Volume 75, Number 26 | November 16 -22, 2005

Police Blotter

Chelsea rape conviction
A Manhattan jury found Clarence Williams, also known as Fletcher Worrell, 58, guilty of rape and robbery in connection with a 1973 knifepoint attack on a Chelsea woman in her W. 21st St. apartment.

The defendant’s first trial, when he was prosecuted as Clarence Williams, ended in a deadlocked jury. But he fled before his retrial and remained missing until his arrest earlier this year as Fletcher Worrell for a Silver Spring, Md., rape. Worrell’s DNA was found to match DNA evidence from the Chelsea victim’s underwear.

Williams has been identified in connection with more than 20 sexual assaults in Maryland, New Jersey and New York over the past 32 years, but because of New York State’s statute of limitations, he could only be prosecuted in New York for the 1973 rape because he fled before the retrial. The victim, Kathleen Ham, rejected traditional identity concealment and testified against Williams last week.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau last week proposed state legislation eliminating the state statute of limitations for predatory sexual assault cases in which the defendant’s identity or whereabouts are not known for 10 years or more.

Williams’s first-degree rape and first-degree robbery convictions on Nov. 9 carry penalties of eight to 25 years in prison on each count. He is to be sentenced Nov. 28.


Jumps in the river
A Lower East Side man who was driving a stolen car and his friend jumped out of the car at about 2:35 a.m. Mon. Nov.14 when police stopped them for identification, police said. The driver, Keith Hall, 42, of Cherry St., fled on foot into East River Park with police in pursuit and jumped into the water to escape arrest, police said.

A police diver unit pulled Hall from the water and took him to Bellevue Hospital where he was held for evaluation and charged with grand larceny. The friend escaped.


Pulled from tracks
Two police officers, called to help an Emergency Medical Service team at the Broadway/Lafayette subway station at 3:15 p.m. Sat. Nov. 12, were directed to the northbound F train platform where they spotted a man lying face down on the tracks, police said.

The officers called for power to be shut off but when they saw the lights of an oncoming train, they jumped down to the track bed and pulled the man to safety just before the train entered the station, police said. The victim was taken to the hospital with facial cuts and a broken arm.


Indicted in stabbings
A Manhattan grand jury indicted four teenagers last week on charges that they stabbed four students near the High School for the Physical City, at 55 E. 25th St., on Sept. 30. One of the victims, Shareef Lesane, 15, a Physical City student, was stabbed in the stomach and died in Bellevue Hospital.

Javon Chavis, 17; Robert Jack, 16; Davd McKay, 19; and Jason Procope, 17, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree gang assault; first-degree assault and attempted first-degree gang assault.

The defendants were not Physical City students but went to fight with students whom they believed had been mocking and teasing a cousin of Procope, according to law enforcement officials.

The defendants are charged with bringing knives with them to the corner of 25th St. and Park Ave. S. and waiting until 3 p.m. to fight with the victims. The suspects accosted the four victims and stabbed them, killing Lesane, according to the indictment.

Another victim, a 16-year-old Physical City student, was taken to Bellevue Hospital with two stab wounds in the stomach and required surgery. Another victim, 18, whose cousin attends Physical City, was stabbed in the back, and his friend, a 17-year-old victim, was stabbed in the chest.


Bad rent checks
The management office at 575 Broadway at Prince St. told police on Nov. 9 that three commercial rent checks totaling $14,744 that it had received in September, October and November, had been bounced by the bank because they were fraudulent. But police noted that the renter showed real checks for those months that had been paid. The case is under investigation.


Soho rubber check
Patina, the vintage clothing and jewelry store at 461 Broome St., told police on Nov. 1 that a check from a patron for $3,181 had been returned from the bank as not collectable. The case is being investigated.


Wallet filched
A patron at Sway, a lounge at 305 Spring St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts., discovered that her wallet had been taken sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Mon. Nov. 7 from her bag, which she had placed on the bar beside her, police said. She lost cash, and an unauthorized credit card charge of $37 was made at a Queens gas station.


Walks with laptop
A man who purported to be a messenger picking up a package for delivery from a law office at 134 Spring St. on Nov. 9 walked off with a laptop computer valued at $2,000 that he grabbed from a desk, police said.


Village bias arrest
The third man of a trio charged in a Nov. 5 bias-motivated assault on a bartender on a Village street surrendered last week to police at the Sixth Precinct.

Christian Vidal, 27 walked into the Village police station with his lawyer on the evening of Nov. 8 and was charged with taking part in the beating of Kyle Spidle, 25, at the corner of Waverly Pl. and Grove St. as the victim was leaving The Monster Bar where he worked.

Vidal was identified as the driver of a car carrying two friends, Victor Rodriguez, 38, a Department of Sanitation worker from E. 104th St., and Francis Brand, 27, a Brooklyn resident. The three are charged with leaping out of the car and beating Spidle after the victim smacked the hood when the car lurched into the crosswalk in front of him. They pleaded not guilty and their next court date is Feb. 23.

The assault is classified as a bias-related crime because the defendants are alleged to have shouted antigay epithets at Spidle. The victim, who sustained a broken jaw, cheekbone and nose and sustained fractures around his right eye, was treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital.


Murder conviction
Elio Cruz, 34, charged with shooting his wife’s lover to death in a Chelsea subway station last February, was found guilty of murder on Thurs., Nov. 10. The verdict came after one of the jurors, Alexandra Holland, was replaced after she sent State Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman a note extremely critical of the way Cruz’s lawyer, Carlos Perez-Olivo, conducted the defense. Berkman also replaced another juror to whom Holland had spoken about the defense lawyer.

After learning on Thursday that Perez-Olivo had been suspended from practicing law in Puerto Rico in 2001, Cruz’s family said they would appeal the conviction.

Cruz, a room-service waiter in a Midtown hotel, was charged with shooting German Cabrera, 26, to death in the Seventh Ave. subway station at 18th St. after following his wife and the victim to the Chelsea station from the Cruzes’ apartment in Washington Heights.

Cruz, to be sentenced Dec. 9, faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life.


Gramercy fire
The resident of a fourth-floor apartment at 301 E. 21st St. at Second Ave. sustained burns on 70 percent of his body in a fire that broke out in his apartment at about 7:08 p.m. Mon. Nov. 14, according to Police and Fire Department spokespersons. Two officers from the 13th Precinct saw smoke coming from the top floor of the four-story building and roused residents to evacuate. The fire was confined to the victim’s apartment and was brought under control by 12 companies of firefighters at 8:41 p.m.

The officers and four firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation. The victim, 59, was taken to the Cornell Burn Center in critical condition.

Albert Amateau

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