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Volume 77, Number 11 | August 15 - 25, 2007

Police Blotter

Arrest in murder
Michael Cordero, 23, was charged on Aug. 8 with second-degree murder in the Aug. 5 strangling death of his girlfriend, Boitumelo (“Tumi”) McCallum, 20, in the Washington Square Village apartment of the victim’s mother, a New York University professor.

Cordero was arrested after he slit his wrists on the night of Aug. 7 on the roof of 216 W. 62nd St. in the Amsterdam Houses where his family lives. He fled to a supermarket on West End Ave. where he was apprehended and taken to Roosevelt Hospital where he reportedly told personnel that he slit his wrists because he killed his girlfriend.

Cordero was transferred to Bellevue Hospital where he is on a suicide watch. He is due to appear in court, represented by Eric Sears, a court-appointed lawyer, on Aug. 16.
A friend of Cordero’s went to the Sixth Precinct in Greenwich Village on Aug. 6 and told detectives that Cordero had admitted to him

earlier that day that he had killed McCallum in a jealous rage because she did not invite him to a Saturday night party at her mother’s apartment. Cordero suspected that McCallum was about to break off their relationship.

The victim’s mother, Teboho Mora, a professor of higher education at N.Y.U.’s Steinhardt School and an anti-apartheid activist in her native South Africa, was traveling in Africa at the time of the murder. McCallum’s father, Robert McCallum, an adjunct professor of art education at N.Y.U., is separated from her mother and was also out of town at the time.

According to an Aug. 13 Daily News article, an ex-boyfriend, Paul Rocco, wrote in an e-mail to the Sunday Times of South Africa that he had stayed with McCallum overnight after the Saturday party at her mother’s apartment. She told Rocco that she had broken up with Cordero, whom she described as obsessive and unstable.

Motorcycle fatal
Fergus McQuillan, 40, of Yonkers, was killed at 6:30 a.m. Mon., Aug. 13, when he was riding his motorcycle eastbound on W. 23rd St. and was struck by a westbound livery cab making a left turn onto Ninth Ave., police said. The victim was declared dead at St. Vincent’s Hospital and police are investigating the circumstances of the accident.

Pedestrian fatal
Timothy Royes, 42, was struck by a northbound car on the West Side Highway at W. 15th St. while trying to cross the highway from east to west just before 1 a.m. Mon., Aug. 13, police said. The victim was declared dead at St. Vincent’s Hospital. The driver, 31, remained at the scene and was not charged, police said.

Wald drug busts
Ninth Precinct and Housing Authority P.S.A. 4 police officers recently conducted three separate warrant raids for drug offenses at the Lillian Wald Houses. The raids were in response to neighbors’ complaints.

On Thurs., July 26, police arrested three men between 18 and 31 years old and a woman, 45, for possession of marijuana, crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia and possession of a loaded .38-caliber pistol. They were also charged with endangering the welfare of a boy, 8, who was put in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services.

On Fri., July 27, police arrested four men between the ages of 19 and 47 and two women, 21 and 51, for possession of cocaine, marijuana, pills and miscellaneous paraphernalia. They were also charged with endangering the welfare of two girls, one age 2 and the other 12, and a 4-year-old boy.

On Tues., Aug. 7, police arrested two men, 27 and 37, and a woman, 23, for possession of cocaine and marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a pair of brass knuckles. They were also charged with endangering the welfare of an 18-month-old boy.

Robbery attempt
Four men jumped out of a car on 10th Ave. at 15th St., at 2:50 a.m. Mon., Aug. 6, surrounded a man on the sidewalk and demanded his wallet, police said. When the victim refused, the robbers began punching him and continued to demand money. When a friend of the victim tried to intervene, one of the suspects picked up a trashcan and hit him with it. Police arrived and arrested Guillermo Scantlebery, 21; Leroy Oriakhe, 21; Donovan Dunwell, 22; and Garth Braithwaite, 22 and charged them with assault and attempted robbery.

Out of tune
Burglars broke the glass front of a boutique at 133 Mercer St. between Spring and Prince Sts. and entered the place during the early hours of Tues., July 31, making off with two Gibson Les Paul guitars valued at $3,000 each, police said.

Guilty in branding
Kristina Caban and Robert Testagrossa pleaded guilty to first-degree assault on Tues., Aug. 14, for branding of the torso of Caban’s ex-lover after luring him to a room in the Chelsea Inn on W. 23rd St. in October 2006.

Caban and Testagrossa accepted the plea bargain in return for a five-year prison sentence with a five-year post-release probation. They are to appear Oct. 4 for a pre-sentencing conference.

Caban, 21, a former School of Visual Arts student, and Testagrossa, 25, were charged with holding Samir Sara at gunpoint in a Chelsea Inn room on 23rd St. at 11th Ave., zapping him with a Taser and tying him up, then burning a 4-inch-high letter “R” on his torso with a red-hot wire brand.

Caban had told Testagrossa that Sara had raped her in 2004 and the letter R was for “RAPIST.” The defendants also had wire brands for the five other letters in the word, but they fled when Sara screamed in pain. It was later discovered that Caban wanted revenge because Sara had ignored her after a one-night stand.

Albert Amateau

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