon were allegedly working together, dancing and somersaulting on a crowded L train, causing a hazard to themselves and others, police said. The name of the 16-year-old is being withheld due to his age.

MAN ARRESTED FOR SELLING ‘LOOSIE’
Police arrested 38-year-old Udo Onua for violating tax law at East 14th Street and Union Square West last Thursday at 9:28 a.m. Onua was allegedly selling loose Newport cigarettes from a carton with an Ohio stamp in exchange for cash.

‘DRUNK DRIVER’ BUSTED ON SECOND AVENUE
Police arrested Victor Assante, 44, for intoxicated driving in front of 531 Second Avenue last Friday at 3:01 a.m. Assante was driving north on Third Avenue and then east on East 29th Street and while driving on Third Avenue, he was allegedly swerving back and forth between the far right lane and the middle of the road. He was stopped near East 29th Street because he allegedly didn’t signal when he turned and police said that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breathe, watery, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.

L train station musician talks benefits of busking as a career

Singer and songwriter Robert Leslie in a promo photo on the subway (Photo by TheDustyRebel)

Singer and songwriter Robert Leslie in a promo photo on the subway (Photo by TheDustyRebel)

By Sabina Mollot
At a few subway stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, U.K.-transplanted musician Robert Leslie is proving that New York City is still the place to go for musicians to follow their dream.

Looking a bit like Donatello’s vision of David with his long hair and hat brimmed with flowers, the slightly built 22-year-old regularly slays, not giants, but the crowd with his original, folksy rock tunes. At least he does briefly before it disperses, commuters dashing off into the L train at First Avenue or Union Square. Leslie also sometimes performs at the busy G line Metropolitan Avenue stop in Brooklyn. It’s just as busy as the Manhattan stops, he pointed out, but there’s not much competition for donations.

“It’s such a popular spot, but people haven’t worked it out yet,” Leslie said. Of course, the L line also has its perks. “The L train gets more delays and that’s good for me.”

Leslie usually works evenings, targeting straphangers going home from work and later after going out. He’ll also decide what to play based on how they’re acting.
“If I’m playing for drunk people, I won’t play a quiet song,” he said. “I’ll play something fast and rowdy. Sometimes, people are coming back from a show and they’re quietly discussing it and I’ll play something more complex.”

On his busking career, which has led to other gigs above ground, including an upcoming concert at Iridium jazz club, Leslie said this week that it began as an experiment.
He knew he wanted to come to New York to pursue music and had already had some experience performing on the streets around Europe.

Robert Leslie (Photo by Emmanuel Rosario)

Robert Leslie (Photo by Emmanuel Rosario)

“People said New York was the center of the world for music right now so I just bought a plane ticket,” said Leslie. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.”
Leslie’s originally from Manhattan, but his Dutch and English parents had moved around with him many times, including to London and Amsterdam.
His trip back to New York took place in February, 2013 and since then, he’s remained stateside. At first he stayed in a hostel, but now lives in Bushwick. It was soon after his arrival that Leslie went from being a street performer to underground one. This wasn’t a difficult decision. It was after all the dead of winter, and besides, when riding the subway, Leslie liked what he saw.
“I was very impressed with the quality of the subway buskers in New York compared to other places,” he said. “They’re quite solid.” And, he added, “There were hundreds of subway buskers.”

Soon, Leslie was able to find his groove, staking out spots to play. According to his online bio, it was actually the other musicians who gave him helpful tips on where to go and “showed me the ropes.”
And when he told his parents what he was doing for a living, they were supportive.
“They don’t support me financially, out of principle,” he said, “but they like that I’m playing music, getting experience.”

And fortunately, it didn’t take too long before Leslie started to get noticed. His performances were seen by someone last summer who was inspired to organize a rooftop concert featuring only subway buskers. That, along with the press that accompanied it, led to even more gigs. He now plays every Thursday at Karma, a hookah lounge on First Avenue and First Street, from 8-10 p.m. Leslie’s also currently working on a CD he’s recording himself of original music. Naturally, some of it’s inspired by his night job. “One song, ‘Old Brownstone,’ has a line about waiting for the G train,” he said.

Though there’s currently something of a crackdown on subway performers, Leslie’s never even been told to move along by police or the MTA.
“You’re allowed to perform on the subway as long as it’s on the platform,” he said. “You’re just not allowed to play on the train or use amplification.”

In fact, he said, there haven’t really been any truly negative experiences except once when a homeless person swiped a $20 bill from his donations. The man had leaned in to leave a dollar so Leslie said he didn’t notice right away that he’d also sneaked out the larger bill.
“Now I know not to leave big bills in the case,” said Leslie, who typically earns anywhere from $20-$40 an hour in tips.

