West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 25 | November 21 - 27 2007

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Villager photo by Lorcan Otway

Joel Pakela, a.k.a. L.E.S. Jewels

Gets year for ‘raising cane’

Joel Pakela, also known as L.E.S. Jewels, 38, pleaded guilty on Monday to criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a class D felony. On Dec. 6, he will receive a sentence of one year. With the four months he has already served, it is likely he will be released in four months.

According to his lawyer, Bret Taylor, of the Legal Services Corporation, Pakela has been working as the law librarian in the Manhattan Detention Complex on White St. Taylor says that Pakela is quite a good legal researcher, doing an excellent job assisting in his own case, and helping other inmates to use the law library.

Pakela’s wife, Amy, hopes that he can find work when he is released. He has worked as a chef in the past.

His conviction stems from an incident in July when Pakela was arrested after aggressively panhandling and allegedly grabbing a man’s throat after the man refused to give him money. The weapons charge related to Pakela allegedly raising his cane threateningly at a friend of the man who had pulled Pakela off of him.

In addition to the weapons charge to which he pleaded guilty, Pakela also was originally charged with attempted robbery in the third degree, menacing in the second degree and attempted assault in the third degree. Local observers said Pakela’s behavior was fueled, in part, by alcohol abuse.

Lorcan Otway

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