Police Blotter, Week of July 3, 2013

Perjury pals  A man formerly charged with driving drunk in the Meatpacking District has been indicted on accusations of lying under oath during his trial, and for conspiring with a friend to give false testimony, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on July 1.

Leonel Polanco-Colon, 32, was first arrested for DWI in the early morning hours of Aug. 17, 2011, when police spotted him sitting in his car, with the engine on, outside Gaslight, the bar at 400 W. 14th. Polanco-Colon showed clear signs of intoxication, and even though the car was not moving, under New York State law the situation was serious enough to warrant charges, according to the D.A.’s office.

But during his trial in June 2012, Polanco-Colon allegedly conspired with his friend Luis Nunez, 29, to create a false story that would help him get off scot-free. According to the D.A., after a secret meeting between the two men and Polanco-Colon’s defense lawyer, Polanco-Colon testified before a jury that he was with Nunez, who was not drunk, on the night of the crime, and that he gave his car keys to Nunez. Nunez then took the stand and also told the jury the false account.

But investigators found evidence that Nunez was never actually with Polanco-Colon on the morning of Aug. 17, 2011, the D.A. said.

Now, the D.A. has charged Polanco-Colon with eight counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy, and Nunez with six counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court again on July 25.

Scammer pleads guilty  A Chinese-born man accused of scamming dozens of Chinese immigrants and illegally collecting Medicaid and food stamp benefits has pleaded guilty to all charges, D.A. Vance announced on June 28.

Between January 2012 and January 2013, Dao Feng Lin, 52, a naturalized U.S. citizen, falsely represented himself as someone with the ability to assist Chinese immigrants — people living in Chinatown as well as other parts of Manhattan — with applications for lawful status and work authorization, the D.A. said. Lin, who lives near Chinatown, on Water St., reportedly charged a fee of $1,350 per applicant. According to records the D.A.’s office obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labor, Lin never actually submitted any applications for the defrauded immigrants.

During that same period of time, Lin also reported his personal income to be between $6,000 and $9,600 on federal benefit applications, even though the D.A. found this to be false, and well below his actual income. Over the course of the year, Lin received more than $40,000 worth of Medicaid and food stamp benefits to which he was not entitled, the D.A. said.

Lin pleaded guilty to charges of scheming to defraud and offering a false instrument for filing, both of which carry sentences of between one-and-a-half and four years in prison, and a charge of welfare fraud, with a sentence of between two-and-a-half and seven years in prison.

Lin is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 24.

Holy plant perp!  This alleged perpetrator won’t just be dealing with criminal charges…he’ll have to face the wrath of the Almighty.

Workers at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, at 232 W. 11th St., told police they spotted an apparently violent man — later identified as Jehovy Colongarcia, 24 — walking outside the church around 8 p.m. on Sun., June 30. The workers, along with witnesses who live on W. 11th St., said they then saw Colongarcia pulling down on one of the church’s hanging plant pots, continuing to do so until the pot eventually fell and smashed on the ground.

After breaking the pot, Colongarcia reportedly began walking away along W. 11th St., but he was quickly stopped and arrested by officers who had responded to calls from the witnesses.

Colongarcia was charged with criminal mischief.

Busted for bogus cash This guy thought his fake $20 bill would fool the bartender and land him free drinks, but the scheme fell flat under sober eyes.

A manager at Karavas, a Greek restaurant and bar at 162 W. Fourth St., called police around 2 a.m. on June 27 after examining the allegedly bogus cash. The bill had been used by Rohan Burnside, 26, to purchase two drinks, which he must have been enjoying until officers showed up minutes later to cuff him after inspecting the evdience and agreeing that he’d been shelling out fake green.

Burnside was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Suspicion of burglary  Police arrested a drunk man in the Village early on June 26, after they realized he was carrying equipment that could have been used to commit a burglary.

Officers said that around 5 a.m. they approached John Pachero, 48, near the corner of Carmine St. and Seventh Ave. South, where he’d been spotted drinking out of an open container of alcohol. A quick search of Pachero revealed that he was carrying suspicious items, such as lockpicking equipment and a small crowbar. He was unable to give a good explaination for why he had the dubious gear, according to police.

In addition to a violation for drinking in public, Pachero was charged with possessing burglar’s tools.

–   Sam Spokony

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