Indicted in anti-gay murder
The defendant accused of fatally shooting a gay man on a Greenwich Village street, after shouting anti-gay slurs and threatening to kill several other people, has been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder as a hate crime, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on Tues., June 18.
Elliot Morales, 33, was also charged with five counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of menacing, including one count of menacing a police officer.
According to court documents, the May 17 incident began when Morales urinated outside a restaurant on Barrow St. around midnight. After a restaurant worker confronted him, Morales then walked into the establishment and began making anti-gay remarks, and allegedly displayed his gun and threatened to shoot various diners.
After he left the restaurant, Morales is believed to have walked past Mark Carson, 32, who was with another man near the corner of W. Eighth St. and Sixth Ave. Minutes later, shortly after midnight, Morales reportedly confronted the two men, again shouted anti-gay slurs, and then shot Carson in the head, the D.A. said. Carson was later pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital.
In addition, when he was spotted by police officers on W. Third St. minutes after the shooting, Morales allegedly pointed his gun at an officer before being tackled and arrested.
Morales’s next court date is scheduled for July 30.
Surprise shoe smash
A taxi driver, 33, told police that he was driving west on Christopher St. around 4:30 a.m. on Sat., June 15, when he spotted a woman — later identified as Lambert Kaleikini, 33 — near the intersection at Hudson St., and pulled over next to her. He claimed that Kaleikini then, without provocation, took off one of her shoes and used it to hit the front driver’s-side window, shattering the glass over herself and the driver, but without causing any injuries.
Kaleikini reportedly then tried to flee the scene, but police caught her during a canvass almost immediately after the cabbie called in to report the incident. She was charged with criminal mischief.
Gun in their faces
An apparently crazed man allegedly pulled a gun on three unsuspecting pedestrians early on Wed., June 12 — but didn’t pull the trigger.
The three victims, all men, ages 17, 18 and 57, told police they were walking past the corner of Bethune and Washington Sts. around midnight, when a strange man — later identified as Charles Maraia, 54 — walked up to them, pointed a handgun in their faces, and then fled on foot. The men called the police, who quickly caught Maraia during a canvass of the area, using the description provided by the victims.
According to police, Maraia was packing a fully loaded, .25-caliber handgun. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.
Windshield wiper mayhem
Police arrested Jonathan Jenks, 22, early Sun., June 16, after he reportedly ripped a windshield wiper off a car parked near the corner of Leroy St. and Seventh Ave. South, and then used the wiper to bash in all of the car’s windows. Fortunately for the car’s owner, a witness down the street called police to report the incident as it was happening, around 4 a.m., and Jenks was caught minutes later by responding officers. He was charged with criminal mischief.