Police Blotter, Week of March 22, 2012

Chelsea murder arrest
Two men suspected of murdering John Laubach, 57, in his W. 22nd St. apartment on March 2 were apprehended in Orlando, Florida, on Thurs., March 15, after New York Police Department detectives, alerted by a Crime Stoppers tip, tracked the suspects by their cell phone signals. Edwin Faulkner, 30, and Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera, 26, were extradited to New York where they were arraigned on Sunday on murder charges.

The suspects, who had been living with Laubach in his apartment near Seventh Ave. on his invitation for a couple of weeks, bound and gagged the victim, tied him to his bed and strangled him, according to the complaint.

They fled with his laptop computer, credit cards and jewelry, and hocked the jewelry at a pawnshop on Seventh Ave., where a clerk phoned police, according to reports. One of the suspects was caught on an A.T.M. surveillance tape trying to use Laubach’s stolen bank card and one suspect tried to use a stolen card at a Bronx diner two days after the murder, according to daily newspaper reports.

Both suspects have records of previous arrests.

Occupiers return
Occupy Wall Street returned to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan on Sat., March 17, when police arrested 73 demonstrators. A group of Occupiers came to Union Square Park on Mon., March 19, and one of them was arrested at 6:45 a.m. the following morning, police said.

Police said the arrests in Zuccotti Park were mostly for misdemeanors. Police said park rules prohibit sleeping and/or raising tents in the park.

The suspect arrested at Union Square Park, Daniel Jeffe, 33, was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and violation of park rules.

City Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams and George Martinez raised questions on Monday about rough treatment  and the legality of Saturday’s arrests. But Mayor Bloomberg told reporters on Monday that violations would continue to result in arrests.

A Florida man, identified in the Daily News as Rusty Braxton, who has never been to Zuccotti Park or attended an Occupy event, tweeted a message saying, “We wont make a difference if we don’t kill a cop or 2,” on Saturday. He later said the message did not refer to Zuccotti Park. “I’ve gotten death threats. It’s been taken out of context,” he told the Daily News.

Indicted for shooting cop
Luis Martinez, 25, a resident of the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side, was indicted on Wed., March 14, on attempted murder charges for firing at two police officers at 1:40 a.m. Mon., Feb. 27, as they were patrolling on Columbia St. Martinez, who was arrested in his Baruch Houses apartment, fired several shots, one of which hit the magazine clip on the belt of Officer Thomas Richards. The magazine deflected the bullet away from the officer’s abdomen, the indictment says. During the exchange of gunfire, a police bullet hit Martinez in the buttock as he was fleeing.

Attempted rape indictment
Michael Torres, 29, was indicted last week for attempted rape and sexual assault for attacking a woman in the J train subway station at Bowery and Delancey St. at 12:45 a.m. on Feb. 8.

Torres grabbed the victim in a chokehold, pulled her off an escalator, threw her to the ground and dragged her to the end of the platform and onto the subway tracks, according to papers filed with the Manhattan district attorney. The suspect banged the victim’s head against the tracks and pulled her further into the tunnel, where he sexually assaulted her. A track worker was credited with saving the victim’s life when he raised the alarm and prompted the suspect to flee.

 Fake police in L.E.S.
Police are looking for two suspects who harassed a victim on the J train platform at Essex and Delancey Sts. on Feb. 4, then flashed badges, one of them claiming to be a police officer and the other saying he was an Immigration agent. The two imposters punched the victim and fled with his wallet, police said.

Meatpacking dealer
Police arrested a suspect on the northeast corner of Ninth Ave. and W. 14th St. around 1 a.m. Sat., March 3, for offering cocaine for sale to passersby. The suspect produced a forged Florida ID with his photo and the name Mark Richards. He was charged with criminal possession of 21 plastic bags of cocaine weighing about 2 grams and 56 pills of hydromorphone hydrochloride, a morphine derivative known on the street as “Little Ds.”

