Man who fatally shot teen at Campos Plaza gets 40 years

By Sabina Mollot

A man who fatally gunned down a teenager in Campos Plaza five years ago was finally sentenced to 40 years behind bars last Wednesday.

Hockeem Smith got a 25-year sentence for manslaughter and an additional 15 for criminal possession of a weapon, according to the district attorney’s office. Both terms are to run concurrently.

On the evening of October 16 in 2011, Smith, then 25, shot Donovan “Keith” Salgado, a 17-year-old resident of the NYCHA complex. Salgado, a senior at Washington Irving High School, was hanging out with his friends outside when shots rang out on East 12th Street and Avenue C.

At the time, the victim’s death spurred community outcry about ongoing violence and gang activity in the community. In response, youth programs were introduced onsite and promises made to enhance security at NYCHA complexes. But things didn’t go that smoothly. There was another shooting the night of the youth center’s opening. Security upgrades took a long time to come to Campos Plaza and the youth programs were discontinued by 2013, according to The Lo Down. The local blog also reported at the time that Smith’s trial had been delayed again and again due to teenagers with knowledge of the situation refusing to talk.

Police Watch: Spa employees arrested, Teen arrested for pooping in stairwell at Straus Houses

Police arrested four men inside Super Men’s Spa at 163 West 22nd Street last Friday at 6:09 p.m. Marek Denert, 22, was charged with prostitution and police said that he agreed to provide an undercover officer with a sex act in exchange for cash.
The other three men arrested, 26-year-old Duvan Gutierrez, 27-year-old Lingyu Hui and 28-year-old Ahmet Eminoglu, were charged with unclassified misdemeanors. Police said that the three men were seen performing massages on customers but none of them had a massage license. The four men were questioned in regards to human trafficking with police concluding this wasn’t an issue there.
UPDATE (March 15): “Mr. Denert’s actions were 100 percent legitimate and in accordance with the law,” said Todd Spodek, Denert‘s defense attorney. “If the establishment or any other masseuses were acting inappropriately, that is separate and distinct from his role there.”

Police arrested a teenager inside 344 East 28th Street last Thursday after he was seen defecating in the 26th floor stairwell of the building. Police said when he was searched, shortly after midnight, he was allegedly in possession of a bag of marijuana in his jacket pocket and a burnt joint that was also in his pocket. Police said that the teen doesn’t live in the building and doesn’t know anyone who lives in the building. He was charged with trespassing as well as a health code violation and possession of marijuana. His name is being withheld due to his young age.

Police arrested a teenager for assault last Monday at 9:50 a.m. inside the Washington Irving High School campus. Police said that the teen punched the victim in the face, causing bruising and swelling.

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WIHS to get facade fixed and neighbors worried about noise

Councilmember Rosie Mendez

Councilmember Rosie Mendez

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The School Construction Authority is planning a major project to repair and renovate the façade of the Washington Irving High School building and neighbors are already concerned about how long they’ll be dealing with noise from what is sure to be a lengthy project.

The neighborhood residents made their views heard at a meeting hosted inside the school on Monday by Council Member Rosie Mendez.

Due to the constraints on construction for schools, the work on the building can only be done on nights and weekends, which concerned residents who live on adjacent streets who have already been dealing with periodic construction noise from the school, even though this major project has not started yet.

Joseph Bova, chief project officer for the SCA, specified that nights and weekends meant 4 p.m. to midnight during the week and as early as 8 a.m. on weekends, although due to objections from residents at the meeting, he said there may be flexibility on the weekend start time and he noted that only clean-up would happen between 11 p.m. and midnight.

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Police Watch: Teen arrested after fight, Man busted for heroin sale at shelter

Police arrested a teenager for assault in front of the Washington Irving High School building, 40 Irving Place, last Friday at noon. Police said that the teen got into a fight with the victim after an ongoing argument and the victim fell to the ground after the teen punched him in the face. The teen continued to punch the victim while he was on the ground, causing him to fracture his jaw. The victim was taken to Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital.

