Chelsea murder arrest
Detectives from the 10th Precinct arrested a 17-year-old high school student on Sun. Jan. 8 for the murder of a man who was found Dec. 27 with his hands and feet bound in his burning Chelsea apartment.
\ Jose R. Taveras was arrested in Washington Heights where he lives with his family and changed with the second-degree murder of Schlomy Rejwan, 45, in the victims third-floor apartment at 228 W. 18th St.
Rejwan, described by neighbors as a waiter and a real gentlemen, was also engaged in providing male customers with erotic massages, according to police sources.
Firefighters who responded on Dec. 27 to a fire in the five-story building found the victim bound on his bed. His head had been doused with an flammable liquid and set on fire, apparently to conceal the murder, according to police
Taveras had come to the apartment in response to an advertisement, but his father told the Post and the Daily News that the youth met a third man there, identified only as a 47-year-old Colombian, who did the strangling and set the victim on fire while the defendant was compelled to watch.
Police said on Tues. Jan. 10 that the case was still under investigation but Taveras was the only person arrested so far.
Steals poor box on Christmas Eve
A man who walked into the Church of the Most Precious Blood in Little Italy on the afternoon of Dec. 24, took the poor box from in front of the altar to the rear of the church where he broke it open, took its contents estimated at $300 and fled, police said.
The church video surveillance camera recorded an image of the thief, described as a white or Hispanic man between the ages of 18 and 23, dressed in a gray jogging suit and wearing a baseball cap over a white bandana.
To make matters worse, a small figure of the Baby Jesus was stolen from the Nativity scene in front of the Most Precious Blood rectory at 109 Mulberry St. sometime on Christmas Day.
Two years ago, on Jan. 6, 2004, a thief made off with the Baby Jesus figure from the churchs Nativity display.