Subway bag grab
A woman visiting from Los Angeles put her bag on a seat next to her on a southbound C train around noon Fri., March 9, and discovered a few minutes later at the Spring St. station that someone had made off with it.

Soho thefts
A thief snatched a stack of six jeans with a total value of $1,914 from a display at True Religion, 132 Prince St., at 11:23 a.m. Sat., March 17, and fled with them.

Someone made off with three handbags from I-Ella, 401 Broadway at Walker St., around noon Fri., March 16, while the store was having a private showing.

A woman shopping at the H & M department store at 515 Broadway around 8 p.m. Wed., March 14, put her bag with three golf clubs down on the floor for a minute while looking at various items and discovered a short time later that the bag and the clubs had been stolen.

A patron of The Dutch, the restaurant at 131 Sullivan St., put his laptop bag at his feet around 5:45 p.m. Fri., March 9, and discovered 15 minutes later that it was gone.

Alexis Bitar was arrested around 3:45 p.m. Sat., March 17, for stealing four pairs of earrings and a necklace with a total value of $1,295 from a shop at 465 Broome St.

‘White Glove Bandit’
A man who has come to be known as the “White Glove Bandit” pulled off his third Village bank robbery in the past three months on Mon., March 12.

Wearing white gloves and sunglasses, he walked into the Citibank branch at 555 LaGuardia Place around 9:30 a.m. March 12, waved a black revolver at a teller, demanded money and fled on foot with an unspecified amount of cash, headed south on LaGuardia Place toward Houston St.

He held up the same Citibank branch on Feb. 14. On Thurs., Jan.26, he hit the HSBC at 769 Broadway at E. Ninth St.

The suspect is described as a white man in his mid-to-late 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, medium build with a disfigurement on the right side of his nose by his nostril. He wore black shoes and black trousers at each of the robberies. He also carries a black-red-and-gray backpack. Tips may be phoned to the F.B.I., 212-384-1000, which is offering a reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Bag SOB story
A Queens woman, 19, was dancing with two or three strangers at SOB’s, 204 Varick St., with her bag on her shoulder around 1 a.m. Sat., March 10, when she discovered that the bag was open and her wallet with $8 in cash and her bank card was gone.

Club problems
Police arrested Andrea Garcia, 25, for felony assault for hitting a man in the face with a bottle at El Cantinero, 86 University Place, during the early hours of Sun., March 18. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital for stitches to close multiple cuts to his head and face, police said.

A thief made off with a patron’s bag from Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., around 9:05 p.m. Fri., March 16.

A patron of Le Souk, 510 LaGuardia Place, lost her bag with $500 cash, her paycheck and her iPhone around 4:45 a.m. Fri., March 9.

 Village rough stuff
Police arrested Ricardo Pla, 23, around 1:10 a.m. Sat., March 17, at the corner of Sixth Ave. and W. Eighth St. and charged him with felony assault for repeatedly punching a woman, 24, in the face and pushing a lit cigarette into her face and neck.

Police arrested James Jones, 30, after a witness reported that he saw the suspect push a woman against a wall in front of 60 W. 14th St. around 12:36 a.m. Sat., March 17. The victim was the suspect’s former girlfriend and had a court order of protection against him.

 Wild ride
A police officer shouted a warning at 4:15 a.m. Sun., March 18, to a reckless driver who swerved around three cars, and sped down MacDougal St. The officer and a sergeant driving a patrol car gave chase and arrested the driver, Aaron Spencer, 23, in front of 123 MacDougal St. The suspect had a suspended driver’s license and was carrying two forged credit cards, police said.

Car break-in 
A man who parked his car on Hudson St. near Charlton St. around 2 a.m. Sat., March 10, returned to it at 8 a.m. and discovered that his laptop computer and several checkbooks had been stolen from a back seat, although there was no sign of forced entry.

Albert Amateau

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