Police Watch: Man accused of slashing friend, Man busted for Irving Place burglary

MAN ACCUSED OF SLASHING FRIEND OVER PHONE, MONEY
Police arrested 54-year-old Christopher Timmons for an alleged robbery that took place outside the Goodwill at 105 West 25th Street on Friday, June 7 at 8:30 a.m. Police said that Timmons, who knew the victim, asked to use his phone, then put the phone in his pocket. When the victim asked for his phone back, Timmons allegedly slashed him with an unknown weapon, causing cuts to his left elbow and right finger. Police said that Timmons and the victim also had an argument about money. Timmons allegedly fled on foot with the victim’s phone, and neither the phone nor the weapon were recovered when Timmons was arrested on Saturday, June 8 at 2:50 a.m. inside the 13th precinct.

MAN BUSTED FOR IRVING PLACE BURGLARY
Police arrested 31-year-old Jeff Seidenberg for an alleged burglary inside 67 Irving Place on Friday, June 7 at 8:20 p.m. Police were responding to a call about an unknown person in the stairwell of a commercial building and when they conducted an interior patrol, they reportedly found Seidenberg hiding under a bench on the 10th floor. When they searched him, they found that he was allegedly in possession of property belonging to one of the businesses in the building. Police said that he did not have permission to be inside the building and he was also charged with criminal trespass and possession of a controlled substance. There are multiple businesses in the building, including Irving Place Surgery & Wellness Center on the floor where Seidenberg was caught, but police did not specify which business he allegedly stole from or what property was taken.

MEN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY OUTSIDE TAJ LOUNGE
Police arrested 27-year-old Levan Easley and 27-year-old Raymond Rodriguez for an alleged robbery at the corner of West 21st Street and Fifth Avenue on Sunday, April 21 at 4:20 a.m. The victim told police that he was leaving the Taj Lounge at 48 West 21st Street when he was attacked by an unknown number of people who hit him in the face and allegedly stole his jewelry. Easley and Rodriguez were charged with robbery and assault on Tuesday, June 4 at 10:40 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. Two other people were arrested in connection with the incident on May 8 and May 29.

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Man robbed for his Citi Bike on East 14th Street

Citi Bike robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a group of teenagers who robbed a man for his Citi Bike on East 14th Street.

The victim, a 23-year-old man, told police he was riding his Citi Bike on June 4 at around 9 p.m. on First Avenue when he stopped on 14th Street to get something to eat.

Robbery suspect

When he left his bike to go inside Halal Guys at 307 East 14th Street, he saw a group of teens try to take the bike. The victim confronted them and was able to grab the bike back at first, but was struck on the head by one of the teens and he dropped it. The group then fled with the bike, heading west on East 15th Street towards Second Avenue. Police later found the Citi Bike nearby.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

Police Watch: Man arrested for kicking girlfriend, Teen charged with assault

MAN ARRESTED FOR KICKING GIRLFRIEND IN BETH ISRAEL EMERGENCY ROOM
Police arrested a 24-year-old man for an alleged assault inside the Mount Sinai Beth Israel emergency room at 281 First Avenue on Monday, May 13 at 7:20 p.m. Police said that the suspect kicked his girlfriend in the leg while she was inside the Beth Israel emergency room, causing pain. The suspect was charged inside the 13th precinct on Thursday, May 30 at 8:45 a.m. The name of the suspect is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim.

TEEN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OUTSIDE ACS CENTER
Police arrested 18-year-old Beyoncé Wint for an alleged assault in front of the Administration for Children’s Services facility at 492 First Avenue on Tuesday, May 28 at 3:07 a.m. Police said that Wint, a resident at the facility, punched another girl who lives at ACS in the face, causing a swollen upper lip.

TEEN BUSTED FOR SWIPING CASH FROM DELI
Police arrested a teenager for an alleged theft from the Dreamland Deli at 325 Second Avenue on Wednesday, May 22 at 10:30 p.m. Police said that the teen stole more than $1,000 in cash from the business. The teen was charged with grand larceny inside the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, May 28 at noon. The name of the teen is being withheld due to his young age.

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Lyft car and other vehicles crash on Second Avenue

June6 accident1

Vehicle collision at Second Avenue and 14th Street (Photos by Jefferson Siegel)

By Jefferson Siegel

Just after 7 pm Tuesday, the quiet early-evening atmosphere at 2nd Avenue and 14th Street was shattered by a loud metal-crunching explosion when three app-driven car service vehicles collided.

The crash was followed by screams as people rushed to find a Lyft driver trapped in his car and a cyclist on the curb. The driver appeared to be unconscious as he sat motionless, his body surrounded by front and side air bags. The driver-side door had been smashed by a mini-van which blocked anyone from reaching the driver. Firefighters arrived within minutes and tried smashing the passenger-side window to reach the driver. They were able to enter the car from the rear door and place a neck brace on the driver.

