Police Blotter, week of March 15, 2012

Raped in Broadway A.T.M. lobby
Police arrested a rape suspect around 8 p.m. Mon., March 5, on E. Ninth St. just east of Broadway. An hour earlier, two witnesses phoned 911 saying a suspect with his pants down around his ankles was raping an unconscious woman on the floor of an A.T.M. vestibule at 785 Broadway at E. 10th St. The witnesses, identified as Joshua Seldman and Kimberly Howitt, followed the suspect while on the phone and alerted two Sixth Precinct officers, who arrested the suspect a short distance from the scene. Trasajilla Gilbey, 27, an Inwood resident, was charged with first-degree rape.

The victim told the responding Emergency Medical Service team that she was punched in the face and raped, police said. She was taken to Beth Israel Hospital where she refused to give her name, according to police.

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Police have identified Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera, 26, left, and Edwin Faulkner, 30, as suspects in the murder of John Laubach, 57, earlier this month in Chelsea.

Chelsea murder suspects
Police have identified two suspects in the murder of John Laubach, 57, found by a friend on March 2 in his ransacked fourth-floor apartment at 212 W. 22nd St. bound and gagged. Edwin Faulkner, 30, and Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera, 26, are wanted for the brutal murder of the victim, a gentle man active in the Church of the Ascension on W. 10th St. at Fifth Ave. Police said they believe Laubach, who occasionally brought young men to his apartment, hired the suspects, who decided to rob and kill him. Police found a surveillance video of Faulkner carrying a briefcase believed to be Laubach’s stolen laptop computer. Faulkner, a Brooklyn resident, has a record of seven arrests for drug possession and burglary. Martinez-Herrera is from Florida.

Silver backs gun buyback
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last week called on Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to sponsor a gun buyback program in response to several recent shooting incidents on the Lower East Side.

In his March 7 letter to law enforcement officials, Silver said that many constituents, particularly New York City Housing Authority tenants, have raised alarms about gun violence in the neighborhood.

“I believe it is time to take further action to combat this scourge,” Silver said. “Your offices have run successful gun buybacks in the past and this has proved to be an effective and popular method for removing guns from our communities.

“The community room at Rutgers Houses [200 Madison St.] would be a perfect location and the tenant association leadership has indicated its support,” the Assembly speaker said.

A spokesperson for Vance said the D.A. is checking on the feasibility of the request and fully agrees with Silver that gun buybacks are effective and popular ways to get guns out of communities.

Last fall, the D.A.’s Office hosted a gun buyback program with police that removed 130 illegal guns from the streets, the D.A. said.

The district attorney also launched a youth basketball program last fall for teenagers in Harlem. The program, which followed the takedown of several Harlem drug and gun crews, was funded with seized drug money. Vance’s office replicated that program on the Lower East Side this winter, expanding it to include Friday and Saturday nights. Other Manhattan locations are also possible in the future, the spokesperson said.

In addition, the D.A.’s Office created an intern program in Harlem for teens 12 to 16 years old with field trips to television stations and other media and to universities.

Trial in Baruch slay
The trial of Joel Herrera, 20, charged with the September 2009 stabbing death of Glenn Wright, 21, who was helping his grandmother clean her windows in the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side, has entered its second week.

Wright, who lived with his family in East Harlem, had stepped out of his grandmother’s Lower East Side apartment for a rest when a group of youths attacked him. Herrera has told police that he mistook Wright for someone who earlier had beaten one of his friends. The intended target is believed to have lived in the same Baruch Houses building as Wright’s grandparents. Wright, who was not a gang member, mentored young members of an after-school robotics team.

Bit her head
A man and a woman arguing in a Village bar around 2:30 p.m. Tues., March 6, took the loud dispute out to their car parked at the corner of Bleecker and Sullivan Sts. where it became violent, police said. The man punched the woman several times, choked her and then bit her severely on the back of the head. She fled back to the bar for safety and stayed until closing time. Police found the suspect, Benjamin Egan, 31, in the car in possession of a gravity knife and a bag of cocaine.

Falucka bag filch
Police arrested Ramy Mohamed, 26, around 3:50 a.m. Fri., March 9, in Falucka, a bar at 162 Bleecker St., after he was apprehended walking out of the place with a woman patron’s bag tucked under his jacket. The suspect also had a small quality of marijuana in his pocket, police said.

 Credit card and cash theft
A former employee of Eve Salon, 5 W. Eighth St., was arrested around noon Mon., March 5, after her employer reported that she used the company credit card for her own purchases and then took $9,200 from the salon’s safe on Feb. 25. Margaret Ross, 32, was charged with grand larceny.

Fake cards and more
Three suspects were charged with using forged credit cards at the CVS store at 20 University Place around 5 p.m. Wed., March 7. Nasian King, 18, Janero Johnson, 24, and Sequanne McCargo, 23, were also charged with possession of marijuana when a bag of the substance was found in their car.

Christopher St. assault
Rudy Rosario, 25, was charged with assault for punching a 60-year-old man in the nose on Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. South at 8:30 p.m. Sun., March 11.

Gallerist chases thief
Kristen Dodge, owner of the Dodge Gallery, at 15 Rivington St. between Bowery and Chrystie St., chased a thief who stole paintings from a show in her gallery on Saturday afternoon March 3. She was able to retrieve the art but the suspect got away. Dodge was talking with the show’s artist, Ellen Harvey, when she noticed that four of the paintings were gone, according to reports on The Lo-Down news site and Art in America magazine. She ran into the street and spotted a man with four paintings under his arm before he disappeared. In a lumberyard nearby, she saw him again and yelled at employees to call police. She found the four stolen paintings leaning against the lumberyard’s checkout counter and retrieved them, but the thief escaped.

Pancake thugs
Two suspects slashed two victims around 6:20 a.m. Sat., March 3, outside the IHOP (International House of Pancakes) at 235 E.14th St. near Second Ave. Police said they did not know the reason for the attack that sent the two men to Beth Israel Hospital for stitches. One suspect was said to be between ages 20 and 25, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. The other suspect was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 215 pounds, and was last seen wearing a beige, hooded sweatshirt and a black coat.

Albert Amateau

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