Volume 75, Number 51 | May 10 - 16 2006

Police Blotter

Arrest rape suspect

Police arrested John Hamlett, 29, a registered sex offender, at the home of a relative in New Jersey on May 4 and charged him with the knifepoint rape of a woman in her E. Third St. apartment the day before.

The victim, 29, was induced to open her door to a man who said he was returning a lost wallet. The intruder picked up a kitchen knife, sexually assaulted the victim and later told her he was the burglar who had entered the apartment four days earlier.

Hamlett, of 110 E. First St., was suspected because he had been registered in connection with a 1996 rape conviction and because of his proximity to the victim’s apartment, police said. He was identified by the victim from a lineup and was on parole at the time of the attack.

The victim’s E. Third St. apartment had been burglarized in February by a 13-year-old cat burglar who climbed a fire escape and forced open a rear window, police said.

Arrest in Soho theft

Employees at the Opera Gallery, at 115 Spring St., raised a cry for help at about 2 p.m. Tues May 2 after seeing a stranger lift a bag from a table and flee, police said. Passersby chased and apprehended the suspect on Greene St. south of Spring St. and held him for police. The suspect, Brandon Grant, 49, was charged with grand larceny.

L.E.S. gunfire

An argument that started among some patrons at closing time of ER Lounge, at 211 Madison St., on May 6 ended on the ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge after a car chase and gunfire, police said. No one was hurt and two suspects were arrested.

The victim told police the argument with two other patrons was over an insult to his girlfriend but he left the club with her and drove off. The two followed in another car, fired off some shots and chased the victim east on Madison St. to Grand St., then down the F.D.R. Dr. The chase ended at the Brooklyn Bridge after more shots were fired.

Police arrested the two suspects, Danny Cabrera, 30, and Pedro Diaz Jr., 21, both of South St., Brooklyn, on the bridge ramp after seeing them toss something from the car off the ramp. A .22-caliber handgun was recovered on the street below, police said. The two were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and assault.

Jewel thieves

Burglars broke into Zircon Creations, a wholesale jewelry firm on the eighth floor of 134 W. 29th St., sometime during the May 6-7 weekend and made off with jewelry valued at $50,000, police said. The thieves left behind the tools — two crowbars, a pry bar and a sledgehammer — that they used to break the door to the safe.

Break-in arrest

Police arrested four suspects on Thursday morning May 4 inside 405 Broadway at Canal St. where the third and fourth floors were being reconstructed. The suspects, Tien Nguyen, 30; Du Doung, 32; Ky Toan, 35; and Sanh Ton, 32, were charged with burglary and causing more than $1,000 damage.

Auto theft

A man who parked his 2006 Nissan at the curb on Sixth Ave. between King and Charlton Sts. on Monday afternoon May 1 returned at 6:40 p.m. to find the front window smashed and his briefcase, with a cell phone, DVD player and an electronic organizer inside it, missing.

Bribery arrest

Police charged Saleh Zonfol, 32, with bribery on May 6 after his arrest for a minor traffic offense at E. Houston and Orchard Sts. The suspect told the arresting officer, Efraim Lugo, “I’ll give you anything if you let me go,” police said. When brought to the Seventh Precinct station for booking, he offered Sergeant Victor Leandry $100 and Lugo $50 to let him go. After more discussion, which police recorded on tape, the suspect gave Lugo and Leandry $100 each, police said. He was arrested for second-degree bribery.

Chinatown extortion

The U.S. attorney in Manhattan last week charged five men for extorting money from the drivers of private vans that take passengers from the corner of E. Broadway and Market St. to Sunset Park in Brooklyn.

The defendants were charged on May 3 with forcing the drivers to pay from $200 to $400 per month or else be prevented from operating the route. One of the defendants, Yong Wang, known as Jackie, is charged with beating one driver who refused to pay and threatening another.

Wang is listed as the president of Kassla Car & Limo Service, and another defendant, Heng De Oh-Yang, is listed as the manager of the car service. Other defendants are Chen Hui, Zu Qun Li and Guo Chao Zhang, known as The Controller.

Albert Amateau

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