Police arrested 64-year-old Leval Chambers for sale and possession of a controlled substance in front of the men’s shelter at 400 East 30th Street last Friday at 5:08 p.m. Police said that Chambers sold a small envelope of alleged heroin to an undercover officer and the envelope had a red stamp that said “Good Times.”

Police arrested 31-year-old Jessica Turner for harassment inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Saturday at 8:35 p.m. Turner allegedly spit in the victim’s face, eyes and into the open wound on her nose.

Police arrested 48-year-old Martin Kaplan for menacing and weapons possession at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street last Saturday at 1:32 p.m. Police said that Kaplan was seen walking towards the victim with brass knuckles on his left hand while also holding a hammer as he approached the victim. He also allegedly appeared ready to use the brass knuckles with his fingers in the holes, police said, acting as though he was going to punch the victim.

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Area residents wary of planned ferry landing

Meeting attendees look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Meeting attendees look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents got the opportunity to interact with 3D models showing possibilities for flood protection and access to the waterfront on the East Side at the most recent workshop for the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project last Thursday evening. This meeting was the third in a round of public workshops, held at Washington Irving High School, discussing different options for the area along the East River from East 14th to 23rd Streets in terms of protecting the neighborhood from future storm surges and future Hurricane Sandys.

Since the first public workshop was held in March, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency along with the urban design team working on the project have narrowed the design ideas down into a combination of an elevated park that integrates static floodwalls and deployable features. The break in the elevated park, known as a berm or levee, at East 20th Street is partially to accommodate a ferry landing that the Environmental Development Cooperation is considering developing there. Representatives from the city and the urban designers working on the project said they could not answer specific questions on the ferry landing itself since that project is not under the purview of the ESCR, but some residents at the meeting expressed concern about what the increased foot traffic would mean for the neighborhood.

“We want to see certain lovely things stay but newer, shinier and busier isn’t always better,” Stuyvesant Town resident Laura Koestler said. “Right now it’s small potatoes but it can become commercialized. With the possibility of a ferry over there, I just picture what the insane crowds have become at the Williamsburg Flea.”

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Police Watch: Man ‘trespasses’ in micro-apartment, multiple ‘forgers’ busted

Elmostafa Bouragreg, 62, was arrested for criminal trespass at the corner of Mount Carmel Place and East 26th Street last Monday at 11:58 p.m. Police said that Bouragreg was inside an enclosed pre-fabricated apartment being used for the new micro-apartment building without permission. Bouragreg was also charged with possession of marijuana.

Police arrested 41-year-old Esteban Mendoza and 51-year-old Bernardo Sanchez for burglary in front of J East Restaurant at 175 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 3:17 p.m. Mendoza was allegedly acting as a lookout while Sanchez allegedly entered a commercial truck through the driver’s side door and removed a work bag from under the seat.

Police arrested 29-year-old Jerome Suglam for forgery at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street last Tuesday at 10:14 p.m. Upon a car stop, that Suglam was allegedly drinking alcohol inside his car and produced a fake Arizona driver’s license that police said was shown to have purchased over $1,000 worth of merchandise, by fraudulent means. After searching him, police found that he was in possession of an additional counterfeit Arizona driver’s license. Suglam was also charged with possession of stolen property.

Sadeq Al-Bahri, 27, was arrested in front of 353 East 14th Street for an unclassified violation of New York State laws last Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. Al-Bahri allegedly sold two loose Newport cigarettes to an undercover officer for $2. The cigarettes were not in New York packaging as required by law, police said.

Police arrested a 33-year-old man for disorderly conduct at Union Square West and East 17th Street last Wednesday at 12:18 p.m. Police said that the man, identified only as John Doe, was yelling, spitting and causing public alarm inside Union Square Park, where he also harassed an elderly man and littered.

Eighteen-year-old Imani Witherspoon and 24-year-old Mansell McLain were arrested for forgery inside the Chase Bank at 611 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 6:05 p.m. The bank branch manager told police that Witherspoon and McLain entered the bank with a fraudulent check and allegedly attempted to cash it. Witherspoon was also charged with petit larceny.
The previous Tuesday at 6:04 p.m., another man, 20-year-old Ramon Santos, was arrested for forgery at the same bank. Police said that the bank branch manager told them Santos entered the location and presented a fraudulent check to one of the tellers in an attempt to cash it.

