Volume 74, Number 49 | April 13 - 19 , 2005
State and city investigators last week charged four city employees with stealing over $130,000 from the city Human Resources Administration in connection with fraudulent shelter benefits granted from the H.R.A. Waverly Job Center at 12 W. 14th St.
The defendants were charged with issuing rent checks to fake landlords on behalf of homeless recipients who were unaware of the schemes and did not benefit from them, according to the state Welfare Inspector General and the city Department of Investigation.
The city employees arrested are Sonia Diaz, 34, an H.R.A. employee and former manager of the Waverly Center; Wayne Adams, 39, and Obiora Orakwue, 44, both H.R.A. employees; and Anthony Simpson, 36, a Department of Correction employee who formerly worked as a caseworker for H.R.A.
Three others, previously arrested for falsely posing as the landlords and receiving the fraudulent shelter payments, are Frederick Kornegay, Chinedu Uchanma and Fidelis Rafua.
Little Italy assault
Vincent Pastore, 58, who formerly played Big Pussy in the HBO hit TV show The Sopranos, pleaded not guilty last week to misdemeanor assault charges that he beat his fiancée, Lisa Regina, and threw her out of his car while it was parked on Mott St. in Little Italy on Sat., March 2.
Pastore was released without bail after turning himself in at Criminal Court on April 5 in response to a complaint by the victim. His lawyer, Dominic Barbara, described Pastore as a very gentle man incapable of doing what he is charged with. Pastores next court date is May 5.
Arrest Harvey Milk student
A transgender student at Harvey Milk High School, located on Astor Pl. in the East Village, was arrested for attempted assault, resisting arrest and obstructing government administration on Mon., April 4, in connection with a robbery investigation behind the Coney Island Houses on Surf Ave. in Brooklyn, police said.
The student, Erica Simon, 20, a resident of the housing development, was charged with throwing a punch at a police officer and then resisting arrest during the questioning of potential suspects and witnesses, police said.
Simon previously won a $31,500 settlement of a false-arrest suit against the city in connection with an Oct. 8, 2003, incident involving an altercation near the Harvey Milk School.
The hip-hop artist Foxy Brown pleaded not guilty in Manhattan on April 11 to misdemeanor assault charges in connection with a dispute on Aug. 27 at Bloomie Nails, a nail salon on W. 23rd St. near Eighth Ave. in Chelsea.
The defendant, whose real name is Inga Marchand, is charged with punching the manager, Sun Ji Song, and an employee, Myoung Yi, in the Aug. 27 incident when the employees said she was skipping out on paying for services and tried to stop her from leaving.
The defendant denied striking anyone and said the dispute arose because she had asked for a manicure and a pedicure, but only was given the manicure and paid for it as the store was closing at 10 p.m.
Browns lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said in court that she didnt hit anyone. He told reporters that the salon employees were trying to extort more money because of her celebrity. In response to reporters questions, Brown ridiculed the idea that she was skipping out on a $20 bill. She was freed on her own recognizance and is scheduled to reappear in court on May 6.
Roscoe Glinton, 42, the former boyfriend of a pregnant woman whose body with a bullet in her head was retrieved from the Hudson off the Chelsea waterfront on April 4, was arrested for traffic violations on April 9 in Brooklyn while detectives investigating the case were tailing him. Police said Glinton was going 100 miles per hour with his daughter, 12, sitting beside him, even after police following him sounded the siren. Glinton, however, was not charged in connection with the murder of the victim, Lisa D. Eatmon, 33, who was in the last month of pregnancy with a boy that Glinton had fathered.
Glinton had also been questioned by state police in1998 after his wifes skeleton had been discovered buried off the New York State Thruway near Newburgh, N.Y., where they resided at the time.
Glinton was released on bail and is due to answer the traffic charges arising from the April 9 incident on May 2.
W. Fourth St. ruckus
Police arrested a young woman last Friday night on W. Fourth St. near Jones St. after she was involved in a dispute with at least one other youth. Ruth Kuzub, owner of the Silversmith jewelry store near the scene, said a number of youth were involved in the incident, which she characterized as a riot. They were running back and forth, fighting with each other, over cars. It was really scary, she said. I went into my store and called 911. Detective Mike Singer, a Sixth Precinct community affairs officer, said there was an arrest, but that Kuzub was exaggerating the severity of the incident. I know that they did make an arrest, because I saw the woman when she brought into the precinct. She was pretty upset, Singer said. It wasnt a riot. From what I remember, it was a dispute. Singer said he was unable to track down more information on the incident.
Kuzub said piercing screaming is also a current fad on the street.
Its the latest thing, she said. Theyll get tired of it eventually.
The city is offering rewards of up to $500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of graffiti vandalism, according to Detective Mike Singer, community affairs officer of the Sixth Precinct. To report a graffiti vandal in the act, phone 911 and to give information about a graffiti suspect, phone 311. Remember, graffiti is a crime, said Singer.