Volume 76, Number 36 | January 31 - February 6, 2007

Police Blotter

Red-letter day
A man who waved a handgun in the face of a Wachovia bank teller at Ninth Ave. and W. 15th St. on Tuesday morning Jan. 23 demanded money and fled with a stack of cash with a dye pack tucked in, police said. The dye pack exploded on the street and the thief dropped some of the money but made his escape.


Scores scored
Four women strippers and two male managers of Scores, the club at 536 W. 28th St., were arrested in an early-morning raid at the club on Thurs., Jan. 25., and charged with promoting prostitution.

The women had told undercover vice officers that they would perform various sex acts for prices ranging from $200 to $750 in special rooms with doors that lock, police said.

The two men were charged with permitting prostitution and promoting prostitution.

“As long as you have an agreement with the girl, that’s all right,” one of the men reportedly said to an undercover. All defendants pleaded not guilty and their attorney, Mark Bederow, said the charges were “absolutely false.”

Three of the four women — Colleen Matthews, 22, of Livingston, N.J.; Karina Vasquez, 32, of Manhattan; and Marianna Nasyarova, 19, of Brooklyn — were freed on their own recognizance pending a March 20 court appearance. The fourth woman, Nicole Green, 23, of Manhattan, who had been charged with prostitution in 2005, was free on $1,500 bail.

The men, Gustavo Kiste, 29, and Eli Iskolsky, 36, were also freed on their own recognizance pending a March 20 court date.

Another woman, Zamira Cardenas, 28, of Bayonne, N.J., was arrested on Jan. 25 but she was released and not charged.


Poor box gone
A heavy wood-and-concrete donations box was discovered missing, taken from its accustomed place in Grace Church on Broadway near E. 10th St. at about 2 p.m. Mon., Jan. 29., police said. The poor box is customarily removed at night and replaced in the morning, so presumably it had little or no money.


Weapons arrest
Police stopped a driver on Sixth Ave. at W. 24th St. for a traffic infraction on Saturday afternoon Jan. 27 and charged him with driving with a suspended license and possession of a weapon when they found a loaded .38-caliber derringer wrapped in a towel tucked between the driver’s seat and the center console. Willard Henderson, 26, told police he didn’t know anything about the gun and said that a friend who had borrowed the car must have left it. Henderson was also wearing an electric stun gun when he was arrested, police said.


Scammed priests
Robert Riggio, a Lower East Side resident, pleaded guilty last week to wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with the theft of more than $200,000 from about 60 Catholic priests across the country, according to the office of Michael Garcia, U.S. attorney for the Southern District in Manhattan.

According to court papers, Riggio, using the names of “William Kelly” and “Tim Ryan,” began phoning priests in March 2004 asking them to transfer money to him to help a relative in urgent need or to prevent his mother from being evicted and promising to repay the money. With an as-yet-unnamed co-conspirator, he is charged with fleecing priests for between a few hundred dollars and $10,000 each, often from priests’ personal savings.

He was arrested last September after one of his victims went to law enforcement officials. An F.B.I. agent posing as the niece of a priest whom Riggio had defrauded spoke on the phone to Riggio, who tried the scam again. None of the money has been repaid, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Riggio, 60, who faces a maximum 40-year prison term, is scheduled to be sentenced by federal Judge John G. Koeltl on April 27.

Albert Amateau


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