Town & Village has been covering news in the Stuyvesant Town area for over 66 years. This week, we took a look back at the coverage in an issue of this newspaper that ran 50 years ago.
Three Stuy Town teens beaten in random attacks
Three 15-year-old residents of Stuyvesant Town were beaten bloody in two random attacks as they walked home from a dance at Town & Village Synagogue. Though the band of 10 attackers also stole a watch from one the boys, they mainly seemed interested in punching and kicking their victims. The “hoodlums” behind the attacks at around 11:45 p.m. on a Saturday were described as being around 18 years old.
In the first incident, the attackers’ method was to split into two groups of five, each jumping on one of two boys walking through the Oval. One of them managed to escape after getting punched just a few times. However, the other teen suffered a severely bruised and swollen face, his scalp lacerated. His mouth cut and his body bruised. When he screamed, lights went on in surrounding apartment windows and residents leaned out their windows to see what was going on.
Unfortunately, according to the boy’s father, Stuy Town guards weren’t as interested as random neighbors. He said when his son told the guard he had been beaten up, the guard turned his back and said, “So what?” The father said he lodged a complaint, and Stuyvesant Town management said it was being investigated.
The second attack occurred moments after the first as the three members of the wolfpack, apparently broken into smaller groups, were leaving Stuyvesant Town. They walked quickly rather than run out to avoid suspicion. That’s when they encountered a 15-year-old who’d just entered the property on Avenue B. When they walked past him, one of them punched him in the face and then continued walking out.
The boy, whose nose spattered blood, also suffered a chipped tooth, and he became dazed. He was taken to Beth Israel by his parents and later released. He also later went to a dentist to have the tooth repaired.
Refrigerator repairman killed in restaurant blast
In other news that week, a refrigerator repairman was instantly killed in an explosion at a restaurant on East 29th Street the previous Wednesday. Michael Cappelli, 44, of Brooklyn, was trying to recharge the refrigerator in the basement of the restaurant, the Weather Vane, with compressed gas.
After the blast, the restaurant’s cook rushed to the basement and found Cappelli lying face up with most of his head severed.
His last rites were given by Father Karney of St. Stephan’s Roman Catholic Church. The Fire Department, the Bomb Squad and the Emergency Service Department all responded to the call.
Compiled by Sabina Mollot