Police Blotter, Week of Oct. 4, 2012

Man shot on E. 12th
Police are hunting for a suspect who shot a man at E. 12th St. and Avenue C, just outside the Campos Plaza public housing development in the East Village early on Mon., Oct. 1.

The unknown suspect fired several shots shortly after midnight, police said, one of which struck a man in the upper left leg as he was walking home to his apartment in the development. The wounded victim was taken to Beth Israel hospital and has since been released.

Cops described the suspect as a male of unknown race, about 6 foot 1 inches tall and 160 pounds. They could not get identification or a more accurate description because there was no video surveillance footage of the incident.

The New York City Housing Authority has been under fire for a lack of security cameras in its developments. The Daily News did a series of exposés on the issue, and local politicians recently followed up with a report showing that many Lower East Side public housing developments are in dire need of security cameras. Campos Plaza does not currently have security cameras installed.

The victim came forward the day after the incident and identified himself as David Cruz, 24, a father of two young children, the Local East Village blog reported.

Cruz told The Local that he is not affiliated with a gang, but was targeted and chased by the unknown gunman on the night of the shooting. He said that, after arriving at the hospital on Monday morning, police initially interrogated him about an earlier, allegedly gang-related bar brawl, rather than treating him like a victim.

“The cops automatically assume because I live in Campos Plaza that I am in a gang,” Cruz said. “[Just] because I know those people doesn’t make me somebody bad, and doesn’t make me in a gang.”

Soho shooters caught
The two men believed to have been involved in a shooting on a Soho street two weeks ago have been arrested and now face felony assault and weapons charges.

Erwin Ossorio, 21, and Jonathan Hinojosa, 22, were arrested on Sept. 23 and 24, respectively, for the Sept. 16 crime that took place on Mercer St., between Prince and W. Houston. Sts.

Around 2:30 a.m. that day, the suspects allegedly approached three men walking by, and Ossorio punched and then struck one of them in the head with a handgun, according to court documents. When one of the victim’s friends ran to help the wounded man, Ossorio shot the friend in the leg.

Witnesses later told police that Hinojosa had given Ossorio the gun.

The shooting victim told the New York Post that the altercation began after one of his friends yelled, “Hey, sexy! Come here,” to two women who had been walking with Ossorio and Hinojosa.

The two suspects will next appear in court on Nov. 28.

 Apartment burglar busted
Police arrested Phillip Gustafson, 25, after he broke into a Soho apartment building early on Sat., Sept. 29, and tried to make off with property stored inside a vacant apartment.

Gustafson entered the building around 4 a.m. by breaking the glass windows on the two ground-floor entry doors of 106 Thompson St., police said. He then attempted to break into the apartment of a 34-year-old woman — who was at home at the time and heard the burglar at her door — but when that failed, he turned to another apartment that is currently under construction.

The burglar was able to break into the vacant apartment and steal several items, but the startled woman across the hall quickly reported the crime to police, who caught Gustafson while he was walking down the stairs to exit the building.

Delivery truck snatchings
Cops are investigating two possibly related Soho burglary incidents that took place on Mon., Sept. 24, when multiple thieves targeted delivery trucks as they were unloading items for local businesses.

The first truck driver told police that he was delivering a shipment to the Patagonia clothing store, at 101 Wooster St., around 10 a.m., when two unknown men jumped onto the back of his truck and stole two packages. One of the suspects dropped his package while fleeing the scene, but his partner successfully made off with the other, which included dozens of items worth more than $2,500.

About an hour later, another truck driver was unloading goods at the Frye shoe store, at 113 Spring St., when one suspect — described only as a white male — grabbed a box and took off running, police said. The driver began chasing the thief, who eventually dropped the package, but couldn’t stop him before he got away.

None of the suspects have been identified, and police said it’s unclear whether the two nearly simultaneous incidents were related.

‘I’ll open your face!’
Police arrested two women and a man after the trio threatened a security guard and robbed a Soho clothing store on Sat., Sept. 29.

Erica Price, 24, and Shaketthe Reid, 27, set off electronic security scanners while exiting True Religion, at 132 Prince St., around 7:30 p.m., as they attempted to make off with nine shirts worth around $1,500 total, according to the report.

But when the store’s security guard stopped the two women, Damian Milhouse, 24, hit him, and then reached into his back pocket and told the guard, “Don’t get involved, or I’ll open your face!” Fearing for his life, the guard allowed the three thieves to get away. But another employee had already reported the crime to police, who caught all three perpetrators after canvassing the area.

Tagger gets burned
A graffiti writer was busted while attempting to vandalize a building in the Meatpacking District early on Fri., Sept. 28, and also was caught carrying a couple of bags of pot.

Manuel Santiago, 39, was arrested for criminal mischief after police caught him using black-ink paint on a building at the corner of Washington and W. 13th Sts. around 2 a.m., according to the report. Whatever officers thought of his graffiti art, they described it as “illegibly drawn.”

After they stopped and questioned him, the officers also found two small bags of marijuana in Santiago’s pocket.

Karaoke temper tantrum
A night of drinks and karaoke in the West Village ended ugly for Jeffery Hermanski, 38, when he was collared after smashing property during a violent outburst on Sat., Sept. 29.

Hermanski was in Karaoke Boho, at 186 W. Fourth St., around 11 p.m. when he got into a heated argument with one of the club’s employees, police said. After the two men exchanged one too many words, Hermanski picked up a computer monitor and smashed it on the ground, also destroying a receipt printer in the process.

He was arrested for criminal mischief.

Watchful thief
A slick thief walked away with a $5,200 watch after distracting a salesman at a classy Soho jewelry store on Thurs., Sept. 28.

The employee told police that the unknown man entered the Montblanc store, at 118 Greene St., around noon and asked to look at several pricey timepieces. But during the few seconds the salesman’s back was turned, the thief snatched up a different — but no less expensive — watch and slipped away without a trace.

Police later viewed Montblanc’s video surveillance tapes and were able to see the crime in action. They described the suspect as a white male around 30 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 180 pounds.

Sam Spokony

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