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Man wanted for multiple bank robberies

Bank robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a man connected to a number of bank robberies that took place in the 9th and 13th precincts earlier this month.

A man reportedly approached the teller’s window inside the Chase Bank at 69 Fifth Avenue on Friday, May 17 around 1:15 p.m., threatened that he had a weapon and demanded money. The teller complied and gave the man an undetermined amount of cash, after which he fled the location. He didn’t display a weapon during the incident and no injuries were reported.

Not long after this incident at 1:25 p.m., the same man approached a teller’s window inside the Valley National Bank at 111 Fourth Avenue near East 12th Street. He threatened that he was in possession of a weapon and demanded money. The teller complied and the suspect fled in an unknown direction with an undetermined amount of cash. There were no weapons displayed during this incident and no injuries were reported.

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Senior killed by delivery truck in Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police reported that a 76-year-old man was killed by a delivery truck in Union Square on Tuesday morning.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said at the 13th Precinct Community Council’s meeting this past Tuesday that the victim, James Buzzell, was outside his apartment on East 16th Street near Union Square West when he was struck.

Police said that the truck was attempting to park in the parking lane when the driver struck Buzzell. Hellman said that the driver was delivering flour to one of the nearby bakeries when he hit Buzzell while backing up. Hellman noted that the driver was not at fault, although the NYPD noted that the investigation is still ongoing.

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Cannabis Parade and rally at Union Square

A man wears a marijuana-inspired flag as he joined hundreds at the 2019 Cannabis Parade and Rally in Union Square on Saturday, May 4.

Photos by Jefferson Siegel

Hundreds marched down Broadway to Union Square on Saturday in the Cannabis Parade and Rally. The annual event drew people, some puffing away on indeterminate substances, who listened to speakers call for a renewed push for marijuana legalization in Albany before the legislative session ends in June.

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$1,000 reward offered for kitten stolen from Petco

By Sabina Mollot

Cat rescue organization KittyKind is hoping to find a kitten that was stolen on Friday at around 2:25 p.m. from the Union Square Petco.

Though no one saw him in the act, a man breezed into the store on East 17th Street while the cats and kittens up for adoption were in their cages. Volunteers are only there in the mornings, evenings and weekends, so none were present when the man came in mid-afternoon, walked over to the cages and broke the lock of a lower cage. He then took a 12-week-old striped kitten named Sage from inside, leaving its sister Rosemary behind, and walked out the door.

According to Valerie Vlasaty, a KittyKind volunteer later briefed on the situation, a customer happened to see the man leave and mentioned he’d walked out with a kitten to an employee. The employee then went outside to try and stop the man, but it was too late; he’d already disappeared into the Union Square crowd.

“We’re devastated, heartbroken,” said Vlasaty.

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Police Watch: Man accused of punching woman during robbery, Woman allegedly assaulted theater employees

MAN ACCUSED OF PUNCHING WOMAN DURING CVS ROBBERY
Police arrested 27-year-old Sean Wagner and 22-year-old Nicholas Caballero for an alleged robbery inside the CVS at 245 First Avenue on Wednesday, March 27 around 11 p.m. Police said that Wagner and Caballero, along with another person who wasn’t arrested, went into the store and took merchandise off the shelves and tried to leave without paying. An employee said that she told them to stop and was going to take a photo of them when Wagner allegedly punched her in the face, causing redness and pain. The suspects fled the store, but Wagner was caught shortly after the incident in front of 7 East 14th Street on Thursday, March 28 at 12:16 a.m. Caballero was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Monday, April 1 at 4 p.m. Wagner was charged with robbery and possession of stolen property. Caballero was charged with petit larceny.

WOMEN ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED MOVIE THEATER EMPLOYEES
Police arrested 22-year-old Treasure Liggins, 24-year-old Brianna Jones and 23-year-old Tyhamrra Newman for an alleged fight that took place inside the AMC movie theater at 890 Broadway on Monday, March 25 around 12:40 a.m. Police said that Liggins hit the manager of the theater in the eye and Jones allegedly punched the victim, punching another employee at the theater and a security guard in the face, causing swelling and pain to the three victims. Newman reportedly sprayed the theater manager, an employee of the theater and a security guard at the theater with pepper spray, causing substantial pain. Jones and Newman were arrested inside the 13th precinct at 2 a.m. No further information was available about what started the dispute.

MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULT AT POST OFFICE
Police arrested 58-year-old George Greenslade for an alleged assault that took place inside the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 335 East 14th Street on Thursday, March 28 at 4 p.m. The victim told police that he was standing in line when Greenslade allegedly shoved him after cutting him in line. The victim said that Greenslade completed his transaction and waited outside the Post Office for the victim.

