Robbers steal victim’s hat, threaten him with knife at Union Square Park

Sketch of the second suspect

Police are looking for a pair of muggers who pulled a knife on a teenager at Union Square Park.

On Thursday, April 12 at 5:40 p.m., the 18-year-old victim was about to go into the subway when one of the men grabbed from behind and pulled off his red baseball cap. The two began to argue and struggle over the hat when the second suspect pulled out a knife and menaced the victim with it before he and the other man fled with the cap.

The first suspect is described as a white male. The second suspect is male, white, in his 20’s to 30’s with very short hair and facial hair and about six feet tall. He was last seen wearing a tan or brown jacket, dark pants and a baseball cap.

Anyone with information in regards 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 Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Update: The Post reports the cap was a “Make America Great Again” hat worn by a Danish tourist.

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Police Watch: Teen arrested for Blue Smoke robbery, Man charged in 7-Eleven robbery

FOURTH TEEN ARRESTED FOR BLUE SMOKE ROBBERY
Police arrested a 16-year-old in connection with a robbery inside Blue Smoke at 116 East 27th Street on March 18. Police said that a host at the restaurant was approached around 7 p.m. by five teenagers who claimed they were raising money for a basketball team before grabbing cash from the victim and fleeing the restaurant. When the victim chased after the teens, one of them hit him on the back of the head.
Four teens have been arrested in connection with the incident. The teen was charged with robbery inside the 13th precinct for the robbery last Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and his name is being withheld due to his young age.

MAN CHARGED WITH 7-ELEVEN ROBBERY
Police arrested 53-year-old Chris Sanachez for an alleged robbery that took place in the 7-Eleven at 239 East 14th Street on March 7 around 10 p.m. Police said that a customer in the store left his property on the counter and Sanachez grabbed it, then fled the location. The victim, a man in his 50s, reportedly chased after Sanachez and when he caught up with him, the suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain and swelling. Sanachez was arrested inside the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 7 p.m.

WOMAN ACCUSED OF PUSHING MAN INTO TRACKS AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 57-year-old Marjorie Chambers for alleged reckless endangerment at East 14th Street and Union Square West inside the Union Square subway station last Friday at 12:17 a.m. Police said that Chambers recklessly pushed the victim into the roadbed of the train, creating a substantial risk of injury, although no train was approaching at the time of the incident. The victim did not have any visible injuries.

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Thieves taking entire carts from mail carriers

By Sabina Mollot

No longer content with swiping mail and packages from building lobbies, some thieves are brazenly stealing entire carts full of mail as postal carriers make their rounds in Manhattan.

Police say that the thieves are specifically looking for checks, money orders and credit cards.

A story in The New York Post on Sunday reported that 19 incidents have occurred in the borough since last summer, with the thieves wearing postal uniforms and waiting for carriers to get distracted before making their moves in broad daylight.

A couple of the incidents took place in Union Square. On January 26 in front of 18 East 16th Street at 1:40 p.m., the mailman was delivering mail and when he returned to his cart, it was gone. The same thing happened four days later at 140 East 17th Street at 4 p.m. The Post reported similar incidents have taken place in Murray Hill and on the Upper East Side.

Cops have also been warning consumers about thefts perpetrated by mailbox fishing, in which thieves will reel out mail from mailboxes using a stick and glue. Police told Town & Village this type of crime has spiked in Upper Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens.

USP wants to modernize Union Sq. station

The Union Square Partnership proposed a few technological enhacements for the subway station at a Community Board 5 meeting. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The neighborhood BID for Union Square wants to help make the chaotic station more navigable for commuters and tourists alike and this week offered some suggestions to Community Board 5. Union Square Partnership director of economic development Monica Munn said that the impetus for the plan is partially due to the changes the neighborhood will be undergoing with the upcoming L train shutdown but also is a push to generally modernize the station.

“(The L train shutdown) is not just about changes happening above ground,” she said, referring to the planning related to bus and street improvements to mitigate the 15 months without the L train. “We’re thinking about what needs to be done to mitigate that as much as possible but we also want to think about modernizing as much as possible.”

Representatives from the Partnership presented the suggestions to members of Community Board 5’s transportation and environment committee this past Monday.

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Thieves preying on victims at coffee bars around Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man this past Monday who is suspected of snatching unattended bags from the Starbucks at 10 Union Square East, which police say has been a hotbed of thefts for the last few months. The precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, said at last week’s Community Council meeting that the precinct has especially been struggling with thefts from the chain throughout the city because the company has been reluctant to provide surveillance video.

“One of the main ways we can catch these guys is with video and Starbucks has not been very cooperative,” Hellman said. “We’ve followed up with subpoenas and we’ve still never been able to retrieve a single video from them.”

Starbucks did not return a request for comment by T&V’s press time.

Despite the lack of cooperation from the coffee chain, the man who was arrested, 60-year-old Prince Wright, was picked up inside the Starbucks location at 25 Union Square West this past Monday by officers who recognized him from a photo. Police connected him to two grand larcenies at the 10 Union Square East location on March 2 and 12, as well as thefts from two more at Starbucks locations in the Midtown South precinct.

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Police Watch: Man charged in hit-and-run, ‘Bag snatcher’ arrested at Gramercy Park Hotel

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.

MAN ACCUSED OF SNATCHING BAG AT GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL
Police arrested 28-year-old Rayner Reyes inside the Gramercy Park Hotel at 2 Lexington Avenue last Thursday at 2 a.m. Police said that Reyes was seen by security taking a woman’s purse from the chair next to her leg and allegedly attempted to walk out of the bar area into the lobby, where he was caught with the bag. Reyes was also charged with possession of stolen property.