But, he added, he has to keep his sets limited to two to three hours at a time this time of year because of the stifling heat in the stations. So he’ll play, then take a break for 45 minutes, then come back and do another set. In the end, the money earned still winds up being enough for him to get by, and it’s more than the other musicians he’s friends with earn — making music, that is.
“All my friends who are musicians have day jobs, like they’re waiters,” he said. “I feel like I’m building my career by meeting people every day and then they follow me on the internet. A lot of jobs you just kind of do and you don’t enjoy them.”

Leslie’s show at Iridium, 1650 Broadway at 51st Street, is on August 5 from with sets at 7 and 9 p.m. Cover is $15. For more information about Leslie, visit robertlesliemusic.com.

Letters to the Editor, July 10

July10 Toon subway busker

One percent increase a positive step

The recently announced one percent RGB increase is a small step toward putting the “stable” back in rent stabilization.
As tenants, we all need to support this action by selecting the one-year option when we renew our leases. This will send a clear message to the RGB and Albany that we want to preserve our community and affordable housing for all New Yorkers.
It will also reject the risky business model followed by the equity predators. This business model is named for its last two words: “It doesn’t matter how much you pay, you can always sell it later to a bigger fool.”  The problem with this model is who is going to be the next bigger fool?
Not the current tenants. We realize that the choice of a 2.75 percent two-year increase is the equivalent of selecting a 1 percent increase this year and a 3.5 percent increase next year! While landlords deserve to cover realistic cost increases, we will not pay for yet another round of replanting because the previous round was done wrong.
Not the future tenants. The equity predators are all targeting recent graduates and other newcomers to the housing market to fill current and future vacancies. But saddled with large student loans and entry-level salaries, the only vacancies they can fill are the empty bedrooms in their parents’ homes.
Not the equity lenders. They have been burned once by the Tishman Speyer default and other failed large real estate deals. They will be following the model established by Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. (Thank you, Senator Schumer.) The equity predators will have to prove the viability of their projections with more than just an “I said so.”
In other words, the times they are a-changin’ (with apologies to Bob Dylan.) Gone are the days where equity predators can entice bigger fools with frivolous, self-congratulatory costs like the vanity plates on the PCVST security vehicles.
Gone too are the days when the mayor turns a blind eye because, “It’s a private matter.” If the equity predators continue to believe their own hype (the cardinal sin committed by Tishman Speyer), they will find that they are the biggest fools.
Responsible parties within the real estate industry have already shown signs that they are adjusting to accept a different business model based on realistic income forecasts and controlled operating costs.
Let us all give our support to these leaders by overwhelmingly accepting the one-year, one percent increase and rejecting all rent increases that exceed true cost increases.
Bill Huebsch,
ST Resident for 36 years

 

Mayor didn’t deliver on rent freeze

To the Editor:
Mayor de Blasio is now batting with two strikes against him here in Stuyvesant Town.
First, he sandbagged Councilmember Dan Garodnick, by actively campaigning for Dan’s opponent for City Council speaker.
Then, the mayor capitulated to the real estate industry and disavowed his supposedly ironclad campaign pledge of a rent freeze.
Sandbagging tenants like this has a real cost. A rent increase of one percent will cost ST/PCV residents a total of $3,236,680 every year – calculated as an average rent of $2,000 over 11,235 apartments. Plus, everyone’s base rent is now raised in perpetuity.
This $3,236,680 is money that tenants could have used to support our local community. Or, tenants could have strengthened their retirement savings. Instead, it will go to line the pockets of the hedge fund that controls the property.
The mayor needs to decide whether he is on the side of tenants or the side of hedge funds.
Name Withheld, ST

 

Can we give Citi Bike hogs the boot?

June26 Marsh Citibike2 June26 Marsh CitibikeThe following is an email sent to Citi Bike by John Marsh, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, shared with T&V.
Subject: “Reserving” or Booting a Citi Bike By For Your Exclusive Use
I wanted to formally bring to your attention the following unfair practice of reserving your own Citi Bike by putting a lock on it, or effectively booting it so other riders can’t take it out.
I came along at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, June 19th delighted to see a lone bike at the E. 20th and FDR station in Dock #34.  After inserting my Citi Bike key in I was surprised to see that a U-Lock had been placed around the back wheel of bike number 06656. I immediately re-docked the bike, took these photos and called the incident into Citibike Customer Support number.
Whomever (whichever member) successfully undocked and rode this bike next to another Citi Bike station should be warned or disciplined in some manner for this inappropriate behavior.