Two people were arrested for selling drugs near Washington Irving High School last week.
Rafael Vazquez, 44, was arrested in front of 145 East 15th Street for sale on school grounds last Thursday at 7:18 p.m. Police said that Vazquez sold a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover detective and the deal allegedly took place within a thousand feet of the school. He was also in possession of alleged marijuana and an additional quantity of a controlled substance.
He was also charged with intent to sell a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.
Police arrested 22-year-old Romer Collado for sale of a controlled substance in front of 123 East 15th Street last Tuesday at 8:02 p.m. Police said that on seven separate occasions, Collado sold an amount of a controlled substance in the vicinity of the high school. He was also allegedly in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance and packaging used in the sale of narcotics. He was also charged with sale on school grounds, intent to sell a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police arrested 26-year-old Bryan Dejesus at the corner of Union Square West and East 14th Street last Friday at 12:30 a.m. Police said that Dejesus harassed a woman while on the uptown 6 train and when police told him to stop harassing her, he said to the officer, “Suck my d—,” and “What you gonna do about it, n—–!” When police attempted to remove him from the train, he allegedly flailed his arms and pushed the officer. Dejesus was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Police arrested 46-year-old Thomas Sloan and 45-year-old Yeh Chan for assault at the corner of East 28th Street and Second Avenue last Friday at 4:31 a.m. Police said that Sloan and Chan got into an argument which turned violent. Both men punched each other in the face and Chan allegedly bit Sloan. Police did not have any information about why the fight started.

Andre Rodriguez, 39, was arrested at Fourth Avenue and East 14th Street last Friday at 6:39 a.m. Rodriguez was allegedly smoking a cigarette in the mezzanine of the Union Square station and ignored requests to put it out. Police said he resisted arrest by going limp and tensing up his arms, and when he was brought back to Transit District 4 inside the station, he allegedly refused to walk and had to be carried by officers. Police said that while he was being escorted, he caused screamed at the officers, causing public alarm. He was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Police arrested 24-year-old Roberts Parks for assault and menacing in front of 200 East 26th Street last Saturday at 11:08 p.m. Police said that Parks punched and kicked the victim in the face, causing swelling and pain. The victim also told police that Parks lifted up his shirt and showed what appeared to be a gun, but no gun was recovered from the scene.

Forty-year-old Arbu Jordan was arrested for a health code violation and possession of marijuana in front of 340 East 28th Street on Sunday at 1:50 a.m. Jordan was allegedly urinating on a tree in public and after he was searched, police said that he had a ziplock bag of marijuana inside his left sock.

Police arrested 44-year-old Melissa Justice for weapons possession and menacing in front of 28 West 23rd Street last Monday at 8:18 a.m. Justice was allegedly holding a box cutter out in front of the victim’s place of employment, scaring the victim. Police said that a box cutter was recovered from Justice’s left front jacket pocket.

Ideas for waterfront by Stuy Cove include cafes, elevated park

Area residents listen to a discussion about potential use of the waterfront at a meeting at Washington Irving High School. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Area residents listen to a discussion about potential use of the waterfront at a meeting at Washington Irving High School. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The coastal resiliency project backed by the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency has announced new possible plans for the waterfront by Stuyvesant Cove Park, with ideas including cafes or an elevated park.

The Tuesday evening workshop held at Washington Irving High School was more interactive than the previous gathering, which was mainly a presentation from ORR director Dan Zarilli and Jeremy Siegel, a project designer with the consultant team of Big U and director of Rebuild by Design.

Rebuild by Design was launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and held a competition for resiliency ideas, which resulted in the Big U project to protect the coastline known as the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.

ORR senior policy advisor Carrie Grassi said this week that there was a short gap between the end of the contest and the beginning of the design process, but the project is now gaining more momentum.

