Volume 76, Number 38 | February 14 -20, 2007

Police Blotter

East Village gas
Firefighters and Con Edison crews responded to two gas-leak alerts in the East Village Monday and Tuesday and evacuated two buildings.

The smell of gas coming from a manhole in front of the La MaMa theater, 74 E. Fourth St., brought Fire Department and Con Edison crews to the site at about 11 a.m. Tues., Feb. 14. Firefighters evacuated 15 people from the theater and closed the street to pedestrian and vehicle traffic between the Bowery and Second Ave. for more than an hour.

Con Ed crews were investigating the source of the gas by drilling small holes into the pavement in front of La MaMa, but there was no report on the exact location or cause of the leak on Tuesday.

At 12:50 a.m. Mon., Feb. 12, firefighters and Con Ed responded to a gas-leak alert at 131 Avenue A between St. Mark’s Pl. and E. Ninth St. and temporarily evacuated the building to look for the leak. Crews were still working on the street in front of the building at noon on Feb. 13.

Assault on officer
Gregory Lester, 18, arrested for stealing a sandwich and a juice from a deli at 529 Broome St. near Thompson St. at about 9 a.m. Thurs., Feb 1, was also charged with assault for hitting and pushing the arresting police officer to the ground, police said.

Chaired at Door
A 15-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with assault for throwing a chair that hit a security guard at The Door, the alternative school at 555 Broome St., on Thursday morning Feb. 1, police said. The guard had told the boy to wait in the lobby for his guardian to take him home and was trying to stop the teen from entering the school when the incident occurred, police said.

A shoplifter fled the French Corner boutique at 464 Broadway at Grand St. at 5:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 3, with five pairs of True Religion jeans with a total value of $1,200, police said.

School fight
Benjamin Reid, 19, a G.E.D. student at the Tenzer Learning Center, at 198 Forsyth St. at Stanton St., was charged with assault on Feb. 7 for punching an 18-year-old classmate in the nose in a hallway at noon on Tues., Feb. 6, police said.

Found cocaine
A man was arrested for trying to walk out of Phat Farm, the boutique at 129 Prince St., with five pairs of jeans, four jackets, three shirts and two hats valued at a total of $1,610 without paying for them on Tuesday afternoon Feb. 6, police said. The suspect, Eusebio Torres, 31, of 605 F.D.R. Drive in the Baruch Houses, was also carrying 18 small plastic bags of cocaine and a stolen credit card and was charged with larceny and drug possession, police said.

Unfit for trial
Kouadi Kouassi, charged on Dec. 29 with trying to steal the $76 million Soho Grand Hotel at W. Broadway and Grand St. by filing a phony deed to the property, was declared on Feb. 6 to be psychologically unfit to stand trial

Two doctors who testified at the hearing recommended psychiatric hospitalization.

Kouassi submitted documents on Nov. 22 to the New York County Clerk’s Office and the Department of Finance purporting to certify that the Hartz Group had transferred ownership of the hotel to him. The documents proved to be false and Hartz said they never heard of Kouassi.

Soho burglary
The burglary of an apartment at 204 Spring St. on Jan. 24 was done while the family was at work and the self-locking door to the apartment had been closed securely. It was erroneously reported last week that the door may have been left open.

Drug bust
Police arrested Michael Orly, an Emergency Medical Technician paramedic, at 7:38 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 9, in the Vladeck Houses, at 354 Madison St., for possession of drugs.

Construction theft
The manager of a residential construction site at 40 Mercer St. at Grand St. told police on Mon., Feb. 12, that thieves came in over the weekend and took kitchen appliances, including a gas stovetop, a wine cooler and an oven, with a total value of $71,000. The site was accessible from the street, police said.

Gone from stroller
A Brooklyn Heights woman told police on Mon., Feb. 12, that while she was shopping at the Scholastic Book retail store at 557 Broadway near Prince St. with her child, a thief made off with her bag, which she had left for a moment on the stroller. She cancelled her credit cards but discovered that unauthorized charges of $3,033 had been made at Soho Computer Exchange and $3,145 at a Best Buy store. In addition to credit cards, the victim lost the bag, her wallet and $460 in cash. The incident happened on Jan. 6 but was not reported to police until Feb. 12.

Tribeca burglary
A thief entered an office at 205 Hudson St, just south of Canal St., sometime between Thurs., Feb. 7, and Mon., Feb. 12, and made off with a digital camera, two camera lenses, a memory card and a laptop computer, police said.

Parking beating
A dispute over a curbside parking spot at Lafayette and Walker Sts. at about 4 p.m. Tues., Feb. 6, ended with one man knocked out and taken to Bellevue Hospital with facial injuries, police said. Lembenskie Payne, 42, was arrested a short time later and charged with assault. He was freed on $1,500 bail pending an April 19 court appearance.

Albert Amateau

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