Mailman arrested for assault on Saturday

Columbia Care Medical Marijuana Dispensary on Monday afternoon (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a mailman for assault in the East Village on Saturday at 3 p.m. after he kicked a door at the East 14th marijuana dispensary and allegedly hit an officer when police tracked him down nearby.

Thirty-year-old Daniel Jean was attempting to deliver mail to the Columbia Care Medical Marijuana Dispensary at 212 East 14th Street around 2 p.m., Gothamist reported on Sunday. Jean allegedly got into an argument with a security guard, who told him he wasn’t allowed in the building.

Police said that Jean and the guard got into an argument and the guard told him he could give her the mail but he allegedly refused. He left but returned shortly after and gave the mail to someone else, then left the dispensary again. He allegedly returned to the building a third time and kicked a door, prompting the security guard to call the police. The district attorney’s office said that the damage to the door and lock prevented the door from being able to open.

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Beer thief arrested for assaulting pregnant woman at 7-Eleven

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police busted a 39-year-old man for robbery at a Third Avenue convenience store on Saturday after he allegedly assaulted two employees, one of whom was eight months pregnant, who attempted to stop him from stealing beer from the store.

William Wright reportedly tried to leave the 7-Eleven at 395 Third Avenue around 4:20 p.m. without paying for three beers that he had concealed in his bag. When he attempted to leave, two of the store’s employees demanded that he return the merchandise.

One of the employees said that Wright took one of the beers out and put it back on the shelf but kept the other two, and she asked him to return the rest of the beers that were in his bag. He allegedly refused and again attempted to leave the store without paying.

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Even without internet, homeless camps still a concern in Gramercy

A LinkNYC tower is used on Third Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

A LinkNYC tower is used on Third Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Wednesday, the city yanked the internet from its new wi-fi stations following community outrage and news reports about the kiosks being monopolized by the homeless. As Town & Village recently reported, in Gramercy they’d be used for hours or even days at a time by homeless people who in some cases set up camps and according to one Post report, a Murray Hill resident was even treated to the sight of a man masturbating near her home while using a kiosk to watch porn.

However, even with internet access now scrubbed, some Gramercy residents are saying the kiosks are still hangouts for homeless people who in some cases drink at the sites and remain there for days on end. Their concerns were raised on Tuesday night at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council, where the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney assured neighbors police were responding to such complaints, and increasing homeless outreach efforts.

One woman, Julie Block, complained that homeless people are a round-the-clock presence at 16th Street and Third Avenue. In response, Timoney said those individuals have actually since moved a block north to 17th Street. However, he also said there would be more efforts to get those people into shelters, in coordination with the organizations Breaking Ground and Urban Pathways. “We’ll have to go out there again,” Timoney said.

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Homeless hogging Gramercy wi-fi kiosks, say business owners

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When the new wi-fi towers on Third Avenue arrived at the beginning of this year to replace defunct payphones in the neighborhood, Orbit News manager Ali Siddiqui thought it would be helpful for the occasional tourist that came into his shop looking for a map. But he said that it didn’t take long for the spots to get taken over day and night by various homeless people.

When a reporter was in the neighborhood last Friday, there was a man with his own rolling desk chair hooked up to the kiosk in front of the newsstand on the east side of the Avenue near East 20th Street and Siddiqui said that he had been in the same spot for three straight days.

“He brought his own chair and he just stays there, sitting and eating,” Siddiqui said.

He added that there are occasionally multiple people at the kiosk at once, usually streaming content through YouTube, and the men occasionally get aggressive when the sidewalk gets more crowded.

“Tourists want to use it but no one can because the same people are always there,” he said. “Customers complain about this to me all the time. This is a good neighborhood but since this started, it’s a nuisance.”

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Mumbles restaurant closes, La Follia will take over space

Jan28 Mumbles

Mumbles at Third Avenue and 17th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Mumbles, a family-run restaurant that’s been in the Gramercy neighborhood for 22 years, closed its doors for good on Sunday.

The business has been sold to the owners of a nearby restaurant La Follia, who will be moving in February.

On Thursday, January 21, Mumbles’ owner, David Feldman threw a going away party at the restaurant, which he said was packed with family, friends and regulars.

Reached at the restaurant the next day as the city prepared for a blizzard, Feldman explained his reasons for closing the restaurant, which at one time had three Manhattan locations.

For one thing, his father, who started the business, died six years ago, leaving Feldman and his brother to run things. But then Feldman also lost his brother a year ago to cancer.

This left Feldman alone to run Mumbles as well as two other restaurants the family owned, Benjamin in Murray Hill, and East of Eighth in Chelsea, as well as a catering business. Those businesses will all remain open.

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Gunman ties up Third Avenue Starbucks workers during robbery

Photos of robbery suspect

Photos of robbery suspect

Police are on the lookout for a robber who held up two workers at gunpoint at a Third Avenue Starbucks.

The robber, police said, entered the coffee joint at 145 Third Avenue and 15th Street on Thursday, January 16 at around 9:30 p.m. He then allegedly pulled a gun and demanded cash from the two baristas who were working. The two employees, a 21-year-old woman, the other a 22-year-old man, were ordered to lie down on the floor, where he tied their hands with zip ties. He then swiped about $3,000 in cash from the register and fled.

The victims were not hurt, police said.

The gunman is described as Hispanic, 35-40 years old, 5 ft. 7 ins.-5 ft. 9 ins. and 200 lbs., with a light colored complexion and facial hair. He was last seen wearing square framed eyeglasses, a dark colored sweatshirt with an “ecko” logo on the front, a black nylon jacket over the sweatshirt and black gloves.

Anyone with information in regards to this suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimestoppers.com or texting  tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All call are strictly confidential.