Arrest in actresss murder
Four days after an actress who was out with her boyfriend and another couple after leaving work at a new Lower East Side bar was shot to death in a robbery, police arrested a 19-year-old suspect who had been staying with his godfather in the Baruch Houses.
The suspect, Rudy Fleming, of Staten Island, was on parole after serving two years for pulling a gun on high school security guards when he was 16.
Fleming was arrested on Mon., Jan. 31, at the ferry landing in Staten Island and charged with murder and weapon possession in the shooting death of Nicole DuFresne, 28, of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Fleming had been staying during the previous week with his godfather, Servino Simmon, and Simmons two sons, Servano, 17, and Servisio, 23, at the Baruch Houses.
The two Simmon brothers were questioned in connection with the hold-up murder but were not charged and are expected to testify as witnesses in the case. A cousin of the Simmon brothers, David Simmon, 18, and a 15-year-old boy were also charged with attempted robbery in connection with an earlier mugging that night.
DuFresne, who had just finished her shift at Rockwood, a new Allen St. live music venue that had its opening night last Wednesday, was out with her boyfriend, Jeffrey Sparks, and another couple, Scott Nath and Mary Jane Gibson. They stopped for drinks at Max Fish on Ludlow St., and were then heading for Naths Delancey St. apartment when they were held up at the corner of Rivington and Clinton Sts., at about 3:10 a.m. Thurs., Jan. 27.
Sparks ignored a demand for money, unaware that the defendant was armed, and tried to push past the robbers, but Fleming pistol-whipped him about the head, police said.
DuFresne had words with Fleming, asking, What are you going to do, shoot us? according to reports. Fleming fired one shot that hit DuFresne in the chest, tried to grab the other womans bag and fled with unidentified accomplices north on Clinton St., police said.
Police said that Fleming, David Simmon and the 15-year-old, had tried to rob a bar security guard in the neighborhood a couple of hours earlier. Police did not say who Flemings accomplices were during the fatal robbery.
Detectives on Sun., Jan. 30, went to Simmons Baruch Houses apartment, where Fleming was staying, and found a .357-caliber revolver believed to have been the murder weapon and a pair of white tennis sneakers with blood stains, police said. Fleming was caught on a neighborhood bar surveillance tape earlier on the fatal night wearing white sneakers.
DuFresne was a graduate of Emerson College in Boston and a founding member of the Present Tense Theater. The Present Tense Web site describes her as a writer, actor and producer who also studied and acted at LAByrinth Theater Co. She had survived being raped in a parking lot while a student at Emerson. She was a native of Minnesota and was to have been married to Sparks in October.
Robbery victim dies
William Gill, 31, who was the victim of a Jan. 2 assault and robbery in the lobby of the Elliot Chelsea Houses building at 418 W.
17th St., where he lived, died in St. Vincents Hospital on Thurs., Jan. 27, of the head wound he received in the robbery, police said. Two unknown suspects had accosted Gill in the lobby and hit him over the head with a blunt instrument, robbed him and fled, police said. The Medical Examiners office determined that Gills death on Jan. 27 was a homicide. Detectives at the 10th Precinct are investigating.
Jumped from building
Police responding to a call of a man unconscious on the sidewalk in front of 353 E. 17th St. at the corner of First Ave. found the body of Christopher Meyers, 33, a resident of the building. Police said the victim jumped to his death.
Four armed men, three of whom are Lower East Side residents, who held up an office in the Century 21 store at 22 Cortlandt St. on Friday morning Jan. 21 and fled with $23,946, were arrested by First Precinct officers who were passing by in a patrol car, police said. The suspects were charged with first-degree robbery.
Police said three of the suspects entered a side door at 175 Broadway at about 10:40 a.m., asked for employment applications, then put on ski masks and displayed weapons, two wielding guns and one a knife. They held up employees at two desks of NYC Check Express, an in-house check-cashing service, and ran out with the money in a bag, police said.
One of the employees pushed an alarm button and others in the office flagged down a passing patrol car and pointed out the suspects, who were getting into a waiting cab, police said. Sergeant George Codd and Officer Daniel Guerra stopped the cab and arrested Angel Perez, 19, of 298 Delancey St.; Edgar Saeteros, 20, of 281 E. 10th St.; Sahib Reeves, 19, of 113 E. 13th St.; and George Everson, 20, of 232 Farragut Rd., Brooklyn. Police did not identify which of the suspects was driving the cab.
A dispute between two patrons at Culture Club, an 80s-music dance club at 179 Varick St. near King St., at about 4:30 a.m. Mon., Jan. 17, ended when one of them hit the other in the head with a flashlight, police said. The victim was treated at St. Vincents Hospital. There were no arrests and First Precinct detectives are investigating the case.
A motorist who parked his car on Mercer St. near Broome St. on Fri., Jan. 21, heard his car alarm when he returned at 10 p.m. and found that luggage was missing from the trunk, police said.
Employees at Emerald Pub at 310 Spring St. told police on Sat., Jan. 22, that a man who had been coming in during the previous three weeks kept saying that the establishment had to sweep its sidewalks or it would get a violation. The visitor came in again on Saturday morning, asked to use the bathroom and then went to the basement where he put a small safe in a cardboard box and started to walk out with it, according to police. The suspect dropped the safe when an employee stopped him and fled after hitting the employee on the head, police said.
The owner of a store on the ground floor of 107 Sullivan St. discovered that someone had forced open a rear window on Wednesday night Jan. 26 and stole $100 from the cash register, police said.
A couple who parked their 2003 Ford Blazer at the northwest corner of Broadway and Walker St. on Friday morning Jan. 28 returned at 2 p.m. and found it gone, police said.