Supermarkets offering special hours for seniors

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Some supermarkets with locations in Gramercy and Kips Bay are designating some early morning hours for seniors to get their shopping done to help the at-risk population avoid crowds. Morton Williams, which has locations at 313 East 23rd Street and 278 Park Avenue South, and Whole Foods, which has a location on East 14th Street across from Union Square Park, have announced that they will be setting aside special hours for seniors. West Side Rag reported the changes for the stores last Wednesday.

Morton Williams will be allowing vulnerable populations, including seniors age 60 and over and those who are immunocompromised, to come to the stores between 7 and 8 a.m.

“We are asking our customers to please prioritize the hours of 7 to 8 a.m. for our senior citizens, immunocompromised and similarly disabled neighbors,” the company said on their website. “Those most vulnerable in our communities would greatly appreciate it.”

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Man gets 90 days in jail for throwing Stuy Town resident down subway stairs

By Sabina Mollot

A man who punched a Stuyvesant Town resident in the face before throwing him down the subway stairs in Union Square was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail after taking a plea deal.

The sentence came a week after the attacker, Gary Williams, assaulted the victim, a 28-year-old man, outside Whole Foods last Monday evening.

According to the victim, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Dan, Williams slugged him after he offered Williams $10. Williams had just been kicked out of the supermarket for ordering food he didn’t pay for, according to information from the Manhattan district attorney. However, instead of saying thank you, Williams, who is sometimes seen drumming around Union Square, punched Dan in the face.

“I said ‘I’ll give you ten dollars, and he took that as a fight,” Dan told Town & Village, adding that Williams had attacked him as he started walking away. The Stuy Town man said he fought back though, and things quickly spiraled into “a full on fist fight as I tried to defend myself.” However, when Dan thought it was over, Williams threw him down the subway stairs. “But I took him with me,” the 28-year-old said, recalling that it was about a 15-foot drop from the sidewalk to the bottom of the stairs. “It was miraculous I didn’t break any bones.”

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Man beaten outside Whole Foods, drug arrest outside Stuy Town

Gothamist reported that a video was uploaded to LiveLeak on Monday that captured the beating of an unidentified man outside the Union Square location of Whole Foods. The video, which has since been removed, shows people who appear to be Whole Foods employees repeatedly punching and kicking the man who was attempting to get into the store after hours. The blog noted that the incident allegedly occurred on December 30. No arrests have been made but Whole Foods told Grub Street that the team members who have been identified so far have been placed on administrative leave.

Police arrested 52-year-old Kenneth Spulka for possession of a controlled substance in front of 527 East 14th Street last Friday at 5:20 p.m. Police said that Spulka was in possession of a pipe with alleged crack cocaine residue.

Police arrested 28-year-old Quincy Robinson for assault in front of the IHOP at 235 East 14th Street last Thursday at 6:34 a.m. Robinson allegedly hit another man on the head and cheek. Police said that the victim was bleeding from his head and had pain in his chest.

Police arrested 21-year-old Tredez Colbert for petit larceny in front of the Bounce Sporting Club at 55 West 21st Street last Thursday at 2:33 a.m. Colbert allegedly swiped a Galaxy cell phone from a coat that was lying on a chair. A witness said that Colbert attempted to throw the phone to the ground after security approached him. Colbert was also arrested for possession of stolen property.

Police arrested 45-year-old livery cab driver Dale Lama last Tuesday at 2:46 a.m. at the corner of East 22nd Street and Third Avenue. Lama was driving his livery cab when he was involved in accident. Police said that after checking his license, they found that it had been suspended.

Police arrested 21-year-old Israa Chegi for theft of services at the corner of Third Avenue and East 18th Street last Thursday at 5:07 a.m. The driver told police that Chegi and three men got into his cab at a downtown location. When they arrived at Third Avenue and East 18th, the men left without paying. Chegi allegedly refused to pay the fare. Police said that when she was arrested, Chegi said, “I want to act like a child.” She then fell to the ground, getting cuts on her knees in the process.

Fifty-year-old Seynabou Diaw was arrested for assault inside the 13th precinct last Friday at 6:55 p.m. Diaw allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain to her lips. Police said that the incident occurred in an elevator at Bellevue Hospital inside 462 First Avenue.

Larry Roman, 26, was arrested for petit larceny inside the TJ Maxx at 620 Sixth Avenue last Tuesday at 7:24 p.m. Roman allegedly took merchandise from the shelf, concealed it inside his coat and attempted to leave the store without paying. Roman was also charged with theft.

Twenty-year-old Andrew Titaley was arrested inside the 13th Precinct for petit larceny last Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Titaley is a former employee of American Apparel and he allegedly stole three pairs of shorts from his old place of employment. Police said that Titaley walked into the dressing room and took off the tags, which a store employee found, and Titaley allegedly left the store without paying.

Police arrested Eugene Smith, 31, inside the 13th precinct last Sunday at 2:15 p.m. for grand larceny. Smith allegedly took credit cards from the victim’s home and used it to make purchases without permission. Police said that Smith was also in possession of methamphetamine and ketamine. Smith was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.

Police arrested 35-year-old Irene Peraza for endangering the welfare of a child last Wednesday at 8:22 p.m. inside 1186 Broadway. Peraza allegedly slapped her daughter, who is under 17, and also scratched her hand. The victim told police that the argument started when she tried to stop her mother from drinking because the daughter felt that her mother was drinking excessively. Peraza was also charged with assault.

Forty-five-year-old James Sanders was arrested for criminal mischief inside the 13th precinct last Monday at 8:15 p.m. Sanders allegedly damaged the front desk computer screen intentionally while inside Cafeteria at 119 Seventh Avenue.

Harvest in the Square raises $334,000 for park

Breads Bakery at Harvest in the Square (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Breads Bakery at Harvest in the Square (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and local restaurateurs came out in full force last Thursday night to celebrate the impending arrival of fall at Union Square’s 19th annual Harvest in the Square event.

The food tasting festival raised $334,000 and Jennifer Falk, executive director of the Union Square Partnership, said that she will be speaking with the Parks Department soon to discuss goals for the coming year and determine how the money will be spent. Tickets were $125 and $400 for early VIP entry.

Danny Meyer of the Union Square Cafe and Eric Petterson from The Coffee Shop are the founding members of the event and have been participating every year. Other returning participants included the Union Square Whole Foods, Blue Water Grill, Rosa Mexicano, Almond, Blue Smoke and others, with nearly 50 local restaurants in all. Some new restaurants participating in the event for the first time included The Pavilion, All’onda, The Gander, Cevich, 201 Bar and Restaurant and Botequim.

Richard and Kamille Serna, residents of the Financial District, are in the area frequently because they manage a building on 15th Street. Although they’ve been working in the area for a while, this was the first chance they got to partake in Harvest in the Square.

Kamille said they were impressed with what they tried so far but were particularly looking forward to sampling what Blue Water Grill had to offer. The Union Square restaurant’s Executive chef Luis Jaramillo was serving Maine lobster deviled eggs with tarragon.

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