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.

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Police Watch: Man accused of threats, Pregnant woman assaulted

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.

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Bum deal for officer in Union Sq. drug arrest

Sept14 Union Square subway

Union Square (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A man arrested for selling loosies in Union Square wound up facing far more serious charges when he didn’t do a good enough job hiding his stash and almost 60 envelopes of heroin fell from his butt crack when he bent over to be searched, police said.

Levon Huggins, 43, had initially been stopped at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street at 12:49 p.m. last Wednesday because he was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the sidewalk.

Once Huggins was brought to the precinct, police said that they suspected he was hiding additional drugs. He was strip-searched inside a cell at the precinct and when he bent over, a ziplock bag containing the 59 glassine envelopes of heroin fell from the suspect’s “intergluteal cleft,” police said.

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Police Watch: Assault in Kips Bay, Man arrested for theft

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OF WOMAN ON KIPS BAY STREET
Police arrested 31-year-old Lindell Caulet for an alleged assault in front of 121 East 24th Street last Sunday at 6:43 p.m. The victim told police that Caulet punched her on the side of the head, knocking her head into a pole on the sidewalk. The victim said that she suffered from pain and swelling on the side of her head as a result of the incident. Police did not have further information about what started the incident.

SUSPECT BUSTED FOR THEFT FROM KIPS BAY APARTMENT
Police arrested 34-year-old Terrence O’Connell for alleged petit larceny and possession of stolen property in the victim’s apartment on Third Avenue near East 28th Street last Sunday at 5:01 p.m. The victim told police that she knew O’Connell and he had slept at her apartment but when she woke up the next morning, she realized that he had taken her iPad, cash, some of her clothing and jewelry.

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Purse-snatching suspect arrested at Food Emporium

Union Square Food Emporium (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 39-year-old man for a string of alleged purse snatchings around Union Square last Tuesday afternoon. Daniel Negrin was busted inside the Food Emporium at 10 Union Square East after he allegedly took a woman’s purse that was on top of her shopping cart and tried to leave the store. A store security officer who saw the incident stopped Negrin as he was attempting to flee. Police said that video surveillance showed Negrin taking the victim’s bag out of her cart, and the victim told police that her bag contained credit cards as well as a Louis Vuitton organizer worth more than $1,000.

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Man allegedly slashes co-worker in front of Union Square Liquiteria

Slashing suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who allegedly slashed his coworker in the face in front of the Liquiteria juice shop where they worked at 26 East 17th Street.

Police say Leonard Jackson and the victim had gotten into an argument over a lock on a door when things turned physical and Jackson allegedly attacked him. Police say the victim had to get 40 stitches on his face.

Jackson’s last known address is on Wortman Avenue in Brooklyn and he has been arrested six times in Brooklyn. However, those cases are sealed.

Jackson is described as black, about 200 lbs. with black, short hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call detectives at the 13th Precinct at (212) 477-7444.

A phone number for Liquiteria’s Union Square West location wasn’t working on Tuesday.

Fire breaks out at Union Square building

Photo via Google Maps

By Sabina Mollot

The FDNY is investigating a fire that broke out at a high-rise building in Union Square on Monday morning.

Eighty-four firefighters from 26 units responded to the “all hands” fire at 8:10 a.m., but according to the FDNY, it was under control in 31 minutes. The fire was on the seventh floor of the commercial building, 25 East 15th Street on the west side of Union Square Park. A spokesperson for the fire department said it is standard for that many firefighters to respond to any fire at a high-rise. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still being determined.

After putting out the blaze, the FDNY sent out an emailed alert to warn New Yorkers to expect smoke and traffic delays in the area as well as emergency vehicles.

Union Sq. subway suspected ‘grinder’ arrested

Forcible touching suspect

Police have arrested a man they say is responsible for a “grinding” incident at the Union Square subway.

The victim, a 33-year-old woman, had told police that on October 4, she felt a man rubbing his exposed penis on her backside while they were on an uptown 4 train. She spotted the same man over a month later at the same subway stop, took his photo and passed it on to cops. On Tuesday, January 2, police arrested Naeem Thompson, 28, of Queens. He’s been charged with forcible touching.

Witness to W train masturbator: ‘I thought that he was going to cut me’

Public lewdness suspect

By Sabina Mollot

On December 27, a man who boarded a W train headed to Union Square wound up getting an eyeful of a pervert who was sitting across from him, openly masturbating under his pants. The victim, 62, promptly snapped a photo and alerted police.

The incident was reported in Town & Village last week. However, since then, we spoke with the witness, a neighborhood resident, who said the suspect, who appeared to be homeless, gave him the creeps for an additional reason.

“I thought that he was going to cut me with a knife,” said the man, who asked that his name not be published. “He had crazy eyes. I was frightened.” Continue reading

Pants-less pranksters brave extreme cold this year

Participants on the N train

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday, despite frigid temperature, straphangers with an exhibitionist streak ditched their pants and all other leg coverings to take part in the annual No Pants Subway Ride.

Always held on a winter day, the flashmob prank, held for the 16th time, is organized by the group Improv Everywhere. The route technically began at Foley Square and ended at Union Square, but participants of all ages could be seen at other subway stops as well. With the wind chill, the temperature was in the single digits.

Originally begun with just seven cold-tolerant men, the underground leg show now draws thousands and also takes place in other cities and countries. Participants, who dress appropriately for the winter other than their bare legs, always act as if they simply forgot their pants and don’t have any clue why so many others have forgotten them, too.

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