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Bike ride memorializes cyclist who was killed

Dozens of cyclists pedal up First Avenue from 14th Street (pictured) passing 35th Street. (Photo by Jefferson Siegel)

By Jefferson Siegel

On Saturday a bike memorial ride was held to honor bike messenger Aurilla Lawrence, 25, who was killed on the night of February 28 in Williamsburg when she was hit by a truck. The truck driver did not stop.

A large mass of cyclists pedaled east along 14th Street from Union Square Park to First Avenue before turning uptown.

At one point the ride split into two parts, with one group of about 30 heading uptown into Harlem before eventually crossing the river into the Bronx, while a second group of about 50 cyclists criss-crossed downtown streets before heading up University Place, past Union Square and then up Broadway against traffic.

Police in cars and on scooters followed the cyclists as they moved throughout town. There was at least one arrest at 46th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Lawrence was the fifth cyclist to die so far this year, compared with ten bike fatalities in all of 2018.

 

 

Woman tracks down phone thief using app

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A woman whose phone was stolen inside a Pret a Manger near Union Square on Friday was able to get it back by tracking it through an app.

The victim told police that she was inside the café at 821 Broadway when a man who was later arrested, 44-year-old Bension Mamedov, came in and put his bag on top of her phone and phone case, which contained her driver’s license, MetroCard and a credit card and when he left, her phone was gone.

She told police that she used the Find My iPhone application to track her device and the app located her phone at 109 East 16th Street, which houses the offices of the Human Resources Administration. She flagged down two police officers who were at Union Square East and East 16th Street and went inside the building, where she spotted Mamedov.

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MTA rebuilding stairway at Union Square L train platform

Union Square station stairwell on the L train platform (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The MTA announced last weekend that the stairs connecting the L train with the uptown and downtown NQRW trains will be demolished and rebuilt this March.

The stairs will be unavailable beginning on March 4 while the project is ongoing and the agency said it expects the stairways to reopen by the end of the month.

The MTA said that the uptown and downtown staircases, which currently face each other on the L platform, will be redesigned to make it easier for commuters to navigate than the current configuration and dissipate crowds to move along the platform more quickly.

This includes expanding the width of the lower flight of both staircases from five feet to seven feet so it matches the width of the upper flight, which is already seven feet. The extra width will add enough space for an extra passenger lane so it can fit three people at a time instead of just two.

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Man charged with burglaries in Union Square

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man for multiple alleged burglaries that occurred inside a building on West 17th Street just west of Fifth Avenue on February 11.

Police said that 56-year-old Anthony Dunn forced open an apartment door inside the building and took electronics and cash. Dunn allegedly forced the door in another apartment in the building and police said he took electronics from that unit as well, in addition to silverware.

Dunn allegedly attempted to break into a third apartment in the building but while he was attempting to force open the door, another resident heard him went outside his apartment to ask Dunn what he was doing. Dunn reportedly said that he was from maintenance and was there to fix the apartment door, but then said he was at the wrong apartment and he fled the scene without getting inside.

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Protesters pack Union Square over border wall

Hundreds of protesters packed Union Square Park on Monday evening to protest the president’s renewed push for a border wall.

By Jefferson Siegel

Hundreds gathered in Union Square on the Presidents Day holiday, Monday night, to protest the policies of president Donald Trump and specifically his declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the Mexican border. Dozens of similar protests were also held around the country. Sixteen state attorneys general as well as several legal organizations and numerous private citizens have filed lawsuits against Trump over declaring a national emergency.

At Union Square, there were also a handful of Trump supporters who were being kept apart from the main protest.

Photos by Jefferson Siegel

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Strand bookstore fighting landmarking attempt

Strand bookstore at 826-828 Broadway and 12th Street (Photo via Wikipedia)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Advocates for the Strand bookstore are protesting its proposed landmarking ahead of the last public hearing on the topic next Tuesday.

Nancy Bass Wyden, the owner of the Strand, came out against the proposed landmarking of her business at the end of last year, arguing at a previous public hearing before the Landmarks Preservation Commission that doing so would destroy the business.

Bass Wyden’s family, which has been operating the bookstore at 826-828 Broadway at 12th Street since 1927, has owned the building for the last 20 years. The store was originally opened by Benjamin Bass and the family has been operating the business for the last 90 years. The business relocated to its current spot on Broadway just south of Union Square Park in 1956 and Benjamin’s son, Fred, bought the building in 1996.

“We operate on thin margins,” Bass Wyden argued in a petition against the landmarking. “For every repair and every upgrade, the Strand would have to go through the slow bureaucracy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which adds to the expenses to keep Strand alive.”

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