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Greenwich Village Orchestra offering 15 free concert tickets to Town & Village readers

Greenwich Village Orchestra

Greenwich Village Orchestra

The Greenwich Village Orchestra will present its annual holiday concert for children and their families on Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m. and 15 readers of Town & Village will be given free tickets.

To claim the first come, first serve tickets, guests should go to the ticket desk and say they saw this notice in T&V.

At this event, children are encouraged to dance, sing and march with a full symphonic orchestra. Children can also try out a variety of instruments at the GVO’s Instrument Petting Zoo.

The venue is Washington Irving High School Auditorium at 40 Irving Place between 16th and 17th Streets. Children get in free. There is a $20 suggested donation for adults. For more information, visit

Police Watch: Woman busted for ‘stealing’ Rolex, serial ‘robber’ nabbed at Bellevue

Last Friday at 3:40 p.m., Police Officers Joshua Rivera and Juan Rodriguez were on patrol in Union Square when a passerby alerted them to a man who was unconscious at the corner of East 15th Street and Union Square West. The officers ran over to the corner where they saw the unconscious man, not breathing and with no pulse.
Rivera immediately began CPR on the 60-year-old man while Officer Rodriguez went downstairs to Transit District 4 and retrieved a Department-issued Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Officer Rivera continued to perform CPR until Officer Rodriguez returned with the AED. The officers then activated the AED and while the first two attempts were unsuccessful, after they activated the AED a third time it was successful in resuscitating the man.
EMS also responded to the scene and transported the man, conscious and alert, to Bellevue Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

Police arrested 27-year-old Dennis Nemirovskiy for robbery in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Friday at 12:09 p.m. He entered an Investors Bank located at 267 Fifth Avenue and allegedly told the teller, “I have a gun. Give me 50s and 20s. I dare you to give me a dye pack.” The New York Post reported that Nemirovskiy allegedly robbed a bank near Herald Square earlier that day and the dye pack with the cash exploded and covered his clothing.
He fled the Investors Bank with $1,870 in cash and following that incident, he got into a cab and an officer spotted him standing in front of Bellevue.
Nemirovskiy was charged with five counts of robbery and possession of stolen property for robberies on previous dates in which he allegedly handed over demand notes and fled with money, primarily in banks in Midtown South and the 17th precinct.
According to the Post, Nemirovskiy is a methadone patient at the hospital. Police said he’d asked the cab driver to wait outside while he changed his clothes.

Police arrested 56-year-old Edwin Martinez for possession of a controlled substance in front of 401 East 14th Street last Thursday at 2:52 p.m. Martinez was allegedly near the location with a plastic bag containing several decks of heroin. Police said that Martinez threw the bag onto the sidewalk in an attempt to destroy the evidence and avoid being arrested. He was allegedly in possession of 20 decks of heroin.

Police arrested 25-year-old Shacarye Tims inside 125 West 26th Street for robbery last Sunday at 5:25 a.m. The victim told police that he went back to his hotel room with Tims after meeting her at the bar. While in the room, Tims said numerous times that his Rolex watch was scratching her, so the victim took the watch off and put it on the nightstand.
Soon after, he noticed that the watch was not longer on the nightstand, and Tims then tried to leave the room. The victim followed her and stopped her from leaving the hotel in the lobby, where she allegedly hit him in the face. According to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Tims removed the watch from her “vaginal cavity.” Tims was also charged with grand larceny. The Rolex is valued at $25,000.

Ampiel Melendez, 26, was arrested inside Taproom at 307 Third Avenue for theft of services last Thursday at 12:52 a.m. Melendez told police that he was on his way home when a man asked him if he wanted a drink. He then went to the bar with the man and had four drinks when the other man got up and left. The bartender said that at that point, Melendez asked for the bill so he could pay it but when the bill was brought out, he allegedly refused. The bartender then called 911 and police said that when they arrived, Melendez was refusing to pay the bill. After an officer asked him if he had anything to drink, he allegedly said that he had four beers but never said he was going to pay for them. When the officer told him that he had to pay, Melendez allegedly said, “Well, lock me up because I have no money.”

