- In Pictures
- Meat Market
- Union Square
Soho rapist gets 25 to life
The man found guilty of raping and assaulting a 19-year-old woman behind her Soho apartment building in 2008 has been sentenced to 25 years to life, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced Tuesday.
A State Supreme Court jury in November found Andres Suarez, 30 (opposite page, top), guilty of predatory sexual assault, first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, first-degree attempted rape and first-degree sexual abuse.
Early on the morning of May 28, 2008, Suarez followed his victim onto a subway train at 14th St., and then continued trailing her after she got off the train at Spring St. and walked home to her apartment on Prince St., the D.A. said. When the young woman opened the door to her building, Suarez rushed in behind her and followed her up the stairs to her apartment. He dragged her into the building’s courtyard, where he raped her while threatening her with a box cutter, according to court testimony.
DNA was collected from the crime scene soon after the incident, but the case remained unsolved until 2011, when Suarez’s DNA was entered into the state’s databank following his conviction for an unrelated crime.
In addition to the 25-to-life prison term, Suarez was sentenced to 20 years of post-release supervision.
Hey, that’s my debit card!
This guy’s excuse for buying drinks with someone else’s debit card certainly wasn’t getting him any sympathy.
Benjamin Touze, 23, reportedly told police, “The card was just on the bar, so I decided to use it.” But the card’s rightful owner, a 27-year-old woman, said that she’d lost her wallet in a cab on the evening of Sun., March 17, and only realized the whole situation when she got home later that night, checked her account online and noticed multiple charges at The Village Underground bar, at 130 W. Third St.
The woman said she called the bar around 10 p.m. to tell them to stop accepting the card, and when the bar’s manager confronted Touze to explain he was using a card that didn’t have his name on it, the alleged crook could only come up with his aforementioned sorry excuse. Shortly after that, the manager reported the crime to police, who then showed up to apprehend the opportunistic drinker.
Touze was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
Subway thief thwarted
Sometimes it’s just too hard to keep your hands to yourself.
While a plainclothes police officer was checking on an L train at the 14th St. subway station around 4:15 a.m. on Sun., March 17, he spotted Joe Outley, 19, sitting next to another male passenger who was asleep. The officer said Outley then placed his hand into the sleeping man’s right pocket and began rummaging for property to steal. But the handsy thief didn’t get too far, as the officer revealed himself and apprehended Outley while he was in the act.
Outley was charged with attempted grand larceny.
Stolen bike bust
Note to self: If you want to get away with stealing a shiny new bike, don’t ride it down the middle of a crowded sidewalk.
Jeremy Rodriguez, 27, apparently wasn’t thinking that far ahead while taking a sidewalk joyride past the corner of W. 12th St. and Seventh Ave. on Thurs., Mar. 14, around 6:30 p.m. Rodriguez, who was riding a red bicycle, was creating a serious hazard to the pedestrians he passed, according to the cops who stopped him.
And shortly after they’d apprehended him, the officers realized that Rodriguez’s bike was in fact stolen. The thwarted thief quickly confessed to using a wooden ax handle to break the bike out of its lock on a nearby street.
So, in addition to being charged with reckless endangerment for his sidewalk riding antics, Rodriguez was slapped with a petty-larceny charge for jacking the bike.
Kung-fu cab kick
Patience is a virtue — especially when a lack of it leads to a busted taxi window and a seat in the back of a police cruiser.
An off-duty cab driver told officers that, while he was stopped at a red light at 14thSt. and Fifth Ave. just after midnight on Thurs., Mar. 14, a man approached his taxi to ask for a ride. When the cabbie told him he wasn’t available, the man — later identified as Youba Haidara, 23 — apparently became so angry that he kicked the car’s driver’s-side, rearview mirror, nearly knocking it off.
The hack said Haidara then fled west down W. 14th St. But the cab kicker was quickly stopped by police who had heard the previous commotion. The officers held him until the flustered driver could pull up and identify the impatient kick-and-run perp.
Haidara was charged with criminal mischief.
Cab jacker slows sentencing
Michael Findley, in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 4, above, was arrested in 2011 after hijacking a cab and crashing it in Union Square. At trial he represented himself, often interrupting the judge as Findley made various claims, including that the taxi driver sexually assaulted him. Findley hailed the taxi on Delancey St. early one morning in February 2011, and asked to be taken to the West Village. Driver Mohammed Latif told him not to eat in the cab. Findley, drunk at the time, ignored him, spilling a plate of rice. The two argued before Findley got in the driver’s seat and took off with the vehicle. After roaring across Houston St. at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour, Findley crashed the car into a lamppost on Union Square West. A jury subsequently found him guilty. On March 4 he was due to be sentenced but, after entering the courtroom, told Judge Daniel Conviser that he wanted copies of transcripts to bolster his defense. Findley’s sentencing is now scheduled for mid-April.