Volume 77 / Number 38 - Feb. 20 - 26, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Livery car rapist
Police arrested an unlicensed livery cab driver and charged him with sexually assaulting one woman and raping another, both of whom he picked up near Scores, 536 W. 28th St., during the early hours of Sun., Feb. 17. The driver, Torkieh Sadagheh, 28, is also suspected of having raped two women who were picked up last year in front of The Box, 189 Chrystie St., on the Lower East Side.

The first victim on Feb. 17, Monica Maneiro, 23, got into what she thought was a livery car around 4 a.m. after finishing her Scores job and was surprised when the driver got into the back seat, put his hand over her mouth and got on top of her, police said.

Montes managed to open the door, get out of the car and run, according to reports, but made sure to get the car’s license number. She hailed a cab in the middle of the street, phoned 911 and reported the incident and the plate number.

An hour later, the defendant picked up three other women near Scores, drove two of them to their homes and then stopped on 86th St. on Amsterdam Ave., got into the back seat and raped and sodomized the 23-year-old passenger. She also got the license number as the car drove off and notified police from Bellevue Hospital, where she was being treated.

Police arrested Sadagheh at his Gravesend, Brooklyn, home. Police said the defendant at first admitted the Feb. 17 attacks and confessed to the rapes of the two women on the Lower East Side, one on Sept. 20 and the other on Oct. 27.

Sadagheh later recanted the confessions. He was charged with rape and sexual abuse in connection with the two Feb. 17 incidents. The women victimized on the Lower East Side could not pick Sadagheh out of a lineup and he was not charged in those incidents. He is being held pending arraignment later this week.

Cab hits man
A taxi struck and critically injured an emotionally disturbed man who sat down in the middle of Seventh Ave. at W. 14th St. at 1:30 a.m. Wed., Feb. 13, police said. The victim, 61, was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, a block from the accident. The driver stopped and remained at the scene and was not charged, police said.

Manslaughter plea
Diego Pillco, 20, pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to manslaughter in the Nov. 1, 2006, killing of Adrienne Shelly, the Tribeca actress and film director, in her Village office at 15 Abingdon Square. Pillco, an illegal alien who worked on a construction site on the floor below Shelly’s office, will be sentenced in March to 25 years in prison and five years post-release probation under the plea agreement, according to a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

When he was arrested, Pillco had said the killing occurred in a struggle after he responded to Shelly’s complaints about construction noise. In court on Feb. 14, Pillco said he was riding up in the elevator with the victim, and noticed that she was carrying a large black bag. He rode up one more floor after she got off and walked down to her office and found the door ajar. Pillco said he entered, saw the bag and took a wallet from it, when Shelly confronted him and reached for her cell phone.

Pillco said he grabbed the phone and when a struggle ensued he covered her mouth and nose with his hand until she passed out. He then took a sheet, wrapped it around her neck and hung it over a bathroom curtain rail to make it look like suicide, according to court records.

Triple threat
Police arrested Steven Upsher, 45, of the Bronx on Feb. 6 and charged him with three burglaries, one in Soho and two in Tribeca, in August of last year. One was at 142 Greene St., where a surveillance camera caught his image when he came back to take the loot that he had stashed at the side of the building. His image was also recorded at 12 Desbrosses St., where he was charged with stealing a laptop computer. And on Aug. 30 of last year his image was recorded at 170 Duane St., where he is charged with damaging a door to enter the basement, according to a spokesperson for D.A. Morgenthau.

When First Precinct detectives showed him one of the surveillance tapes, he said, “The camera does not lie. That’s me in the picture,” according to the criminal complaint. He was being held pending a March 17 court appearance.

Stabbed on Chinatown bus
A passenger on an Atlantic City-bound bus waiting at Chatham Square was charged with stabbing another passenger in the stomach at 10 p.m. Sat., Feb. 9, according to a D.A. spokesperson. Police arrested Juan Suquilanda, 54, and charged him with first-degree assault and possession of a weapon in connection with the attack on a man, 27, who was taken in serious condition to Bellevue Hospital. Suquilanda was held in lieu of $15,000 bail pending a May 22 court appearance.

Soho sales tax
Meir Maslavi, 59, owner of two deli/restaurants called Miro Café, at 474 Broadway and 594 Broadway, pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to evading $550,186 in sales taxes between September 2000 and September 2007, according to the D.A. Under the plea, Maslavi will pay the amount of the state sales tax that he collected but did not report or pay, plus interest and penalties for a total of $1,033,664. In addition, Maslavi will pay another $56,718 in city general corporation tax and penalties for 2005 when he falsely underreported gross receipts from the 594 Broadway cafe.

Sick thief
A man who was a patient at St. Vincent’s Hospital from Sat., Feb. 2, until Wed., Feb. 6, told police a week later that his wallet and credit cards had been removed from a lockbox while he was at the hospital. There were no unauthorized credit card charges, police said.

Pocket picked
A visitor from Las Vegas told police he discovered that someone picked his wallet from his back pocket while he was walking on the northeast corner of Sixth Ave. and W. 11th St. on Tues., Feb 12.

Bags, wallets lifted
A resident of Greenwich and Morton Sts. discovered her wallet was gone after she came home from shopping at Whole Foods Market on Seventh Ave. at W. 24th St. on Wednesday afternoon Feb. 13, police said. She found that unauthorized credit card charges were made for a transit fare card and for Duane Reade items an hour before she got home.

A patron of Beatrice Inn, the club at 285 W. 12th St., put her bag on the table when she went to the dance floor at 3:50 a.m. Mon., Feb. 11, and discovered two minutes later the table was turned over and her bag gone, police said.

A patron of New York Sports Club at 125 Seventh Ave. S. at W. 10th St. told police that his wallet was lifted from his coat in a locked locker on Sat., Feb. 16, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The victim said unauthorized charges were made on his credit cards at the nearby Gourmet Garage and Riviera Cafe.

Albert Amateau

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