Police arrested 53-year-old James Deese for burglary inside the 13th precinct last Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. Deese allegedly swiped items from a woman’s apartment on East 24th Street without permission. Police said that based on DNA, his fingerprints were on a bottle of lotion that belonged to the victim and that was located inside her apartment.

Police arrested 33-year-old Chris Kuriakose for criminal mischief in front of 485 First Avenue last Saturday at 5:17 a.m. Kuriakose was seen by three witnesses driving the wrong way on Madison Avenue between East 28th and 26th Streets. He allegedly crashed into the glass bus shelter on the east side of Madison Avenue at East 26th Street, leaving his front license plate at the scene. He was then seen leaving the scene heading east on East 26th Street and he allegedly struck another vehicle, causing damage. A witness told police that after he hit the other car, he continued east. Police said that he began driving north on First Avenue between East 26th and 29th Streets and was driving recklessly. When he was stopped, he allegedly admitted to drinking and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. His speech was also incoherent and he wasn’t able to stand. He was also charged with reckless endangerment of property, leaving the scene of an accident and impaired driving.

Police arrested 27-year-old Michael Sanders for possession of a weapon last Tuesday in front of 3 Gramercy Park West at  1:18 a.m.  Sanders was casing a residential area and was seen rolling an alleged marijuana cigarette in public view. Police said that after he was searched, he was found to be in possession of a billy club, chukka stick and a dangerous knife with intent to use it. He was also in possession of a zip lock bag of alleged marijuana.

Police arrested two masseuses for prostitution inside 1162 Broadway last Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. Wumei Song, 34, performed a massage on an undercover officer and allegedly offered to perform a sex act in exchange for $80. Forty-nine-year-old Jinshu Zheng allegedly agreed to have sex with an undercover officer in exchange for $140.

Two men who were involved in a drug deal were arrested at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 10:16 a.m. Jose Molina, 43, was arrested for possession of an alleged controlled substance and 43-year-old Julio Arroyo was charged with sale of a controlled substance.

Police arrested two people for the sale of marijuana last Thursday at 3:50 p.m. on the corner of Second Avenue and East 15th Street. Eighteen-year-old Ezequiel Ospina and 19-year-old Antonio Whyte allegedly sold a quantity of marijuana to an undercover officer.

Nelson Lockett, 48, was arrested for petit larceny last Friday at 10:38 a.m. inside 71 West 23rd Street. The victim told police that Lockett entered his office and asked him a question and when he left, Lockett allegedly took money off of the desk. The victim called security who found Lockett on the 13th floor and held him there for the police. Lockett was originally in the building on the fourth floor because he was looking for employment services but he was refused and escorted to the stairwell.

Police arrested two people for sale of a controlled substance on school grounds last Friday at 6:40 p.m. in front of 125 East 17th Street. Andre Medina, 26, and Richard Robinson, 36, allegedly sold a controlled substance to an undercover officer. The sale took place within a thousand feet of Washington Irving High School at 40 Irving Place. Medina and Robinson both allegedly resisted arrest by refusing to be handcuffed and Robinson attempted to hit the officer, police said. Medina also allegedly first gave his name as Andrew Castro and was charged with impersonation.

Police arrested four men for selling drugs inside Union Square Park last Friday at 8:10 p.m. Nineteen-year-old Vinod Seenanan, 22-year-old Ganesh Jaman and 31-year-old Frederick Penn were arrested for the sale of marijuana and 38-year-old Fernando Lagares was arrested for the intent to sell a controlled substance. The four men were working together and allegedly sold marijuana to an undercover officer.

Thirty-year-old Kazem Moradi was arrested for assault in front of 69 West 23rd Street last Saturday at 2:50 a.m. Moradi allegedly hit the victim in the face and then kicked him in the face, causing cuts on his lips and swelling to his forehead.

Police arrested 31-year-old Sagar Ashok Patel for assault in front of 355 Park Avenue South last Sunday at 4:58 a.m. A taxi driver told police that Patel, who was a passenger in his cab, assaulted him. Patel allegedly kicked the driver in the arm and wrist, causing severe pain. The driver said that he was unable to bend his fingers when he was examined by EMS.