Drunk driver convicted
A New Jersey man was convicted of assault and drunk-driving charges stemming from a 2012 car crash on the Lower East Side that permanently injured two people, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on Sept. 25.
A State Supreme Court jury found Joseph Darlington, 43, guilty of aggravated vehicular assault and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, along with other felony charges, the D.A. said.
According to court documents, Darlington was driving east on Delancey St. during the early morning hours of March 11, 2012, after a night of drinking. He blew through a red light at the intersection of Delancey and Allen Sts., colliding with another car before spinning into the median and hitting the two pedestrians.
Darlington is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 15, the D.A. said.
Granny foils crooks
Five Chinese nationals admitted they tried to steal cash and goods from an elderly Chinatown woman by using a scam involving “evil spirits,” D.A. Vance announced on Oct. 1.
Jun Liang, 45; Xiumei He, 40; Yae Chen, 46; Huahuo Chen, 50; and Jingchang Quan, 44, all pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted grand larceny as a hate crime and first-degree scheme to defraud, the D.A. said.
According to court documents, the five Chinese citizens approached a 67-year-old woman on the afternoon of June 3, near the corner of Elizabeth and Bayard Sts. in Chinatown, and tried to convince her that they could cleanse her money and possessions of evil spirits. But the woman became suspicious, and immediately reported the incident to police at the Fifth Precinct.
Later that day, officers arranged a sting operation in which the elderly woman met the five scammers near Chatham Square and handed over a bag stuffed with fake cash and property. When the con artists tried to work their scheme by distracting the woman and pocketing the goods, police stepped in to arrest them.
Socked a security guard
Police arrested Isaiah Almenas, 20, after he allegedly attacked a security guard at the Cable Building, at 611 Broadway, on the afternoon of Sept. 26.
A security officer for the building, at Broadway and East Houston St., said Almenas came through the door around 1 p.m. carrying a messenger bag, presumably to make a delivery, but refused to sign the delivery log. According to police, a verbal dispute ensued, and Almenas punched the guard in the face before fleeing the building — and leaving his bag behind.
The guard immediately called police, and officers arrived at the scene to speak with him. Shortly after that, Almenas returned for his bag, but to his chagrin, that second encounter ended with him in cuffs. He was charged with assault and harassment.
Bungled park theft
Police said they arrested Patricia Leclerc, 52, after she tried to steal a woman’s backpack outside Washington Square Park on the morning of Sept. 26.
Around 9 a.m., Leclerc reportedly approached a woman, 32, near the corner of Washington Square South and MacDougal St., and grabbed the shopping bag she was holding. When the bag tore and fell to the ground, the victim said Leclerc then started pulling on her backpack, attempting to rip it away from her.
The victim said she was able to fight off Leclerc, and the would-be thief just walked away. The victim called police, and Leclerc was spotted and caught later that day at W. 10th St. and Sixth Ave. Leclerc was charged with attempted grand larceny and jostling.
D.W.I. checkpoint tale
A driver told police he only had one drink, but his breath test told a different story.
Police stopped Roman Zaydman, 47, at a D.W.I. checkpoint at Washington and W. Houston Sts., around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 28. The cops said Zaydman smelled strongly of alcohol and marijuana, had bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet when asked to step out of the car.
But the driver claimed it wasn’t that bad, saying, “I had one martini…and I smoked weed earlier.” Zaydman then refused to take a breath test at the checkpoint, but was arrested anyway for D.W.I.
Back at the precinct, Zaydman did take a breath test that showed his blood-alcohol content to be .112 percent — well over the legal limit of .08 percent.
– Sam Spokony