Volume 76, Number 17 | September 13 - 19, 2006

Police Blotter

Villager photo by Tequila Minsky

A fire in a Con Edison manhole at Spring and Wooster Sts. last Thursday sent vendors and pedestrians running.

Soho construction site
Burglars broke into a commercial building being converted to residential use at 459 Broadway between Grand and Howard Sts. on Monday morning Sept. 11 and made off with tools valued at $800, police said.

Assault on Houston
A visitor from Winnetka, Ill., told police that he tried to walk away from an argument on Monday afternoon Sept. 11 on the corner of Varick and W. Houston Sts. but his adversary slashed him in the back when he turned away. The slasher, described as a black man about 25, 5 feet 6 inches, wearing a red jacket, white shirt and black jeans, fled Uptown, and the victim, 43, was treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Office account theft
The manager of a commercial office at 161 Sixth Ave. at Spring St. told police on Sept. 11 that over a period of more than two months beginning July 13 someone with access to the company’s accounts had stolen more than $6,000 using checks and debit charges. The case is under investigation.

Canal St. burglars
Police are investigating two apparently unrelated burglary reports from 533 Canal St. between Greenwich and Washington Sts. A resident of the building told police on Sept. 8 that a thief had entered the apartment through a window at a fire escape and made off with a laptop computer, a digital camera, personal I.D. and credit cards. On Sept. 10 another resident said a thief had entered the apartment via a bathroom window and made off with a digital camera.

Gourmet burglary
The alarm at Gourmet Garage at 453 Broome St. between Mercer St. and Broadway went off at 1:50 a.m. Mon. Sept 10, but by the time the manager and police arrived at 2:20 a.m. the two thieves, who had broken in through the basement, were gone. They had taken a digital camera, police said. The store surveillance camera, however, recorded an image of the two burglars.

Hit on 14th St.
The driver of a Volkswagen struck a pedestrian near the southeast corner of E. 14th St. and Third Ave. at about 10 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 7, according to police. The victim, who was tossed 20 feet by the impact, was taken in serious condition to the hospital, according to a witness. The witness said the man may have been walking against the light, while the car was going fast. The driver stopped after the accident and was apparently distraught.

Disturbed man
A disturbed man wielding a 13-pound metal pipe struck an off-duty policeman on the head on E. 14th St. on Saturday night Sept. 9, police said. The victim, identified by the Daily News as Sergeant Kenny Roe, had to have five stitches in his scalp. The suspect, identified as Gavin Duchin, 38, struck without provocation, witnesses said. He was taken to Bellevue for observation.

Gift mart fire
Fire broke out at about 9 a.m. Sept. 11 on the roof of 225 Fifth Ave. at 26th St. just north of Madison Square Park, where construction workers were converting the gift and novelty showrooms in the 10-story building into residences. The fire was under control an hour later and one firefighter was treated for minor injuries at Bellevue.

Art parade angst
On Saturday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., a van driver trying to go north up W. Broadway at Spring St. was told by a police officer at the intersection to turn right onto Spring St. The driver, who was working for the Art Parade in Soho, protested and refused to turn onto Spring St., which was jammed with cars stuck in traffic. The officer warned that if the driver didn’t cooperate he would pull him out of the van. The driver called the parade manager on his cell phone, meanwhile refusing to comply with the officer’s order, then started to drive forward a bit. At that point, the officer, opened the door and handcuffed the man, and called for backup, with three more officers responding. The driver was eventually unhandcuffed as some onlookers applauded and cheered. He was issued a ticket. The driver, who identified himself only as Greg, age 24, of the East Village, said he was trying to drop off a speaker for the second annual Art Parade in Soho, and had been dropping off supplies “all day” for the event. “I hope this doesn’t hurt the parade,” said an onlooker, who noted he had enjoyed the inaugural parade last year, before the procession started.
Fire in the hole

A manhole fire in Soho at Wooster and Spring Sts. last Wednesday sent pedestrians, as well as vendors at a nearby open market, scrambling for cover. A week later, Con Edison workers were still repairing the manhole.

A repair worker said the fire had been caused by an overload. First the secondary, or low-voltage, power had blown, followed by the primary, or high-voltage, power. The repair worker said the wiring in the manhole, which serves the immediate area, is being upgraded so the problem wouldn’t happen again.

Albert Amateau and Lincoln Anderson

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